1 of 3
1
Kant
Posted: 31 August 2012 10:48 PM   [ Ignore ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  152
Joined  2012-08-29

Why does this name still generate respect when it is invoked?  Why would the author of such unadulterated drivel still be informing some the greatest moral thinkers of our age?  One need not read past book one of his Critique to read a full admission that all of his ideas are bogus.  He first attempts to prove the existence of a priori knowledge via the human perceptions of space and time.  He offers no further proof, being satisfied to rest upon that.  He then postulates without attempting to offer proof that a priori supersedes empirical knowledge.  Finally, he states that if you haven’t followed him this far you may disregard all that follows and throws in a dig that the only reason you could have for not having followed him is a lack of intellectual capacity.

The problem he has, it that we now know that space and time are actually different dimensions of the same empirical phenomenon and we have studied them empirically with fruitful results.  Yet here we stand in the year 2012, and people still pay lip service to a philosophy that had its foundation shattered by Einstein over a century ago. 

Kant is irrelevant.  He is sophistry founded upon a bad guess and we can never profit an iota by considering a problem through the lens he proposed.  I keep my copy of the Critique of Pure Reason in my gym bag where it serves as a spacer between my shoes and the end of the bag to prevent contents from shifting.  So long as I never lack for cooking fuel, this the highest use I will ever derive from my ownership of those pages.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 September 2012 11:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  122
Joined  2011-05-10
TheCoolinator - 31 August 2012 10:48 PM

Why does this name still generate respect when it is invoked?  Why would the author of such unadulterated drivel still be informing some the greatest moral thinkers of our age?  One need not read past book one of his Critique to read a full admission that all of his ideas are bogus.  He first attempts to prove the existence of a priori knowledge via the human perceptions of space and time.  He offers no further proof, being satisfied to rest upon that.  He then postulates without attempting to offer proof that a priori supersedes empirical knowledge.  Finally, he states that if you haven’t followed him this far you may disregard all that follows and throws in a dig that the only reason you could have for not having followed him is a lack of intellectual capacity.

The problem he has, it that we now know that space and time are actually different dimensions of the same empirical phenomenon and we have studied them empirically with fruitful results.  Yet here we stand in the year 2012, and people still pay lip service to a philosophy that had its foundation shattered by Einstein over a century ago. 

Kant is irrelevant.  He is sophistry founded upon a bad guess and we can never profit an iota by considering a problem through the lens he proposed.  I keep my copy of the Critique of Pure Reason in my gym bag where it serves as a spacer between my shoes and the end of the bag to prevent contents from shifting.  So long as I never lack for cooking fuel, this the highest use I will ever derive from my ownership of those pages.

Let me answer your questions:

“Why does this name still generate respect when it is invoked?” Because he is generally considered the greatest philosopher of the age of enlightenment and one of the greatest philosophers of all time.

“Why would the author of such unadulterated drivel still be informing some the greatest moral thinkers of our age?”

Because his writing is not “unadulterated drivel”

“One need not read past book one of his Critique to read a full admission that all of his ideas are bogus.”

Which critique are you talking about? Kant wrote several critiques!

“He first attempts to prove the existence of a priori knowledge via the human perceptions of space and time.”

So you must be talking about the critique of pure reason.

Wrong, he proves that space and time are a priory concepts of our mind. Why? Because we cannot image any event to take place outside space and time. Every event takes place at some point in time and space. Therefore, space and time are necessarily part of all of our experience. So this is a limitiation of our human mode of thinking and is not derived from experience.

“He offers no further proof, being satisfied to rest upon that. ” Wrong, read the critique. He offers several arguments.

“He then postulates without attempting to offer proof that a priori supersedes empirical knowledge.” Now that’s unadulterated drivel. Let me state the opening statements of the critique of pure reason.

“I. Of the difference between Pure and Empirical Knowledge

That all our knowledge begins with experience there can be no doubt. For how is it possible that the faculty of cognition should be awakened into exercise otherwise than by means of objects which affect our senses, and partly of themselves produce representations, partly rouse our powers of understanding into activity, to compare to connect, or to separate these, and so to convert the raw material of our sensuous impressions into a knowledge of objects, which is called experience? In respect of time, therefore, no knowledge of ours is antecedent to experience, but begins with it.

But, though all our knowledge begins with experience, it by no means follows that all arises out of experience. For, on the contrary, it is quite possible that our empirical knowledge is a compound of that which we receive through impressions, and that which the faculty of cognition supplies from itself (sensuous impressions giving merely the occasion), an addition which we cannot distinguish from the original element given by sense, till long practice has made us attentive to, and skilful in separating it. It is, therefore, a question which requires close investigation, and not to be answered at first sight, whether there exists a knowledge altogether independent of experience, and even of all sensuous impressions? Knowledge of this kind is called a priori, in contradistinction to empirical knowledge, which has its sources a posteriori, that is, in experience.”

