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TheCoolinator
 
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04 February 2013 08:40
 
logicophilosophicus - 03 February 2013 02:04 PM

Just to add my two penn’orth, the greatness of a philosopher or of a physicist isn’t measured by his or her absolute correctness on every point.

Agreed.  However, Spinoza probably passes the test of being worthy of respect, Kant does not.  I’ve not read Spinoza, but my cursory familiarity with his conclusions and the inordinate amount of respect afforded him by the late Christopher Hitchens satisfy me that he probably had something valuable to say.  Kant, however, is a naked emperor the fineness of whose clothes I dispute. 

logicophilosophicus - 03 February 2013 02:04 PM

a) Einstein and Newton are incompatible - Newton believed bodies exerted forces at a distance, while Eistein believed they curved space-time itself. It seems likely that a quantum theory of gravity will supersede both.

I’ll stand my citation of Hawking above.  Einstein’s more precise description of physics did indeed shed new light on the fundamentals of reality, such as the curvature of space-time.  However, Newton’s ignorance of that property is not an ontological failure, simply a characteristic he did not anticipate.  The level of measurements available to him did not make the hypothesis necessary. 

logicophilosophicus - 03 February 2013 02:04 PM

b) Time is real. All experience or introspection proceeds serially (this may well be true a priori - how can there be a process without a sequence?) Einstein certainly proved that for two observers the order of evnts A and B may be different. But he did not prove that each observer doesn’t have an order - in fact he needs it to be so. Kant is not - on this point - incompatible with Einstein. Of course the CONTENTS of my sequence are different from the contents of yours, and not only in their order; but that is explained by the difference in the chain from the events to our awareness of the events, not to some internal problem with consciousness.

I believe you are wrong to say that Kant and Einstein are compatible.  If you and I experience time differently, that undercuts the idea that those phenomena precede experience and are therefore a priori.  Far worse if time ceases to exist, as we know that is does at the speed of light. The properties of space and time have been shown by physics to be abhorrent to human intuition.  Therefore, far from proving the existence of a priori knowledge, they dramatically undercut that supposition. 

 

 
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04 February 2013 11:22
 
nv - 04 February 2013 08:24 AM

Coolinator, Kant was far and away the most insightful writer of his day. How do you rate yourself in your day?

If you change the word ‘insightful’ to ‘influential’ then we agree; otherwise your statement is laughable. 


However, I don’t think even Kant would have to stoop to an ad hominem attack to defend his meritless ideas.  I am right or wrong without referrence to my acheivements as a writer or thinker - just as Kant is.  I don’t care how high is the house of cards that was built upon his foundation.  A slight breeze still brings the whole thing crashing down. 


I’ll huff.  And I’ll puff…

 
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05 February 2013 13:30
 
TheCoolinator - 04 February 2013 07:50 AM
Paludarium - 03 February 2013 09:47 AM

Dr. Harris has pointed out the high cost of wasting one’s time on badly written accounts of ill-thought-out-ideas.  Given the impressive amount of quality material being produced in the modern age, every book read could be thought of as dozens of books not read.  This fully justifies my decision to discontinue reading past book 1 of the Critique.  It is such a sloppy example of logic, it should be taught in philosophy courses only for the purposes of demonstrating how embarrassing it can be to found ones ideas on weakly supported premises. 


I don’t deny Kant’s historical importance, particularly with respect to his founding roll in the idealism school.  However, Sartre (with all his warts) adequately pointed out the reasons idealism ultimately fails seventy years ago.  The pity is that he spends such a considerable portion of his Magnus Opus refuting an ideology which can justly be dismissed out of hand.  It is a black eye for the whole of philosophy that so much ink has been spilled wrestling with such obvious sophistry. 


Respecting Kant for constituting idealism is a bit like respecting L. Ron Hubbard for constituting Scientology.  I decline.

