Kant: Reasons and Freedom, History and Grace

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) – recognized as the greatest philosopher since Plato and Aristotle Christianity – became dominant ideology in Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire Islam – the rise of it led to a flowering of Islamic theology, philosophy, science and medicine Byzantium – the heir to the Eastern half of the Roman Empire French Philosophers (Voltaire, Diderot, Condorcet) – laid the intellectual foundations of the French revolution of 1789 *Kant received a wide-raging education and attained a thorough knowledge of the science of his day *Kant had a well-grounded humanistic education Works of Kant (critical philosophy):
1. Critique of pure reason

2. Groundwork of the metaphysic of morals 3. The Critique practical Reason 4. Critique of judgment 5. Religion within the boundaries of mere reason 6. Anthropology from a pragmatic point of view *Kant repeatedly expressed his faith in the free democratic use of reason to examine everything, however traditional, authoritative or sacred God – omnipotent, omniscient, benevolent Copernican Revolution – Kant’s doctrine that “objects” must conform to our knowledge means that certain basic features of the objects of our knowledge are due to the nature of our human cognitive faculties Transcendental idealism – shook the foundations of all previous philosophy and the reverberations have been felt ever since *Kant believed that sufficient causes for all material events can always be found among other material event

1st Analogy – all events in the world have to be seen as changes in persisting “substance” – matter 2nd Analogy – Universal determinism is the principle that every event has a preceding cause, a state of affairs that makes that event necessarily happen 3rd Analogy – everything in the world must be part of a single interacting system of reality *Kant believed that sufficient causes for all material events can always be found among other material event CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON (THE DIALECT) – Kant claims to diagnose how and why we tend to claim illusory metaphysical knowledge of things as they are in themselves THEORY OF HUMAN NATURE Fundamental sources of the mind 1. Capacity for receiving representations – the object is already given to us 2. The power of knowing an object through these representations – the object is thought *Without sensibility no object would be given us, without understanding no object would be thought. *Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind. Interaction Factors 1. Caused by objects outside the mind 2. The way the mind actively *Animals do not have concept of sensations or emotions. Synthesis – almost entirely unconsciousness and attributes it to the imagination *We do not just make lots of particular judgment about the world but we try to integrate all these lies of knowledge into a unified system *We cannot know what we are “in ourselves” Apperception – different from both outer and inner sense

*We can never make any perfectly just judgment but we can never make even a reasonably well justified judgment about the moral aspects of an action Religion within the boundaries of Mere Reason – ‘radical evil’ in human nature using almost biblical language Radically Evil – Not our naturally given desires or it is the tension between these desires and duty Depravity – the freely chosen subordination of duty to inclination, the deliberate preference for one’s own happiness over obligations to other people Freedom – is the idea which is most directly in own deliberations about what to do Interests of Reason 1. What can I do? – depth in the first critique 2. What ought I to do? – about moral duty 3. What may I hope? – theoretical and practical *Kant is deeply concerned about the relation between the virtue and happiness Highest good – a combination of virtue and happiness for all rational beings Supreme reason – underlying nature who governs according to moral rules and who will reward everyone appropriately in a future life beyond this world HEAVEN and HELL – representations powerful enough without any necessity to presuppose dogmatically, as an item to doctrine that an eternity of good and evil is the human lot also objectively