Investigating the history of philosophy and philosophers’ views of it are of great significance because the most important source of philosophy and philosophizing is the same field of the history of philosophy. The trend of modern philosophy, whether in the mould of rat More
Investigating the history of philosophy and philosophers’ views of it are of great significance because the most important source of philosophy and philosophizing is the same field of the history of philosophy. The trend of modern philosophy, whether in the mould of rationalism or empiricism, has generally been developed without acknowledging the need for history of philosophy, without making it the center of discussion, and without having a particular historical perspective in this respect. For example, in order to develop his philosophy, Descartes merely focused on the thinker’s capacity and the endless world. Empiricists have also tried to have a share of the knowledge of human nature and the world of qualities and quantities through experimentation. However, when it comes to Kant, at the beginning of his book, Critique of Pure Reason, he focuses on the possibilities of human knowledge, while he finishes this work with a section entitled “History of Pure Reason”. Even the opening section and some of his words in his Prolegomena to any Future Metaphysics reflect certain perspectives and points concerning the history of philosophy. Therefore, it can be said that he was, to some extent, interested in the history of philosophy and even believed that he owed the development and consolidation of his philosophy to perceiving the nature and history of metaphysics and the related sciences and teachings. Kant found out that it would be impossible to understand the nature of philosophy or conduct philosophical inquiries and discoveries without first studying the history of metaphysics and other philosophical and empirical sciences. The rise of subject and its transcendental nature would have also been impossible without considering the history of philosophy and sciences and following a historical approach regarding systematic human sciences. However, Kant did not deal with the history of philosophy by itself; rather, he focused on the history of philosophical studies. Moreover, even at this point, the relation of the history of philosophical studies or a historical approach to the definition, restriction, and specification of subject is not of a constitutive knowledge-producing type; rather, it can be of a regulatory functional type. The history of philosophical studies could function as a guiding principle for philosophical understanding and work and highlight the signs and traces of the subject. Nevertheless, it cannot, by itself, define or create the subject, for Kantian subject has a historical aspect but is not a historical entity. In other words, the subject is a historian, perspectivist, and history-bound but is not of a historical nature. The history of philosophy is the occurrence condition of the subject and not its transcendental condition. The transcendental conditions of the subject are internal and included in its definition rather than being external, historical, and accidental. The present paper examines Kantian views of the history of philosophy in order to reveal this neglected and hidden aspect of his philosophy. In doing so, it explores some problems such as the meaning and definition of history of philosophy, history of interest in philosophy, end of history of philosophy, difference and similarity between history of philosophy and history of science, classification of history of philosophy, the relationship between philosophy and history of philosophy, the relationship between the philosophy of history and history of philosophy, and the like from Kant’s point of view.