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Portions of this article are horribly inaccurate[edit]

The epistemology section of this page presents a grossly inaccurate summary of Kantian epistemology. The other sections seem grossly misrepresentative too. I'll work on it when I have some time, but for now it pains me to see most of this page's contents. Any edit would be helpful!

Aniras 02:55, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Edited epistemology page. I wrote: "Central to Kant's epistemology are the following ideas: a priori, a posteriori, analytic, synthetic, and his famous synthetic a priori." This should be elaborated and Kant's epistemological constructivism should be explained. --Gottg135 03:13, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

I tend to agree that the Epistemology section needs a lot of work. At the moment the word "apperception" does not even appear in the article, which seems impossible of any adequate account of Kant. --User:TMusgrove

This page needs expertise![edit]

I don't know where the majority of the content of this page comes from, but it's massively different than what I learned in university in the classes I took on Kant. It also fails to mention a variety of crucial Kantian concepts like the analytic/synthetic distinction in epistemology.

In particular, the section on ethis (the part of Kantian philosophy I'm most familiar with, or was ten years ago) is really a misrepresentation. Kantian ethis are deontological, meaning driven by rational considerations of right and wrong; intent has very little to do with it, except that Kant thought that the only truly moral acts are one's which are contrary to one's disposition to act that way--in other words, the person who gives to charity because they're compassionate is not truly moral because they're serving their own impulses, not acting strictly accordingly to the principle that charity is good. The role of the Categorical Imperative, which virtually defines Kantian ethics, isn't even explored.


I know the Wikipedia response is "well, fix it, then!" However, it's been too long, and I'm not a Kant scholar.

Justin Johnson 04:38, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Would Kant find Genetic manipulation, engineering and cloning to be immoral? On what grounds. I cant seem to figure it out.

Interesting question. You might try to think it through by focusing on specific hypothetical applications of these technologies. For example, in 2044, two parents have a sick child -- call him Boy. The doctor tells them that Boy needs a kidney transplant, but has a tricky immune system, so the ideal donor would be a brother or sister.

Now, the parents might get to work trying to produce a second child. But doing this the old-fashioned way means 9 months and then some (because one wouldn't operate on a neonate.) So the doctor, "We can quicken the process by cloning."

You can fill in other details if you like. I would imagine Kant would find THIS use of cloning despicable. He would say that it is wrong to use a human being as a means to an end, rather than as an end in himself. In this case a human is being brought into the world as a means, as an organ farm. So some of the possible applications of some of the new technologies, I conclude, Kant would find immoral. --Christofurio 13:30, Dec 14, 2004 (UTC)

He would say that it is wrong to use a human being as a means to an end This is where your thinking is going wrong. Kant argued that it is wrong to use a person as a means to an end. A person is at once a stronger and a weaker standard than "human being", since some blobs of human tissue (like fetuses, stem cells, strains of genetic information etc) are not persons, while an imaginary race of rationally autonomous aliens would be persons. Therefore it seems clear that a process that creates and kills a blob of human tissue that never develops into personhood is morally neutral under Kant's account. --malathion talk 23:08, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. You make a distinction between persons on one hand and "blobs of human tissue" on the other, and object to my use of the term "human being." Why? Because you hold that "human being" is an ambiguous term? I suspect you're trying to impose a dichotomy on Kant that wouldn't have occurred to him, and that you haven't really address my hypothetical, which dealt neither with stem cells nor with autonomous aliens, but with born human beings! Cloned, but otherwise normally born. Read it again. --Christofurio 12:26, July 19, 2005 (UTC)
The distinction can be found in Kant's account of persons versus things. "Beings the existence of which rests not on our will but on nature, if they are beings without reason, still have only a relative worth, as means, and are therefore called things, whereas rational beings are called persons because their nature already marks them out as an end in itself, that is, as something that may not be used merely as a means, and hence so far limits all choice (and is an object of respect)," [Groundwork, Kt.4:428]. Until it can be determined that some "blob of tissue" is capable of reason, it should be, according to Kant, considered a "thing" and can therefore be used as merely a means, since it does not yet exist as an end-in-itself. Of course, this should probably be considered within the context that Kant was also of the opinion that infanticide of bastard children does not violate the law (wrt the doctrine of right, so legal not moral law) [Metaphysic of morals, Kt.6:336].Shaggorama 09:22, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
You really should read Christofurio original message again, we're talking about a fully cloned human being, alive and kicking like Dolly, who has the potential of a life and therefore reason, unlike a stem cell grown organ. Therefore this clone perfectly qualifies as a 'person', making your reply miss the point. Which is, can a 'person' be grown and harvested for organs? Quite an interesting question since science hasn't advanced up to a point where such a measure would be rendered unnecessary, if one would want to clone organs. Oliver Simon 21:45, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
If any one has time, please go through the ethics section and add citations (where the information is accurate) because the section has literally no citations right now. Sad --Polsky215 (talk) 18:39, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Re: proposed merge of Kant and Kantianism articles[edit]

