Kant: 'Natural Law' as Prison of 'Morality'
kant in layman's terms: obeying 'morality' (western cultural rules: THE METAPHYSICS OF REASON
The influence of Immanuel Kant on Western thought is HUGE.
Kant claimed that human 'reason' structures our view of reality AND morality.
Kant tries to establish what kind of 'thing' morality is. He insists that morality exists in the realm of the ideal, not the empirical.
Kant tries to save 'moral' freedom from the actual path of evolution, but this way is forced to make strange assertions.
When it comes to seeing 'intelligence' as thing in itself and humans as beings with an 'intelligent mind' then Kant played a decisive role.
Before Kant the devout Protestant Robert Boyle (1627–1691), godfather of modern chemistry, inspired by the beauty/complexity of nature stated: the universe
and all phenomena of nature MUST have had a creator (Design Argument).
Kant deeply agreed with this argument and he simply was not able to imagine that absolute truth might be a hallucination.
Different from what Kant 3 ages ago could ever imagine in the provincial evangelical town of Königsberg in Prussia.
Kant saw scientists exploit the repetition in nature in marvelous ways.
One age after Boyle Immanuel Kant said that about the Argument from Design that it
is the oldest, the clearest, and the most accordant with the common reason of mankind.
In fact Kant quite circular stated: it is reasonable to presume reason behind nature.
Very little philosophy since then seriously challenged the presumption: 'there is reason behind reality'.
Kan believes that at a deep level human beings all share one
common conceptual scheme. It was Thomas Kuhn (missing in the picture above) who brought a fresh presumption: 'reality is perceived through paradigms', and added
the painfully missing dimension culture.
Both Kant and Kuhn had the intuition that humans perceive a masked reality, but in contrast with Kuhn Kant imagined 1 TRUE mask
while Kuhn imagined many culture dependent masks (conceptual relativism).
Kuhn once called himself: a Kantian with movable categories, meaning that Kant's categories are cultural and resemble paradigms.
Over the centuries since Enlightement a central philosophical issue was whether the world we see around us is the real world itself, or a presentation of the world presented by our brain in response to input from our senses.
Kant can be seen as founder of the presentation side, and even claims that this presentation has no relation to 'hardware reality'.
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) considered human reality as a GAME (virtual reality) using preset rules, with good players and evil players.
A 'mind'-simulation of 'hardware' reality.
Kant saw human reality as subjective and ideal, a phenomena-dream produced by the 'mind', as game using the eternal laws of Nature as moral guidelines.
Kant's human reality is much like The Matrix, that we all in our 'mind' play the game Human Reality with no relation to reality.
Kant believes in a kind of individualism of high morals, not an egoist individualism, he considers
human reality as game with individual players independent of reality, instead as human reality as that part of reality made
by human players.
What makes the dreams of human reality of different people quite similar is the fact that according to Kant those dreams are based on 'rational' natural law and that people living together 'tune' their dreams.
Kant imagined that humans cannot perceive Nature as it is, but that humans are 'rational beings' and their 'mind' 'reasons' a closed 'rational' model, without reference to (also rational) Nature.
Kant just did not recognize the cultural aspect. The fact that different cultures might use different natural laws and on top of that while sensing filter with their own cultural firewall.
Ages later in the 20th century it was Thomas Kuhn who added the cultural aspect with his notion 'paradigm'.
So Kant introduced virtual and VERY simple 'rationality' as sensory override (META-physics) of immensely complex physics.
There's nothing wrong with fitting your dreams of reality (experience) in some simple 'rational' model (using a sensory override), when TRYING to make reactions to sensations
more consistent. As long as you keep realizing THAT you substitute and simplify 'infinitely' complex bodily wisdom (trained intuition) with limited simple 'rational' logic (virtual experience),
and keep relating resulting decisions in complex reality to that very simple logic.
But that's precisely what Kant did NOT do.
Kant held that there are universal 'moral' laws, and Kant considered actions as moral when they conform to these rules with universal validity.
Kant saw such rules as 'rational'.
Now suddenly things are presumed to be OK when they are 'rational', thus reducing reality to a 'rational' game without mentioning
that the existence of a 'mind' is a per definition of 'rationalism' (but never mentioned anymore).
EXTREMELY dubious, because in fact Kant, a puritan from provincial Germany, this way reduced reality to 'rationality' and introduced 'rationally wrong' (morally wrong)
(as result of the dreams of humans in neighbouring realities with some flaw in their 'mind').
Kant presumes a the existence of 'mind, with that 'mind' housing in a body (and inherently presumes a 'mind body split'), and with that presumed 'rational mind' in control of body.
That way Kant only posed that he was a 'rationalist'.
Often is claimed that Kant brought together the 'rational' world and the empirical world (physical world), but what Kant did was
claiming that there IS a 'rational' world (META-physics).
The preoccupation with 'reason' in Enlightenment is result of many ages of mind-body-split in Catholicism.
With his rudimentary model Kant did split reality in two parts (in his view independent): reality=(virtual reality of 'ratio', physical reality of emotions).
In modern concepts Kant stated: it doesn't matter what reality is like, you live in the 'natural law' dream of your mind.
The picture in left column above shows: the influence of the Kantian model of reality on western science is IMMENSE.
Kant treated his idea 'mind reality' as 'natural law', as the god given structure of reality (intelligent rules).
The 'intelligent rules' are also seen as implanted in the human 'mind'.
Imagine the city of Mexico (and inhabitants) seen as set of objects that is COMPLETELY described by a sourcecode on A4-sized piece of paper.
Don't blame Kant, the concept 'god as designer of nature' since start of Roman Christianity (catholicism) for many ages was drilled into the collective memory of Western people by The Church
(killing opponents with brutal tools like the 'stakes' and 'inquisition').
