Tag Archives: Immanuel

Analyticity and Quine’s Rejection of the Dogma

16 Nov

I have succumbed somewhat to the understanding that there really is no meaning in anything. I used to think everything had meaning, but after studying W.V. Quine, I understand better why meaning cannot really exist.  If one reads and understands Quine’s On What There Is and Two Dogmas of Empiricism that one person must come up with some big evidence to actually prove that one truth statement can mean another or do any other function that meaning has said to have. This comes from Quine because of the two dogmas: 1) analyticity, and 2) reductionism. My concern here is analyticity and to help myself and the reader of this writing to understand why analyticity can be shown false and can also show ‘meaning’ to be a false hope.

If you have read Kant or other philosophers analytic statements are easy to understand. I understand them as things I can come to understand without having to go through a logical process of factual evaluation. If I hold a red pen up, I can see it and know “this is a red pen” without any logical process of fact evaluation. I know it like the snap of two fingers. Synthetic is just the opposite where factual and logical processes of evaluation must be executed to understand it. Quine defines the analytic in a somewhat different fashion which I can fathom clearly:

“Kant conceived of an analytic statement as one that attributes to its subject no more than is already conceptually contained in the subject. This formulation has two shortcomings: it limits itself to statements to subject-predicate form, and it appeals to a notion of containment which is left at a metaphorical level. But Kant’s intent, evident more from the use he makes of the notion of analyticity than from his definition of it, can be restated thus: a statement is analytic when it is true by virtue of meanings and independently of fact” (Quine).

So ultimately what I want you to get from that quote is that the analytic is statements that are true ‘by virtue of meaning’ and ‘independently of fact.’ Most important is that analytic statements are said to be true by virtue of their meanings. This has so much importance because Quine attacks the use of the word meaning because it is loosely and not well understood or defined.  In Two Dogmas of Empiricism he ultimately concludes that there is no meaning at all. He rejects not only reductionism but also analyticity. He rejects analyticity by rejecting meaning. He rejects meaning by talking about why certain logical truths and synonymies are not meaning and can not be meaning.

Beginning with logical truths he discusses reference and extension to not be meaning. Logical truths are exemplified by Quine with Morning Star and Evening Star. They both are sightings of the planet Venus, and they both are names for Venus, and both refer to Venus. Morning Star does not mean Evening Star or Venus.  This is just naming or reference. These things like certain logical truths and synonymy have been posed as clarification and understanding for what meaning is, and Quine simply paints these as failures to define and understand meaning. Reference and naming are both of singular terms. Extension is a logical truth that is of predicates. Extension is often thought to be meaning. An example of extension would be creating 2 truths about a certain entity as Quine puts it, but he paints this as another failure to understand meaning. If I am talking about a man, 2 logical truths about it would be ‘a creature with a brain’ and ‘a creature with a stomach’. Both statements extend to the same ‘entity’ but just because this is so does not mean that they mean man. These are obvious logical truths that Quine says is not meaning.

Besides logical truths, Quine says that synonymy and definition are also not meaning. He talks about definition and then interchangeability with synonymy. Synonymy is obviously understood because things like bachelor and unmarried man are synonymous, but the question is does synonymy entail meaning. Quine states definition to not be meaning because of what the lexicographer (dictionary writer) does. A definition for a word is just a section of a long chain of synonymies:

” In formal and informal work alike, thus, we find that definition – except in the extreme case of the explicitly conventional introduction of new notations – hinges on prior relationships of synonymy. Recognizing then that the notion of definition does not hold the key to synonymy and analyticity” (Quine).

S0 definition is not at all meaning because of how definition continues from word to word and phrase to phrase and being referred to those because of the synonymies that create the huge chain. Definition is just related to more synonymies and does not have meaning and cannot hold analyticity in any defined word or phrase. Definition and its relation to prior relationships of synonymy are more easily understood when it is understood why most synonymies are not meaning.

