The four questions of Kant and their eventual answers today

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In the Preface of The Critique of Pure Reason, Kant asks three questions that gave the fourth one. His project is an enquiry undertaken by Pure Reason to search out the limits of Pure Reason. The questions are the following:

What can I know?

What ought I to do?

What may I hope for?

What is man?

I will start with the last one just to figure out how we can answer these questions today.

What is man? Or what am I?

I was told by reading Kant and other philosophers that I am a rational being, capable of speaking (Aristotle), living through dialectics so that the Universal Reason can establish itself in the world (Hegel), among other definitions. How did it serve me today?

Since the 20th century, rationality is technical or technological and we are submitted to machines and algorithms. All other fields and walks of life evolve and revolve around infotech and biotech with a progressive absence of critical thinking. I love the Kantian project and I believe Kant is one of the biggest philosophers ever, but we are more emotional and practical beings than highly rational. How can the critical thinking “function” with the massive amount of news and fake news by the minute?

What can I know?

Everything and nothing thanks to social media. It all depends on how we use this tool to our full potential. Potential can differ from one person to another; however technology can be a wonderful tool to learn new skills and to be updated.

What ought I to do?

Other than surviving on all levels, I think ethics are the name of the game for the present and the future. It lies on freedom and courage to step forward and be responsible for the whole world.

What may I hope for?

That’s the most difficult question especially today when the world is stuck between the pandemics and the economy crisis. I think by willing to be flexible and accepting that change is inevitable, by willing to work differently and having a new perspective on life, can we hope for a better future.

2 thoughts on “The four questions of Kant and their eventual answers today”

  1. Your Bang on May-Lynn-o in response to Kant’s questions. And you’ll probably be giggling-ly shocked to hear I’ve nothing to add? What? He’s speechless? — Seriously, I couldn’t agree more (or said it better), citing two of your answers below in particular.

    “We are more emotional and practical beings than highly rational. How can the critical thinking “function” with the massive amount of news and fake news by the minute?”
    “By willing to be flexible and accepting that change is inevitable, by willing to work differently and having a new perspective on life, can we hope for a better future.”

    REQUEST? In retrospect of the racism riots currently sweeping across America, I’d be interested in your take about the psychology of protests, or more directly, the mentality change that happens in large excited protest groups. Perhaps a future post? — WK a dedicated Reader.

    Liked by 1 person

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