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Immanuel Kant by Nathalie G. Catalogo Essay

German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) is considered the most influential thinker of the Enlightenment era and one of the greatest Western philosophers of all times. His works, especially those on epistemology (theory of knowledge), aesthetics and ethics had a profound influence on later philosophers, including contemporary ones. Kant’s philosophy is often described as the golden middle between rationalism and empiricism. He didn’t accept either of both views but he gave credit to both.

While rationalists argue that knowledge is a product of reason, empiricists claim that all knowledge comes from experience. Kant rejected yet adopted both, arguing that experience is purely subjective if not first processed by pure reason. Using reason while excluding experience would according to Kant produce theoretical illusion. Afterwards, Kant mainly focused on philosophical issues although he continued to write on science.

Source: http://www. philosophers. co. uk/immanuel-kant. html Based on what I’ve read from the philosophy of Immanuel Kant which oftenly described as the golden middle between rationalism and empiricism, I strongly agree with the statements “experience is purely subjective if not first processed by pure reason” and “using reason while excluding experience would produce theoretical illusion. ” Obviously, both statements complement each other.

You will notice that experience needs reason for it not to be subjective and reason on the other hand, needs experience for it not to produce theoretical illusion. Empiricists claim that experience is equal to knowledge while rationalists argue that it is reason which is equal to knowledge. For example, for the empiricists, you have this experience that enrolling at University of Makati (UMak) needs patience and panctuality for there’s so many enrollees which causes a very long line so the process will take so much of your time.

Through that experience, you gain knowledge so the next time you enroll, you already know how to handle things better. On the other hand, an example of rationalism is that, if someone teach you that one plus one is equal to two (1 + 1 = 2), you gain knowledge from the reason of mathematics. My assumption for the reason behind why Immanuel Kant adopted both of these is that it is closely related with each other and it needs each other to stand for its essence.

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