• Bob Ross
    592


    Hello Mww,

    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.

    I see now! I was not understanding that ‘interest’ was distinct from ‘willing’, which I agree they are different—as I can have an interest in something without deploying my will to engage in it. However, I am skeptical that ‘interest’ is completely devoid of willing, as when I am interested in something, I am thereby willing attention towards it (even if it be very brief and only cognitive).

    Perhaps ‘interest’ is the initial, weakest form of willing?

    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.

    This is where I think your ‘feeling’ vs ‘willing’ distinction unfairly favors one abitrary camp of tastes over another, as there absolutely no way for a person to willfully obey a moral principle in and of itself without having a taste to do it. There is no such thing as performing an action devoid of ‘feelings’ but, rather, only devoid of (or more like in opposition to) one’s initial (or superficial or less-prioritized) emotional responses to something.

    Yes, that’s true, and further instance of space/time conceptual irreconcilability of the two geniuses

    If einsteinien space/time is irreconcible with Kantian space and time, then, as a transcendental idealist, do you deny Einstein’s general/special relativity?
  • Mww
    4.1k
    there absolutely no way for a person to willfully obey a moral principle in and of itself without having a taste to do it.Bob Ross

    There is an established metaphysical system in which this condition is precisely descriptive of true moral agency, re: Enlightenment deontology. The only limitation therein with respect to a moral act, is the physical accomplishment of it, which makes explicit obligation to a willful principle, the ground of such system, has no regard for the contingencies of taste, but only the necessities of law.

    Of course, established is one thing, practiced is quite another.
    —————

    as a transcendental idealist, do you deny Einstein’s general/special relativity?Bob Ross

    Oh heck no. The science is good. Far and away beyond the bounds of my possible experience, but good science nonetheless. Time dilation, which held for our flight to Rome a couple years ago, is….what, a couple picoseconds? My sons here in their frame, and me there at a 500mph frame, a difference in age disparity noticed by some dude with the most sensitive time device available but not the least noticed by me or them.

    And ya know what? I don’t have the slightest need to locate Bobby’s Badass Burger Barn with a 3-foot margin of error, but I recognize that I might want that precision if I’m planting a Hellfire on it. Like….after one too many messed-up orders.

    If anything, I’d take exception to Einstein’s dismissal of the transcendental nature of pure mathematics, as Kant authored the notion. He stated for the record mathematics is discovered, but in fact I rather think the proofs of mathematical relations are discovered, but math, in and of itself, is a purely rational construction by, and manifestation of, human intelligence.

    Shall we chalk up the disparities to a mere domain of discourse?
  • Bob Ross
    592


    Oh heck no. The science is good.
    ...
    He stated for the record mathematics is discovered, but in fact I rather think the proofs of mathematical relations are discovered, but math, in and of itself, is a purely rational construction by, and manifestation of, human intelligence.

    I see! I am just a bit confused then what you think of space/time fabric? Einstein's notion of space/time is something which would exist beyond the possibility of all experience, which I thought, as a kantian, you would deny knowledge of any such things.

    For example, do you amend Kant's original formulation and say that space and time are a posteriori (since we only understand them better via empirical investigation)? Are they still a priori insofar as they are forms of our experience, but their behaviors are a posteriori? Do you know what I mean?
  • Mww
    4.1k
    …..what you think of space/time fabric?Bob Ross

    It isn’t a fabric, it’s a mathematical model of a gravitational field under specific conditions. The Universe, reality in general, in and of itself….whatever there is that isn’t us…..doesn’t need space or time. We as calculating intelligences, do.

    But then, the Universe doesn’t need mathematical models or gravitational fields either, so……
    ————-

    ……space and time are a posteriori (since we only understand them better via empirical investigation)?Bob Ross

    Thing is, we’re investigating objects a posteriori, in order to understand them better, not space or time. All we need from those two, is the understanding, the recognition, that because of them, things don’t happen all at once, and things aren’t all in the same place.

    Are they still a priori insofar as they are forms of our experience…..Bob Ross

    Technically, forms of the representations of objects, or phenomena, but, a priori, yes.

    …..but their behaviors are a posteriori?Bob Ross

    Space and time don’t behave, don’t possess behavior. Things possess relations between themselves or between them and us, which is what we’d loosely call their behavior, but is really our representations of their responses to force.

    Long ways from moral realism, aren’t we?
  • Bob Ross
    592


    Hello Mww,

    Long ways from moral realism, aren’t we?

    Lol: yes. But I am intrigued by this conversation, and as long as you are as well then I think we should continue.

    It isn’t a fabric, it’s a mathematical model of a gravitational field under specific conditions. The Universe, reality in general, in and of itself….whatever there is that isn’t us…..doesn’t need space or time. We as calculating intelligences, do.

    That makes sense! I’ve just only ever heard of Einstein’s space/time as a fabric, but that must just be physicalists and substance dualists that advocate for it and not Einstein himself (potentially).

    The interesting part of this part of your response it that it almost seems like you are granting science metaphysically legitimacy, which I reckoned you wouldn’t as a transcendental idealist, but just that we don’t need, scientifically, to posit space and time but, rather, only mathematical models of things: is that correct?

    Otherwise, wouldn’t you be compelled to say that “the universe is completely unknown” instead of “the universe...in and of itself...doesn’t need space or time”: the latter seems like a knowledge claim about the things-in-themselves—but I could be just getting in the weeds here.

    But then, the Universe doesn’t need mathematical models or gravitational fields either, so……

    I also lean towards mathematical anti-realism, if that is what you are alluding to here. I just wonder what is actually going on in reality then, and how would we ever know?

    Thing is, we’re investigating objects a posteriori, in order to understand them better, not space or time.

    But that is exactly what Einstein did: he made predictions about objects that would prove the differing behaviors of space and time—so it was an indirect empirical inquiry of space and time themselves (e.g., predicting the orbit of mercury with space curvature).

    Space and time don’t behave, don’t possess behavior.

    So, under your view, space curving and time dilating are not classified as behaviors? Then what are they classified as?
  • Mww
    4.1k
    I’ve just only ever heard of Einstein’s space/time as a fabricBob Ross

    Actually, in his 1926 Britannica entry, he calls it “four-dimensional continuum”, derived from the fact things are described in a space and in a time, simultaneously. Kant said the same thing, in that nothing is ever given to us empirically that isn’t conditioned by space and time.

    In Metaphysical Principles of Natural Science, 1786, Kant say……

    “… Thus, for all experience and for every inference from experience, it can’t make any difference whether I choose to •consider a body as moving or rather to •consider the body as at rest and the space it is in as moving in the opposite direction with the same speed. The two ways of looking at it are strictly equivalent.…”

    …..which can be found, in a way, in Einstein’s equivalence principle: elevator gerdankexperiment, 1907, and theoretically posited in Relativity: The Special and General, 1916:

    “…. If, relative to K, K’ is a uniformly moving co-ordinate system devoid of rotation, then natural phenomena run their course with respect to K’ according to exactly the same general laws as with respect to K. This statement is called the principle of relativity (in the restricted sense)….”

