In this essay students will choose to write their Essay on Kant or Hegel or a combination of the two. The prompts under each question are intended to guide your response. Use examples from the text readings or summaries in the content section of the modules to support your points.

  • Kant’s Copernican Revolution in Thought
    • How did this revolution in thought differ from the traditional view of knowledge of the time?
    • How did Kant’s discovery of the synthetic a priori aid and support his Transcendental Idealism?
    • In what ways does his account of sensible intuition and categories (concepts) of the understanding support his position about the structure and content human knowledge?
    • What is his distinction between phenomena and noumena and how do they support his position about the limits of human understanding & what we can know?
    • What implications would the ideas of pure reason concerning God, World, and Soul have for Kant’s view of metaphysics.
    • Why must Kant deny Knowledge to make room for faith (485), while Hegel claims that a religious consciousness is an unhappy consciousness (508-509) needing reason not faith to discover its true nature.
  • Hegel’s view of World Spirit
    • Explain the historical development and process of consciousness that Hegel uses to overcome the Kantian split between phenomena and noumena.
    • What is meant by an internalized epistemology that leads Hegel to the idea of historical development of consciousness and a phenomenology of mind?
    • What are the implications of this process for an internal dialectic and how does it escape Kant’s dualism between phenomena and noumena, and our being prevented from knowing the true world that is always veiled by our own representations?
    • How does self-consciousness arise from the relation between self and other?
    • What were the limits historically in Stoic and Skeptical consciousness that lead to an Unhappy Consciousness that Christianity attempted to solve?
    • How does all of this develop eventually into the realization that reason in itself, is identical with all reality and involved in a process in which “God” is coming to comprehend itself through us”? 

Explanation & Answer length: 2 pages

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