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Questions on Philosophy - Essay Example

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Questions on Philosophy

What problem did Kant find with traditional metaphysics and how does he aim to solve it? (Think Descartes on this also) He thinks he is writing for metaphysicians and Hume because Hume is skeptic about the possibility of metaphysics (SparkNotes Editors). 3. How is it that Hume awoke Kant from his “dogmatic slumber?” What was it about Hume’s philosophy that was so awakening to Kant? What were the reasons Hume’s observations were so unsettling to Kant? Kant said that Hume's skeptical challenge is what first spurred him toward his critical philosophy. Hume asks how we can make inferences regarding experience: how can I predict what will happen in the future based on what has happened in the past? In order to do so, Hume suggests, I must know some sort of "uniformity principle" that says that events in the future will follow the same sorts of general laws that they have followed in the past. But how can I know this uniformity principle? It isn't logically or necessarily true, so I can't simply infer it prior to experience like I can with mathematical knowledge. However, I fall into a vicious circle if I claim that I know it from experience, since I need to already have the uniformity principle in order to infer that—the uniformity principle has been true in the past, and it will continue to be true in the future. Thus, Hume concludes that we cannot know that future events will follow the same laws as past events: we just get into the habit of expecting it (SparkNotes Editors). 4. What questions are the ones that Kant thinks need to be answered first if metaphysics as a science is to be possible at all? Which is the question at the foundation of all knowledge? Metaphysics is unlike math or science in that its reach exceeds its grasp. It aspires to know what it cannot know. In finding itself bounded, however, reason also explores the full extent and possibility of human knowledge. While reason cannot tell us anything about things in themselves, it can be used to examine our own faculties. Kant redefines metaphysics as a "critique," an attempt to examine how knowledge is structured and justified (SparkNotes Editors). 5. What does Kant mean by all of our judgments being either a priori or a posteriori and either analytic or synthetic? What are examples of each of them? How do these 4 designations of our objects of knowledge differ from the two that Hume argued there were? Kant distinguishes between a priori and a posteriori cognitions and between analytic and synthetic judgments. Knowledge we gain from experience is a posteriori, and what we can know independent of experience is a priori. A synthetic judgment is one whose predicate contains information not contained in the subject, and an analytic judgment is one whose predicate is a mere analysis of the subject. Kant claims that mathematics, natural science, and metaphysics all lay claim to synthetic a priori propositions—propositions that are necessarily but not trivially true, and can be known prior to experience. Since mathematics and pure natural science are well-established fields, he proposes to examine how their synthetic truths are possible a priori in the hope that this examination will shed light on the possibility of metaphysics as a science (SparkNotes Editors). 6. What is so peculiar about knowledge that is both synthetic and a priori? Be able to give examples of these and be able to describe how this is possible according to Kant. Kant ...Show more


Philosophy Immanuel Kant – Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics 1. What is Kant’s purpose in the Prolegomena? Why is it that he names it this? What does he think he is doing for any future metaphysics? Prolegomena is the singular form of prolegomenon which means prologue or introductory essay or paragraph…
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