Kant

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odysseus
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Re: Kant

Post by odysseus »

Atla

It can be seen as a fact that the phenomenal and the noumenal worlds are one and the same world, unless proven otherwise. By Occam's razor this is the default position, it requires no assumption. Saying that they are different (at least in the sense that we shouldn't talk about one of them), requires an added and baseless assumption, maybe that's why I don't really see the point of getting into Kant.
I actually agree with this. There are monists on both sides of the fence. Analytic philosophers lean toward science: it all material substance. Phenomenologists toward phenomena: material substance is simply not there in what can be witnessed (no one has ever seen substance) and the atomic and subatomic particles of the world are reducible to phenomena. Where does Occam's razor really fall? Monists have to keep both, but one side will "reduce" the other to its foundational thinking. I side with phenomenology because, well, it's the one true view. Okay; what I mean is that after reading phenomenologists I realize they're right. When one reduces like this, the dominating tentative foundation holds sway in interpreting the world and phenomenology allows experiences we have to be what they are, fully. THAT is the world.

It's very simple really, in the human head there is something that's a part of the world and a representation of the world at the same time. Transcendental ego, noumenal being, phenomenal being, whatever, are fundamentally all the same being, which leads to nondualism (what I meant by critical depth).
Right. The unifying concept in this is "the world". What is this? That is the rub. Once you let Occam's razor make this nondualist determination, then you are stuck with the philosophy making sense of it.
To me this seems mindboggingly simple and can be expressed in a few sentences, and I really don't understand why Western philosophy always got stuck because of some kind of dualism of our own creation.
Because there are questions, basic questions that present themselves. How does unity stand in the midst of diversity? The world is manifold, knowledge claims are thematically different. In fact, to know is inherently to know other thatn what the knowledge claim says because knowledge plays off of what what something is not. I cannot know X without knowing there are non-X's.

Things that are intuitively true to us must endure critical examination. Kant is very good at explaining this.
Atla
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Re: Kant

Post by Atla »

odysseus wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:43 pmI actually agree with this. There are monists on both sides of the fence. Analytic philosophers lean toward science: it all material substance. Phenomenologists toward phenomena: material substance is simply not there in what can be witnessed (no one has ever seen substance) and the atomic and subatomic particles of the world are reducible to phenomena. Where does Occam's razor really fall? Monists have to keep both, but one side will "reduce" the other to its foundational thinking. I side with phenomenology because, well, it's the one true view. Okay; what I mean is that after reading phenomenologists I realize they're right. When one reduces like this, the dominating tentative foundation holds sway in interpreting the world and phenomenology allows experiences we have to be what they are, fully. THAT is the world.
'Material' is an empty concept and substance theory is nonsense. But the material substance is a very good tool to describe, map the world. This material world is the same as the world of experience.
Right. The unifying concept in this is "the world". What is this? That is the rub. Once you let Occam's razor make this nondualist determination, then you are stuck with the philosophy making sense of it.
But we are stuck with trying to make some sense of the world either way, whether it's nondual, or dual in the sense that the noumena and phenomena are fundamentally different. (The only difference being that nondualism automatically solves like half of the age-old problems.)
Because there are questions, basic questions that present themselves. How does unity stand in the midst of diversity? The world is manifold, knowledge claims are thematically different.
It's because the correct interpretation of unity is that there is difference (diversity) but also non-separability. That's why nondualism is technically not monism, not Unity or Oneness with a capital letter.
In other words, non-separation does not imply sameness.
In fact, to know is inherently to know other thatn what the knowledge claim says because knowledge plays off of what what something is not. I cannot know X without knowing there are non-X's.
Human thinking is deep down always relative (and therefore ultimately circular in a sense), but how human thinking works doesn't really have a bearing on the world.
odysseus
Posts: 188
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:30 pm

Re: Kant

Post by odysseus »

Veritas Aequitas
The argument of the CoPR is divided in certain phases, e.g. Sensibility and the Understanding.
To focus so as to exhaust whatever there is within 'sensibility' Kant introduced the idea of 'noumenon' [simply a thought] as a logical contrast to phenomenon to stop people from thinking too far and off topic, thus as a limiting concept.

After exhausting all the argument within sensibility 'that thing' is deliberated within the Understand into Transcendental DIALECTIC where Kant argued and concluded the noumenon at this phase as the thing-in-itself is an illusion.
Of course, the Transcendental Unity of Apperception, the "I" which encompasses all in one's experience and is the source for the the pure forms of reason is noumenal as well. Reason is simply there and we are given no arguments as to why the logic it gives our language should be obeyed. As a simply "given" it stands as foundational and therefore transcendental. As with sensory presence/intuition, we have to extrapolate to the source: what has to be the case given what is the case, and what is the case is representations that need that whic is represented.
But because Kant's ideas are so complex, those neo-Kantians, Sopenhauer Husserl, Heidegger, et al. cannot grasp Kant's idea of the illusory thing-in-itself and could not free themselves from the grasp of the thing-in-itself into thinking IT is 'something'.
But philosophers of the East, especially Buddhism and Hume are in agreement with Kant.

The issue is very psychological.
Issues with this: For one thing, it is not psychological, but phenomenological. Husserl often takes up this issue so as not to be confused with the soft-empiricism of psychology, which infers from empirical evidence, what he calls the naturalistic attitude, to structures of the psyche. Of course, the term 'psychological' can be put out there and defined as you deem fitting, but it is an ill fit. Take Kierkegaard who called his concept of anxiety a Deliberation on a Psychologically Oriented Deliberation...; and here it is more proper since Kierkegaard does take up the contents of a single person's experience, her moods, engagements, and troubles. Kant has no interest here in these. He is a rationalist in the Critique, all the way. It is the structures of reason present in our judgments that make thought possible, that he is interested in. It suspends all else.

