Table of Contents:
Abstract of: The importance of ancient theories for the genesis and systematology of Kant's philosophy. An analysis of the three critics.
Kant is much more influenced by hellenistic philosophy (stoicism, epicureism, scepticism) than by Plato. The thesis of an influence of Plato was hold especially by Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Neokantianism. But Kant's understanding of Plato is that of Cicero's "Orator" or Seneca. Besides, he did not read Plato and Aristoteles himself, but used secondary sources about them. Latin authors, like Cicero and Seneca, were known to him from school. The thesis is divided according to the historical order of Kant's writings, so that both remaining and shanging elements of his philosophy can be shown. The precise place of ancient philosophy in Kant can be described as follows: Kant uses ancient theories to present his philosophy by a special sort of classicism: He operates with antitheses, whose poles are "leading authors": Epicurus/Plato (een in Cicero), Epicurus/Stoics, Aristotle/Plato (since Bonaventura, for Kant present in Leibniz). Nevertheless, Kant's philosophy does not arise from a genuine study of ancient philosophy. No ancient author, but Hume "woke him up". Although Kant's critical philosophy is generally considered as "revolutionary" or "modern", it can be shown that Kant understood it also as a final sum of all previous philosophy. The "technique of nature" in the "Critique of Judgement" is not aristotelian, but stoic. This can be shown both form the words and from the philosophical implications.
The thesis is divided in the following five parts (subdivisions are left out here):
I Introduction; subjekt, aim and method of the present thesis; previous studies; Kant's attitude towards the history of philosophy in general
II From the Dissertation (1770) to the "Critique of Pure Reason" (1781/1787): Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Sceptics
III The "Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals" and the "Critique of Practical Reason"
IV The antiquity in the second part of the "Critique of Judgement", the "Critique of teleological Judgement"