Apparently, you didn’t read or understand the very beginning of the critique of pure reason.

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/4280/4280-h/4280-h.htm

“Yet here we stand in the year 2012, and people still pay lip service to a philosophy that had its foundation shattered by Einstein over a century ago.”

But Einstein does not do away with space and time. He has a different concept for space and time!? If Einstein had provided a physical theory devoid of any concepts of space and time, then that would have been a refutation that all our experience must take place in space and time. Kant definitely thought differently about space and time than Einstein. But, his arguments for the a priori nature of space and time do not rest on these particular concepts.

So maybe you should just read Kant and not reject him on the basis of ignorance.

Regards

Kikl

 Signature 

Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-incurred immaturity.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 September 2012 05:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  800
Joined  2010-11-12
kikl - 05 September 2012 11:17 AM
TheCoolinator - 31 August 2012 10:48 PM

Why does this name still generate respect when it is invoked?  Why would the author of such unadulterated drivel still be informing some the greatest moral thinkers of our age?  One need not read past book one of his Critique to read a full admission that all of his ideas are bogus.  He first attempts to prove the existence of a priori knowledge via the human perceptions of space and time.  He offers no further proof, being satisfied to rest upon that.  He then postulates without attempting to offer proof that a priori supersedes empirical knowledge.  Finally, he states that if you haven’t followed him this far you may disregard all that follows and throws in a dig that the only reason you could have for not having followed him is a lack of intellectual capacity.

The problem he has, it that we now know that space and time are actually different dimensions of the same empirical phenomenon and we have studied them empirically with fruitful results.  Yet here we stand in the year 2012, and people still pay lip service to a philosophy that had its foundation shattered by Einstein over a century ago. 

Kant is irrelevant.  He is sophistry founded upon a bad guess and we can never profit an iota by considering a problem through the lens he proposed.  I keep my copy of the Critique of Pure Reason in my gym bag where it serves as a spacer between my shoes and the end of the bag to prevent contents from shifting.  So long as I never lack for cooking fuel, this the highest use I will ever derive from my ownership of those pages.

Let me answer your questions:

“Why does this name still generate respect when it is invoked?” Because he is generally considered the greatest philosopher of the age of enlightenment and one of the greatest philosophers of all time.

“Why would the author of such unadulterated drivel still be informing some the greatest moral thinkers of our age?”

Because his writing is not “unadulterated drivel”

“One need not read past book one of his Critique to read a full admission that all of his ideas are bogus.”

Which critique are you talking about? Kant wrote several critiques!

“He first attempts to prove the existence of a priori knowledge via the human perceptions of space and time.”

So you must be talking about the critique of pure reason.

Wrong, he proves that space and time are a priory concepts of our mind. Why? Because we cannot image any event to take place outside space and time. Every event takes place at some point in time and space. Therefore, space and time are necessarily part of all of our experience. So this is a limitiation of our human mode of thinking and is not derived from experience.

“He offers no further proof, being satisfied to rest upon that. ” Wrong, read the critique. He offers several arguments.

“He then postulates without attempting to offer proof that a priori supersedes empirical knowledge.” Now that’s unadulterated drivel. Let me state the opening statements of the critique of pure reason.

“I. Of the difference between Pure and Empirical Knowledge

That all our knowledge begins with experience there can be no doubt. For how is it possible that the faculty of cognition should be awakened into exercise otherwise than by means of objects which affect our senses, and partly of themselves produce representations, partly rouse our powers of understanding into activity, to compare to connect, or to separate these, and so to convert the raw material of our sensuous impressions into a knowledge of objects, which is called experience? In respect of time, therefore, no knowledge of ours is antecedent to experience, but begins with it.

But, though all our knowledge begins with experience, it by no means follows that all arises out of experience. For, on the contrary, it is quite possible that our empirical knowledge is a compound of that which we receive through impressions, and that which the faculty of cognition supplies from itself (sensuous impressions giving merely the occasion), an addition which we cannot distinguish from the original element given by sense, till long practice has made us attentive to, and skilful in separating it. It is, therefore, a question which requires close investigation, and not to be answered at first sight, whether there exists a knowledge altogether independent of experience, and even of all sensuous impressions? Knowledge of this kind is called a priori, in contradistinction to empirical knowledge, which has its sources a posteriori, that is, in experience.”

Apparently, you didn’t read or understand the very beginning of the critique of pure reason.

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/4280/4280-h/4280-h.htm

“Yet here we stand in the year 2012, and people still pay lip service to a philosophy that had its foundation shattered by Einstein over a century ago.”

