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Kant's Response to Hume's Skepticism - Essay Example

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Another problem that Kant had to content with was the general partition of causal labor between God and created organisms. The main question he faced during his time was the relationship between the causal activity and action of God, considered as the primeval creator and conserver of the world. Kant acknowledged the position that a theory of God’s causal role in the natural course of nature was a precondition of any rational metaphysics of extraordinary intercessions. His personal contribution of this role was influenced by his engagement with three contending theories of divine causation (Nash, 1999, p.4). The first theory, known as occasionalism, postulates that God is exclusively responsible for the existence of beings. According to this theory, God uses his own power and finite substances to create effects in harmony with his own diktat. The second theory of divine causation is known as conservationism. According to this theory, divine activity is restricted to God’s act in preserving created organisms. These protected organisms are viewed as capable of producing their own powers without any extra divine action. The third theory of divine causation is known as concurrence. It concurs with both occasionalism and conservationism that finite beings exclusively depend on God’s creative and preserving action for their survival (Nash, 1999, p.6). During the mid 18th century, Kant embarked on a serious reflection on the nature of the biological structure of organism. During this period, the scientific discourse on natural history and physiology was powerfully marked by decline of the pre-formation theory-the classical mechanistic theory of the organism. In addition, this period witnessed the emergence of the self-reproduction concept of organic systems which led to the rise of vitalism. Kant examined and reflected upon the methodology of this process. He attempted with the notion of objective purposive-ness to link the idea of reproduction with the conservative question of teleology so as to validate the notion of organism adequate to the system of mechanistic science (Nash, 1999, p.9). The classical theory of pre-formation, also called the doctrine of evolution was the deistic conjecture of generation par excellence. In the mechanistic hypotheses of the 17th century, the unique attributes exhibited by organism were perceived to be basic outcomes of the properties of the parts. This was the fundamental principle of the mechanical theory. But how did it come to be that organism had this organization? One of the basic dilemmas that the novel mechanistic science had to resolve was the manner in which different living organisms could have emerged from universal principles of matter in motion. The pertinent question to be answered was not whether an animal or a plant was a machine. Rather, the issue was: presuming that plants and animals are machines, how did they get their structures? The functioning of the beings could be clarified through an anatomical dissection of their structures. However, the elementary theoretical question that had to be addressed dealt with the origin of this structure. In other words, one of the major problems the pre-formation theory faced was explaining how the fundamental structures of various organisms could have emerged through the universal laws of matter in motion. In addition, it was generally assumed that the organization of the particles in the germ also mirrored the organization ...Show more
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Running head: Kant's response to Hume's skepticism Kant's response to Hume's skepticism Customer Inserts His/her Name Customer Inserts Grade Course Customer Inserts 18, October, 2011 Outline A. Introduction B. Theory of Divine Pre-formation C…
Kants Response to Humes Skepticism
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