Kant's Philosophy as Rectified by Schopenhauer

9781512040807: Kant's Philosophy as Rectified by Schopenhauer
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From the Introduction.

Although Kant's discovery of the à priority of Time, Space, and Causality was as great an epoch in the history of philosophy as the law of gravitation in that of science, and rests on a more solid foundation than a mere empirical induction, which is only valid as far as experience goes, it may be confidently asserted that what is true in the transcendental philosophy is still either totally ignored or totally misunderstood. The reasons for this are not far to seek. After the death of Frederick the Great, who was notoriously a free-thinker, Kant was threatened with expulsion from the University of Königsberg, and compelled to discontinue writing, because the inferences from his philosophy were supposed to be subversive of religion. That the real enemies of religion were, not Kant, but those that sought to make its vital truths depend on metaphysical jugglery, I will prove in the concluding chapter. The consequence was that a man who proved that a science of Metaphysics is impossible was replaced in Germany by a crowd of sham philosophers, whose art, according to the greatest of all Germans, consisted in the substitution of "words of learned length and thundering sound" for ideas,' thereby giving to ignorant people the impression that some profound wisdom must lie concealed behind their incomprehensible jargon.

Translations of their books, owing to idiomatic differences in the languages, are a great deal worse than the original, and English students must, in consequence, either treat philosophy in general as a joke, or learn by heart what can convey no meaning to them, in order to score marks at examinations. Not long ago I listened to a lecture on Hegelism by one who is considered the most distinguished Englishman of the present day in this field of thought, and he expressed regret that language failed to make clear what Hegel really meant. But "la claré est la bonne foi des philosophes," and where the language fails, the "bonne foi" must go with it, which I will show to be true in regard to Hegel. What sort of pabulum is provided for the enlightenment of the English student may be seen by reference to Prof. Bosanquet's translation of Lotze's Metaphysics. The translator himself gives the meaning of "Vorstellung" as " imagination," which would identify Kant's idealism with Berkeley's, an assumption against which the former indignantly protested; while Lotze either misunderstands or misrepresents Kant's proofs of the à priority of Space and Time, being diametrically opposed to him even where he pretends to agree with him in regard to the " subjectivity" of space, because his application of the word "subjective" is a false one. I will give quotations to support all this. But perhaps the most important, reason why Kant remains unknown is the fact that the solid foundation which he laid in the Aesthetik was rendered nugatory by the superstructure with which he intended to complete it in the Analytik.

This, although a work of genius, is false from beginning to end, and nobody but Schopenhauer could replace it, and at the same time point out where Kant was led astray. His Principle of the Sufficient Ground is, therefore, the completion of the Aesthetik, and nobody can grasp what Transcendental Idealism really means until he has understood the former....

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