Course level: Graduate
University of Notre Dame
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) was a foundationally important thinker within philosophy and beyond, in his own time and continuously up to the present. Deeply interested in scientific, social, and political developments, he powerfully defended the Enlightenment values of reason, science, and freedom. In doing so, he decisively shaped the debates of philosophers, scientists, and political leaders in his own time and since.
Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason (1781/1787) not only laid the foundation of his own Critical Philosophy, but turned out to be one of the most important works in the history of philosophy. In it, Kant explores the world of human “experience” in a way that integrates numerous philosophical issues from metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of science to philosophy of religion and even ethics. He aims to resolve the problems that adhere to Empiricism and Rationalism and thereby shapes his own “transcendental idealism”. Getting a deeper understanding of this text will elucidate both the history of philosophy prior to Kant and the history of philosophy that developed in response to him. In this course, we will engage with this work by close reading of selected passages and through in-depth discussions of key conceptions and arguments.