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Questions tagged [kant]

Immanuel Kant was a German Enlightenment philosopher.

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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). ...
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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 ...
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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. ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Kants universalization explained, How does one universalize a thing?

I am having some doubts in understanding universalisation of maxims in Kants Categorical Imperative. For instance, one can determine whether a maxim of lying to secure a loan is moral by ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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 characteristics of that object , ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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. ...
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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,...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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"...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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How do you treat retailers without using them as a means?

Source: Prof Michael Sandel, Justice: ..., Episode 06: "MIND YOUR MOTIVE" A student (who reveals his name as Patrick, at the 52:45 interval) asks: 52:34: Suppose I want to buy something, food. I ...
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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 ...
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How can intuitions be infallible?

I happen to come across the theory that intuitions are infallible, therefore whatever we intuit must be true. How is this rational at all? Our intuitions do not come from experience, so we really can ...
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What gives the Categorical Imperative moral weight?

After reading The Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, I'm still unsure why human beings have a duty to obey the Categorical Imperative. I understand Kant's argument why a rational will ...
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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....
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Is Chomskys universal grammar synthetic a priori?

Chomskys notion of a universal grammar is his way of comprehending that human languages appear to have a deep grammar, and that children appear to learn language as though they are primed for it. It ...
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Kant and the ornament

I am getting somewhat confused about Kant's stance about ornaments. In the Critique of Judgement, Kant seems to make a strict distinction between parergon (the add-ons to say cruely) and ergon (the ...
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Is Kant a Christian Philosopher, not merely a Philosopher who happens to be Christian?

Kant categorical imperative simply seems to me a rational founding for a Christian ethic. As this is the centre-piece of his moral philosophy, it seems to me he is at least morally a Christian ...
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Why did Kant say space and time do not exist independent of us?

As far as I know, Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) believed that space and time do not exist objectively, independent of us, and that they are added by our minds to our perceptions. I am eager to know what ...
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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 ...
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Is Hawking channeling Kant in his explanation of how the arrow of time works?

In "A Brief History of Time" - Chapter 9, Stephen Hawking gives an explanation of how the arrow of time works, i.e. why time seems to move forward in one direction while space can go in different ...
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Is it unethical, according to Kant, to break copyright and pirate books online?

I live in Bangladesh. In my country, I don't get authentic, high quality foreign books about science, philosophy, psychology etc. Even if some bookstores sell those books, the price due to import tax ...
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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 ...
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What kind of philosophical questions are transcendental philosophical questions?

There are a lot of different philosophical questions and I'm interested in knowing what kind of questions are asked in or what kind of questions does transcendental philosophy try to answer. I've ...
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Is number π empirical or a priori?

I used the example of π, but this applies to other transcendental numbers as well, such as e Kant classified statements into 4 epistemic categories based on two criteria: The Analytic/Synthetic ...