Definition not being meaning, Quine goes on to specific synonymies. Interchangeability is a certain kind of synonymy that Quine proves to not be meaning. He goes as specific to talk about interchangeability salva veritatae or interchangeability preserving truth. He declares the synonymy in interchangeability salva veritatae, but no meaning at all. For example, ‘bachelor’ and ‘unmarried man’ are interchangeable salva veritate and synonymous of course, but they are not meaning because what if bachelor is referring to ‘bachelor of arts’, ‘bachelor of science’, or ‘bachelors buttons’ as Quine puts it. In those cases bachelor would not mean unmarried man, so synonymy in the case of interchangeability salva veritatae is not meaning. He also includes that interchangeability salva necesitatae or interchangeability preserving necessity is synonymy yet not meaning because necessity is confusing as to its meaning and causes problems. The issue here is that interchangeability is synonymy yet its not meaning because some words can be synonymous and interchangeable yet not really mean the same thing. He declares this to make difficult the understanding of what meaning is.

Quine continues with his discussion about meaning and synonymy and his rejection of analyticity. I could talk for a long time about it, but I simply want to discuss the basics to understand why he rejects analyticity. In the end of the essay he uses his premises to say that the boundary between analytic and synthetic has never really been drawn. There have been attempts at defining the two in making the boundary, but clarifications have not been given to really make that dreaded distinction. If you read Two Dogmas of Empiricism by Quine and get nothing else out of it, if you get out of it that there is no meaning, then that is good enough.

I think that there is analyticity. If a person understands philosophy that person has their own understanding of the analytic/synthetic distinction that is difficult to put into words good enough to convey understanding of it from one person to another. I really think that there is analytic while at the same time it can be proven that there is not. I have my understanding of analytic and can understand why there is no analytic. Analyticity is a complicated subject because understandings of it are not the same between people.

Coming to an opinion about whether one thinks analytic exists is a difficult one especially because deciding whether one thinks there is meaning is an equally hard thing. Meaning is a hard thing to define or understand because of issues of logical truths and synonymies exemplified by Quine. My opinion is that there is no meaning and that it is all synonymy or logical truths of one form or another. Meaning is like analytic in that it can be understood by a person but not well put into words. I feel like I can understand meaning, but then I can logically reject it at the same time.

What do you think? Do you think there is analytically true statements? or meaning in general?  I am stuck and do not know what my stance on the issue is because I read Quine’s great rationalization on why analyticity, meaning and reductionism are not in existence and then at the same time I can think as if they do.  I am just not sure and need further contemplation.

Please say what you think on Twitter or in comment section. Thanks for the support.

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David Hume’s Treatise of Human Nature: Origin of our Ideas

2 Nov

I’m treading ground that I have not yet treaded as a thinker and philosopher. I normally have sided and defended Kant in all situations, without having read his empiricist enemies like Locke, Hume or Berkeley. I purchased David Hume’s Treatise of Human Nature this weekend and have been reading it. I want to talk today about the very beginning of it in Of the Origin of our Ideas. I have a problem or two concerning the things he says in this section, but I shall address it all here.

Hume states that all ideas originally come from perceptions. He divides perceptions into impressions and ideas. Impressions: “Those perceptions, which enter with most force and violence, we may name impressions, and under this name I comprehend all our sensations, passions and emotions, as they make their first appearance in the soul. By ideas I mean the faint images of these in thinking and reasoning; such as, for instance, are all the perceptions excited  by the present discourse, excepting only, those which arise from the sight and touch, and excepting the immediate pleasure or uneasiness it may occasion” (Hume).  This distinction between impressions and ideas of our perceptions easily makes us understand what Hume means. Perceptions are things we sense, feel, and understand. An impression, I see it, are obvious things that are made apparent to us, that immediately impresses upon our soul. Ideas are things we achieve through reasoning, logic, and forced understanding. I think about impressions and ideas, and am brought back to Kant’s analytic and synthetic. This connection can help one understand Hume and Kant together even if they both opposed each other in other ways. The impressions immediately impressing upon our souls, need no further understanding or logical processes to ‘get’ them, just like Kant’s analytic. The ideas, needing much reasoning and logical processes, are just like Kant’s synthetic for this reason. The synthetic is like the ideas for another reason I shall explain later that is the dominating thing to understand when reading Hume’s Of the Origin of Our Ideas in the Treatise of Human Nature.