Second, to say Heidegger and the rest could not understand Kant because he was so complex is, well, wrong, and very much so. Husserl wanted nothing to do with Kant's noumena because Kant was the one unable to see that noumena was possessed within the constitution of experience, and exposed by way of the phenomenological method: the phenomenological reduction. The "illusion" that separated clear apprehension of the world from the naive perspective of empirical science was the matter of being within Kant's empirical limitations. This is the positivist in Kant: there is a sharply drawn line between what the understanding can grasp and cannot. Intuitions without concepts are empty. Period. And as soon as you apply the concept, you bring the intuition to heel as a finite, a well delineated affair. Kant was a rigid SOB, hence the need for existentialism. This is where Heidegger steps in. He is more complicated than Kant. His ontology is phenomenological, as is Kant's rationalism, but it is not the structures of reason he is concerned with; it is the srtuctures of Being here at all: inherently hermeneutical. It was Heidegger, in his famous interview, who said the Buddhists are on to something, that they possessed the possibility of a"primordial" language.

All of the existentialists were neo Kantians (all analytic philosophers are as well, though they don't like to say) They expanded on the premise that the world is not merely understood through a contribution by the understanding; rather, the world and the subject were "of a piece". There was no world without human cognition, caring, existential anxst, frustration, alienation, and so on. There was only transcendence. Existentialists did, and continue to do (it is a mixed bag) a lot with the "presence" of transcendence IN immanence (Kant's language, though he had no truck with impossible "transcendence" In immanence. Such a thing he though a mere dialectical error).

Buddhists are in agreement with Kant...how?? Impossible.
odysseus
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Re: Kant

Post by odysseus »

Atla
'Material' is an empty concept and substance theory is nonsense. But the material substance is a very good tool to describe, map the world. This material world is the same as the world of experience.
I have argued this same point many times. Language itself is a tool (the pragmatists are right on this), though this gets tricky, for in "disclosing the world" it also forms the world, is part and parcel of it. Hence, the world is a pragmatic construct that is embedded IN the "presence" of, if you will, sensory intuition. These terms, substance, material, we use all the time, obviously, and their given contexts, they make perfect sense. So and so is a materiel witness to a crime, and the like. But ontological materialism is simply empty. One cannot describe it, for it is not an object with properties. It is not A being, but Being as such; not an entity, but what is presupposed by entities. Utterly transcendent and nothing to say about it.
But we are stuck with trying to make some sense of the world either way, whether it's nondual, or dual in the sense that the noumena and phenomena are fundamentally different. (The only difference being that nondualism automatically solves like half of the age-old problems.)
The only way to go is with Heidegger, as I see it: one cannot unify the world ontologically, for to think at all, binds one to dualism. A single thought doesn't exist, for its very meaning is bound to other thoughts. Such a singularity is impossible to conceive, and it is not the world. We can say all things are god, but there will be no explaining this. We live In transcendence, and that is the best one can say. It only gets interesting when we look IN experience and understand that what makes a thing a thing at all is our "Kantian" cognition In the thing, and in doing this realize the encounter one is having, has entirely Other features neglected by the everydayness of experience (which includes science). This is existentialism, but existentialists, of course, take serious issue with Kant: it is NOT the cognition that makes the world, the world; it is much more. Our feelings, our suffering, our wonder, our longing for redemption and meaning, and to read these guy s is a revelation. Kant opens a door of phenomenology, but never really walks through it, and existentialists do just this, and often close the door behind (a possible consequence of reading this kind of thing is reverse alienation: one becomes detached from the everyday).
Heidegger is, by my thinking, near the pinnacle of human understanding. Neo Heideggarians, like Levinas and other French philosophers go further.
It's because the correct interpretation of unity is that there is difference (diversity) but also non-separability. That's why nondualism is technically not monism, not Unity or Oneness with a capital letter.
In other words, non-separation does not imply sameness.
I will give this some thought. Non-separability, one may argue, is only meaningful if one can say how, in what way things are inseparable. Here, you offer a bare intuition, which, I think is right, somehow. But how does this settle the issues in the arguments on the table? E.g., if my lamp is inseparable from a thought in my head, how does metaphysical inseparability help me resolve the issues of dualism? Just saying they are all connected is too mysterious to be argued.
Phenomenology will tell you, you have to stop trying to do this, for this principle of unity is unthinkable. kantian unity, the TUA (transcendental Unity of Apperception) puts the stamp of "I" on all things. This points to the unity of all things in the direction of the transcednental ego. I think this is the way to go. Husserl's Ideas is illuminating.
Human thinking is deep down always relative (and therefore ultimately circular in a sense), but how human thinking works doesn't really have a bearing on the world.
Now that is a loaded statement. Now, I am guessing you mean human thinking, being endlessly flawed, does not make the world what it is. But beyond this, there is the notion of contingency, the opposite of an absolute. All propositions of fact are contingent, meaning they depend on context for a meaning to appear. Absolutes are stand alone.
But on the other hand, for me, to think phenomenologically, the ground for actuality is the self. Thus, what Real is the egoistic center. Out there, beyond what concepts and experience say of the world, there is no world, just transcendence. There is no world, only worlds, I submit. So a person't thoughts have a great deal of bearing on A world.
Atla
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Re: Kant

Post by Atla »

odysseus wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:22 pm I will give this some thought. Non-separability, one may argue, is only meaningful if one can say how, in what way things are inseparable. Here, you offer a bare intuition, which, I think is right, somehow. But how does this settle the issues in the arguments on the table? E.g., if my lamp is inseparable from a thought in my head, how does metaphysical inseparability help me resolve the issues of dualism? Just saying they are all connected is too mysterious to be argued.
Phenomenology will tell you, you have to stop trying to do this, for this principle of unity is unthinkable. kantian unity, the TUA (transcendental Unity of Apperception) puts the stamp of "I" on all things. This points to the unity of all things in the direction of the transcednental ego. I think this is the way to go. Husserl's Ideas is illuminating.
I consider it to be a fact uncovered by modern science, it's not an intuition. The Western school of thought was refuted by experiments as it stands now, that's why I keep dismissing its views so casually.

