Kant Lexicon


Noologism is a doctrine concerning “the origin of pure rational cognition” (A854/B882). Specifically, it locates the origin of such cognitions in reason. In “The History of Pure Reason,” Kant cited Plato as “the head” of the empiricist school, followed by Leibniz.

Plato’s noologism, according to Kant, was “mystical,” in that it claims that human reason has direct, intuitive access to the objects of its cognition (intellectual intuition, whose existence Kant denied). The noologism of Leibniz, on the other hand, is not mystical. It instead attempts to proceed by the analysis of concepts supplied by the human understanding alone. Kant held that analysis of concepts is incapable of yielding substantive judgments.

Noologism is consistent with intellectualism, the doctrine that the only true objects are objects of the intellect and not of the senses.

Opposed to noologism is empiricism, according to which pure rational concepts have their origin in experience.

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