Kant's (western) cultural truth was so deeply settled in him that he simply judged truth deviant from Roman Christian truth as FALSE.
Nietzche, living after Kant, in The Antichrist attacked the mind-body split in Kants writings very hard:
a virtue that is prompted solely by a feeling of respect for the concept of "virtue" , as Kant would have it, is harmful. [..]
Nothing ruins us more profoundly, more intimately, than [..] sacrifice to [..] abstraction.
Again later, Wittgenstein in his Tractatus (6.371) comments: The whole modern conception of the world is founded on the illusion that the so-called laws of nature
are the explanations of natural phenomena.
Wittgenstein saw the dualism in Kant's division, trying to model manifold living reality in a static model with a few variables.
And Wittgenstein recognized Kant's 'natural law' as a static manmade model (around 'moral' rules) that is pretended to be the 'intelligence'
behind living reality (natural phenomena = life). Henk Tuten: kind of computerthinking.
In the 20th century Thomas Kuhn again denied Kant's mind body dualism and replaced Kant's eternal intelligent design with many temporary cultural designs (paradigms).
Kuhn once called himself: a Kantian with movable categories, meaning that Kant's categories resemble paradigms,
but that Kant locked his categories around 'god' and forgot the possibility to change.
In technology 'rational' models proved to be great TOOLS,
when used to simulate aspects of reality.
Tools for making predictions (e.g. weather forecast).
Kant's computer view of life finally lead to a western society where people believe that
mathematics and logic 'prove' scientific 'facts' with mathematical certainty.
And that computers can make a forecast of life/nature. Of course this is not only Kant's doing.
Especially after WWII 'rationality' is entering social life, and here treating life as rule-based ('computerthinking') map for all of reality appears to be very destructive.
That Western Scientists take 'intelligence' (a western cultural truth) as 'design basics' for physical reality is naive and is MEGAfraud.
In the end this produces conflict thinking, any behavior that does not conform to Western Truth is judged as FALSE (terrorist).
The western 'scientific method' proved useful temporarily, but its time for a fresh start. Evolution is not a static 'system'. But no mistake, as unpartial
research facility science is extremely useful.
Fans of Kant out of the blue assume that abstract things like 'reason', 'consciousness', 'intelligence' exist and point at more than complex survival behavior in the environmental reality 'life'.
And that 'we humans' 'reason' about non-survival based duties such as 'morals' (and about complete crap).
They assume, based on nothing, that the human tool 'reason' has a PURPOSE separate from survival,
and that existence without 'moral' purpose is miserable.
Like addicted poker players who see the human made set of games 'casino' as life, and consider getting poker-bonuses as pointing at casino-consciousness and casino-intelligence.
And 'judge' existence without high casino-bonuses as miserable (substitute 'casino' with 'economy')
Natural Law = The Sourcecode of Reality
Schopenhauer wrote: Kant's greatest merit is the distinction of the phenomenon from the thing in itself
Kant does not deny the existence of the external reality, but in fact claims 'our world is a construct',
and 'science is not about reality, but about mind constructs of perceptions'
Henk Tuten: dividing reality in a perceived 'software reality' and a 'hardware reality' (an inner 'virtual kant' in rule-space [The Matrix] and a external bodily Kant [a human in The Matrix] that is moving things-in-itself.
Life with 'good' moves and 'bad' moves, where the rules for 'good' moves are preprogrammed in your mind.
Distinguishing 'metaphysics' (the rulespace where 'inner Kant' is preparing moves = 'mind' reality) and the physical moves of 'external Kant'.
Kant sees examples of culture relative behavior as result of misinterpretation of THE rules by individuals/(sub)cultures.
That way Kant could consider blacks as misinterpretators of THE rules, and is quoted: "Blackness is [..] stupidity".
Kant was an excellent writer, but certainly not at all entertaining. The MANY misinterpretations of his works
mostly are not caused by Kant not being clear, but by hinein-interpretieren (German).
Kant gave a new direction to philosophy/metaphysics, and radically influenced all later western philosophy.
Kant replaces study of (in his eyes 'unknowable') outer reality with study of the virtual reality of the 'mind'.
Kant presumes that behind the rule reality of the 'mind' are a priori principles (superrules = morals), and that only
research of these moral superrules can lead to an accepted body of knowledge..
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804
) was convinced that humans cannot perceive the in his view intelligently designed physical outer reality as it is, but perceive a masked reality,
an invisible inner reality (Kant`s Moral Argument: God made us like himself; universal truth is implanted as 'mind'
Kant makes a distinction between the visible institutional church (religion) and the invisible church of rational morality, or personal faith.
Under influence of this 'understanding' Kant makes the choice to BELIEVE in two independent realities: a visible physical outer reality AND an invisible inner reality
of the dreams of our 'understanding (Kant`s Moral Argument: God made us like himself; our 'mind' is a receiver of universal truth (what is right)
And not to see reality as a living system, with internal 'morality' as cultural conditioning.
To realize why Kant believes that our 'mind' receives a universal signal 'morality',
it is enlightening to consider Kant's opinion about the existence of 'god'.
In Kant's view there is 'the moral law within me', Kant sees this as receiving the wireless channel 'god'.
But in Kant's opinion practically all humans are insufficiently equipped to receive 'the moral broadcasts'.
Kant sincerely believes that humans need a fulltime radio station 'religion' that amplifies THE moral directives of 'god', to stay away from 'evil'. .
Using 21st century ideas, without worrying about the existence of God,
Kant's view is somewhat like the picture above. The human 'mind' Kant supposes to be equipped with a God app.
|Something to muse about: Most modern evangelicals agree with Kant that 'truth/ethics' must be 'universal' in order to be true
|More to muse about, the Kantian move: define some structure inherent to our presumed virtual reality box 'mind', a 'little Kant' (conceptual scheme) around experience that when used is called the inner reality of 'understanding'.
