“Kant’s Compromise” is a name for the fact that the philosopher Immanuel Kant is generally viewed as creating a middle ground between the warring philosophical outlooks of (Continental) Rationalism, as epitomized by French philosopher René Descartes, and (British) Empiricism, as epitomized by Scottish philosopher David Hume. The former emphasized the mind, and the use of reason and other mental faculties as the primary way of relating to the world. The latter focused instead on sensory experience and direct evidence. Kant’s Compromise, stated roughly, is that both (sensory evidence and reason/judgment) are necessary.
This is a rare case where I agree with David Hume, one of my least favorite philosophers. As philosophers (or scientists) we are entrusted with the task of theorizing about the world and to trying to understand it to the best of our abilities. But we should never allow the gaps in our theories to destroy the fabric of our everyday lives.
Human comprehension is limited and subject to flaws, and our best and most sure statements about the nature of the world are doubtlessly inadequate approximations. The irreconcilable results that stem from our favored theories, therefore, are more profitably viewed as indications of problems in the theories or in our understandings of those theories, than as indications of flaws in the nature of the universe itself. In my view, intellectual integrity is more honored than endangered by an honest admission of the limitations on intellectual apprehension –with the caveat that we are then honor-bound to keep working to improve our theories to the point where they do work in the world we live in.