What, in your opinion, was Kant’s main mistake? Part. II

What do you think about? Are they right? And, in your opinion, what was Kant’s mistake?

Karl Ameriks: My own main regret is that he abbreviated his arguments sometimes, and his language tended to be overconfident . His talk about achieving completeness and certainty may have misled others into thinking it was easy to develop a philosophical system, and it may also have misled some into thinking that since some of the system seemed wrong the whole system had to be replaced.

Maria Borges: The main Kant’s mistake was his account on women. In his Observation on the feeling of the beautiful and sublime, he argues that laborious learning or painful pondering even if a woman should succeed in it destroys the merits that are proper to her sex, because they make of her an object of cold admiration but at the same time they will weaken the charms with which she exercises her great power over the other sex. I think this is a very sexist claim, although I am not sure that it does not apply today to the masculine mind. Since in the 21st century men continue to prefer less intelligent female partners, perhaps Kant was only describing an empirical fact about the masculine nature.

Andrew Brook: By far and away his biggest mistake in the areas in which I work was his claim that all we are aware of directly is our own representations, and the doctrine of the unknowability of anything as it is that flowed from the former.

Douglas Burnham: In the Critique of Judgement, Kant studies the phenomenon of ‘lawfulness without law’, which exhibits properties only analogous to universality, objectivity, necessity – and indeed exhibits these properties only insofar as the phenomenon as problem must eventually be taken up by natural cognition. Here, then, is a new manner in which an experience or judgement can exhibit order and, ultimately, rationality. (The sublime is a mirror-image.)

However, in the Critique of Practical Reason, the moral law is discussed as the mere form of law. As regards its form, he argues, law is law. For me, Kant’s mistake is that he does not pursue this notion thoroughly, but instead relies upon uncritically adopted features taken from the earlier treatment of natural law. There are partial recognitions of this, and attempts to compensate, in Kant’s accounts of moral education or casuistry for example. But it remains the case that the specific mode of the rationality of my moral judgements is insufficiently clarified. Recognising this sets us an urgent task as philosophers.


2 commenti su “What, in your opinion, was Kant’s main mistake? Part. II

  1. Think of the ‘errors’ of Kant, is to ignore the cultural context in which his philosophy was conceived. The thought of an author always responds to problems in a given time and place. If Kant was wrong, so was all the sciences, arts, and philosophies that were contemporaries, and which took a considerable amount of bias inherent in the successes that they might have.
    Kant is, in my view, the main philosopher who develops a theoretical basis to the concept of ‘race’ (taking as reference to Buffon, Linnaeus, Blumenbach, and travelers and scientists of the time), but think that Kant was wrong , is refusing acomprender the complex socio-cultural processes that unfold in the history of mankind.
    The same applies to the prejudices about the ‘woman’, of which Kant was not only a cultural reflection of Europe in the eighteenth century.
    (Sorry for the bad translation, but only speak Spanish).

  2. Joël Schöni ha detto:

    In my opinion, if I understood everything correctly, Kant’s biggest mistake was, to be afraid of determinism and it’s possible abuse. Instead of trying to cope with it properly, he tried to make people believe, we would actually have a free will. He tried to unchain the mind from nature with it’s physical and chemical laws. In this point he didn’t follow properly the chain of causality.


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