language — somehow shape H u m a n i t i e s

language — somehow shape H u m a n i t i e s

i. Kant rejected the distinction between language and the world and thus between us and Truth. He thought that our “ideas”—our concepts and language—somehow shape and “set up” the world, imposing upon the world the structures that we experience.

ii. We impose a set of rules on every experience. The word he uses for “set up” is “constitutes.” We constitute our own experience in the sense that we provide the rules and structures, according to which we experience objects as governed by the laws of nature and the relations of cause and effect.

We can’t understand reality outside of the way that we constitute it through our basic concepts, which he calls “categories.” He identifies these as the basic rules of the human mind. Thus there is no point to wondering whether or not our concepts match up to reality because there is no reality without our concepts.

Kant attempts to prove that these concepts are necessary and a priori. Truth is not a correspondence between ideas and reality but our own system of rules by which we constitute our reality.

iii. Knowledge is only knowledge of our experience and we can be certain of the rules of our own experience. Reality is the world of experience, as we constitute it through the concepts of our understanding. The world is real because we constitute it as the way that it is. Thus a belief can be true, necessarily true if it is one of those rules that we impose to constitute our experience.

In Kant’s Prolegomena to any Future Metaphysics he claims that the rules by which we interpret our experience are necessarily true, claims that contradict these rules are necessarily false, claims that are not the rules that constitute experience are either analytic, contingently true or contingently false, and claims that cannot be decided by appeal to the rules of our experience are to be rejected as possible topics of knowledge. (Robert C. Solomon).

answer the first two and respond to the classmates answer to the third question

1.In what way did Hume’s suggestions interrupt Kant’s dogmatic slumber?

2.What does Kant want to do with the concept of cause and effect? Does he want to do the same with other concepts? From where do these concepts spring?

respond to the classmates answer to the third question. Do you agree or disagree and reason

3.Whose account is most convincing? Descartes, Hume or Kant? Why?

I believe Kant’s philosophy of transcendental idealism is the most logical viewpoint, as it acts as a synthesis and combines what I believe to be some of the best aspects of Descartes’s rationalism and Hume’s total empiricism. Kant’s philosophy acts as sort of a middle ground. Kant believed that our knowledge is derived from sense impressions, but that subsequently our mind organizes and interprets these sense impressions, and that our mind has certain universal laws that we can use to understand and verify the information we receive from our senses. This would make it so that our world is constructed by our minds. I also like Kant’s philosophy because it attempts to legitimize the idea of cause and effect, something that Hume’s skepticism completely undermined.

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