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Philosophy Of Immanuel Kant Essay

1849 words - 8 pages

There are different views about how we gain knowledge of the world, through our senses or through our minds, and although many say that it is one or the other I believe that although we gain some knowledge through sense data not all of our ideas come from these impressions. There are those who stand on the side of empiricism, like David Hume, and those who stand on the side of rationalism, like René Descartes; then there are also those who believe that one can have a foot on both sides, like Immanuel Kant. To be on one side or the other never gives you full knowledge you must be willing to use your senses and your reason to form ideas.
Kant was to first to step away from choosing a side. Kant changed philosophy in the way that he showed that certain aspects of rationalism and empiricism were wrong. Kant was also the first to say that objects conform to our knowledge meaning that rationality puts a structure on sense data to be experienced as objects. This view has more logic than rationalism or empiricism because if a person is of the belief of one of these two views it can lead to skepticism and certain important aspects have a tendency to be disregarded. This is why ideas cannot come from impressions because there are important matters, such as God, that cannot be explained by impressions and some of which we do not have impressions of but we do have ideas about them. In order to know how and why a combination of the two is needed one first needs to understand each individual side.
Empiricism is the belief that all knowledge and ideas come from the senses and that the only way we can know anything about the world is through those senses. This has a tendency to be true in the fact that people learn from their mistakes. Growing up parents tell their children not to touch the stove when the parent is cooking because the stove is hot. However, no matter how many times the parent says this the child never truly understands the meaning of “it’s hot don’t touch, it will burn you” until the child touches the hot stove and burns themselves, giving them the experience so that in the future they will recall the impression of being burnt by a hot object. So in regard to those things that we experience through our senses I can agree. But to empiricist there are no innate ideas instead they believe that all ideas come from impressions. Hume saying that all ideas come from our simple impressions is a ridiculous notion. There are some things that we do not have impressions of but we have ideas about them. So if one were to follow Hume’s belief then those ideas are not and cannot be true. I disagree because no matter what some things are just known or believed and with or without impressions of them people will continue to have these ideas and beliefs. For example, Hume says that our idea of God comes from our impression of human goodness and then extended to have no limit. Unfortunately if our idea of God comes from impressions than there are many problems...

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