1. The Kantian Enlightenment
Even though Kant claims to be "limiting" knowledge to "name room for faith," his arguments for such limitations never presuppose the standpoint of faith, and instead present an internal critique by reason of itself, simultaneously asserting the absolute aurhority of rationality, and demonstrating, somewhat paradoxically, what the first pronouncement of such a supreme ruler would have to be: a restriction of knowledge, of itself, to "possible experience" and its "conditions," a denial that unaided human reason can discern the nature of reality.
Kant: objects are "really" mental constructions, or that his own enterprise is either a metaphysical抽象/形而上学的（唯心主义） account of the mindʻs inner nature or a psychological inventory库存 of the faculties at work in experience. The issue he virtually invented, the "conditions of the possibility of experience," is a radically new formulation of philosophy's task, and so provides for the first time the appropriate way of thinking about the deepest philosophic issues in the modern revolution. The self-grounding required for modernity to be modernity can now be accomplished without empiricist foundationalism or metaphysical fancies. It will be completely self-determining, not bound to the "given" as foundation. 形上學（英语：Metaphysics）是指研究存在和事物本质的学问, 透过物体形态去探索世界的规律
Kantʻs idealism, then his replacing the great classical and early modern theme of nature with a new issue, a self-legislating or spontaneous subject, determining for itself critically what is to count as an objective claim about nature or a binding claim on other agents, marks the emergence of a wholly modern philosophical project.
By emphasizing Kantʻs modernism, I mean to suggest that his project is more consistent than any other with modernityʻs general self-uncerstanding as an origination in history, a beginning not bounded or conditioned by tradition or religious authority, finally free and independent, and so fully self-conscious about its own possibility.
After Kant, philosophical modernism in the German tradition came to mean the rejection of all forms of metaphysics.
1784 essay "What is Enlightenment?" First, Kant relies simpy on the rhetoric of shame (laziness or immaturity -- self-incurred -- a matter of shame not a matter of historical or political opportunity) --> enlightenment is therefore a matter of "courage." Second, given a certain initial condition, general public enlightenment is inevitable, as if enlightenment is a result of a kind of social dynamic, a dynamic that itself motivates the will of otherwise lazy and immature citizens, and is not the direct result of their will. Third, enlightenment itself is a sacred right of mankind and there is therefore a corresponding duty to promote enlightenment.
Kant does not identify the Enlightenment with the "liberation of theoretical curiosity," the advancement of natural science, or even with the achievement of a critical attitude. All these accomplishments are held to be essential features of modernity, but they all depend on the central Kantian "principle of modernity," freedom, especially the freedom of thought.
an attitude is viewed by Kant as independent of and even a condition for modern theoretical and scientific achievents, it cannot be seen as the result of a theoretical discovery. The inauguration of modernity cannot then be understood as the discovery that human beings are self-determining and not naturally or theologically dependent on finite in ways previously thought. And, this is the beginning of an extremely complex claim in Kant: that his own assertions about human freedom are not matters of fact, or substantial, metaphysical claims. A self-determining freedom is a condition for making any claims about the world or our own action.
Kant believed that there ultimately was no "theory" of freedom, that we were in all senses ignorant of the world of things in themselves and could not claim to know that we were free or could be wholly self-determining, either in evaluating our own beliefs or in directing and assessing our action. Kant attemps to show that in all empirical experience, or representation of objects, and in all intentional activity, there simply are, necessarily, spontaneously self-legislated rules or conditions, that human awareness and action is spontaneously self-determining, whether recognized as such or not.
2. The limits of Transcendental Idealism
first, knowledge is only possible by means of empirical experience of spatio-temporal时空 objects. even so, a form of a priori knowledge other than mathematics, a philosophical knowledge not justified by appeal to direct experience, was available.
Kant argues that what was knowable was exclusively knowable by the empirical procedures and systematic theorizing of modern natural science. However, he also argued that this all did not mean the displacement of philosophy by science, for no science could account "for its own possibility," could, as a science, justify a claim that following some method, or conforming to methodological constrains on theory formation, translation, confirmation, testing and so forth, could be said to produce knowledge. No science in general could explain whether and if so how, knowledge, in the simplest sense, a veridical (truthful) representation of an object, was originally possible.
philosophyʻs new task was to demonstrate and assess the "conditions of the possibility" of various activities, moral and aesthetic experience, as well as cognition, was among the most influencial intellectual achievements in history. --> the end of traditional metaphysics, the attempt by philosophers to show that, if "by reason" we could show a thing must be thought to be, or could not be thought to be, such and such, then the thing simply must be or could not be such and such.
His challenge also inaugurated a very different sort of philosophical inquiry from that familiar to the empiricist tradition, a "formal" conception of philosophyʻs task, no longer about the "nature of things," but about the "conditions" for finding out the nature of things.
self-grounding & autonomy -- modern probles -- Kant seems to want to have it both ways.
In Kantʻs general view of the matter, to be "pre-modern," or in any sense less enlightened than one should be, is to be "uncritical."
Nothng "is" a purpose (or a motive for action) unless taken to be so, spontaneously, by reason.
we produce the representations in a way that must be partially independent of any given material of sensation, and so in some sense self-determined, although certainly not arbitrary.
Kantian principle of modernity is not Cartesian certainty but a principle that resonates with political implications, the achievement of autonomy, reasonʻs complete self-legislation, or its declaration of radical independence and self-sufficiency.