The Copernican Revolution and the Senses

Discussions on the nature of being, existence, reality and knowledge. What is? How do we know?

Re: The Copernican Revolution and the Senses

Postby Positor on May 19th, 2017, 8:01 pm 

Neri » May 19th, 2017, 8:04 pm wrote:If things in themselves provide the matter [whatever that might be] of the representation, that matter should somehow be contained in the perception. But we are told that the perception contains nothing of things in themselves, for the reason that the perception is limited by the intuitions of time and space that have no counterpart in things in themselves. Thus, the whole explanation is internally inconsistent.

Is it possible to think of the "matter" of things-in-themselves as something like a code ("digital", so to speak) which does not occupy time or space? Our intuitions of time and space, and the correspondence between an event therein and an element of the code, would then constitute the "key" to the code. The perception and the code, though corresponding, would be two quite different types of entity; we would have no knowledge of the code as a code.

I am obviously not claiming that Kant thought of the explanation in those terms — I am just wondering if that would save its consistency.
Active Member
Posts: 1182
Joined: 05 Feb 2010

Re: The Copernican Revolution and the Senses

Postby BadgerJelly on May 20th, 2017, 3:25 am 

Neri » May 16th, 2017, 1:06 am wrote:BIV,

I noticed your last post.

Modern science seems to contradict Kant’s Copernican revolution. The notion that the universe follows our intuitions (rather than the other way round) is no longer supportable.

Modern instruments such as space telescopes and neutron colliders have expanded our senses far beyond our intuitions.

Therefore, it appears that empirical data is not a slave to our thought processes, as Kant claimed. This is a severe blow to his antirealism.

Nature has a vote after all.

I see Biv liked this post also. I am a little baffled here because Kant does not make such a claim at all. What I see is you are trying to push him to either one side or the other. He actually worked to unite/reconcile both positions.

Kant does not stay onside with either rationalism nor empiricism. He was looking for the middle ground (so to speak). He is anything but anti-realist!!?? He doesn't really question things existing. What he looks at is how we understand things at all.

I have noticed a certain perspective on this forum which tends towards viewing anything veering away from empiricism, or discussing such, as being anti-realist or 'fantasy' (I guess I shouldn't be overly surprised by this considering this is a predominantly 'science' forum - that is why I enjoy it here).

After all if you are a hard core empiricist you are necessarily casting yourself in a anti-rationalist position. Kant's attempted to reconcile these positions not dismiss one or the other.

The 'limiting' nature of the concepts Kant uses need to be understood to understand his position. His use of "noumenon" fits this bill. We do not learn purely through experience or come to 'know' purely through experience. That may sound contrary I know! We rationalize our experiences we don't form rationalism from experiences (this is in line with what I was saying about causation and the chess board with the pieces nor the chess players being what causes the chess board).
User avatar
Resident Member
Posts: 5754
Joined: 14 Mar 2012

Re: The Copernican Revolution and the Senses

Postby BadgerJelly on June 5th, 2017, 5:31 am 

I like to look at these points you wrote:

(1) Things in themselves cause the mental representations of them.

(2) These mental representations in no way correspond to things in themselves.

(3) Neither space nor time are things in themselves or properties of things in themselves. This can only mean that the noumenal world contains neither space nor time; for, we are told, they exist only in the mind.

(4) Because the noumenal realm contains neither space nor time, nothing can move or change there. In fact, nothing of any kind can happen there.

(5) Without space, nothing can have extension in the noumena nor can anything be separate from any other thing in itself. This reduces the whole of the noumena to a singularity—something infinitely small and utterly without properties of any sort. Kant would say that such a thing is unimaginable, yet modern-day physicists imagine exactly that as the starting point of the universe.

I don't see a reason to move beyond (1) for now. This is the crux of the whole idea of rationalism and empiricism is it not? The presupposed "thing" is unknown to us, yet it is known to us as a presupposed "thing". We do not "possess" it and to regard The World of experience as an "inner" and "outer" separation is a convenient proposition from which to build a rational picture based on how sensory data is compatible with reason. We essentially "feel out" what is The World in an "aboutness".

To say we know "things in themselves" only by way of our experience of them is to ignore how we come to have an "experiential framework" (a rational understanding). We are limited to regard "things" as being "as such" not to extend into them.

To say there is a "cause" we can know is to say we understand existence itself. Here we enter into a contrary area. Kant was pointing toward an alternative approach because although rationality and empiricism stride us toward a particular understanding of The World, we are still occupied with questions that seem beyond the framework of both rationality and empiricism. He was saying, in my view, that we cannot know anything absolutely of The World (and that The World is taken for granted - although I admit he falls short here from my understanding and I am putting words into his mouth to a degree), but we know "things" absolutely in a synthetic way. This means we reveal ourselves as we are and continue to. What is beyond our immediate being is simply the presupposed "things in themselves". He doesn't step into this area and merely skirt around it and asks what is happening here and what can we, or should we, do to further our understanding of this obtuse delineation between two particular facets of knowledge and two differing perspectives of causation.

He flips repeatedly from one position to the other and argues both sides. What he does is partially undercover the tradition of our understanding and say that we cannot fully uncover it either rationally or empirically and that both these positions are at best "complimentary".

Nounemon is a necessary limit and phenomenon is the immediate. Noumenon can be said to be the proposition beyond the immediate. Obviously beyond the immediate is that which "in itself" beyond immediate knowledge. Regardless we regard it as a necessary proposition because we are causal beings and cannot know of non-causally intellectual attributes other than through reason in "synthesis" with experience. The number one has meaning only in its application to experience and vice versa.

to add ... cannot remember who said this ... someone mentioned, maybe you, regarding experience as a singularity. This is an empirical analogy of consciousness. This is as if to regard "consciousness" as a physical object in space, which doesn't fit. It is also what I was examining some time ago with regard to my "sphere analogy" if you remember?
User avatar
Resident Member
Posts: 5754
Joined: 14 Mar 2012

Re: The Copernican Revolution and the Senses

Postby Old Rasputin on June 5th, 2017, 10:29 am 

Neri wrote:(1) Things in themselves cause the mental representations of them.

BadgerJelly wrote:I don't see a reason to move beyond (1) for now. This is the crux of the whole idea of rationalism and empiricism is it not? The presupposed "thing" is unknown to us, yet it is known to us as a presupposed "thing".

I disagree. We cannot “know” (with certainty) a "thing", nor a “presupposed thing” (via experiential/empirical means).

For example, we can stand facing a wall, and ‘imagine’ (presuppose) that some-‘thing’ exists/happens on the other side. I agree that the ‘object’ we ‘imagine’ cannot be known (with certainty), but also, NOR can the ‘content’ of our imagining of this ‘object’. All we can “know” (with certainty), is that imagining happened. That is all. We have no way to vouch for the 'truthfulness' of the external 'object' nor the internal 'content'; mental image/representation.

A copy (i.e. "mental representation") of an "uncertain thing", does not yield anything more certain (or knowable!).

We can't get 'objectivity' from 'subjectivity'.
We can't get 'rationalism' from 'empiricism'.
We can't get 'truths' from 'opinions'.
Old Rasputin


Return to Metaphysics & Epistemology

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 11 guests