Any Western Philosopher Greater than Kant?

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Re: Any Western Philosopher Greater than Kant?

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Re: Any Western Philosopher Greater than Kant?

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Re: Any Western Philosopher Greater than Kant?

Postby quantum » Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:53 am

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Re: Any Western Philosopher Greater than Kant?

Postby Arminius » Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:53 pm

Kant believed in indeterminate free-will.

No. Kant referred to both indeterminism and determinism, because he taught (1) an empirical (thus: close to nature) person and (2) an ethical (thus: close to culture) person. So according to Kant humans are citizens of two "worlds": (1) a "visible world" and (2) an "intelligible world". The humans as (1) empirical (natural) persons or citizens of the "visible world" do not have an "absolute free will" becaue they are subordinated by nature and its "law" of causality; but the humans as (2) ethical (cultural) persons or as citizens of the "intelligible world" have an "absolute free will". The "moral law" is based only on the existence of the "intelligible freedom" (=> 2).

Ted Honderich (in: UCL.ac.uk) wrote:One summary of the great Kant's view, to the extent that it can be summed up, is that he takes determinism to be a kind of fact, and indeterminism to be another kind of fact, and our freedom to be a fact too -- but takes this situation to have nothing to do with the kind of compatibility of determinism and freedom proclaimed by such Compatibilists as Hobbes and Hume. Thus Kant does not make freedom consistent with determinism by taking up a definition of freedom as voluntariness -- at bottom, being able to do what you want. This he dismisses as a wretched subterfuge, quibbling about words. Rather, the freedom he seeks to make consistent with determinism does indeed seem to be the freedom of the Incompatibilists -- origination. Is he then an Incompatibilist? Well, against that, it can be said he does not allow the existence of origination in what can be called the world we know, as Incompatibilists certainly do.

Kant's main idea, whatever sense can finally be made of it, depends on his fundamental two-worlds doctrine. He locates determinism in the empirical world or world of appearances, and freedom in the world of things-in-themselves, the world of reason. It is important that the latter world is not in time.

So he is a determinist of a kind, opposed to the tradition of Compatibilism, not really in the Incompatibilist tradition, but tries to make his determinism and freedom-as-origination consistent by his own private means. You may well wonder if he can succeed in all this -- and suspect too, at the beginning of the 21st Century, that something so radical as his view is actually needed.


Who ist Ted Honderich?

Wikipedia wrote:Ted Honderich (born 30 January 1933) is a Canadian-born British philosopher, Grote Professor Emeritus of the Philosophy of Mind and Logic, University College London[1] and Visiting Professor, University of Bath. His work has been mainly about five things: determinism's truth and its consequences for our lives; the nature of consciousness and its relation to the brain; right and wrong in the contemporary world, in particular with respect to terrorism; the supposed justifications of punishment by the state; and the political tradition of conservatism.
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Re: Any Western Philosopher Greater than Kant?

Postby Arminius » Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:58 pm

Excerpt from The Critique of Pure Reason:

Immanuel Kant wrote:.... Every human being has an empirical character for his power of choice, which is nothing other than a certain causality of his reason, insofar as in its effects in appearance this reason exhibits a rule, in accordance with which one could derive the rational grounds and the actions themselves according to their kind and degree, and estimate the subjective principles of his power of choice. Because this empirical character itself must be drawn from appearances as effect, and from the rule which experience provides, all the actions of the human being in appearance are determined in accord with the order of nature by his empirical character and the other cooperating causes; and if we could investigate all the appearances of his power of choice down to their basis, then there would be no human action that we could not predict with certainty, and recognize as necessary given its preceding conditions. Thus in regard to this empirical character there is no freedom, and according to this character we can consider the human being solely by observing, and, as happens in anthropology, by trying to investigate the moving causes of his actions physiologically

But if we consider the very same actions in relation to reason, not, to be sure, in relation to speculative reason, in order to explain them as regards their origin, but insofar as reason is the cause of producing them by themselves — in a word, if we compare them with reason in a practical respect — then we find a rule and order that is entirely other than the natural order. For perhaps everything that has happened in the course of nature, and on empirical grounds inevitably had to happen, nevertheless ought not to have happened. At times, however, we find, or at least believe we have found, that the ideas of reason have actually proved their causality in regard to the actions of human beings as appearances, and that therefore these actions have occurred not through empirical causes, no, but because they were determined by grounds of reason.

Suppose now that one could say reason has causality in regard to appearance; could reason’s action then be called free even though in its empirical character (in the mode of sense) it is all precisely determined and necessary? The empirical character is once again determined in the intelligible character (in the mode of thought). We are not acquainted with the latter, but it is indicated through appearances, which really give only the mode of sense (the empirical character) for immediate cognition. Now the action, insofar as it is to be attributed to the mode of thought as its cause, nevertheless does not follow from it in accord with empirical laws, i.e. in such a way that it is preceded by the conditions of pure reason, but only their effects in the appearance of inner sense precede it. Pure reason, as a merely intelligible faculty, is not subject to the form of time, and hence not subject to the conditions of the temporal sequence. The causality of reason in the intelligible character does not arise or start working at a certain time in producing an effect. For then it would itself be subject to the natural law of appearances, to the extent that this law determines causal series in time, and its causality would then be nature and not freedom.

Thus we could say that if reason can have causality in regard to appearances, then it is a faculty through which the sensible condition of an empirical series of effects first begins. For the condition that lies in reason is not sensible and does not itself begin. Accordingly, there takes place here what we did not find in any empirical series: that the condition of a successive series of occurrences could itself be empirically unconditioned. For here the condition is outside the series of appearances (in the intelligible) and hence not subject to any sensible condition or to any determination of time through any passing cause.

Nevertheless, this very same cause in another relation also belongs to the series of appearances. The human being himself is an appearance. His power of choice has an empirical character, which is the (empirical) cause of all his actions. There is not one of these conditions determining human beings according to this character which is not contained in the series of natural effects and does not obey the laws of nature according to which no empirically unconditioned causality is present among the things that happen in time. Hence no given action (since it can be perceived only as appearance) can begin absolutely from itself. But of reason one cannot say that before the state in which it determines the power of choice, another state precedes in which this state itself is determined. For since reason itself is not an appearance and is not subject at all to any conditions of sensibility, no temporal sequence takes place in it even as to its causality, and thus the dynamical law of nature, which determines the temporal sequence according to rules, cannot be applied to it.

Reason is thus the persisting condition of all voluntary actions under which the human being appears. Even before it happens, every one of these actions is determined beforehand in the empirical character of the human being. In regard to the intelligible character, of which the empirical one is only the sensible schema, no before or after applies, and every action, irrespective of the temporal relation in which it stands to other appearances, is the immediate effect of the intelligible character of pure reason; reason therefore acts freely, without being determined dynamically by external or internal grounds temporally preceding it in the chain of natural causes, and this freedom of reason can not only be regarded negatively, as independence from empirical conditions (for then the faculty of reason would cease to be a cause of appearances), but also indicated positively by a faculty of beginning a series of occurrences from itself, in such a way that in reason itself nothing begins, but as the unconditioned condition of every voluntary action, it allows of no condition prior to it in time, whereas its effect begins in the series of appearances, but can never constitute an absolutely first beginning in this series.

In order to clarify the regulative principle of reason through an example of its empirical use — not in order to confirm it (for such proofs are unworkable for transcendental propositions) — one may take a voluntary action, e.g. a malicious lie, through which a person has brought about a certain confusion in society; and one may first investigate its moving causes, through which it arose, judging on that basis how the lie and its consequences could be imputed to the person. WIth this first intent one goes into the sources of the person’s empirical character, seeking them in a bad upbringing, bad company, and also finding them in the wickedness of a natural temper insensitive to shame, partly in carelessness and thoughtlessness; in so doing one does not leave out of account the occasioning causes. In all this one proceeds as with any investigation in the series of determining causes for a given natural effect.

Now even if one believes the action to be determined by these causes, one nonetheless blames the agent, and not on account of his unhappy natural temper, not on account of the circumstances influencing him, not even on account of the life he has led previously; for one presupposes that it can be entirely set aside how that life was constituted, and that the series of conditions that transpired might not have been, but rather that this deed could be regarded as entirely unconditioned in regard to the previous state, as though with that act the agent had started a series of consequences entirely from himself.

This blame is grounded on the law of reason, which regards reason as a cause that, regardless of all the empirical conditions just named, could have and ought to have determined the conduct of the person to be other than it is. And indeed one regards the causality of reason not as a mere concurrence with other causes, e but as complete in itself, even if sensuous incentives were not for it but were indeed entirely against it; the action is ascribed to the agent’s intelligible character: now, in the moment when he lies, it is entirely his fault; hence reason, regardless of all empirical conditions of the deed, is fully free, and this deed is to be attributed entirely to its failure to act.

Excerpt from The Critique of Practical Reason:
Immanuel Kant wrote:The concept of causality as natural necessity, as distinguished from the concept of causality as freedom, concerns only the existence of things insofar as it is determinable in time and hence as appearances, as opposed to their causality as things in themselves. Now, if one takes the determinations of the existence of things in time for determinations of things-in-themselves (which is the most usual way of representing them), then the necessity in the causal relation can in no way be united with freedom; instead they are opposed to each other as contradictory. For, from the first it follows that every event, and consequently every action that takes place at a point of time, is necessary under the condition of what was in the preceding time. Now, since time past is no longer within my control, every action that I perform must be necessary by determining grounds that are not within my control, that is, I am never free at the point of time in which I act.

Indeed, even if I assume that my whole existence is independent from any alien cause (such as God), so that the determining grounds ot my causality and even of my whole existence are not outside me, this would not in the least transform that natural necessity into freedom. For, at every point of time I still stand under the necessity of being determined to action by that which is not within my control, and the series of events infinite a parte priori which I can only continue in accordance with a predetermined order would never begin of itself: it would be a continuous natural chain, and therefore my causality would never be freedom.

If, then, one wants to attribute freedom to a being whose existence is determined in time, one cannot, so far at least, except this being from the law of natural necessity as to all events in its existence and consequently as to its actions as well; for, that would be tantamount to handing it over to blind chance. But since this law unavoidably concerns all causality of things so far as their existence in time is determinable, if this were the way in which one had to represent also the existence of these things-in-themselves then freedom would have to be rejected as a null and impossible concept.

Consequently, if one still wants to save it, no other path remains than to ascribe the existence of a thing so far as it is determinable in time, and so too its causality in accordance with the law of natural necessity, only to appearance, and to ascribe freedom to the same being as a thing-in-itself. This is certainly unavoidable if one wants to maintain both these mutually repellent concepts together; but in application, when one wants to explain them as united in one and the same action, and so to explain this union itself, great difficulties come forward, which seem to make such a unification unfeasible.

If I say of a human being who commits a theft that this deed is, in accordance with the natural law of causality, a necessary result of determining grounds in preceding time, then it was impossible that it could have been left undone; how, then, can appraisal in accordance with the moral law make any change in it and suppose that it could have been omitted because the law says that it ought to have been omitted? That is, how can that man be called quite free at the same point of time and in regard to the same action in which and in regard to which he is nevertheless subject to an unavoidable natural necessity?

It is a wretched subterfuge to seek to evade this by saying that the kind of determining grounds of his causality in accordance with natural law agrees with a comparative concept of freedom, according to which that is sometimes called a free effect, the determining natural ground of which lies within the acting being, e.g., that which a projectile accomplishes when it is in free motion, in which case one uses the word "freedom" because while it is in flight it is not impelled from without; or as we also call the motion of a clock a free motion because it moves the hands itself, which therefore do not need to be pushed externally; in the same way the actions of the human being, although they are necessary by their determining grounds which preceded them in time, are yet called free because the actions are caused from within, by representations produced by our own powers, whereby desires are evoked on occasion of circumstances and hence actions are produced at our own discretion.

Some still let themselves be put off by this subterfuge and so think they have solved, with a little quibbling about words, that difficult problem on the solution of which millennia have worked in vain and which can therefore hardly be found so completely on the surface, That is to say, in the question about that freedom which must be put at the basis of all moral laws and the imputation appropriate to them, it does not matter whether the causality determined in accordance with a natural law is necessary through determining grounds lying within the subject or outside him, or in the first case whether these determining grounds are instinctive or thought by reason, if, as is admitted by these men themselves, these determining representations have the ground of their existence in time and indeed in the antecedent state; and this in turn in a preceding state, and so forth.

These determinations may be internal and they may have psychological instead of mechanical causality, that is, produce actions by means of representations and not by bodily movements; [still] they are always determinining grounds of the causality of a being insofar as its existence is determinable in time and therefore under the necessitating conditions of past time, which are thus, when the subject is to act, no longer within his control and which may therefore bring with them psychological freedom (if one wants to use this term for a merely internal chain of representations in the soul) but nevertheless natural necessity; and they therefore leave no transcendental freedom, which must be thought as independence from everything empirical and so from nature generally, whether it is regarded as an object of inner sense in time only or also of outer sense in both space and time; without this freedom (in the latter and proper sense), which alone is practical a priori, no moral law is possible and no imputation in accordance with it.

Just for this reason, all necessity of events in time in accordance with the natural law of causality can be called the mechanism of nature, although it is not meant in this that the things which are subject to it must be really material machines. Here one looks only to the necessity of the connection of events in a time series as it develops in accordance with natural law, whether the subject in which this development takes place is called automaton materiale, when the machinery is driven by matter, or with Leibniz spirituale, when it is driven by representations; and if the freedom of our will were none other than the latter (say, psychological and comparative but not also transcendental, i.e., absolute), then it would at bottom be nothing better than the freedom of a turnspit, which, when once it is wound up, also accomplishes its movements of itself.

Now, in order, in the case at hand, to remove the apparent contradiction between the mechanism of nature and freedom in one and the same action, one must recall what was said in the Critique of Pure Reason or follows from it: that the natural necessity which cannot coexist with the freedom of the subject attaches merely to the determinations of a thing which stands under conditions of time and so only to the determinations of the acting subject as appearance, and that, accordingly, the determining grounds of every action of the subject so far lie in what belongs to past time and is no longer within his control (in which must be counted his past deeds and the character as a phenomenon thereby determinable for him in his own eyes).