But Einstein does not do away with space and time. He has a different concept for space and time!? If Einstein had provided a physical theory devoid of any concepts of space and time, then that would have been a refutation that all our experience must take place in space and time. Kant definitely thought differently about space and time than Einstein. But, his arguments for the a priori nature of space and time do not rest on these particular concepts.

So maybe you should just read Kant and not reject him on the basis of ignorance.

Regards

Kikl

 


Is it your belief that mind of man (no matter how clever) can access the deeper meaning of its own perceptual
input?
Can the brain arrange its labels to grasp the nature and essence of the human condition?
Can consciousness ever understand consciousness?
Can the objectifying mind ever really understand anything?
Could it be that all philosophers, including Kant, are shooting arrows at the moon?

 

 

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 September 2012 12:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  152
Joined  2012-08-29

Thank you for a thoughtful reply to my admittedly hyperbolic criticism of Kant.  Unfortunately for you, you’ve put yourself in the unenviable position of defending his philosophy.

kikl - 05 September 2012 11:17 AM

Wrong, he proves that space and time are a priory concepts of our mind. Why? Because we cannot image any event to take place outside space and time. Every event takes place at some point in time and space. Therefore, space and time are necessarily part of all of our experience. So this is a limitiation of our human mode of thinking and is not derived from experience.

It would be more accurate to say that Kant uses the concepts of space and time to prove the existence of a priori knowledge.  His proof fails because events in fact can take place outside of space and time according to quantum mechanics.  Though it is admittedly difficult for our imaginations to contemplate this, it is done routinely using mathematics.  If you’d care to test your imagination on the point, I suggest reading Lawrence Krauss or Brian Greene. 

kikl - 05 September 2012 11:17 AM

But Einstein does not do away with space and time. He has a different concept for space and time!? If Einstein had provided a physical theory devoid of any concepts of space and time, then that would have been a refutation that all our experience must take place in space and time. Kant definitely thought differently about space and time than Einstein. But, his arguments for the a priori nature of space and time do not rest on these particular concepts.

I didn’t say that Einstein did away with space and time.  He did however, prove that they were different aspects of a single empirical phenomenon.  Since they exists empirically, and the whole philosophy of Kant rests upon the statement that they do not, the foundation is shattered.  Kant admits this much in the first section of the second chapter of book one of the Transcendental Analytic wherein he states: “The reader, then, must be quite convinced of the absolute necessity of a transcendental deduction, before taking a single step in the field of pure reason…  we have a choice of only two things - either at once to give up all pretensions to knowledge beyond the limits of possible experience, or to bring this critical investigation to completion.”  Here, I agree with him, though I select the former option. 

A thorough review of the section from which I quoted above will convince you that Kant cannot proceed if space and time exist empirically.  He therefore takes pains to state how completely convincing he feels he has been on the matter.  If you cannot agree that Kant’s proof of a priori knowledge rested on the non-empirical nature of space and time, then it is you that must answer the charge of not having understood his work.

[ Edited: 06 September 2012 12:03 AM by TheCoolinator]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 September 2012 03:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  122
Joined  2011-05-10
TheCoolinator - 06 September 2012 12:00 AM

It would be more accurate to say that Kant uses the concepts of space and time to prove the existence of a priori knowledge.  His proof fails because events in fact can take place outside of space and time according to quantum mechanics.  Though it is admittedly difficult for our imaginations to contemplate this, it is done routinely using mathematics.  If you’d care to test your imagination on the point, I suggest reading Lawrence Krauss or Brian Greene.

That’s completely wrong. Quantum mechanics describes all events as probabilistic points in space and time. This is the Schrödinger Equation:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schrödinger_equation

Every quantum state is a function of space and time.

TheCoolinator - 06 September 2012 12:00 AM

I didn’t say that Einstein did away with space and time.  He did however, prove that they were different aspects of a single empirical phenomenon.  Since they exists empirically, and the whole philosophy of Kant rests upon the statement that they do not, the foundation is shattered.

This is also a misrepresentation of Kant’s philosophy. Kant’s philosophy is not founded on the notion that space and time do not exist. Kant thinks that space and time do exist in all “phenomena”, but he refrains from making any statement about the “thing in itself”. He is agnostic about this question.

 Signature 

Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-incurred immaturity.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 September 2012 04:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  122
Joined  2011-05-10
TheCoolinator - 06 September 2012 12:00 AM

Thank you for a thoughtful reply to my admittedly hyperbolic criticism of Kant.  Unfortunately for you, you’ve put yourself in the unenviable position of defending his philosophy.

...

Now I would like to say a few things about the very emotional reaction to Kant. Admittedly, this short piece is ad hominem, but I think it is true and informative about the mentality of people.