    It is documented that Einstein read philosophy, had favorites in it, but would he ever admit to taking a hint from Kant? Nahhhhh….I doubt it. But, there’s the two texts; make of it what you will.
    ——————

    So, under your view, space curving and time dilating are not classified as behaviors? Then what are they classified as?Bob Ross

    The effects of gravity on objects in space for the one; the difference in measurable durations relative to objects of significantly disparate velocities, for the other.

    The devil is in the details. Same as it ever was…..
  • Bob Ross
    592


    Hello Mww,

    It is documented that Einstein read philosophy, had favorites in it, but would he ever admit to taking a hint from Kant? Nahhhhh….I doubt it. But, there’s the two texts; make of it what you will.

    Well, it appears as though Einstein didn’t share Kant’s view that math is a priori certain:

    ... an enigma presents itself which in all ages has agitated inquiring minds. How can it be that mathematics, being after all a product of human thought which is independent of experience, is so admirably appropriate to the objects of reality? Is human reason, then, without experience, merely by taking thought, able to fathom the properties of real things?

    In my opinion the answer to this question is, briefly, this: as far as the propositions of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality...

    The effects of gravity on objects in space for the one; the difference in measurable durations relative to objects of significantly disparate velocities, for the other.

    So is it that the math behind these behaviors is transcendent, and the space and time are transcendental?
  • Mww
    4.1k
    Einstein didn’t share Kant’s view that math is a priori certain….Bob Ross

    All ‘a priori certain’ is meant to indicate, is if it comes from human understanding, for whatever is thought, it is impossible for that thought to not have occurred, which is the same as saying that thought is certain. From there, because both Kant and Einstein recognized mathematics is “a product of human thought”, it is for that reason, both a priori and certain. Then the question becomes, for whatever is thought, does Nature support that thought, such that rational…..logical….certainty relates to empirical conditions, without contradiction.

    Gotta consider the times: Galileo knew of relativity respecting a single subject relative to the world, and Kant knew of spherical geometry respecting geometric formulae, but neither had experiences of velocities greater than that of a running horse, so both are relieved of not having the occasions for Einstein’s thought experiments, re: trains and station platforms, and, Einstein’s relativity (of simultaneity) relates two subjects to a common worldly event, from a perspective outside either affected subject.

    If Einstein held that math didn’t relate to reality with certainty, on what ground, then, did he actually invent mathematical propositions to explain certain aspects of it, re: w = c - v? And, because that formula had no existence, had never been thought, and for which therefore there could be no possible experience, how is it not a priori?

    Not an issue, really. Einstein didn’t approve of a priori mathematical certainty, merely because the content of the formulas he envisioned and constructed had no chance of being obtained in experience. He grounds “Relativity: the Special and the General” on assumptions, re: “….. it had always tacitly been assumed in physics that the statement of time had an absolute significance…..”, and, “…. based on yet a second assumption, which, in the light of a strict consideration, appears to be arbitrary, although it was always tacitly made even before the introduction of the theory of relativity…”

    Kant thought in consideration of his current time, in which his mathematical proofs were readily available without technical support; Einstein thought in consideration of times in which his ideas must wait for proofs, pending technological support. What…a scant three years for GR, but 35 for SR? Something like that.

    The term “universality” in Kant meant wherever a human is, in Einstein it meant wherever the Universe is. In the one, it is a logical concept, in the other, an empirical. Nowadays, man has been on the Moon, and Voyager left the solar system without falling apart, so, with respect to the certainty of mathematical proposition as they relate to reality….whose thinking was the more precise?

    Anyway….rambling.
  • Bob Ross
    592


    Hello Mww,

    All ‘a priori certain’ is meant to indicate, is if it comes from human understanding, for whatever is thought, it is impossible for that thought to not have occurred, which is the same as saying that thought is certain

    By “impossible for that thought to not have occurred”, you are referring to math being a necessary precondition for the possibility of experience? Otherwise, I am not sure I followed this part.

    From there, because both Kant and Einstein recognized mathematics is “a product of human thought”, it is for that reason, both a priori and certain

    I think you are just conflating the term ‘thought’ here. In the quote I provided, it seemed as though Einstein was referring to the ‘thought’ of ‘1 + 1 = 2’ as certain but not certain pertaining to our perceptions, whereas Kant means ‘thought’ in the sense of the active participation of the construction of our perceptions.

    If Einstein held that math didn’t relate to reality with certainty, on what ground, then, did he actually invent mathematical propositions to explain certain aspects of it, re: w = c – v?

    Because he thought it could be empirically verified, not that the equations themselves, nor math in general was a priori certain.

    because that formula had no existence, had never been thought, and for which therefore there could be no possible experience, how is it not a priori?

    Not an issue, really. Einstein didn’t approve of a priori mathematical certainty, merely because the content of the formulas he envisioned and constructed had no chance of being obtained in experience

    But they weren’t obtained in experience, or at least some of them, right? Otherwise, they would be indistinguishable from being a product of human imagination.

    Kant thought in consideration of his current time, in which his mathematical proofs were readily available without technical support; Einstein thought in consideration of times in which his ideas must wait for proofs, pending technological support. What…a scant three years for GR, but 35 for SR? Something like that.

    That is fair: I don’t think Kant would have made the same exact claims had he have written CPR in our current era.

    The term “universality” in Kant meant wherever a human is, in Einstein it meant wherever the Universe is.

    True, but then wouldn’t Einstein’s viewpoint be impossible under Kantianism, since there is no way to know anything about the viewpoint of the things-in-themselves (i.e., Universe)?
  • Mww
    4.1k
    By “impossible for that thought to not have occurred”, you are referring to math being a necessary precondition for the possibility of experience? Otherwise, I am not sure I followed this part.Bob Ross

    Nothing to do with the objects of thought, but only of thought in general. Was there ever a thought you didn’t think? Of course not, which is to say every thought of yours was both a priori and certain, which is its form. Now if the content of each thought is included, it follows necessarily that the object thought has the very same certainty as it relates to its form. But singular thoughts are very seldom of any use, and thus it is almost always the case the human understanding conjoins a series of thoughts, in which the certainty then becomes the business of logic, particularly, the LNC.

    In the quote I provided…..Bob Ross

    By which I’m supposing you mean Einstein’s opinion. I never found anything particularly impressive about it, actually. Mathematics can be certain in its mere form, but is only true insofar as it conforms to Nature. All logic to be thought….which is all mathematics is…..needs its content verified empirically. So the opinion reduces to, mathematical propositions refer to understanding for their certainty, so they do not refer to reality, and, insofar as mathematical propositions refer to reality, it is not for the certainty of them, but for the empirical verification of their certainty, which is their proofs. His opinion is shared by the enlightened metaphysicians of his day, just…..you know…..stated differently.

    Is human reason, then, without experience, merely by taking thought, able to fathom the properties of real things?

    Well……..yeah. How else does a thing get its properties, if the human thinker doesn’t decide what they are? Basketballs as such don’t exist naturally without immediate human causality. Basketballs have the properties that make a real thing a basketball only because a human logical reason says what those properties must be. So he gets the idea that because Nature has shown him round things that roll, he can make a round thing of leather and fill it with air. But that’s not quite right, in that Nature only showed him a thing of a certain shape, but not that it was round, which he came up with all by himself, and assigned that as a property inherent in things of that shape, without regard to whether he, or Nature, was its causality.

