The Instigator
socialpinko
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
phantom
Con (against)
Winning
22 Points

Hume was more important in the development of philosophy than Kant

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
phantom
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/18/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,977 times Debate No: 27325
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (11)
Votes (7)

 

socialpinko

Pro

The resolution seems rather self-explanatory. Pro will make the argument that Hume was more important than Kant in the subsequent deveopment of philosophy. Con will make the opposite argument, being that Kant was more important than Hume.


The definition of important will be in some sense subjective. However, the term should be used within reason.


Kant refers to Immanuel Kant, the German philosopher.
Hume refers to David Hume, the Scottish philosopher.


===Rules===


1. Drops will count as concessions.
2. Semantic or abusive arguments will not be counted.
3. New arguments brought in the last round will not be counted.
4. R1 is for acceptance. Argumentation begins in R2.
5. BoP is shared between Pro and Con.
Debate Round No. 1
socialpinko

Pro

A) A substantial part of Kant's overall philosophy was specifically in response to the legacy left by David Hume, establishing a causal link between Hume and a large part of Kant's work. This is corroborated not only by Kant's own account of his influences(ref.a) but by the fact that the actual content of Kant's epistemology is almost entirely an attempt to ground knowledge of the world. Kant accepted more or less Hume's observation that empirical knowledge is unreliable. Kant's concept of synthetic a priori can be seen as an attempt to answer Hume's problem of induction[1].


So Hume not only had a significant influence on the development of philosophy in general, but on Kant in particular which underscores attempt to claim Kant's influence as more significant than Hume's.


B) But on to Hume's more explicit contributions to philosophy and their roles in various developments, I'd like to first focus on Hume's contribution to the development of the philosophy of science. Hume's problem of induction drew empiricist epistemology into murky waters, thus posing an important challenge not only in epistemology but also in the philosophy of science which is more or less empiricism put into practice.


The problem of induction states that mere empirical observation of nature and the world around us fails to provide an adequate epistemic basis for knowledge[2]. Hume's famous example was our observation of the sun rising. We observe it rising every morning, but on the basis of these observations alone there doesn't appear to be any credible reason why we could know (i.e., have knowledge) that it would rise tomorrow. Karl Popper grounded his entire philosophy of science and demarcation as an attempt at answering the problem of induction and rightly pointed out that the problem outlines a critical problem with justificationist epistemology. Hume's contribution in this sense was to negate the classical philosophical conception of knowledge as justified true belief, thus paving the way for new methods of science such as Popper' anti-justificationist critical rationalism[3].


C) The next point I'd like to draw upon is Hume's contribution to ethics. Hume's is-ought problem showed the epistemic limitations in jumping from a given state of affairs to a prescription on what things ought to be[4]. Any philosopher attempting to ground a normative ethic is thus charged with overcoming this limitation. Whereas Kant's deontological ethics are influential as well, they pertain to a limited set of ethical issues i.e., Kant's normative theory only pertained to itself (influence notwithstanding) whereas Hume's fork applies to any attempt to ground normativity.


(ref.a) "I freely admit that the remembrance of David Hume was the very thing that many years ago first interrupted my dogmatic slumber and gave a completely different direction to my researches in the field of speculative philosophy."[5]


===Sources===


[1] http://www2.fiu.edu...
[2] http://plato.stanford.edu...
[3] http://www.criticalrationalism.net...
[4] http://plato.stanford.edu... (Sec. 5)
[5] Preface to Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics (http://www.cambridge.org...
phantom

Con

Before I began I have to note a lot of pros case I see no reason to refute. It’s granted that both philosophers had immense importance in the development of philosophy. It’s just a question of which outweighs the other. As far as I see it, this debate will be much about comparing contributions and arguing the degrees of importance rather than direct negations.