But the very same subject, being on the other side conscious of himself as a thing-in-itself, also views his existence insofar as it does not stand under conditions of time and himself as determinable only through laws that he gives himself by reason; and in this existence of his nothing is, for him, antecedent to the determination of his will, but every action — and in general every determination of his existence changing conformably with inner sense, even the whole sequence of his existence as a sensible being — is to be regarded in the consciousness of his intelligible existence as nothing but the consequence and never as the determining ground of his causality as a noumenon.

So considered, a rational being can now rightly say of every unlawful action he performed that he could have omitted it even though as appearance it is sufficiently determined in the past and, so far, is inevitably necessary; for this action, with all the past which determines it, belongs to a single phenomenon of his character, which he gives to himself and in accordance with which he imputes to himself, as a cause independent of all sensibility, the causality of those appearances.

The judicial sentences of that wonderful capacity in us which we call conscience are in perfect agreement with this. A human being may use what art he will to paint some unlawful conduct he remembers as an unintentional fault — as a mere oversight which one can never avoid altogether, and so as something in which he was carried away by the stream of natural necessity — and to declare himself innocent of it. He nevertheless finds that the advocate who speaks in his favor can by no means reduce to silence the prosecutor within him, if only he is aware that at the time he did this wrong he was in his senses, that is, had the use of his freedom; and while he explains his misconduct by certain bad habits, which by gradual neglect of attention he has allowed to grow in him to such a degree that he can regard his misconduct as their natural consequence, yet this cannot protect him from the reproach and censure he casts upon himself.

This is also the ground of repentance for a deed long past at every recollection of it, a painful feeling aroused by the moral disposition, which is empty in a practical way to the extent that it cannot serve to undo what has been done and would even be absurd. (Priestley, a genuine fatalist proceeding consistently, declares it absurd; and for this candor he deserves more applause than those who, while maintaining the mechanism of the will in deeds but its freedom in words, yet want it to be thought that they include it in their syncretistic system, though without making the possibility of such imputation comprehensible.) But repentance, as pain, is still quite legitimate because reason, when it is a question of the law of our intelligible existence (the moral law), recognizes no distinction of time and asks only whether the event belongs to me as a deed and, if it does, then always connects the same feeling with it morally, whether it was done just now or long ago. For, the sensible ljfe has, with respect to the intelligible consciousness of its existence (consciousness of freedom), the absolute unity of a phenomenon, which, so far as it contains merely appearances of the disposition that the moral law is concerned with (appearances of the character), must be appraised not in accordance with the natural necessity that belongs to it as appearance but in accordance with the absolute spontaneity of freedom.

One can therefore grant that if it were possible for us to have such deep insight into a human being’s cast of mind, as shown by inner as well as outer actions, that we would know every incentive to action, even the smallest, as well as all the external occasions affecting them, we could calculate a human being’s conduct for the future with as much certainty as a lunar or solar eclipse and could nevertheless maintain that the human being’s conduct is free. If, that is to say, we were capable of another view, namely an intellectual intuition of the same subject (which is certainly not given to us and in place of which we have only the rational concept), then we would become aware that this whole chain of appearances, with respect to all that the moral law is concerned with, depends upon the spontaneity of the subject as a thing-in-itself, for the determination of which no physical explanation can be given.

In default of this intuition, the moral law assures us of this difference between the relation of our actions as appearances to the sensible being of our subject and relation by which this sensible being is itself referred to the intelligible substratum in us. From this perspective, which is natural to our reason though inexplicable, appraisals can be justified which, though made in all conscientiousness, yet seem at first glance quite contrary to all equity. There are cases in which human beings, even with the same education that was profitable to others, yet show from childhood such early wickedness and progress in it so continuously into their adulthood that they are taken to be born villains and quite incapable of improvement as far as their cast of mind is concerned; and nevertheless they are so judged for what they do or leave undone that they are censured as guilty of their crimes; indeed, they themselves (the children) find these censures as well founded as if, despite the hopeless natural constitution of minds ascribed to the, they remained as accountable as any other human being.

This could not happen if we did not suppose that whatever arises from one’s choice (as every action intentionally performed undoubtedly does) has as its basis a free causality which from early youth expresses its character in its appearances (actions); these actions, on account of the uniformity of conduct, make knowable a natural connection that does not, however, make the vicious constitution of the will necessary but is instead the consequence of the evil and unchangeable principles freely adopted, which make it only more culpable and deserving of punishment.
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Re: Any Western Philosopher Greater than Kant?

Postby James S Saint » Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:21 pm

Arminius wrote:This could not happen if we did not suppose that whatever arises from one’s choice (as every action intentionally performed undoubtedly does) has as its basis a free causality which from early youth expresses its character in its appearances (actions); these actions, on account of the uniformity of conduct, make knowable a natural connection that does not, however, make the vicious constitution of the will necessary but is instead the consequence of the evil and unchangeable principles freely adopted, which make it only more culpable and deserving of punishment.

