Geoff
Posted June 9, 2012 by Geoff in culture, Society, Humanity, Philosophy
What is possible in metaphysical thought and what is not according to Immanuel Kant?

"What most clearly is not possible is any legitimate synthetic a priori judgment about things in themselves. The only thing that justifies the application of regulative principles in mathematics and natural science is their limitation to phenomena. Both sensible intuition and the understanding deal with the conditions under which experience is possible. But the whole point of speculative metaphysics is to transcend experience entirely in order to achieve knowledge of the noumenal realm. Here, only the faculty of reason is relevant, but its most crucial speculative conclusions, its deepest convictions about the self, the world, and god, are all drawn illegitimately."

According to Kant, it is vital always to distinguish between the distinct realms of phenomena and noumena. Phenomena are the appearances, which constitute our experience; noumena are the (presumed) things themselves, which constitute reality. All of our synthetic a priori judgments apply only to the phenomenal realm, not the noumenal. (It is only at this level, with respect to what we can experience, that we are justified in imposing the structure of our concepts onto the objects of our knowledge.) Since the thing in itself would by definition be entirely independent of our experience of it, we are utterly ignorant of the noumenal realm.

Thus, on Kant's view, the most fundamental laws of nature, like the truths of mathematics, are knowable precisely because they make no effort to describe the world as it really is but rather prescribe the structure of the world as we experience it. By applying the pure forms of sensible intuition and the pure concepts of the understanding, we achieve a systematic view of the phenomenal realm but learn nothing of the noumenal realm. Math and science are certainly true of the phenomena; only metaphysics claims to instruct us about the noumena. Quote from: http://www.philosophypages.com/hy/5g.htm

I agree with the above quote with a caveat. Reality in Kant’s day had a different meaning from today. For one thing Quantum mechanics had not been thought. The idea’s associated with a Quantum world such as non-locality; super position and entanglement were unheard of then. For another the internet had not been created. Today reality I think relates more to the physical world the world of our experience and actuality relates more to the noumenal world of theories of multi universes and Universal mind state.
And here in lies the conundrum.

We as a society (Western particularly) are so entrenched in the idea that there must be reason, rational thinking and logical argument to "prove or disprove" anything have hoisted ourselves collectively by the metaphorical "seat of our pants" up so far our feet can no longer feel the ground of actuality.

Perhaps the greatest difference for me is that a world that has always existed beyond reason is now freely able to be discussed on forums such as this by anybody. I can also post my blog or book on the internet without fear of ridicule or personal attack. Yeah right! Ask Salman Rushdie or Julian Assange about that!

So what are the limits of reason today?
Comments
paul wrote at June 10, 2012
1 Vote
The deeper we delve into the mind the more we complicate the understanding of truth it seems. What was true, clear and concise moments ago can be exposed to have a flaw or another facet to it. As man creates and discovers, the ability to keep up in terms of relativity becomes quite the task and subjective to our own judgements.
As we age it seems like experience and knowledge cause us to endure constant fact checks on our presently held beliefs. There seems to be no real adverse effect from the ignorant state itself from not fact checking. We just operate daily on false premises, happily utilizing our abilities to function. Seems the rub comes when others observe our actions. Then relativeness indicates a difference and now our truth is subjective to a fact check. Who's right and who's wrong.
As I have come to understand the relative nature of truth, I have become tired of the process but rarely can escape for too long before my ignorance is judged upon.
paul
Geoff wrote at June 17, 2012
0 Votes
Yes Paul and this is the model we have created. I think it time to create a replacement model. I no longer care what society expects of me for I understand that society's model is broken and in need of replacement. I no longer blame anyone but rather accept the root cause is the system itself from its fundamental structure. I no longer need to justify my life to anyone least of all the 1%.

By understanding and living a life of loving, compassion, personal happiness, wellness and peace in harmony with my environment, to the best of my ability, I have negated in one action all effects of criticism, judgement, bias, right & wrong, economic models, traditional values in short all conditioned responses to my life.

I hasten to add this is not the life of a hermit in a cave in the mountains but a life very much involved in decision making, flight safety, good corporate governance and human relationships and actively involved in technology especially information technology.

The hard part was taking the risk that I could live even in the face of criticism, judgement, bias, religious fundamentalism, ete, etc and still not only survive but be an agent for change.