    If Nature gave the properties of things to us along with the thing itself…..why do we assign spin to an elementary particle as a property of it, when spin as rotating mass has no relation to what spin as this property, is meant to indicate?

    So, yes, human reason is the only means by which the properties of real things is fathomed. That there are natural conditions of real things, to which properties are the means for comprehending those conditions, is true enough, but it remains the one is not the same as the other.
    ————

    ”If Einstein held that math didn’t relate to reality with certainty, on what ground, then, did he actually invent mathematical propositions to explain certain aspects of it……
    -Mww

    Because he thought it could be empirically verified, not that the equations themselves, nor math in general was a priori certain.
    Bob Ross

    That’s the cool thing about Einstein’s avant-guarde thought experiments: there is no way to empirically verify them. Otherwise, they’d be actual scientific experiments. Which leaves naught but the internal logic of mathematical propositions a priori for the certainty by which the physical experiments may even eventually prove the math, while logically certain in itself, doesn’t correspond to Nature. I don’t see how it empirical verification can be thought that doesn’t necessarily presuppose the mathematical logic to which the verification, whether affirming or negating, relates.
    ————

    wouldn’t Einstein’s viewpoint be impossible under Kantianism, since there is no way to know anything about the viewpoint of the things-in-themselves (i.e., Universe)?Bob Ross

    I don’t see a relationship here.
    …..I think Einstein admits his philosophical view is Kantian with respect to mathematical propositions, but he won’t admit the Kantian methodological predication from which it obtains;
    …..the viewpoint of things-in-themselves doesn’t make any sense, insofar as things do not have a viewpoint;
    …..to say the Universe is a thing-in-itself confuses what a thing-in-itself is supposed to represent. For us, every object of perception presupposes that object as a thing-in-itself. If the Universe is not ever going to be an object of perception, such as are those objects contained in it, then there’s no necessary presupposition for it to be a thing-in-itself. We can think Universe as a conceptual representation, but we’re never going to intuit it as a phenomenal representation. That is to say…the Universe will not be an appearance to our sensibility, hence will never cause a sensation in us, which means it is not a thing, which makes a thing-in-itself corresponding to it, meaningless.
    —————-

    But they weren’t obtained in experience…..Bob Ross

    Did you mean to say….were obtained?
  • Bob Ross
    592


    Hello Mww,

    Was there ever a thought you didn’t think?

    Yes: other peoples’ thoughts.

    Of course not, which is to say every thought of yours was both a priori and certain, which is its form. Now if the content of each thought is included, it follows necessarily that the object thought has the very same certainty as it relates to its form

    I see.

    All logic to be thought….which is all mathematics is…..needs its content verified empirically. So the opinion reduces to, mathematical propositions refer to understanding for their certainty, so they do not refer to reality, and, insofar as mathematical propositions refer to reality, it is not for the certainty of them, but for the empirical verification of their certainty, which is their proofs

    I just don’t think Einstein was conceding that mathematical propositions find their certainty in the understanding, but, rather, are certain insofar as they are in reason (as a cognitive faculty we have of our experience, and not the active participator therein).

    How else does a thing get its properties, if the human thinker doesn’t decide what they are?

    It would not be the human thinker deciding their phenomenal properties if the understanding is an aspect of the universal mind, and not the particular ‘I’ of any human; which I am starting to lean towards, as it seems implausible to me that the ‘I’ is the decider of the entire experience of which it has and is an entity within that experience.

    But that’s not quite right, in that Nature only showed him a thing of a certain shape, but not that it was round, which he came up with all by himself, and assigned that as a property inherent in things of that shape, without regard to whether he, or Nature, was its causality.

    But I don’t think this is accurate in Kantianism, if causality (and space and time) are produced by the human (as its forms of intuition), then there the ‘nature’ you refer to is reduced to a purely negative concept—an incomprehensible nothing—which cannot be understood to even “show him a thing of a certain shape”. You are inferring the representations from human understanding from the after effects of the human understanding, which is allegedly supposed to not provide any knowledge of the things-in-themselves.

    If Nature gave the properties of things to us along with the thing itself…..why do we assign spin to an elementary particle as a property of it, when spin as rotating mass has no relation to what spin as this property, is meant to indicate?

    I did not follow this part: could you restate it differently?

    So, yes, human reason is the only means by which the properties of real things is fathomed.

    It is a very, prima facie, appealing argument I must say; but it fails because the “proof” of reason actively determining things’ properties requires that the representations are somewhat accurate of the things-in-themselves, which, if Kant is right, there is no way to determine anything about them; instead, the claim “we represent the world” becomes not universally valid but, rather, valid only insofar as it is constrained to the possibility of experience—but Kant is working with a framework where the possibility of experience is a representation!

    That’s the cool thing about Einstein’s avant-guarde thought experiments: there is no way to empirically verify them

    Interesting!

    .the viewpoint of things-in-themselves doesn’t make any sense, insofar as things do not have a viewpoint;

    You were saying that Einstein views things from the universes’ perspective; that is, everything is relative. And Kant views it from the perspective of the individual, and thusly universal. However, these do not seem to be compatible views, as if Kant is right then Einstein cannot take the viewpoint of ‘everything is relative’ since it speaks of the things-in-themselves—not the individuals’ experience.
  • 180 Proof
    12.8k
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/835493

    Continuing from the post linked above, @Bob Ross, tell me what is "subjective" about the form of this (ethical / medical / ecological) hypothetical imperative ...
    If X deprived of Y, then do Z in order to restore X by mitigating Y
     (where X = homeostasis or health-fitness or sustainability, respectively).

    Whether or not one chooses to do a moral, or right, action (i.e. a hypothetical imperative to reduce harm) is no more "subjective" than whether or not one chooses to solve a mathematical equation because both are, I argue contra the OP, equally objective operations.
  • Bob Ross
    592


    Hello 180 Proof,

    If X deprived of Y, then do Z in order to restore X by mitigating Y

    To me, whether it is expressing something subjective is if the hypothetical is an operation of the mind as opposed to something mind-independent. So, for me, even if that were hardwired into our biology (which I don’t think is true for all people) it would be contingent on one’s mind since I hold that biological operations are mind-operations (metaphysically). For your view, as I noted before, if you hold that this hypothetical is a product of mind-independent operations that governs our actions (as a mind), then it would be a categorical imperative: not hypothetical. In other words, the hypothetical, holistically, is a categorical imperative (viz., the hypothetical is deployed as some function of our mind independent processes).

    Whether or not one chooses to do a moral, or right, action (i.e. a hypothetical imperative to reduce harm) is no more "subjective" than whether or not one chooses to solve a mathematical equation because both are, I argue contra the OP, equally objective operations.

