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Kant's Theory

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Philosophy 1020
John Thorp

Kant October-18-12 Short Paper 2 has been posted. Due November 12th State of play & biographical matters a. From reason (Descartes) b. From experience (Locke) c. From both (Kant)  Immanuel Kant  Revolutionary thinker in ethics, epistemology, metaphysics, religion, aesthetics 1. Kant's contribution  Reconciliation of rationalism & empiricism: o "All our knowledge begins with experience, but it does not follow that it all arises out of experience" 2. First distinction:  A priori= knowledge that is independent of sense experience  A posteriori= knowledge that is gained by sense experience Example of a posteriori knowledge:  There are eight potatoes in this bag.  Today's sunset is orange. Examples of a priori knowledge  Propositions of mathematics (3+5=8) know to be true without uses senses  Propositions from ordinary understanding: "every change must have a cause" 3. The reconciliation We can know these a priori propositions to be true without consulting experience. Admittedly we got the concepts of 3, of 5, or 8, or of change or of cause from experience---but once we have those concepts we don't need experience to grasp the truth of these propositions. Contrast: 3+5=8 8 There are 8 potatoes in this bag. There are 3 potatoes in this bag and 5 in that bag--so 8 in all Even if we admit all our concepts come from sense experience. Some propositions can be known to be true without consulting sense Others cannot be known to be true without consulting sense (in fact, thought, some concepts are acquired a priori-- the spatial extension of body, for example: you cannot think of body without thinking of spatial experience) prof said not very important In essence, we might say, Kant tries to clear up this debate by distinguishing two different things that might be meant by the "acquisition of knowledge" i. How we get our concepts 4. Second Distinction Analytic judgements= those in which the idea of the predicate is already contained
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