Immanuel Kant’s Understanding of PhilosophyJune 27, 2021
In accordance with the development course of modern philosophy, he brought the theory of knowledge to the fore. In Kant’s eyes, science is a universal discipline whose premises are definite and whose methods can only be questioned when a philosophical skepticism like Hume’s is adopted. Science is unbiased and objective.
He believed that his first and fundamental mission in philosophy was to ground science and then to defend the rationality of morality and religion. In order to realize this aim, he developed his own epistemological idealism, known as transcendental epistemological idealism, by taking the elements that he deems important from both Descartes’ rationalism and Hume’s empiricism. He made a distinction between phenomenal reality, that is, the world that we experience through the senses, and noumenal reality, that is, the non-sensuous and unknowable world.
By showing that scientific knowledge is possible with his teaching, he grounds Newton’s physics, but makes traditional metaphysics, which deals with the general principles of existence, the existence of God, and the immortality of the soul, impossible. Because, in the field of metaphysics, when we think of the concepts of soul, God, universe, there is no material provided by sense-experience here. Since experiment, which is one of the two basic elements of knowledge, and the element of experience are not in question in the field of metaphysics, reason falls into antinomies here. Therefore, scientific knowledge is not possible in the field of metaphysics. However, by applying the appearance-reality or phenomenon-noumena distinction to human existence, Kant saves the possibility of morality.
Compiled by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Atatürk University Department of Sociology Lecture Notes for Grade 1 “Introduction to Philosophy” and Grade 3 “History of Contemporary Philosophy” (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook