Thursday, July 12, 2007

Kant and the Artist-Genius

I know, I lied. I said that I would post twice yesterday and failed. Things came up and I apologize for the tease. Let me update you on my progress with my research.

Thankfully, Plato is now temporarily in the past. I have finished that section of the diss and am now onto the part of my argument that deals with Kant and his concept of the artist-genius. Now, Kant's concept of the artist-genius in not terribly complicated. But I figure that it really important that I can at least place this idea within his larger thoughts about metaphysics and reason - since this is also one of his main accomplishments. So this gets a lot more complicated. In essence, since my paper is not about Kant I must simplify some very complex ideas. Specifically, of interest to me is Kant's re-forming of the idea of a priori concepts. That is, truths that we know about the world that is outside of our experience. He tries to figures out what about the world we can know about the a priori world through our cognitive powers alone.

Kant is confronting his own teachers in the rationalistic metaphysical tradition when he argues that perhaps assuming that cognitive reasoning is capable of metaphysics is dogmatic. He argues that there are things that we know about the world that are not analytic and cannot be derived from reason. How can one explain this?He argues that we seem to have knowledge of relations in the world based on something else besides reason, this he attributes to intuition-- particularly, this is true with our understanding of space and time. He calls this mental process synthetic judgments, and even though we believe these synthetic a priori judgments to be true we have to realize that they don't tell us anything about the world in itself but rather about the world as appearance.

Ok- let me sort through the rest and I promise a connection will be made between the artist-genius and Kant's metaphysics.

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