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Kant: From Rationality to Irrationality

  Although Kant (1724–1804) did not belong to Western modern philosophy, he had a profound influence on Western literature and culture in the 20th century. His influence surpassed that of Hegel, and he was considered the source of modernist literature. Mr. He Lin said: “Modern Western philosophy should be traced back to Kant, the great philosopher who connected the past and the future in modern times. Although later philosophers criticized his theories and put forward different opinions to refute him from different perspectives, he was still the best. The source of modern philosophy. Like a boulder thrown into the sea, he stirred up huge waves or tiny ripples in the philosophical world. Philosophers of various schools of modern Western philosophy were influenced by him to varying degrees, but There is no one who is not related to him.”
  German biographer Arsen Guryuga commented on Kant in his “Biography of Kant”:
  on the one hand, he compressed his perceptual desire for life to such a low level; on the other hand On the one hand, the rational spiritual exploration was brought into full play:
  he spent almost all of his life in a city called Konigsberg, and he never crossed the borders of East Prussia. He neither pursues fame nor seizes power, and neither business nor love can cause him unwarranted troubles. He never got married in his life.
  But his inner life, his spiritual life, was very different. in this field. His achievements are astonishing. In his mind came a multitude of shocking ideas, which were constantly consolidated and strengthened, and fought to the death with others, some of them destroyed, some of them sublimated in the struggle. His mind wandered around the world, seeking to escape the shackles of the world, trying to gain insight into the vast universe. His thoughts burrowed into the depths of the human soul, seeking to know himself. His thoughts were tense and agitated.
  Kant was in an age of reason. Kant asserts: “Our age may be called the age of criticism. Nothing escapes this criticism. Religion tries to hide behind the holiness, law tries to hide behind dignity, and the result is raising suspicions about them, and They have lost their sincere respect for them. Because only things that stand up to the freedom of reason and public scrutiny can win the respect of reason.” Kant used reason as a weapon to criticize everything, but at the same time he found that we are using reason as a weapon. Before we criticize everything, should we criticize reason itself? Before we criticize everything with weapons, should we criticize the weapons themselves? Before we use tools, should we study tools? What is reason? Its content and What are the boundaries? This kind of thinking about reason, thinking about thinking, is the fundamental question of philosophy. If we do not have a clear understanding of these issues, how can criticism be possible? So Kant wrote the first part of his “Three Criticisms”: “Critique of Pure Reason”. The first thing Kant has to do is to criticize and limit reason. The boundaries of reason are not infinite, and reason is not omnipotent. In this way, Kant moves from rationality to irrationality. Kant’s philosophy became the source of irrationalism.
  The so-called irrational trend of thought is not so much a complete denial of reason, but rather a re-criticism and examination of reason in order to examine its power and function. Kant’s philosophy is known as the source of irrationalism, but Kant is always careful to leave a stage for reason to fully display its talents. Irrationalism or anti-rationalism is not irrational or irrational, but is opposed to traditional rationalism, historical rationalism, and the substitution of rationalism for everything. Therefore, anti-rationalism is equally rational, even more so than rationalism. reason. Anti-rationalism is against rational “ism”, not rationality, because anti-rationalism recognizes irrationality and irrationality, so this is actually the progress of rationalism. Heidegger said: “It is only when we finally realize that it has been exalted for a few times” that the rationality of the century is actually the most stubborn enemy of thought, and only then can we begin to think. Heidegger is neither a rationalist nor an irrationalist. In his view, the important thing is to learn to think, to learn to think more rigorously than rationalism. American contemporary thinker Hassan quoted Harry Levine’s point of view in his book “The Postmodern Turn” and analyzed this: “Identifying the irrational is a triumph of reason. But in another sense, it is It reinforces that irrational undercurrent that, when it rises to the surface, I call it ‘postmodern.'” Seen this way. The process of irrationalism from underground to surface is the process of modernism to post-modernism. The relationship between rationality and irrationality is not an either-or, mutual substitution relationship, but a relationship of interdependence and mutual appearance.
