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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Keith Ward on Kant

There was a past discussion at dotCommonweal about philosophy and religion which made me think of Kant. I first learned about him in college but I never understood what he wrote .... I can remember one class where all we discussed was the introduction to the Critique of Pure Reason, and still I was lost. I came away with only one idea from his work - that the appearance of the world (like space and time) and the world in its reality are not the same.

That dotCommonweal post reminded me of a video lecture by former Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford, Keith Ward, and I looked it up. It was really interesting and for the first time Kant seemed semi-intelligible to me. Here is the video ....


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watched complete speech. Ward is good in many ways, but, to me,at least, always comes across as an apologists. It seems he finds in Kant, and others, what he sets out to find. But still a good Christian apologetic of Kant. Jack

10:46 AM  
Blogger crystal said...


Yes, he does come from a Christian perspective and tries to show Kant wasn't an atheist. I think he's right that Kant believed in God, but not the God most Christians believe in .... as Ward pointed out, Kant didn't accept scripture or religious experience as good sources of info about God, and he thought the existence of God could not be provedn (or disproven).

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crystal, here is my problem. I can't prove that Unicorns exist; nor can I prove they do NOT exist. So do I just take my choice?

BTW. I must tell you that your blog is the best; not just for arguing (you know I do that), but for posting great, important information. Jack

1:12 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

I guess from what Ward said, Kant thought that questions like whether God existed were not 'scientific' type questions that could be proved with observation and data, but we may yet find a unicorn if you believe cryptozoologists :)

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Richard said...

Hence kierkegaard's leap o' faith:)

9:29 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Yes, that's what I was thinking too. Ward said Kant had influenced protestant thought. Kant seems to say that real life compells you to act as if God exists even if you can't prove it. The only thing I remember about kierkegaard is the phrase "fear and trembling and sickness unto death" - not so cheerful :)

9:42 PM  
Anonymous Richard said...

that was kind of my experience. Life forces you to move on. Its like you’re on the ledge and your building's on fire. You have to jump. You don't know where but you know you won’t be going back again. So far so good. And despite the gloomy quality of some of his meditations, they say Kierkegaard was a pretty gregarious and cheerful fellow. So no worries.

10:13 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

I guess that's true for me too, at least where God is concerned. I especially liked the part where Ward said that Kant believed that you don't first believe in God and then conform you actions to what God supposedly wants ....instead you argue from your deepest sende of what's right for the existence of what grounds that, and that's what you call God. Very pragmatic and idealistic at the same time.

10:33 PM  

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