Kant and Spencer: A Critical Exposition


Kant's great work is his "Critique of Pure Reason." The title itself suggests something of the gen- eral thought. It is to discover the scope and limit- ations of the rational power itself. This undertaking was made necessary by the contradictions into which reason had fallen. In this aim Kant's work is similar to that of Locke in his "Essay on the Human Under- standing." Locke says, "If by this inquiry into the nature of the understanding I can discover the powers thereof, how far they reach, to what things they are in any degree proportionate, and where they avail us, I suppose it may be of use to prevail with the busy mind of man to be more cautious in meddling with things exceeding its comprehension; to stop when it is at the utmost extent of its tether; and to sit in a quiet ignorance of those things which upon examination are found to be beyond the reach of our capacities." Kant's aim was similar. Reason he conceived had transcended its own sphere, which was the source not only of speculative error, but also of practical con- fusion and mischief. To remedy this condition of things he wrote the "Critique of Pure Reason."

Kant's underlying interest in this matter would . . .

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Boston
Publication year:
  • 1912


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