Frame: Kant

Most important chapter in the book.  I will have to break this into several posts.

Noumena and Phenomena

“our most basic knowledge comes…by the mind’s impressing it on the world” (Frame 256). The mind structures the concepts of experience.

Kant’s Assembly Line

The assembly line is the mind.  It receives the raw stuff/noumenal.  The transcendental aesthetic adds the ingredients that make it suitable for sense perception.

The transcendental analytic allows us to understand.  Similar to Aristotle’s categories.

These categories  are like the divider in an ice cube tray.

The transcendental unity of apperception says all of the above is meaningless unless held together by a unified experience.  This is a presupposition of experience, not an item of it.

The transcendental dialectic

God is a regulative concept, not a constitutive one.  He is necessary for morality but not for belief.

Frame argument: liberal theology often moves more conservative in language but not content (264).

Problems with Kant (p. 266ff)

  1. To live “as if” God exists is incoherent.  Part of the “acting as if” includes belief, going to church, worship, etc, the very things Kant doesn’t include.  Epistemology is a part of ethics
  2. The human mind replaces Plato’s Forms.
  3. “Kant seeks to interpret an unknowable, unstructured world (the noumena) by applying a knowable structure of categories supplied by autonomous reason (phenomena)(p. 268).
  4. Kant’s knowledge isn’t even a knowledge of the real world.  It is a knowledge of its own structure, “a knowledge the categories imposes on the real world.”
  5. The medieval nature-grace becomes nature-freedom (Dooyeweerd).

One comment on “Frame: Kant

  1. Cal says:

    “liberal theology often moves more conservative in language but not content”

    I think there’s some truth to this, especially regarding to political theologians in the spotlight (I think of Niebuhr and Hauerwas particularly).

    However, knowing where Frame hangs out, this sounds like the kind of witch-hunt mentality that Van-Tillian Westminster East fosters. Presuppositions and “world-view” (though I prefer “social imagination”) are helpful paradigms. But then they become weaponized and used to go after people. It becomes incoherently vicious after awhile, where Van Til could say that Barth can’t affirm the resurrection, even if he does. Whether or not you like Barth, that sentence really is disturbing in its implications.


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