Philosophy Essay

795 words - 3 pages

Mark ReyesProf. John Foley11/19/14Philosophy of KantImmanuel Kant is one of the most influential philosophers in the history of Western philosophy. His contributions to metaphysics, epistemology, ethics have had a profound impact on almost every philosophical movement that followed him. Empiricists, such as Locke, Berkeley, and Hume, argued that human knowledge originates in our sensations. Locke, for instance, was a representative realist about the external world and placed great confidence in the ability of the senses to inform us of the properties that empirical objects really have in themselves. Berkeley's strict phenomenalism, in contrast to Locke, raised questions about the inference from the character of our sensations to conclusions about the real properties of mind-independent objects. Since the human mind is strictly limited to the senses for its input, Berkeley argued, it has no independent means by which to verify the accuracy of the match between sensations and the properties that objects possess in themselves. David Hume pursued Berkeley's empirical line of inquiry even further, calling into question even more of our common sense beliefs about the source and support of our sense perceptions. Hume maintains that we cannot provide a priori or a posteriori justifications for a number of our beliefs like, "Objects and subjects persist identically over time," or "Every event must have a cause." In Hume's hands, it becomes clear that empiricism cannot give us an epistemological justification for the claims about objects, subjects, and causes that we took to be most obvious and certain about the world.In spite of the fact that Kant fond to an entirely new section of branches of metaphysics, his disapproval repeats some of the claims already defended in the Transcendental Analytic. Indeed, two central teachings the transcendental ideality of space and time, and the critical limitation of all application of the concepts of the understanding to "appearances" already carry with them Kant's rejection of "ontology. Accordingly, in the Transcendental Analytic Kant argues against any attempt to acquire knowledge of "objects in general" through the formal concepts and principles of the understanding, taken by themselves alone. In this connection, Kant denies that the principles or rules of either general logic, or those of his own "transcendental logic" by themselves yield knowledge of objects. These claims follow from Kant's well-known "kind distinction" between the understanding and sensibility, together with the view that knowledge requires the...

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