• Mww
    4.6k
    Why not take up that fundamental obligation and deploy the objective implications thereof? In other words, the fundamental obligation is a hypothetical imperative of which one has already committed themselves to and, thusly, why not simply obligate oneself to whatever is implied from that commitment?Bob Ross

    All good, nevertheless my only objection is here: fundamental obligation is categorical, represented as a command of reason, re: shall, whereas hypotheticals are mere ought’s.

    If one acts in accordance with the c.i. his morality is sustained, even if he feels abhorrent because of the action taken pursuant to it. If he acts via a hypothetical, he may only possibly be moral, but it remains equally possible that he is immoral, for here he may have allowed his practical inclinations, re: desires, to override his own principles.

    Why not take up…..? Mostly because it’s all-too-often very much easier not to.
  • Bob Ross
    1.2k


    All good, nevertheless my only objection is here: fundamental obligation is categorical, represented as a command of reason, re: shall, whereas hypotheticals are mere ought’s.

    Do you believe, then, that obligations do not begin with a desire?

    My point is that even if there are categorical imperatives, we only are obliged to them if we desire them; and that is the hypothetical imperative that stands morally deeper than the categorical imperative; and, as such, is one's fundamental obligation. If one's obligation to the categorical norm is hypothetical and one has committed themselves to the antecedent, then the most rational thing to do is to simply commit oneself to whatever is objectively implied by that hypothetical commitment and to do so irregardless of what the categorical imperatives are.

    Why not take up…..? Mostly because it’s all-too-often very much easier not to.

    Well, I am not disputing that people tend to take the easiest way out; but that is not the purpose of this OP. I am arguing for the de-valuing of moral facts (as useless in moral discourse).
  • Mww
    4.6k
    I am arguing for the de-valuing of moral factsBob Ross

    ….with which I am in total accord.

    Do you believe, then, that obligations do not begin with a desire?Bob Ross

    I agree with the proposition that moral obligations do not begin with desires.
  • Bob Ross
    1.2k


    I agree with the proposition that moral obligations do not begin with desires.

    I see, and what do you mean by a "moral" obligation, as opposed to a mere obligation?

    I would say the contrary, that moral obligations are rooted in tastes. In other words, "morals" is rooted in "values", not vice versa.
  • Mww
    4.6k


    Ok, but why are desires not simply synonymous with tastes?

    Moral obligation: that interest of will, by which the worthiness of being happy is justified.
  • Alkis Piskas
    2.1k
    There is no such thing as a moral fact, even in the case that they do exist, which is simultaneously a fundamental obligation; that is, the core principle which commits oneself to the moral facts, in the case that they exist, is necessarily a moral non-fact.Bob Ross
    A fact cannot be moral or immoral. Not for the reasons you are stating but by definition.
    A fact is something known to exist or having occured. It may come from something that has been committed, but this is irrelevant; it does not define it. Facts can be also regarded as information, knowledge. We cannot say that an information or knowledge is moral or immoral, can we?

    What can be moral or immoral is an act, a decision, speech, behavior, etc., i.e. things humans do. (Sometimes, lack of action (omissions) can be considered as immoral, i.e. when we should do something but we don't.)

    Based on the above, and since "facts" are a central element in your description, I'm afraid I can't go any further, since it makes not sense to me. Sorry about that. :sad:
  • Bob Ross
    1.2k


    Hello Mww,

    Ok, but why are desires not simply synonymous with tastes?

    They are; and I apologize if I suggested otherwise.

    Moral obligation: that interest of will, by which the worthiness of being happy is justified.

    I think the crux of this definition rests on “worthiness of being happy”: how does one define what is worthy of happiness without appealling to values (fundamentally)?
  • Bob Ross
    1.2k


    Hello Alkis Piskas,

    A fact cannot be moral or immoral. Not for the reasons you are stating but by definition.
    A fact is something known to exist or having occured.

    Interesting point! Yes, you are correct that my OP presupposes that facts can be of the ‘moral’ type. I would say that a ‘fact’ is a proposition of which its content appropriately agrees/corresponds to reality. In other words, it is a thought that corresponds to something which exists (or occurred, as you put) and not just something which exists. In light of that definition, I would say that a ‘moral fact’ would be an obligation, asserted in thought, that correponds to something in reality. This would entail, I would say, that there exists an obligation mind-independently; that is, it is not contingent on any will. As an example, this could be a platonic form.

