|Kant's Thoughts On Knowledge
Kant's theory of knowledge is
perhaps the facet of all of his philosophy for which he has been made famous. The finest
statement of Kant's Copernican revolution is "Hitherto it has been assumed that all
our knowledge must conform to objects. But all attempts to extend our knowledge" on
this model have "ended in failure. We must therefore make trial whether we may not
have more success
if we suppose that objects must conform to our knowledge."
This leads him to the conclusion that knowledge must be limited within the bounds of
possible experience and is not available in the area of metaphysical ideas. Nevertheless,
he maintains, "even the assumption-as made on behalf of the necessary practical
employment of my reason-of God, freedom, and immortality is not permissible unless at the
same time speculative reason be deprived of its pretensions to transcendent insight."
In a famous sentence he says, "I have therefore found it necessary to deny knowledge,
in order to make room for faith." These three ideas-of "the freedom of the will,
the immortality of the soul, and the existence of God"-are ultimate objects of
speculative reason and function quite well at the level of rational faith.