Questions tagged [kant]

Immanuel Kant was a German Enlightenment philosopher.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
9
votes
2answers
8k views

What are the more complex/interesting examples of synthetic a priori statements?

The usual examples of synthetic a priori statements are – it seems at least since Kant: "Nothing can be simultaneously red and green all over" 7 + 5 = 12 (or any other basic arithmetic statements). ...
6
votes
2answers
859 views

Did Kant come to believe that we have access to things-in-themselves after all?

Kant's position on things-in-themselves is often described Socratically, of them we know only one thing, that they are. However, in an old but apparently still popular history of philosophy book I ...
6
votes
1answer
505 views

Was there a Kantian influence on Hilbert's formalist programme?

In this paper by Cassou-Nogues which is on an aspect of the mathematical philosophy of Cavailles he quotes the mathematician Hilbert (a colloborator of Einstein in Gottingen) ...We find ourselves ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Kant's universalization explained, How does one universalize a thing?

I am having some doubts in understanding the universalisation of maxims in Kant's Categorical Imperative. For instance, one can determine whether a maxim of lying to secure a loan is moral by ...
4
votes
2answers
14k views

What are some examples of categorical imperatives/universalizable maxims relevant to modern ethics?

I know this question has been widely asked, and that the answer may not be as straightforward as the question, which is partly why I'm asking. It's been a long time since I sat in a philosophy class, ...
33
votes
8answers
38k views

What would Kant do when two categorical imperatives conflict? Could he ever justify lying?

Suppose a German SS officer knocked on my door, asking me whether I had any Jews. And suppose further that I had two Jews in a secret compartment in the attic that he'd never be able to find. ...
15
votes
7answers
26k views

What are examples of analytic a posteriori knowledge?

There is the analytic/synthetic distinction and the a priori/a posteriori distinction. These two distinctions form four types of knowledge: analytic a priori synthetic a priori analytic a posteriori ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

Is Kant's “noumenal self” argument on freedom flawed?

This is what is supposedly his claim: My noumenal self is an uncaused cause outside of time, which therefore is not subject to the deterministic laws of nature in accordance with which our ...
2
votes
1answer
262 views

Is Reality an intersection of Incompatible Ontologies?

Empiricists do not ask questions about the ontological status of mathematical or logical structures. Idealists don't explain how Ideas are developed, or how technological advancement in general takes ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

How did Kant define knowledge?

A recent question about the Plato's formula K=JTB (knowledge is justified true belief) made me curious as to what Kant thought on the matter. In the prefaces and the Introduction to the first Critique ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

What are the counterexamples to Kant's argument that existence is not a predicate?

Kant argued that considering existence as a predicate is wrong. A predicate is a feature or characteristic of an object. But logically, existence adds nothing to the characteristics of that object, ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is there only one Categorical Imperative?

I am currently reading Kant's Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals. In section 2, he says: There is therefore only a single categorical imperative, and it is this: act only according to that ...
3
votes
5answers
431 views

Is Kant's ethical theory adequate to the complexities of universalisation?

Kant argues that one should only act according to those principles which can be universalised. However human actions are often complex and motivated by multi-layered reasonings. They can rarely be ...
11
votes
5answers
8k views

Which of Kant's writings would be a good introduction to his work?

I've been planning to read some of Kant's work for a while, but have no idea where to start. Which of his writings would be a good initial introduction to his philosophical views?
11
votes
2answers
2k views

In what fundamental ways, if any, does Husserl break with Kant?

I've read only slim secondary works on Husserl some time ago, and recently started "The Crisis in the European Sciences." So far, the framework seems faithfully Kantian. Husserl, for example, ...
9
votes
4answers
11k views

Why shouldn't you lie to the future murderer of your children?

I've heard two versions of this anecdote about Kant's ethics: You are at home and a man with an axe rings the bell. He asks where your children are so that he can kill them. It is, according to ...
9
votes
6answers
19k views

What does Kant mean by “Existence is not a predicate”?