    Even in terms of your definition (i.e.,, “a fact is something known to exist or having occured”), I still think there is a possibility for a moral type of fact because nothing about that definition negates the idea of an obligation which is mind-independent (e.g., it doesn’t rule out that there could be a ‘fact’, in this sense, that is a platonic form of goodness).
  • Mww
    4.6k


    Shall we start over? I inject moral as a qualifier for obligation, because the topic is concerned with moral facts. I thought to continue the moral condition, but that’s not actually what you asked for regarding obligation in and of itself.

    My bad.
  • frank
    14.6k
    I inject moral as a qualifier for obligation, because the topic is concerned with moral facts.Mww

    Just to add to that: morality is often pictured as a covenant. You follow the Mosaic law, and God will protect you and your family. Fail to follow the law, and God will feed you to the Assyrians. So morality is something you commit to because you have special insight about God's will. The obligation follows from that commitment, or acceptance of the covenant.

    Scenarios vary, but that's usually the basic framework. If you draw the concept of moral realism away from that cultural backdrop, I think it's good to specify what you mean, just to avoid the devil in the details?
  • Alkis Piskas
    2.1k
    I would say that a ‘fact’ is a proposition of which its content appropriately agrees/corresponds to realityBob Ross
    A proposition is something that is suggested to be considered, accepted or done. It clearly refers to the future. A fact on the other hand refers to something that is present or in the past. These terms/concepts are incompatible with each other. They cannot replace one another.

    I'm afraid that you must choose a term/concept other than "fact" for your posit. It will be much better than altering its meaning to fit your posit. Don't you think?
    From what I could understand from your description, maybe the term/concept of "thought" will do ....
  • Mww
    4.6k


    While I agree morality is a covenant, I reject morality as having any connection with religion, insofar as the covenant holds with one’s self alone. If one acts in disrespect of the will of a god and its laws, he is a sinner; if one acts in disrespect of his own predisposed values that manifest in his will and its laws, he is immoral. A sinner dishonors his god but may not consider himself as dishonored; an immoral agent cannot escape the dishonor of himself.

    And, yeah, always best to avoid the devil.
  • Bob Ross
    1.2k


    Sorry, I must have misunderstood what you were originally trying to convey; as I thought you were contesting my OP with the use of categorical norms. Are you agreeing that moral obligations begin with tastes, but that one should desire to abide by some set of categorical imperatives?
  • Bob Ross
    1.2k


    A proposition is something that is suggested to be considered, accepted or done.

    Philosophically, a proposition is a statement that is truth-apt and not merely something “suggested to be considered, accepted, or done”.

    It clearly refers to the future.

    Not at all. A proposition can be about the past (e.g, “bob went to the store yesterday”), present (e.g., “bob is eating”), future (e.g., “bob is going to eat”), tenseless expressions (e.g., “bob went to the store on Friday, December 23rd, 2022 at 5:55 a.m.”), or atemporal expressions (e.g., “God is [eternally and timelessly] good”).

    The only qualification for something being a proposition (in philosophy) is that it is truth-apt, which are statements.

    A fact on the other hand refers to something that is present or in the past.

    In practical life, I agree; but this depends on one’s theory of time. If one considers the future to not exist yet, then, yes, facts must pertain to the present or past. However, if one considers the future to exist equally as much as the present and the past, then there are “currently” facts about the future. Also, if one believes in atemporal entities, then those would be facts which do not pertain to the present or past. Either way, I don’t think it matters for this discussion, as I am saying that if these “moral principles” exist (mind-independently), then that qualifies them as facts.

    I'm afraid that you must choose a term/concept other than "fact" for your posit. It will be much better than altering its meaning to fit your posit. Don't you think?

    I don’t think I am altering the philosophical senses of the terms at all here.

    From what I could understand from your description, maybe the term/concept of "thought" will do ....

