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Questions tagged [kant]

Immanuel Kant was a German Enlightenment philosopher.

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Categorical Imperatives and Imbalances of Power

My fundamental question here, is does Kant's categorical imperative only make sense when considering ethics among people with similar levels of power? It seems Kant's argument assumes that all people ...
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Rethinking arithmetic operations after J.L. Austin's performativity?

According to Kant, arithmetic statements such as "7+5=12" are synthetic a priori. Could we alternatively think of this not as a statement, but as an arithmetic-logic operation to be executed (like a ...
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How specific to a set of circumstances can the categorical imperative be?

I'm having trouble understanding just how specific the circumstances can be when using the categorical imperative. My general understanding is that the categorical imperative urges you to consider ...
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What sources discuss the polemic over the Feder-Garve review of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason?

The affair with the Garve-Feder review of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason in the Göttinger Gelehrten Anzeigenand is a well-known story (Kant felt misrepresented, and complained bitterly in the Appendix ...
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Kant's second formulation

In Kant's Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals, he gives examples of uses of the Humanity Imperative, the first being about suicide. I have a scenario in which there is a boy who has to choose ...
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Does 5 + 7 = 12 really say anything new?

I'm not sure why 5 + 7 = 12 should say anything new: I take it to be a shorthand notation to give a name to 5 + 7, which anyway is nothing but 5 times the unit + 7 times the unit, so there is not ...
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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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What does Kant's universalisable principle have to say on arbitrary rules?

Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law How does that leave arbitrary rules, and conformity? If everyone disobeyed, for any ...
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What is “intuition” for Kant?

Intuition appears to be a relatively abstract concept, an incomplete cognition, and thus not directly experienceable. Kant says that all knowledge is constituted of two parts: reception of objects ...
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Did Kant explain how a person is able to make a reliable decision, given that the noumenal world is unknowable?

Kant argued that, in matters of perception, there is a noumenon and a phenomenon. The phenomenal world is that which a human can perceive. But the noumenal world exists independently of human ...
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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 the characteristics of that object, ...
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Is imagination more important than knowledge?

Einstein famously said: Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. In answer to the question, “Do you trust more to your imagination ...
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Kant and causality as custom

According to Hume, causality cannot be found in "things themselves", nor can it be empirically accessible. Instead, it is we, the observers, who attach causal relations among things merely because we ...
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Is the entirety of Kant's transcendental logic synthetic a priori, and if so, why?

In my understanding, the argument at a certain place goes as follows: All synthetic judgements that can be true are about possible experience. All necessary conditions for existence of possible ...
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Why did Kant talk about metaphysics of ethics?

How can there be a metaphysics of ethics? What does this even mean? I am completely lost on what this means.
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What was Kant's argument that causation is necessary for observation?

In this comic, the fictional Immanuel Kant talks about investigating David Hume's "An Inquiry Concerning Human Reason". Hume, in that work, argued that we only see two things happening in sequence and ...
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Is there an atheistic idealism that rejects noumena but isn't solipsism?

I know of one answered question on a similar subject, but mine is not quite the same thing. Berkeley's idealism holds that to be is to be perceived---nothing can exist, or can be thought to exist, ...
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Are there counter examples to Kant's perfect duties?

Are there exceptions to Kant's perfect duties - duties always or never to do X? By this I mean, does the doctrine of perfect duties generate counter-examples - situations in which if we followed the ...
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What did Kant mean by the term “category” and did the term change meaning with Hegel?

What does Kant mean by the term "category" and did the term change meaning with Hegel? I'm not asking about for an enumeration of his categories, but what the term means, therein. I read the ...
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What was Kant's particular rejection of the virtue of benevolence based in?

Kant notoriously rejects the utilitarian model of a supreme principle of beneficence, but he still finds a vital place in the moral life for beneficence. He seeks universally valid principles (or ...
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What did Kant mean by 'courtesy of the heart'?

I bolded and italicised Kant's metaphor below. Source: p. 46 Bottom. Ethics: A Beginner's Guide (2015) by Peter Cave. Universal dignity: Arguing for the dignity of, and respect due, to all ...
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Kant on being your own master

Kant mentions that only someone who is his own master can have right to be a citizen in On the Common Saying. I think in order to him, if you give your labor to someone, basically you cannot be your ...
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Redefining the Analytic/Synthetic Distinction in Terms of Computational Complexity

I've been reading Kant for the first time and encountered Quine's objections to the analytic/synthetic distinction and am want to agree that they feel a little obscure in their definitions. That is, ...
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what is the difference between Descartes and Quentin Meillassoux in understanding the term of “Cogito”?

Having read Quentin Meillassoux's 《After Finitude》, I am still quite puzzled by the way he illustrating the 'Cogito, ergo sum' as his start-point to criticize on Kant. Kant established the ...
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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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What can a Kantian do in self-defense?