Kant’s Moral Argument: Moral behaviour is rational because Justice is rational.
Justice will only be done if God exists. Ergo: God exists (and is 'rational'?
) because there is 'rational' 'justice'.
A practical and very leading defense of religion, under the presumption that there are 'moral' laws in reality.
Kant believed in 'intelligently designed' eternal 'laws of nature', and might have 'thought' that addiction to an 'intelligent design'
can't be harmful.
Often this is modelled as 'mental model of the world' or as 'knowledge, ideas, beliefs'.
Read 'mental' as 'imaginary' and instead of about ideas Kant's model is more about rules (laws, morals).
When you realize that cultural rules are there to strengthen temporary customs, then a cultural paradigm when it becomes hard addiction can delay
for many ages.
And in addition to his conviction that religious belief is a necessity, Kant was sure that humans are ESSENTIALLY different from apes.
Kant was not entirely mistaken, western human apes (especially evangelical apes, no offense
) indeed are much more addicted than other apes.
Kant places human apes outside evolution as 'moral' beings (with 'morals' resulting from eternal natural law
), although he admits that intuition often is more effective than reason when it come to survival.
Kant doesn't recognize his own conceptual paralysis because he denied that 'morals' are cultural.
This prevented the insight: entities of reality (animals, plants, ..), in order to survive, tune perception with environment (cultural reality)
Kant makes a point that an addicted human brain is capable
of ALMOST isolation in dreams of 'understanding', and of 'understanding' an own reality.
Only ..., generally the human brain is a supersense-unit that in evolution developed to a superb tool for human survival in local environment.
Idealism claims that human reality is an inner (mind-)world around ideas, independent of the outdoor world of physical things.
Kant denies that the intelligent design dream world can be researched directly by empirical science,
but Kant claims that only 'intelligence' can explain the presence of (in Kant's belief existent) purpose in nature.
Kant's intelligent design is a BELIEF, and Kant considers this belief a more suitable subject for theology than for empirical science.
Ceremonial behavior that changes way of life, is simular to ritual behavior changing into common sense behavior
(praying 5 times per day because that is 'what muslims ideally do'; obeying US government in its crazy decisions because that is 'what good US citizens ideally do'), conceptual scheme changing into cultural reality (paradigm).
Kant differs from many idealists in that he does not deny the existence of an external physical reality,
nor does he claim that ideas are more fundamental than things.
Kant argues that we can never overcome the limitations inherent in the ideas set in our minds (quite modern but presuming the existence of 'mind', denying paradigm shifts, and inherently denying dna mutation
), so that the only reality we will ever know is the reality of perception.
Kant (in fact tremendously arrogant
) claimed that the structure of reality (including 'morality'
) is inherent in the organization of human 'mind'.
In Kant's view in is useless to try to learn from experience with external reality, because human minds COMPOSE a virtual human reality.
In other words: humans don't learn from proceedings on earth, they DESIGN those proceedings in daydreams.
An interesting youtube, using neurology to show that perception is a dream, in fact a neo-Kantian view. What I miss in this video is respect for
evolution. In many thousands of years, evolution tuned the brain-combi of the signals of different senses in order to make the combined perception effective.
That is much more than pure imagination.
That our brain sets conditions and that way largely forms our intuition seems to the point, but Kant's view is also VERY tricky if like Kant you assume that 'mind' exists, that there is only one paradigm, that perception is 'intelligent', and that 'rational beings'(humans) have an immaterial steering wheel of behavior called 'mind'.
Instead of distinguishing perceived behavior of material in some environment, and the material perceived in 'empty' space.
And on top of that presume that there are eternal natural laws in this 'intelligence' ('mind-reality').
Kant's whole life as student/teacher of the 'Albertina' in Koenigsberg, played a few square kilometers around this university.
As university teacher the shy bachelor Kant as subsitute for living an emotionally satisfactory life pondered about following issues:
How to behave purpously, given that we humans behave conditioned by our perception-history (experience) and
are part of the perceived reality that we are influencing. Or how to gather and use 'knowledge' that is more
than use of conditioned physical experience? If at all possible.
I think that the logical Kant answered the last part of the question affirmative: "yes it is possible, all
culturally conditioned truths are variations around eternal conditions in nature (universal truths: god's rational compass built in nature
"yes it is useful to research God's compass, because unconditioned universal truth, though integrated in the human mind, needs unravelling into moral laws.
Because Mind makes Nature, out of natural law with reason".
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) rejected empirical knowledge as a way of knowing God (Kant took for granted that everybody should know god
) , and inherently claimed that experimental science can not answer the question: does god exist?
Kant maintained that you have to believe in God, or said in another way that you have to believe that behind change in nature is an intelligent eternal model. Such a model (God) cannot be demonstrated at all, neither can its existence be disproved.
Kant's God-model that needs no proof gives peace of 'mind', but also this compulsory Kantian God-model sets discriminatory 'moral' laws (catholic/protestant prejudices
made into natural straitjacket
(It is insightful how in 2005 on the question 'does god exist' is polled in Europe and US.
It shows that in god belief US is closer to Southern Eurupe but in belief in 'ratio' closer to Northern Europe.
And it shows why in the US there is huge willingness to start 'War on Terrorism' against people who don't use American moral laws.|
And to realize that after WWII rapidly the American type of protestantism and its 'moral thinking' is brought to Europe.
After Kant western scientific discussions of reality or knowledge
centered around the role of the human 'mind' in constructing its own reality and knowledge.
Kant is saying minds and our reason are limited by universal concepts linked to intuitions.