Thank you very much for again impressively displaying your complete and utter lack of knowledge about the topic.  Where do you get your philosophical knowledge from btw.? Now for the content of your message: The one and only argument you actually make against Kants statement is that it can be ” dismissed out of hand” .
First of all: Kant was not really a radical idealist - his philosophy is often reffered to as “critical idealism” or “transcental idealism ”  as well as just ” critical philosophy”. The difference is that Kant does not deny that the physical world exists independentently from us and that our experience is informed by the nature of the physical world. In fact the very first sentence of his first critique is ” Daß alle unsere Erkenntnis mit der Erfahrung beginne, daran ist gar kein Zweifel” - this is actually exactly what he wrote in the original language, german. It basically means that there is no doubt that all knowledge begins with the sensual experience of the physical world. Now what is the deal? We do not sense the physical world EXACTLY (you can tell that this is important because i wrote it in all capital letters) like it actually is. There is always something subjective about our sensual experience, an addition, if you will, based on what we learned experienced and know or even our emotional state at the moment or general mental health. Furthermore the sensation of seeing a tree does not only involve sensing a tree, the image of the particular tree,  but categorize it under ” tree”, see it “as a tree”. Now there is a lot of evidence for this beeing true, some comes from philosphy, ( some even is in the book you didnt read), some from modern neuroscience and psychology. This is why we make the distinction between the thing itself ( numenon) and our perception, our experience ( phaenomenon ) .
Now for your love of Sartre. I love Sartre too. But the actual joke is, that Sartre, even if his philosophy disagrees with Kants in many ways, would most likely not have been able to develop his thoughts, if Kant didnt exist in the first place. How do i know? I suppose you posess “being and nothingness”, if you really enjoy Sartre. What is the title of the very first paragraph of the first chapter? The phenomenon. ( at least in my book) He referrs to the methodological german tradition of phenomenolegy, started by Edmunt Husserl, and practiced by Heidegger who directly influenced Sartre. Phenomenology is an attempted solution to the problem of interior vs extirior, or the difference between the perception and the thing itself, the problem that Kant posed. Now i agree, he did not come up with a good solution to it, but he at least recognized that the perception is always a little subjective - a fact that was crucial for the development of modern psychology. And i aphazise again: Its not like: Hey Sartre had to put so much time in proving Kant wrong! No, its like this:  Kant developed a thought. Based on that thought Schopenhauer Nietzsche and later Husserl worked. Husserl developed a method to solve the problem of Kants dualism, the method that made Sartres philosophy possible.
And for the only, so called argument, you make: There are many modern thinkers who are not of the opinion that the idea of idealism is dismissed out of hand ( they are all jerks of course because they disagree with you). It is now called constructivism . Important constructivists are the american psychologist George Kelly or the german Paul Watzlawick.

 

 
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05 February 2013 23:00
 
Paludarium - 05 February 2013 01:30 PM

...
Now for your love of Sartre. I love Sartre too. But the actual joke is, that Sartre, even if his philosophy disagrees with Kants in many ways, would most likely not have been able to develop his thoughts, if Kant didnt exist in the first place. How do i know? I suppose you posess “being and nothingness”, if you really enjoy Sartre. What is the title of the very first paragraph of the first chapter? The phenomenon. ( at least in my book) He referrs to the methodological german tradition of phenomenolegy, started by Edmunt Husserl, and practiced by Heidegger who directly influenced Sartre…

The ad hominem attacks against me are most flattering, but since you clearly possess the ability to respond to me substantially, perhaps you’d be well advised to stick to my arguments.  I seem to have really gotten on the last nerve of several people by refusing to admit of any merit to a single scribble left to us by Kant, but then, I suppose I’ve chosen a good forum to rub against the grain concerning a sacred text.


You are wrong to suppose that I love Sartre.  I cited him because his refutation of idealism is admirable and complete and I need add nothing to it. 