    I am not arguing that morals are concepts of thought, I am generically discussing the metaethical debate about moral facts (i.e., moral realism) vs. non-facts (i.e., moral anti-realism) and noting that even if the former is right it is so insignificant that it doesn’t matter.
  • Alkis Piskas
    2.1k
    Philosophically, a proposition is a statement that is truth-apt and not merely something “suggested to be considered, accepted, or done”.Bob Ross
    From Dictionary.com we read about the meaning of the term "proposition" in specialized fields, that are included in philosophy:
    Rhetoric: A statement of the subject of an argument or a discourse, or of the course of action or essential idea to be advocated.
    Logic: A statement in which something is affirmed or denied, so that it can therefore be significantly characterized as either true or false.
    Mathematics: A formal statement of either a truth to be demonstrated or an operation to be performed; a theorem or a problem.

    And, from https://homework.study.com/explanation/what-is-a-proposition-in-philosophy.html, we read: "A proposition in philosophy is the statement or conjecture which can be analyzed for its truth value."

    (Emphases are mine.) Both expressions "to be" and "can be" refer to a future action. In fact, these definitions are not much different than the what I discribed earlier. They are only focusing on specialized areas and actions. Of course, since the basic idea the essense of the term "proposition" is present to all of them, in common as well as specialized areas.

    See, you don't make a proposition for the sake of the proposition itself, and just forget about it.

    You can also look it from another aspect, as far as the term "fact" is concerned, which is the central element in your discussion: Can you fit this term in any of the descriptions of the term "proposition"? There's nothing there to remind us of or refer to facts, is there?

    A proposition can be about the past (e.g, “bob went to the store yesterday”), present (e.g., “bob is eating”), future (e.g., “bob is going to eat”), tenseless expressions (e.g., “bob went to the store on Friday, December 23rd, 2022 at 5:55 a.m.”)Bob Ross
    Nothing of these is a proposition. They are just information about things that happened or happen are are going to happen. That is either facts (past and present) or expectations (future). There is nothing in them that proposes anything. We can't say, e.g. " I propose that Bob went to the store yesterday”, or "I propose that Bob is eating” or "I propose that Bob is going to eat”. They all sound ridiculous, don't they

    OK, we can go on forever if you keep trying to milk the bull.

    I have explained to you the difference and incompatibility between a fact and a "proposition" more than --I believe-- anyone would have the patience to do ... But my patience is over.
  • Bob Ross
    1.2k


    Hello Alkis Piskas,

    I think we may be reaching a semantic dead-end here, but let me try to adequately respond.

    I am using the term “proposition” in these two senses that you provided:

    Logic: A statement in which something is affirmed or denied, so that it can therefore be significantly characterized as either true or false.

    A proposition in philosophy is the statement or conjecture which can be analyzed for its truth value.

    This is exactly what I defined it as here:

    Philosophically, a proposition is a statement that is truth-apt

    Now, something important I wanted to clear up:

    Both expressions "to be" and "can be" refer to a future action

    To say that it “can be analyzed for its truth value” is just to say that it is truth-apt. This does not imply whatsoever that the proposition expresses a statement concerning the past or present, but, rather, that it expresses something that is either true or false (and not both).

    "to be" refers to existence, which does not entail any particular tense, but I can agree that "can be" refers to something in the future in a practical sense.

    In fact, these definitions are not much different than the what I discribed earlier.

    It is incredibly different, you said:

    A proposition is something that is suggested to be considered, accepted or done. It clearly refers to the future

    Propositions do not exclusively express a truth-apt sentence about the future.

    See, you don't make a proposition for the sake of the proposition itself, and just forget about it.

    The point of a proposition, in philosophy (of logic), is to define a form of expression (i.e., a sentence) that expresses something which can be evaluated as true or false (i.e., truth-apt) in the sense that it depicts something that is either true or false (and not that a person has the physical or mental capabilities to evaluate it properly).

    I was never suggesting that we create a proposition for the sake of itself, nor that we forget about them.

    Can you fit this term in any of the descriptions of the term "proposition"?

    Firstly, I am not saying that “fact” is synonymous with “proposition”, so I don’t have to fit it into any of the definitions.

    Secondly, it “fits” insofar as I noted before:

    a ‘fact’ is a proposition of which its content appropriately agrees/corresponds to reality

    In other words, a ‘fact’ is a statement which is truth-apt, of which went evaluated agrees with reality with regards to what it claims about it.

