Kant and the problem of Meaningfulness or Meaningless of Metaphysics
Authors: Masoud Omid
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One of the most important questions on Kant’s philosophy is the meaningfulness or meaningless of metaphysics. This article tries to answer two questions on Kant’s philosophy:
1- Is the metaphysics, in the philosophy of Kant, meaningful or meaningless?
2- Is the meaningfulness or meaningless of metaphysics, for Kant, so important for contemporary philosophy?
In this paper, firstly, I argue that we can call Kant’s approach to Metaphysics not as a linguistic one (including; language metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of ordinary language or linguistics) but it is a transcendental epistemology. Secondly, in terms of problem-based, the meaningfulness or meaninglessness of metaphysics not only is not the basic problem of Kant, but his philosophy in a clear, distinct and independent manner, involves not such an issue. Thirdly, on the problem of the meaningfulness and meaninglessness of metaphysics, it could be accepted that Kant's philosophy seems to have the backgrounds, indications, and implications
For the second question, it could be distinguished two levels of meaningfulness or meaningless in Kant's philosophy: linguistic and nonlinguistic levels. The linguistic level are considered from two directions, i.e., the parts or components (words and metaphysical propositions) and the whole (as the science of metaphysics).
In the linguistic level, in one hand, I argue that the metaphysical words or propositions are not meaningless, but on the other hand, the proposition that “Metaphysics is a science” is a meaningless proposition. In the nonlinguistic level, metaphysics due to not reaching to the ends and goals seems meaninglessness as well.