    If by this you are referring to the above hypothetical as an actually ingrained judgment which mind-independently governs us, then I agree that it would be objective. However, for me, since I am an idealist, I hold that we do many things which are subjective (mind-dependent) but not within “our” (as the ego) control in any meaningful sense of the term: minds, for me, operate in very consistent and regular ways: its just higher-order aspects (like the ego, our facutly of reason, etc.) that tend to operate quite whimsically or in a manner that ‘we’ (as the ego) feel we are in control of.
  • Mww
    4.1k
    ….these do not seem to be compatible views…..Bob Ross

    Yes, as we talked about a few pages ago.
    …..Kant didn’t have the vision in physics Einstein had, and Einstein didn’t accept the vision in metaphysics Kant had;
    …..Kant didn’t find a need to think about a stationary clock here and a moving clock out there, and Einstein didn’t find a need to grant that in order to think mere possible events requires an absolutely necessary precondition in human reason itself;
    …..Kant understood perfectly well if there was a clock here and a clock there, one moved and the other didn’t, there must be the experience of change in a perceiving subject, the change relative to the clocks themselves utterly irrelevant except as the representation of an internal logical human principle. Einstein used mathematics to prove if there is a stationary clock here and a moving clock there, there must be a change relative only to the clocks but not as an experience of the subject, who only experiences the verification of the mathematical logic but not the relativity of the clock’s times to each other, which is a function of Nature alone without any regard whatsoever for principles of human reason.

    …..as if Kant is right then Einstein cannot take the viewpoint of ‘everything is relative’ since it speaks of the things-in-themselves—not the individuals’ experience.Bob Ross

    Ehhhh….I suppose there’s some truth in that. Einstein’s math with respect to objects determines a mere possible human experience, or in some cases no human experience at all, re: events at or approaching the SOL, so at that point, perhaps the objects must be considered as thing-in-themselves. On the other hand, insofar as in Kant knowledge is experience and there is no experience of events regarding objects at or approaching the SOL, it follows that all we have as humans is the validity of the pure mathematical logic, which has nothing to do with objects themselves but merely represents a deductive inference for them, hence removes the thing-in-itself objection.

    Furthermore, upon the successful exhibition of that which was formally only mathematical logic, makes necessary actual real things, which again removes the thing-in-itself objection, re: Hafele–Keating, 1971.

    Anyway….I’ve reached the limit of my formal physics.
    —————

    ”So, yes, human reason is the only means by which the properties of real things is fathomed.
    -Mww

    It is a very, prima facie, appealing argument I must say; but it fails because the “proof” of reason actively determining things’ properties requires that the representations are somewhat accurate of the things-in-themselves, which, if Kant is right, there is no way to determine anything about them
    Bob Ross

    Representations are somewhat accurate….yes, but only of the sensations evoked in us of a thing, not a thing-in-itself. It reduces to reason not “proving”, but merely justifying, the accuracy of representations, but not necessarily the accuracy of the actual constituency of things-in-themselves. Nature Herself will inform if the properties determined as representing objects is accurate or not, as shown by evolving experiences of the same object over time.

    I figured you’d glean from “the properties of real things is fathomed” presupposes those properties, which makes explicit that which fathoms cannot be the source of that which is fathomed. Understanding actively determines things’ properties, not reason, which only shows conflicts in such determinations and thereby conflicts in understandings. Now it should become clearer that regarding the properties of objects, “fathom” means “to find uncontested”.
    (Too loose a definition? Yeah….maybe. Or, too tight an analysis. Not sure which, but it made sense at the time.)
    —————

    ”that Nature only showed him a thing of a certain shape…..
    -Mww

    …..the ‘nature’ you refer to is reduced to….an incomprehensible nothing….which cannot be understood to even “show him a thing of a certain shape”.
    Bob Ross

    What….I can’t free-wheel with language, just a little? Nature doesn’t technically “show” me anything, but when things make their presence perceivable to me, are they not shown to me? While it may be a stretch to say that because those things that make their presence known to me are in Nature then it follows that Nature showed them to me.

    And why should Nature be an incomprehensible nothing? If I can think a conceivable representation then it is necessarily something, and it being a conception that doesn’t immediately contradict any other conception it must be comprehensible. Right?

    Sorry for the dialectical delay.
  • Bob Ross
    592


    Hello Mww,

    Einstein used mathematics to prove if there is a stationary clock here and a moving clock there, there must be a change relative only to the clocks but not as an experience of the subject, who only experiences the verification of the mathematical logic but not the relativity of the clock’s times to each other, which is a function of Nature alone without any regard whatsoever for principles of human reason.

    But wouldn’t Einstein’s argument also be explained metaphysically as:

    Kant understood perfectly well if there was a clock here and a clock there, one moved and the other didn’t, there must be the experience of change in a perceiving subject, the change relative to the clocks themselves utterly irrelevant except as the representation of an internal logical human principle.

    It seems like they are incompatible views, but Einstein’s empirically verified views can be reconciled with Kantianism insofar as one denies Einstein’s metaphysical views.

    Furthermore, upon the successful exhibition of that which was formally only mathematical logic, makes necessary actual real things, which again removes the thing-in-itself objection, re: Hafele–Keating, 1971.

    I didn’t understand this part: could you please elaborate?

    Representations are somewhat accurate….yes, but only of the sensations evoked in us of a thing, not a thing-in-itself

    I have a hard time parsing this, as the sensations are supposed to be the raw input of things-in-themselves, so are you saying that after the things-in-themselves have conformed to our sensibility we have accurate representions of that?

    I figured you’d glean from “the properties of real things is fathomed” presupposes those properties, which makes explicit that which fathoms cannot be the source of that which is fathomed.

    Yeah, I mean I think kantianism operates implicitly under the assumption that causality is not merely the pure forms of our intuition: otherwise, I don’t know why a Kantian would even think that they are “fathoming” properties of a thing-in-itself, which has “impacted” their senses in a manner that resulted in a process of interpretation (i.e., creation of a representation). This is one thing I think Schopenhauer got right: (physical) causality only pertains to the representations, and so there is absolutely no reason to believe that things-in-themselves are impressing upon our senses.

    What….I can’t free-wheel with language, just a little? Nature doesn’t technically “show” me anything, but when things make their presence perceivable to me, are they not shown to me?

    But isn’t ‘nature’ the totality of the ‘things-in-themselves’, which you equally claim you know nothing about?

    And why should Nature be an incomprehensible nothing? If I can think a conceivable representation then it is necessarily something, and it being a conception that doesn’t immediately contradict any other conception it must be comprehensible. Right?

    Only if by ‘nature’ your claims are restricted to the possibility of experience, and not universally valid (I guess).

    Sorry for the dialectical delay.

    Absolutely no worries! I appreciate our conversations, and would much rather have a substantive response that takes a while than a quick superficial one!
  • Mww
    4.1k
    But wouldn’t Einstein’s argument also be explained metaphysically as…..Bob Ross

    That isn’t so much Einstein’s metaphysical view as it is his precursor to his own empirical view. I’m not sure he even posits a metaphysical view in juxtaposition to a philosopher from Kant’s era, but he does regarding religion and whatnot.

