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 Immanuel Kant by Christopher Insole

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PostSubject: Immanuel Kant by Christopher Insole   Sun 15 Jul 2012, 11:25 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Immanuel Kant by Christopher Insole   Sat 28 Jul 2012, 2:25 am




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Xenophanes of Colophon in 530 BC anticipated Kant's epistemology in his reflections on certainty. "And as for certain truth, no man has seen it, nor will there ever be a man who knows about the gods and about all the things I mention. For if he succeeds to the full in saying what is completely true, he himself is nevertheless unaware of it; and Opinion (seeming) is fixed by fate upon all things." (From Kathleen Freeman's Ancilla to the Presocratic Philosophers, Xenophanes fragment 34.)



Important schools of modern philosophy of science speak in terms of "models" or "convenient fictions" rather than asserting actual knowledge of reality.

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PostSubject: Re: Immanuel Kant by Christopher Insole   Sat 28 Jul 2012, 2:43 pm

"convenient fictions" sounds like the "noble lie". I think philosophy served as the primary medium for serving -up convenient fictions, that is, until science replaced it in the 1900's. Thank God Goedel showed us this early-on.

PS. There's a podcast and a few video-clases on Kant that I'll post here.. .just need to find them again.

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PostSubject: Re: Immanuel Kant by Christopher Insole   Sat 28 Jul 2012, 11:24 pm

C1 wrote:
"convenient fictions" sounds like the "noble lie".

These are very different concepts, the noble lie is intentionally created to deceive and manipulate while convenient fictions or objects of the mind are unavoidable and necessary elements of human cognition as it relates to, maps, and models reality.

Quote :
In the philosophy of science, instrumentalism is the view that a scientific theory is a useful instrument in understanding the world. A concept or theory should be evaluated by how effectively it explains and predicts phenomena, as opposed to how accurately it describes objective reality.

Instrumentalism avoids the debate between anti-realism and philosophical or scientific realism. It may be better characterised as non-realism. Instrumentalism shifts the basis of evaluation away from whether or not phenomena observed actually exist, and towards an analysis of whether the results and evaluation fit with observed phenomena.

Historically, science and scientific theories have advanced as more detailed observations and results about the world have been made. Instrumentalism provides a framework for the practice of science and scientific method. Instrumentalism is not specifically anti-realist; however, it maintains that the role of the scientist is constrained by empirical results, and the theories that can be developed can offer explanations of how the world works, but that these explanations should be seen as best approximations of the world, rather than an ultimate reality.

Theories about unobservable phenomena are regarded as having no scientific meaning. Scientists may make claims about unobservable objects, but these claims should not be regarded as meaningful. Evidence is necessarily limited in any scientific enquiry, and this means underdetermination is a common result, where competing theories are posited on the same set of evidence.

The usefulness of an instrumentalist position becomes particularly apparent in sciences where core concepts are likely to be fundamentally illusive or disputed, such as quantum physics, and astronomy.

An instrumentalist position was put forward by Ernst Mach. Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions posits problem-solving as a key component of scientific practice, with the emphasis on truth or reality reduced, as he provides extensive examples of how our conceptions of reality have changed over time.



Quote :
An unobservable (also called impalpable) is an entity whose existence, nature, properties, qualities or relations are not directly observable by humans. In philosophy of science typical examples of "unobservables" are atomic particles, the force of gravity, causation and beliefs or desires.

However, some philosophers (ex. George Berkeley) also characterize all objects — trees, tables, other minds, microbiological things and so on to which humans ascribe as the thing causing their perception—as unobservable.

"Unobservables" is a reference similar to Immanuel Kant's distinction between noumena (things-in-themselves, i.e., raw things in their necessarily unknowable state,[1] before they pass through the formalizing apparatus of the senses and the mind in order to become perceived objects) and phenomena (the perceived object). According to Kant humans can never know noumena; all that humans know is the phenomena. Kant's distinction is similar to John Locke's distinction between primary and secondary qualities. Secondary qualities are what humans perceive such as redness, chirping, heat, mustiness or sweetness. Primary qualities would be the actual qualities of the things themselves which give rise to the secondary qualities which humans perceive.

The ontological nature and epistemological issues concerning unobservables is a central topic in philosophy of science. The notion that a given unobservable exists is referred to as scientific realism, in contrast to instrumentalism, the notion that unobservables such as atoms are useful models but don't necessarily exist.

Metcalf distinguishes three kinds of unobservables. One is the logically unobservable, which involves a contradiction. An example would be a length which is both longer and shorter than a given length. The second is the practically unobservable, that which we can conceive of as observable by the known sense-faculties of man but we are prevented from observing by practical difficulties. The third kind is the physically unobservable, that which can never be observed by any existing sense-faculties of man.


Quote :
An object of the mind is an object which exists in the imagination, but which, in the real world, can only be represented or modeled.

The theoretical posits of one era's scientific theories may be demoted to mere objects of the mind by subsequent discoveries: some standard examples include phlogiston and ptolemaic epicycles.