For Kant, we are prohibited from using people as purely means. Unfortunately things like physically stopping someone from doing violence onto you just because you don't want to be wounded seems to ...
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Can Kant be said to be a supporter of enactivism?

Kant says that understanding makes nature, and he also says that in transcendental idealism that we create knowledge by our mind. So I think that these two can be related. But I am confused whether ...
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In Kant, how do Universalizability and Freedom relate to each other?

I have read the following book on Kant: Kant on the Right to Freedom This is my understanding of Kantianism and freedom: Reason must be the basis of all morality. (Moral realism fails). This ...
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Immanuel Kant on authenticity

I know Kant doesn't directly address being 'authentic' in his views, but he does address that we can't tell lies because we have a moral obligation to others under the categorical imperative. I ...
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Kant's analytic/synthetic propositions

In the Critique of Pure Reason, an example of an analytic proposition is that all bodies are extended, and an example of a synthetic proposition is that all bodies are heavy (A7|B11), however in the ...
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Can we be intuistionists about the CI? [closed]

Can we simply intuit the value of and how to respect someone's dignity, without allowing its equivalence to rational formulations as in the Universal Law of Nature Formula? I just think that the ...
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How did Kant “undermine the soul”?

In the beginning of William James' 1904 paper "Does 'Consciousness' Exist?" he states the following: At first, 'spirit and matter,' 'soul and body,' stood for a pair of equipollent substances quite ...
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According to Kant, What is the Purpose of Human Existence?

After reading Kant's Idea For a Universal History, I've become intrigued by Kant's notion of Nature guiding the dealings of men towards a "perfectly rightful civil constitution." Although the ...
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Did Poincaré misunderstand the nature of a priori truth?

In his article "On the Foundations of Geometry", Poincaré goes through an extensive discussion to establish that our experience of motion may be properly regarded as displacements. This is requisite ...
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Does the idea of psychological egoism about only dignity make sense?

I understand that psychological egoism is the idea that everyone will always act in their own interest. I gather that human dignity is the cornerstone of Kantian ethics. I am kinda seriously leaning ...
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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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Vedānta in Kant

There are many similarities in Vedānta and the philosophy of Kant . What is the precise similarity between them?
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Does Kant maintain his non-consequentialist stance when writing about the duty of beneficence in Groundwork?

In Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant claim that, “To be beneficent where one can is a duty….” (p.14) Later in the same text, Kant writes, …as to the meritorious duty toward others, ...
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Does Brandom remain faithful to a Kantian autonomous intellect when he invokes Hegel?

There is a paradox about self-legislating norms that if the norms are self-legislated, they are not binding. In order to avoid this paradox, Brandom turns to Hegel's point that "normative statuses ...
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Mutually exclusive obligations under the categorical imperative

How, according to Kant, ought we respond when the categorical imperative obliges us to take two mutually-exclusive courses of action? For instance if two people are being lowered into a pit of lava. ...
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Kantian space and the Leibnitzian argument for Idealism

The paper "Kant's conception of Berkeley's Idealism" by G.J Mattey says that (1) Leibnitz argument in defense of what Kant called dogmatic Idealism in the Politz lectures on Metaphysics in the late '...
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Using Kant's Categorical Imperative, would it be ethical for tour agencies to organise tours to countries with poor human rights records?

An example would be Myanmar. Aung Suu Kyi previously urged travelers to boycott Myanmar to deny the military junta of income.
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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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“To what extent would society break down without a moral code?”

Okay so I'm new here and I hope that this will abide by the rules and everything that the site dictates about questions. The title of the page is a question I formulated for a school assignment. I ...
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Possible ambiguity in Anselm's argument, and Kant's criticism

This is a follow-up to Could Anselm's argument also "prove" that a perfectly evil god must exist?, and also to Why is existence not a true predicate with respect to Anselm's ...
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“Repugnant conclusions” following from Kant's imperative to never use humans only as means to an end?

Many formulations of utilitarian consequentialism famously lead to a range of "repugnant conclusions", such as: it would be moral to execute an innocent person if this act could deter at least two ...
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Is this proposition analytic or synthetic?

Consider the following statement: Cats have four legs This is an analytic statement, since its truth can be established by looking at the subject and predicate; one does not need to look further ...
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How can there be autonomy in Immanuel Kant's ethics?

Immanuel Kant defines autonomy and general freedom as when a human makes a decision that is not to satisfy a dispositional end (when a decision is made to such an end, he defines it as heteronomy). ...
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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 ...
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Need Help Understanding Kant's Meaning in this Excerpt

I was starting to read The World as Will and Idea by Schopenhauer and in the introduction the author recommended reading Kant's principle writings before reading his book, so I thought I would look ...