Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Final Report 12/02/2014 Section 9 Abriana Wilks
December 1, 2014
Immanuel Kant was a German Philosopher born April 22, 1724 and he died at the age of 79 on February 12, 1804. He lived in the same place he was born in Germany, for his whole life. His father was a Scottish immigrant and his mother was an uneducated German woman. "Both parents were devoted followers of the Pietist branch of the Lutheran church, which taught that religion belongs to the inner life expressed in simplicity and obedience to moral law" (Bird). Through the church the family attended, their pastor made it possible for Kant to have an education. He had a rough upbringing, but with his determination and he was able to make something of himself.
Kant was known for his work that still influence philosophy today. Kant could be easily thought of as one of the greatest philosophers of all time. Kant felt that knowledge was very important to understand the world. He was a much disciplined man, he had a routine that he followed every day, so there would not be any time wasted. He taught at the university, smoked a pipe, and walked up and down the street the same time every day.
Kant was known for trying to understand Metaphysics. Metaphysics is the attempt to make sense of things. According to A.W. Moore, it's the core part of philosophy. Other branches of philosophy all depend on metaphysics in various ways. You could say that it's the part of philosophy that holds the rest of the discipline together (Edmonds and Warburton 133). The whole subject of metaphysics is basically what philosophy about. He did three dissertations, he second one was called " Metaphysicae cum Geometria Iunctae Usus in Philosophia Naturali, Cuius Specimen I. Continet Monadologiam Physicam (1756; The Employment in Natural Philosophy of Metaphysics Combined with Geometry, of Which Sample I Contains the Physical Monadology)—also known as theMonodologia Physica—contrasted the Newtonian methods of thinking with those employed in the philosophy then prevailing in German universities (Bird). The dissertation was from the philosophy of Gottifried Wilhelm Leibniz. Leibniz's ideas were not really expected in Germany at the time because of his radical views. In Kant's third dissertation, he analyzed the principle of significant reasoning, which was basically "asserts that for everything there is a sufficient reason why it should be rather not be (Bird). While analyzing he was very careful not to challenge the assumptions of Leibniz's metaphysics. He was also a lecturer, a really good he would add and humor and vivid explanations to prevent boring lectures.
Kant had an obsession in the limits of thought, the limits of what we can know and understand. “In his famous book The Critique of Pure Reason (1781), he explored these limits, pushing right to the boundaries of what make sense” (Warburton 111). The book took him ten years to actually complete. The book is not easy to read even Kant said the book was dry, only a few people said they understood the book in its entirety. Even though the book is not very easy to read, the main idea was clear, but Kant felt like the critics were misunderstanding the whole idea of the book. The book was later divided into three parts: Transcendental Aesthetic, Transcendental Analytic, and Transcendental Dialect.
The Critique of Practical Reasoning was a follow up to The Critique of Pure Reason. He wanted the Practical Reasoning to be the standard sourcebook of his ethical doctrines. The book was supposed to be shorter and easier to read, but it still talked about the same thing. In that book he mentioned 'Holy Will’. According to Otto Bird, for a will of this kind there would be no distinction between reason and inclination; a being possessed of a holy will would always act as it ought. It would not, however, have the concepts of duty and moral obligation, which enter only when reason and desire find themselves opposed. When describing Holy Will is where it was when Kant’s religious views started to show. He said that you can’t be either a body or a spirit you have to be both.
Kant has two words to describe the two different worlds in reality, noumenal and phenomenal worlds. The noumenal world is whatever it is that lie behind appearances and the phenomenal world is the world around us, the world we experiences through our senses (Warburton 112). “The noumenal realm is the real of essence of being of eternal realities, including God and the things one cannot physically touch. In view of that, the phenomenal realm is the realm of sensual reality, the things which we experience through the senses. This realization was a powerful and influential synthesis of empiricism and rationalism which for Kant led to the disposing of metaphysical claims to any cognitive status – no longer regarded as knowledge” (Andrews). Basically the phenomenal world is the things we see every day like the sun, buildings, and other people. Noumenal would be things we experience, that cannot be seen.
In 1790 The Critique Judgment was released by Kant. In Critique Judgment Kant analyzed the notion of “aesthetic purposiveness”, which means to ascribe beauty into something. “The explanation lies in the fact that, when a person contemplates an object and finds it beautiful, there is a certain harmony between his imagination and his understanding, of which he is aware from the immediate delight that he takes in the object” (Bird). The imagination is a powerful thing and sometimes it see things that are not really there, but it gives us the illusion that it is there, but it is not. The explanation sounds really complicated, but when it is thought about it makes a lot sense. The book The Critique Judgment was a very popular book among college boys in Germany around the last years of Kant’s life.
Kant started to get recognized by the Russian government and they actually asked for his advice. Around 1790 Kant started to get really sick and he stop doing his daily walks (or what now known as the Philosopher’s Walk) that he had been doing all those years. He had stop writing as much because it was hard for him to write for more than a few hours a day. Before his death, he got into trouble about his views on Christianity, and was ordered not to talk about any religious subjects for as long as he lecture. His health had gotten worse and worse and, Kant died on February 12, 1804 in the same place he was born and raised. Kant was and still is one of the greatest philosophers, with some of the most famous works phenomenal and noumenal worlds, The Critique of Pure Reason, The Critique of Practical Reasoning, and The Critique of Judgement.
Andrews, Max. “Immanuel Kant Phenomenal-Noumenal Split.” Sententias: Dialogs
Concerning Philosophy, Technology, and Science. Web. 2 Dec. 2014
Bird, Otto. "Immanuel Kant (German Philosopher)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Encyclopedia. Britannica. Web. 2 Dec. 2014
Edmonds, David and Niguel Warburton. Philosophy Bites Back. London: Oxford University
Press. 2012. Print.
Warburton, Nigel. A Little History of Philosophy. New Haven and London: Yale University
Press. 2012. Print.