    Nothing of these is a proposition. They are just information about things that happened or happen are are going to happen. That is either facts (past and present) or expectations (future). There is nothing in them that proposes anything.

    We may just have to agree to disagree, but I can assure you all of those are text-book examples of propositions in philosophy. See https://www.cs.odu.edu/~toida/nerzic/content/logic/prop_logic/proposition/proposition.html#:~:text=For%20example%2C%20%22Grass%20is%20green,and%20the%20second%20%22false%22.

    We can't say, e.g. " I propose that Bob went to the store yesterday”, or "I propose that Bob is eating” or "I propose that Bob is going to eat”. They all sound ridiculous, don't they

    Those aren’t propositions!

    Firstly, saying “I propose...” is a proposal, not a proposition. Saying you propose something just means that you are hypothesizing or asserting something, and what you are asserting is the proposition. “Bob went to the store yesterday” is the proposition being proposed in the sentence “I propose that ...”. Not all sentences are propositions.

    Secondly, you have to be careful with indexical statements, as they do not refer, if taken as a proposition, to what you seem to think: “I think that Bob went to the store yesterday” is not the same as “Bob went to the store yesterday”--the former pertains to whether or not the person-at-hand thinks that bob went, and the latter pertains to if bob actually went (and not to mention that the former’s truthity is relative to the subject being considered, so it could be true for me and false for you if I do think bob went and you don’t).

    OK, we can go on forever if you keep trying to milk the bull.

    anyone would have the patience to do ... But my patience is over.

    Absolutely no worries, my friend! I do not want you to be frustrated with me, and if I am convinced by your argumentation then I will gladly concede (as I am not trying to “milk it”); but, with all due respect, I don’t think you right about propositions at all. In philosophy, the term “proposition” means something very specific, it is not a proposal.
  • Alkis Piskas
    2.1k

    OK, Bob. As I said, I don't intend to continue this thread.
    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to participate in this topic.
  • Mww
    4.6k
    Are you agreeing that moral obligations begin with tastes, but that one should desire to abide by some set of categorical imperatives?Bob Ross

    Negative on both. Moral obligations begin with interest in a principle, and one SHALL, not merely SHOULD DESIRE to, abide by a categorical imperative the principle determines….in order to declare himself an moral agent that is worthy of his happiness.

    Heading into the bush for a few days; not sure of cell coverage, so…. forewarned.
  • Bob Ross
    1.2k


    Heading into the bush for a few days; not sure of cell coverage, so…. forewarned.

    Absolutely no worries, my friend!

    Negative on both. Moral obligations begin with interest in a principle, and one SHALL, not merely SHOULD DESIRE to, abide by a categorical imperative the principle determines….in order to declare himself an moral agent that is worthy of his happiness.

    Interesting! Couple questions:

    1. How is "begin with interest in a principle" different from "moral obligations begin with tastes"? You contended the latter, but affirmed the former; and I am just having a hard time understanding how those are different claims.

    2. What are you semantically distinguishing with "shall" vs. "should desire"?
  • Mww
    4.6k
    Couple questions:Bob Ross

    Sure, but at the risk of detouring the thread topic? Up to you, of course; it’s you that called the meeting.

    Moral obligation relative to interest, indicates the employment of practical reason in determining a willed volition. That obligation relative to an interest in a principle, then, indicates practical reason determine a willed volition in accordance with the subjective disposition of the moral agent himself. A principle in a moral agent that accords with his subjective disposition, is called a maxim. The point being, to eliminate outside influence with respect to moral considerations in general.

    Taste, on the other hand, represented by aesthetic judgement, indicates merely a desire, which is always relative to sensation, re: attainment of that which corresponds to, and thereby satisfies, a desire, which in turn is always influenced from outside. Influenced from outside eliminates employment of practical reason, without which there is no proper moral consideration.

    Morally speaking, acts willed according to good principles are more powerful than acts willed by mere good feelings.
    —————

    What are you semantically distinguishing with "shall" vs. "should desire"?Bob Ross

    Dunno about semantically. I positively detest, and refuse to engage in, so-called “language games”.