    It seems like they are incompatible views, but Einstein’s empirically verified views can be reconciled with Kantianism insofar as one denies Einstein’s metaphysical views.Bob Ross

    The views are incompatible, as we’ve already established. Einstein’s empirically verified views cannot be reconciled with Kant’s, because Kant never entertained an empirical view anywhere near Einstein’s.

    Again, my disclaimer: I am more familiar with Einstein’s science than his philosophy, and regarding his philosophy I am more familiar with his views on things having little to do with Kant, and regarding his little views on Kant I am more familiar with the exposition of his denial of Kantian a priori transcendental predications and on his denials, I object to them insofar as I think he missed the point.
    —————

    ….sensations are supposed to be the raw input of things-in-themselves……Bob Ross

    No they are not. Raw input of things. Things-in-themselves are exactly what is NOT a thing of which we have the sensation. Why do people have such a hard time with IN-ITSELF? MY-self, YOUR-self, no problem. Along comes the notion of IT-self, and folks just go all bonkers. Makes no damn sense to me.
    —————-

    But isn’t ‘nature’ the totality of the ‘things-in-themselvesBob Ross

    Capitol N Nature is the totality of real natural things; little n nature is the composition or constituency or manner of being, of things caused naturally or conceived rationally. I suppose there’s nothing suspiciously untoward in calling Nature the totality of things-in-themselves, but in doing that, we’d immediately lose access to knowledge of any part of Nature, insofar as, all being things-in-themselves no part of it can appear to us as phenomena, which is a theoretical contradiction.
    —————-

    Only if by ‘nature’ your claims are restricted to the possibility of experience….Bob Ross

    I’m ok with Nature being restricted to the possibility of experience. I’m not going to experience the nature of, say, justice, but I’m perfectly qualified to think how its nature would or would not be represented by an experience.
    ——————

    I think kantianism operates implicitly under the assumption that causality is not merely the pure forms of our intuitionBob Ross

    You’d be correct, as far as I understand it. Kantianism, per se, operates under the assumption causality is not a pure form of our intuitions, of which there are only space and time. In Kant, cause, and its various derivatives including causality, is a category residing in understanding represented by and subsumed under conceptions, a function of logic in the form of discursive judgement, whereas the pure form of intuition resides in sensibility represented by phenomena but subsumed under imagination, an “arrangement” in the form of aesthetic judgement. Schopenhauer is the one that formally includes causality in the pure forms of intuition.

    I don’t know why a Kantian would even think that they are “fathoming” properties of a thing-in-itselfBob Ross

    He wouldn’t. And if he does, he has lost sight of what he professes to know.
  • Mww
    4.1k


    Your namesake. The one I asked about awhile ago? One of his pieces just sold…….$9.8M.
  • Bob Ross
    592

    Hello Mww,

    Sorry the for belated response, but it took some time for me to give your response the proper thought it deserves.

    Firstly, if you think that Einstein and Kant’s “views are incompatible”, then how do you accept general/special relativity as a Kantian? Are you saying that you accept the empirical aspects but reshape them, so to speak, under a Kantian metaphysical outlook? It just seems like, on the one hand, you are saying the Einstein’s math is sound, but then turning around and saying Einstein’s views are incompatible with your own.

    Secondly, I desperately need a refresher on the process that is taken by our representative faculties under Kantianism (under your interpretation of it), all the way from the thing-in-itself to the representation. You said the things-in-themselves are “NOT a thing of which we have a sensation”; but, as far as I understood, the sensations (the raw input) are a approximate of the thing-in-itself.

    My exposition of Kantianism with regards to this representational process would be as follows:

    1. The thing-in-itself “impacts” us.
    2. The “impact” trigger our receptivity and sensibility to receive and produce raw input of, within the limits of what it is capable of, the thing-in-itself.
    3. The intuition and the understanding both process the raw input.
    4. A representation is the aftermath of the aforesaid process.

    How would you explain it?

    I’m ok with Nature being restricted to the possibility of experience.

    Ok, then that’s fine. I was interpreting it as capital N nature.

    Your namesake. The one I asked about awhile ago? One of his pieces just sold…….$9.8M.

    Are you referring to a Bob Ross painting?
  • Mww
    4.1k
    …..how do you accept general/special relativity as a Kantian?Bob Ross

    As I wrote a few days ago, I’m not directly affected by, therefore care very little for, e.g., gravitational lensing and assorted SR/GR relations. It is true the world acts the way it does, but only under those conditions which are not available to me or you as general experiences.

    The world as the manifold of all real objects operates under a wide set of laws in merely possible relations to me, re: I will be taller than I am now iff I am ever under the effect of a much greater mass; I as an individual subject operate under a narrow set of rules in necessary relations to my world, re: if I kick a rock I will suffer a broken toe. While both conditions are true in relation to me, they remain apples and oranges in relation to each other.
    —————

    quote="Bob Ross;838190"]You said the things-in-themselves are “NOT a thing of which we have a sensation”; but, as far as I understood, the sensations (the raw input) are a approximate of the thing-in-itself.[/quote]

    Yeah, it’s been a bone of contention ever since its conceptual creation. Technically, phenomena are approximations of things, whereas sensation just informs there is something for which an approximation is determinable.

    It’s just logic, man. Just logic. Why should it be, that even though you look at a thing and learn what it is, that it must be the same thing next time you look at it? On the one hand you’d expect it to be the same, but on the other there’s no reason why it absolutely must. Hell, driving by a fence one day is one thing, driving by the next day somebody repainted it. Even if it’s the same fence, your experience of it is different, which reduces to the fact all your experience is ever going to be, regarding that fence, is predicated on your perception of it, no matter who does what to it.

    So….say the fence is a different color but you don’t drive by. How you gonna get an impression from the fence you didn’t drive by? Now it is that the condition of the fence changed but your experience of it didn’t. You know that fence in one way, but the fence isn’t the way you know it. Why don’t we just say there is a fence you know about and a fence you do not. The fence you know about you’ve perceived, the fence you do not you have not. Back up to the point where you never perceived anything and everything is unknown to you. But there are still things nonetheless. So for every single thing that becomes a perception for you, is one less thing that doesn’t. Of all the remaining things that haven’t yet been perceived by you, are still things you may possibly perceive, but until you do, you will know nothing of them, and they are thereby called things-in-themselves, and conversely, that which you do perceive is not longer a thing you have not, or, which is the same thing, the thing you perceive is no longer the thing-in-itself.

    Now, it is true you may infer the bejesus outta all sorts of stuff….never having been there, you still know the moon exhibits shapes of illumination hence it is likely spherical…..but need I remind you that inference, a purely logical enterprise, is not experience, which is entirely predicated on the necessity of phenomena, which is turn is a strictly empirical perception?

    The fence is a particular example, but the particular holds in general. For any object, your experience of it, how it is known/what it is know as by you, is predicated on your intelligence alone, the state or condition of the thing itself be as it may.
    —————

    My exposition of Kantianism with regards to this representational process would be as follows:

    1. The thing-in-itself “impacts” us.
    Bob Ross
    (Nope. The thing impacts us)

    2. The “impact” trigger our receptivity and sensibility to receive and produce raw input of, within the limits of what it is capable of, the thing-in-itself.
    (Nope. The impact triggers our receptivity to produce representations of the raw input of whatever sensation the thing gives us, depending on the mode of sensibility affected, re: which sense is affected by that thing, the representation herein we call phenomenon. The key here is to realize not even memory is established yet. Receptivity and thereby sensibility in general is singular and successive, which is to say, receptivity works the very same way whether the received raw input is already an experience or it is not.)