The lamp and the thought in the head are parts of the same continuous world (by world I mean existence, reality, the universe, the absolute, what there actually is). The lamp and the thought do not have fundamentally different kinds of existences, there is no such dualism. And they are both "parts" of an at least partially, but arguably completely entangled universe so you can't remove one but leave the other one there. They are probably inherently interconnected, inseparable. "Part" was a metaphor because our universe has no actual parts.

The transcendental ego is simply the world, existence itself, we are it (tat tvam asi). You know, the standard "awakening" business from the East, where we realize the illusory nature of the human ego, and then realize our actual nature (or that we have two, to be more exact). But that's just how things are, the "I" is not something that "does" unification; unity is inherent.
odysseus
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Re: Kant

Post by odysseus »

Atla
I consider it to be a fact uncovered by modern science, it's not an intuition. The Western school of thought was refuted by experiments as it stands now, that's why I keep dismissing its views so casually.
How is it that modern science uncovers the "fact" of the unity of all things you speak of?
The lamp and the thought in the head are parts of the same continuous world (by world I mean existence, reality, the universe, the absolute, what there actually is). The lamp and the thought do not have fundamentally different kinds of existences, there is no such dualism. And they are both "parts" of an at least partially, but arguably completely entangled universe so you can't remove one but leave the other one there. They are probably inherently interconnected, inseparable. "Part" was a metaphor because our universe has no actual parts.
Yes, I do understand where you stand on this. But I don't understand how you can carry this forth beyond the bare assertion that it is the case. Perhaps it is all energy, or spirit, but there needs be an argument, a reasoning process that produces your conviction. Kant offered two kinds of certainty: intuitive and analytic. the former refers to the apriority of things like causality or geometry or pure reason--rock bottom intuitions that are not inferred from anything but are coercive to the understanding; that latter refers to logic, as with syllogisms, tautologies, contradictions. where does your thinking rest in this?
The transcendental ego is simply the world, existence itself, we are it (tat tvam asi). You know, the standard "awakening" business from the East, where we realize the illusory nature of the human ego, and then realize our actual nature (or that we have two, to be more exact). But that's just how things are, the "I" is not something that "does" unification; unity is inherent.
This "illusion" is, I have always thought, very interesting, but I never thought Hindu philosophy was very good at explaining what an illusory existence IS? I remember reading Sir John George Woodroffe, I believe it was his "The World as Power" though there are others. The Vedanta allows for illusory experience, but it is only when one graduates to a higher level of apprehension that illusion is understood as such. When one is IN the world, the natural state, as Husserl puts it, the everydayness holds absolute sway and one is not in an illusion. The point is that the everydayness is not inherently illusory, but becomes so when one sees more deeply into what I will call the eternal present. Kierkegaard, in his Concept of Anxiety, takes a completely different route to affirm the same thing, though he is more the jnana yogic. A very worthy read, as well.

The question of the rope or the snake Shankaraya gives reveals an error in judgment, but the reality of the error is not thereby existentially erased. That is impossible. the matter of illusory reality really comes down to interpretation; it is a rope, not a snake and my handling of the affair was in error in the way words link up with the world. Martin Heidegger is explicatively very, very enlightening. You will find throughout the literature those who equate Hindu illusion with interpretative error, or hermeneutical error, if you like. Heidegger's ontology is a study, one might say, in what this "illusion' is all about: human dasein is what holds enlightenment at bay.

Anyway, you remind me of Woodroffe. I think I will read his Tantric texts, or some of them (very long). They are available online, complete. In case you're interested: https://holybooks.com/tantric-texts-ser ... woodroffe/
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Kant

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

odysseus wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:35 pm
Veritas Aequitas
The argument of the CoPR is divided in certain phases, e.g. Sensibility and the Understanding.
To focus so as to exhaust whatever there is within 'sensibility' Kant introduced the idea of 'noumenon' [simply a thought] as a logical contrast to phenomenon to stop people from thinking too far and off topic, thus as a limiting concept.

After exhausting all the argument within sensibility 'that thing' is deliberated within the Understand into Transcendental DIALECTIC where Kant argued and concluded the noumenon at this phase as the thing-in-itself is an illusion.
Of course, the Transcendental Unity of Apperception, the "I" which encompasses all in one's experience and is the source for the the pure forms of reason is noumenal as well. Reason is simply there and we are given no arguments as to why the logic it gives our language should be obeyed. As a simply "given" it stands as foundational and therefore transcendental. As with sensory presence/intuition, we have to extrapolate to the source: what has to be the case given what is the case, and what is the case is representations that need that whic is represented.
The noumenal is referenced to the empirical- "I" [sensibility] but not the so-called 'soul' [transcendental "I"] which is referenced to the thing-in-itself [transcendental dialectic].
The supposedly 'source' is the soul i.e. an transcendental idea which is the thing-in-itself and that it is an illusion.
But because Kant's ideas are so complex, those neo-Kantians, Sopenhauer Husserl, Heidegger, et al. cannot grasp Kant's idea of the illusory thing-in-itself and could not free themselves from the grasp of the thing-in-itself into thinking IT is 'something'.
But philosophers of the East, especially Buddhism and Hume are in agreement with Kant.

The issue is very psychological.
Issues with this: For one thing, it is not psychological, but phenomenological. Husserl often takes up this issue so as not to be confused with the soft-empiricism of psychology, which infers from empirical evidence, what he calls the naturalistic attitude, to structures of the psyche. Of course, the term 'psychological' can be put out there and defined as you deem fitting, but it is an ill fit. Take Kierkegaard who called his concept of anxiety a Deliberation on a Psychologically Oriented Deliberation...; and here it is more proper since Kierkegaard does take up the contents of a single person's experience, her moods, engagements, and troubles. Kant has no interest here in these. He is a rationalist in the Critique, all the way. It is the structures of reason present in our judgments that make thought possible, that he is interested in. It suspends all else.