Hume makes a second distinction of perceptions (again just like Kant does) where he divides them into simple and complex. Simple perceptions “…admit of no distinction nor separation.” Simple perceptions do not divide because of how abstract they are.  Complex perceptions may be “….distinguished into parts.” I really like how Hume exemplifies this: ” Tho’ a particular color, taste, and smell are qualities all united together in this apple, ’tis easy to perceive they are not the same, but are at least distinguishable from each other” (Hume). When I first read this, I got an apple out of my fridge, and looked at it and understood what a complex perception is. The entire perception of one logically constructed object, has many perceptions, so I can understand why the whole perception is complex.

Looking further, I can understand and even exemplify a complex idea or complex impression. A complex impression could be, for example, the result perception if you found your significant other with another person, feeling sadness and anger at the same time, and also, having another anger just for the person your significant other is with. That can be broken down to at least 3 simple impressions. I can think of a complex idea also. Such as,  if I was trying to understand sense data, the sense data is making its presence by size, shape, and color before me, and I have to figure out how much it represents a material object, and I would list reasons why it does or does not.

One big claim Hume makes overall in Of the Origin of Our Ideas is: “That all our simple ideas in their first appearance are derived from simple impressions, which are correspondent to them, and which they exactly represent.” More simply, our ideas are derived from our impressions. Impressions intrude our senses, and I think that ideas follow because we always want to make sense of them. Referring back to the complex impression where one finds their significant other with another person, and feeling sadness and anger for the significant other, and anger for the person with the significant other,  ideas will certainly follow from this. Reasoning and logical processes are used to create ideas to fathom what happened. I totally agree with the main drive this section of Treatise of Human Nature has.

I have one issue with it that occurs in the beginning of the section, which I purposely neglected until now. Once Hume distinguished perceptions into impressions and ideas, stating that impressions enter our senses with ultimate force and violence causing X, Y, and Z effects, and stating that ideas are faint perceptions from reason and logical processes of understanding, he made a disclaimer that nullified everything he just said:

” As on the other hand it sometimes happens, that our impressions are so faint and low, that we cannot distinguish them from our ideas.”

Not only does the above nullify his distinction between impressions and ideas, but it nullifies what he states later when he says that ideas are derived from impressions. This statement that he says nonchalantly in the beginning of the section just nullifies everything. If any perception is faint and low, it is probably an idea. I cannot understand why Hume would make this statement because that would blend ideas with impressions and vice versa. Furthermore, since impressions and ideas cannot be distinguished from each other, how can an idea come from an impression. It is my opinion that in the event of an impression, if it is like the analytic (using Kant’s term), it is immediately understood, and any perception beyond that instance, is just idea.  This is a way to distinguish them.

There is no impression that is so faint that it can be blended with ideas. I think Hume made a confusion here. I do not know why, but I prefer Kant’s definition of ideas because of that one sentence that nullifies everything. Because of that one sentence is one reason I felt I should talk about Hume’s division of perceptions anyway.

Thanks for the support, More on Hume’s Treatise of Human nature to come….

Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason: Transcendental Aesthetic

29 Oct

This should be just a quick discussion. Transcendental aesthetic to Kant is the study of all intuitions a priori. The transcendental aesthetic is a beginning section of the Critique of Pure Reason where discussions about a priori and a posteriori arise. Given the distinction between a priori and a posteriori, the distinction between analytic and synthetic are also given.

Expositions (transcendentally and metaphysically) are given of space and time. This is done by Kant to evaluate the two based on a priori or otherwise status. I have discussed the space and time and understood by Kant in other  posts, but here I specifically want to discuss a priori, and its pairing with the analytic or synthetic. I cannot specifically remember what I said in those two writings, but again that matters to what I want to talk about. It matters to Kant because it helps in discussion of the nature of a priori intuitions. During the expositions of time and space, they both are identified as having to be of the a priori. Space, Kant says, has to be a priori (analytic) because it does not have to be understood or known by empirical observations, because it cannot be understood the instance where space is not existent, and finally because space underlies all other (namely a posteriori) intuitions. Time is a priori because it is not empirical, and because it is naturally understood. Both space and time are a priori because they are pure forms of sensible intuitions. Space is external, and underlies intuitions of external appearances (cannot remember what Kant’s general understanding of what specifically appearance is, but this is the way I understand it), and is also a priori for that reason. Time is internal and is itself not a concept, therefore it is a priori for another reason. I am leaving reasons for the a priori nature of space and time out, specifically (I keep continuing to specifically use this word in a specific manner specifically) because I am thinking mostly about analytic a priori, and if it is possible for a priori to be synthetic. If you want a more detailed guide to the transcendental aesthetic in its entirety go here:  http://userpages.bright.net/~jclarke/kant/element1.html This link is of a website that contains a huge outline of the entire Critique of Pure Reason, and the link above is just an outline to the transcendental aesthetic. This is a great resource for anyone reading the book or its parts. I do not understand Kant or any other philosopher sometimes, and need a guide.