But I remain in a state of wonder as to the appeal of idealism, which is a completely obsolete system.  Particularly Kant, since the foundation he laid for it is so patently flimsy.  He offers not one scrap of evidence for why we should allow a division of knowledge into a priori and a posteriori.  Let alone why the former should be considered superior to the later.  His only pretense to justification is the ‘proof’ of space and time, which was specious at the time and is now known to be patently false, as I have shown. 


But because a priori knowledge is so flimsy a proposition, I need go no further than Kant himself to undercut the whole of idealism:


“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; because otherwise he goes to work blindly, and after he has wondered about in all directions, returns to the state of utter ignorance from which he started. He ought, moreover, clearly to recognize beforehand the unavoidable difficulties in his undertaking, so that he may not afterwards complain of the obscurity in which the subject itself is deeply involved, or become too soon impatient of the obstacles in his path; because 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.” (italics mine)


I am forced to concede that this choice is a very real one. The only thing I don’t understand is how any rational person could choose the later option.  I’m not convinced that one can.

 

 
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06 February 2013 07:18
 

@ Coolinator

Me: “Just to add my two penn’orth, the greatness of a philosopher or of a physicist isn’t measured by his or her absolute correctness on every point… [e.g.] Spinoza…”
You: “Spinoza probably passes the test of being worthy of respect, Kant does not.”
How so, since (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Kant is “the central figure in modern philosophy” and (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy): “His contributions to metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics have had a profound impact on almost every philosophical movement that followed him.” As Popper puts it: “Kant, the great discoverer of the riddle of experience, was in error about one important point. But his error, I hasten to add, was quite unavoidable, and it detracts in no way from his magnificent achievement.” Great? Magnificent? When you find yourself in an intellectual minority of approximately one there’s a problem somewhere, and Occam’s Razor springs to mind. However, since “All philosophers are going to the dust bin” you must stand or fall on the scientific expertise which you say you lack… a nice dilemma.
-
The single error Popper referred to was the same you raised, the reality of space and time. Einstein certainly stated that “time is an illusion” (indeed, that “reality is merely an illusion”) referring to Minkowski’s view of space-time as 4-dimensional. Within space-time, observers disagree about how to draw the 3 spatial axes and the single time axis; but they all agree that there is a defined time axis, plus three spacial axes defined by the arbitrary assignment of one of them (x, say). Popper correctly pointed out that Kant took one step too far when he asserted that the Newtonian properties of space and time were true a priori. That is different from asserting - Kant’s first step - that we cannot begin to make sense of our perceptions without a prior intuition of time and space. As I carefully stated, “Kant is not, on this point, incompatible with Einstein.” [Useful link, Google “Privileged character of 3+1 spacetime”. Hmm - maybe Kant was onto something… It is noteworthy that Kant specifically criticises Berkeley for dealing with space alone, rather than space plus time.]
-
A) Me: “Einstein and Newton are incompatible - Newton believed bodies exerted forces at a distance, while Einstein believed they curved space-time itself. It seems likely that a quantum theory of gravity will supersede both.”
You: “I’ll stand my citation of Hawking above.  Einstein’s more precise description of physics did indeed shed new light on the fundamentals of reality, such as the curvature of space-time.  However, Newton’s ignorance of that property is not an ontological failure…”
Firstly, Newton’s belief in forces acting at a distance, or in an absolute and infinite Euclidean space, is an “ontological failure” - precisely the same “failure” which you use to justify condemning every line of Kant as “drivel”. Second, your “Hawking citation”. Hawking (more probably Mlodinow, though that’s unimportant) wrote in the previous sentence that laws “can be either exact or approximate,” and that is because they are not concerned with what exists but with the prediction of measurements. This is from the same book, concerning Newton’s incompatibility with reality: “...if general relativity were not taken into account in GPS satellite navigation systems, errors in global positions would accumulate at a rate of about ten kilometres each day!” (The satellite travels at 0.000013c.) Anyway, the Theory and the Law are two different ideas.
B) You wrote that “... time ceases to exist… at the speed of light.” That’s not so. No observer can travel at the speed of light. Photons travel at the speed of light - they travel, v=s/t - but clocks can’t. The events which mark the path of a photon in vacuo are strung out along the “light cone” in Minkowski space-time: all 4 dimensions are there.

