Welcome to Critical Philosophy.
A short introduction is in order. I am a law student and possessor of an undergraduate degree in philosophy. Though my time is monopolized by study of the law, I have not yet been cured of the philosophy bug. One might say that I have had the fate to be in love with metaphysics. Though I cannot favor her with my undivided attention, still I cannot avoid a temptation to transcend the mundanity of American jurisprudence and engage in speculation about the principles of knowledge and reality. This blog will provide a way to relieve that urge by indulging it.
This blog will concentrate on Kant's critical project and its impact on subsequent philosophy. Kant's position in the history of Western thought cannot possibly be elevated more by anything I could write here, though I hope to emphasize that position, both by reminding those who forget what an impact Kant has had these past two centuries and by informing those who are ignorant of his immense importance and continuing relevance. The Critique of Pure Reason overthrew the accepted wisdom of its day in a way every bit as revolutionary as Newton's laws of motion rocked the foundations of physical science. Philosophy before Kant is obsolete in light of his critique of the origin and justification of cognition; though many attempt to return to the naive views of (for instance) Descartes or Locke, they always come to grief. Corresponding to Kant's effect on philosophical positions prior to him is a deeply-felt effect on all subsequent philosophical investigation. The movement known as German idealism, though growing in its own haphazard way in directions different from and sometimes contrary to those indicated by Kant himself, owes its existence to Kant's transcendental idealism. 20th-century philosophy of language owes a debt to Kant's recognition of the capacity of the tool of cognition to affect the perception of the objects of that cognition. In even subtler ways, even bitter enemies of Kant (like Friedrich Nietzsche and Ayn Rand) have absorbed Kant's epistemological and ethical theories and take them into account, often unconsciously, in the explication of their own thought.
Therefore, although philosophy has moved on since 1781, when Kant published the first edition of his Critique, it has grown out of the soil of critical philosophy. Investigating the history of philosophy before and after Kant, this project will be able to show how old problems in philosophy had new light shed on them by transcendental idealism, and how philosophers since Kant have dealt with the problems he himself introduced to the world. Even if a specific Kantian solution to an issue strikes us as insufficient, it provides a philosophically mature way of considering the issue, and will enable us to reach a more satisfactory resolution in the end.
Of course, in some fields - metamathematics, for instance - I will argue precisely against Kant. But even in those areas, Kant states the opposition thesis and develops the argument for it intelligently, and having such worthy opposition will enable us to understand all the nuances without fighting straw men.
Ultimately, despite the concentration on Kant, this blog will be a philosophical blog with general scope. Kant may be the focus of the orbit, but that orbit will be eccentric indeed. I freely invite the reader to offer criticism, to provide correction wherever needed, and to join me in the effort to understand the world better through an uninhibited critique of reason, sense, and reality.