Saturday, July 17, 2021

On Immanuel Kant

I took it upon myself to read the Critique of Pure Reason. That lasted a few days, before I couldn't pick it up anymore. But I will say this: say what you want about Immanuel Kant, he was a great enemy of Objectivism, but he was also a great writer. He takes the fact that his theory is so absurdly crazy that there literally are no real-world examples of his ideas, and turns that to his advantage: "I sacrificed examples in the interests of clarity," is basically what he says, but he says it so much more elegantly. He says "this is the last work there needs to be in philosophy, ever, this answers every question, and you have no choice but to agree with me, you must agree with everything I say," then, in the next sentence, obviates any anger the reader might feel at being talked to with such arrogance, by saying that any previous philosopher, who put forward any theory of the soul or reason, was actually being far more arrogant than Kant--which is obviously not true, but the quality of Kant's prose form was so good that he makes the reader feel as if it was true. I think Kant's staying power in philosophy, at 300+ years and counting, owes more to how good of a writer he was, and far less to the quality of his philosophy.