David Hume & Immanuel Kant essay
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David Hume played an influential role in the awakening of Immanuel Kant from his dogmatic slumber through critically analyzing the general view of rationalism. According to his analysis, Hume realized that some judgments thought to be analytic, usually those related to cause and effect were essentially synthetic. This means that in the judgments, no analysis of the subject would reveal the predicate. The impacts of this observation were that they depended on experience, hence a posteriori .Furthermore, it meant that nothing in relation to cause and effect could be known a priori (Rodger and Watkins, 2009).These skeptical observations greatly impacted the rationalist school of thought held by Immanuel Kant. Hence, this stimulated him to engage in research for twelve years to find answers on the matter. This can be observed in his statement “David Hume awakened him from his dogmatic slumber”.
Immanuel Kant states that Hume stopped short of observing that a synthetic judgment could be made a priori .Hume’s skeptism was based on the argument that all ideas are as a result of sensory experience. Moreover, causality could not be derived from sense experience. Kant deduces that it would be vital to use synthetic knowledge while rejecting analytical methods. This is because they cannot tell anything apart from what is already self-evident. Kant observes that there are synthetic judgments such as the connection of cause and effect which illustrates that every cause has its effect.
In respect to Hume’s school of thought on empirism, Kant states that science on metaphysics must not go past the limits of possible sense experience. It should only discuss those limits. This would be essential in widening the scope of understanding ourselves as rational beings. He argues that the human mind cannot go beyond experience so as to acquire knowledge of ultimate reality (Hume, 1910). This was advanced by the premise that no direct advance can be derived from pure ideas to objective existence.
Kant postulates appearance as an element of transcendental imagination, systematically based according to the categories of understanding. His perspective on empirism as postulated by the metaphysical system focuses on operations of cognitive faculties .This limits the viability of knowledge obtained through forms of sensibility.
Basing on the causality law, Hume observed that, nothing could arise without a cause. He states that we reason inductively by associating events that are constantly conjoined. According to him ideas are connected at least by resemblance, contiguity in time or place and cause and effect. In this context resemblance implies triggering of ideas that resemble a previously experienced event. Contiguity in time or place is where the thought of a particular object or event may lead one to infer to another object or activity associated in either time or place. The cause effect is another principle that Hume utilized to illustrate the connection between the effect and cause of events.
Genuine information dwells upon our belief in matters of fact. Such beliefs can go beyond the content of present sense-impressions and memory only by appealing to presumed connections of cause and effect. Since every idea is unique and different from the rest, there is no clear relationship among the ideas. The relationship can only be established from our experience of similar cases. For us to learn, we must assert the fact that our previous experiences harbor some importance in our future and present situations. Although we anticipate that the future will resemble the past events, belief is not self-evident. In fact, nature is dynamic in form thus changing gradually. This makes judgments based on the past irrational. Hence, according to Hume's view, any beliefs in matters of fact are fundamentally irrational.
In his point of view, Hume argues that, by customs and habits acquired through experience, we derive the beliefs that events are casually related. By observing the regularity with which events of particular forms occur together, we create the association of ideas that result in the habit of expecting the effect whenever we experience the cause. Furthermore, this act of associating is the basis of our causation concept. He derived skepticism by arguing that we do not have the ability to access the necessary connection. He argued that we are naturally subdued to believe in the presence of the connection, which he termed ergo realism. Based on his analysis, he concluded that the there are no necessary connections, only constant conjunction.
In Hume’s perspective, ideas are merely feeble copies of original impressions. Since every idea must be derived from an antecedent impression. He supposed that it always logical analyze the origin of ideas through determining which impressions they are derived from.
According to Hume, Our beliefs in matters of fact are derived from a general appeal to our feelings rather than from rational thinking. He argues that, imagination and belief vary in the intensity of conviction with which their objects are perceived. Hume maintained that things of belief of feeling in the existence of self are not logically rational. He observed that our beliefs are derived from accumulated habits, which are established in response to collective sense experiences. According to Hume, beliefs are accepted occasioned by their substantial basis on instinct and custom. Furthermore, he indicates that knowledge, even the most fundamental beliefs about the natural world cannot be wholly perceived by reason. These advocates for the use of inductive reasoning to establish the basis for the underlying principle of reasoning inductively thus justify its use in circular arguments.
In Immanuel Kant’s perspective, he postulated the a priori forms of space and time as necessary even to have an experience. He views a priori intuitive knowledge and concepts as providing some a priori knowledge. This acts as a basis for a posteriori knowledge. He observes space and time as a way of perception while causality is a means of knowing, hence implying that this concepts and processes pre-structure experience. Kant states that for something to become an element of knowledge it should be experienced. This experience is realized by the mind in the context of both space and time as forms of intuition. He elaborates intuition to the process of sensing or having a sensation hence converting things into the world of experience. Kant illustrated this with a thought experiment, depicting that it is not possible to logically comprehension of an object or element that exists beyond time and space. Furthermore, it is not structured in accordance with the categories of the understanding, such as substance and causality. In addition, such an object cannot be inconceivable, he argues, that there is no means of proving the object does not exist.
In Kant’s view, synthetic priori judgments not only are possible but actually give grounds for significant parts of human knowledge. He observed that arithmetic and geometry compose such judgments and that natural sciences rely on them for its ability to predict and explain events. This has been deduced by his postulation of synthetic judgments as being characterized by wholly distinct predicates from their subjects (Kant, 1929). These subjects and predicates must show some relational association because of some perceived real connection, external to the concept themselves. Kant observes that synthetic judgments are informative but usually need justification by reference to some outside principle.
Basing on Kant's understanding, transcendental philosophy begins with an easily conceptualized argument about our thoughts, experiences, or knowledge, and then reasons to a complex and unobvious essential condition of this premise. He states that, transcendental means knowledge about our cognitive faculty with respect to how objects are possible a priori. Logically this type of reasoning from uncontradictory premise to substantive conclusion is aimed to be priori essentially. According to Kant, a premise is a priori in the event its source is the conceptualization of the subject and not in sensory experience, He argues that the mind must contribute those features and make it possible to experience those objects as objects by us (Kant, 1929).