Paper Written By Me On Copernican Revolution Psych Paper

2094 words - 9 pages

Michael Ripert
March 8th, 2018
Philosophy of Human Nature
Prof. Eugene Kelly
Immanuel Kant’s Copernican Revolution
Kant was a German philosopher born in 1724 in Konigsberg, Prussia. He is best known for taking
up the challenge presented by the Scottish philosopher Hume for exactly what we can know as human
beings. Kant asked what are the limits of reason and human knowledge? Kant presents what he declares to
be a Copernican Revolution of the mind, explaining that the mind is not a blank slate receiving
knowledge from the outside world, but rather the mind itself is programmed such that it structures our
experiences in order make them meaningful and to make knowledge possible in the first place. He will
distinguish between how things appear to us ,which is phenomena, from their true nature, which is
noumena, which we can never know. He will also distinguish between judgments that are based on
sensory experience which is aposteriori and judgments that are apriori, and use this distinction to critically
analyze concepts such as the idea of God, the soul, immortality, and free will. Kant also famously brings
out the ethical belief that one should only act in a way that they would be happy if everyone were to act
in the same way, known as the categorical imperative.
A professor of philosophy, Kant says that Hume interrupted his dogmatic sleep, and gave him
investigations in the field of speculative philosophy quite a new direction. Hume was an empiricist,
believing that all knowledge comes originally through sensory experience. Hume explained that things
such as space and time did not really exist, but were concepts that the mind employed in order to make
sense of reality. Likewise, Hume pointed out that there are no such thing as real causes and effects.
Instead, causality is simply a mental construct which allows us to understand things in a predictable and
practical way. Kant embraced this insight, and made it the basis for his philosophy. While Hume had
came to the depressing realization that as human beings we can never have true knowledge of reality since
we are trapped inside our own minds, Kant strived to elaborate precisely what we can and cannot know,
and how knowledge is possible, given the situation.
In the 16th century, the Copernican Revolution took place when the astronomer Copernicus
showed that the planets orbited around the sun, which is the center of our universe. Before Copernicus,
the motion of the planets had convinced people that the Earth was the center of the universe. Copernicus
was able to explain how this motion of the planets was possible using a heliocentric, which means sun-
centered, model. Since the Earth is also in motion, he recognized that the apparent motion of the planets
must take into account not only the trajectories but also the fact that as observers we are placed on a
constantly rotating surface, Earth. In the same way, Kant recognized that in understanding our experience
of things, we must acknowledge...

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