AN APPRAISAL OF KANT’S PERSPECTIVES ON HUMAN KNOWLEDGE

AN APPRAISAL OF KANT’S PERSPECTIVES ON HUMAN KNOWLEDGE

ABSTRACT

There is a dialectical relationship between theory and practice, which finds expression in Kant’s philosophy. From the Socratic era to the modern period of Philosophy, philosophers were preoccupied with the investigation into the nature, scope, and limits of human knowledge, an enterprise that culminated in the emergence of the rationalist and the empiricist schools of thought. As an attempt to mediate between these traditions, Kant’s critical method in philosophy aims primarily at performing a critique of our mental faculties, investigating what we know, defining the limits of knowledge, and determining how the mental processes by which we make sense of the world affect what we know. As a philosophical reflection premised on Kant’s epistemology, this discourse aims at establishing that Kant made landmark contributions to the development of human knowledge. It also aims at substantiating the fact that one’s knowledge invariably conditions one’s perception of values. The qualitative research design was adopted for this work. The expository, analytical, and critical methods were used to expose and put into proper perspective Kant’s critical philosophy with a view to highlighting its implications for the quest for true knowledge. Hence, the specific objectives of this study are to (i) expose the basic tenets of Kant’s theory of knowledge (ii) examine the extent to which Kant’s ideas advanced the course of epistemology, and (iii) provide insights on how the inherent merits of Kant’s epistemology can foster the promotion of human knowledge and values.