[ Edited: 06 February 2013 07:20 by logicophilosophicus]
 
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06 February 2013 23:06
 
logicophilosophicus - 06 February 2013 07:18 AM

(Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Kant is “the central figure in modern philosophy” and (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy): “His contributions to metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics have had a profound impact on almost every philosophical movement that followed him.” As Popper puts it: “Kant, the great discoverer of the riddle of experience, was in error about one important point. But his error, I hasten to add, was quite unavoidable, and it detracts in no way from his magnificent achievement.”

I have already conceded that Kant was influential and is well regarded.  This doesn’t touch my criticism that his accolades are without merit. It is interesting to see Popper come up once again.  I’ve never read him, but I see his epistemology advocated constantly.  It is a bankrupt epistemology, but one so often touted that I can’t help but feel I should see what its author has to say on the topic.  However, that last time I read source material to better understand a popular but bad idea, I ended up mired in the Critique of Pure Reason.  That is not an experience I am eager to repeat. 

logicophilosophicus - 06 February 2013 07:18 AM

Great? Magnificent? When you find yourself in an intellectual minority of approximately one there’s a problem somewhere, and Occam’s Razor springs to mind. However, since “All philosophers are going to the dust bin” you must stand or fall on the scientific expertise which you say you lack… a nice dilemma.

I am hardly alone in my contempt of Kant.  I stand with Rand and Russell to name two off the top of my head, and I’d happily take either of them over the timidly deferential attitude Popper evidently adopts.  Also, it is interesting that in a philosophy forum I should be so regularly criticized for my admissions of those things I do not know.  However, together with Socrates, I believe I have an advantage here in knowing one thing more than you. 

logicophilosophicus - 06 February 2013 07:18 AM

The single error Popper referred to was the same you raised, the reality of space and time. Einstein certainly stated that “time is an illusion” (indeed, that “reality is merely an illusion”) referring to Minkowski’s view of space-time as 4-dimensional. Within space-time, observers disagree about how to draw the 3 spatial axes and the single time axis; but they all agree that there is a defined time axis, plus three spacial axes defined by the arbitrary assignment of one of them (x, say). Popper correctly pointed out that Kant took one step too far when he asserted that the Newtonian properties of space and time were true a priori. That is different from asserting - Kant’s first step - that we cannot begin to make sense of our perceptions without a prior intuition of time and space. As I carefully stated, “Kant is not, on this point, incompatible with Einstein.” [Useful link, Google “Privileged character of 3+1 spacetime”. Hmm - maybe Kant was onto something… It is noteworthy that Kant specifically criticises Berkeley for dealing with space alone, rather than space plus time].

I’m afraid the case is a bit more serious than an error in reasoning.  It is the foundation upon which the whole of his transcendentalism is founded. Kant says it himself as I quoted him above (http://www.samharris.org/forum/viewthread/16849/P30/#224044).  Elsewhere, he says “It is therefore not merely possible or probable, but indubitably certain, that space and time, as the necessary conditions of all our external and internal experience, are merely subjective conditions of all our intuitions” (italics mine) so it is clear that he feels that his foundation has a solid base. 


We are not dealing an incorrect classification of the nature of space and time (that is readily forgiven considering his era), it is a fallacious proof for the existence of a priori knowledge and therefore, for the necessity of transcendental deductions, which is the epistemology from which all of his conclusions are derived. 