Having gone deep into space and time and why they are a priori, I have not even defined a priori, so I apologize to those who do not know Kant’s work, or a priori vs. a posteriori intuitions at a all. Before even going into a priori, like Locke, Wittgenstein, Hume, and Berkeley (I think?? haven’t read a whole lot of Berkeley), Kant has a chain or system of how ideas get into being a concept. Sensibility is “the capacity to obtain representations through the way in which we are affected by objects.” Sensibility is the capacity to gain ideas and perception (a not word not used here by Kant, so I apologize for loving that word) from what we see in objects. “Objects are given to us by means of our sensibility.” “Sensibility alone supplies us with intuitions. These intuitions are thought through the understanding, and from the understanding there arise concepts.”  So sensibility gives us intuitions, and with our understanding we build those up into concepts. Appearance by Kant is “the undetermined object of an empirical intuition.” This gives you a general foundation for how Kant views our ideas, or namely intuitions, and how we get them.

Thinking about intuitions (between sensibility and concepts), an a priori intuition is one that can be had without empirical observation. A priori, I think is a hard thing to grasp. When one does not empirically observe things, that person must be in pre-infancy, where there is an intuitive sensible mind, yet empirical observations because of surroundings and stage in brain development cannot be intuited. When thinking about a priori, I think of a thinking pre-infant person in the womb. Returning to Kant’s expositions of space and time, I think a pre-infant would have some notion of space and time. If, for some reason, the placenta was cut off from the pre-infant for even an infinitesimal amount of time, and was not fed, I think it would recognize that it has been awhile since it was nourished with what it is normally nourished with. Space, I think, is not something directly intuited by a pre-infant, but it is something granted, just like time is granted by it in most other occasions besides the one just mentioned.  Besides space and time, I cannot think of anything a priori. A priori is probably intuitions that are barely intuitions and are things we take for granted without taking into consideration. That brings me into the distinction between things analytic and synthetic.

Analytic intuitions (or ideas, or thoughts) I describe as the snap of a finger. Something being understood without having to go through logical process to understand it. Analytic intuitions are granted without much need of verification or clarification. The analytic I like to compare to Bertrand Russell’s hard data in that hard data involves logically primitive and psychologically primitive thoughts. Hard data is solidified into one’s reason where no psychological or logical process of understanding. verification, or clarification is needed. The analytic is logically primitive and psychologically primitive to speak in Russell’s terms.

Synthetic intuitions are those that require the said logical and/or psychological processes of understanding, verification, and clarification to be had. Bringing Russell in to the discussion again, his definition of soft data I think corresponds the the synthetic. Soft data for Russell is logically primitive intuitions, and psychologically derivative intuitions, where one again has to go through many processes to intuit the data. The synthetic, I think is different from soft data in that I think there are some things logically derivative in synthetic that are not automatically granted.  In any sense, the synthetic is unlike the analytic in that many processes must take place to understand it. The analytic requires none of those to be understood simply because analytic intuitions are understood in the snap of 2 fingers.

Knowing what a priori (forgot to say that a posteriori are intuitions that come about by empirical observation, but it matters not, since a posteriori is not the issue to be discussed in my case), analytic and synthetic are, we can discuss a priori together with analytic and synthetic. Analytic a priori is thought by most to be the only a priori. Referring back to the status of a pre-infant where time and space are intuited a priori. Time is analytic because no process is needed to understand it and other intuitions can be built on top of it during the possibility of a posteriori intuitions. Space is analytic because no process (logical or psychological) is needed to understand and grant it immediately. Just think about it right now: can you describe, exemplify, or even think about any synthetic a priori intuitions?

