immanuel kant

immanuel kantwikipedia small

1724-1804

“Kant pointed out in the middle of last century, what had not previously been discovered by mathematicians or physical astronomers, that the frictional resistance against tidal currents on the earth’s surface must cause a diminution of the earth’s rotational speed. This immense discovery in Natural Philosophy seems to have attracted little attention,—indeed to have passed quite unnoticed,—among mathematicians, and astronomers, and naturalists, until about 1840, when the doctrine of energy began to be taken to heart.”

Kant saw that the mind could not function as an empty container that simply receives data from the outside. Something must be giving order to the incoming data. Images of external objects must be kept in the same sequence in which they were received. This ordering occurs through the mind’s intuition of time. The same considerations apply to the mind’s function of constituting space for ordering mappings of visual and tactile signals arriving via the already described chains of physical causation.

—Lord Kelvin, physicist, 1897
interesting when he wasn’t focused in math/science. also interesting that it was – unnoticed..
When Kant emerged from his silence in 1781, the result was the Critique of Pure Reason. Although now uniformly recognized as one of the greatest works in the history of philosophy, this Critique was largely ignored upon its initial publication. The book was long, over 800 pages in the original German edition, and written in a convoluted style. It received few reviews, and these granted no significance to the work. Its density made it, as Johann Gottfried Herder put it in a letter to Johann Georg Hamann, a “tough nut to crack,” obscured by “all this heavy gossamer”. Its reception stood in stark contrast to the praise Kant received for earlier works, such as his Prize Essay and shorter works that preceded the first Critique. 
resonating with both Bratton‘s and Sloterdijk‘s emphasis on slow/deep, ie: Benjamin saying a course should last 20 yrs..

Hegel was one of his first major critics. In response to what he saw as Kant’s abstract and formal account, Hegel brought about an ethic focused on the “ethical life” of the community. But Hegel’s notion of “ethical life” is meant to subsume, rather than replace, Kantian ethics. And Hegel can be seen as trying to defend Kant’s idea of freedom as going beyond finite “desires,” by means of reason. Thus, in contrast to later critics like Nietzsche or Russell, Hegel shares some of Kant’s most basic concerns.

Arthur Schopenhauer was strongly influenced by Kant’s transcendental idealism. He, like G. E. Schulze, Jacobi and Fichte before him, was critical of Kant’s theory of the thing in itself. Things in themselves, they argued, are neither the cause of what we observe nor are they completely beyond our access. Ever since the first Critique of Pure Reason philosophers have been critical of Kant’s theory of the thing in itself. Many have argued, if such a thing exists beyond experience then one cannot posit that it affects us causally, since that would entail stretching the category ‘causality’ beyond the realm of experience. For a review of this problem and the relevant literature see The Thing in Itself and the Problem of Affection in the revised edition of Henry Allison’s Kant’s Transcendental Idealism. For Schopenhauer things in themselves do not exist outside the non-rational will. The world, as Schopenhauer would have it, is the striving and largely unconscious will.

haeccities .. ness?

Kant believed that mathematical truths were forms of synthetic a priori knowledge, which means they are necessary and universal, yet known through intuition. Kant’s often brief remarks about mathematics influenced the mathematical school known as intuitionism, a movement in philosophy of mathematics opposed to Hilbert’s formalism, and the logicism of Frege and Bertrand Russell.

Influence on modern thinkers

With his Perpetual Peace, Kant is considered to have foreshadowed many of the ideas that have come to form thedemocratic peace theory, one of the main controversies in political science.

Central to many debates in philosophy of psychology and cognitive science is Kant’s conception of the unity of consciousness.

Kant’s influence also has extended to the social, behavioral, and physical sciences, as in the sociology of Max Weber, the psychology of Jean Piaget, and the linguistics of Noam Chomsky. Kant’s work on mathematics and synthetic a priori knowledge is also cited by theoretical physicist Albert Einstein as an early influence on his intellectual development. Because of the thoroughness of the Kantian paradigm shift, his influence extends to thinkers who neither specifically refer to his work nor use his terminology.

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cosmopolitanism.. hospitality.. eco

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on anarchy:

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The German philosopher Immanuel Kant treated anarchy in his Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View as consisting of “Law and Freedom without Force”. Thus, for Kant, anarchy falls short of being a true civil state because the law is only an “empty recommendation” if force is not included to make this law efficacious. For there to be such a state, force must be included while law and freedom are maintained, a state which Kant calls republic.

As summary Kant named four kinds of government:

  1. Law and freedom without force (anarchy).
  2. Law and force without freedom (despotism).
  3. Force without freedom and law (barbarism).
  4. Force with freedom and law (republic).
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