  As we all know, Kant himself is very rational, and it is precisely because he is very rational that he recognizes the limits and limitations of reason. Kant taught 13 courses during his 41-year teaching career. They are: Logic, Metaphysics, Physical Geography, Ethics, Anthropology, Theoretical Physics, Mathematics, Law, Philosophical Sciences, Pedagogy, Mechanics, Mineralogy, Theology. He put forward the famous nebula hypothesis: the struggle, movement and interaction of the two opposing forces, gravity and repulsion, gave rise to the solar system and other cosmic stars, without the help of any divine will or divine intervention, nor, as Newton emphasized, The first push of the external force. He had to think carefully about everything before he acted, so he was a celibate all his life. Twice he wanted to woo a woman, but each time he thought about it for too long, and finally let others get ahead. From Kant one finds that perhaps it is not advisable for philosophers to marry. And this tradition seems to have a long history. Socrates’ wife was a vixen, and he is said to have suffered for it. With the lessons learned, Plato never married. He advocates spiritual love. Kant insists on taking a walk at 3:30 in the afternoon every day, rain or shine, unstoppable. Even people in the town often check their watches according to the moment he went out. Kant never left Königsberg in his life except for one trip to Danzig. in the study and in the classroom. Kant lived a peaceful and orderly life. He insisted on eating one meal a day. A neighbor’s rooster crowing constantly caused him to move. He was very distracted in class one time because a button of the shirt of a student in the front row fell off. He was critical of everything, and he even wrote a Critique of Gastronomy. He has written a textbook on pedagogy, but has never applied it himself. He had a principle of paying attention only to those students of average intelligence. Because stupid can’t help, genius will plan.
  The core of Kant’s philosophical thought is to divide the world into phenomenon (phenomena) and ontology (noumena), rather than subject and object. The word “phenomena” is of Greek origin and means “obvious”. In Kant, it refers to what is visibly presented to the senses. In the view of some modern Western philosophers, subject and object are inseparable, and it is meaningless to have to divide the boundaries. Just as a person observes nature, he is actually a part of nature himself; while the nature and objectivity in his heart have long been branded with human thinking and concepts. Just as space and time are the prerequisites of experience, there are a priori forms of human sensation, the transcendental forms of rationality, and it is this mental structure or mental category that enables us to describe the phenomenal world, but not ontology from it. In Kant, ontology is also called Ding an sich, free will or God’s free creation. The thing-in-itself is not only the source of knowledge, but also the limit of knowledge; it is both the source of thought and the limit of thought. It is not dependent on human will and is an unknowable other world. Kant believes that people can only know the phenomenon (this side), but can never know the essence. Our knowledge of an object is only to perceive its state of existence, and we do not know its essence. “The detailed knowledge we have is about their appearances, phenomena, and sensations derived from them.” In Wittgenstein’s words, “everything that can be said can be said clearly, and everything that cannot be said can be said. should be silent.” This is a denigration of rationalism and provides a theoretical basis for agnosticism. Kant believes that due to the limitations of man himself, his knowledge must also be limited, and he cannot know what he is; due to the contradiction of thinking itself, some problems cannot be thought by thinking itself.
  In short, Kant’s mission is to rescue religion from reason and science from skepticism. In Kant’s own words, “I have to limit knowledge in order to make room for belief.” The phenomenal world belongs to science; the thing-in-itself belongs to religion. The foundation of religion is not science and theology, but morality. This is active intuition, conscience, and inner responsibility. Kant believed that the “categoncal imperative” exists, which is a universal sense of duty, an integral part of human experience, and the basis of moral duty or moral imperative. The lingering question in Kant’s mind is: “The bright starry sky above and the moral law in the heart.” He believed that the Christian God exists, because only God exists, ethics and human society can exist, otherwise morality will not exist. It will be reduced to subjective preference, the world will become a jungle, and power will become justice. Schopenhauer commented on Kant as follows: “He broke down the long-established and worshipped false beliefs, and he knew that doing so was risky. At this time, it is better to say that he only wanted to replace a few weak temporary pillars through this moral theology. In this way, Once the destruction collapses, it will not fall on himself, and he will have time to escape.”
  From advocating reason to doubting reason and limiting reason, Kant has established a very close and obvious connection with Western irrationalist philosophy. “In a sense, without Kant’s critical philosophy, there would be no anti-rational philosophy in the modern sense, because while the former demarcates the boundaries of human reason, it also makes room for anti-rational activities.”