Four Questions on Philosophy
Original title: Quatre questions sur la philosophie
What can I know?
What should I do?
What can I hope for?
What is humankind?
Kant claimed that these four questions cover almost the entire field of philosophy.
– The first question refers to the theory of knowledge. It can be understood as the search for an ultimate truth, a method for good thinking or as a school of doubt.
– The second question refers to the meaning we give to our life: do we find it in happiness, the accomplishment of things or the desire to do good?
– The third question raises the issue of salvation. It leads some to wonder about the existence of eternal salvation, others to hope for a better life.
– Finally, as Kant said at the end of his life, a last question: “What is humankind?” could integrate the previous questions, for this fourth question invites reflection on the human condition.
These four questions will serve as a guide to explore the twists and turns of 2,500 years of philosophy. Each question is a gateway to several possible answers. Each answer is illustrated by a reference author, a theory or a canonical school of thought.
The different philosophical discourses will therefore be listened to with benevolence, without bias, but without fawning. We will not hesitate to push them to their limits, to underline their weaknesses as well as their absences, teasing them in the process. For nothing should be more alien to the philosophical spirit than the dogmatic spirit.
In this way, everyone can make their own way and follow their own path.