Kant

Although we have been discussing Kant for two days already, we are still have much left to cover, and his thought can be a tad abstract and even overwhelming at times. So, given we’ve only had two days on Kant and you’re likely still digesting this material, I will keep the prompt fairly straightforward and focus upon only one of the most important aspects of our discussion from class and from this week’s assigned reading.
In the Preface to Kant’s Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics [1783], Kant discusses at length Hume’s critique of metaphysics, referring to this as “Hume’s problem” (pp. 2-4). Indeed, the work of Hume is so decisive for Kant, he famously remarked that it was “David Hume… which many years ago first interrupted my dogmatic slumber” (p. 5). Given that the insights of Hume’s work are so integral to Kant’s motivation and thought in the undertaking of his own “critique of pure reason,” what exactly is “Hume’s problem” as characterized by Kant? (Hume’s “philosophical” problem, not a “problem” Hume has with something or someone…) That is, in your own words, how does Kant describe the work of Hume and what does he seem to think is so significant about it? How exactly does Kant generalize “Hume’s problem” in a way that is potentially troubling for all metaphysics and natural science as well? Also, how is Kant critical of Hume? Where does he seem to part ways with him, despite his indebtedness to his thought? Finally, given what you’ve read so far and based upon what we’ve discussed in class, what is Kant suggesting as a response to Hume’s Problem and how is this different from Hume’s philosophical naturalism and skepticism?
I know that this is a point that I’ve emphasized in the lecture, so this shouldn’t be too challenging for you. I emphasize it only because it is a question we will return to again as we proceed through the Prolegomena, and I will likely ask about it on the final as well. Also, I will be posting some Power Points on Kant, including the introductory one with the crucial quote from the first Critique regarding the “Copernican Turn,” but also, as with Hume, expanded Power Points that cover the Prolegomena more or less in its entirety. As with the previous Hume lectures, you need to read all of them. However, they are available to you as a way to review the lecture content, without having to re-watch the lecture videos. Essentially, it’s most of what you need to know about Kant transcribed in a Power Point. That being said, be sure you aren’t just copying my words from a Power Point for the reflection. This should be in your own words, as it is an opportunity to work through these ideas through writing about them, which I hope will help you to understand them.

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