In this endeavour he forms with Herbart an opposition to the philosophies of Fichte, Schelling and Hegel, which aimed at objective and absolute knowledge, and also to the criticism of Kant, which aimed at determining the validity of all human knowledge.
In 1890 appeared The Development of Theology since Kant, and its Progress in Great Britain since 1825, which was written for publication in England.
Such are the four points of Cartesian method: (1) Truth requires a clear and distinct conception of its object, excluding all doubt; (2) the objects of knowledge naturally fall into series or groups; (3) in these groups investigation must begin with a simple and indecomposable element, and pass from it to the more complex and relative elements; (4) an exhaustive and immediate grasp of the relations and interconnexion of these elements is necessary for knowledge in the fullest sense of that word.4 " There is no question," he says in anticipation of Locke and Kant, " more important to solve than that of knowing what human knowledge is and how far it extends."
But the Cartesian theory, like the later speculations of Kant and Laplace, proposes to give a hypothetical explanation of the circumstances and motions which in the normal course of things led to the state of things required by the law of attraction.
Otto Pfleiderer, Development of Theology in Germany since Kant (1890).
It is important to notice that Baumgarten's first work preceded those of Burke, Diderot, and P. Andre, and that Kant had a great admiration for him.
In earlier life he had been a zealous student of Kant and Hegel, and to the end he never ceased to cultivate the philosophic spirit; but he had little confidence in metaphysical systems, and sought rather to translate philosophy into the wisdom of life.
Kant described it as "an irrefutable book."
As Kant put it, this was "the proclamation of a great reform, which, however, will be slow in manifestation and in progress, and which will affect not only your people but others as well."
The moral interest, which is so decisive on this question in the case of Kant, dominates Bishop Butler also.
Although this argument has the support of such great names as Butler and Kant, yet it will repel many minds as an appeal to the motive of self-interest.
It is curious, but, unless for the study of Kant, unimportant.
C. Fraser's Gifford Lectures, or in earlier times in the writings of Christian Wolff, whose sciences, according to the slightly different nomenclature which Kant imposed on them, were " rational psychology," " rational cosmology," and " rational theology."
Kant swept away, so far as his influence extended, such " dogmatic metaphysics " and the old-fashioned theism which it constituted or included; but Kant himself introduced, in his own more sceptical yet also more moral type of theistic doctrine, a new trichotomy - God, Freedom, Immortality, the three " postulates " of the practical reason."
Two regions become prominent in the working out of intuitionalism, if still more prominent in the widely differing philosophy of Kant - the regions of mathematics and of morals.
Mansel there were sweeping changes in the direction of agnosticism - changes due partly or primarily to the influence of Kant.) Memory is included among First Principles.
True, Kant refers often to the ideal of a " perceptive " or " intuitive understanding," whose thought would produce the whole of knowledge out of its native contents.
" Things in themselves " - whether defined by Kant, illogically enough, as causes of sensations, or again defined by him as the ultimate realities towards which thought vaguely points - in either case, " things in themselves " are unattainable by any definite knowledge.
So far as a remedy for scepticism is found at all, Kant places it, not within theoretic knowledge, but in moral or " practical " experience.
Mansel charged Kant with inconsistency in this preferential treatment of the moral consciousness; all our knowledge, even in moral things, was " relative " and was " regulative."' But, whether consistent or inconsistent, Kant was deliberate in differentiating between the ethical and the theoretic knowledge of man.
The good man is the perfectly rational or perfect self-consistent man; and that is a full account of virtue, though Kant professes to re-interpret it still further in a much more positive sense as implying the service of humanity.
True, at a later stage, the opposition of sense and thought reasserts itself strongly with Kant even in ethics.
But this strong assertion is greatly qualified when Kant recurs to what he considers the least discredited portion of our theoretical knowledge.
In the Critique of Judgment, Kant restates his new type of theistic argument in a way which has had great subsequent influence.
Kant then has broken away from intuitionalism by substituting one system of necessity for the many necessary truths or given experiences from which intuitionalism takes its start.
If there arises a system of philosophy in which all truths are grasped in unity, and it is seen that the principles of things must be what they are, such a philosophy will give us in perfection the idealistic conception of reality and the idealistic guarantees of truth which Kant gave brokenly.
Kant had fewer isolated points of departure than intuitionalists; yet gaps and isolation recurred in Kant, and helped to make him the father of modern agnosticism.
Kant had substituted one great necessity, sprung from an ideal source.
But, having said this, Kant went on to repeat the sceptical suggestion.
Used by Kant sceptically of the limitations of reason, dialectic in Hegel becomes constructive; and scepticism itself becomes a stage in knowledge.
Again, these contrasted philosophies throw light upon the meaning of a posteriori and a priori in Kant and subsequent writers.
Kant, like Leibnitz, seeks to reconcile the mechanical and teleological views of nature, only he assigns to these different spheres.
In his Naturgeschichte des Himmels, in which he anticipated the nebular theory afterwards more fully developed by Laplace, Kant sought to explain the genesis of the cosmos as a product of physical forces and laws.
So far as the evolution of the solar system is concerned, Kant held these mechanical causes as adequate.
4 Kant held it probable that other planets besides our earth are inhabited, and that their inhabitants form a scale of beings, their perfection increasing with the distance of the planet which they inhabit from the sun.
In his cosmology Kant thus relies on mechanical conceptions, in his treatment of organic life his mind is, on the contrary, dominated by teleological ideas.
Just as Kant thus sharply marks off the regions of the inorganic and the organic, so he sets man in strong opposition to the lower animals.
From this capability of natural development (which already involves a teleological idea) Kant distinguishes the power of moral self-development or selfliberation from the dominion of nature, the gradual realization of which constitutes human history or progress.
(2) Kant is often supposed to mean by a priori - see Hamilton's Reid, p. 762 - " innate " as opposed to " acquired from experience."
(3) If we accept the suggestion offered above - that a priori in Kant and later thinkers =necessary - we place ourselves on the track which leads from intuitionalism to some form of idealism.
The element of givenness, dominant in empiricism, and partially surviving through intuitionalism even into Kant, is sublimated in Hegel's thinking.
The valid or scientific but metaphysically untrustworthy knowledge, to which Kant shut us up, was knowledge of a mechanical universe.