    Shall indicates a command of reason offering no alternatives; should desire indicates a conditional want which implies a plethora of alternative inclinations.
    —————

    ……there would be facts of the matter about morality that society could strive towards independently of tastes…..Bob Ross

    There would be facts of the matter about ethics that society could strive toward, re: administrative codes.
    (independent of taste: hey, you wanna speed through a marked-off school zone, go right ahead. Makes no difference to me)

    Personally, I think as soon as society enters the conversation, morality becomes group morality writ large, which is ethics. So maybe there is a form of realism in society, but it isn’t moral as much as ethical, realism. I mean, it is documented, e.g., that the speed limit in a school zone is 15mph, which seems pretty factual.

    Anyway….obviously I survived 6 days in the bush. She with the whistle and spray, me with the .44. No need for either and good times for all.
  • Bob Ross
    1.2k


    Hello Mww,

    Sure, but at the risk of detouring the thread topic? Up to you, of course; it’s you that called the meeting.

    Fine by me!

    Moral obligation relative to interest, indicates the employment of practical reason in determining a willed volition. That obligation relative to an interest in a principle, then, indicates practical reason determine a willed volition in accordance with the subjective disposition of the moral agent himself. A principle in a moral agent that accords with his subjective disposition, is called a maxim. The point being, to eliminate outside influence with respect to moral considerations in general.

    Taste, on the other hand, represented by aesthetic judgement, indicates merely a desire, which is always relative to sensation, re: attainment of that which corresponds to, and thereby satisfies, a desire, which in turn is always influenced from outside. Influenced from outside eliminates employment of practical reason, without which there is no proper moral consideration.

    Morally speaking, acts willed according to good principles are more powerful than acts willed by mere good feelings.

    I see what mean and agree that “obligations” are more powerful than “desires” within your semantics; however, where I could never get on board with this kind of terminology is the that both a “interest” in a “principle” and a “desire” in a “’good’ feeling” are both mere acts of “taste”, just separated semantically by what it is directed towards.

    To me, any act of one’s will is a “taste”, irregardless of whether one has a euphoric or emotional feeling with it, as it is a subjective “desire” that one has. Yes, desiring more rigid, long-term oriented, principles tends to be a better bet in life (and are more powerful, as you put it) but it is still just a taste. Thusly, I fear that your terminology makes an unwarranted implicit favoritism towards one arbitrary class of desires over another. I mean, who’s to say my short-term desire is not geared towards a “principle”? Or that my “good feeling” is not towards a “principle”?

    Dunno about semantically. I positively detest, and refuse to engage in, so-called “language games”.

    I agree, but what I mean is that we are using two different schemas, so we need to hash out terms first—not to debate them but to see where eachothers heads are at.

    Shall indicates a command of reason offering no alternatives; should desire indicates a conditional want which implies a plethora of alternative inclinations.

    So is “shall”, for you, a command with literally no alternatives (e.g., a person being forced to do something, etc.)? If so, then that doesn’t seem like the word is too often applicable.

    Personally, I think as soon as society enters the conversation, morality becomes group morality writ large, which is ethics. So maybe there is a form of realism in society, but it isn’t moral as much as ethical, realism

    I don’t make a distinction between “ethics” and “morality”, but I do agree that we have laws, which are morally motivated, which do become considerations that supersedes the individual’s wants.

    Anyway….obviously I survived 6 days in the bush. She with the whistle and spray, me with the .44. No need for either and good times for all.

    I’m glad! I am just curious: is she a transcendental idealist too?
  • Mww
    4.6k
    I am just curious: is she a transcendental idealist too?Bob Ross

    Nahhhh….oil and water. She’s a retired Fed in the intelligence services with U-Dub Masters in history and library science, for her, it’s facts and nothing but the facts.