What does Kant mean by "Existence is not a predicate"? How does that invalidate the ontological arguments? and how can he show that it's not a predicate? By predicate, I think he means a "property"...
3
votes
1answer
434 views

How does Kant justify the introduction of the noumenon?

Kant introduces the notion of the noumenon in his critical philosophy; he also later demonstrates in his system that solipsism isn't possible. Is the introduction of the noumenon essential to this ...
11
votes
3answers
53k views

Are the first and second forms of the categorical imperative actually equivalent?

I will put aside any question of possible imprecision of the formulations, I will assume that the Kant's intentions can be understood intuitively reasonably precisely. Kant gives two forms of the ...
7
votes
2answers
5k views

Does Sartre imitate Kant in moral philosophy?

This is not originally my question but someone deleted their question while I was typing an answer to it. Consequently, I'm reposting the question and then my answer -- n.b., I've changed the title ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

How does Kant derive the categories of the understanding from the logical forms of judgment in the Critique of Pure Reason?

I didn't arrive at any cogent and clear conception of the exact relation between Kant's logical forms of judgment and his categories, and most importantly, how he derives the latter from the former. &...
5
votes
2answers
501 views

How does capacity for reason 'exist undifferentiated in all of us'?

Source: Prof Michael Sandel, Justice: ..., Episode 06: "MIND YOUR MOTIVE" [in this episode, Prof Sandel introduces Kant.] 25:35: How many moral laws from Kant’s point of view are there in this room,...
4
votes
4answers
986 views

Why does Kant say the conservation of matter is a priori rather than empirical?

In the Critique of Pure Reason Kant writes that conservation of matter is a priori synthetic: Natural science (physics) contains a priori synthetic judgments as principles. I need cite only two such ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Kant's Refutation of Idealism

from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-transcendental/#RefIde Dicker reconstructs Kant's Refutation of Idealism as saying: I can be aware of having experiences that occur in a specific temporal ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

How does Kant assert existence of the noumena, if indeed he does?

According to Kant the thing-in-itself or noumena is strictly hidden from us and phenomena are conditioned by the categories of the mind such as time, space, causality amongst others. These categories ...
11
votes
8answers
3k views

What was the impact of the discovery of non-euclidean geometry on Kantian thought?

This is mainly a historical question. In Gary Hatfields introduction to Kants Prologomena, he says: After the discovery of non-Euclidean geometry, Kant’s claims for the synthetic a priori status of ...
15
votes
4answers
702 views

Are we born with Kantian Categories?

Following this question; given that Kantian Categories are required to sythesise Concepts and for the conditions of experience; does this mean that we are born with them?
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Does a moral act have to be necessarily beautiful?

Kant argues in his Third Critique (sec. 59) that moral uprightness and decency brings us pleasure as in a reflective, judgment of taste: Now I say that the beautiful is the symbol of the morally ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

How can Hegel call philosophy a science?

At the tail end of Kant and the Critique of Pure Reason Gardner discusses Kant's influence on his successors. He claims---and I'm paraphrasing here---Hegel wanted his metaphysics to be scientific, i.e....
10
votes
4answers
726 views

Why do philosophy of mind courses tend to bypass Kant?

All of the philosophy of mind courses I've seen seem to follow a basic pattern: Start with Descartes and substance dualism Jump to the 20th century and discuss behaviorism, functionalism, identity ...
5
votes
11answers
543 views

Can a machine, lacking reflection, be a Person?

We are well beyond Frankenstein and the experience that the machine—“it’s alive”! As we continue to rely on Suri’s for GPS directions, “self”-checkout aisles, or the artificial intelligence of robotic ...
4
votes
4answers
923 views

How can one justify Newton's third law?

In one sense it is justified by the overall success if Newtonian Mechanics; still, one can ask are there arguments that can justify it from other principles; ie principle that are * a priori* in ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

What views of government were based on Kantian ethics?

Historically, what kinds of government and politics have been influenced by the maxims of Kant's "categorical imperative"? Take for example, the maxim that one should only act in such a way that the ...
5
votes
2answers
618 views

If one agrees with Quine's dissolution of the Analytic/Synthetic distinction, what is left of Kant's epistemology?

