In Critique of Pure Reason Kant famously listed his primary questions:
All the interests of my reason, speculative as well as practical, combine in the three following questions:
- What can I know?
- What ought I do?
- What may I hope?
I find it odd that Kant took such a moralistic angle on his actions and hopes. Why are they framed in terms of ought and may, when they could have been more neutral questions of pure capability? Why not ask what can I do? What can I hope?
I’m sensitive to these kinds of relationships, especially in the ways they can get confused when combined — most of all when that sneaky and garrulous character, the what, starts insinuating himself in questions where he might not be as helpful as he claims to be. The what is pretty glib — a lot of talk, and little action.
In my little 9-page chapbook (which outlines the basic forms of my own enworldment) I permute intuition and object and identified nine combinations. But each of these combinations can themselves be the objects of other intuitions, and those complex combination can also be objects, and so on.
- Intuiting-what knows the what of is, as fact.
- Intuiting-what knows the what of can, as method.
- Intuiting-what knows the what of ought, as ideal.
- Intuiting-how does the how of can, as ability.
- Intuiting-how does the how of ought, as grace.
- Intuiting-how does the how of is, as technique.
- Intuiting-why cares the why of ought, as value.
- Intuiting-why cares the why of is, as taste.
- Intuiting-why cares the why of can, as purpose.