    ….both a “interest” in a “principle” and a “desire” in a “’good’ feeling” are both mere acts of “taste”, just separated semantically by what it is directed towards.Bob Ross

    Conventionally, I suppose that’s close enough, insofar as either may be reducible to aesthetic judgement. Still, in proper philosophy, I submit it is not so much the directed towards, but rather, the arising from. The difference manifests, and for which philosophical account should be taken, in those occasions where one feels pleasure for doing a bad thing, or, conversely, feels pain or displeasure about doing a good thing. Simply put, it follows that interest in a principle it that by which a moral act is given and its negation impossible regardless of circumstance, but mere desire for a good feeling is just as likely to invoke an immoral act as a moral one, which makes negation of one by the other not only possible, but increasingly probable, conditioned by the difficulty inherent in the circumstance.
    ————-

    So is “shall”, for you, a command with literally no alternatives (e.g., a person being forced to do something, etc.)? If so, then that doesn’t seem like the word is too often applicable.Bob Ross

    Yeah, humans: sorryful bunch, to be sure. Even if they know what’s right, they’ll sometimes manage to talk themselves out of doing it, or allow someone else to do the talking. A command of reason is always applicable, but not always effected.
    ———-

    I’ve been thinking about “moral realism”. Is morality a real thing? Even if it isn’t, per se, it seems the case there is in all humans a condition by which certain behaviors are legislated, so if the behaviors are real in one sense of the term, wouldn’t that condition by which behaviors are caused be real is some sense? I dunno….it’s a fine line between granting the realness of behavior but denying the realness of behavior’s causality.

    I think there must be as many moral facts as there are acts in accordance with subjective moral commands. But that is not sufficient reason to grant objective moral facts in general, to which one is morally obligated. While I am perfectly entitled to say my act is in fact a moral act, am I thereby entitled to say my act is derived from a moral fact, and if I am not so entitled, by what warrant is my act, in fact, moral? If I then fall back on moral command as necessary causality, am I then forced to deem a mere command of reason, a fact?

    Leporidae excavation if there ever was one.
  • Bob Ross
    1.2k


    Nahhhh….oil and water. She’s a retired Fed in the intelligence services with U-Dub Masters in history and library science, for her, it’s facts and nothing but the facts.

    Lol. I was just curious, as two transcendental idealists, as a couple, is quite a rare feat!

    Still, in proper philosophy, I submit it is not so much the directed towards, but rather, the arising from

    Simply put, it follows that interest in a principle it that by which a moral act is given and its negation impossible regardless of circumstance, but mere desire for a good feeling is just as likely to invoke an immoral act as a moral one

    I sort of understand: all interest is of a will, but the desire to do something irregardless of whatever surface-level pleasure/pain is better, correct?

    I’ve been thinking about “moral realism”.

    I agree and am also suspicious of the existence of moral facts; however, I also, nowadays, find the moral facts, if they do exist, to be irrelevant as long as the person has committed themselves to being rational.

    This is a bit off-topic, but I am curious: how do you reconcile Einstein’s general/special relativity with Kantian notions of space and time?
  • Leontiskos
    1.3k
    I’ve been thinking about “moral realism”. Is morality a real thing? Even if it isn’t, per se, it seems the case there is in all humans a condition by which certain behaviors are legislated, so if the behaviors are real in one sense of the term, wouldn’t that condition by which behaviors are caused be real is some sense? I dunno….it’s a fine line between granting the realness of behavior but denying the realness of behavior’s causality.

    I think there must be as many moral facts as there are acts in accordance with subjective moral commands. But that is not sufficient reason to grant objective moral facts in general, to which one is morally obligated. While I am perfectly entitled to say my act is in fact a moral act, am I thereby entitled to say my act is derived from a moral fact, and if I am not so entitled, by what warrant is my act, in fact, moral? If I then fall back on moral command as necessary causality, am I then forced to deem a mere command of reason, a fact?
    Mww

    You should start a thread. :wink:

    If there are subjective conditions by which behaviors are legislated, and these conditions come into conflict which results in argument, does it then follow that they are in some sense objective? Or are all such arguments based on a category error? Surely these anthropological facts must carry some sort of weight in considering the question.
  • Mww
    4.6k
    …..all interest is of a will, but the desire to do something irregardless of whatever surface-level pleasure/pain is better, correct?Bob Ross

    The interest isn’t of the will, which is the autonomous faculty of volitions. The interest residing in the agent, is in a principle, with which the will determines a volition. The desire to do something, regardless of pain or pleasure, still needs to be informed as to what is to be done, which returns to will.

    I also, nowadays, find the moral facts, if they do exist, to be irrelevant as long as the person has committed themselves to being rational.Bob Ross

    In a way that’s fitting, but I’d probably say….as long as he has committed himself to being moral. If there are moral facts, however subjective they may be, and one adheres to them by his actions, he would be deemed moral antecedent to being deemed rational.

