Tag Archives: Kant

Rationalism vs. Empiricism

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has a great article explaining the basics of the rationalism – empiricism debate. It covers Descartes, Leibniz, Locke, Hume, and some contemporary thinkers. Kant is mentioned but not really discussed.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/rationalism-empiricism/

My position is closer to the empiricism side of things, if we go by the terminology of this article. I don’t think we gain any knowledge solely on the basis of deduction from a priori intuitions, although I think deduction plays an important role in knowledge, and I don’t think we have any innate knowledge or innate concepts.

Of course, there is a lot of work that needs to be done to establish this position, and I’m not going to attempt that here.

 

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Was Kant an Atheist?

An interesting quote:

Scheffner was only too much aware of Kant’s belief that there was nothing to be expected after death. Though in his philosophy he had held out hope for eternal life and a future state, in his personal life he had been cold to such ideas. Scheffner had often heard Kant scoff at prayer and other religious practices. Organized religion filled him with ire. It was clear to anyone who knew Kant personally that he had no faith in a personal God. Having postulated God and immortality, he himself did not believe in either. His considered opinion was that such beliefs were just a matter of “individual needs.” Kant himself felt no such need.

(Source: Kant: A Biography, by Manfred Kuehn, p. 2-3)

There may be some controversy about this among Kant scholars.