Kant, Immanuel (1724-1804)
philosopher. Kant is considered to be the paradigmatic
philosopher of the Modern era, removing the last traces of scholasticism from
philosophy in the eighteen century. He agreed with the rationalists that one can
have exact and certain knowledge, but he followed the empiricists in holding
that such knowledge is more informative about the structure of thought than
about the world outside of thought.
distinguished three kinds of knowledge: analytical a priori, which is
exact and certain but uninformative, because it makes clear only what is
contained in definitions; synthetic a posteriori, which conveys
information about the world learned from experience, but is subject to the
errors of the senses; and synthetic a priori, which is discovered by pure
intuition and is both exact and certain, for it expresses the necessary
conditions that the mind imposes on all objects of experience. Mathematics and
philosophy, according to Kant, provide this last type.
by: Richard P Whaite
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