Kant discusses several arguments for synthetic a priori, but when really thinking about it, I cannot justify a synthetic a priori.  Many have thought about this, and most other conclusions are the same. There is no synthetic a priori. A synthetic intuition, needing the processes of verification clarification and understanding to fully grasp it and its intentions, cannot really take place without some kind of empirical intuition. A priori leaves one with only foundations of full concepts, and with only the foundations, a logical, psychological, verificatory, clarificatory, or understanding process cannot take place. For any intuition to be synthetic, it must have some empirical observation or appearance to deal with, and to possibly build up to concepts. Therefore, the only synthetic intuitions are a posteriori intuitions.

This has been said an infinite amount of times. This writing was me just explaining the transcendental aesthetic to myself and any other readers for my/your personal benefit. I just was throwing around some ideas to think about the distinction between a posteriori and a priori.

Thanks for the support as always.

Russell’s Logic as the Essence of Philosophy

14 Sep

Logic as Essence  of Philosophy is a lecture/essay by Bertrand Russell  that breaks all of the principles down to their bare minimums.  Russell does a lot for epistemology when he brings everything down to philosophy only mattering to logic and sense data. In this lecture he makes logic the bare essence of philosophy.

Logic is our rules for making judgments and thoughts and without it, we would not be able to get anything out of what we philosophize. We have observations, and we have a desire to make something out of them. Logicians like Frege establish formally these rules for philosophizing and the boundaries to maintain. Things we do not know about, we aim to define (I will get to what defining is later).

Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy that aims to help us understand the being around us, and what all this actually is. As I have said,  epistemologists and skeptic philosophers discredit and often eliminate metaphysics from existence. This is so for many reasons like we cannot perceive what metaphysics says, or we cannot test for what metaphysics says, or like here, reducing metaphysics to its logical components reduces the logical sentence to mere gibberish.

Russell calls logic the essence of philosophy, because whether it is metaphysics or not, any philosophical relation can be reduced to pure logical sentences. Metaphysics is just discredited among them because before it is reduced, it means even less than the other philosophies.  If I said ‘Socrates is a sycophant’  , I would be saying the same thing logically if I said  ‘ rooter is a beezer’. This is basically what Russell talks about in this essay of his, because anything can mean the same thing logically when it is stripped of all its meaning.

I bring Russell’s essay up for discussion just to lay some foundation in what metaphysics and epistemology do in fact have in common. My aim in my progressing writings is  to shoot down empiricism and positivism in their elimination of metaphysics, and defend metaphysics to its stronghold. Metaphysics and epistemology have this quality in common. A rooter could be either metaphysical or epistemological, but regardless of what a rooter or a beezer means, the logical sentence works. I feel little further need to explain this relation, in that I feel that my readers have a strong understanding and feel for logic without my need to explain it.  I just wanted to state that in regardless of what the sentence talks about,  if it confirms logically, both are the same regardless of what the words’ meanings are.

If theres pink shoes , then theres  fogoters. There are pink shoes, so there must be fogoters. This is a perfectly logical statement, yet we cannot know for sure if this true because we cannot know what fogoters are.  I push this concept so hard because I want to clarify that empiricists and positivists do not discredit metaphysics because of its logic, but because of its definitions. If the definitions known or not work well in the relation with one or more other things, it works great, but a metaphysician could assign a property with the name fogoter and have just created a frivolous philosphy, according to empiricists, Noumena is one thing that works well with logic, but the empiricists and positivists thought noumena was the worst metaphysical concept and means nothing even though it works well when related to other things with logic. I used Russell’s lecture to base my discussion off of, and to lay some foundation for some writings that will be here in the future.

This thought brings me to address the actual defining of  A, B, C, D, fogoters, rooters, and beezers.  It is not until here where metaphysics begins to be discredited and eliminated by the positivists and empiricists.  We can assign a letter like A to the first spot to mean anything, but when we define it, metaphysicians use relations with these undefineds and make properties out of them. For example, Kant defined a principle  X as noumena giving it its proper definition (which if you do not know it, it doesn’t matter for the moment) and noumena defines other things, and the things defined refer to other things as well. Heidegger uses Dasein to define his undefined, with the same thing happening too X as soon as it is defined.  It all works out agreeably until the variables are assigned definitions, and at that point, disputes are had and philosophy divides itself.

