A Short Critique of Kant’s Unreason
This essay is a brief critical analysis of some of the salient epistemological and ontological ideas and theses in Immanuel Kant’s famous Critique of Pure Reason. It shows that Kant was in no position to criticize reason, because he neither sufficiently understood its workings nor had the logical tools needed for the task. Kant’s transcendental reality, his analytic-synthetic dichotomy, his views on experience and concept formation, and on the forms of sensibility (space and time) and understanding (his twelve categories), are here all subjected to rigorous logical evaluation and found deeply flawed – and more coherent theories are proposed in their stead.
My writing the present essay focusing on some of Kant’s illogical views should not of course be construed as a rejection of everything he says. I regard many of his contributions as very interesting and instructive. Moreover, I am well aware that a philosophical system as broad and complex as Kant’s cannot be treated fairly in a few pages, particularly without claim to expertise in Kant’s philosophy. All I hope to do here is roughly sketch some of his basic ideas, and give my logical comments in relation to them. Many of these comments are, I think, original, and that is why I feel some urgency in writing them down. Of course, it would be nice if one day I have the courage to take up the daunting task of writing a large and detailed book on Kant’s thought, but in the meantime this brief exposé will have to do.