Pro’s case

A) I obviously agree that Kant was influenced by Hume. I do not reject the contention in itself rather just the importance of it. I think it bears some weight that Kantian and Humean philosophy are almost entirely at odds. The two were adversaries. It is not as if Kant’s philosophy was an attempt to complete Hume’s philosophy, otherwise pro would have quite a good point. The path that Hume’s philosophy went, was not followed by Kant. Furthermore, it’s not as if Hume is responsible for Kantian philosophy except just that he was part of the causal process. Every philosopher is influenced by his previous philosophers. It doesn’t mean it takes away from his contribution. When you think of all the people Kant influenced, you don’t say that simply because Hume influenced Kant, it follows that they were influenced by Hume. Kant would be the one who deserved full credit which undermines pros argument.


B) The problem of induction just shows how problematic Hume was. While it was influential, the fact that philosophers would only want to overcome it, undermines its value. Contributions of value are the most important. No one wants skepticism. Thus Hume’s influence was not as important as Kant’s. See contention 1.

C) Granted, it was influential. But influential in what sense? You don’t see theories stemming off the is/ought fallacy. Kant on the other hand, had a system of ethics that just about any deontologist will take from and consequentialist will be hard pressed to refute. See contention 3.


My case


1. Kant brought philosophy to a better place than Hume/Kant’s influence was more important.

Hume brought philosophy to a difficult place. His philosophy lead to skepticism a doctrine that whether it be true or not, no one wants to find himself. Kant revolutionized philosophy. Because of where Hume’s philosophy lead, philosophers want to refute him. Hume lead philosophy to a dire place. My opponent even stated that the problem of induction lead to murky waters. Kantian philosophy however was a very positive influence to philosophy.

So why is it important that Hume was a problematic philosopher? Well Hume was just someone who people wanted to overcome. In other words, they, for the most part, strove to refute him in order to justify their philosophy. That’s very important because the problems he posed are not influential in the sense that philosophers develop theories off of them generally. As stated, they are just problems needed to be overcome. Kant on the other hand, heavily influenced post philosophical theories. People could expand on Kant. Kant was revolutionary. When you think of Hume, you think skepticism. When you think of Kant you think Copernican revolution. Kant’s influences were more important than Humes because they were more valuable to philosophy.



2. Kantian epistemology/metaphysics was revolutionary.

Prior to Kant, rationalism and empiricism were two highly debated epistemic theories. There was much division between the two sides. Kant brought an entirely new theory to epistemology. He advocated a sort of synthesis of both rationalism and empiricism. This synthesis was a highly important turning point in epistemology. Prior to Kant, it was rationalism vs. empiricism entirely. Kant entered a revolutionary new theory into the discussion. [1]

Kant not only devised a whole new theory, he also critiqued the types of knowledge. A priori and a posteriori are the two most known types of knowledge. Kant took a great deal of time discussing analytic and synthetic a priori/a posteriori knowledge. Most famous is his idea of synthetic a priori knowledge. A priori knowledge was largely attributed to being analytic but Kant showed that synthetic a priori knowledge was not just probable but common. One example would be mathematics. 5+7=12 is a synthetic a priori proposition because nothing in the definition of 12 do we get 5+7. No matter how much we analyze the individual terms, we can only reach the outcome by synthetic a priori justification. The idea of synthetic a priori knowledge was quite new and original. [1]


3. Kant was very influential in ethics

Kant’s deontological ethics were very important. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy even states, “He is the most important proponent in philosophical history of deontological, or duty based,ethics.”[2]

Most famous is his categorical imperative where he distinguished from the hypothetical imperative, but he also addressed many other ethical issues. For example, he advanced the notion that emotion is not relevant to morality. If a person helps someone solely out of his sense of compassion, that is not really a moral act. But if he helps the person out of a sense of duty, it is very much so. This helps bring discussion to the fact that plenty of people are not born with emotional attributes of patience, kindness etc…But everyone can still act based off of their duty. This also can be applied to sales people. If they keep their sales at a fair price solely because it helps them get good business, this is not moral. If they do it out of duty however, it is. Kant also introduced the idea that moral responsibility requires free-will and that the intent of the action is what mattered rather than the consequence. Kant’s ethics very much contrasted with utilitarianism and other consequentialist based ethics. Deontologists however, rely much on his philosophy. [3]