One of the bigger problems of metaphysics is that a newly defined term is often needed to be set forth to say what a metaphysician means. Empiricists and positivists dislike this action. After stating what i have said before this point, I want to portray metaphysics as a plethora of definitions that are scattered about, and then I want to further organize that beyond this writing to arrange all of the conflicting metaphysics together like Carnap began to organize the analytic and synthetic definitions.  I want to arrange metaphysics this way because of what a definition of any term causes.

The taking upon the action of defining a term is something that puts you in an infinite  regress of referrals. Lets define the word ‘braggadocio’ to help understand how defining something puts us in an infinite regression. Braggadocio:  empty boasting; bragging. If someone does not know what  bragging means we must define bragging. Bragging: to use boastful language. Now that we know that boasting and bragging are somewhat the same, what is language? Language: a body of words and the systems for their use common to apeople who are of the same community or nation, the same  geographical area, or the same cultural tradition. Okay, so what if we don’t know what words or common means. Then we would define those, and so on, and so forth.

I state that defining things puts us in an infinite regression because this sets the stage for a metaphysical buildup to have a stronghold instead of speculative things based on faith. I want to create a metaphysical buildup just like Carnap did so in an epistemological way. Faith is a great thing to have, but when people ask you your reasoning and you tell them faith, you will be laughed at. I want to find another way of reasoning metaphysical properties. Just like Kant said concerning noumena: “….for we are not entitled to maintain that sensibility is the only possible mode of intuition….”

This was only a preconcerning discussion about my intentions and thoughts. I did however want to root some things in this essay by Russell (even if most of this writing goes beyond what the his lecture actually adresses).

Thanks for the support, and do not get mad if more than half of this lecture was not actually about Bertrand Russell’s philosophy.

Immanuel Kant Critique of Pure Reason: Noumena?

2 Sep

Again I write something about Kant’s awesome Critique of Pure Reason, because it is simply awesome, and I should stop saying/writing the word awesome. Awesome. This part of the book is the Transcendental Doctrine of Faculty and Judgement aka Analytic of Principles in the third chapter. This chapter makes the distinction between phenomena and noumena. Phenomena is a wide known thing that is justified to exist, but noumena however can be claimed by epistemologists and other philosophers as to be nonexistent.  It is noumena that I wish to take up for discussion, and claim that it does in fact exist regardless of a philosophical principle’s qualification to have logic within it. I do, however, have some logic to put within it however.

First, I want to describe and discuss phenomena so that I can contrast it with the main topic of discussion in noumena.  Phenomena defined by Kant is this: “…objects of a possible experience…” (Kant).  Phenomena has sense data and has all properties of something that we see. Phenomena is justified by epistemologists and philosophers to exist because of its sense data and of its analytic nature. We can perceive it and not have to go through any thought process to know that it exists and to understand its nature. Noumena is just the opposite.

Noumena is defined by Kant as the following: “….of a thing which must be cogitated not as an object of sense, but as a thing in itself (solely through the pure understanding), is not self-contradictory, for we are not entitled to maintain that sensibility is the only possible mode of intuition” and “by the term noumenon, we understand a thing so far as it is not an object of our sensuous intuition, thus making abstraction of our mode of intuiting it..” (Kant).  So in essence noumena (noumenon in the singular sense) is the exact opposite of phenomena in that phenomena is intuited by sense, while noumena is not. Epistemologists discredit noumena right there because it cannot be perceived of the senses. One thing I also find amazing is that Kant is so bold as to state that we arent entitled to state that senses are our only way of intuiting things. Things that count as noumena are intuited based on pure understanding.

When I think of noumena as having faith that a certain thing that we cannot sense exists. Now, I do  not want to make this writing into a transition into telling everyone that you have to believe in God, even though that you do. I do not want this writing to go that way because about 50% of my other writings do just that. First, I want to talk about noumena in the sense Kant talked about  it in that sense does not have to be the only means that we intuit something. I also want to map out a few things that reside within noumena. Also, I want to discuss why philosophers of the epistemological variety state noumena to be a jibberish philosophical term.