One of Kant's most important (if not the most important) result is his argument (proof?) that synthetic a priori knowledge is possible. If one agrees with Quine's argument against Analyticity as ...
5
votes
2answers
390 views

How does Kant rule out permanent soul in his argument for the existence of external world?

I have been studying Stephan Körner's intro to Kant's philosophy. I'm not sure if in the following excerpt I make sense of the reasoning quoted from Kant. In fact, I wonder how the permanence must be ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

A companion or guide to Kant's Critique of Pure Reason

Which companion, or guide, would you recommend to someone trying to read and understand the original work, The Critique of Pure Reason? Why? I'm inclined towards these two, The Cambridge Companion to ...
9
votes
5answers
23k views

Would Kant choose to sacrifice one life to save another?

If what I know about Kant is correct- watching the Harvard Justice series on Kant and some summaries of his work- then Kant believes in an absolute morality where everything is either right or wrong ...
8
votes
1answer
352 views

What are the similarities/differences between how Kant thinks 'noumenon' limits understanding compared to C.S. Peirce?

Kant stated in Critique of Pure Reason, pg. 273: What our understanding acquires through this concept of a noumenon, is a negative extension; that is to say, understanding is not limited through ...
5
votes
2answers
161 views

Why did Kant think that you should be responsible for the consequences of lying but not for the consequences of telling the truth?

Can someone here clarify what Kant meant with the following statement: if you have by a lie prevented someone just now bent on murder from committing the deed, then you are legally accountable for ...
5
votes
2answers
657 views

For Kant, why are all preferences only conditionally valuable?

It's not clear to me why rational beings are objective ends. It certainly seems possible that every rational being could hold itself as an end, but it is by no means the case necessary that they do ...
2
votes
3answers
196 views

Why should we treat others as *always* rational when they are not?

In Kantian system, murdering is nonrational because it cannot become a universal law. Yet Kant insists that it's immoral to lie to murderers. This is the same with saying they are rational being, ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the basis for Kant's misquote “If the truth shall kill them, let them die” (murderer at the door)?

I recently discovered that the quote "If the truth shall kill them, let them die" is falsely attributed to Kant, and actually stems from Ayn Rand paraphrasing Kant [1] [2] Which work/passage could ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a parallel between Hegelian “essence” and Kantian “concept”?

I think I've found a paralelism between these two notions, at least to some extent. For Kant defines (in Logic, I, I, §1, also translated) concept as "an universal representation" Every ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

A Kantian view on modern physics

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica article on Immanuel Kant, in the section discussing the Critique of pure reason: In the Transcendental Analytic, the most crucial as well as the most ...
18
votes
2answers
4k views

What was Kant's view on lies by omission?

I was going to ask this question as a comment in response to @Chad's answer to What would Kant do when two categorical imperatives conflict? Could he ever justify lying?, however I figured it merits ...
9
votes
2answers
96k views

Deontology: Perfect vs. Imperfect Duties

I have a question regarding Kant's deontological Maxim of both Perfect and Imperfect duties. What I know about them is that Perfect duties require a person to perform a certain "action" all the time, ...
9
votes
4answers
13k views

A contradiction in Kant's Universalizability Principle

I figured a contradiction in Kant's Universalizability principle, but I'm very surprised that it was so easy to prove that wrong, so I think that I might be wrong somewhere. Let us first begin with a ...
7
votes
5answers
5k views

How is a priori synthetic knowledge possible?

One of Kant's example of a priori synthetic knowledge is the knowledge of geometry, that is of space itself. It is a priori as it cannot be otherwise - it is independent of experience because it is a ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What is Kant's influence on philosophy of science and the demarcation problem?

Kant's proof of the existence of synthetic apriori knowledge was a response to Hume's fork and his views the problem of induction. Given the relevance of these two concepts to the philosophy of ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Did Kant consider Newtonian mechanics a priori?

Did Kant take Newtonian physics as being synthetic a priori? I get the feeling he did. If he did, how did he justify this, it seems like a huge blunder for such a careful thinker. I mean... Kant ...