Second, to say Heidegger and the rest could not understand Kant because he was so complex is, well, wrong, and very much so. Husserl wanted nothing to do with Kant's noumena because Kant was the one unable to see that noumena was possessed within the constitution of experience, and exposed by way of the phenomenological method: the phenomenological reduction. The "illusion" that separated clear apprehension of the world from the naive perspective of empirical science was the matter of being within Kant's empirical limitations. This is the positivist in Kant: there is a sharply drawn line between what the understanding can grasp and cannot. Intuitions without concepts are empty. Period. And as soon as you apply the concept, you bring the intuition to heel as a finite, a well delineated affair. Kant was a rigid SOB, hence the need for existentialism. This is where Heidegger steps in. He is more complicated than Kant. His ontology is phenomenological, as is Kant's rationalism, but it is not the structures of reason he is concerned with; it is the srtuctures of Being here at all: inherently hermeneutical. It was Heidegger, in his famous interview, who said the Buddhists are on to something, that they possessed the possibility of a"primordial" language.

All of the existentialists were neo Kantians (all analytic philosophers are as well, though they don't like to say) They expanded on the premise that the world is not merely understood through a contribution by the understanding; rather, the world and the subject were "of a piece". There was no world without human cognition, caring, existential anxst, frustration, alienation, and so on. There was only transcendence. Existentialists did, and continue to do (it is a mixed bag) a lot with the "presence" of transcendence IN immanence (Kant's language, though he had no truck with impossible "transcendence" In immanence. Such a thing he though a mere dialectical error).

Buddhists are in agreement with Kant...how?? Impossible.
Note I mentioned B397, i.e.
There will therefore be Syllogisms which contain no Empirical premisses, and by means of which we conclude from something which we know to something else of which we have no Concept, and to which, owing to an inevitable Illusion, we yet ascribe Objective Reality.

These conclusions are, then, rather to be called pseudo-Rational 2 than Rational, although in view of their Origin they may well lay claim to the latter title, since they are not fictitious and have not arisen fortuitously, but have sprung from the very Nature of Reason.

They are sophistications not of men but of Pure Reason itself. Even the wisest of men cannot free himself from them.

After long effort he perhaps succeeds in guarding himself against actual error; but he will never be able to free himself from the Illusion, which unceasingly mocks and torments him. B397
The above and its related points in the CoPR are very critical.
True, Kant did not delve into the psychological, but the inference from the above is definitely psychological, note the bolded re attachment and entrapment.

Buddhism - impossible?
One of the core principles of Buddhism is 'anatta' i.e. non-self. For Kant the ultimate self-in-itself is transcendental idea, i.e. an illusion.
For Kant there is no essence of things, i.e. no thing-in-itself which is the same as the Buddhist concepts of sunyata - emptiness or nothingness in context.

The solution of Buddhism to be free from sufferings [dukkha] is not to be attached to desires, which Kant warned in B397 of the subliminal 'leech' of the thing-in-itself to attach itself to consciousness at the unconscious level.

The neo-Kantians who assert of the self-in-itself as will, etc. are subliminally compelled by the forces of attachment [angst, despairs, dread, etc.] to the self-in-itself.
One of the solution to the above is this;

Buddhism's 4NT-8FP is a Life Problem Solving Technique.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=25193
mentioned to you in another thread?

Btw, when you response to my thread, use the Quote reference, e.g.
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:47 am xxxxx
else I will not be notified.
Atla
Posts: 2887
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:27 am

Re: Kant

Post by Atla »

odysseus wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:20 amHow is it that modern science uncovers the "fact" of the unity of all things you speak of?
...
Yes, I do understand where you stand on this. But I don't understand how you can carry this forth beyond the bare assertion that it is the case. Perhaps it is all energy, or spirit, but there needs be an argument, a reasoning process that produces your conviction. Kant offered two kinds of certainty: intuitive and analytic. the former refers to the apriority of things like causality or geometry or pure reason--rock bottom intuitions that are not inferred from anything but are coercive to the understanding; that latter refers to logic, as with syllogisms, tautologies, contradictions. where does your thinking rest in this?
We seem to have indirect evidence: no actual separation, division was ever found in the universe, not even between the 'contents of the mind' and the 'mere stuff out there'. And we seem to have direct evidence in quantum nonseparability that even ignores spacetime, and is arguably universal, we just can't always track it.
(Now of course this could still just be circular, partial, illusory etc. etc. like everything else, but it's the best we can work with right now as I see it.)
This "illusion" is, I have always thought, very interesting, but I never thought Hindu philosophy was very good at explaining what an illusory existence IS? I remember reading Sir John George Woodroffe, I believe it was his "The World as Power" though there are others. The Vedanta allows for illusory experience, but it is only when one graduates to a higher level of apprehension that illusion is understood as such. When one is IN the world, the natural state, as Husserl puts it, the everydayness holds absolute sway and one is not in an illusion. The point is that the everydayness is not inherently illusory, but becomes so when one sees more deeply into what I will call the eternal present. Kierkegaard, in his Concept of Anxiety, takes a completely different route to affirm the same thing, though he is more the jnana yogic. A very worthy read, as well.

The question of the rope or the snake Shankaraya gives reveals an error in judgment, but the reality of the error is not thereby existentially erased. That is impossible. the matter of illusory reality really comes down to interpretation; it is a rope, not a snake and my handling of the affair was in error in the way words link up with the world. Martin Heidegger is explicatively very, very enlightening. You will find throughout the literature those who equate Hindu illusion with interpretative error, or hermeneutical error, if you like. Heidegger's ontology is a study, one might say, in what this "illusion' is all about: human dasein is what holds enlightenment at bay.

Anyway, you remind me of Woodroffe. I think I will read his Tantric texts, or some of them (very long). They are available online, complete. In case you're interested: https://holybooks.com/tantric-texts-ser ... woodroffe/
Well they seem to be arguing among themselves as well, about what it is that's actually illusory, and how to handle the situtation etc. Eastern philosophies seem to be a huge muddy mess of many similar and not-so-similar views, centered around the same theme, with all sorts of mistakes, delusions, traps of their own. And they still tend to use 2500 year old psychology, it's pretty outdated.

