November 2nd, 2012
Constructivism Conquers All
“My purpose is to persuade all those who think metaphysics worth studying that it is absolutely necessary to pause a moment and, regarding all that has been done as though undone, to propose first the preliminary question, ‘Whether such a thing as metaphysics can be even possible at all?’” (Kant 233) These types of questions asked by philosopher Immanuel Kant revolutionized the way humans make sense of the world, and more specifically how the human mind functions. Kant shed a light on prior theories and analogies, eliminating some of the most important beliefs as “unjustifiable”. He synthesized the two prior beliefs of Rationalism and Empiricism, and preached that in our world, “Concepts without intuitions are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind”. (Fehir) I believe that Kant’s Constructivism is a superior alternative to Rationalism and Empiricism. Before Kant’s idea of constructivism, philosopher David Hume made a claim that all objects of human reason or enquiry may naturally be divided into two kinds; relations of ideas, and matters of fact. In simpler terms, all knowledge must either be classified as a prior (prior knowledge), or posteriori (post knowledge). Kant’s put this theory to a test and asked “if a truth is not true because of our experiences, nor is it true because of the grammar or meanings of the sentences of our language, how else could it be defined?”(Higgins and Martin 232) Kant synthesized rationalism and empiricism by discarding their flaws and combining their strengths.
Kant agrees with philosophers such as Pluto and Descartes that there are innate ideas. Knowledge of the nature of reality derives from ideas of the intellect, not the senses. The concept of self, substance, and identity do not need to be tested through science; we know they exist simply by thinking and understanding. Furthermore, Kant agrees that...
Cited: Higgins, Kathleen M., and Clancy Martin. "Knowledge; Kant 's Revolution." Introducing Philosophy. By Robert C. Solomon. 10th ed. New York: Oxford UP, 2012. 230-33. Print.
LaFave, Sandra. "Kant: The "Copernican Revolution" in Philosophy." Kant: The "Copernican Revolution" in Philosophy. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2012.
Fehir, Aaron. “Hume’s Fork and the Problem of Causality.” Lecture.
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