This reaction is quite common on both British and American campuses. But, you would be hard pressed to find this state of mind among French, German or Italian philosophers. Even those who reject Kant’s philosophy for the most part do not reject him violently. They respectfully disagree.

I think the biggest reason for this emotional reaction is the fact that Kant was neither British nor American. It is this humiliation to national pride that prompts these reaction. It is similar to the anglo/american divide between “analytical philosophy” and “continental philosophy”. This implies that all continental philosophy (= non anglo/american philosophy), is not analytical, i.e. illogical.

These forms of philosophical jingoism are most unfortunate.

 Signature 

Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-incurred immaturity.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 September 2012 08:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  800
Joined  2010-11-12
kikl - 06 September 2012 04:25 AM
TheCoolinator - 06 September 2012 12:00 AM

Thank you for a thoughtful reply to my admittedly hyperbolic criticism of Kant.  Unfortunately for you, you’ve put yourself in the unenviable position of defending his philosophy.

...

Now I would like to say a few things about the very emotional reaction to Kant. Admittedly, this short piece is ad hominem, but I think it is true and informative about the mentality of people.

This reaction is quite common on both British and American campuses. But, you would be hard pressed to find this state of mind among French, German or Italian philosophers. Even those who reject Kant’s philosophy for the most part do not reject him violently. They respectfully disagree.

I think the biggest reason for this emotional reaction is the fact that Kant was neither British nor American. It is this humiliation to national pride that prompts these reaction. It is similar to the anglo/american divide between “analytical philosophy” and “continental philosophy”. This implies that all continental philosophy (= non anglo/american philosophy), is not analytical, i.e. illogical.

These forms of philosophical jingoism are most unfortunate.


Its more unfortunate for one’s thinking to be confined by any philosophical stance.
The conceptual mind wraps its self in a cocoon of its own accumulated speculations and imagines that one day it
will turn into a butterfly.
Unfortunately, only intellectual suffocation can result from its actions.

 

[ Edited: 06 September 2012 08:41 AM by toombaru]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 September 2012 10:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  152
Joined  2012-08-29
kikl - 06 September 2012 03:56 AM

That’s completely wrong. Quantum mechanics describes all events as probabilistic points in space and time. This is the Schrödinger Equation:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schrödinger_equation
Every quantum state is a function of space and time.

I won’t argue physics with you since I’m not a physicist.  I would simply refer you to the authors I mentioned before, who are.  Luckily, whether or not events can take place outside of space and time isn’t critical to refuting Kant.  It only matters whether space and time can be understood empirically (as they can be) or whether they cannot be so understood (as Kant asserted.)

kikl - 06 September 2012 03:56 AM

This is also a misrepresentation of Kant’s philosophy. Kant’s philosophy is not founded on the notion that space and time do not exist. Kant thinks that space and time do exist in all “phenomena”, but he refrains from making any statement about the “thing in itself”. He is agnostic about this question.

I am beginning to wonder with whom you are arguing, since a re-reading of my writings in this topic bears little relation to your descriptions and refutations of them.  First, it is worth noting that I did not assert that Kant believed space and time do not exist.  He believed that they do not exist empirically. He concluded therefore, that they must exist on some prior basis which he called a priori.  This, it turns out, is the whole of his proof for why we should accept his logically absurd bifurcation of the modes of knowledge.  If you are aware of some other proof Kant offered for why we should allow for the existence of a priori knowledge, you have a willing student in me.


However, for all of your circumlocutions, you have failed to address the central point that I have made which I cannot put more simply than this: 1) Kant’s foundation is that space and time are not empirical phenomena, 2) Science has proven that space and time are empirical phenomena, 3) Kant’s foundation has been obliterated by science. 


You must 1) show that I am wrong about the foundation from which Kant proceeds, 2) show that I am wrong in stating that space and time are empirical phenomena, 3) concede my point.

 

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 September 2012 10:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  152
Joined  2012-08-29
kikl - 06 September 2012 04:25 AM

Now I would like to say a few things about the very emotional reaction to Kant. Admittedly, this short piece is ad hominem, but I think it is true and informative about the mentality of people.

This reaction is quite common on both British and American campuses. But, you would be hard pressed to find this state of mind among French, German or Italian philosophers. Even those who reject Kant’s philosophy for the most part do not reject him violently. They respectfully disagree.

I think the biggest reason for this emotional reaction is the fact that Kant was neither British nor American. It is this humiliation to national pride that prompts these reaction. It is similar to the anglo/american divide between “analytical philosophy” and “continental philosophy”. This implies that all continental philosophy (= non anglo/american philosophy), is not analytical, i.e. illogical.

These forms of philosophical jingoism are most unfortunate.

