Please explain Immanuel Kant's theory of reality.

In the Critique of Pure Reason, Immanuel Kant's theory of reality states that reality cannot be experienced directly, since it is shaped within the mind of the individual by subjective perceptions.

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Immanuel Kant has a reputation as a difficult and abstruse philosopher, but his Critique of Pure Reason has been so influential that the theory of reality that it contains can sound rather obvious. The central point Kant makes is that we think of the mind as merely reflecting reality, like...

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Immanuel Kant has a reputation as a difficult and abstruse philosopher, but his Critique of Pure Reason has been so influential that the theory of reality that it contains can sound rather obvious. The central point Kant makes is that we think of the mind as merely reflecting reality, like a mirror. In fact, however, the mind creates reality. The fact that it does this using raw materials from outside itself means that people can agree to some extent on what reality is like. However, this agreement will never be perfect, since you organize the elements of reality in your mind according to what matters to you.

To understand this idea in concrete terms, imagine a park in which there are several people. A and B are young lovers who have recently met and are walking in the park together. C has arrived early for a job interview in a building beside the park and is waiting nervously until it is time for him to go inside. D is an old man whose wife has just died, and he is sitting in the park remembering her.

All these people are in the same park, but they perceive it differently, which is to say that they construct it differently inside their heads. A may be concentrating almost entirely on B, but has a general impression that the park is beautiful. B is much more interested in the scents and colors of the flowers, which her love for A makes her appreciate even more keenly. C is focused mainly on the clock-tower beside the park and the space between himself and the building where his interview is to take place. D is looking at the trees and recalling how he used to sit under them with his wife. Each of these people is taking the elements of the park and arranging them differently in his or her mind to create a subjective reality out of the same set of shapes, colors, and textures.

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