The Kantian Premise

“All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason.” – Immanuel Kant

When the critical and skeptical David Hume brutally rejected any knowledge that we obtained by any other means than empirical experience (and even of this, we could not be sure that our perceptions reflected true reality), it was said that Kant was the one to scramble to save the broken shards of the Enlightenment and the power of reason. In my eyes, “scramble” is not the appropriate word to describe an intellectual giant who has refuted the pessimistic cynicism of a philosopher who offered no solution, only despair. Without the objectivity of truth and ability to find such truths by our deliberative, conscious, and rational capacities, what is man but a worm?

The synthesis of sensual perception as organized by a priori intuitions within the mind formulates an image of reality that is distinct and clear, not chaotic and jumbled. The mere power of the mind to organize such information is astounding and Hume has obviously not accounted for this. Not many people know of this great debate so many centuries ago, but I am merely expressing my awe of Kantian argument that there is a true reality apart from subjective perceptions we may have, which is made known to us by reason: Cogito ergo sum.


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