Essay On Transcendental Idealism

Satisfactory Essays
Immanuel Kant analyzes metaphysics and claims that the validity of it depends on the foundation of the theory. He attempts to strengthen the foundation of metaphysics to help people accept it as an explanation of the universe. Metaphysics is the sector of philosophy that deals with general concepts such as knowing, being and existence of substances, (OED, n. 1.d). Kant’s theory of knowledge is based on transcendental idealism. This form of idealism is a system of thought that claims objects of knowledge to be dependent on how we perceive them in our minds. Kant stresses that things are the way that they appear to us when we perceive them, which is opposed to the idea that we perceive things being in themselves. Transcendental idealism is opposed to the theory of transcendental realism, a concept adopted by rationalists and empiricists. Transcendental realism is the failure of to see the distinction between things appearances and things in themselves. Kant claims that humans cannot see things in themselves due to the cognitive limitations that they have, (Grier). Using his theory of transcendental idealism, he proves transcendental realism wrong. Kant’s ‘Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics’ constitutes his theory of knowledge, while disproving any scepticism caused by Hume, by claiming that knowledge of objects are independently determined by how they are perceived by us.

To better understand its meaning, transcendental idealism needs to be defined against other forms of idealism. Idealism, in general, is the claim that reality is dependent on the mind and their ideas, (Morrison). George Berkley, an early metaphysician that defended the views of idealism, presents a view of material idealism which claims that the existence of ...

... middle of paper ...

...ectively bring together the right ideas presented by the rationalists and empiricists and strengthen the foundation of metaphysics. Kant uses the theory of transcendental idealism, the claim that gains of knowledge are based on perceptions of the mind, to prove the limitations of the human mind. Transcendental realists are proven wrong by Kant because of their inability to see that the mind is incapable of perceiving things in themselves. Kant resolves Hume’s scepticism by confirming that there are sources of reality perceived by sensations. Kant is successful in resolving the debate between rationalists and empiricists by applying a Copernican approach on understanding the human mind and its perceptions. By understanding the capacity of the human mind, we are one step closer to strengthening the foundation of metaphysics and understanding how knowledge is attained.
Get Access