We could 'think' (use our mind) as hard as we like, but we could never escape the 'natural laws' preprogrammed in our 'minds' (Kant inherently denied 2 concepts
that in the meantime are 'accepted', he denied paradigms and paradigm shifts and on the physical side he 'denied' the mutation of dna
After Kant discussions about God concentrated on ethics and values without seriously acknowledging that Western morals
are a set of cultural beliefs. And after enlightenment open debate (rethorics) is seen as negative, suggesting that rethorics is manipulation away from THE truth.
Kant made science into religion, you had to believe in the truth of reason as produced by highpriests of reason (scientists).
Scientists only discuss with other scientists, but don't question the truth of reason.
Kant's belief (following Aristotle) centers around the belief in the existence of 'intelligence' (soul/spirit/mind).
Kant forced philosophy to look seriously at the world made by our 'mind', and Kant suggested that we could not escape this world (absolutism).
In fact this way Kant suggested that conceptual schemes and paradigms don't exist.
Kant BELIEVED that original behavior is more than selection out of an ocean of variance (PRACTICAL science),
in the end this is the belief in things like 'understanding'. The belief in THE Design of Nature and in The Designer (God).
So, the question itself is already leading, based on a BELIEF in a nature based on THE design.
Western Science is a Kantian approach of reality, and was given a modernized shape by Albert Einstein.
A 'technological' approach, very effective in technology. But an approach that from the very start as cultural prison was
destined to die in rigid beauty, like digging a well of tremendous beauty and, unable to get out, dying on the
brilliant bottom (very deep prison).
Kant opposed the mind body split as introduced by Descartes, but instead he presumed an eternal design behind nature, instead of for instance considering nature
as a whole as a living organism. This way Kant introduced a new split, that of objective
metaphysics (the units; say the atoms + some eternal concepts like space and time)
and subjective physics
(manmade constructs). In this Kantian dual reality selfmade metaconcepts
like 'space' and 'time' rule physics, with a unique position for humans.
Because Kant presumes that his 'eternal concepts' in 'objective' metaphysics is incorporated in the functioning of the human 'mind'
as 'objective conditions = understanding'.
Kant redefined truth as subjective. Together with the fact that Kant believed that nature was based on 1 truth (god's design)
you might conclude that this combination was continuing on the same road as taken by Western Culture since birth of Catholicism.
A 'god exists' standpoint in new shape. The path taken by Western Science is similar, now 'god' is replaced by 'ratio' but the result is equally religious and arrogant.
Kant denies that appearances have only subjective existence, that they exist only in being sensed.
Kant asserts a decisive objective part in appearances, namely, by claiming that there are eternal natural 'conditions'.
Kant speaks of space and time (the conditions of sensibility)
and of 12 categories (the conditions of understanding)
Here Kant means that space and time and the categories are "objective conditions of all knowledge"
(essential to all possible experience)
because they are necessary conditions for the repeatability of our presentation of (the behavior of) an object.
Immanuel Kant sees humans as 'rational beings' and disagreed with Hume's claim that instead humans 'emotional' beings,
and that 'understanding' (reason) is only a (very limited)
Very conveniently Kant says that rational human beings should be treated as an end in themselves and not as tool to something else.
Since Kant Western Science aims at 'understanding' and finding the eternal basic units behind physical reality.
Peculiar is that Kant's process 'understanding' itself is taken for granted, as well as imaginations like 'space' and 'time'.
In a nutshell: Kant became famous as 'The law-giver of nature' (metaphysical reasoning), and godfather of western science.
But 40 years after Immanuel Kant died totally senile
the English historian lord Macaulay wrote about Kant's explanations of metaphysics: [...] utterly unintelligible, just as if it had been written in Sanskrit.
Kant distinguishes a 'mind-made' virtual reality and the 'real' world (physical reality
Kant does not mean, I guess, that our ideas of reality only exist in the mind.
The point Kant made which makes sense is that we cannot have ideas of reality without our 'mental' processes creating this reality.
So Kant designed 'mind' before
(prior) the world is being sensed, and thus Kant claims that the 'mind' organises and structures raw sense data to become
the human virtual reality as we 'understand' it.
So whatever we claim to know about the world is already structured by our 'mind'.
Kant was the scientific father of the 20th-century Albert Einstein who perfected Kant's virtual reality in math formulas and became brilliant
in making deductions based on these selfmade rules.
Einstein took Kant's religious conviction that there is natural law (a lot of rules out of Euclidean geometry and Newtons Laws of Motion; a bunch of a prioris
) but was not sympathetic with Kant's method of using subjective a priori,
and instead designed a closed system (which in its interactions nevertheless is a bunch of a aprioris
), but surely learned a lot from
the systematic approach of Kant.
Just like Kant when older Einstein realized that any model of nature is only a tool, and that intuition is a simulation of reality that by far exceeds 'ratio'.
'Reasoning' is giving labels to logically processed parts of past experience (and calling the remembering of these labels 'knowledge' and 'understanding'
), and is
very different from living BEHAVIOR in the total of present experience.
So towards the end of his 'logical period' Immanuel Kant began to question 'understanding'.
The dogmatic Euclidean/Newtonian virtual reality that was subjectively chosen by the younger Kant. Labels like space, time, identity, causation) and the older Kant lost all faith in metaphysical reasoning being more than following some 'bible'.
The older Kant suddenly 'saw' that 'understanding' is running a quick and dirty simulation of the interaction of 'a few' variables, using the simulation box 'metaphysics'.
For 'rational' fans though the 'logical' Kant was much more convincing
than the older and wiser Kant. The 'logical' Kant miraculously succeeded in getting his personal apriori accepted in Western Sience as THE objective basis for physics.
Computers are brilliant tools, but the driving force behind companies like IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Google was Kant's dogmatic thinking. Thinking in terms of
a closed system 'truth' that can be minimized into a box.
The creationism of Immanuel Kant: The 'mind' is preprogrammed with Natural Design
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) was professor of Logic and Metaphysics at the university of Koenigsbergen.