Took me a while to see clearly as well, and the form of nondualism I subscribe to may not even be that widespread, but I think it's "the" nondualism. Now of course the human ego is very much real in the sense that it's some kind of psychological structure in the human head, made of thoughts, emotions etc. What is illusory is the.. umm there is no good way to say it.. it's the illusion of the volitional, individual self-entity that "does" things, "has" things, and most importantly, "is or has consciousness somehow".

The entirety of mainstream Western philosophy and culture is based on this illusion. Humans are self-aware creatures that believe that consiousness, being in the most fundamental sense is "theirs". But the truth is that, in the most fundamental sense, the self-aware human being is happening in consciousness (is part of and one and the same with consciousness), and this consciousness is existence itself, the world, reality. I think Watts summed it up like this: "do you define yourself as a victim of the world, or as the world"?

And here I say that we should of course not choose either this or that identification, but both at the same time. Not only is that much healthier in pretty much every way, but technically it's the most accurate view as well. So instead of crazies who try to dissolve themselves into nothingness, or crazies who start to identify themselves with a falsely reified Brahman-the-big-I, one should simply retain the original human identification somewhat, while also knowing what's "really" going on. This is my solution to the awakening issue, I've found that nondualism is actually very much compatible with individualism. (And with multiverse hypotheses and with circularity of dimension, the other two starting assumptions of what I consider to be deep ontology.)
odysseus
Posts: 188
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Re: Kant

Post by odysseus »

Veritas Aequitas wrote:

The noumenal is referenced to the empirical- "I" [sensibility] but not the so-called 'soul' [transcendental "I"] which is referenced to the thing-in-itself [transcendental dialectic].
The supposedly 'source' is the soul i.e. an transcendental idea which is the thing-in-itself and that it is an illusion.
I was just responding to your omission of the subjective end of noumena. Certainly it is not the case that the empirical I, the conditioned experience of the synthetic rational activity that is actually witnessed in judgment, is a ground for positing a substantive transcendental I. As you say, this is explicitly not the way this is played out.
The above and its related points in the CoPR are very critical.
True, Kant did not delve into the psychological, but the inference from the above is definitely psychological, note the bolded re attachment and entrapment.
But the ISSUE is not psychological. The psychological end of this is incidental: certainly, we all struggle with the disciplined thinking required to deliver us from reason's tendency to move beyond its permitted application. The substantive part of this is about noumena. Heidegger had no truck with metaphysics, and his program was to undo western metaphysics which had spoiled something primordial in experience. Husserl's epoche is NOT about hypostatizing an empty idea, but of liberating the bare phenomenon from the naturalistic attitude. In this "liberation" there is, it has been acknowledged, something intimated of what is NOT according to Kant's naive positivism. There are several very interesting reads on this. Phenomenology and Religion is a good collection of papers on contemporary studies on this theme. Jonna Bornemark and Hans Ruin are the editors, in case you're interested.

Buddhism - impossible?
One of the core principles of Buddhism is 'anatta' i.e. non-self. For Kant the ultimate self-in-itself is transcendental idea, i.e. an illusion.
For Kant there is no essence of things, i.e. no thing-in-itself which is the same as the Buddhist concepts of sunyata - emptiness or nothingness in context.
But Kant did not promote a "no self" thesis. He said his philosophy took one to the threshold of faith, not the explicit experience of the nothingness of the self, not an Eastern idea of liberation through special yogic practices. Nor was there anything at all epiphanic. He was no mystic. He was a rationalist, through and through.
The solution of Buddhism to be free from sufferings [dukkha] is not to be attached to desires, which Kant warned in B397 of the subliminal 'leech' of the thing-in-itself to attach itself to consciousness at the unconscious level.
Not clear how it is the tendency of reason to project beyond its means can be likened to Buddhism's suffering and the liberation thereof. What is there in B397 that makes this point?
The neo-Kantians who assert of the self-in-itself as will, etc. are subliminally compelled by the forces of attachment [angst, despairs, dread, etc.] to the self-in-itself.
That sounds like Schopenhaur. Certainly not the others.You would have to be more clear on this "self in itself".
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Kant

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

odysseus wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 3:26 am
The above and its related points in the CoPR are very critical.
True, Kant did not delve into the psychological, but the inference from the above is definitely psychological, note the bolded re attachment and entrapment.
But the ISSUE is not psychological. The psychological end of this is incidental: certainly, we all struggle with the disciplined thinking required to deliver us from reason's tendency to move beyond its permitted application.

The substantive part of this is about noumena. Heidegger had no truck with metaphysics, and his program was to undo western metaphysics which had spoiled something primordial in experience.
Husserl's epoche is NOT about hypostatizing an empty idea, but of liberating the bare phenomenon from the naturalistic attitude. In this "liberation" there is, it has been acknowledged, something intimated of what is NOT according to Kant's naive positivism. There are several very interesting reads on this. Phenomenology and Religion is a good collection of papers on contemporary studies on this theme. Jonna Bornemark and Hans Ruin are the editors, in case you're interested.
The discussed issue within Kant, Husserl and Heidegger is not psychological.
But what is driving them to their stated conclusions definitely has a critical psychological element which must be brought to the fore.

I mentioned the bolded elements re attachment and entrapment in B397 of CoPR.

These are elements that is driving the rather earnest drive for the 'religious turn' from some of the writers in your Phenomenology and Religion. I downloaded and read the Introduction.
I am not interested in the details of those articles but more interested in the fundamental drive that drove them towards the 'religious turn' from phenomenology.
Buddhism - impossible?
One of the core principles of Buddhism is 'anatta' i.e. non-self. For Kant the ultimate self-in-itself is transcendental idea, i.e. an illusion.
For Kant there is no essence of things, i.e. no thing-in-itself which is the same as the Buddhist concepts of sunyata - emptiness or nothingness in context.
But Kant did not promote a "no self" thesis. He said his philosophy took one to the threshold of faith, not the explicit experience of the nothingness of the self, not an Eastern idea of liberation through special yogic practices. Nor was there anything at all epiphanic. He was no mystic. He was a rationalist, through and through.
Kant demonstrated rationally in theory [not in practice] that is no substance to the self, i.e. no self-in-itself which is the same as Buddhism's core principles of 'anatta'.