So I say again – it is sophistry.  A house of cards.

logicophilosophicus - 06 February 2013 07:18 AM

Firstly, Newton’s belief in forces acting at a distance, or in an absolute and infinite Euclidean space, is an “ontological failure” - precisely the same “failure” which you use to justify condemning every line of Kant as “drivel”. Second, your “Hawking citation”. Hawking (more probably Mlodinow, though that’s unimportant) wrote in the previous sentence that laws “can be either exact or approximate,” and that is because they are not concerned with what exists but with the prediction of measurements. This is from the same book, concerning Newton’s incompatibility with reality: “...if general relativity were not taken into account in GPS satellite navigation systems, errors in global positions would accumulate at a rate of about ten kilometres each day!” (The satellite travels at 0.000013c.) Anyway, the Theory and the Law are two different ideas.

It is Newtonian mathematics which NASA uses to launch satellites and to land rovers on Mars.  I think I recall Neil DeGrass Tyson saying something like, if you fired a rifle from here to the moon using Newtonian physics, you would miss you target by less than a millimeter.  There is no doubt that Einstein’s equations are more accurate and give us a finer picture of reality, but an apt analogy would be of two pictures of the same object using different resolutions.  Yes, we learn more from the finer picture and we see errors we may have made in interpreting the fuzzy one, but what you are claiming (to extend the metaphor) is that the Newtonian picture is of another object altogether.  You are wrong.

logicophilosophicus - 06 February 2013 07:18 AM

B) You wrote that “... time ceases to exist… at the speed of light.” That’s not so. No observer can travel at the speed of light. Photons travel at the speed of light - they travel, v=s/t - but clocks can’t. The events which mark the path of a photon in vacuo are strung out along the “light cone” in Minkowski space-time: all 4 dimensions are there.

Light in vacuo travels at exactly the same speed irrespective of an observer’s relative position or speed.  We know the rate at which clocks slow under acceleration from experiment.  Therefore, we can calculate that they would slow to 0 at c.  I refer you to Brian Greene’s ‘the Elegant Universe’. 


If I may borrow and modify the example he uses:


Say that I get into a fast car and travel away from you at speed A in a vain attempt to protect my ears from your weak defense of Kant.  You, wishing to end the cognitive dissonance occasioned by having your beliefs exposed as fraudulent, fire a bullet at me which travels toward me at speed B.  The bullet will approach me at speed B-A and (assuming your aim is true and B-A is sufficiently large) your projectile will accomplish what your intellect could not.  However, if you enlist Dr. Evil to do your deed and he chooses a “laser” to accomplish the task – his “laser” beam will not approach me at c-A.  It will approach me at c.  This counterintuitive result has been experimentally verified and can only be explained if we accept that time does not exist at c; exactly as our calculations of clocks slowing at high speeds would indicate. 