Kant had studied the 'rational' 'metaphysics' of Wolff (student of Leibniz
Kants goal was to research the limits of 'pure reason' (logic).
Kant made sense by posing that one could not start from a premise and build logically to real knowledge.
But as solution Kant introduced 'natural law' (metaphysics=knowledge close to the basics of math)
as real knowledge (per definition).
That's a premise too, and a dubious one, but not seen by Kant as such.
Kant tried to merge rationalism (Descartes, Leibniz) and Empiricism (Locke, Hume).
Kant and contemporaries did not realize that rationalism and empiricism were not that different,
rationalism making a 'rational' reality and empiricism explaining the 'rational' part of sense experience
with 'rational' logic. Kant: The mind has to work with what it has acquired through the senses
Only, according to Kant this 'mind' is not passive. Rather, it actively shapes sense information (using Memory + Natural Law + Freedom).
Immanuel Kant considers metaphysics = 'natural law' as the queen of all science
, and science as unravelling of 'natural law'.
After Kant, the old debate between rationalists and empiricists disappeared to the background, the concept 'metaphysics' ('mind') dominated the discussions
of reality in 'metaphysics' and the philosophy of 'mind'.
Since Kant 'all' western 'rational philosophers' have defended the claim that there is a design behind nature (natural design) that can only be 'known' by 'mind' (with 'rational' logic as natural logic),
and is independent of any physical experience (METAphysical). This design is called 'a priori knowledge',
and very useful to presume structure were there is only random-made physics + selection (and no 'freedom').
Between Aristotle and Kant's Critique of Pure Reason are 20 ages and in the field of ethics they quite disagree,
but in matters of mind-body dualism they are distant 'twins'.
Both Aristotle and Kant made some racist remarks, but it would be unfair to call them racists.
Immanuel Kant argued that man cannot know reality 'as it really is' only as it 'appears to him' filtered by the innate structure of his 'mind'.
Kant without explaining claims that this innate structure is common to all men. And that 'reason' enables us to unravel the reality as 'it appears to him' (a subjective reality
In the creationism of Kant a 'fact' is agreed upon within 'reality as it appears'. Since according to Kant the only reality
is the reality of a christian morals, what is a 'fact' is decided by christian morals.
Immanuel Kant argued that human 'knowledge' is more than only (outer)
sense experience, but that the 'mind' (inner sense)
is structured according to the Natural Law behind reality ('understanding')
Thus 'understanding' shapes all sensory experience.
Quite modern if 'Natural Law' had pointed at evolution (dna), but Kant makes a mess and descends to the level 'God, soul, free will
' and now presumes the existence of a 'mind'
programmed with 'a priori' (god's natural law
Kant this way presumes that man is MORE than the sum of his evolutional history (creationism).
Because obviously according to Kant sensed reality orderly behaves within Natural Law in our mind, and some 'approved by Natural Law' reality is 'known' (filtered by reason). My advice (Henk Tuten
don't try to make sense of Kant
What we perceive is not always what is there, because we perceive not with our eyes but with our minds. Perception is an interpretation of reality. It is our truth, but it is not the ultimate truth. Change how you perceive and you will be able to create in entirely new realm
Kant thinks that Nature Law fits Enlightenment a priori concepts like time and space (a priori: true even before experience).
Kant is best known for his 'transcendental'idealism that time and space are not materially real but are a priori conditions of our internal intuition.
Implicitly Kant argues that concepts of physics such as time, space, causation, inertia, ... are 'knowledge stones' (pure intuitions) in our 'mind,
(causes of 'understanding').
Immanuel Kant until present totally influences the Western view of time and space
, typical because
this protestant professor only saw a few streets in Koenigsberg.
Kant's eternal 'Natural Law' as to be expected is a typical temporary product of his time.
'Natural law' presumes a design, that is 'known' without experience, behind any object. 'Justice', 'mind', 'consciousness', ..are wishful imaginations around this natural design.
Henk Tuten: Kant made a brilliant observation: that humans sense within some scheme.
But Kant made his eternal TRUTH very small and prejudiced, he tried to fit his own very fundamentalist
protestant conceptual scheme in his eternal truth. Kant's rational humans 'know' a 'rational part of reality' that
is build of different stones with different 'ratio'
to that 'rational subreality'.
The famous Kant (believer in metaphysics) in a nutshell, is the religious (and obviously circular
) conceptual scheme that inherent in the structure of the human 'mind' is the virtual
reality 'natural law' (metaphysics),
and that the 'mind' makes 'human reality' without using the physical reality.
In Kant's view we can't 'know' the reality that was cause of our sense experience (very much chicken-egg like argument).
Kant claimed that we could never see more than an image of the 'thing itself out there.
So in short:
The Kantian position is that our bodily sensations are caused by an unknowable physical reality outside of us,
and that our 'mind' INDEPENDENTLY of what was sensed makes its own METAphysical reality in our imagination (idealism
In chicken-egg language: the very first chicken came out of a virtual egg from an unknown reality.
Chicken 'mind' still is connected to this virtual reality and CREATES a chicken reality that is vaguely simular to prebirth virtual reality.
Kant rejects the until then traditional metaphysics of "knowledge PARALLEL to physical experience", and replaces it with
Kantian Metaphysics: 'a priori knowledge (pure reason) that is BEHIND experience' ready to be processed with reason by our 'mind'.
Kant produced a huge brilliant fog around his scheme, and after him for centuries no serious scientist risked straight attack on his super-complex fantasy.
A fantasy that once again (after Thomas Aquinas and Rene Descartes
) strengthened the western dualism that had developed since Catholicism conquered Europe.
Later Albert Einstein believed in Kant's religious construction of 'natural law' in combination with 'understanding'.