I would say that, when the world ends and God is handing out the trophies, the coveted ‘Most Influential Thinker in the Total Absence of Merit’ prize will likely go to Kant – much to the disappointment of Marx and Freud.  Though the book is not yet closed and Rand has lately been making an admirable push for consideration in the field.


You’ll find no nationalistic explanation for my abhorrence of those thinkers.  I am opposed to all people who put forward radical propositions on flimsy suppositions.  This is the shared value which draws me to Dr. Harris’s forum. 

 

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 September 2012 01:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  122
Joined  2011-05-10
TheCoolinator - 06 September 2012 10:13 AM

...
I won’t argue physics with you since I’m not a physicist.  I would simply refer you to the authors I mentioned before, who are.

I am a physicist, so you can refer to me, if you like wink

TheCoolinator - 06 September 2012 10:13 AM

.... First, it is worth noting that I did not assert that Kant believed space and time do not exist.  He believed that they do not exist empirically.

I don’t understand the concept of empirical existence. In my mind something exists or it doesn’t exist. Kant believed that space and time are necessary parts of our experience. But, you cannot derive the necessity of existence from experience. Therefore, the concept must be rooted in our mind. But, this doesn’t mean that space and time do not exist. The real world may exactly conform with our conception of the world. But, Kant thinks that we cannot know this. That’s why I called his position agnosticism.

TheCoolinator - 06 September 2012 10:13 AM

He concluded therefore, that they must exist on some prior basis which he called a priori.

I’ll try to explain Kant’s reasoning to you. He first tries to find out the nature of empirical knowledge. What do we know about empirical knowledge? Experience can only tell you what happened but it cannot tell you that something must happen. An empirical induction is not complete. You cannot logically derive an absolute rule from a limited number of observations. Therefore, our scientific theories can be revised. An example: Just because objects have always fallen to the ground doesn’t mean that they must always do so. So a necessary property of all experience cannot be logically derived from experience. It can only have our own mind as its source. Remember what Kant said:

“...it is quite possible that our empirical knowledge is a compound of that which we receive through impressions, and that which the faculty of cognition supplies from itself (sensuous impressions giving merely the occasion),...”

Kant puts it this way:

“1. Space is not a conception which has been derived from outward experiences. For, in order that certain sensations may relate to something without me (that is, to something which occupies a different part of space from that in which I am); in like manner, in order that I may represent them not merely as without, of, and near to each other, but also in separate places, the representation of space must already exist as a foundation. Consequently, the representation of space cannot be borrowed from the relations of external phenomena through experience; but, on the contrary, this external experience is itself only possible through the said antecedent representation.

“2. Space then is a necessary representation a priori, which serves for the foundation of all external intuitions. We never can imagine or make a representation to ourselves of the non-existence of space, though we may easily enough think that no objects are found in it. It must, therefore, be considered as the condition of the possibility of phenomena, and by no means as a determination dependent on them, and is a representation a priori, which necessarily supplies the basis for external phenomena.

Let me put No. 1 differently.

1.The idea of having experiences presupposes some concept of inward and outward. Experience is something exterior that affects you. Experience is something that you receive from the outside. This concept of inside and outside has another word, its called space. So the concept of space can be analytically derived from the concept of having experiences. Therefore, the concept of space is not derived from by experience. The notion of Experience itself presupposes the existence of some kind of space.

2. Since I cannot imagine that any event did not take place in space and time, the concept of space is a necessary part of all of my experience. If you can indeed image things to take place in non-space, then this reasoning doesn’t apply to you. I am with Kant here, I find it inconceivable that an event did not take place in space. An omniscient being or some being from outer space may have other mental capacities than I do. So this is an argument that is restricted to mankind - maybe you’re the exception. But, you can never derive “necessary propositions” from experience, unless you perform some kind of incomplete induction. So the point is the mere fact that space is a “necessary representation” found in all experience leads to the conclusion that it cannot be derived from experience.

So Kant provides two logical reasons why space is a concept that precedes all contents of experience. Therefore, the concept of space is not received through impressions, it comes from our faculty of cognition.

In my mind, this makes perfect sense.

 Signature 

Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-incurred immaturity.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 September 2012 01:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  122
Joined  2011-05-10
TheCoolinator - 06 September 2012 10:51 AM

...I would say that, when the world ends and God is handing out the trophies, the coveted ‘Most Influential Thinker in the Total Absence of Merit’ prize will likely go to Kant – much to the disappointment of Marx and Freud.  Though the book is not yet closed and Rand has lately been making an admirable push for consideration in the field.

You’ll find no nationalistic explanation for my abhorrence of those thinkers.  I am opposed to all people who put forward radical propositions on flimsy suppositions.  This is the shared value which draws me to Dr. Harris’s forum.