    Maybe that’s the key: subjective moral fact equates to moral commitment; objective moral facts equates to rational commitment. Or is that just adding yet another chef to the kitchen?
    —————-

    ….how do you reconcile Einstein’s general/special relativity with Kantian notions of space and time?Bob Ross

    They can’t be reconciled, because Einstein invoked a geometry Kant didn’t use in his construction of the conceptions of space and time. Which is odd, in a way, in that Kant taught mathematics, which implies he knew of spherical geometries, so it is more likely he used plane geometries as examples in his theoretical tenets in CPR merely for simplicity, to only go as far as he needed to prove a point. In other words, it doesn’t matter one whit that the interior angles of a spherical triangle add up to more or less than two right angles, if it is still necessarily true the interior angles of a Euclidean plane triangle equals two right angles, and it is also quite true the thought of that sum cannot ever be found in the mere fact there are three interior angles.

    “…. Of course the conviction of the "truth" of geometrical propositions in this sense is founded exclusively on rather incomplete experience. For the present we shall assume the "truth" of the geometrical propositions, then at a later stage (in the general theory of relativity) we shall see that this "truth" is limited, and we shall consider the extent of its limitation….”
    (Einstein, 1920: Einstein’s equivalent to Kant’s Prolegomena: relativity for dummies in one, transcendental philosophy for dummies in the other)

    Einstein had a problem with Kant’s derivation of true propositions more than his notions of space and time. Just as SR and GR took Newton’s physics further than Newton himself but didn’t disprove what was originally given, so too did Einstein demonstrate that Kant’s notions of mathematical truths were limited, but also didn’t refute them as given.

    Nevertheless, there is a clandestine categorical error in Einstein’s claim. Kant derived true propositions in order to prove their possibility, and because the proof of their possibility stands, they can be employed as ground for something else relative to them. Einstein disputed the propositions as being true in any condition, but they were never intended for any condition, but only for one.

    Another thing. Einstein didn’t like Kant’s notion of synthetic a priori propositions….the ground of all mathematical proofs….yet had to use that very philosophical derivation for his own gedankenexperiment, which he drew from Ernst Mach, 1883, who was……waiiiittttt for it….an acknowledged Kantian.

    Go figure.
  • Mww
    4.6k
    If there is a subjective condition by which behaviors are legislated, and these conditions come into conflict which results in argument, does it then follow that they are in some sense objective?Leontiskos

    I would say the argument is objective, the conditions in conflict be what they may. On the other hand, here is an proposition that states any cognition or series of cognitions shared by all members of a set capable of them, are for that reason, objective cognitions. I’m not so sure about that myself, but, it’s out there. Some folks rejecting that form of objectivity favor a thing called “intersubjectivity”, which just looks like subject/object version of Frankenstein’s ogre.

    What categorical error were you thinking as possible?
  • Leontiskos
    1.3k
    - Thanks for your posts, they are very interesting.

    On the other hand, here is an proposition that states any cognition or series of cognitions shared by all members of a set capable of them, are for that reason, objective cognitions. I’m not so sure about that myself, but, it’s out there. Some folks rejecting that form of objectivity favor a thing called “intersubjectivity”, which just looks like subject/object version of Frankenstein’s ogre.Mww

    I suppose I wouldn't want to invoke the objective claim on those grounds, although it would be fair to ask what alternative grounds there are. I am thinking more of the idea that if all members of a set claim—implicitly or explicitly—to have knowledge of some objective reality, then this is a strong indication that such a reality is objective and is accessible to members of that set. The strength of the indication would weaken as the percentage of the population which makes the claim diminishes.

    Are you a Kantian, then?

    What categorical error were you thinking as possible?Mww

    Well if we only argue about things that we believe to be objective, then apparently we think morality is objective. Or else everyone who argues about morality is making a category error in holding that morality is something worth arguing about (and hence based on something objective).

    The easiest case for morality as something we argue about would seem to be your example of the "ethical"—societal laws that objectively exist and are argued about.
  • Mww
    4.6k


    On strong indications…..agreed. Seems reasonable.