Einstein constructed a close system around ages old common sense (from Euclidian Geometry and Newton's Laws
) and this
was accepted without any resistance.
Kant considered his rejection of a 'sensable' reality as
a Copernican Turn (paradigm shift)
because Kant (slightly arrogant)
saw a similarity with the rejection of a motionless earth
In Critique of Pure reason Kant writes: I have found it necessary to deny knowledge (here Kant points at sense) in order to make room for faith
Descartes claimed that knowledge must conform to objects, Kant however changed it around,
arguing that objects conform to reason.
Immanuel Kant makes applying 'reason' into the religion 'metaphysics'.
Kant claimed that all humans share the same form of cognitive structure (that 'natural law' is inherent in reason
); this is what Kant referred to as the transcendental form of all cognition,
because it transcends (it is independent) other ways of learning.
Kant revived 'metaphysics', and following Aristotelian tradition in Catholicism and Protestantism adopts the view that our 'mind' determines the nature of our experiences (mind body split).
In fact Kant claims that 'intelligence' is 'in the mind', causing the belief that there is more than skill.
An example: in Kant's view 'beauty' is a metaphysical 'a priori, and is liked universally. What is sensed as 'beautiful' is an individual judgment of taste.
This way Kant constructs 'categories'. See Prolegomena.
In 'Human, All Too Human Nietzsche joked about a Metaphysical world': It is true, there could be a metaphysical world; the absolute possibility of it is hardly to be disputed. We behold all things through the human head and cannot cut off this head; while the question nonetheless remains what of the world would still be there if one had cut it off.
Immanuel Kant and Thomas Kuhn were very different persons, but in 1 aspect similar.
Both had the intuition that humans perceive a masked reality.
Kant imagined 1 eternal reality of godly design, inclusive rules, interpreted through 1 continuously improving mask.
Kuhn imagined a reality interpreted though cultural dependent masks (conceptual schemes) , with the rules part of the cultural mask. And shifts between different masks.
Kuhn once called himself: a Kantian with movable categories
, meaning that Kant's categories resemble paradigms,
but that Kant locked his categories and forgot the possibility to shift from paradigm (set of categories, conceptual scheme).
Kant versus Kuhn in a nutshell:
Kant: Material Reality is worked up by the 'mind' into the observed world.
Kuhn: Material Reality is within borders of cultural rituals worked up into observed worlds.
Kuhn’s picture is seems vaguely Kantian because our observed reality (paradigm) behaves within the borders of conditioned behavior (cultural dependent borders).
Kuhn’s picture is Kant modernized because where Kant has eternal 'continuous', 'transcendental' 'mental' categories,
Kuhn has jumps from one to another cultural position, that are both closed models inside material reality.
You could say: Kant had 1 continuously improving god-dependent 'moral' closed reality, Kuhn had jumps from one to another closed cultural paradigm.
Nietzsche claims that prophets better not have too good a memory: Many a man fails as an original thinker simply because his memory is too good.
Immanuel Kant was a peculiar mix of being brilliant and being a culturally chained puritan.
That caused that Kant made brilliant quotes but also irritating ones. I can very well see why Friedrich Nietzsche
hated Kant's puritan side and why Thomas Kuhn once called himself: "a Kantian with movable categories"
Before Kant Western civilization was deeply under influence of 'pure reason' as modelled by philosophical 'dinosaurs' like The Godfather of the Western World: Aristotle and
The Godfather of Catholicism: Aquinas
After Kant Western civilization was deeply under influence of 'pure reason' as modelled by philosophical 'dinosaurs' like Aristotle, Aquinas AND The Godfather of MetaPhysics: Kant.
Kant made the catholic god 'God' into eternal structure behind physics (METAphysics).
Immanuel Kant (18th century
) posed that the representation (dream; sense-picture; metaphysics) makes the object possible,
rather than that the object (physics) makes it possible to cut it into a set of parts.
So without 'human made parts' no 'objects (Kant designs 'categories' as building elements).
Kant correctly assumes that a photographer presents reality as sum of dots ('sense picture').
But to make photos a photographer needs objects (the camera obscura is known since say 1500).
The photographer can present an object in limitless ways
(conceptual schemes), but be sure that such 'sum of dot' pictures of reality are related because their source is the same object.
Looking at a house with bare human eyes or through infrared binoculars gives very different 'sum of dot presentations'=sense-pictures.
Common Sense is optimized all the time.
According to Kant a coffeecup is 'recognized' by human users as coffeecup, because there are 'natural logic' for coffeecups.
Common Sense: a drinking device is a coffeecup if you can drink coffee with it.
Kant: a drinking device is a coffeecup if the natural logic for coffeecup = TRUE.
In 'sight simulating software' on computers there are decision rules for coffeecups.
If a drinking device doesn't fit the 'rules for coffeecups', even if you can drink coffee from it, than helas it is not a 'coffeecup'.
Kant introduced the never proven human 'mind/soul' as an active interpretor of arbitrary 'a priori'
and as being able of reasoning within such 'a priori' (selfmade 'natural laws'). Rather than the brain a passive archiver of sense perception.
Kant posed that physical reality (the physical coffeecup)
cannot be 'known' by 'metaphysical' 'reason'.
and that his 'metaphysical reason' created a 'rational and analytical mind' that 'sees' a virtual reality (a virtual coffeecup)
, using 'metaphysical laws'
(God). And Kant claimed that this 'a priori' reality of God
(the virtual coffeecup)
is superior to sensed reality (the physical coffeecup used for drinking, and sensed by our fingers and lips). If americans using 'natural laws' see 'terrorists'
instead of humans in another paradigm, then 'terrorists' are products of the
'rational and analytical mind', a virtual reality (almost no sense)
for humans in the Aristotelian Paradigm.
