Yeah it seems to me that this is the kind of nonsense that has held back Western philosophy from reaching critical depth:
Though it's true that strictly speaking we can't say anything about the noumena, in the most basic aspect we should do so anyway. The default position is to assume that it has the same kind of existence as phenomena, that the two are somehow one and the same.
Exactly! One response to Kant is that if you think there is something IN experience that warrants positing noumena, which he does since he spends a lot of words talking about how we cannot talk about it, then there is an established theme for discussion: what is it that is THERE in experience that gives warrant for noumena being a meaningful term at all? Lots of very good things written on this. I am reading Eugene Fink's 6th Meditation, and Michel Henry's discussion affectivity of revelation in Heidegger. the point I would make is that there is this and much, much more that looks into Kant's (reluctant) claim that noumena is NOT an absurd term.
Especially after this picture is 100% consistent with what science has found. Not assuming anything about noumena is akin to solipsism, only my mind exists or appears to exists, and I won't assume anything beyond that. One CAN take that position but it's just dumb.
What we must NOT assume however is that the noumena is the source of experience, because that sets up a kind of dualism, a "relationship" between noumena and phenomena, but there is no reason to believe in such a relationship, since the two are most likely one and the same thing. So what I was wondering was whether Kant understood this?
Such a good question. See how you align with Eugene Fink, who writes,
Originating in the radicality of utmost self-reflection, our meditative thinking, in performing the phenomenological reduction, brought us into the
dimension in which we stand before the problem-field of philosophy. Instead of inquiring into the being of the world, as does traditional "philosophy" dominated by the dogmatism of the natural attitude, or, where inquiry is not satisfied with that, instead of soaring up over the world "speculatively," we, in a truly "Copernican revolution," have broken through the confinement of the natural attitude, as the horizon of all our human possibilities for acting and theorizing, and have thrust forward into the dimension of origin for all being, into the constitutive source of the world, into the sphere of transcendental subjectivity.
Of course, the Copernican Revolution is a reference to Kant's Idealism. Fink is about to discuss how one can approach the matter of a kind of
noumenal presence in presence itself, and this begins with Husserl's famous epoche, a reduction of a perception from its apperceptive attending ideas to its phenomenological presence. It is a long story, but the idea is essentially what you bring out: what is thought "out there" and separate from thought and sensation is really "in here" and so are the clues for clarifying the generative conditions that make it happen, that "generate" experience. Finks is an exposition of the transcendental ego. Really fascinating, but not an easy read with out Kant and Husserl under your belt.
This may sound high flung and jargony, but that is where this kind of discussion goes. It gets much worse, that is, in terms of making sense of what has to be apparent in experience in order for a term like noumena to be a non-nonsensical one.
Husserl really wanted nothing to do with Kant's noumena. He thought the "otherness" of the world was right there in our midst, in the phenomenon.