Considered therefore whatever was deduced from it could

Considered one of the most influential pieces
of philosophical work; Kant’s ‘The
Critique of Pure Reason’1set
out a critical analysis of the limitation of the intellect. He wanted to find a
middle ground between rationalist thinkers such as Leibniz and Descartes and
empiricist such as Hume. Kant set out the agenda of the book as ;  ‘a
critique of the  faculty of reason in general, in respect of
all knowledge after which it may strive independently of all
was in reference to the notion that the only knowledge that could be known was
that which was possible to observe and experience. Kant held that human beings
were able to know more than they could experience and observe. Some knowledge
he held, was a priori; that existed
as independent of experience. This metaphysical knowledge was free from the
empirical conditions of a posteriori knowledge;
knowable only through analysis. The
empiricists of Kant’s era rejected the notion of an a priori knowledge in favour of the idea that observations and
experience could unlock the unknown. Kant viewed mathematics as a good example
of a priori knowledge, in that he did
not need to experience 4 + 4 to know
the answer was 8.This information was deducible with the utilisation of logic
alone. He described this as synthetic a
priori knowledge. The empiricist David Humes did not place such import on
the abilities of reason. He argued that reason alone was ‘wholly
inactive’, “weak”, “deceitful” and “blundering”,  therefore whatever was deduced from it could
not be trusted 3(Millican,1995).Rather
to Kant all a priori knowledge
attained through reason was essential and universal. Even more significant than
what can only be attained through empiricism. The most important knowledge to
humans should be within himself. He believed that if a piece of knowledge could
not be conceived by reason; then it was not essential and could not be
considered as universal. A proposition of this nature is true if it applies in
all cases without exceptions; it cannot be falsified and is free of
contradictions. This is the foremost condition for ascertaining if it is
essential; therefore universal or not. Kant Kant set out to champion the
establishment of a practical philosophy of reason and in doing so he was able
to lay the foundation for his moral philosophy.



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