Kant must have 'argued' that without 'a priori' (natural laws) recognition is not possible.
But bodily intuition does not 'recognize' (step by step using rules from laws), but compares (using archived 'experience). And uses many criteria.
Any ape does not 'recognize' a human ape by using 'natural laws', but by comparison with in memory stored 'pictures of reality',
and 'remembers' that 9 out of 10 times these human apes behave like dangerous predators with as favorite food 'terrorists'.
A system of categories, like designed by Kant, is supposed to be a complete list of 'highest' kinds of things. Traditionally, following Aristotle,
a system of categories is used as a database of everything there is, and can answer the most basic metaphysical question: 'What is there?'
A successful idealist attempt to create a sect 'ratiology'
Kant's 'Critique of Pure Reason' is defense of idea-lism
Let's destroy the myth. The Critique of Pure Reason(the Bible of Western Enlightenment; cornerstone of 'Western World' ethics
) is in fact
IDEAlism (using 'Christian' ideas; by Kant called Transcendental Idealism ) and defending 'reason' and rational logic
Sometimes called: 'transcendental idealism'.
Kant quite circular 'rationally' argued that sense perceptions
could never explain the 'rational order' of the world.
Kant saw human reality as the product of the rule-based activity of 'synthesis.'
Synthesis Kant defined as 'analysis' by the 'mind'
through "categories of 'understanding' in 'space' and 'time', which Kant did not recognize as
Enlightenment 'ideas' as well but saw as 'a priori' conditions for any sense perception.
Thus Kant saw an 'objective order' in nature with 'causal necessity'
that is related to 'the mind'.
In a nutshell, Kant's opinion is that the (preprogrammed)
STRUCTURE of the human 'mind' shapes all sensory experience
and 'thought'. 'Mind' produces our reality by acting as a filter, an
But instead of concluding that all perception of reality is subjective,
Kant concludes that the representation by 'mind' follows 'natural laws' and thus is 'objective'.
Kant turned things upside down by 'theorizing' that 'natural law' (objective reality)
is in the 'mind'.
No doubt 'rational' logic is very useful in the 'rational' branch of technology , but the so called 'social sciences' including 'economy' are sneaky instruments of 'rational power'.
'Economy' presents the 'rational' myth that 'inflation' is a natural property. No, inflation
is megafraud (myth of infinite growth).
To 'know' in virtual reality (a rational reality) is an IDEA, living in physical reality = to sense.
That it is 'rational' to punish crimes when committed in full 'knowledge'
presumes that 'knowledge' is a property of 'mind' and that 'mind' exists.
In common sense punishing AFTER an unwanted action may have ritual sense, but
besides dampening emotion is egoism.
When considering 'weirdos' as part of 'the collective',
the by this collective unwanted action should be prevented by the collective. Punishing BEFORE an unwanted action is counterproductive.
It is more effective in BEHAVIOR to treat weirdos respectfully and not as outcasts.
Ron Hubbard in the 20th century tried to repeat Kant's trick 'rational' reality
in the 'scientological' reality of his sect "Scientology".
Equally virtual, and inside the isolated sect 'scientology' the 'scientological' reality is VERY convincing.
That since Kant in a couple of ages the virtual side of computerscience (expression of dual western thinking)
became big business, is not coincidence.
Immanuel Kant had a 'computerlike' view of the perception of reality, reality as a complex sum of eternal 'a priori' (natural laws).
Where the ancient Greek thinker Aristotle said "the law is reason without passion" (similar to 'the law is some virtual reality'
Kant not that different claimed: "All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason."
A bit arrogant when you realize that still in the 21st century using weather forecasts is like blindfolded playing in the lottery.
Kant claims that certain knowledge (the a priori forms of our sensibility
) is basic for any virtual reality (reason).
Math according to Kant represents such 'certain knowledge', deep insight in THE laws of nature.
Computermemory is VERY useful in technology, but ideal memory and virtual reality are useless (even counterproductive)
to find new ways in philosophy.
Kant might be seen as the godfather of companies like IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Google.
Kant's 'Transcendental Continuity'
Continuity as used in 'rational' logic (Kantian Logic)
is by Kant himself qualified as 'transcendental continuity'.
Only to be used in 'reasoning' (math
) and 'above' empirical reality.
For Kant continuity is a metaphysical property behind intuition, understanding and reason.
The intuitions 'space and time' are described as 'continuous' quantities, without smallest part.
Causality is by Kant seen as continuous; so causality needs no explanation in terms of parts.
Kant uses the metaphysical concept of continuity whenever he needs it.
Even to defend individual 'ownership' in his 'philosophy of right'
The Word Wizard Kant was seriously addicted to the 'rational myth consciousness
, and claims
that his own 'word' "synthesis" indicates THE fundamental activity of the 'mind' (inherently assuming a mind-body split
Kant posed that our fantasy (the structure of our ideas = 'mind') shapes our experience of objects ("phenomenal reality"),
using unchangeable rules (a priori). Concepts like "God", "freedom", "immortality". In the end just complex determinism.
'Synthesis' is a 'Kantian word' pointing at a function that presumes independent 'mind' (fantasy function).
is adequate BEHAVIOR. I'll demystify Kant's religious 'understanding' of 'words'.
By substituting Kant's Enlightenment
'words' a priori
and pure reason
with the 21st century words IDEA
Summary in a nutshell of the Critique of Pure Reason
I. The distinction between IDEA and behavior.
Kant poses: Behavior creates knowledge , but ....IDEAS (juggling with a priori knowledge = Pure Reason faith in Logic) are basis of behavior (Henk Tuten: See picture left
II. Universal IDEAS fundate 'human understanding' (Henk Tuten: "The Kingdom of Heaven = Creationism = Fundamentalism = Absolutism"
Kant poses: Behavior is useful, but confusing (Henk Tuten: "Better read papers?"