There is a discussion of this topic under way at the Kant talk page. FYI. fi99ig 19:00, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

My two cents[edit]

It seems like there is some complementary information on this page that isn't included at the biography page called Immanuel Kant. My proposal is that we check this page for possible plaigarism, only because the writing quality is very high, and this topic is so difficult. I certainly couldn't say a whole lot about the topics in the headings, and I've studied a lot of philosophy. Kant is obtuse and he makes me crabby.

Also, it seems like it would be good if we listed Philosophers who followed Kant, if we are going to continue having a page called Kantianism. My guess is that most people that could be called "Kantianists" would fit better at the Neo-Kantianism page.

I'm going to start looking for plaigarized sources, because that's a job I can do, but I'd like to leave altering the pages up to someone with a little more experience with Kant. Maybe we can figure out some philosophers that are Kantianists and preserve this page, but my guess is that there isn't any reason to do so. 18:30, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, I agree with that. Kant is one of the more difficult philosophers to summarize. I don't know if I would go as far as saying it was plagarized, but that very well maybe so. I say that we keep them seperate because Kant (the man), and Kantianism (the philosophy) are two different things. cheers, --zachjones4 10:49, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

  • Keep separate. It makes no sense to conflate the two, as not all Kantianism, imperceptibly shading off into neo-K-ism, is properly due to Kant. Jon Awbrey 14:46, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
I think that Immanuel Kant's philosophy has a nice summary on his page (although there could be more written about the categories) and that because that page is getting rather large in file size, we should move it all here and rewrite Kant's page with very basic summaries and links to the adequate portions of this page (such as a brief summary of space and time being pure a priori forms of intuition and a link to the portion of this page that deals with that more in depth). As for the Neo-Kantian page, I think it should be kept separate from this page and list some of the major followers of Kant's philosophy and where they differ from him (such as Schopenhauer, who is a good example, Jakob Friedrich Fries and Karl Jaspers). Josh.passmore 20:35, 7 April 2007 (UTC)


Is there a distinction between Kantianism and Kantism? There's a stub on that page that i think should be deleted. Borisblue 16:43, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

Uninformative sentence in "Ethics" section[edit]


The Categorical Imperative is very different from a simple "What if everyone did this," moral argument and appeals solely to logical principles.

This is a worthless assertion. You'll have to explain what the difference is (currently, you're just saying "I know that difference, but I'm not gonna tell you"). -- 13:18, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

some1 plz come up with a better ex for categorical imperative[edit]

some1 plz come up with a better example!!! teh current version suckz!!! it giv the following example:

"kill everyone who annoys you"

it says that teh maxim is illogical cos if it were followed soon the world would be devoid of people to kill...

wtf!!! teh same argument can be applied to "obliterate the HIV virus", "destroy every sample of small pox"... if some1 destroy the hiv virus, there wouldn't be any more hiv virus to destroy... so like, wtf men, kantian ethics says we shouldn't destroy AIDS and shit ??? omfg... that's lamez

need better xample plz, 1 of you smart ppl

I think the example is a very good one. Regardless of what it implies, the examples of "Obliterate the HIV virus" and "destroy every sample of small pox" are considered irrational by the standards presented in the article. Changing the example won't change the standards by which you evaluate it. And I'm sure I could think of many medical reasons why it would, in fact, not be a great idea to obliterate all of HIV or small pox. There is a reason we still have vials of the bubonic plague around. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:12, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
My two cents : going by what is presented in the article, the "Obliterate the HIV virus" amounts to being valid (end) by the presented "Categorical Imperative" (keep eliminating HIV if rediscovered) or amounts to "perfect duty" even otherwise, wherein the maxim would no longer be needed anymore then. Quote: "Kant's ethics are founded on his view of rationality as the ultimate good and his belief that all people are fundamentally rational beings". To put it in very simple words: no one wants to have this virus, everyone wants to kill this virus. Also killing the virus is a good thing as opposed to what the article example uses (people); people want good things not the bad things. IMHO, the example used in the article conveys the idea with great ease.