    3. The intuition and the understanding both process the raw input.
    (Nope. Intuition processes the raw input, understanding processes the representations of the raw input. Intuition informs of the raw material of the thing; understanding informs that intuitions can or cannot have conceptions related to them.)

    4. A representation is the aftermath of the aforesaid process.
    (Nope. Judgement is the immediate, cognition is the subsequent, experience is the consequential, aftermath of the antecedent intuition/understanding process.)

    2a.) We are not conscious of the process of receptivity; phenomena are generated without any intellectual activity. Sensibility is merely the faculty by which that out there becomes this in here the system can work with. Understanding must be capable of coping with five different kinds of intuited phenomenal representations determinable within the confines of five different kinds of sensory devices. The only way….or at least the most parsimonious way, theoretically….in which one kind of understanding can cope with five different kinds of phenomena, is to have the means for it arise spontaneously in accordance with the form the phenomena present to it, AND, to have contained in it a set of rules by which the phenomenon from one sense is to be judged differently than the phenomenon of another.

    3a.) Simply put, intuition says how things are, given some raw input, understanding says how things are to be thought because of some raw input. Intuition is concerned with the thing, understanding is concerned with what is done with the thing. Judgement is that by which the relation of the two coincide, that is to say, if the validity of what is to be done coincides with the possibilities contained in the raw input. At the lowest level, this is what prevents us from cognizing a ham ‘n’ cheese sandwich as heavy, or, cognizing the moon as combustible.

    4a.) There are but two kinds of representation, phenomenon and conception. It is possible to have a conception with no phenomenon conjoined to it, but it is impossible for a phenomenon to have no conception belonging to it. This is because phenomena are representations of that which is given to us and hence cannot be dismissed….you cannot un-see what you’ve seen…..but conceptions can and often do spontaneously manifest in mere thought without connection to a phenomenon, re: imagination. Like….all that contained in metaphysical speculation.
    ———-

    Yep, him. Although, upon closer inspection, it turns out $9.8M was the asking price, not the sale price. It was for “A Walk in the Woods”, 1971, currently held by a museum gallery, purchased from a legitimate former owner for….(gasp) $1000.
  • Bob Ross
    592


    Hello Mww,

    With respect to Einstein vs. Kant, it appears as though, to me, that you are accepting Einstein’s equations but through the lens that they describe merely the a priori structure of our representative faculties, is that correct?

    I’m not directly affected by, therefore care very little for, e.g., gravitational lensing and assorted SR/GR relations

    But you are: time dilates even at the scale of our normal lives.

    For any object, your experience of it, how it is known/what it is know as by you, is predicated on your intelligence alone, the state or condition of the thing itself be as it may.

    But doesn’t the thing-in-itself have to ‘appear’ to you in order to perform those logical operations on the sensations of it?

    (Nope. The thing impacts us)

    I appreciate the elaboration, but it seems like, to me, we are saying the same thing. You seem to be calling the aftermath of the thing-in-itself ‘appearing’ to us as a ‘thing’, and the sensations are what comprise the ‘thing’; whereas I am saying that the sensations are what comprise our limited knowledge of the thing-in-itself. Aren’t we saying the same thing?

    The “impact” trigger our receptivity and sensibility to receive and produce raw input of, within the limits of what it is capable of, the thing-in-itself.

    This sounds like the same thing I said, but why postulate a ‘thing’ then (on top of a thing-in-itself)? The ‘raw input’ is of the thing-in-itself, which isn’t necessarily a 1:1 raw input of the it.

    3. The intuition and the understanding both process the raw input.
    (Nope. Intuition processes the raw input, understanding processes the representations of the raw input. Intuition informs of the raw material of the thing; understanding informs that intuitions can or cannot have conceptions related to them.)

    I don’t understand how this isn’t pure speculation: what exact about one’s experience implies that the intuition processes the raw input and the understanding processes those representations? How do you even know there are two different faculties doing it?

    Yep, him. Although, upon closer inspection, it turns out $9.8M was the asking price, not the sale price. It was for “A Walk in the Woods”, 1971, currently held by a museum gallery, purchased from a legitimate former owner for….(gasp) $1000.

    Niceee.

    Another question for you: I find schopenhauer’s argument compelling that we know the ‘thing-in-itself’ insofar as we can introspectively access that our will is what is getting represented in our outer representations, such that the outer representations are not completely cut off from our knowledge. I would presume that a Kantian would think that the immaterial events (such as thoughts) which one has is somehow still conditioned by their faculty of understanding (but not intuition): how do you go about explaining that?
  • Bob Ross
    592


    I forgot to respond to the fence analogy: sorry!

    Even if it’s the same fence, your experience of it is different, which reduces to the fact all your experience is ever going to be, regarding that fence, is predicated on your perception of it, no matter who does what to it.

    This doesn't make sense to me: for the reason that you perceived it differently is exactly because someone did something to it.

    So….say the fence is a different color but you don’t drive by. How you gonna get an impression from the fence you didn’t drive by? Now it is that the condition of the fence changed but your experience of it didn’t.

    You didn't have a new experience of it that was different than your previous experience because you haven't experienced it again. Once you do, then it will have a different color. Are you talking about memories?
  • Mww
    4.1k
    …..time dilates even at the scale of our normal lives.Bob Ross

    Not in my inertial frame it doesn’t, hence, it is not an effect on me, hence I am not affected by it.
    ————

    …..it seems like, to me, we are saying the same thing.Bob Ross

    For what you said, I said “Nope”, which makes explicit we said very different things.

    You seem to be (saying)…..sensations are what comprise the ‘thing’; whereas I am saying that the sensations are what comprise our limited knowledge of the thing-in-itself. Aren’t we saying the same thing?Bob Ross

    No thing is comprised of the sensation caused in another thing by its appearance. That’s like saying a mosquito is comprised of an itch on my arm.

    You’re probably trying to say the itch tells me there’s some thing on my arm, and of that thing at the very least I will know its capacity for biting me. That’s all well and good, but not what I want to know. By sensation alone, an effect, I still don’t know what exactly the thing is that bit me, a cause necessarily related to the effect. All I can say at this point is that there is the appearance of an unknown thing, but not a thing-in-itself, insofar as the thing-in-itself is that unknown which would never have bit me in the first place. I mean….how does it make sense that the thing-in-itself has my blood in it?

    This sounds like the same thing I said…..Bob Ross

    It is. Exactly what you wrote. You quoted yourself.

    …..why postulate a ‘thing’ then (on top of a thing-in-itself)?Bob Ross

    Bottom line…..to affirm the methodology of a representational cognitive system.