That part expresses where Kant had cross over the line of his intellectual limit.

Obviously he believed in physical determinism and though he expressed that there is potentially a psychological determinism, he chose to declare it indeterminate for reasons of convenience in judging and punishing. Of course if he had not done that, you would probably have never heard of him.

The whole indeterminate will and responsibility issue is similar to Einstein's Relativity. It is for "all practical purposes" real, but when it gets down to the exact reality, it fails. And when dealing with human judgments upon humans, it is important to get it as exacting as possible. Unfortunately for the entire world, the enlightenment age philosophers could not quite handle that level of reasoning.

The whole free-will issue is nothing but a mind game that is used to support the convenience of punishment without regard of precise truth. It is a game that favors blind injustice. The need for punishment is not a need for free-will. But that was too deep of a thought for that era.
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Re: Any Western Philosopher Greater than Kant?

Postby quantum » Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:20 pm

ok, if not 20 then atleast 15 dollars daily.
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Re: Any Western Philosopher Greater than Kant?

Postby Ecmandu » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:13 pm

quantum wrote:ok, if not 20 then atleast 15 dollars daily.
please say yes.


quantum, I think you're having a meltdown here. This is a wonderful site, it may not be as populated as others which seems to bother you, but shit man, this site hasn't banned me, and all the others have, I have a lot of respect for this site and its mods, posters are bright people. You have it pretty good quantum. Maybe his account was hacked....
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Re: Any Western Philosopher Greater than Kant?

Postby quantum » Fri Feb 13, 2015 12:38 pm

This site won't ban
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Re: Any Western Philosopher Greater than Kant?

Postby Arminius » Mon Feb 23, 2015 3:01 am

If there is no Western philosopher greater than Kant, then there is no philosopher greater than Kant.
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Re: Any Western Philosopher Greater than Kant?

Postby Orbie » Mon Feb 23, 2015 3:28 am

Now I would like add that I do not be,I've in A Philosophy, therefore can not hold out to the idea of A Philosopher, greater than. let me explain.

People like me holding out to ideals, have been pretty much relegated to archaic and useless dust bins,mind labeled as dated, hopeless or worse, useless. Since I do consider Leibnitz to be able to solve this problem mathematically, vis, to re integrate the products of many differentially laden products of thought, I see no reason not to answer the problem in terms of positivist ic terms. what does it mean to say one man or one idea is greater than another? what model of excellence does one compare other men's ideas to effect a sensible conclusion? I would hazard, modeling has been deconstructed into the last holdouts of ideal recurrance, the world of dreams, of subconscious psychic content, repressed, into the annals of the lost, as Beckett would say, or, create an ideal delusion, purposefully sustained in a epoche of aesthetic insistence. but such eros he has lost it's ground, when Andre Breton's Comminist Manifesto suffered a gradual decline, notwhitstanding Sartre's disillusionment with it. But there are those hard dies who are unwilling to give up a model, even at the most Unimaginable cost, basing their rationale on the need to be truthful to one's self. This does not invalidate Kan't Critique, it only enables it as a medium through which necessary social processes can be understood generally, as tools of thought.
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Re: Any Western Philosopher Greater than Kant?

Postby Arminius » Mon Feb 23, 2015 3:36 am

Perhaps Leibniz war greater than Kant ... (!) ... (?) ...(!).
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Re: Any Western Philosopher Greater than Kant?

Postby Prismatic567 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:15 am

Arminius wrote:If there is no Western philosopher greater than Kant, then there is no philosopher greater than Kant.
The point is we have not exhausted all philosophers from the East and elsewhere, where there could be [?] philosophers greater than Kant. Thus this OP has to set a limit, i.e. to Western Philosophers.

IMO, Buddha's philosopher is comparable to Kant but I think Kant is more intellectual and systematic however is without much practical aspects. The Buddha's philosophy comprised aspects for actual practice and rewiring of one's brain for it.
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Re: Any Western Philosopher Greater than Kant?

Postby Prismatic567 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:24 am

Arminius wrote:Perhaps Leibniz war greater than Kant ... (!) ... (?) ...(!).
Leibniz was more famous for mathematics rather than philosophy [on Monads].
Kant was born [1724] after Leibniz's death [1716].
Kant demonstrated the shortfalls of Leibniz's Monad and his 'identity of indiscernible'.
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Re: Any Western Philosopher Greater than Kant?

Postby Arminius » Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:32 pm

Prismatic567 wrote:
Arminius wrote:Perhaps Leibniz war greater than Kant ... (!) ... (?) ...(!).
Leibniz was more famous for mathematics rather than philosophy [on Monads].
Kant was born [1724] after Leibniz's death [1716].
Kant demonstrated the shortfalls of Leibniz's Monad and his 'identity of indiscernible'.