I am new to the idea of editing the wiki, and I am not sure where such a suggestion/request would go (if at all)? Also, I am no expert in any of the matters involved... But, it would be significant/great to also see Kant's philosophy being applied to the system of petrodollars, current global monetary system, debt and the economic/financial/political diktats from the IMF & World Bank (which are very much actuated by humans). More accurately, apply them to the unbalanced consumerism/materialism (actuated by a system that humans actuate) prevalent in parts of the world arising from the combination of these factors mentioned. — Preceding unsigned comment added by X86core (talkcontribs) 11:28, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

To start with (in trying to explain the petrodollar and the current monetary system):

The Kantian principles need not apply in a binary sense at just one point in time, but they may well be applied in varying degrees over periods of time. Consider an example that most people would relate to: work & consumption. If everyone wanted more-&-more returns for lesser-&-lesser amount of (or imaginary) work that they would be willing to do, the world would come closer-&-closer to a( more-real) slowdown or a standstill. Or if everyone wanted to consume more-&-more or faster than they really produced *, we would run out of consumables soon enough! Currently, the reason why one does not realize this is because there exists a system that accomplishes a re-balance of resources; and also because of the fact that in all eventuality (so far) nature continued to produce(work) resources without really taking anything back in return. The system being actuated by the petrodollar and the economic/financial/political diktats from the IMF & World Bank, keeps itself running; and even though it does not completely break this principle, it takes much from some and puts it in the hands of other, such that, from which it takes, that will HAVE TO continue to produce(work) more with lesser... Also one should really consider a situation where nature would cease to produce... or if the rate of consumption was much greater than that of replenishment *? After all, isn't that where we are headed... What if these patterns of consumption were universalized ? :) ...

One could write an entire page on this, while continuing to relate it at various levels to Kantism... Maybe I should elaborate and expand when I find time. Although I am not fully sure where and how that would fit in, but one thing is for certain, Kantism does help in simplifying and in giving a realistic picture of our consumerist/materialist system with a lot more ease; also this would be a significant example. Perhaps I'm just motivated by a Kantian thought !! — Preceding unsigned comment added by X86core (talkcontribs) 14:23, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Oil, petrol, weapons, nuclear fuel, etc. such essentials can be bought in only petrodollar by an entity. Having no petrodollars would mean facing a severe to mild shortage (depending on it own supply) of fuel and power, thus impacting almost all functions of an entity. It could stall an entire nation in almost every aspect. And the IMF/Word Bank, knowing this, would lend if and only if an entity accepts its trade liberalization, currency devalutaion and other economic/political/financial/judiciary diktats. The entity has little choice but to oblige and borrow, effectively attaching a siphon to its own local industry and its own local monetary system. And as for the dollars, IMF/World bank produces it out of thin air !! — Preceding unsigned comment added by X86core (talkcontribs) 11:22, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

Possible Ungrammatical Sentence[edit]

The first of the two principles of Kant seems to me to be nonsensical. It reads, "1. Act only from moral rules that you can at the same time obey will be the universal moral rule." Shouldn't there be an "and it" in between "obey" and "will"? I don't know anything about Kant, or his philosophy, so I don't want to change it--especially since I might change it inaccurately--but this sentence, as it's written, makes no sense to me. If it does make sense, is there some sort of jargon I'm missing out on that would make it grammatical? (talk) 09:53, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

On the Immanuel Kant page can be found:
  • The first formulation (Formula of Universal Law) of the moral imperative "requires that the maxims be chosen as though they should hold as universal laws of nature" (436).[34] This formulation in principle has as its supreme law the creed "Always act according to that maxim whose universality as a law you can at the same time will" and is the "only condition under which a will can never come into conflict with itself [....]"
Let me think about it because, to me, the sentence needs a more complete rewrite in order for it to be properly clarified. Something like, "Act only from moral rules that you can at the same time will (and/or obey) as a universal moral rule (or law)."  .`^) Painediss`cuss (^`.  20:23, 19 March 2009 (UTC)