I never read anything by Kant cover to cover, but a lecturer told me no one would think he was consistently right now, anyway.

But Kant is taken very seriously by OOP, if only so that they can debunk him.

But why?

I have even seen it said in OOP that since Kant, no one has been able to really understand objects, as if his "revolution" actually was that, something that needed to be explicitly over turned before certain thoughts [!] were possible.

Take this quote:

google books on OOP

Note that Meillassoux isn't a naive realist.

  • it may be worth noting that M. seems to be trying to create a new breed of anti correlationist HUMANS. so there's definitely something there to the idea that some way of thinking was actually IMPOSSIBLE
    – user6917
    Feb 12, 2015 at 6:55
  • mhh, i came to this subforum from SO and to me OOP always meant Object Oriented Programming ;-)
    – yamm
    Feb 12, 2015 at 8:45
  • Same here, I've heard of OO programming but never OO philosophy. References por favor?
    – user4894
    Feb 12, 2015 at 20:25
  • @user4894 its object-oriented ontology. wiki quote 'Thus, for object-oriented ontologists, all relations, including those between nonhumans, distort their related objects in the same basic manner as human consciousness and exist on an equal footing with one another.'
    – yamm
    Feb 13, 2015 at 9:21
  • Why is Marx sooooo underrated!!!!!!!! His influence is sooo HUUUUUUUUUUGE.
    – user13955
    Mar 24, 2015 at 3:47

2 Answers 2


Kant's influence cannot be measured by the number of his specific theses which are considered correct today. What Kant discovered was a new concept, a new way of thinking, a new rationalist philosophical paradigm. And this paradigm was more suitable to the modern mind than its rationalist predecessors. In a characteristic methodical manner, Kant took the new paradigm deep and wide, leaving no philosophical stone unturned. With this he shook the philosophical world to the core. And so the philosophy after Kant is tangibly different from the philosophy before Kant.

Kant famously said that David Hume's work woke him up from his slumber. Kant criticized Hume's empiricism on many issues, but he accepted, and further defended, the general thesis that knowledge cannot be had from beyond the bounds of possible sense experience. The combined attacks of Hume's empiricism and Kant's rationalism against the very possibility of transcendent knowledge was very effective. Since Kant and Hume, the possibility of transcendent knowledge is considered hopeless, and is therefore no longer taken seriously in mainstream philosophy. And this is the kind of historical influence that the Object Oriented Philosophers hope to overturn.

  • 1
    i'm not sure i understand what you mean by transcendent knowledge because there seems to have been a lot of mainstream philosophers who claim to know things "beyond the bounds of possible sense experience"
    – user6917
    Feb 15, 2015 at 17:44
  • @MATHEMATICIAN After Kant? Please name a few. Feb 15, 2015 at 18:06
  • any scientific realist believes in unobservables, in some form or other
    – user6917
    Feb 16, 2015 at 4:05
  • 1
    @MATH These beliefs are still based on sense experience. They are not "beyond the bounds of experience" in Kant's sense. Feb 16, 2015 at 9:28
  • ok, yeah i get what you meant now :)
    – user6917
    Feb 16, 2015 at 10:50

This is actually a common pattern in philosophy. A philosopher will identify a problem that no one had considered before and propose a solution. Subsequent thinkers will disagree with the solution, but agree with the existence of the problem. The philosopher's lasting contribution therefore becomes the formulation of the problem, not of the solution.

It seems perfectly correct to me to state that before Kant, certain thoughts were not even possible --that's the mark of a great philosopher.

EDIT: I don't think it changes things much to say that certain thoughts only become possible in rejection of Kant. Again, that matches my original contention that the philosopher is defined as much by the questions he or she asks as by the answers. Conversely, we are often as shaped by what we reject as we are by what we embrace.

  • no SINCE kant...
    – user6917
    Feb 13, 2015 at 17:27
  • So you mean that some thoughts are only possible after you overturn Kant --or that some thoughts were made impossible by Kant? Feb 13, 2015 at 19:00
  • yes, "some thoughts are only possible after you overturn kant"
    – user6917
    Feb 14, 2015 at 0:18
  • 1
    @Mathematician See my edit above. Feb 14, 2015 at 3:36
  • hmmmm , maybe .
    – user6917
    Feb 14, 2015 at 3:42

You must log in to answer this question.