 
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07 February 2013 05:20
 

@ Coolinator

Re the general assessment: “Kant… central figure in modern philosophy… profound impact on almost every philosophical movement that followed him… great discoverer of the riddle of experience… magnificent achievement.”
You wrote: “...his accolades are without merit… I am hardly alone in my contempt of Kant.  I stand with Rand and Russell.” Then I suppose you mean you stand with Ayn Rand, since Russell was not contemptuous of Kant. In his “History of Western Philosophy” Russell makes very few judgments on philosophers, other than to assess their political impact (a big issue in 1946). He makes an exception with Kant: “...generally considered the greatest of modern philosophers. I cannot myself agree with this estimate, but it would be foolish not to recognize his great importance.” Russell certainly endorsed then disavowed Kant’s view of space and time because it clashed with Special Relativity - but Russell never produced his own intended geometry. Hmmm.
“Ayn Rand… was sharply critical of most philosophers and philosophical traditions known to her… and academia generally ignored or rejected her philosophy.” She expressed total antipathy for Kant, and it is not unreasonable to suggest (as many have) that she hadn’t read him. Personally I think she read a few snippets and misunderstood them; she had a vast ego. An easy example: Rand endorsed only three philosophers, Aristotle, Aquinas and Ayn Rand. (Cringe.) Kant she believed was the enemy of reason. BUT Aquinas “proved” God must exist using reason: “there must be a first mover, unmoved, a first cause in the chain of causes, an absolutely necessary being, an absolutely perfect being, and a rational designer.” Kant specifically challenged these arguments on logical grounds. Which do you see as the more reasonable? What does that tell you about Ayn Rand’s over easy judgments?
-
“Popper… I’ve never read him, but… his… is a bankrupt epistemology…” I see where you connect with Ayn Rand, then.
-
You mention “the timidly deferential attitude Popper evidently adopts” to Kant. That would be as in:
http://www.oocities.org/criticalrationalist/popperonkant.htm
I.e. Popper’s own words on Kant’s opinion that causality is one of those priori logical relationships you are so exercised about. Well, funnily enough, that passage from Popper is very closely parallel to what Russell wrote on precisely the same issue 17 years earlier (HWP p680) - one view you characterise as contempt, the other as timid deference, but you couldn’t get a cigarette paper between them.
-
You dismiss all of Kant because he wrote this sentence: “It is therefore not merely possible or probable, but indubitably certain, that space and time, as the necessary conditions of all our external and internal experience, are merely subjective conditions of all our intuitions.” You need to think harder about the qualification “as the necessary conditions of… experience”. Kant does not deny that the “thing-in-itself” has properties; he denies that we can know those properties. Naive realists (and Ayn Rand) think we can somehow use induction to construct the real world from the blizzard of sense data, a view riddled with contradictions. Kant avoids that, and avoids the polar opposite, Berkeley’s absolute idealism. What he fails to do is to address clearly what it is about our experience that makes it amenable to organisation according to space, time and causality. If the things-in-themselves are responsible for the experiences, it seems reasonable that they have properties corresponding to space, time, etc. But the correspondence - in my view - absolutely cannot be proved to be representational. Modern science confirms this: when we look closely at the real world it is nothing like the world of experience.
-

You wrote: “... time ceases to exist… at the speed of light.”
I wrote: “That’s not so. No observer can travel at the speed of light. Photons travel at the speed of light - they travel, v=s/t - but clocks can’t. The events which mark the path of a photon in vacuo are strung out along the ‘light cone’ in Minkowski space-time: all 4 dimensions are there.”
You reply: “Light in vacuo travels at exactly the same speed irrespective of an observer’s relative position or speed.  We know the rate at which clocks slow under acceleration from experiment.  Therefore, we can calculate that they would slow to 0 at c.  I refer you to Brian Greene’s ‘the Elegant Universe’.”
Another favourite of mine! Let’s have a look (p49):
“Special Relativity declares a similar law for all motion: the combined speed of any object’s motion through space and its motion through time is always precisely equal to the speed of light… Time stops when traveling at the speed of light through space. A watch worn by a particle of light would not tick at all.”
“Stops…” A watch stops, and therefore ceases to exist???
Try the equally logical converse. “Space ‘stops’ when traveling at the speed of light through time.” You can see that this is unequivocally just shorthand for “MOTION through space stops…”
Perhaps this will help (p51):
“Its name notwithstanding, Einstein’s theory does not proclaim that everything is relative… the theory actually introduces a grand, new, sweepingly absolute concept: absolute space-time… as absolute for special relativity as absolute space and absolute time were for Newton…” With an absolute geometry, therefore.
If Kant were around, he might say, “I told you Newton, Locke and Hume were wrong to treat time as an entirely separate issue.”

[ Edited: 07 February 2013 10:31 by logicophilosophicus]
 
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08 February 2013 22:11
 

‘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.’

Supposing this to be the case, why would he need further proof?


‘He then postulates without attempting to offer proof that a priori supersedes empirical knowledge.’

He postulates what, now? Would would this even mean? It is said that “All knowledge comes from experience” (Kant).

‘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.’

Supposing this to be the case, I like him better already.

‘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.’

I don’t allow that we have studied space and time empirically. What are the fruitful results?