III. Search for universal IDEAs is 'Science' (Henk Tuten: Searching for 'Heaven' = 'understanding' = Universal Truth
Kant poses: Universal IDEAs (pure dreams = science) ground Basic Knowledge
IV. Analytic and synthetic Judgements
· Analytic Judgments: 'rational' juggling with ritual behavior (Henk Tuten: 'Rational' part of 'Cultural Truth'
· Synthetic Judgments: juggling with IDEA basics (a priori) (Henk Tuten: Virtual Truth
V. Theoretical Science: IDEAS extracted from IDEAS.
· Mathematical judgments are IDEA. (Henk Tuten: Mathematical Truth
· Natural science (physics) is IDEA made into rockhard rules. (Henk Tuten: 'Scientific Truth'
· Metaphysics = IDEA in pure shape (dream) (Henk Tuten: Hallucination
VI. The problem of IDEAs
· What makes IDEAs possible? (dreaming) (Henk Tuten: The Art of Dreaming
VII. "CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON" = SPECIAL SCIENCE given from God: fantasy based on fundamental fantasies
· Transcendental: IDEAs about IDEAs. (Henk Tuten: Stuff for Madhouses
Einstein's belief in 'superior intelligence'
Einstein was HEAVILY influenced by the way Immanuel Kant interpreted reality (the Kantian Conceptual Scheme
Instead of like Kant using a priori Einstein designed a closed system in which the variables nevertheless interacted simular to
Kant's Euclidian-Aristotelian-Newtonian frame with a priori.
The models of Einstein 'explained' even more.
Dualism underlies the western world's philosophy. Einstein's religious belief in Laws of Nature and 'understanding' make Einstein a dualist.
Of course there is repetition in nature (otherwise science wouldn't be effective). Einstein made a model that brilliantly uses
this predictability. But there is much more interaction than Einstein forsaw, so his relative simple model relates to reality
like 1 dustcorn to a whole desert.
But for physics in the dustcorn world Einstein in BRILLIANT way made mathematical deductions.
In 1905, as part of his Special Theory of Relativity, Einstein unpurposely posed the idea that was the spark behind the atomic bomb.
The Atomic Bomb was thr best example of the principle (e =mc2).
Einstein's greatest role in the invention of the atomic bomb was signing a letter to President Franklin Roosevelt
urging that the bomb be built.
While it is not awfully difficult to predict that given the size of the bombs thrown on Japan, that within a radus of around
12.5 km 100% of people would be killed and at 75 km third degree burns would be the minimum.
If 'intelligence' had been behind his idea, then Einstein would have 'understood'
that the horrifying power of atomic bombs is not fit for use in war.
I'll not go into mathematics, Einstein is far above my level, but I'll ponder about the historical side and the conceptual side.
As mathematician in industry I made lots of simulation models. Every time I was surprised how much the variables in my selfmade model interacted,
how this steered my conclusions, and how easily the models could influence my views of reality.
Nevertheless simulation was an awfully effective tool for predicting
the behavior in TINY parts of reality. And often the results were really surprising.
Every mathematician knows the temptation to use a simulation model outside the tiny subreality that it was made for.
And to say things like: time travel is unimaginable, but our studies from science confirm to us that time travel might be possible.
Einstein's general theory of relativity allows for the possibility of time travel.
Instead of seeing time-travel as an absurdity, and as flaw of Einstein's model
even guys like Stephen Hawking started dreaming about 'warping space-time'. Einstein can be said to be responsible for the succes
of Superman, Batman, Vampires, Star Trek, ....
I have no illusion that the virtual reality 'relativity' did not have many (not made explicit) restrictions. But most mathematicians who use simulation are very practical,
and make new models for every simulation.
Einstein treated his MODEL as the almost perfect description of physical reality. He refined his model to awfully complex levels, and
that way could make impressive predictions while using a frame of reality that was constrained, but cleverly made.
Einstein was influenced in at least 2 important ways. Historically by guys like Aristotle, Galileo, Newton, Kant, and
culturally by being educated on a German gymnasium, and thus being seen as elite member of society.
Einstein in my view was a victim of Kant's metaphysics, the view of considering 'understanding' as more than a logical tool.
That way Einstein saw his HUGE talent in consistently exploiting a conceptual scheme, as using the natural laws inherent in
human 'mind'. Indeed Einstein is quoted as in want of discovering 'the true laws'.
Einstein: the scientist's religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals a
|Thomas Kuhn believed that it was 'implausible' to say that 'theory' is approaching 'truth'. There is no linear advancement of theory towards 1 truth:
Thomas Kuhn is quoted: Newton's mechanics improves on Aristotle's and ... Einstein's improves on Newton's as instruments for puzzle-solving.
Einsteins history, as German, as gymnasium student, as believer in a Theory of Everything, admirer of Kant, as disbeliever in quantum mechanics, ....shaped his worldviews.
One quote of Einstein: Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind
Obvious is that when Einstein had been born in say Korea, his mathematical deductions of reality would have been very different
I'm quit sure that at the end of his life Einstein more and more realized, that his brilliancy had been very consistent use
of a limited selfmade conceptual scheme. And that he started realizing that using a simulation approach in social behavior is very tricky.
Einstein brilliantly succeeded in getting his own closed system (his simulation model around only the variables that he himself saw as essential
) accepted in Western Sience as THE objective basis for physics.
Because he gave western science so much homework that it was difficult to find enough time fo criticising his model of physics.
Surely Einstein knew that his predictions were outcomes of his personal simulation model.
But in general his simulation-model in western science got treated for a long time
as the holy model of physical reality. And sciences like psychology and sociology tried to make their models of Einstein status.
Kant's and Einstein's models had their value but by now it is time to get rid of this straightjacket.