John McDonald, the Director of Student Ministries at Westminster Presbyterian Church, has stopped by my blog to drop a few comments. He has been seen previously at the Florida Citizens for Science blog prodding them with taunts and ill-informed criticisms of evolutionary science.
One of the interesting claims that he has been making repeatedly is that David Hume destroyed Empiricism, and that Immanuel Kant saved science from the pickle Hume put it in. This seemed rather odd, considering that Hume was himself an empiricist – he believed that knowledge derived through observation, rather than pure reason (Descartes et al.) was the way to go. Here are John’s comments on this topic on the KCS blog:
You should be thankful for Kant. He tried to save knowledge and science, because Hume destroyed your every hope to establish knowledge of empiricism alone. How can empiricism escape the critque of Hume? Epistemologically, they can’t even get off the ground and seem to avoid the word “Hume” at all costs. Also, one of the greatest contributions Hume made to philosophy was destroying empiricism, the epistemological system on which your worlview rests. Hume was consistent with his empiricism, and you should be too.
(all comments are as is.)
In the comments of my post on Nancy Pearcey’s recent lecture put on by his church, I challenged John to explain how Hume destroyed empiricism and Kant saved it. None of his comments on the topic ever seemed to explain Hume’s position, so my charge was that his “understanding of philosophy [on this issue] seems to be at the level of a mere powerpoint slide prepared by someone else.” Although John seemed hesitant to explain what he believes about Hume and Kant, I’m inviting him in the comments of this blog to put forward exactly how Hume destroyed knowledge derived through empiricism, and what Kant had to offer the discussion.
Kant, by the way, had a tendency to make assumptions about things such as non-human animals being mere things, but hey, no philosopher’s perfect. Here’s a link to a lecture on Kant’s Rational Religion – it’s not what you think!
I have a hunch what John is getting at, and the problems with it, but I’ll let him do the ‘splainin’.
(Since this is likely to be a lengthy thing to discuss in the comment section, I can edit the formatting of your comments, John, to make it easier for everyone to read.)
While we all wait, please help yourself to some really dumb anti-evolution propaganda pics courtesy of the WPC!