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With criticism (of . Altgriech κρίνειν divorce but, sift, bottom and decide to [ver] judge and judge with κριτική τέχνη : the art [craft] assessing distinction; see also criticism , criterion , crisis ) called Immanuel Kant his fundamental approach of asking epistemology about the conditions of the possibility of knowledge and the validity of judgments. Thus with Kant the categories as a priori forms of thought are the basic prerequisites and tools of judgment and perception. Kant's criticism is a result of his Critique of Pure Reason .

Preceding and following epistemological approaches

With this question he consciously differentiated himself from the philosophical approaches which deal with the question of what knowledge is. In particular, the demarcation from the prevailing currents of empiricism , rationalism and skepticism was important. At the same time he turned with this designation against the metaphysics resulting from his perspective dogmatism , which he held up beliefs about statements beyond human experience. - Kant illustrates the connection between these different approaches by means of an interpretation of the history of philosophy. He compares dogmatism with childhood, skepticism with youth, and criticalism with mature manhood. This represents the middle between rationalism and sensualism . The sensualistic approach is taken into account under the concept of the basic relation .

But Kant goes beyond that and demands that the conditions for the validity of the judgments must be clarified. Kant founds validity with the transcendental subject , a pure concept of reflection that represents the synthesizing third, as in later philosophies, for example, mind in Hegel , work in Marx or will , power , language , etc., and cannot be perceived through the senses. With Adorno this concept of reflection is found in the concept of negation , which is strictly differentiated from anthropological constructions.

Criticism is also the designation of a current of Neo-Kantianism , which, in addition to Leonard Nelson, was represented in particular by the philosopher Alois Riehl and his student Richard Hönigswald .

Two sources of knowledge

Since Kant, the critical method has been used to describe philosophical investigations that deal with the preconditions for pure rational knowledge. Fundamental here is Kant's assumption that the faculty of knowledge is dependent on its two sources, sensual perception and the concepts of understanding - the categories . The synthesis takes place via the imagination , which supplies the schemes for knowledge. Kant called this his assumption schematism . It was later worked out especially by Jakob Friedrich Fries .

Dispute between Kant and Forster

An example of Kant's criticism is his dispute with Georg Forster . In this dispute, Forster shows Kant his superiority in his knowledge of the " races " based on his experiences as a world traveler. Kant hereby draws Forster's attention to the insight into critical philosophy, which also applies to Forster's wealth of experience. When it comes to questions about the “race”, those who travel through the world without concepts, because they cannot know what they are looking for in the world, get no further. Thus the traveler would find nothing without concepts. Kant formulates this as "mere empirical fumbling around". The word “race” alone does not stand in any “system of description of nature”, presumably “so the thing itself is not everywhere in nature.” However, “the term this expression denotes is ... in the reason of every observer of nature even well founded ”.

What is meant by this is: Concepts of nature are concepts of the subject about nature, which he does not take from nature, but, shaped by his understanding, puts into this nature. The organization and the context, the relationship between things are not given, but depend on how we experience them for ourselves. Kant emphasizes this at various points in his work, for example in his Critique of Pure Reason (KrV):

"We bring in the order and regularity of the phenomena that we call nature ourselves, and would not be able to find them in them either, had we not had them, or the nature of our minds originally put them into it."

- Immanuel Kant: AA IV, 92


  • Kant: About the discovery according to which all criticism of pure reason should be dispensed with by an older one . 1790
  • Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi: About the enterprise of criticism to bring reason to understand . 1801
  • Alois Riehl: The Philosophical Criticism . History and System, 3 volumes Leipzig 1924–1926
  • Bernhard Jansen: The Criticism of Kant . Munich 1925
  • Manfred Riedel: Historicism and Criticism . Kant's argument with Georg Forster and Johann Gottfried Herder. In: Kant Studies 72, 1981

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Georgi Schischkoff (Ed.): Philosophical dictionary. Alfred-Kröner, Stuttgart 14 1982, ISBN 3-520-01321-5 , Lexikon-Stw. Criticism , p. 381; Lexicon-Stw. Basic relation , p. 250
  2. Hannah Arendt : Judging . Texts on Kant's Political Philosophy. R. Piper, Munich 1 1985, ISBN 3-492-02824-1 , p. 106
  3. Kant: On the use of teleological principles in philosophy . In: Kant: Works, Volume VIII, Darmstadt 1968, pp. 141 and 144, Manfred Riedel: Historicism and Criticism. Kant's argument with Georg Forster and Johann Gottfried Herder. See literature
  4. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA IV, 92 .