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) was an universal genius; he was a philosopher, the originator of the monadology and of the pre-established harmony, he was a scientist, especially a mathematician, the originator of the infinitesimal calculus (1665, published 1684), a physicist, and a historician, he was a technician, he was the builder of the first mechanical calculator, a machine of multiplication, he was a diplomat and a political consultant.

Okay, Leibniz lived from 1646 to 1716 and Kant from 1724 to 1804 - so according to that birth-and-death dates they are not as much comparable as they are according to other facts, So Leibniz was much more a scientist (mathematician, physicist, historcian) and technician than Kant, because Leibniz was an universal genius and one of the greatest scientists and technicians ever, whereas Kant was merely an average scientist and even no technician - and that does not necessarily or even automatically mean that Kant was a greater philosopher than Leibniz.

But perhaps you are right by saying that Kant was the greatest Western philosopher.

And what about Hegel?
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Re: Any Western Philosopher Greater than Kant?

Postby Prismatic567 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 4:43 am

Arminius wrote:But perhaps you are right by saying that Kant was the greatest Western philosopher.

And what about Hegel?
I mentioned and compared Hegel earlier.

Hegel was supposedly one of those neo-Kantian. Hegel is a very great philosopher but imo, not greater than Kant where it matters, i.e. on the ultimate issues that carry the heavier weights.

Kant warned in the Critique of Pure Reason and I think Hegel may have missed or forgotten about this warning and other similar ones;

Kant wrote:They are sophistications not of men but of Pure Reason itself. Even the wisest of men cannot free himself from them. After long effort he perhaps succeeds in guarding himself against actual error; but he will never be able to free himself from the Illusion, which unceasingly mocks and torments him.B397

Hegel was seduced by the above illusion and clung to it as the Absolute. Hegel's absolute is similar to that of the pantheist and the Hindu Brahman which Buddha and Kant demonstrated and proved as illusory.
If Hegel's philosophy is leveraged on such an illusion, the rest that follow are compromised.
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Re: Any Western Philosopher Greater than Kant?

Postby Orbie » Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:59 am

I would say i agree with the above, very simply, Hegel tried to free the world from the material manifestations hindering the spiritual rebirth which he was hoping to heral in. Kant closed metaphysics, while Hegel opened it. Kant took note of Hume's doubt, and incorporated it(here goes that word again), and he used the synthesis as an incoporation, meaning placing the corpus within the idea, hoping for the synthesis. Hegel excluded everything but theworld of the spirit, the spirit of man imbued wihin his reason. I think Kant was much more indebted to Leibnitz, than Hegel, Leibnitz mathematics liberated him to a certain extent from the critique, inasmuch as the difference between logic and reason was much more indiscernible in Kant then in Hegel. Nietzche, after all, rebelled against Hegel, and the result of that rebellion was Nihilism, and Dialectical Materialism.
Capitalistic empiricism 'borrows' from both, nihilizing-deconstructin Hegel's ideal model, while at the same time, disassociating any relationship between that and it's substance. Basically, Leibnitz is the winnder here, since he has seemd to superceede this conflict of ideas, and i think he has been grossly misunderstood, underrated by such cliches as : 'this is the best of all possible worlds'. It is usual to see misinterpretation of German philosophy, the very same thing can be said of Nietzche, and the misapplicationand misunderstanding of his ideas.
However the basic development, the structural succession of one philosopher into the other, i do not believe, is as distintice as we are led to believe, on the contrary, there is more inter relation between the different approaces, even when there may not be direct evidence of one philosopher having exclusive and obvious effect on the other. Indirect effect, in philosophy is inavoidable, even in cases where there is no evidence of much inffluence of one on another thought. The hidden perimeters of thought, those which drive the exposed ones, are perhaps much more dynamic and powerful. What we do not see in thought may be by far more important then those with which we occupy our minds in everyday concerns of practical philosophy.

I am not trying to attack the notion that Kant maybe the most important Western philosopher, he may very well be, but to advocate such a thing, we must dismiss Plato, Descates, Leibnitz, and other indispensible figures of thought. I do not think this is
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Re: Any Western Philosopher Greater than Kant?

Postby Prismatic567 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 10:31 am

Orb wrote:I am not trying to attack the notion that Kant maybe the most important Western philosopher, he may very well be, but to advocate such a thing, we must dismiss Plato, Descates, Leibnitz, and other indispensible figures of thought. I do not think this is
possible.
Kant imo is the greatest Western Philosopher, but at the same time he was stepping on the giant shoulders of Socrates, Plato, Descartes, Aristotle and others. Leibniz was a great Mathematician and in other areas but I cannot see anything super with his ideas of the Monads and identity of the discernible.

