Just to note...most of Kant's theories and philosophies were debunked...make sure the ones you refer to aren't on that list.
A philosophy cannot be debunked any more so than it can be proved. As far as I know the only people to directly confront Kant were his empiricist contemporaries, and since they sort of made mutually exclusive arguments it's more a matter of appeal than 'debunking'.
But we now live in an age in which we clearly understand that we are a lot less rational than we believed ourself to be in the enlightenment. And this self-awareness has permeated everything in modern culture -- certainly literature (think of Dostoyevsky, Joyce, Faulkner, TS Eliot, Samuel Beckett) and fine art (think of Van Gogh, Picasso, Braque), all of whom focused on our emotional, irrational core.
In the Enlightenment we came to understand ourselves as rational beings -- not just from philosophers but also from other domains (Newton comes foremost to mind).
In modernity human decisions and human thought processes have been so thoroughly described by psychologists (with Jung and Freud towering over all others) that it just seems more accurate than the philosophical understanding. It's clear that fundamentally humans are NOT rational beings -- our reason is constantly beset by irrational forces within us, and much of the time we THINK we're being rational we're simply rationalizing to accomodate an emotional, irrational feeling.
Furthermore, the relentless period of societal growth and progress that began in the Enlightenment has culminated in the 20th century, in which our achievements have been greatly tempered by their side effects -- most visibly the trenches of WWI, the Holocaust, the atomic bombs, and the nuclear stalemate of the cold war.
In other words, we've realized that the more the world corresponds to our notion of progress, the closer we get to annihilating ourselves. Makes Kant seem quaint -- sure, he was brilliant, but his philosophies correspond to a time when the world understood itself differently.
He also wrote that the question, how are synthetic a priori judgments possible is a matter of life or death for philosophy. What about that?
For example, Kant famously says that existence is not a predicate.
He also wrote that the question, how are synthetic a priori judgments possible is a matter of life or death for philosophy.
Interesting. I guess it just depends how "a priori" you want to get. Aren't we biological beings before we're rational beings? Cannot our rational judgements be affected by emotional things (jealousy, hatred, love) and by biological things (fatigue, alcohol, head injuries)?
If so, then any a priori rational judgement is a posteriori with respect to various conscious and physical mitigators -- to say nothing of subconscious things like memories.
But we now live in an age in which we clearly understand that we are a lot less rational than we believed ourself to be in the enlightenment.
In the Enlightenment we came to understand ourselves as rational beings...
It's clear that fundamentally humans are NOT rational beings -- our reason is constantly beset by irrational forces within us, and much of the time we THINK we're being rational we're simply rationalizing to accomodate an emotional, irrational feeling.
Because without that all reason is cause and effect. Therefore no margin for free choice is left. All thoughts would be pre-ordained and any notion to the contrary would be none-sense.
That's not at all what Kant meant. You are just making that up. Before you say why he thought that synthetic a priori judgments were possible, could you please say what a synthetic a priori judgment is?
Now, what did he mean in your idea then? I suppose an argument for aimlessness? By the way: have you ever read Hume?
Kennethamy, I do not think you know what I am talking about. Lets do this the other way around. I am going to ask you a few questions and then lead you to an idea of what is being said.
What is the result of the none-existance of a priori intuitions?
Gentlemen, let's keep this civilized. Attacking what either has or has not read is not becoming.
@Arjen: a priori intuitions is an extremely hard concept to grasp, and you must be careful when you use the word intuition. As you probably know, Kant was notorious for inventing words, and this use of the word intuition is one of his inventions.
@kennethemy: be careful not to place words into Hume's mouth. I could be wrong, but I don't think the word 'synthetic a priori' came onto the scene until Kant further divided a priori and a posteriori into synthetic and analytic.
Also, I think the dogmatic slumber that Kant speaks of is blindly accepting the premise that the mind is shaped by the external world, his awakening was realizing that all of philosophy before him accepted this without challenge, and that if we disregard this dogmatic truth and explore a priori truths from the point of view that rather than the world shaping our minds, our minds shape the world, then a priori truths are not only possible, but necessary. (This is found in the Preface to the Second Edition)
Arjen, contrary to what kennethemy says, I believe that a discussion on a priori intuitions are well within the realm of a discussion on synthetic a priori judgments.
However, as we are not all clear on what a priori intuitions are, will you kindly explain?
In an earlier post I was careful to say that the language was Kant's, but that Kant was talking about the same distinctions that Hume was making.
Now, although Kant talks about a priori intuitions, what they are has nothing much to do with the issue which is the main issue of the First Critique (as I pointed out, Kant writes that the possibility of synthetic a priori judgments is a "matter of life or death for philosophy" so he must have thought it was pretty important).