What resides as a part of the noumena  are things that are vague and ambiguous but there are things that we can know by analytic deduction to exist just by pure understanding as Kant said it. I want to discuss God in this nature, however I want to loosely discuss Him as a higher power even if I think He is more than just a higher power. We can for sure know that  a higher power exists within this world even if one is not perceived. We do perceive with sense data the world and processes around us, and with all the great things this is, our pure understanding leads us to a source for all this, and that source is a higher power. A higher power is within the noumena because we cannot perceive with sense data this power, but we have enough pure understanding even with observation to have an intuition for His existence. Even if some people deny this purely understood intuition, we all have it, and that puts the higher power in the noumena. I will go into further the means that we have this pure understanding and why we put so much into it. The higher power is the most thing disputed to exist, and to be a part of the noumena, but a plethora of other things exist that are within the noumena. One smaller example would be that there is a molten core in the center of the earth. Has anyone gone inside the earth to see this core? No. That makes this core noumena because we have not perceived it with sense data. However with pure understanding and with other phenomena, we have justified for sure that this core exists. Basically anything that we have not perceived as phenomena, yet claim to existence is noumena and other examples could be elaborated upon, but  I believe I have exemplified this mystical noumena.

Epistemology claims that one has great evidence for the existence of a thing based on what sense data is perceived. If there is no sense data or sensory impressions, there is little evidence for its existence. These kind of philosophers put great faith in the phenomena because of the sense data these things set forth. The noumena however as stated by Kant is greatly discredited by these  (especially positivist) philosophers because it has no evidence for existence, and the justification for its existence is pure jibberish.  The positivists created a system of  justifying the truth  of certain things, Rudolf Carnap being one of them. Noumena does not pass the qualifications for the following test system but I am coming to a circumvention of this test system:

Positivist Verification Conditions

Justification conditions  =  Meaning conditions = Truth conditions

=

Verification conditions

If you can justify the truth of something (in its existence or of another truth) you are able to have evidence for it. Carnap and the positivists held great bearing in evidence for the truth of things, and evidence ultimately leading to justification. The equal signs mean that if you have this, then you have this , then you have this.  Meaning conditions include if what you say mean something within what the rest of the world, or things immediately around it are. If it means something, it can be branched out the the other condition categories. Normally this test goes left to right, because if you have either justification with evidence, or meaning in what you discuss, you have truth but only if they all cohesively work together. If you just have meaning or justification and you cannot branch to the other 2 condition categories, something is wrong and you have to go see if what you have is really truth or if you have to revise something. If you can cohesively get one then 2 and 3 of these things, you have verification of truth of what you discuss.  I present Carnap and the positivists ( mostly Carnap)  verification conditions because this is a counterargument against metaphysical noumena, and why it cannot be surely stated to exist. The epistemologists have had a long train of thinkers against jibberish metaphysics (I however do not think that metahpysics is jibberish) has gone for a long run including Wittgenstein (not to mention him again) and the Vienna Circle where Moritz Schlick and other scientists got together to talk philosophy against the metaphyisicians.  I am strongly against this antimetaphysical train of thought.

My counterargument against these anti metaphysical is that there are 2 ways that we can justify the existence of the noumena. First, phenomena that occur intermittently around us point towards certain things that we cannot see with sense data within our perceptions. For one example, like my example before, we know that there is a core in the earth because of massive magnetic polar charges on the poles of the earth, volcanoes and earthquakes, seismic waves, and because of certain minerals that are not normal on the crust. All of these things point to a different material on the inside of the earth that is in fact molten, and must lie inside the earth. All of these phenomena were not us perceiving the sense data of the core, but they were phenomena that were random and intermittent that all when tested together point toward this molten core. Going back to the higher power, we see the sun, a baby born, the earth processes, eclipses, the other planets, a cell enduring mitosis, and many other things that can not have been caused by chance. All of these phenomena point toward noumena. The simultaneous phenomena around us when collectively observed are often studied together to point towards another hypothesis and even a theory about the collective cause for these things, even when the cause of all these things are not perceived with sense data. Basically phenomena can often point toward undiscovered noumena.

