Of the Enlightement philosophers, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant, which was the most influential with respect to description of the nature of reality?
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In certain ways, the work of Immanuel Kant can be considered a synthesis of the best that is found in the other three. The major problem with Berkeley is that his idealism requires, to make any form of knowledge meaningful, the possibility that we can know things in themselves, as opposed to mere perceptions. Hume's notion of reality has influenced many modern philosophers, especially his arguments that such regularities as causation are things we impose on our perceptions. Although Kant's "dogmas" (the synthetic-analytic and a priori-a posteriori distinction) have been criticized by Quine, inter alia, nonetheless, most philosophers argue that his notion of the synthetic a priori, and the way it accounts for how we participate in the construction of reality, has been the foundation of most subsequent philosophical systems.
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