That Kant made room for faith is not for religion [theology or others] at all but for the deliberation on morality and its grounding which has to be illusory but rational.
The solution of Buddhism to be free from sufferings [dukkha] is not to be attached to desires, which Kant warned in B397 of the subliminal 'leech' of the thing-in-itself to attach itself to consciousness at the unconscious level.
Not clear how it is the tendency of reason to project beyond its means can be likened to Buddhism's suffering and the liberation thereof. What is there in B397 that makes this point?
B397 implied even the wisest man can be seduced and fooled into grasping at an illusion as something real from pseudo-syllogism and human nature. The resulting consequences of this clinging onto the unreal and illusion is sufferings.
Kant did not introduce any teachings to deal with such sufferings, but the mainstay of Buddhism is how to manage such sufferings of angst [Heidegger, Kierkegaard] and others.

Btw, I read somewhere, Steven Palmquist mentioned Kant stated something like the practice of mindfulness.
Can't find that link , but here is something similar from Palmquist [a Christian];
A frequently ignored feature of Kant's approach to morality is his preoccupation with health, and his attempt to interpret it in terms of the moral law. An obvious antithesis of the health-moral imperative would be an illness-pathological imperative; we will regard both as forms imposed on our experience by the human mind.

We demonstrate that the Kantian path to understanding the “moral metaphysics of medicine” can be supported by Tibetan medicine and Buddhist ethics.

What Buddhism understands as moral law, or “Sila”, corresponds directly to Kant's theory. In both cases, health is the supreme judge that demonstrates whether or not our moral state is justifiable.
Our principal intention is to show that, through the power of mind, a person’s moral state can--and in fact does--influence the body, having as its expression either health or illness.
By considering the relevance of the Kantian interpretation of morality to medicine, we regard proper attention to the former as the surest path to the goal of maintaining personal health.

Stephen R Palmquist
2002, Journal of Indian Philosophy and Religion 7, pp.79-97.
The neo-Kantians who assert of the self-in-itself as will, etc. are subliminally compelled by the forces of attachment [angst, despairs, dread, etc.] to the self-in-itself.
That sounds like Schopenhaur. Certainly not the others.You would have to be more clear on this "self in itself".
If you reflect on the writings of the neo-Kantians [Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, etc.], they are all driving toward the self-in-itself, despite Kant's warning there is no such thing as a real thing-in-itself, thus no self-in-itself, where the self is the context of a 'thing'.
odysseus
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Re: Kant

Post by odysseus »

Atla wrote
We seem to have indirect evidence: no actual separation, division was ever found in the universe, not even between the 'contents of the mind' and the 'mere stuff out there'. And we seem to have direct evidence in quantum nonseparability that even ignores spacetime, and is arguably universal, we just can't always track it.
(Now of course this could still just be circular, partial, illusory etc. etc. like everything else, but it's the best we can work with right now as I see it.)
Of course, it's circular, but not in a bad way. In an inevitable way. When it comes to this level of inquiry, you're going to find the biggest problem to be trying to deal with, on the one hand, a language/logic system that is always self referential, as explanations defer one to, well, other explanations. That is part of the post modern thesis. There is no way out and you find your words and paragraphs and their ideas' final justification defers to just more of the same and thought never touches the ground. This is the problem. A quantum physicist does not go here since it is not her field, but philosophy will ask about the language one deploys to do the explaining, for the validity of language construction is presupposed by whatever it is being said. Language IS difference, that is, one word differing from another is at the very foundation making meaning at all. This is Derrida: language is always deferential. This is why Kant is so important, for Kant insisted that, in a wholly different manner, that we are stuck in this knowledge-world and there is no way out, for to even think at all puts one squarely in matrix one is trying to find a way out of in the effort to get at the elusive "truth" of things.
But before Derrida, there was the existentiaalists, the phenomenologists. They are "the best we can do" by my thinking, for their project gets to the underpinnings of thought itself. No one has the patience for this, though. Science is easier because it is familiar, having taken courses all one's life, in general science, mpre specialized in college ( I took courses in astronomy, geology, physics. Much more popular than continental philosophy. Indeed, required!) Everybody knows Newton and Einstein, but who has even heard of Husserl? Yet his thinking is deeply important.
Well they seem to be arguing among themselves as well, about what it is that's actually illusory, and how to handle the situtation etc. Eastern philosophies seem to be a huge muddy mess of many similar and not-so-similar views, centered around the same theme, with all sorts of mistakes, delusions, traps of their own. And they still tend to use 2500 year old psychology, it's pretty outdated.
And yet, they are right! I think Eastern philosophy is saying one thing in the midst of all errors, contradictions, and the rest. Liberation is the point! Not discursive "truth" (notwithstanding jnana yoga) but revelatory truth. And this requires putting down a great deal of presuppositions that implicitly rule one's thinking. Out the window goes empirical science for we are not trying to solve a particular problem and there are no entities before our eyes that need examining. It is a withdrawal from all things into the "Nothingness" (no thing. See, if you like, Michel Henry, the fairly contemporary French existentialist) of the eternal present (Kierkegaard. See his Concept of Anxiety). Existential thought goes on and on and often thematically matches up with Eastern thinking. It is our (the West) jnana yoga.
Took me a while to see clearly as well, and the form of nondualism I subscribe to may not even be that widespread, but I think it's "the" nondualism. Now of course the human ego is very much real in the sense that it's some kind of psychological structure in the human head, made of thoughts, emotions etc. What is illusory is the.. umm there is no good way to say it.. it's the illusion of the volitional, individual self-entity that "does" things, "has" things, and most importantly, "is or has consciousness somehow".
At root, I hold, it is the illusion of knowing implicit in my waking up in the morning and knowing everything that confronts me in the world is familiar, known, clear, so I can say "pass the salt' and "I hope the bus is on time." we live in an "apophantic world" to use Heidegger's language, filled with assertion, unquestioned. We see, when we read philosophy, and step back from things, that this is merely interpretative world. Now our declarations of what things are loses its grip (philosophy should make one a little crazy) and we approach our authentic selves. So much more to say on this. So interesting for one who interested in getting at the truth of thingis.

