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Kant Concludes June 30, 2013

Posted by anagasto in philosophy.
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Like the other great philosophers, Kant worked most of his life on the idea of God and the soul, though he did not do it explicitly and for all to see.

So, when Kant thought that he was getting old, he looked back on the 700 pages he had written for his famous Critique and comes up with this very basic reflection:

1) There is no proof, but there are good reasons to believe that God exists.

2) In this question a philosopher cannot get much further than an uneducated man.

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Seeing the simplicity of his conclusions, some of his colleagues  would have said parturiunt montes, nascetur ridiculus mus = the mountain gave birth to a ridiculous mouse.

And in Spanish they would say “Para ese viaje no se necesitan alforjas” = “For this trip you don’t need the saddle bags”.

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There is a striking discrepancy between the magnitude of the oeuvre and  its conclusion .

Kant  foresaw that some would find this discrepancy rather funny  and so he added:

3) This is so because Nature gave everyone the same possibilities to deal with this most important issue.

He seems to have imagined that Nature was wise and considerate towards people! 

Goethe  was around at about the same time and thought the same, but Heine didn’t.  In fact, Heine warned against what he called “the nature philosophers”.

But it is strange to see Kant back out this way. And in fact there seems to be a hitch in the definition of “nature”.

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based on http://tinyurl.com/2ooc83 second last paragraph beginning with “But, it will be said, is this all…?” …. That link is no longer valid.

Located at http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/k/kant/immanuel/k16p/ but that is the complete thing, and now, unless you know how to  search……or maybe Googling a little….


…Eureka! http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/k/kant/immanuel/k16p/part2.2.html scroll down to almost the end, second last paragraph: “But, it will be said..”


kite by ch madden

Kant was born in 1724 and he died in 1808

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Dicen que el ave divina,
trocada en pobre gallina,

por obra de las tijeras
de aquel sabio profesor
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The Spanish poet Machado says that Kant changed the divine bird  into a poor chicken by clipping its wings. Now the chicken sits in its backyard trying to hop over the fence  and can’t. — The “divine bird” is metaphysics.

Also according to Machado, Kant’s philosophy was  falconry, a hunting technique where a falcon is taught to get a bird to be roasted for the hunter’s dinner. He saw Kant as  utilitarian.

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Kant is more widely known for his postulate, later rejected by Einstein, that time and space are relational and therefore not part of nature, but of our mental make-up.

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Comments»

1. ross_horton - August 13, 2008

I am glad to see that you have been updating your theory. This is how you will keep on top of things. There are however a few additions to consider:

Kant worked mostly on the question of what can be known. He thought that knowledge is limited to the empirical world. Beyond that reason cannot advance in any relevant way, and metaphysical speculation becomes mere artifice.

However, Kant did clearly state that he believed in God and in an immortal soul.

2. cantueso - August 14, 2008

I don’t think that I have seen you here before, and so I do not know what theory I would have updated.

However, your way of presenting him seems contradictory, since you make it look as if Kant used metaphysics to question metaphysics and assert some metaphysical conviction.

3. septembersky - September 25, 2008

I was taught that Kant did accept the universe in its beauty as a proof that God exists.

4. cantueso - November 30, 2008

To Septembersky

Kant undermined Aquinas’ proofs one by one, but he said that there was one proof that “may always be mentioned with deference“; I’ll look for it now, because I wonder whether it was of that one proof that he also said it was “good enough as a tranquilizer (….”zur Beruhigung hinreichend”).

The problem is that I have his Kritik only in German and so have trouble finding the quotes in English.

5. David - November 30, 2008

I find these latter day thoughts of Kant very comforting. As you write it, he took a quick look back and said OK, nothing can be proven, but let’s be optimistic that life has some purpose and meaning, even though it must end, and usually badly.

Something has gone wrong with the dates on some of these comments cantueso. I guess you’ve seen that.

6. cantueso - December 1, 2008

I don’t think those are latter day thoughts. When he was maybe about 50 he thought that unless he started to write his Critique now, he would not be physically fit to complete it. He says so in his introduction. — In other words, the summary contains the justification of his work and would not have been figured out post factum or in retrospect.

However, I found it alarming that he uses “Nature” as some sort of thoughtful agent.
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The chronology of the messages is easy to explain, but I think I told you already that this blog was going to be organized as a merry-go-round. I update or re-write old posts. You called it “rotating posts”. That’s it.

7. Carl D'Agostino - February 28, 2012

2) In this question a philosopher cannot get much further than an uneducated man.
I see his point. With a BA and MA in religious studies I think it all comes down to just two things: never be the source of anyone’s misfortune and never pass up the opportunity to perform a charitable deed. So Kant’s uneducated man who follows this knows more phil and theo than all the learned academians put together.

8. cantueso - February 29, 2012

But you would know that his Critique was to invalidate Aquina’s proofs of God’s existence. These proofs are still being taught. Apparently they go back beyond Aquinas via Maimonides and the Arabs to the Greeks.
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As to his Ethics, in fact I cannot recall that he taught what “good” is. I am pretty sure I never saw him say anything about good works. He is famous for an “Imperative” which was that the reason for one’s actions should be be such that they could be made into a law. —
(I don’t know how this recommendation can be of any use.)


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