Saturday, May 30, 2009

Reply to a Randroid

On Tue, 05 May 2009 19:28:10 -0700, Fred Weiss

>On May 5, 7:43 pm, MalKantent wrote:
>> On Tue, 05 May 2009 15:54:42 -0700, Fred Weiss
>> >> >Except that we don't know what "that which exists" is which is
>> >> >"impinging upon the senses".
>> >> Yes we do, or, as Kant stated, it would be to have an appearance
>> >> without anything to appear.
>> >That is not the same thing as knowing what it is. In fact, once again,
>> >he EXPLICITLY denies that we can know what it is.
>> There is no explicit denial of knowing anything empirical.
>Namely "appearances". That's no more or less than any crackpot
>Idealist would also claim.

The only EXPLICIT denial is found in your Kant interpretations. I
quote you Kant's EXPLICIT denials concerning the charge that he is a
Subjectivist, charges that were leveled against him soon after the
publication of the Critique, but you evade them.

>Look, you keep repeating this over and over and over again as if it
>addresses the question. I'm losing my patience with you and your
>blatant dishonesty.
>> Of course he knows what it is.
>What is the "it" which he claims to know? Appearances and appearances
>only. Certainly *not* what the appearance is *of*. That is the
>unknowable "thing-in-itself"
>Once again you are ducking and dodging.

Simply start with your own experience and distinguish within that
experience the knower (yourself) from that which is known (the object
of knowledge). This is an obvious distinction to be made. The objects
of perception are not created in the mind, that is your false
interpretation; all that the knower gives to experience, according to
Kant, are space, time, and the categories (unity, causality, etc.).
The knower does NOT give the object in experience, that is given by
the object itself. Nor is there any Rand-like theory that sensory data
are put together as percepts in the brain - a theory, by the way,
which is hardly proven if at all although Rand tried to lend it the
aura of scientific credibility back in the 1960s.

>Furthermore, the simple fact is that at the drop of a hat you'll do a
>somersault and eagerly embrace Kant's (and your) subjectivism,

Kant's subjectivism does not involve the object, but only the forms
given by the knower to experience.

>the very thing which you seem to be affirming here - and blathering
>about the moon on the horizon or color, etc. etc. Then what is it that
>we supposedly know? Especially given Kant's explicit claim that we
>*impose* space and time on reality. Somehow that is supposedly going
>to save him from subjectivism.

Kant believed that his theory of "imposing" space and time on
appearances saved all of us from subjectivism. He made many, many
statements to the effect that the only means by which even the most
extreme realist can be saved from subjectivism is through his doctrine
of space and time. He believed that the subjectivist begins with the
notion that space and time are "out there," as some kind of subsisting
or inhering universal substances. This, he believed, was the manner in
which the subjectivist crushed out of existence all certainty. Kant
had no desire to be some kind of super-subjectivist, but to re-orient
space and time in such a way that certainty could be saved, by
locating them in the mind of the knower.

Anyway, it is not as if space and time are "imposed" on appearances,
because that would be an activity and Kant denies activity to the
faculty of sensibility, granting it only receptivity. Appearances are
simply spatial and temporal, those are the manner in which appearances
are received.

>> You are silly. Kant has denied only a certain variety of knowledge, that of the Platonic variety.
>What are you babbling about? What has that got to do with anything?

I am "babbling" about the fact that Kant made very explicit time and
time again that he was out to eradicate what you call "subjectivism"
which I consider a Platonic tradition in philosophy. Plato held that
the only true knowledge was knowledge of the realm of Forms beyond
experience, of which objective reality is only its mere shadow. To the
contrary, Kant held that the Forms are not beyond experience, they
are part and parcel with experience. It is the Platonic belief that
the Forms are beyond experience which led to notion that the
senses bring only illusion; Kant held that by bringing the Forms back
to experience where they belong that all such illusion could be
eradicated and objective reality established as knowable and not

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