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Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 53, 2008

Theory of Knowledge

Victor Shreiber
Pages 249-266
DOI: 10.5840/wcp2220085334

Philosophy, Kant and the Scheme of Decision-making

Some options to single out the foremost function of philosophy in culture are discussed. As any functioning part has to possess definite level of the internal unity, I begin by tracing out the main views on the unanimity of philosophical knowledge and demonstrate that the opposed variants can be reduced to well‐known contraposition between subject matter (a strong variant) and method (a weak one). I show further that at least one strong version, which identifies philosophical subject matter with the concrete universal being, seizes on only one piece of metaphysics. As a result, the boundary line between strong and weak versions erodes and the strong version converges into the weak one. Finally, I argue that fundamental philosophical themes can be united on the base of three famous Kant’s questions: What can I know? What may I hope? What ought I to do? Difference across modalities testifies against the interpretation of these questions as synopsis. Moreover, these questions correlate well with the three core parts of the making‐decision situation. Such a situation includes a set of possible alternatives and a system or an aggregate of selection criteria for a choice of the variant desired. These two components are logically prior to goal setting. Clearly, to achieve desired object one is to determine what steps are necessary for success. It is no less clear that in the structure of an action, they represent something one ought to do. Thus, specific cultural mission of philosophizing lies in the design and justification of Weltanschauung.