metaphysics by Kant and hume Essay
Metaphysics as Addressed by Kant and Hume
In the Prolegomena, Kant states that reading David Hume, “awakened him from his dogmatic slumber.”It was Hume’s An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding that made Kant aware of issues and prejudices in his life that he had previously been unaware of. This further prompted Kant to respond to Hume with his own analysis on the theory of metaphysics.Kant did not feel that Hume dealt with these matters adequately and resolved to pick up where Hume had left off, specifically addressing the question of whether metaphysics as a science is possible.
Hume basically asserted in his writings that metaphysics, as a science, is not possible.He specifically drew on the theory of “causality”, which is the attempt by people to rationalize situations.These rationalizations deal with the experience of cause and effect.People tend to attribute patterns to things according to their cause and effect.For example, gravity causes the anything that goes up to come down- we have become so used to this principle that we have made a very definitive statement on the subject.Hume however, attacks this principle by claiming that we have not experienced every instance of this matter.It is not that it must come down, but that it happens to come down.He believed that any “all” or “must” statement is not reinforced through reason but through repetition. Because Hume feels this way, he then concludes that metaphysics is not possible.
Hume’s writing posed an interesting starting off point for Kant’s theories.As said before, Kant attributes Hume’s writing with waking him from his “dogmatic slumber.”He recognizes both Hume’s intelligence and the validity of his statements.However, he does not totally agree with all of Hume’s theories and attempts to discredit them in the Prolegomena.The basic question that Hume brings up and tries to answer is whether metaphysics is possible as a science- or to put…