Kant see it?

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by JDMvW, Dec 3, 2020.

  1. Does photography have any Categorical imperatives?

    Does "f/8 and be there" count?

    Vincent Peri likes this.
  2. No.
  3. Isn't the sunny categorical imperative: f/16 and 1/ISO.
    Sanford likes this.
  4. The categorical imperative demands absolute necessity, in other words it must happen universally and under absolutely ALL conditions. There can be no qualifications. For Kant, it was also a moral basis, not a practical one.

    Most importantly, the categorical imperative applies to man (meaning "people") alone and it applies to man's reason.

    Much photography is guided by more important things to it than reason, so I'm with Mike.

  5. Are we talking about the guy who hung out with Hagel, Schlage and Schiller? Kant understand any of it.
  6. I think Kant used to babysit for Hagel Hegel! :)
  7. Dustin McAmera

    Dustin McAmera Yorkshire, mostly on film.

    Would it be the principle that photographs are an absolute good thing, and therefore making more of them is a good way to spend our time?

    ..but I'll see your 'f/8 and be there' and raise you 'take the lens-cap off'.
    davidspahr, Supriyo and samstevens like this.
  8. :)

    Interestingly, Kant and photography go together well. Kant says that there is a real world out there but we can’t know it. We don’t have access to reality, just to our perception and experience of it. What we see is filtered through “categories” structured in our minds. An absolute good, for him, would be a human, moral way of being, not an activity like photography. But it seems to be that photographs which sometimes get mistaken for the things in the world they are photographs of are very much like Kant’s idea of human perceptions. Our perceptions, for Kant, bring us a representation and sometimes an enhancement and sometimes a restricted or even false view of reality. Photos can do the same.

    The only Kantian categorical imperative I can imagine would be, “Photograph others as you would have them photograph you,” which I don’t think works for photography much better than the Golden Rule works in real life.
    Jochen likes this.
  9. raises the question of the relation, or not, of the Categorical Imperative and the Golden Rule,
  10. Indeed, they're related but perhaps more like cousins than sisters. The Golden Rule is more individual and more empirical ... "as you would have others do unto you." The Categorical Imperative, though there are some instances of it that sound more like the Golden Rule, is a more universal maxim. Most importantly, Kant's Imperative comes from rationality itself and tells us to act as we would want all others to act to all others, in similar circumstances. Kant's is a universal law in that it makes all others the basis for how we act, not just how we would want to be treated.
  11. In terms of any kind of moral question and photography, I find myself to be on a comfortable track when I think of it as a shared endeavor with my human and non-human subjects and my human (and sometimes non-human:)) viewers. Photography is something shared with the world itself because the camera is so often pointed at it, and something I also share with viewers. Sharing, at its most potent, involves empathy, which is a good place for any universal moral maxim to start.

    There's plenty of room for a strong will or ego in there, if you make room for it, especially since so many of us share in having a strong sense of self.
  12. Take the lens cap off.
    PapaTango likes this.
  13. Can't do Kant, but I do think Hegel explains it all.
  14. Hegel explains? Hmm...
  15. Ah, but as another famous pair of philosophers indicated, you need to turn "Hegel on his head"
  16. @samstevens

    Hypnotoad?? Not to be confused with Hypnoken or Pepe, I'm sure. It is, however, somehow strangely appropriate. o_O

    There is singing sometime after 2 minutes, but with my hearing, I couldn't make much out of it.
  17. OK, while we are at it, let's add Wittgenstein to the list of those who explain it. Between him and Hegel nothing else needs to be said.
  18. Wittgenstein even rejected his own explanations in his later and more seasoned reflections, less explanations than written impressions.
  19. Kant’s brilliance was shaped by a strict mindset, thus the imperative sought and found. Wittgenstein yielded to a change in core thinking which became a kind of lack of core thinking, thus a more malleable approach to life’s questions.

    The notion of imperative doesn’t suit how I view and practice photography. I’ll usually choose a could over being dictated to by a should.

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