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EPISTEMOLOGY

Philosophy of
Knowledge

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IMMANUEL
KANT
(1724-1804)

a German thinker
who is considered
the central figure
in Modern
philosophy

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Answering the Question: What Is
Enlightenment?

Sapere Aude
DARE TO THINK FOR
YOURSELF
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We often hear complaints of the
shallowness of thought in our own time
and the decay of sound knowledge.
Our age is the age of criticism, to which
everything must be subjected. The
sacredness of religion and the authority
of legislation are by man regarded as
grounds of exemption from examination
of this tribunal. If they are exempted,
they become the subjects of just
suspicion, and cannot lay claim to
sincere respect, which reason accords
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The history of the life of Immanuel Kant is
hard to write, inasmuch as he had neither
life nor history, for he lived a mechanically
ordered and abstract old bachelor life in a
quiet retired street in Koenigsberg, an old
town on the northeast border of Germany. I
do not believe that the great clock of the
cathedral there did its daily work more
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Rising, coffee drinking,
writing, reading college
lectures, eating, walking,
all had their fixed time,
and the neighbors knew
that it was exactly half
past three when Immanuel
Kant in his grey coat, with
his bamboo cane in his
hand, left his house door
and went to the Lime tree
avenue, which is still called
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PHYSICS VS METAPHYSICS
Metaphysics
does not work
Physics works as it brings
because its forth no new
principles are knowledge but
completely instead leads
oriented the
toward philosophers
experience and to contradict
it declares one another
nothing that absolutely and
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THE CRITICAL PROBLEM

a critical inquiry into the


faculty of reason with
reference to all knowledge
which it may strive to attain
independently of all
experience
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KANTIAN CRITIQUE
Twofold Objectives
To recover
the positive
To overcome
elements in
the extreme
the positions
positions of
of
Rationalism
Rationalism
and
and
Empiricism
Empiricism
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POSITIVE ELEMENTS
RATIONALIS
EMPIRICISM
M
constructs a
sources
knowledge from
knowledge
sense
endowed with
impressions and
universality
lays claim to
(innate ideas are
knowledge that
common to all)
is scientific
and necessity (a
(expansive and
quality of scientific
valid for the world
knowledge) Saint Thomas of Villanova Institute
of nature)
NEGATIVE ELEMENTS
RATIONALIS
EMPIRICISM
M
tautological particularity of
and sterile perception
does not lead lacks the
us to an character of
understanding universality
of nature and necessity
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KANTIAN SYNTHESIS

The senses furnish the materials


of our knowledge, and the mind
arranges them in ways made
necessary by its own nature. The
contents of our knowledge come
from experience (Empiricism), but
the mind forms its experiences
and conceives them according to
its innate
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That all our knowledge begins
with experience there can be no
doubt. For how is it possible that
the faculty of cognition should be
awakened into exercise other than
by means of objects of
sensations? Though our
knowledge begins with
experience, it does not follow that
it all arises out of experience.
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Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure
Reason

For on the contrary, it is


quite possible that our
empirical knowledge is a
compound of that which we
receive through
impressions, and that which
the faculty of cognition
supplies from itself
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NATURE OF JUDGMENT

an operation of thought
whereby a connection is
made between the subject
and the predicate, where
the predicate qualifies the
subject in some way
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TYPES OF JUDGMENT

ANALYTIC SYNTHETIC
judgments in
judgments in
which the
which the
predicate is
predicate is not
known in
contained in the
knowing the
subject
subject

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COMPARING THE
JUDGMENTS

ANALYTIC
The predicate SYNTHETIC
does not give The predicate
any new adds to the
information subject a new
about the information not
subject, but the true of similar
judgment is subjects thus
always and increasing our
necessarily knowledge.
true. Saint Thomas of Villanova Institute
TYPES OF JUDGMENT

A
A PRIORI
POSTERIORI
express
have to do
factors
with particular
independent of
facts of sense
sense
experience
experience
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Scientific knowledge is
necessary and universal and
increases our knowledge.

SYNTHETIC A PRIORI

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SYNTHETIC A PRIORI
JUDGMENT

the kind of judgment in which the


reason for attributing a predicate to
a subject is more than sensible
intuition, but a presupposed
condition, independent of
experience, added to reason in order
to clothe it with necessity
and universality

Every contingent being


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Scientific judgments are synthetic a
priori; synthetic, because they
enrich and further science, and a
priori because they are necessary
and universal.

SYNTHETIC A PRIORI
rests on has an element
experience in the from the mind
sense that the and is the source
matter for of universality
knowledge is and necessity
derived from
sense experience Saint Thomas of Villanova Institute
What is received from
experience is a disorganized
and disunited matter; it is
unified and shaped by the
form that
is innate in the mind.

