My Response to a Question on Kant and Hegel.


Kant and Hegel has been well-known for their different metaphysical system, at least in epistemology. The former said that we could never know the nature and the content of things in themselves and he questioned the limitation of human perception to dig deep into the core of reality, hence forming a system of subjective idealism.

The latter however made a further step in Kantian epistemology, and returning back the trust and confidence to human reason and rationality that has been lost in Kantian approach. Hegel made this even a step further, through the dialectic of objective reality we can conceive and make presupposition about the absolute.

My point of view is somewhat in between, as a Kantian, first I see Kantian critique and doubts if human perception and the power if reason was an underestimation of reason per Se (for in one of his quote saying reason is above everything), with the complexity of the physical world and our inability to perceive things that happen around us and we are unaware if it, I think Kant is somewhat justified to pump epistemology such a tremendous doubt.

On the other hand, my love for the complex philosophical and at the same time spiritual Hegelian process which to me make sort of harmony between western philosophy and eastern supra-mundane reality makes me to think again about Hegel’s validity and his dialectical/historical approach which has made a major twist in epistemology.

Anyway Tosin, as a Hegelian could you explain to me, does Kant’s doubt still tackle your mind?or is it Hegel that gave you the utmost philosophical certainty at least epistemological. or in other words can we commensurate the two perspective or is it impossible?

My Answer.

Kant as you say underestimate the power of reason to know the “ thing in itself” , which to Hegel is a betrayal of reason from this great philosopher.

Kant believes reason fall into contradiction when it make attempt to find answer to the transcendental questions. He define and explains those contradiction in his antinomies of reason. Kant doubt the power of reason and put reason itself into critique. I think that is Kant’s greatest merit. With that critique he set a new paradigm in philosophy, those paradigm exist as a result of response to Kant’s critique.

Kant is the true philosopher, without him philosophy could not have attain is highest self. Through him philosophy become a systematic science. Since Kant doubt the ability of reason, which result in a low confident in reason, Hegel on the other hand, help bring a new confidence in reason, he restore reason back to is former glory.

Kant bring out the argument on the impotence of reason, is follow thinkers after him, Schelling, Fichte, Schopenhauer try their best to give the best response to Kant’s argument. But it was Hegel who give the best answer. Kant critique almost expose reason to ridicule and give the skeptic and agnostic something to cheer. In fact is critique open more room for faith to claim power over reason.

Hegel, come to the rescue, he give an elaborate argument, that show how reason rule the world, he make reason the lord of history and shows how reason is embedded in the world, he demonstrate the struggle of reason to know itself and that what Kant see as contradiction is only the struggle of reason to know itself and unity itself in itself in order to become totally itself.

Hegel argument is not without is weakness, but it is one of the best argument that best response to Kant critique. With Hegel reason was resurrected from the flesh and become spirit.

Both Kant and Hegel are both important philosophers and we cannot do without both. If you want to be a good Hegelian, you must also be a good reader of Kant. I believe that any body who want to be a good philosopher must have knowledge of Kant. Why? Because Kant give a good account of the history and struggle of reason in is critique, he touch the core of the problems in philosophy and make philosophy a systematic science. Those who haven’t read Kant and Hegel should not be regard as a philosopher, in fact one can’t grasp the essence of the problems in philosophy without knowledge of Kant and Hegel.

Kant and Hegel are the spirit of modern philosophy just as Plato and Aristotle is the spirit of the ancient philosophy.

According to Baiser, Hegel remains the watershed of modern philosophy and the sources from which the many streams emanate and divides.

Hegel taught us to look at the world and history as a whole not piecemeal. All contradiction are reconciled in Hegel Philosophy. With Hegel reason become at home with itself. Reason comes to know himself in and for itself and in the process attains absolute peace

Hegel Spirit will never die, no amount of hatred against Hegel philosophy by the analytic schools can kill is spirit, is ghost we continue to tormented us philosophers. I find him a worth philosopher,worth studying.

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