Ayn Rand is another supreme example of anglo/american Kant hatred. Just say Kant in the vicinity of a Rand afficionado and people will be all over you. You should take cover and run as fast as you can. I can speak from experience wink

No, this form of Kant hatred is a very British and American phenomenon and the reasons are those that I have stated. Other nations, which have no stake in this game, have a more relaxed approach to who’s right and who’s wrong.

The anglo/americans believe that they are still battling between the empirical theorists (Brits) and rationalists (Descartes). If the rationalists win, then the British philosophers all pretty much go into the dustbin of philosophical history. This is what they fear. Kant seems to be - in the wrong understanding of most anglo/american philosophers - the greatest of the continental lot that must be destroyed. He is perceived as the greatest threat to anglo glory. I am thoroughly convinced of this this due to ample experience of this kind with American and British people. It usually takes a pint or two to get them really speak their mind.

Now, I am happy that you reject nationalistic explanations. Nevertheless, you launch the next line of irrational attack:

“Most Influential Thinker in the Total Absence of Merit’”

I think that this is wishful thinking and no reasoned response. So I wouldn’t be surprised if the nationalism would eventually surface on your side too. Sorry, I’ve just seen it happen far too often.

 Signature 

Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-incurred immaturity.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 September 2012 03:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  152
Joined  2012-08-29
kikl - 06 September 2012 01:15 PM

I don’t understand the concept of empirical existence. In my mind something exists or it doesn’t exist.

I’m with you.  I’m simply taking Kant at his word.  He’s the one insisting that some concepts must have a super-empirical nature and that among these are space and time.  I’m glad to see you agree on the absurdity of that position. 

kikl - 06 September 2012 01:15 PM

I’ll try to explain Kant’s reasoning to you. He first tries to find out the nature of empirical knowledge. What do we know about empirical knowledge? Experience can only tell you what happened but it cannot tell you that something must happen. An empirical induction is not complete. You cannot logically derive an absolute rule from a limited number of observations. Therefore, our scientific theories can be revised. An example: Just because objects have always fallen to the ground doesn’t mean that they must always do so. So a necessary property of all experience cannot be logically derived from experience. It can only have our own mind as its source. Remember what Kant said:

“...it is quite possible that our empirical knowledge is a compound of that which we receive through impressions, and that which the faculty of cognition supplies from itself (sensuous impressions giving merely the occasion),...”

Wonderfully summed up.  Notice how wrong he is on the nature and capacity of empirical knowledge.  In fact, you can derive an absolute rule from observations – as Einstein observed, E=MC2.  It always has and it always will.  It is our capacity to be wrong which allows for us to make later revisions, not recourse to some higher form of knowledge.  In all cases we have only one test to find the truth of our conclusions: empiricism. 

kikl - 06 September 2012 01:15 PM

So Kant provides two logical reasons why space is a concept that precedes all contents of experience. Therefore, the concept of space is not received through impressions, it comes from our faculty of cognition.

In my mind, this makes perfect sense.

Kant’s first reason simply states that space is a ubiquitous property in experience.  This does not point to it presenting itself to our cognition any differently than any other phenomenon.  This is a complete non-sequitur.  Next, note how Kant’s second reason begins with a statement of the thing he is supposed to be proving.  You can’t make something true by repeating it again and again – although you can make people believe things by that means. 


You have graciously accepted my challenge by attacking my analysis on the 2nd point, namely: show that I am wrong in stating that space and time are empirical phenomena.  You have failed because you don’t appreciate the power of empirical inquiry.  This is not surprising since that misapprehension is probably the exact thing that led Kant down the dead end ally of a priori knowledge in the first place. 

 

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 September 2012 03:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  122
Joined  2011-05-10
TheCoolinator - 06 September 2012 03:28 PM

Wonderfully summed up.  Notice how wrong he is on the nature and capacity of empirical knowledge.  In fact, you can derive an absolute rule from observations – as Einstein observed, E=MC2.  It always has and it always will.  It is our capacity to be wrong which allows for us to make later revisions, not recourse to some higher form of knowledge.  In all cases we have only one test to find the truth of our conclusions: empiricism.

Sorry, but the statement ” it always was and it always will be cannot be derived from experience. E=MC² Einstein did not observe this for all eternity. He observed it merely for a limited amount of time, until he died. So Einstein’s theory of relativity is an idea that originated in his mind. It is not mere observation. But, as soon as someone detects an observation that contradicts the notion that E=MC², then this is over. Then Einstein’s theory must be dropped. That’s why scientific theories can be revised. They cannot claim to be eternal truths. They are merely reasonable assumptions.

