Reason and Its Limits|
Spring 2019 not offered
|Certificates: Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory|
This course offers a close study of Immanuel Kant's magnum opus, the Critique of Pure Reason, supplemented by related writings by Kant and some secondary literature. Kant observes that the history of philosophy is rife with disagreements, even though philosophers purport to traffic in necessary truths disclosed by reason alone. This scandalous fractiousness calls into question reason's ability to offer substantive insights into necessary truths. Kant's "critique" aims to vindicate reason by distinguishing, in a principled manner, the sorts of things we can know with certainty from those that lie beyond the limits of human understanding. His central thesis, "transcendental idealism," holds that "reason has insight only into what it produces after its own plan" (Bxiii). In other words, we can indeed be certain of key structural features of reality such as its spatiotemporality and causal interconnectedness--but only because those features are, in some crucial sense, mind-dependent. This class will explore in detail the arguments for these claims as well as prominent interpretations of their philosophical upshot.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (COL)(CSCT)(PHIL)(PHIL-Philosophy)(PHIL-Social Jus)