Kant I shall now move on to a discussion of Immanuel Kant, who to some extent was responding to Hume's skepticism. Indeed, Hume's attack on the rationality of belief is just a symptom of an overall failure of philosophy to carry out its mission. Philosophy indulges in metaphysics, an attempt to gain knowledge of things that completely outstrip what pertains to human sense experience. Philosophers try, for example, to prove the existence of a God who is separate from the sensible world. They try to prove the immortality of the soul, its existence beyond life, and so forth. But they always fail, falling into futile squabbling which can never be resolved. Kant recognized two ways in which metaphysics can be conducted. The way of Plato and Descartes relies on rational or intellectual intuition. We know things beyond this world through a mental vision which "sees" these things in its own way. Kant simply dismissed this approach as mystical. It does not rely on arguments but on an experience that cannot be communicated. A more plausible approach is that of Aristotle, as exemplified in his proof of the existence of God, the
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This note was uploaded on 01/31/2011 for the course PHILOSOPHY 102 taught by Professor Markelwin during the Winter '10 term at UC Davis.