TheCoolinator - 06 September 2012 03:28 PM

Kant’s first reason simply states that space is a ubiquitous property in experience.  This does not point to it presenting itself to our cognition any differently than any other phenomenon.  This is a complete non-sequitur.  Next, note how Kant’s second reason begins with a statement of the thing he is supposed to be proving.  You can’t make something true by repeating it again and again – although you can make people believe things by that means. 


You have graciously accepted my challenge by attacking my analysis on the 2nd point, namely: show that I am wrong in stating that space and time are empirical phenomena.  You have failed because you don’t appreciate the power of empirical inquiry.  This is not surprising since that misapprehension is probably the exact thing that led Kant down the dead end ally of a priori knowledge in the first place.

Well, I have shown that you are wrong and your response is also wrong. It is based on the notion that scientific induction can lead to absolute eternal truth. The idea that the theory of relativity is eternally valid, comes from our mind. It does not come from experience. For the time being it is a reasonable assumption. But just like Newtonian physics turned out to be wrong, so can Einstein’s theory turn out to be wrong.

So unless you learn about the validity of scientific theories, I say this as a scientist, you are not going to understand Kant. A scientific theory is an incomplete induction - contrary to a mathematical induction, which is indeed complete. Therefore, scientific theories can turn out to be wrong. They can be disproved. A mathematical theory about an infinite number of objects proved by mathematical induction cannot turn out to be wrong.

If all events must necessarily take place in space and time and you cannot even imagine an event not to take place in space and time then this is not something that follows logically from experience. It’s origin is the human mind. Nothing else. That’s what Kant is saying and it’s a sound argument.

 Signature 

Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-incurred immaturity.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 September 2012 04:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  152
Joined  2012-08-29
kikl - 06 September 2012 01:31 PM

Ayn Rand is another supreme example of anglo/american Kant hatred. Just say Kant in the vicinity of a Rand afficionado and people will be all over you. You should take cover and run as fast as you can. I can speak from experience wink

No, this form of Kant hatred is a very British and American phenomenon and the reasons are those that I have stated. Other nations, which have no stake in this game, have a more relaxed approach to who’s right and who’s wrong.

The anglo/americans believe that they are still battling between the empirical theorists (Brits) and rationalists (Descartes). If the rationalists win, then the British philosophers all pretty much go into the dustbin of philosophical history. This is what they fear. Kant seems to be - in the wrong understanding of most anglo/american philosophers - the greatest of the continental lot that must be destroyed. He is perceived as the greatest threat to anglo glory. I am thoroughly convinced of this this due to ample experience of this kind with American and British people. It usually takes a pint or two to get them really speak their mind.

Now, I am happy that you reject nationalistic explanations. Nevertheless, you launch the next line of irrational attack:

“Most Influential Thinker in the Total Absence of Merit’”

I think that this is wishful thinking and no reasoned response. So I wouldn’t be surprised if the nationalism would eventually surface on your side too. Sorry, I’ve just seen it happen far too often.

Most Influential Thinker in the Total Absence of Merit isn’t irrational.  It’s hilarious.  Obviously, I left Jesus and Mohammed out of consideration, since I don’t think they qualify as thinkers. smile


You need not resort to nationalism to explain the rabidity of a Randian.  They attack all things with that same unjustifiable and sanctimonious rancor. That said, I’ll have to get down my copy of Philopophy: Who Need’s It and refresh my memory on what her complaint with Kant was since my conversation with you has been so interesting.  But I digress.


All philosophers are going to the dust bin, no matter their nationality.  They are interesting only from a historical and academic perspective.  This is true for philosophy for precisely the same reason it is true for religion.  Science has now put the issue beyond question as to what is the most effective means for making inquiry into the truth of a matter.  Everything else is sophistry, or worse. 

 

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 September 2012 04:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  122
Joined  2011-05-10
TheCoolinator - 06 September 2012 03:28 PM

...You have failed because you don’t appreciate the power of empirical inquiry.

Oh, I do appreciate the power of empirical inquiry. I am a scientist. But, I also know about the limits of empirical inquiry. If you don’t like hearing this from Kant, then why don’t you read Popper. He will tell you the same and he’s regarded as a British empirical analytic philosopher. So you may be more inclined to believe him than me.

For a starter, read Wikipedia:

“Sir Karl Raimund Popper, CH FRS[1] FBA (28 July 1902 – 17 September 1994) was an Austro-British[2] philosopher and professor at the London School of Economics.[3] He is generally regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of science of the 20th century”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Popper#Philosophy_of_science

British, London School of Economics, he must be right!

