The German Precursors to Marx

The German Precursors to Marx - The German Precursors The...

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Unformatted text preview: The German Precursors The German Precursors to Marx Immanuel Kant & Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Precursors to Kant Precursors to Kant Empiricists: Representative Realism: Locke Human knowledge originates in sensation Human sensation informs the individual about the properties that objects in the world possess Experience teaches humans everything; relationship, identity, causation, etc. Material Idealism: Berkeley The human mind is limited to the senses for its input There is no independent means by which to verify the accuracy of the match between sensations and the properties that objects possess in themselves knowledge of material objects is ideal or unachievable Skepticism: Hume Humans cannot provide a priori or a posteriori justifications for a number of our beliefs: – Objects and subjects persist identically over time – Every event must have a cause All of our common sense beliefs about the source and support of our sense perceptions must be questioned Empiricism cannot give us an justification for the claims about objects, subjects, and causes that we accept as obvious Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant The study of knowledge requires a distinction between synthetic and analytic truths A synthetic truth is one that must be true without appealing to experience, yet the predicate is not logically contained within the subject An analytic truth is one that must be true by making a claim that involve the analysis of the subject in relation to the predicate – Example of an Analytic truth: In the claim, "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction," the property of a reaction is revealed in an analysis of what it means to be an action – Example of a synthetic truth: In the claim, “The boy was a staggering 8 feet tall,” the concepts are synthesized or brought together to form a new claim that is not contained in any of the individual concepts Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant Synthetic truths, then (especially a priori synthetic truths) demand a different kind of proof outside the observation of the objects they attempt to define (as in the rules applied in geometry) The human mind does not receive and imprint ideas of objects onto a blank slate, then, it experiences the world by providing a systematic structuring of its representations Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant Transcendental arguments must be used to prove a priori synthetic claims A transcendental argument attempts to prove a conclusion about the necessary structure of knowledge on the basis of a mental act It must be the mind's structuring, then, that makes experience possible If there are features of experience that the mind brings to objects rather than given to the mind by objects, that would explain why they are indispensable to experience but unsubstantiated in it Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant Humans, therefore, cannot know things in themselves, by their “essences” God cannot be proven; there may be the idea of God, the belief in God, and this representation may help us order the world, but this does not prove the existence of God Georg Wilhelm Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel – Human reason does not remain motionless – It does not remain on one idea, or thesis; it is always challenged by an another idea, or antithesis – The conflict between these two competing ideas creates movement, or “dialectic” – The dialectic between a thesis and an antithesis creates synthesis – All such phenomenon are processes, in that they are not merely the product of past change, they contain within them the necessary seeds for future change Georg Wilhelm Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Only Universals are Real. Universals are "concrete," while individual things are "abstract.“ The individual person is unreal compared to the State, which is Real and Rational The dissenting individual, then, is "objectively" irrational. ...
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This note was uploaded on 01/12/2012 for the course POL 2 taught by Professor Robertbrown during the Fall '05 term at Riverside Community College.

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