Immanuel Kant's life

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Reply Sun 16 May, 2010 05:12 pm
Hey guys,

I need some intereting facts about kant's life. I am doing an extra credit project where I have to take three philosophers and prove how their psychological experiences had an effect on their works. I am having a hard time seeing how kant's life affected his theories because he is very good at keeping his life and works seperate.

I am looking for anything in kant's that was peculiar or interesting. All I seem
to find is how he is a boring man of routine.

Thanks in advance
 
Citia
 
Reply Sun 16 May, 2010 06:21 pm
@michael88,
I read somewhere that he had spine problems and weak bones. Maybe that disadvantage made him see how being biased and negative has an influence on ones mind and sense of morals. Thus he tried to avoide being biased in his writings- just a thought
 
michael88
 
Reply Mon 17 May, 2010 10:55 am
@Citia,
Citia;165076 wrote:
I read somewhere that he had spine problems and weak bones. Maybe that disadvantage made him see how being biased and negative has an influence on ones mind and sense of morals. Thus he tried to avoide being biased in his writings- just a thought


Good point. But the problem is I have relate that to what he said in the book. I guess I can use the categorical imperative to show that since kant believes morals objective than he didn't let biased thoughts affect his writings. Still though my essay has to be long and this is the only psych/philo relation I know for kant.

The other two people I chose are kikergarrd and hume. It was pretty easy to relate kikergaards life to his works and hume was okay after you understood why he droped out of law school and his emotional crisis.

BUT I am such an idiot for choosing Kant! I can't switch back now:brickwall:. Should have gone with nietzsche.

Anyways.... anybody else have interesting facts about kant's life?
 
jgweed
 
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 09:23 am
@michael88,
It is really a moot question whether "psychological experiences" whatever that may mean, have a provable and causal bearing on how and what a philosopher thinks.

Of the ancients, we have for the most part, only anecdotal information and the barest of historical outlines; even for many of the moderns, we have scarce more evidence about their lives, and most of it comes from reports of Others rather than the philosopher himself.
In the realm of philosophy, it would seem that the thinking and writings of prior philosophers have had a greater effect on them than psychological experiences.
 
Ding an Sich
 
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 09:30 am
@michael88,
michael88;165051 wrote:
Hey guys,

I need some intereting facts about kant's life. I am doing an extra credit project where I have to take three philosophers and prove how their psychological experiences had an effect on their works. I am having a hard time seeing how kant's life affected his theories because he is very good at keeping his life and works seperate.

I am looking for anything in kant's that was peculiar or interesting. All I seem
to find is how he is a boring man of routine.

Thanks in advance


Kant grew up in a strict Puritanical home, which might explain for the precision of his thought, as well as the high moral standards he held. Your best bet is to read a biography on Kant if you can find a credible one. Another thing about Kant is that he is incredibly structured in his writing (which schopenhauer mentions as being of gothic architecture) which may have been influenced by his routine life.

Kant wasnt entirely boring aside from the fact that he didnt travel more than 40 miles away from his home in Koigsberg. He was very friendly, well mannered, and intellectually stimulating. He was also humorous (this is the man that said that ones life does not have meaning until they reach the age of 39). Hope this helps.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 10:25 am
@Ding an Sich,
Ding_an_Sich;165757 wrote:
Kant grew up in a strict Puritanical home, which might explain for the precision of his thought, as well as the high moral standards he held.


The trouble is, of course, that just because Kant grew up in a strict Puritanical home, and just because Kant' thought was precise, and because he had high moral standards: there is no reason to think that his thought was precise, and that he had high moral standards because he grew up in a strict Puritanical home. To argue that way would be to commit the fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc, namely that because A happens, and then B happens, that A is the cause of B. Maybe it so that A is the cause of B, but only that B follows A is no reason to think it is so.

And, since we are told that Kant was a precise thinker, Kant would have certainly disapproved of committing the post hoc ergo propeter hoc fallacy.
 
