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PHILO Kant on Statements

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  Our main topic last meeting is when does knowledge happen? We answered this question through Immanuel Kant and his synthesis of rationalism and empiricism. He was able to synthesized the ideas of empiricists and rationalists by saying that our minds have innate knowledge (a priori) but knowledge of our outside world happen with experience (a posteriori). Immanuel Kant    As a background, influenced by David Hume, so his claim started with the impression. So, from the impression he changed the idea of it into representations. The impressions are a little bit passive, but it takes into consideration how you are affected by the object. Whereas, the representations are more like a mental picture.    He said:     All knowledge must begin with experience in the order of time. o   But this does not mean that we are passive receptors of knowledge or that the impression out there is knowledge and it will hit us. o   He is saying that knowledge happens when experience or the representations of objects outside of you undergo the process of principles imposed by the mind in order to generate knowledge from experience.    There’s already knowledge within you.   o   Knowledge have 2 classifications    Pure intuition of time and space    When we use our 5 senses to get representations of objects, we are using our intuition of time and space, we are already placing it in space and time. Space is not just the universe or the volume we occupy. Our sense of space is what we are seeing-depth, width.    Meaning, time and space is something inside us, our minds, which is termed as his Copernican revolution. He challenged the thought that time and space is outside of us. He refocuses it into the subject. Therefore, he was thought to be the second Copernicus. Instead of thinking that knowledge is in the object, he says that knowledge is in the perceiver, you, that is why it is a priori.    He started with the “me”. He says you are the one who uses time and space upon the object that is why when we see things, it is always from our perspective. We all use space, but when we put objects in space, it’s all subjective. But it’s all different since we are different people with different subjectivities. What is common is that we placed the object in a matrix, in a framework.    It’s pure intuition because we don’t need to learn how to use it. It comes naturally and we don’t have to create it   so we don’t question it.    12 categories of human understanding    Another innate knowledge. You don’t have to be taught to be able to see what is not. o   Non-contradiction     You don’t have to understand the not A and the not B to understand what the not is. o   Cause and Effect    Y ou don’t have to be taught even if you don’t know the word why.    You don’t have to know the scientific method to ask why, which is why it is a type of knowledge that is a priori.    Basically, Kant is saying that the representations don’t mean anything If you don’t know what to do with it. Things outside of you, the object, will just be a floating without time and space. But because we have knowledge within our minds what to do with these outside representations, outside experience it becomes knowledge. The representation is not knowledge, the picture of the object that you get is not knowledge. What is knowledge is after it goes through the process of your mind- the pure intuition and 12 categories of knowledge.    Even if he said that all knowledge must begin with experience in the order of time, he is trying to understand what our reasoning is capable of. Our reason can use time and space, of understanding plurality, the unity, the totality of things, negation, that there is a scope to things (limitations), that there is inherence and subsistence, that there is causality, the idea of community, possibility, existence, necessity.    Also discussed phenomena and noumena, things as they appear to us and things as they really are. Kant was negative about the ability of human reason to acquire theoretical knowledge of any reality lying beyond the boundaries of human experience. According to Kant, one cannot know things-in-themselves. So, Kant is saying that what we can know of the world around you is just on the phenomena level. We will never get to know the thing itself. This is the only thing that we can know.    For example, when asking the existence of god, He is saying that maybe God exist but that we do not have an experience of god so we do not have a representation of god so we will never get to know god. So its pointless to ask whether god is real or not because by definition we don’t have a representation of god, by definition god is metaphysical. Technically you should be able to prove the existence of god according to him. However, since knowledge must begin with experience, you have to be able to experience god first to prove that he exist or does not. He is not saying that god do not exist, but th at we can’t prove it. That is the limitation of our pure reason. 2 TYPES OF KNOWLEDGE CLAIMS    Can be a proposition, premise a conclusion but it is a statement encased in a sentence.    A sentence is a group of words with a complete thought-statement, you are claiming something about the world.    When you are claiming something about the world you are giving a knowledge claim and it is a epistemological type of statement. From reason and experience to formal (language, logic, math) and empirical knowledge and to analytic and empirical statements.    It is important that when we claim something, we have to prove whether it is true or false and we can only do this if we know the nature of our claim.    Analytic Statements  o   It is when the predicate is contained within the subject.    Bachelors=unmarried males o   The denial of the of the differentia or the predicate leads to absurdity. o   Formal knowledge: math, logic, language (often when you define)    A tautological statement is analytic because in logic:    It does not matter what the content is, whether the class is quiet or not, what matters is the format o   If then, A or B is the analytic statement not either the class is quiet or not. o   A definition is analytic. There has to be a 1-to-1 correspondence between the subject and the predicate, between the definiendum and the differentia.    Empirical Statements o   Descriptions of the state of affairs of the world, are observations that can be sensed. o   Can be true or false. Just because a statement is false doesn’t mean it is not an empirical statement. It just means that it is a false empirical statement.    Evaluative Statements o   Not just an observation but a value judgement.    All bachelors are bad people
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