Far from my new direction being a negative experience it has been an ever growing positive growth experience.
Last Update on June 17, 2012 by Geoff
Geoff
Stan Ellis wrote at June 10, 2012
1 Vote
At age 69, I've finally entered the stage of simplifying the things I taken a lifetime to complicate. An old spiritual axiom says, "If there is a difference between the perception and the feeling...the feeling will be the truth." It's not knowledge that delivers us, it is how we "feel" about each other, this planet, and why we are here.
Stan Ellis
Rita Maye wrote at June 10, 2012
1 Vote
the momentum of a circle is self-perpetuating...it takes determined FOCUS to break into new trains of thought ...

of course you are spinning....it's what we ALL do until we realize there is another way to be
Rita Maye
Quantamama wrote at June 10, 2012
1 Vote
"We as a society (Western particularly) are so entrenched in the idea that there must be reason, rational thinking and logical argument to "prove or disprove" anything have hoisted ourselves collectively by the metaphorical "seat of our pants" up so far our feet can no longer feel the ground of actuality."

That's because in many cases, we're making up reality as we go, flying by the seat of our pants. Our language reflects it through our use of the verb 'to be.' If we can say that there IS a reason for something, then we have magically created it to be so.

We make statements about noumena that we then label as Truth, and then we act on that Truth as if it were phenomena. (Bill is a jerk. Julian Assange is a traitorous rapist. Salman Rushdie is a blasphemous infidel.)

And then, we create things that are blatantly false in the world of phenomena, and then we once we hear it enough, many treat it as if it were true. (I watched a video on the internet, so it must be true. Fox News said it was true. ABC News said it was true. And the Denver Post said it was true, too.)

Post an unusual idea in a public forum and chances are a troll will point and laugh, attempt to discredit, or just poke you til you react.

I suspect the limits of reason have been repealed. For many, the menu has become the meal.
Quantamama
Stan Ellis wrote at June 9, 2012
1 Vote
Intelligent Post Geoff. Here's my take, Philosophers past & present, are plentiful and contribute philosophical viewpoints that are the stuff of unending oppositional debate. I realized this when I was in college, the hot-bed of philosophical rhetoric. But I do like the wisdom of the philosopher Lao Tzu statement..."Those who say, do not know and those who know KAN'T say." Needless to say philosophy is not my forte because I'm no longer deeply attached to it.
As an aside Geoff, I think a philosophical approach is an excellent tool to promote your proposed philosophy rather than scientific theorizing. Your book could even allude to its genre as being Theorhetical Philosophy and include some scientific evidence. I know I'm a pain in the butt editor of your work, but I'm trying to challenge you because I believe in what you are trying to do, even if I don't agree with all your assumptions...Stan
Last Update on June 9, 2012 by Stan Ellis
Stan Ellis
John Blanpied wrote at June 9, 2012
1 Vote
Great post, Geoff. The more I read about Kant, the more confused I get, or it makes me say What the Heck do we really know for sure?

The Scientific Method seems to be targeted at the physical world, due to its definition. Unfortunately, the world as we know it is 99.9999% empty space, so we are applying a tool that must ultimately fail. Another principal law of classical physics, Conservation of Energy in Closed Systems, while being technically true, is oft-times misapplied to our 3D world, in which there is rarely a 100% closed system.

Or, as Madge in the classic Palmolive commercial says you're soaking in it!
John Blanpied
James Milton wrote at June 9, 2012
1 Vote
With respect, the structure of the atom was observed during meditation, and later, described by Bishop Ledbetter and Annie Besant of the Theosophical Society,70 years before it was known to modern science, so perhaps Kant was not always right when he stated that we are utterly ignorant of the noumenal realm.
James Milton
Rita Maye wrote at June 9, 2012
1 Vote
the "limits of reason" are the parameters of "logic", itself....it is a closed unit and cannot expand within itself...
Rita Maye
paul wrote at June 10, 2012
1 Vote
Now that statement sounds like it could have come through Jane Russell as Seth spoke. A lot said in a few words.
paul
Stan Ellis wrote at June 9, 2012
1 Vote
Wow! That's a brilliant quotable quote for posterity...Stan
Last Update on June 9, 2012 by Stan Ellis
Stan Ellis