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Courses / Modules / PHIL2027 Kant’s Copernican Revolution in Philosophy

Kant’s Copernican Revolution in Philosophy

When you'll study it
Semester 2
CATS points
ECTS points
Level 5
Module lead
Andrew Stephenson
Academic year

Module overview

Among philosophers in the modern era, Immanuel Kant is widely acknowledged as the most important, original and influential. His challenging book, Critique of Pure Reason, asks what we can know about the nature of reality at the most fundamental level. Can we know about reality in a way that goes beyond science and experience, using reason to discover whether there is a God, or a human soul, or whether we have free will? Kant answers: No. We can know the world only as it appears to us, not as it is in itself. But his original idea is that, rather than being left with the despairing thought that our experience might be an illusion, we can turn to investigate the way the mind must work in order to experience anything at all, and discover how the world we construct for ourselves obeys necessary rules, and how we can distinguish in a new way what is objective from what is merely subjective. The aim of this module is to introduce and explain the philosophical positions and arguments advanced in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, and encourage critical reflection upon them in the light of recent philosophical commentary.