    How do you even know there are two different faculties doing it?Bob Ross

    Because there are two kinds of knowledge, that which involves things, that which does not. For the one there must be things to know about that do not belong to me, that are external to me; for the other there is that which does belong to me, is internal to me, that which I create or construct myself. I have no need of sensations for that what I only think, even if I do need sensation to prove there is a real thing that corresponds to it.

    Think of the science. For every bee sting or sweet taste there is a difference between what the senses do and what the brain does. But the brain can do stuff even if the senses don’t, and, the senses can do stuff the brain doesn’t recognize.

    I don’t understand how this isn’t pure speculation….Bob Ross

    It is pure speculation. Even given certain observations upon which the speculation is based, it remains speculation because there are no empirical proofs for any of it. Even SR and GR were speculative upon their respective initial composition….I mean, c’mon man….riding a light beam????……and subsequently obtained in experience.

    We just love to say we KNOW the car is in the garage for no other reason than that’s where we left it. But it is an illegitimate claim, lacking any empirical warrant whatsoever. And THAT, my friend, is NOT speculative.
    —————

    how do you go about explaining that?Bob Ross

    Schopenhauer’s theory works well if one hasn’t already been exposed to how Kant’s theory works.

    From my personal, well-worn armchair, this makes no sense at all…..

    “….. Every true, genuine, immediate act of will is also, at once and immediately, a visible act of the body. And, corresponding to this, every impression upon the body is also, on the other hand, at once and immediately an impression upon the will. As such it is called pain when it is opposed to the will; gratification or pleasure when it is in accordance with it.…”

    …..in that there are a whole bucketful of impressions on my body that are neither pain nor pleasure. And although S acknowledges this circumstance here…..

    “….. There are only a few impressions of the body which do not touch the will (…). These impressions are, therefore, to be treated directly as mere ideas, and excepted from what has been said. The impressions we refer to are the affections of the purely objective senses of sight, hearing, and touch, though only so far as these organs are affected in the way which is specially peculiar to their specific nature. This affection of them is so excessively weak an excitement of the heightened and specifically modified sensibility of these parts that it does not affect the will, but only furnishes the understanding with the data out of which the perception arises, undisturbed by any excitement of the will….”

    ….which is indeed unfortunate, should I will that stupid fence to be a different color, in order to remove the necessity of driving by it in order to experience the change.

    Not only that, but he’s incorporated exceptions to his own rules, anathema to any theory meant to be taken seriously. And while Kant says the same thing….

    “….We may especially remark that all in our cognition that belongs to intuition contains nothing more than mere relations. (The feelings of pain and pleasure, and the will, which are not cognitions, are excepted)….”

    …..he goes on to say what the reason for the exceptions are, that being an entirely different rational methodology given in an entirely separate critical exposition, but S merely says those impressions are just conditions of relative degree.

    I know, huh?!! If S wanted to refute K, or at least forward a different brand of transcendental philosophy, why didn’t he start by falsifying the claim “the feelings of pain and pleasure, and the will, are not cognitions”, perhaps by somehow showing that they are???? If he had done that successfully, which means with sufficient logical integrity, K’s second critique on pure practical reason and thereby his entire moral philosophy would have been destroyed.

    Simplest explanation which says it all….if one likes K he won’t like S and if he likes S he won’t like K.
    ———

    This doesn't make sense to me: for the reason that you perceived it differently is exactly because someone did something to it.Bob Ross

    Which was the point: I perceive it differently, regardless of why it is different, therefore it is a different experience. There is the purely logical argument that because I perceive the same thing at different times the experiences are correspondingly different. Nevertheless, with respect to the content of experience, for there to be a difference the content must be different.

    (for that case where the fence was repainted but I didn’t drive by) You didn't have a new experience of it that was different than your previous experience because you haven't experienced it again. Once you do, then it will have a different color. Are you talking about memories?Bob Ross

    Yes. Memory would be a mere recollection of an antecedent experience, the recall of a cognition already given. Throw enough metaphysical reductionism at “memory” you arrive at “consciousness”, right?

    Different color, new knowledge, new experience, consciousness not memory.

    ‘Til next time…..
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    1.2k


    Maybe I'm not following, but this seems fairly circular. Moral realism is irrelevant because there are no objective facts about morality. But isn't that the very question at hand? It seems like begging the question to claim that we cannot obtain objective facts about "the good."

    In many conceptions of moral realism, as I will discuss further below, facts about good and evil are facts in the same sense the fact of who won the 1986 World Series is a fact. Actually, for some, like the early Proclus and Plotinus-inspired Saint Augustine, such facts are more objective, more sure, because they are facts about the higher hypostasis of Nous, Universal Mind, and can be known through contemplation and the application of logic alone, rather than through our demonstrably unreliable senses. What we today term empirical facts would be of a lesser factual quality, being statements about accidents rather than essence.

    But I'll quote another poster as a good segue into this:


    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:

    It might be useful to differentiate here between propositions, statements about the world that are true or false, and states of affairs, descriptions of reality that either obtain or fail to obtain. We use the term "fact" to describe both these abstractions, but contemporary metaphysics breaks them out because this causes confusion.

    A proposition cannot be good or evil. Its values are true or false (and maybe neither). If we are a moral realist though, a state of affairs can be good or evil.

    How this works depends on your definition of good and evil. I will just throw out two forms of moral realism that I think are compatible with moral "facts," as defined as: "there exists state of affairs that we can say are more or less good or evil relative to some other state of affairs based on criteria that are every bit as objective as anything in the empirical sciences."

    180Proof's definition above would seem to truck with this concept. However, I will describe some simpler forms of moral realism because it's easier to see how subjectivity is tamed as well as it ever can be in these.

    First, the classic "God is the arbiter of what is good and evil." Here, we have a creator of the universe. We can ignore the Euthyphro question about whether God loves what is good because God is good or if what is good is good because it is beloved by the God(s) (Plato's polytheistic context made this question a bit more tricky, because the Gods sometimes disagreed with each other.)

    In any event, God is a metaphysical ground for morality. The good or evil of an act can be judged via God's eternal response to it. An act's morality has consequences as well, objective ones. E.g., you either experience the New Earth in a perfected body or are thrown into the Abyss depending on your actions. In this way, we can envision operationalizing morality in terms of future outcomes in the very same way we would do in the sciences, granted that such theorizing would need to wait until the Judgement Day to allow for collection of airtight data. But that's a different question about our knowledge of good and evil. The point here is that facts about good and evil are metaphysically possible and causally efficacious; thus, they make a difference.

    Second, consider a more sophisticated conception of good and evil. Saint Augustine of Hippo claimed that evil is not a substance. This was his key argument in Against the Manicheas (he was a former member of that faith). Evil is simply the absence of good, an imperfection such that a thing does not live up to its essence. A hole in a shirt is not a thing, it is absence, it is rather a failure of the shirt to fully embody its essence, to live up to its telos, purpose. In such a view, it seems possible to make objective statements as to how well a thing is perfected vis-a-vis its essence. There is a fact of the matter about gradations of perfection. Here, disease is the absence of health, out of equilibrium homeostasis, 180's harm.