The entirety of mainstream Western philosophy and culture is based on this illusion. Humans are self-aware creatures that believe that consiousness, being in the most fundamental sense is "theirs". But the truth is that, in the most fundamental sense, the self-aware human being is happening in consciousness (is part of and one and the same with consciousness), and this consciousness is existence itself, the world, reality. I think Watts summed it up like this: "do you define yourself as a victim of the world, or as the world"?
I used to read Watts, and I still think he is one who opens doors (of perception? Aldous Huxley's book on his experiences with mescaline are...quite interesting). Of course, to confirm that our conscious experiences are united as one beneath all we do and think is the hard thing to do. One has to become a kind of mystic and withdraw from t he everyday world and bring about a profound distance between self and everydayness. Kierkegaard called this the Knight of Faith, though he details are not structured as the the eastern mystics would have it. But at the end of the day, his thought resolves in simplicity, as in that of the Prajna Paramita: there is no wisdom, and there is no attainment whatsoever. This is K's eternal present: a singularity defeats the all struggles and differences are laid down. This would be heaven, Christian nirvana.
And here I say that we should of course not choose either this or that identification, but both at the same time. Not only is that much healthier in pretty much every way, but technically it's the most accurate view as well. So instead of crazies who try to dissolve themselves into nothingness, or crazies who start to identify themselves with a falsely reified Brahman-the-big-I, one should simply retain the original human identification somewhat, while also knowing what's "really" going on. This is my solution to the awakening issue, I've found that nondualism is actually very much compatible with individualism. (And with multiverse hypotheses and with circularity of dimension, the other two starting assumptions of what I consider to be deep ontology.)
Right. Unless you are ready to climb a Himalayan mountain and sit for the rest of your life, you are in the world. Hindu yogas allow for this. One can "yoke" oneself to the inner depths through jnana (philosophy) yoga, bahkti (devotion) yoga, dyana (meditation) yoga. The way I see it, it is a matter of the way you experience the world, and Heidegger is a very good step to understanding this. Once one decides she is going to be serious about this, measures are taken to undo the the habits of thought and experience that keep the world an ordinary place. We make this world oridinary; it is not ordinary in itself. It has to be unmade, and this is not a an accumulation of knowledge, but a destruction of knowledge, and language becomes a tool for disillusionment. This is philosophy's true purpose: it is the use of language--the question is the piety of thought, Heidegger said-- to come to understand our higher self.
So nondualism being compatible with individualism works less and less as one gets more one gets closer to a, well, state of enlightenment. I know quite clearly now that the greater one's understanding is, the more attachments to this world fall away. It is not that one no longer knows as others do, but that one no longer cares.
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Re: Kant

Post by Atla »

odysseus wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 3:29 pmOf course, it's circular, but not in a bad way. In an inevitable way. When it comes to this level of inquiry, you're going to find the biggest problem to be trying to deal with, on the one hand, a language/logic system that is always self referential, as explanations defer one to, well, other explanations. That is part of the post modern thesis. There is no way out and you find your words and paragraphs and their ideas' final justification defers to just more of the same and thought never touches the ground. This is the problem. A quantum physicist does not go here since it is not her field, but philosophy will ask about the language one deploys to do the explaining, for the validity of language construction is presupposed by whatever it is being said. Language IS difference, that is, one word differing from another is at the very foundation making meaning at all. This is Derrida: language is always deferential. This is why Kant is so important, for Kant insisted that, in a wholly different manner, that we are stuck in this knowledge-world and there is no way out, for to even think at all puts one squarely in matrix one is trying to find a way out of in the effort to get at the elusive "truth" of things.
But before Derrida, there was the existentiaalists, the phenomenologists. They are "the best we can do" by my thinking, for their project gets to the underpinnings of thought itself. No one has the patience for this, though. Science is easier because it is familiar, having taken courses all one's life, in general science, mpre specialized in college ( I took courses in astronomy, geology, physics. Much more popular than continental philosophy. Indeed, required!) Everybody knows Newton and Einstein, but who has even heard of Husserl? Yet his thinking is deeply important.
Umm yes as I noted above too, all description / language / human thinking is fundamentally relative/relational/circular, we can't get out of this. And there is no ground to touch at all. That's not what I meant here, and to be honest I didn't find it to be the biggest problem at all. It's just something one has to accept and get used to.

I meant things like: that we may be living in a pocket of reality where non-separateness is the case, but that may not be true elsewhere. Or maybe entanglement really is partial, we know it happens sometimes, but maybe not always. Or maybe this entire view is circular in the sense that we can never detect actually separate things, because they are separate from us; we can only detect non-separate things, because they are non-separate from us.

So even the awakening of nondualism may be an illusion, maybe the world really is dual or plular or whatever, and we are somehow 'outside' certain fundamental realities, whatever the hell that's supposed to mean. I can't imagine what that would be like, and I think it's probably not the case, but no philosophy can ever be 100% certain about anything, not even nondualism.
And yet, they are right! I think Eastern philosophy is saying one thing in the midst of all errors, contradictions, and the rest. Liberation is the point! Not discursive "truth" (notwithstanding jnana yoga) but revelatory truth. And this requires putting down a great deal of presuppositions that implicitly rule one's thinking. Out the window goes empirical science for we are not trying to solve a particular problem and there are no entities before our eyes that need examining. It is a withdrawal from all things into the "Nothingness" (no thing. See, if you like, Michel Henry, the fairly contemporary French existentialist) of the eternal present (Kierkegaard. See his Concept of Anxiety). Existential thought goes on and on and often thematically matches up with Eastern thinking. It is our (the West) jnana yoga.