Ding an Sich
 
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 02:43 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;165777 wrote:
The trouble is, of course, that just because Kant grew up in a strict Puritanical home, and just because Kant' thought was precise, and because he had high moral standards: there is no reason to think that his thought was precise, and that he had high moral standards because he grew up in a strict Puritanical home. To argue that way would be to commit the fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc, namely that because A happens, and then B happens, that A is the cause of B. Maybe it so that A is the cause of B, but only that B follows A is no reason to think it is so.

And, since we are told that Kant was a precise thinker, Kant would have certainly disapproved of committing the post hoc ergo propeter hoc fallacy.


I had a feeling there was something fallacious about my argument. I agree because Kant very well couldve gone another route that did not conform to his background per se. Apologies for terrible argumentation.

Oh wait I did you use "might". I did not say there was a necessary connection, only a possiblity. In any event, the argument, if taken upon necessity, is fallacious.

Or should I be using proablility for this? Not possibility?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 18 May, 2010 03:02 pm
@Ding an Sich,
Ding_an_Sich;165840 wrote:
I had a feeling there was something fallacious about my argument. I agree because Kant very well couldve gone another route that did not conform to his background per se. Apologies for terrible argumentation.

Oh wait I did you use "might". I did not say there was a necessary connection, only a possiblity. In any event, the argument, if taken upon necessity, is fallacious.

Or should I be using proablility for this? Not possibility?


Unless you have more evidence that Kant's background explains his philosophy, why should you talk about probability? The argument is fallacious.
 
Ding an Sich
 
Reply Wed 19 May, 2010 06:03 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;165849 wrote:
Unless you have more evidence that Kant's background explains his philosophy, why should you talk about probability? The argument is fallacious.


I wasnt thinking clearly yesterday.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 19 May, 2010 06:18 am
@Ding an Sich,
Ding_an_Sich;166052 wrote:
I wasnt thinking clearly yesterday.


Homer nods too. I mean the poet, not the television star.
 
qualia
 
Reply Wed 19 May, 2010 07:19 am
@kennethamy,
We can tweak out an ideological conflict going on here. It is a clash between a tye of liberal humanism, found in much Anglos-Saxon philosophy (LH/AP) and critical theory or perhaps continental philosophy (CT/CP).

The general values and attitudes of LH-AP are not usually formulated or stated. It is an essential attitude, absorbed without question, an assumption, a conealed set of values and beliefs at the heart of this type of philosophy.

Briefly, we can say of LH-AP the following: philosophical speculation is timeless. The world is a collection of facts. Arguments have their own meaning within themselves, so there's no need to put them into any kind of socio-economic-political context. Analysis is always done without ideological assumptions. Individuality is a unique essence. It may change but it cannot be transformed. Philosophy is all about the enhancement of life, but not in any programmatic way. If philosophy was political it would be propaganda.

We could go on, but you get the idea. This non-exhaustive list simply highlights what your proverbial humanists would hold if they dared to make their assumptions explicit.

Obviously, it would be foolish to dispute that the nature of reasoning and cognition are irrelevant to the evaluation of arguments; and furthermore, one's defence or rejection of a given argument bears no necessary relation to one's convictions. What does it matter who is speaking, rather than what is spoken?

The critique charges in from continental philosophy. Yes, agreed, they say, what does it matter? But of those dubious notions of givens and essences are fluid, dependant on social and economic and political forces (Marx). All thinking is a conviction, a confession of sorts. Thinking and investigation is always-already affected by prior ideological commitment - our task is to make that all too obvious (Nietzsche). The notion of disinterested inquiry is senseless; no one can stand back from their world, for their very existence presupposes it (Heidegger). Practical procedure, analysis, argumentation already presupposes a paradigmatic perspective proping up some regime of power (Foucault). Our reality is constructed through language, so much so that the entire universe is textual (Semiotics). Outside the tautology, the general thrusts of arguments are their essential fallibility, from herein, the justifications or rejections of a given theory or argument is the philosopher's conviction, their ideology, their confession driving at the heart of the so called disinterested text.
 
 

 
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