As for Kant being greater than Plato, Socrates, Aristotle and other Greek philosophy, Kant had the advantage of appearing 1500++ years later and thus improved upon their philosophical thoughts which before Kant was going in parallel lines.
Why Kant was great was his ability to converge the parallel lines and systematize all the previous philosophical thoughts on the critical issues and put them within a very Organized Framework which imo [90% confidence] has not much room for future philosophers to improve on. It is just like the Scientific Framework and Scientific Method which we do not foresee significant changes at least for a long time.

We are not dismissing the ideas of all other philosophers. What Kant had contributed critically was his Framework [Critical Philosophy], and his specific & the various philosophical thoughts of philosophical giants and others will be aligned within the framework where they belong. Where they don't fit we still have to justify [philosophically] why.
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Re: Any Western Philosopher Greater than Kant?

Postby Erik_ » Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:49 am

To Prismatic,

A bit off topic from your previous entries, but do you agree with Kant that space/time is an aspect of our minds? In other words, that it's not something that exists independently of minds?
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Re: Any Western Philosopher Greater than Kant?

Postby Prismatic567 » Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:04 am

Erik_ wrote:To Prismatic,
A bit off topic from your previous entries, but do you agree with Kant that space/time is an aspect of our minds? In other words, that it's not something that exists independently of minds?
Yes, from the perspective of Kant's Copernican Revolution, space & time are interdependent with the human conditions.
This is not to say that time & space are invented and created by the mind.
Time and Space cannot be absolutely independent of minds in the ontological sense.
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Re: Any Western Philosopher Greater than Kant?

Postby James S Saint » Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:12 am

If he was famous, he wasn't the greatest philosopher.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
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You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
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Re: Any Western Philosopher Greater than Kant?

Postby Moreno » Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:40 pm

Prismatic567 wrote:IMO, Emmanuel Kant is the greatest Western philosopher of all time.

How can we rate philosophers?
The great philosophers produced works that are open to tight scrutiny by their peers. Whilst there are likely to be some degrees of subjectivity, this can be eliminated if we based our rating of "good" philosophers or a large numbers of polls with a reasonable large participations.
For example,
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/inourtime/greatest_philosopher_vote_result.shtmlThis poll is supported by commentaries by existing philosophers.

In most polls on the 'Greatest Philosophers of all times" or 'Greatest Western Philosophers of all times" you will find Kant appearing within the top 5, if not top 10 and seldom out of the top 20.

Personally, Emmanuel Kant is the greatest Western philosopher of all time.
Kant improved on [and corrected] the philosophies of the ancients prior to his time up to Hume and changed the entire world by providing a new of thinking about how the human mind relates to the world [and reality].
For more details read here.
http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl201/ ... /kant.html
In addition one has to have a knowledge of the whole of Western Philosophy and a very in depth knowledge of Kant's philosophies and those of his immediate peers before we can make any reasonable judgment and rating.

IMO, the reason why Kant is not number one in all the polls is because Kant's philosophy [in part and fully] is EXTREMELY difficult to understand and grasp.

Any Western Philosopher Greater than Kant? and the reasons for your claim?
Does it matter if, say, Merleu Ponty's philosophy holds up better with modern science? Is best the one who allowed for the most debate and opened up the most avenues of inquiry or is best the one who is or seems to be the most correct? What are the criteria for greatness? Well organized, clearly presented thought that really has just lead to debate but not necessarily useful conclusions vs. less well organized ideas that led to useful conclusions? Is it a creative activity primarily one evaluated on internal coherence? One evaluated in some other way?
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Re: Any Western Philosopher Greater than Kant?

Postby Orbie » Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:10 pm

It is very true, Kant was a grat thinker, however nowedays, who takes him at faxe value? Maybe Chomsky, but he himself is an apologist. Let's face it, Kant's only objective success was a rationalized version of the Godlen Rule. His synthetic a-priori suffwred the same logical fate as Hegel's ultra rationalism, synthesis is not possible. Can an ball be red and green all over? The reduction leads to a semantic difficulty of trying to determine th use of 'all over'. By trying to connect Descrtes's doubt with
the great pursuasive power of empirical knowledge, he did not deny the existence of inherent knowledge, he categorically removed it from the realm of the new, coming science. In fact, he resurrected dualism in a new form.

Again, for neo-Kantians, it works like a charm, because it implies hidden meanings related to historicity and evolutionary successin of ideas. This presupposes the inviolability of conceptual truths.

The modern world for these die hards isbased on aesthetic idelas of immutable perfection of forms, and resurrects an equally inviolate Platonic scheme of
evolutionary suceeding formal reach toward perfection. Perfection ad summum possesses axiomatic self referencial attributes toward the Summum, God Himself, and the guarantee of this is based on belief in the ultra self refereintoal ideal unto Himself. It implies total reflexibility ofm self.
That God was thus estranged from Himself, succeeds in Nietzche.