...

I used to read Watts, and I still think he is one who opens doors (of perception? Aldous Huxley's book on his experiences with mescaline are...quite interesting). Of course, to confirm that our conscious experiences are united as one beneath all we do and think is the hard thing to do. One has to become a kind of mystic and withdraw from t he everyday world and bring about a profound distance between self and everydayness. Kierkegaard called this the Knight of Faith, though he details are not structured as the the eastern mystics would have it. But at the end of the day, his thought resolves in simplicity, as in that of the Prajna Paramita: there is no wisdom, and there is no attainment whatsoever. This is K's eternal present: a singularity defeats the all struggles and differences are laid down. This would be heaven, Christian nirvana.
There is no actual liberation in the sense that we get away from this world. No need for distancing or feeling like being in heaven or whatever. This is always base reality, always was, and we are it, that's what one has to realize. Realizing it is pretty difficult.
Right. Unless you are ready to climb a Himalayan mountain and sit for the rest of your life, you are in the world. Hindu yogas allow for this. One can "yoke" oneself to the inner depths through jnana (philosophy) yoga, bahkti (devotion) yoga, dyana (meditation) yoga. The way I see it, it is a matter of the way you experience the world, and Heidegger is a very good step to understanding this. Once one decides she is going to be serious about this, measures are taken to undo the the habits of thought and experience that keep the world an ordinary place. We make this world oridinary; it is not ordinary in itself. It has to be unmade, and this is not a an accumulation of knowledge, but a destruction of knowledge, and language becomes a tool for disillusionment. This is philosophy's true purpose: it is the use of language--the question is the piety of thought, Heidegger said-- to come to understand our higher self.
So nondualism being compatible with individualism works less and less as one gets more one gets closer to a, well, state of enlightenment. I know quite clearly now that the greater one's understanding is, the more attachments to this world fall away. It is not that one no longer knows as others do, but that one no longer cares.
That's dangerous rubbish if you ask me. One can (and should imo) keep the important attachments and continue to care all the same. Why did the Easterners even come up with the idea that all the attachments should fall away after awakening.. giving up attachments and dismantling the ego is a method to realize our true nature, it's a very effective but in a sense pretty brutal and inhuman technique. It's used to reach a certain realization. It's a method, not some kind of "final state"..
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Re: Kant

Post by odysseus »

Veritas Aequitas wrote

These are elements that is driving the rather earnest drive for the 'religious turn' from some of the writers in your Phenomenology and Religion. I downloaded and read the Introduction.
I am not interested in the details of those articles but more interested in the fundamental drive that drove them towards the 'religious turn' from phenomenology.
Not from phenomenology, but more deeply into it.Husserl presented the famous, or infamous, phenomenological reduction. If you are interested in what drives these phenomenological theology theorists into religion, one has to see why Husserl thought the epoche was so important, and this is only possible through the rather tedious reading. It is not about a theoretical problem solved, but a method of going about thinking and, experiencing the world. Yes, it is an experience, that is, it requires an altering in the structure of one's thought, something Kant never dreamed of. It requires a "doing" in the field of experience, and this gets, frankly, only as alien and unfamiliar as the inquirer is capable. There is a reason why analytic philosophers cannot take this seriously: they are very good intellectuals, but not very good intuitively. They are appalled by the French lack of clarity, e.g., but it in this ideal clarity they are so adamant about that they fail to acknowledge the extraordinary threshold twilight of the human actuality that faces us. If one has no intuitive grasp of Being, the strange affectivity, the alien realization that we are somehow alien to this commonplace world and beneath the manifold presentation of things there is something mysterious and mystical. then one will not get far with the religious revelations the epoche can instill.
The drive is only revealed as one makes further inroads into the process of tearing down the years of normalcy built into us. The more we question things at the level of basic assumptions, the more everydayness falls away. One has to really want this, and this only comes from within, this drive, or, as Kierkegaard put it, that which in childhood is presented as wonder, a reaching beyond to be later understood as self alienation and anxiety. Heidegger thought the history of philosophy has filled our heads with very bad thinking about metaphysics, and wanted to rediscover what has been lost , this primordial wisdom. See also Phenomenology and Mysticism by Anthony Steinbach.
Alas, the tearing down of institutions is what reveals the drive, and this process lies in the reading of the details; that is, unless you want to climb a mountain and meditate. A very hard path, but then, so is philosophy.
Kant demonstrated rationally in theory [not in practice] that is no substance to the self, i.e. no self-in-itself which is the same as Buddhism's core principles of 'anatta'.

That Kant made room for faith is not for religion [theology or others] at all but for the deliberation on morality and its grounding which has to be illusory but rational.
Well, it depends on what you mean by religion. Existential religion looks to the structure of experience to find theological truth, as with Rudolf Otto, Martin Buber, Emanuel Levinas, and so on. Kant is not an existentialist, but his moral rationalism is takes a step beyond mere the natural, good willing agency. If you look at, say, Eugene Fink's SIxth Meditation, he claims to being taking the Kantian mantle up, in search for the generative conditions latent in Husserl's epoche that produce phenomena (or something like that. This is right, but there is more to it). Not that this is explicitly religious, but possesses threshold analysis of phenomena.

As to the no-self, I am inclined to say that there is, in the difference you note between practice and theory, that which sets Estern thinking from Kant on the matter of the self. No self in the East is a revelation of one's freedom from the constraints of an otherwise binding world of attachments that keep one in suffering. It is not really an ontology of the self, but an experience of liberation. For Kant, the matter is not about this at all.
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Re: Kant

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Atla wrote: Sun Sep 15, 2019 11:04 am ... if Kant knew what he was talking about.
He didn't!
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Re: Kant

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Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:23 am But philosophers of the East, especially Buddhism and Hume are in agreement with Kant.

The issue is very psychological.
Yes, very! The right name for all their, "philosophies," is self-induced psychosis.
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