This raises questions, in the debate between scientific realism and instrumentalism about the status of current posits, such as black holes and quarks. Are they still merely intentional, even if the theory is correct?

The situation is further complicated by the existence in scientific practice of entities which are explicitly held not to be real, but which nonetheless serve a purpose—convenient fictions. Examples include lines of force, centers of gravity, and electron holes in semiconductor theory.

Quote :
Abstraction is a process by which higher concepts are derived from the usage and classification of literal ("real" or "concrete") concepts, first principles, or other methods. "An abstraction" is the product of this process – a concept that acts as a super-categorical noun for all subordinate concepts, and connects any related concepts as a group, field, or category.

Abstractions may be formed by reducing the information content of a concept or an observable phenomenon, typically to retain only information which is relevant for a particular purpose.

Thinking in abstractions is considered to be one of the key traits in modern human behaviour, which is believed to have developed between 50,000 and 100,000 years ago, probably before the modern human exodus from Africa. Its development is likely to have been closely connected with the development of human language, which (whether spoken or written) appears to both involve and facilitate abstract thinking.

The oldest known physical representations identified as symbols for abstract concepts are abstract engravings found on two pieces of ochre in Blombos Cave, South Africa, in 2001. These have been dated to about 77,000 years ago, during the Middle Stone Age.

In philosophical terminology, abstraction is the thought process wherein ideas are distanced from objects.

Abstraction uses a strategy of simplification, wherein formerly concrete details are left ambiguous, vague, or undefined; thus effective communication about things in the abstract requires an intuitive or common experience between the communicator and the communication recipient. This is true for all verbal/abstract communication.


C1 wrote:
I think philosophy served as the primary medium for serving -up convenient fictions, that is, until science replaced it in the 1900's. Thank God Goedel showed us this early-on.

Incompleteness has been known and understood since at least the presocratic philosophers. Philosophy has, for the most part(excepting disingenuous and unbalanced individuals and schools like Ayn Rand and objectivism) , been an honest and genuine pursuit of understanding and attempt at defining our common reality.

Incidentally, Godel did more to undermine realism, foster doubt, and vindicate skepticism than any thinker before or since.





C1 wrote:
PS. There's a podcast and a few video-clases on Kant that I'll post here.. .just need to find them again.

Just as long as it is not by or for Randroids. Randroids kant read. If you are interested in exploring a scathing and devastating critique of Kant then I would recommend Salomon Maimon, unlike Rand, he had actually read Kant and made a thorough study of Kant's system before critiquing.
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/maimon/

There is a definite reason why Rand has a mass appeal and why Rand appeals so strongly to the masses, Objectivism is for the logically impaired and cognitively challenged. There is a marked lack of criticism of Objectivist philosophy by serious philosophers because Objectivism is not a serious system of formal thought and therefore is not taken very seriously by serious philosophers. Objectivism is a laughing stock of philosophy.
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PostSubject: Re: Immanuel Kant by Christopher Insole   Tue 31 Jul 2012, 12:56 pm

mike lewis wrote:
C1 wrote:
"convenient fictions" sounds like the "noble lie".

These are very different concepts, the noble lie is intentionally created to deceive and manipulate while convenient fictions or objects of the mind are unavoidable and necessary elements of human cognition as it relates to, maps, and models reality.
So, are "convenient fictions" self-created and managed?

mike lewis wrote:
Quote :
In the philosophy of science, instrumentalism is the view that a scientific theory is a useful instrument in understanding the world. A concept or theory should be evaluated by how effectively it explains and predicts phenomena, as opposed to how accurately it describes objective reality.

Instrumentalism avoids the debate between anti-realism and philosophical or scientific realism. It may be better characterised as non-realism. Instrumentalism shifts the basis of evaluation away from whether or not phenomena observed actually exist, and towards an analysis of whether the results and evaluation fit with observed phenomena.

Historically, science and scientific theories have advanced as more detailed observations and results about the world have been made. Instrumentalism provides a framework for the practice of science and scientific method. Instrumentalism is not specifically anti-realist; however, it maintains that the role of the scientist is constrained by empirical results, and the theories that can be developed can offer explanations of how the world works, but that these explanations should be seen as best approximations of the world, rather than an ultimate reality.

Theories about unobservable phenomena are regarded as having no scientific meaning. Scientists may make claims about unobservable objects, but these claims should not be regarded as meaningful. Evidence is necessarily limited in any scientific enquiry, and this means underdetermination is a common result, where competing theories are posited on the same set of evidence.

The usefulness of an instrumentalist position becomes particularly apparent in sciences where core concepts are likely to be fundamentally illusive or disputed, such as quantum physics, and astronomy.

An instrumentalist position was put forward by Ernst Mach. Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions posits problem-solving as a key component of scientific practice, with the emphasis on truth or reality reduced, as he provides extensive examples of how our conceptions of reality have changed over time.
instrumentalism is an interesting concept, in that it boxes-in science limiting it to empirical study only. This could solve a lot of problems. Need to think it thru.

