Thursday, October 09, 2008

I was wrong about Kant

I was talking to Greg about Kant yesterday, and found I was wrong about two things.

First, I had said that Kant was from France, and was a Roman Catholic. This was wrong -- Kant was German, and raised in a Lutheran family. I think I had him mixed up with Descartes.

Second, at some point, I mispronounced Kant as "can't" for some reason, even though I had already been pronouncing it correctly during the conversation. Thanks Scott, for correcting me.

Greg sent me an instant message with a quote he attributed to Kant in which Kant seemed to deny knowledge and demo a need for faith instead.

Greg also said that Kant believed that morality is a function of duty to an obligation, and that the function of morality to duty was broken if fulfillment of the duty was beneficial to self.

Greg said that these two things were enough to condemn Immanuel Kant. He repeated that: condemn him.

I dunno about all that. I'll have to do some more reading.

I kinda like Kant. Here's something that he said that makes me like him:

"The [practical law] tells us what we have to do, if we wish to become possessed of happiness; the [moral law] dictates how we ought to act, in order to deserve happiness." (Critique of Pure Reason, p 452)

And also:

"All our knowledge begins with sense, proceeds thence to understanding, and ends with reason, beyond which nothing higher can be discovered in the human mind for elaborating the matter of intuition and subjecting it to the highest unity of thought." (Critique of Pure Reason, p 189)

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