Do you think Kant's reform of metaphysics is a vindication or betrayal of it?

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markoos
 
Reply Fri 9 Jan, 2009 08:24 am
I cannot decide. I need to formulate an argument one way or the other.
 
jgweed
 
Reply Fri 9 Jan, 2009 08:55 am
@markoos,
Before any discussion can take place, it seems necessary to clarify what is meant by "reform" of philosophy, and whether it is appropriate to use "vindication" and "betrayal" of metaphysics without making clear what metaphysics (in this sense) is.

If one assumes that Kant's position of beginning with the conditions of knowledge, rather than the other way around, is a "reform" of metaphysics, then why would it qualify as a betrayal of it? Would we want to apply the same criticism to Aristotle's metaphysics because it attempted to reform that of Plato?

This could be a interesting discussion once the issues were clarified.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 10 Jan, 2009 09:49 am
@markoos,
markoos wrote:
I cannot decide. I need to formulate an argument one way or the other.


Kant was responding to David Hume's challenge to show that traditional philosophy (metaphysics) was not nonsense. He did so by trying to show that synthetic a priori judgments were possible, which he held were metaphysical propositions that escaped Hume's challenge. So, Kant, agreed that Hume was right about traditional, speculative metaphysics, but that he was mistaken about critical metaphysics (synthetic a priori propositions). So the issue revolves around the notion of the synthetic a priori, which, issue, Kant said, was "a matter of life or death for philosophy".
 
markoos
 
Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2009 01:27 am
@markoos,
Both of your comments were helpful.

Firstly, I would like to address jgweed's questions; Kant changed metaphysics because the traditional metaphysics dealt with reality and its structure where as Kant's metaphysics (post Critique of Pure Reason of course) was concerned with the a priori structures through which we perceive this reality, like you said, the conditions of knowledge. As Kant himself puts it; before, metaphysics assumed that our senses conform to the objects [of reality], now [Kant proposes] it shall concern itself with whether the objects conform to our senses.

Some would say that what Kant is suggesting is not "proper" metaphysics because the definition of metaphysics is closer to that which is explained formerly and not latterly. The latter, Kant's metaphysics, is therefore some different branch deserving of a different title. What do you think?

To kennethamy, what you said is interesting because that is his main method (I think?) of saving metaphysics. What I cannot grasp is how is showing that metaphysical claims are synthetic a priori claims have anything to do with what he said above, that we must start dealing with objects conforming to our senses.

Filling in on these areas would be much appreciated.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2009 08:18 am
@markoos,
markoos wrote:
Both of your comments were helpful.

Firstly, I would like to address jgweed's questions; Kant changed metaphysics because the traditional metaphysics dealt with reality and its structure where as Kant's metaphysics (post Critique of Pure Reason of course) was concerned with the a priori structures through which we perceive this reality, like you said, the conditions of knowledge. As Kant himself puts it; before, metaphysics assumed that our senses conform to the objects [of reality], now [Kant proposes] it shall concern itself with whether the objects conform to our senses.

Some would say that what Kant is suggesting is not "proper" metaphysics because the definition of metaphysics is closer to that which is explained formerly and not latterly. The latter, Kant's metaphysics, is therefore some different branch deserving of a different title. What do you think?

To kennethamy, what you said is interesting because that is his main method (I think?) of saving metaphysics. What I cannot grasp is how is showing that metaphysical claims are synthetic a priori claims have anything to do with what he said above, that we must start dealing with objects conforming to our senses.

Filling in on these areas would be much appreciated.


The a priori "element" (as Kant calls it) in synthetic a priori truths is the result of "objects conforming to our senses". Objects are the way they are because we (rational beings) impose the forms of knowledge on them. For, example, the synthetic a priori truth that every event has a cause is true because we must understand the world in those terms (of causality). That is how the idea of the a priori in Kant differs so markedly from that of the Rationalists. For the Rationalists, the mind was just a passive "mirror of nature". But for Kant, the mind imposes itself on nature, and actively shaped what we know. The world (the phenomenon) is a product of the interaction between the human mind and the noumenon.
 
Vanya
 
Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2009 10:58 am
@markoos,
Quote:
Do you think Kant's reform of metaphysics is a vindication or betrayal of it?


Can I reply to this?

Philosophy 101 Student forum for questions and answers in reading and writing philosophy and NOT for the expression of member opinions or ongoing discussions
 
markoos
 
Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2009 07:26 pm
@Vanya,
Vanya;41800 wrote:
Can I reply to this?

Philosophy 101 Student forum for questions and answers in reading and writing philosophy and NOT for the expression of member opinions or ongoing discussions


Please do! Need as many responses as possible.
 
markoos
 
Reply Mon 12 Jan, 2009 06:45 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;41769 wrote:
The a priori "element" (as Kant calls it) in synthetic a priori truths is the result of "objects conforming to our senses". Objects are the way they are because we (rational beings) impose the forms of knowledge on them. For, example, the synthetic a priori truth that every event has a cause is true because we must understand the world in those terms (of causality). That is how the idea of the a priori in Kant differs so markedly from that of the Rationalists. For the Rationalists, the mind was just a passive "mirror of nature". But for Kant, the mind imposes itself on nature, and actively shaped what we know. The world (the phenomenon) is a product of the interaction between the human mind and the noumenon.


And is this true for every metaphysical claim? Your post was very helpful by the way, the penny has dropped, or at least its hurtling towards the ground at the moment! :bigsmile:
 
 

 
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