4. Kant was the father of German Idealism

German Idealism began with Kants philosophy. He initiated it. Kant's transcendental idealism was about the differences between cognitive appearances and things in themselves. Afterwards, philosophers like Hegel and Fichte took Kant's philosophy further to absolute idealism. Kant also held the position that space and time were forms of intuition. German Idealism partially stemmed from such ideas. Kant’s moral philosophy also had an effect on German Idealists and Fichte even wrote “I have been living in a new world ever since reading the Critique of Practical Reason,” The basis of duty and practical reason over theoretical reason in Kantian philosophy was part of which that struck Fichte most.[4]

5. Kant influenced Romantic philosophy significantly

Northup Frye claimed that "the shadow of Kant's [philosophy] falls across the whole of the Romantic movement."[5] Kant was very influential on Romanticism though he was not one himself. The Romanticists did not fully accept Kant’s dualistic distinction of the noumena and phenomena but were very influenced by it. Also Kant’s defense of free-will was important to the Romanticists. [6]

“Kant’s emphasis on the sublime as subjective experience anticipates the Romantic aim of evoking the emotions and unlocking the depths of subjectivity. That meant that painting should follow music, aiming at the emotions through natural signs, generated by an artist who was able to feel and express the very emotions caused in the observer. The authenticity and spontaneity of the artist become increasingly important. Painting that is deliberately emotive need no longer obey the rules of the academics, and artists begin to paint musically:”[7]


Sources
[1] http://www.iep.utm.edu...
[2] http://www.iep.utm.edu...
[3] Warburton Nigel. A Little History of Philosophy, chapter 20
[4] www.iep.utm.edu/germidea/#H1
[5] http://digitalcommons.macalester.edu...
[6] http://www.kritike.org...
[7]http://www.academia.edu...

Debate Round No. 2
socialpinko

Pro

I concede. My arguments were stretching it and Con is clearly right. Vote Con y'all and enjoy.
phantom

Con

Well thanks for the good conduct and the debate. I enjoyed it while it lasted.

And I feel like I must counter that video.

Debate Round No. 3
socialpinko

Pro

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Apeiron 4 years ago
Apeiron
Aw man! This would have been a perfect debate to use this,

http://drunks-and-lampposts.com...
Posted by phantom 4 years ago
phantom
I google translated that but it still makes not sense.
Posted by helder 4 years ago
helder
a minha stora de filosofia ia amar voce tropa di ouro official
Posted by socialpinko 4 years ago
socialpinko
Meaning rebuttal and your own case.
Posted by socialpinko 4 years ago
socialpinko
Both.
Posted by phantom 4 years ago
phantom
Do I refute your case in round 2 as well as making my own? Or do I just make my case and leave rebuttal for the next round?
Posted by ineversmile 4 years ago
ineversmile
Oh, a pretty interesting subject. I'll be following this one rather closely :)
Posted by socialpinko 4 years ago
socialpinko
The former.
Posted by OMGJustinBieber 4 years ago
OMGJustinBieber
"Important" as in influential or important as in right?
Posted by socialpinko 4 years ago
socialpinko
Why British?
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by Kinesis 4 years ago
Kinesis
socialpinkophantomTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I'm a Hume guy, but a forfeit is a forfeit.
Vote Placed by emospongebob527 4 years ago
emospongebob527
socialpinkophantomTied
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Reasons for voting decision: You kan't beat Kant, so I give the points to Hume.
Vote Placed by philochristos 4 years ago
philochristos
socialpinkophantomTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Although I'm a much bigger fan of Hume than Kant, and would like to vote for Pro, I K'ant. Pro conceded, so arguments must go to Con.
Vote Placed by Chicken 4 years ago
Chicken
socialpinkophantomTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Concession
Vote Placed by RyuuKyuzo 4 years ago
RyuuKyuzo
socialpinkophantomTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Good attempt by pro, but you kant beat Kant
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
socialpinkophantomTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro conceded, I think rightly so in the face of Con's very good arguments.
Vote Placed by Ron-Paul 4 years ago
Ron-Paul
socialpinkophantomTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Concession.