A PRIORI FORMS
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Sense knowledge carries within
itself the following requirements:
Every sensation must be located in
space, i.e., above or beneath, to
the right or to the left, and in time,
i.e., antecedent, consequent, or
concomitant to other sensations.
Space and time therefore are
conditions not of the existence of
things, but of the possibility of
their being manifested to us. They
areSaint Thomas of Villanova Institute
The effect of an object upon
the faculty of representations,
so far as we are affected by the
said object, is sensation. That
sort of intuition which relates to
an object by means of
sensation, is called an empirical
intuition. The undetermined
object of an empirical intuition,
is called phenomenon.
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Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure
Reason

That which in the phenomenon


corresponds to the sensation, I
term its matter; but that which
effects that the content of the
phenomenon can be arranged
under certain relations, I call its
form.The matter of all
phenomena that is given to us is a
posteriori; the form must lie ready
a priori for themSaint
in Thomas
the mind.
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CATEGORIES OF
UNDERSTANDING

ways of conceiving and


judging

There are as many pure


concepts, or categories, of the
mind as there are
possible judgments.
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JUDGMENTS AND CATEGORIES

Quantity of
Quantity

UNIVERSA All metals are TOTALITY
L elements.

PARTICUL Some plants are PLURALIT
AR trees. Y

SINGULAR Napoleon was an UNITY
emperor.
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JUDGMENTS AND CATEGORIES

Quality of Quality

AFFIRMATI Heat is a form of REALITY
VE energy.


NEGATIVE Whales are not fish. NEGATION


INFINITE Mind is unextended. LIMITATION

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JUDGMENTS AND CATEGORIES

Relation of Relation

CATEGORICAL The body is heavy. INHERENCE
and
SUBSISTENCE

HYPOTHETIC If man is mortal, he CAUSALITY
AL will die. and
DEPENDENCE

DISJUNCTIVE A volcano is either COMMUNITY
live or dead.
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JUDGMENTS AND CATEGORIES

Modality of Modality

PROBLEMATI The liquid may be POSSIBILITY
C poisonous. IMPOSSIBILI
TY

ASSERTORIC This chemical is a EXISTENCE
poison. NONEXISTE
NCE

APODICTIC Every father must have NECESSITY
a son. CONTINGEN
CY Institute
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The mind which perceives in
certain ways (space-time) and
judges or thinks in certain
ways (categories) makes
possible the universal and
necessary
knowledge of objects of
experience.
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Knowledge is the application of
the pure concepts or the
categories of the
understanding to the objects
furnished us by the senses
which are perceived as spatial
and temporal.
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Without the categories the
objects of intellectual knowledge
would be given in experience but
not known. They are the
conditions of possibility for
knowledge.

Representations without the


categories are blind; the
categories without their
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Although the categories are a priori,
they do not extend our knowledge
beyond phenomena.

The understanding a priori can


never do more than anticipate the
form of a possible experience; and,
as nothing can be an object of
experience except the phenomenon,
it follows that the understanding
can never
Saintgo
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Human knowledge is forever
limited
in its scope.

The mind imposes its categories


upon the manifold of experience
which is derived
from the world of things in
themselves.

There is a reality external to us


existing independently of us but
we can know it only
Saint as it of
Thomas appears
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PHENOMEN NOUMENON
ON
the world as the purely
we non-sensual
experience it reality
The object known is a combination of
a matter coming from outside and a
form which is imposed on it by my
understanding. We never know what
is but only what appears, and what
appears is at least partially a
creation of my understanding.
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There is no transcendent
knowledge or no knowledge
beyond the limits of experience.

There is a transcendental
element in our knowledge of
the empirical world ~ the a
priori forms of sensation and
the categories of
understanding which make
empirical knowledge possible
although they do not add to it
either in
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ANALYSIS OF KANTIANISM

counters the extreme positions


of Rationalism and Empiricism
and recovers what is valid in
them

recovers the importance of


experience in the acquisition of
knowledge

stresses the dynamic role of the


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CRITIQUE OF KANTIANISM
admits the existence of
extramental reality ~ the
noumenon or thing-in-itself ~ but
also maintains that it is entirely
unknowable by man.

If noumena are unknowable, it is


as if they did not exist at all. If
we can know nothing about
them, we cannot logically admit
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held that because sense realities
are particular and contingent,
there is no foundation in them
for universality and necessity

Certain structures are not limited


to any one individual but are
repeated or can be repeated
again and again. We can grasp
this element that exists
individualized in each case but is
common to many. Saint Thomas of Villanova Institute