Kant on European Imperialism, War, and Republican Government by Will Durant


Channel: AudibleSuperfan
Duration: 3:2
Description:  Immanuel Kant (22 April 1724 — 12 February 1804) was an 18th-century German philosopher and geographer from the Prussian city of Königsberg. He was the last influential philosopher of the classic period of the theory of knowledge (corresponding to the Enlightenment nurtured by thinkers John Locke, Gottfried Leibniz, George Berkeley, and David Hume).
One of his most prominent works is the Critique of Pure Reason, an investigation into the structure of reason. It suggests that traditional metaphysics can be reformed through epistemology, as we can face metaphysical problems fruitfully by understanding the sources and limits of knowledge. His other main works are the Critique of Practical Reason, which concentrates on ethics, and the Critique of Judgment, which investigates aesthetics and teleology.
The Story of Philosophy: the Lives and Opinions of the Greater Philosophers is a book by Will Durant that profiles several prominent Western philosophers and their ideas, beginning with Plato and on through Friedrich Nietzsche. Durant attempts to show the interconnection of their ideas and how one philosopher’s ideas informed the next.
Philosophers profiled are, in order: Plato, Aristotle, Francis Bacon, Baruch Spinoza, Voltaire (with a section on Rousseau), Immanuel Kant (with a section on Hegel), Arthur Schopenhauer, Herbert Spencer, and Friedrich Nietzsche.
The final two chapters are devoted to European and then American philosophers. Henri Bergson, Benedetto Croce, and Bertrand Russell are covered in the tenth, and George Santayana, William James, and John Dewey are covered in the eleventh.
Published: February 13, 2011 3:19 pm

Kant – Immortality of the Soul as a Postulate of Pure Practical Reason


Channel: The Partially Examined Life
Duration: 7:16
Description: This recording is a reading of Chapter II of the Critique of Practical Reason: Of the Dialectic of Pure Reason in defining the Conception of the “Summum Bonum”. This section, Part 4, is entitled “The Immortality of the Soul as a Postulate of Pure Practical Reason”.
In it you find Kant’s most explicit argument in favor of a belief in the soul’s immortality, although note that it is merely postulated as a subjective moral necessity, and not intended as an objective proof as such. Relevant quote:
“The realization of the summum bonum in the world is the necessary object of a will determinable by the moral law. But in this will the perfect accordance of the mind with the moral law is the supreme condition of the summum bonum.”
“This then must be possible, as well as its object, since it is contained in the command to promote the latter. Now, the perfect accordance of the will with the moral law is holiness, a perfection of which no rational being of the sensible world is capable at any moment of his existence.”
“Since, nevertheless, it is required as practically necessary, it can only be found in a progress in infinitum towards that perfect accordance, and on the principles of pure practical reason it is necessary to assume such a practical progress as the real object of our will.”
Now, this endless progress is only possible on the supposition of an endless duration of the existence and personality of the same rational being (which is called the immortality of the soul).
The summum bonum, then, practically is only possible on the supposition of the immortality of the soul. Consequently this immortality, being inseparably connected with the moral law, is a postulate of pure practical reason. (By which I mean a theoretical proposition, not demonstrable as such, but which is an inseparable result of an unconditional a priori practical law).
Note: “Summum bonum” is Latin for “the highest good”. Read by Gesine for Librivox: http://librivox.org/critique-of-practical-reason-by-immanuel-kant
Published: June 8, 2011 8:47 pm

Kant’s Categorical Imperative (In Our Time)


Channel: BBC Podcasts
Duration: 50:15
Description: Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss how, in the Enlightenment, Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) sought to define the difference between right and wrong by applying reason, looking at the intention behind actions rather than at consequences. He was inspired to find moral laws by natural philosophers such as Newton and Leibniz, who had used reason rather than emotion to analyse the world around them and had identified laws of nature. Kant argued that when someone was doing the right thing, that person was doing what was the universal law for everyone, a formulation that has been influential on moral philosophy ever since and is known as the Categorical Imperative. Arguably even more influential was one of his reformulations, echoed in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in which he asserted that humanity has a value of an entirely different kind from that placed on commodities. Kant argued that simply existing as a human being was valuable in itself, so that every human owed moral responsibilities to other humans and was owed responsibilities in turn. With Alison Hills Professor of Philosophy at St John’s College, Oxford David Oderberg Professor of Philosophy at the University of Reading and John Callanan Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at King’s College, London Producer: Simon Tillotson.
Published: August 11, 2018 12:00 pm

Immanuel Kant Part 3


Channel: Philosophical Mindz
Duration: 10:20
Description: Immanuel Kant (22 April 1724 — 12 February 1804) was a German philosopher from Königsberg in Prussia (today Kaliningrad, Russia) who researched, lectured and wrote on philosophy and anthropology during the Enlightenment at the end of the 18th century.
Kant’s major work, the Critique of Pure Reason (Kritik der reinen Vernunft, 1781), aimed to unite reason with experience to move beyond what he took to be failures of traditional philosophy and metaphysics. He hoped to end an age of speculation where objects outside experience were used to support what he saw as futile theories, while opposing the skepticism of thinkers such as Hume.
He stated: It always remains a scandal of philosophy and universal human reason that the existence of things outside us … should have to be assumed merely on faith, and that if it occurs to anyone to doubt it, we should be unable to answer him with a satisfactory proof.
Kant proposed a “Copernican Revolution-in-reverse”, saying that: Up to now it has been assumed that all our cognition must conform to the objects; but … let us once try whether we do not get farther with the problems of metaphysics by assuming that the objects must conform to our cognition.
In simple terms, Kant pointed out that we all shape our experience of things through the filter of our mind. The mind shapes that experience, and among other things, Kant believed the concepts of space and time were programmed into the human brain, as was the notion of cause and effect. We never have direct experience of things, the noumenal world, and what we do experience is the phenomenal world as conveyed by our senses. These observations summarize Kant’s views upon the subject–object problem.
Kant published other important works on ethics, religion, law, aesthetics, astronomy, and history. These included the Critique of Practical Reason (Kritik der praktischen Vernunft, 1788), the Metaphysics of Morals (Die Metaphysik der Sitten, 1797), which dealt with ethics, and the Critique of Judgment (Kritik der Urteilskraft, 1790), which looks at aesthetics and teleology. He aimed to resolve disputes between empirical and rationalist approaches. The former asserted that all knowledge comes through experience; the latter maintained that reason and innate ideas were prior. Kant argued that experience is purely subjective without first being processed by pure reason. He also said that using reason without applying it to experience only leads to theoretical illusions. The free and proper exercise of reason by the individual was a theme both of the Enlightenment, and of Kant’s approaches to the various problems of philosophy.
His ideas influenced many thinkers in Germany during his lifetime. He settled and moved philosophy beyond the debate between the rationalists and empiricists. The philosophers Fichte, Schelling, Hegel and Schopenhauer amended and developed the Kantian system, thus bringing about various forms of German idealism. He is seen as a major figure in the history and development of philosophy. German and European thinking progressed after his time, and his influence still inspires philosophical work today.
Published: April 4, 2014 10:59 am