The final arbitermismof coursem the will to believe on the neccesity to sustain ideal forms of apprehending perfection, and this is based on an either or logical proposition: , the question becoming, how did thesemforms arise, ifnotmoutof the nether world ofmthe huan experience? He could not possibly have risen itthroughn himself, butonly through a self higher then Him, through an apothesis of himself to an ideal perfection of himself , in His Image. This was the origin of the self conception of the image, following Narcissus' hallucionatory self image, which caused his punishment.

I do believe Kant is very great to sustain this aesthetic tension, but others dealt with it more formadibly, and anywone post Decartes would try it. Among the existentialists, Heidegger, Husserl, were the forerunners in metaphysics, and Nietzche and Kierkegaard and Sartre putting a more lyrical interpretation on it.
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sincere, the centre of
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i stand ; and , without
taking thought,-
i know nothing. But i can

Full well your need-as
you be men
This: Re-Creation. With a
bow,
Then, your obedient

servant now.
One gift is all i find in me,
And that is faithful
memory
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Re: Any Western Philosopher Greater than Kant?

Postby Prismatic567 » Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:01 am

Orb wrote:It is very true, Kant was a great thinker, however nowadays, who takes him at face value?
At present Kant is still a popular philosopher but not many would rate him the greatest Western philosopher.
It is my personal opinion after putting A LOT of time reading Kant extensively and comparing him with other great Western philosophers [with sufficient knowledge of many] that I arrived at the view that Kant is the Greatest Western philosopher.
However I cannot be very certain of my view, that is the reason for the OP.
However, so far all the other proposals made here are not greater than Kant from my perspective and based on the extensive criteria I envisaged. I hope there will be more proposals supported with justified reasons why there are other Western philosophers greater than Kant within a set of criteria.

I do believe Kant is very great to sustain this aesthetic tension, but others dealt with it more formidably, and anyone post Descartes would try it. Among the existentialists, Heidegger, Husserl, were the forerunners in metaphysics, and Nietzsche and Kierkegaard and Sartre putting a more lyrical interpretation on it.
As I had mentioned, why Kant is the greatest is due to his Architectonic Framework to provide structure and represent the full spectrum of reality. Kant admitted he is more interested presenting the framework [in addition to some relevant principles and theories], i.e. the substance than focusing on the detailed forms.
The detailed forms are too diversified and extensive to be dealt by one person and thus require specialists in various fields to attach 'chunks of meat' to the 'bone' structure of framework.
The details are subsequently filled in by specialists on the form with the likes of Hegel [History], Heidegger, Husserl, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Sartre, Foucault, Derrida, other postmodernists, other analytical philosophers plus support from other advance knowledge, e.g, neuroscience, cognitive science and others.

Any other W philosopher greater than Kant?
If there are others to knock off Kant from that pedestal I raised for Kant, it is still a win-win as I will have the opportunity seek for more knowledge from other greater philosophers.
So far, there don't seem to be any candidate to replace Kant [IMO].
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Re: Any Western Philosopher Greater than Kant?

Postby Prismatic567 » Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:41 am

Moreno wrote:Does it matter if, say, Merleu Ponty's philosophy holds up better with modern science? Is best the one who allowed for the most debate and opened up the most avenues of inquiry or is best the one who is or seems to be the most correct? What are the criteria for greatness? Well organized, clearly presented thought that really has just lead to debate but not necessarily useful conclusions vs. less well organized ideas that led to useful conclusions? Is it a creative activity primarily one evaluated on internal coherence? One evaluated in some other way?

I wrote this earlier

I have not produced a list of criteria [yet] but implicitly it would have included the following with certain weightages for specific criteria;
    1. Revolutionary philosophical theories -justified and soundly proven
    2. Extensiveness and range of involvement in philosophical topics
    3. Completeness, efficiency, systematic, etc.
    4. Specialization, academic, [to vary weightage for these]
    5. Practically and contribution to humanity
    6. Extent of potential in time [less weight is only specific to an era]
    7. Use significantly in the modern era
    8. ?? Etc. [to list]

You can propose other critical and relevant criteria for consensus.

If you take Merleau Ponty, you can rate him within the above set of criteria and compare his total points against Kant.
If you trace Merleau Ponty's Phenomenology to its roots, you will come to Kant's overall structure and Phenomenology [Kant regarded as a pioneer in this field] is merely a twig in that structure.
Is there anything revolutionary about Ponty's ideas of reference to the body? This is covered with Kant principle of his Copernican Revolution of directing attention to the human conditions rather than a physical external reality out there.
You can review all of Ponty's ideas and I am certain it will fit into one of Kant's proposed or already dealt with branches, twig or leaves of Kant's total framework.
You can do the same for any other Western philosophers.
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