Haven't read rest of post yet.

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PostSubject: Re: Immanuel Kant by Christopher Insole   Tue 31 Jul 2012, 9:54 pm

C1 wrote:
mike lewis wrote:
C1 wrote:
"convenient fictions" sounds like the "noble lie".

These are very different concepts, the noble lie is intentionally created to deceive and manipulate while convenient fictions or objects of the mind are unavoidable and necessary elements of human cognition as it relates to, maps, and models reality.
So, are "convenient fictions" self-created and managed?

No, they are the best approximate descriptions or the most convenient and precise analogies which asymptotically approach a true comprehension of actual reality. They are labeled convenient fictions in acknowledgement of the fact that human perception and human cognition will never and can never interact with reality unmediated or know reality in the immediate as it is in itself. According to Kant, only God can know reality as it is in itself(noumenon), human beings can only ever know the world as it appears to them(phenomenon or convenient fictions) .
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PostSubject: Re: Immanuel Kant by Christopher Insole   Wed 01 Aug 2012, 2:56 pm

So, humans are forces to live inside a Smulacrum... which is now mostly controlled by elites, who live in their own simulacrum, instead of God?

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PostSubject: Re: Immanuel Kant by Christopher Insole   Thu 02 Aug 2012, 5:06 am

C1 wrote:
So, humans are forces to live inside a Smulacrum... which is now mostly controlled by elites, who live in their own simulacrum, instead of God?

Humans are not forced into subjectivity, it is simply the natural condition we find ourselves in. The elites have not highjacked reality because they can lay no more claim to reality than than the rest of us, the elites have simply manipulated perception of the phenomenal world(the world as it appears) to their own benefit. Humans can never reclaim reality in its immediacy because it was never available to us to begin with, what we can reclaim is only our own perception and natural intuition which in essence is the original uniqueness of each individual as he or she asymptotically approaches and relates to the mystery of the noumenon, this uniqueness and originality is the human soul.
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PostSubject: Re: Immanuel Kant by Christopher Insole   Thu 02 Aug 2012, 1:28 pm

mike lewis wrote:
C1 wrote:
PS. There's a podcast and a few video-clases on Kant that I'll post here.. .just need to find them again.

Just as long as it is not by or for Randroids. Randroids kant read. If you are interested in exploring a scathing and devastating critique of Kant then I would recommend Salomon Maimon, unlike Rand, he had actually read Kant and made a thorough study of Kant's system before critiquing.
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/maimon/

There is a definite reason why Rand has a mass appeal and why Rand appeals so strongly to the masses, Objectivism is for the logically impaired and cognitively challenged. There is a marked lack of criticism of Objectivist philosophy by serious philosophers because Objectivism is not a serious system of formal thought and therefore is not taken very seriously by serious philosophers. Objectivism is a laughing stock of philosophy.
This is the podcast I was referring to... "Kant's Fundamental Principles (aka Groundwork) of the Metaphysic of Morals" from the guys at The Partially Examined Life



http://www.partiallyexaminedlife.com/2009/10/19/episode-10-kantian-ethics-what-should-we-do/

PS. On the matter of RAND, I'd like to keep the focus on her, her work and its merit, or lack thereof. I realize that we all struggle (me most definitely included) with the followers of people/work that we see as obviously corrupt, but I'd really like to do our best to refrain from attacking followers.... as hard as that is to do.



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PostSubject: Re: Immanuel Kant by Christopher Insole   Mon 06 Aug 2012, 12:53 pm

C1 wrote:

PS. On the matter of RAND, I'd like to keep the focus on her, her work and its merit, or lack thereof. I realize that we all struggle (me most definitely included) with the followers of people/work that we see as obviously corrupt, but I'd really like to do our best to refrain from attacking followers.... as hard as that is to do.

When it comes to Kant, the Objectivists have really brought it on themselves, none of them(including Rand herself) have made an in depth study of Kant and 99% of them have not ever read anything at all by Kant(including Rand herself). Yet that has not stopped them from slandering and vilifying one the greatest philosophers to have ever lived, Objectivists have absurdly placed the blame on Kant for everything from Nazism and Communism to the New Age.

There are three phenomenon related to Objectivism and each one merits analysis and criticism:

1. Rand's ideology

2. The impact of Rand's ideology on world affairs

3. The irrational cult that has grown up around Rand as a personality and her ideology.

I'm sorry but there is no other way of defining and analyzing a cult without using the words cult, cultist, or cult leader.

The cult of Objectivism and its ideology are irrational, pernicious, and destructive. Objectivism is the extreme opposite of the cult of Communism, extreme opposite is otherwise known as antithesis in dialectic speak. Extremes are never rational, always dangerous, and always guaranteed to ultimately be promoted and controlled by cynical opportunistic third-party interests as a technique of manipulation which always leads to untold misery and suffering.
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