Metaphysics Dethroned: Hume, Kant, and the “Self-Limitation of Reason”
- 93 Downloads
One of the most radical features of modern intellectual history has been the dethronement of metaphysics. In the Greek and medieval world, metaphysics was the Master or Queen of all the sciences and the principal occupation of Aristotle’s theoretic life. While this project of a universal science which would provide the ground or foundation of all the others continued to inspire early modern thinkers like Descartes, by the eighteenth century the very possibility of metaphysics came under sustained attack from the leaving philosophical luminaries of the era. David Hume with his radical empiricism rejected the science of super-sensible reality. The problem was that his critique of traditional metaphysics was so radical it threatened the modern foundations of science itself by questioning causality. The modern critique of metaphysics culminates in Kant’s critical philosophy which saved causality while carrying forward the modern turn of restricting science to the empirical realm. For all its brilliance, the Kantian system is problematic. This is both due to internal philosophical inconsistencies and to the fact that this system canonized as a priori and necessary aspects of the Newtonian world system which were superseded by subsequent developments in physics. Nonetheless, the import of the perceived victory of the empirical over the metaphysical have been formative of the modern intellectual climate.
- Aquinas, St. Thomas. 1961. Trans. John P. Rowan. Anthony Kenny. Ed. http://dhspriory.org/thomas/Metaphysics.htm. Accessed 16 June 2016.
- ———. 1995. Commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics. Trans. John P. Rowan. Notre Dame, Indiana: Dumb Ox Books.Google Scholar
- ———. De Veritate at University of Navarra. http://www.corpusthomisticum.org/qdv02.html. Accessed 1 Oct 2016.
- Aristotle. Metaphysics 1933 (2003 reprint). Trans. Hugh Tredennick. Loeb Classical Library, Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Benedict XVI. 2006. Benedict XVI. “Faith, Reason, and the University: Memories and Reflections” often called “The Regensburg Lecture” At the Vatican. http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/speeches/2006/september/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20060912_university-regensburg.html
- Descartes, Rene. 1644. Principles of Philosophy, http://www.earlymoderntexts.com/assets/pdfs/descartes1644part2.pdf. 13 Nov 2017.
- Grier, Michelle. 2012. “Kant’s Critique of Metaphysics.” At The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (Summer 2012 ed.) Edward N. Zalta (ed.) http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2012/entries/kant-metaphysics. Accessed 26 Oct 2016.
- Hegel, G.W.F. 2001 The Philosophy of History. Trans. J. Sibree. Kitchener, Ontario: Batoche Books. http://socserv2.socsci.mcmaster.ca/~econ/ugcm/3ll3/hegel/history.pdf. Accessed 15 Jun 2016.
- Hume, David. 2003. A Treatise of Human Nature. Mineola: Dover.Google Scholar
- ———. 2004. An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. Mineola: Dover.Google Scholar
- Kant, Immanuel. 1987. Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics. James Ellington revision of Paul Carus translation, Indianapolis, Hackett Publishing.Google Scholar
- ———. 2007. Critique of Pure Reason. Translated by Paul Guyer and Allen W. Wood. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Minkowski, Hermann.1918. Space and Time a published lecture in The Monist Volume XXVIII at https://archive.org/stream/monistquart28hegeuoft/monistquart28hegeuoft_djvu.txt. Accessed 23 Apr 2018.
- Newton, Sir. Isaac. 1729. Principia (Scholium) Trans. by Andrew Motte. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/newton-stm/scholium.html. Accessed 13 Nov 2017.
- Stace, W.T. 1955. The Philosophy of Hegel. New York. Dover. At Archive.org. https://archive.org/stream/W.T.StaceThePhilosophyOfHegelDoverPress1955/W.T.%20Stace-The%20Philosophy%20of%20Hegel-Dover%20Press%20(1955)_djvu.txt. Accessed 4 Nov 2016.
- Warman, Matt. May 17, 2011. Stephen Hawking Tells Google ‘philosophy is dead’. The Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/8520033/Stephen. Accessed May 2018.