    Yeah, Kant is my go-to philosopher.
  • Bob Ross
    1.2k


    Hello Mww,

    The interest isn’t of the will, which is the autonomous faculty of volitions. The interest residing in the agent, is in a principle, with which the will determines a volition.

    Oh, so are you saying that there is an ‘interest’ devoid of ‘will’ which is a part of the structure of being a will? Is that the idea?

    subjective moral fact equates to moral commitment; objective moral facts equates to rational commitment

    If there is really an ‘interest’ (i.e., a desire) which pertains to the structure of being a will and not to a will itself, then I think that would be, by definition, a moral fact (in its own right).

    I do not know of any such moral facts though, and I would only find them useful insofar as I do have a desire to commit myself to them. Perhaps, then, the moral fact and my taste would run full circle, and the latter would be an illusion of the former.


    They can’t be reconciled, because Einstein invoked a geometry Kant didn’t use in his construction of the conceptions of space and time

    But under Einsteinien space/time fabric, they are not synthetic judgments—they are not isolated ‘pure’ forms of one’s experience (like Kant thought): they do pertain as properties to the things-in-themselves. I am curious how a Kantian would reconcile that: would you say space and time are analytic judgments but do not exist fundamentally as extension and temporality?

    Kant derived true propositions in order to prove their possibility, and because the proof of their possibility stands, they can be employed as ground for something else relative to them. Einstein disputed the propositions as being true in any condition, but they were never intended for any condition, but only for one.

    What true propositions are you referring to here? A priori judgments? A priori categories, conceptions?

    Einstein didn’t like Kant’s notion of synthetic a priori propositions….the ground of all mathematical proofs…

    Isn’t the idea that mathematics is proven true in virtue of the structure of our representative faculties? And math is always synthetic, as the numbers and mathematical operations on those numbers do not contain in themselves the result of them?

    Another question I have: if one’s conscious experience is a representation (of the world) and extension & temporality are only the forms of one’s experience, then is Kant referring to atemporal representation? For isn’t “representation” itself imply temporality—but these operations which produce within a pure form of time these representations would have to be outside of that pure form, which is either in a noumenal time or no time at all. That’s my logic, at least.
  • Mww
    4.6k
    so are you saying that there is an ‘interest’ devoid of ‘will’ which is a part of the structure of being a will? Is that the idea?Bob Ross

    That’s not what I’m tying to get across, no. Interest…..you know, that certain je ne sais quoi, that which underpins a consideration, a focusing of attention specifically. So, yes, interest is devoid of will insofar as having an interest is not to will anything, nor is it the structure of will, which is reducible to pure practical reason. Accordingly, before anything is to be willed there must be an interest in the manner in which it is to be done, hence, interest in a principle which grounds the will’s determined volition.

    If there is really an ‘interest’ (i.e., a desire) which pertains to the structure of being a will and not to a will itself, then I think that would be, by definition, a moral fact (in its own right).Bob Ross

    That may be right. If a structural component of will is desire, and if will is the source of moral behavior, then it follows desire serves as possible ground of such moral behavior. However, desire takes no account of good in the attainment of its objects other than the satisfaction of the agent, but mere ‘feel good’ satisfaction can never be deemed truly moral behavior, which is ‘good’ in and of itself regardless of the feeling derived from it.
    ————-

    But under Einsteinien space/time fabric, they are not synthetic judgments—they are not isolated ‘pure’ forms of one’s experience (like Kant thought): they do pertain as properties to the things-in-themselves.Bob Ross

    Yes, that’s true, and further instance of space/time conceptual irreconcilability of the two geniuses. In fact, in the 1920 essay, he wishes his system to be understood as paying no attention to space, but rather, to relations of objects to each other. Kant does that as well, but stipulates relative to each is meaningless without the space n which they are extended.

    For an interesting read, see…..

    https://pubs.aip.org/physicstoday/article/58/12/34/394660/Albert-Einstein-as-a-Philosopher-of#:~:text=By%20the%20age%20of%2016%2C%20he%20had%20already,on%20Kant%20in%20the%20summer%20semester%20of%201897.

    ….and find it isn’t the relative space/time distinctions that distinguish these guys, it’s the mathematics by which space and time are useful, that does.
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