Do you mean that we have studied what could be the source in nature that led to the development of these two
perceptions? You mention ‘the same empirical phenomenon’, like you mean some single entity in nature. What
do you call it (for convenient reference)? What underlies these perceptions? What do you call all of what
we perceive as space and time? Do you mean the spacetime of modern physics? Is this, then, like, something that
radiates throughout the universe, or somesuch? I ask if it radiates, because I wonder what you are studying
empirically. Is spacetime (or whatever, especially if you mean something conceptually very different) part of nature?
But it does sound like your concept may at least be may be indistinguishable from the relativity theories in respect to predictability.
Is it the dynamic fabric of the universe, or something? Do you mean to endorse Einstein’s
understanding of the nature of space and time? Must space and time be rejected in this concept?

Is it much more than the source of our time and space perceptions and the medium in which matter and energy exist?
Does it make matter and the Universe possible?

‘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.’

I do more than pay lip service to Kant, I think he’s interesting, maybe Einstein is more interesting, but I’m not
sure I would insist that Einstein contradicted Kant about anything. I’m not certain what Kant could make of
Relativity, but then, I’m not certain what you make of it either.


‘I believe you are wrong to say that Kant and Einstein are compatible.  If you and I experience time differently,
that undercuts the idea that those phenomena precede experience and are therefore a priori.  Far worse if
time ceases to exist, as we know that is does at the speed of light. The properties of space and
time have been shown by physics to be abhorrent to human intuition.  Therefore, far from proving the
existence of a priori knowledge, they dramatically undercut that supposition.’

I think I’d like to try on for size, myself, the notion that Kant and Einstein are compatible.
Time does not cease to exist at the speed of light, it stops. Details, details. What you call the properties
of space and time I call mathematical equations, ergo they are not abhorrent to human intuition.
And the power of mathematics proves the existence of a priori knowledge.

 
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16 February 2013 16:47
 

I rescind my original question about why so many people continue to admire Kant.  I have been fully answered on that point.  I failed to appreciate the popularity of circular and fallacious reasoning, semantic nit picking, and shifting argumentation.  Given the apparent love for these tactics among everyone of his defenders so far, I need no longer wonder why you should hold his philosophy in high esteem. 

I had hoped, instead, for an honest attempt to reconcile his philosophy with the current state of scientific understanding.  But I knew that wasn’t possible when I made the query, so I should not be surprised by the poverty I found in the defenses that were offered.

 
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17 February 2013 09:06
 

@Coolinator.
The only bit of your post which made any sense to me, albeit momentarily, was when you wrote: “I failed…”
Russell’s attitude (the authority you claimed in support)? No answer. Greene’s account of time, and of space-time (the authority you caimed in support)? No answer.

 
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17 February 2013 10:38
 

‘I had hoped, instead, for an honest attempt..’

this is moving.

 
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03 December 2013 21:08
 

Please refute and point me to loftier understanding if you can.


1. Interaction of energy in two or more (differential) forms constitutes a system.
2. All systems, regardless of subjective observation, are interactions of different energy forms.
3. e.g. four “fundamental” forces interacted prior to and independent of human observation. (e.g. we humans and our instruments can observe light from 15 billion years ago, i.e. light/energy that interacted with the observable universe before humanity’s subjective consciousness)
4. The state of any system contains knowledge of energy interactions.
5. Contingent on energy’s existence and non-singularity, a priori knowledge is a valid, self-evident concept from a systems perspective.


All this brings me to break out Wittgenstein and stand in awe of the distinct possibility that language has me in a hamster wheel. After all, I do prefer a life in which awe plays a part. “The book will, therefore, draw a limit to thinking, or rather—not to thinking, but to the expression of thoughts; for, in order to draw a limit to thinking we should have to be able to think both sides of this limit (we should therefore have to be able to think what cannot be thought).”

[ Edited: 04 December 2013 14:14 by dabblingsynopticist]
 
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