“Popper coined the term “critical rationalism” to describe his philosophy. Concerning the method of science, the term indicates his rejection of classical empiricism, and the classical observationalist-inductivist account of science that had grown out of it. Popper argued strongly against the latter, holding that scientific theories are abstract in nature, and can be tested only indirectly, by reference to their implications. He also held that scientific theory, and human knowledge generally, is irreducibly conjectural or hypothetical, and is generated by the creative imagination in order to solve problems that have arisen in specific historio-cultural settings.

Logically, no number of positive outcomes at the level of experimental testing can confirm a scientific theory, but a single counterexample is logically decisive: it shows the theory, from which the implication is derived, to be false. The term “falsifiable” does not mean something is made false, but rather that, if it is false, it can be shown by observation or experiment. Popper’s account of the logical asymmetry between verification and falsifiability lies at the heart of his philosophy of science. It also inspired him to take falsifiability as his criterion of demarcation between what is, and is not, genuinely scientific: a theory should be considered scientific if, and only if, it is falsifiable. This led him to attack the claims of both psychoanalysis and contemporary Marxism to scientific status, on the basis that their theories are not falsifiable.”

In a way, Popper is just saying something that Kant knew all along. His very intelligent observation is that the falsification of a theory, actually is irrefutable. Once a scientific theory has been shown to be false it can never be resurrected to be true. We know for sure that Newton was wrong, so Newtonian physics is eternally dead, but we don’t know for sure that Einstein is right. So our positive irrefutable knowledge concerns all the things that we know to be untrue. So yes, Popper is a very smart man and a great philosopher. And on top of that, he became non-continental by acquiring British citizenship. That makes him suitable for admiration and praise. This smart idea makes him the No. 1 philosopher of science. I actually agree, but you can find lots of Kantian ideas that are just as smart.

 Signature 

Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-incurred immaturity.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 September 2012 04:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  152
Joined  2012-08-29
kikl - 06 September 2012 03:45 PM
TheCoolinator - 06 September 2012 03:28 PM

Wonderfully summed up.  Notice how wrong he is on the nature and capacity of empirical knowledge.  In fact, you can derive an absolute rule from observations – as Einstein observed, E=MC2.  It always has and it always will.  It is our capacity to be wrong which allows for us to make later revisions, not recourse to some higher form of knowledge.  In all cases we have only one test to find the truth of our conclusions: empiricism.

Sorry, but the statement ” it always was and it always will be cannot be derived from experience. E=MC² Einstein did not observe this for all eternity. He observed it merely for a limited amount of time, until he died. So Einstein’s theory of relativity is an idea that originated in his mind. It is not mere observation. But, as soon as someone detects an observation that contradicts the notion that E=MC², then this is over. Then Einstein’s theory must be dropped. That’s why scientific theories can be revised. They cannot claim to be eternal truths. They are merely reasonable assumptions.

TheCoolinator - 06 September 2012 03:28 PM

Kant’s first reason simply states that space is a ubiquitous property in experience.  This does not point to it presenting itself to our cognition any differently than any other phenomenon.  This is a complete non-sequitur.  Next, note how Kant’s second reason begins with a statement of the thing he is supposed to be proving.  You can’t make something true by repeating it again and again – although you can make people believe things by that means. 


You have graciously accepted my challenge by attacking my analysis on the 2nd point, namely: show that I am wrong in stating that space and time are empirical phenomena.  You have failed because you don’t appreciate the power of empirical inquiry.  This is not surprising since that misapprehension is probably the exact thing that led Kant down the dead end ally of a priori knowledge in the first place.

Well, I have shown that you are wrong and your response is also wrong. It is based on the notion that scientific induction can lead to absolute eternal truth. The idea that the theory of relativity is eternally valid, comes from our mind. It does not come from experience. For the time being it is a reasonable assumption. But just like Newtonian physics turned out to be wrong, so can Einstein’s theory turn out to be wrong.

So unless you learn about the validity of scientific theories, I say this as a scientist, you are not going to understand Kant. A scientific theory is an incomplete induction - contrary to a mathematical induction, which is indeed complete. Therefore, scientific theories can turn out to be wrong. They can be disproved. A mathematical theory about an infinite number of objects proved by mathematical induction cannot turn out to be wrong.

If all events must necessarily take place in space and time and you cannot even imagine an event not to take place in space and time then this is not something that follows logically from experience. It’s origin is the human mind. Nothing else. That’s what Kant is saying and it’s a sound argument.

Allow me simulate your strategy by repeating myself in lieu of offering a counter argument.  You can’t make something true by repeating it again and again – although you can make people believe things by that means.

I’m afraid we may have reached the end of this line of inquiry.  At this point, we can only entreat one another to reconsider our views on the empirical quality of space and time and/or the limits of empirical knowledge.  I am confident enough in my views on those matters to rest my case on them.

Profile
 
 
   
1 of 3
1
 
RSS 2.0     Atom Feed