Second often because phenomena point toward noumena, we have faith. Kant stated that noumena is understood with pure understanding, and that we must have another method for intuition than sensory impressions. Seeing does not always have to be believing.  With all of the phenomena that point toward noumena, we have faith in the noumena being there because we have assurance in it. God does not appear before us to help us in life, but intermittent things happen that help us out, and that can be related toward God’s presence. Faith is a self described term, and noumena are the things we must have faith in after observing surrounding noumena and making a purely understanding decision about it.

The above 2 things sort of go into each other. They both fit into Kant’s statement that we must have a different way to intuit things than sense. I totally agree with his recognizing noumena, and we must rely on senses less and pure understanding more.

Thanks for the support, and I hope I was understanding enough for you to rethink a few things.

Immanuel Kant Critique of Pure Reason: The Transcendental Logic I (Logic in General)

10 Aug

Kant’s book Critique of Pure Reason contains in it the Transcendental Doctrine of Elements which has the landmark concepts of time, space, transcendental logic, among other things including the concept of a priori intuitions. In the first part On logic in general, Kant talks about certain intuitions along with the sensibility all pointing towards the qualifications for an intuition to be a priori. This Transcendental Doctrine is one of the things making Critique of Pure Reason one of Kant’s amazingly thought provoking and amazing books.

First in this part on logic, Kant talks about reception of representations and faculty for cognizing an object by means of these representations.  Reception of representations is our nature of being given representations of the world. We are given these things without much thought being necessary to achieve them. The faculty for cognizing an object comes to us through our thought and contemplation upon the representations we receive. This faculty for cognizing comes to us only through our thought of things, and are not given to us as the representations are. Kant states these fact to lead up to his distinction of intuitions between those that are empirical and pure. Empirical cognitions are those that have sensation contained in them. Pure cognitions are those without any sensational involvement. Kant goes on to say that only pure cognitions are a priori, and empirical cognitions are a posteriori.  From this he goes on to talk about understanding and what it is made up of: “If we call the receptivity of our mind to receive representations insofar as it is affected in some way sensibility, then on the contrary the faculty for bringing forth representations itself, or the spontaneity of cognition, is the understanding” (Kant). Receptivity being the ability of our mind to receive representations that are affected by sensibility is not that complex of a process, but understanding involves more thought and is therefore more complex. The faculty for “thinking of objects of sensible intuition on the contrary, is the understanding. The logic used towards the understanding is then divided into general and particular logic in use of the understanding. General logic is logic used for understanding that is the basic absolutely necessary rules of thinking. The particular logic for the use of understanding is the rules for thinking about a certain kind of objects or thoughts. General logic is further divided between pure and applied logic. Pure logic being logic of understanding dealing with particularly a priori principles. Applied logic being understanding for the sensible and psychological purpose because of the sensibility involved. The empirical, pure, general and applied can be crossed with each other to have different logic and understanding. Kant’s main proposition of this part of the book: “A general but pure logic therefore has to do with strictly a priori principles,  and is a canon of understanding…” (Kant).

I explain the above because it is my opinion that sensibility clouds propositions and judgement creating the need and therefore existence of some a priori logic and understanding. Empirical applied logic and understanding  is in my opinion corrupted by sensibility. The senses we have govern too much our logic and understanding, when we should not rely very  much upon them. I believe Kant felt the same about senses and sensibility because of the fact that he made sure that a priori logic only included that which had no sensibility. I do not choose to discredit  sensibility totally, but it clouds judgement away from the real and the truthful because of how our brains are complex enough to make things appear different from what they really are.  If there were no  a priori principles we would be lost in this world and all of us would resort to  foolish philosophies (like solipsism, and atheism if I may say so). If there were no canon of understanding we would be so lost that we would not be able to come back from it. There are reasons we cannot have all a priori knowledge, but we cannot succeed in the world without some of this a priori knowledge. I think that Kant called a priori principles general and pure because of how the sensibility corrupts logic and gives it impurities. This canon of understanding is what helps us have the ability to sort through the corrupt and false principles and understand what is true and real. I appreciate Kant for making the distinction between these logical distinctions. This philosophy endorses what the Christians believe about the knowledge God means for us to have while on this earth. We are given just enough knowledge to find our way, but there is enough possibly corrupted sensible empirical knowledge to lead us astray.

Thanks for the support. @Reply on Twitter, comment below, or email at cosmosuniversez@yahoo.com to talk about your opinions, and if you think I am wrong in believing this.