    Now of course, there are plenty of critiques of essence as a concept, Neoplatonism, theism, etc. and you could easily reject the above views. That is aside the point though. There are also far more complex forms of moral realism, Hegel's emergence view being my favorite. But the above are two famous examples that are, on the face of it, rational enough and which allow for meaningful moral facts as statements about the relative goodness or badness of states of affairs. From there, it's easy to see that our choices can make some states of affairs obtain, and others fail to obtain. The moral person then, does what they can, based on their limited knowledge, freedom, and resources, to make the good states of affairs more likely and the evil less likely.


    Note that explanations of morality in terms of God or essence are not tautologies. Something isn't good because it is good, but is good because of its relation to a Creator, or an abstract entity.
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    1.2k


    This is very good. I can see the immediate rebuttal being that people often disagree about how to define harm. Is a parent dragging their child to confession harming them or reducing harm, etc.?

    This isn't a problem for the metaphysical existence of objective morality. After all, mankind has frequently disagreed about facts about other parts of the natural world, and gotten things wrong, but this doesn't mean that the Earth orbiting around the Sun is subjective.

    But there is the epistemic challenge of "how do we come to know the good?" "Are there general principles we can discover that can inform us on this matter?" Biology alone seems unable to answer the question, because we have examples like euthanasia, where we might agree that it is moral to try to end someone's suffering, but be unable to justify this in terms of homeostasis etc. So, psychology plays a role too.

    I haven't thought it through all the way, but I think second order volitions (ala Frankfurt) might play a key role here. Frequently, people desire what harms them. There is a sort of reflexive freedom that is required such that people have control over their wants- that they "desire what they want to desire," as well as the attainment of "authenticity" or "self-actualization," before psychological desire begins to align well with harm. Lynn Rudder-Baker had four criteria on when a desire is free, but they escape me right now.

    So, it seems like we reach a point where furthering our epistemic ability to properly distinguish harm itself becomes itself a moral imperative. Acting justly requires knowledge, and knowledge consolidation is a social activity, requiring institutions. In this way, I think we can recognize objective moral goals, the prerequisites for achieving a perfected morality, even when the moral facts of the matter re some specific even appear hazy and subjective. And such goals aren't easy to attain and efforts to do so face trade offs, which seems to open a role for the sort of pragmatic thinking that moral realism often seems to squeeze out.
  • Alkis Piskas
    1.9k

    Why have you quoted my whole --3 paragraph, 136 words-- message, when you didn't coment on anything in it? In fact, why have you quoted me at all?
    What I can see is that you just presented your own, independent ideas on the topic ... This is how debates between leaders of political parties are carried out in Greece! :grin:
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    1.2k


    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?

    I was addressing this. Sure, if you take it as axiomatic that facts cannot be moral, then you can't have moral facts. But like I said, the term facts, or "facts of the matter" often refer to states of affairs which can be assigned a moral ranking. If that's the case, then you absolutely can say "X is better than Y," or "Z is more morally preferable than Q." I could see an argument that acts are only good or bad in virtue of the fact that we expect said acts to bring about states of affairs that are more or less just/good (and indeed I think this is a fairly common view in moral philosophy, consequentialism and all). In which case, the morality of the facts is the key player here, the morality of acts is derivative of that.
  • Bob Ross
    592


    Hello Mww,

    Not in my inertial frame it doesn’t, hence, it is not an effect on me, hence I am not affected by it.

    Yes and no: you are right that it doesn’t affect you insofar as you experience one continual stream of temporal processes, but it does affect you in the sense that your time is ‘sped up’ or ‘slowed down’ relative to another person. So the laws which Einstein describes are affecting your forms of experience, as opposed to the content thereof.

    For what you said, I said “Nope”, which makes explicit we said very different things.

    I know you think we are saying different things, but hear me out…

    I am saying:

    ‘thing-in-itself’ > sensations > intuitions > understanding > representation

    You seem to be saying the same thing, but noting:

    ‘thing-in-itself’ > sensations* > intuitions > understanding > representation

    * The reverse engineering of what was sensed does not produce knowledge of the thing-in-itself but, rather, the mere ‘thing’.

    Is that a fair assessment? Let me know where I go wrong if not.

    With your mosquito analogy, I would say that the mosquito-in-itself is whatever affecting your senses, but the reverse engineering of the in-itself from the for-us only results in a ‘thing’: the site of it, the feeling of it, etc. comprise the mosquito-for-us, and we try to extrapolate what it is in-itself from that (but really only get the ‘thing’). I am not saying that our sensations of the thing-in-itself affects it, just that, rather, the thing-in-itself is what causes what we experience of it and our extrapolation of its ‘pure essence’ is the thing (and not the thing-in-itself).

    Think of the science. For every bee sting or sweet taste there is a difference between what the senses do and what the brain does. But the brain can do stuff even if the senses don’t, and, the senses can do stuff the brain doesn’t recognize.

    But how can you appeal to science to furnish you with evidence of those two separate faculties, when it is conditioned by the forms of human understanding (i.e., experience) in the first place?

    We just love to say we KNOW the car is in the garage for no other reason than that’s where we left it. But it is an illegitimate claim, lacking any empirical warrant whatsoever. And THAT, my friend, is NOT speculative.

    Speculations based off of empirical evidence is not pure speculation. Thusly, I don’t think it is purely speculative that the pure forms of our experience is space and time, but I do find it purely speculative that we have a faculty of intuition that is separate from a faculty of understanding. By ‘pure’, I mean it is indistinguishable from human imagination (or conceivability).

    From my personal, well-worn armchair, this makes no sense at all…..

    Very interesting, I don’t see how will would be a cognition but I do see how the actualizations of its intentions are. Why would Kant think will is a cognition? Why think that when one has clear introspective knowledge that what they will appears in the representations (of the outer world)?

    Simplest explanation which says it all….if one likes K he won’t like S and if he likes S he won’t like K

    Apparently so (:

    Throw enough metaphysical reductionism at “memory” you arrive at “consciousness”, right?

    I think you arrive at the imagination, which is a part of conscious experience for sure, but not equivalent to our (outer world) representative knowledge (nor experience).
  • 180 Proof
    12.8k
    This is very good.Count Timothy von Icarus
    Thanks.

    But there is the epistemic challenge of "how do we come to know the good?"
    I do not see a basis for "the epistemic challenge". Consider my more explanatory post linked at the top of the post to which you've responded
  • Alkis Piskas
    1.9k

    That's much better. Now there can be a dialogue. :smile:

    if you take it as axiomatic that facts cannot be moral, then you can't have moral facts.Count Timothy von Icarus
    What do you mean by "taking it as axiomatic"? I take it by definition. How else could one take it? Figuratively?
    A fact is something that actually exists or is the case or has happened or is happening.
    But even taking it in the sense of "reality" or "truth", the issue is the same: neither reality or truth can be (im)moral.

    the term facts, or "facts of the matter" often refer to states of affairs which can be assigned a moral ranking.Count Timothy von Icarus
    I don't know what does "facts of the matter" mean, but if it means "states of affairs", i.e. situations, this is a little tricky, or a more subtle case. Because morality may be indeed be involved in a situation, but the situation itself cannot ne moral or immoral. What is happening in the situation can. E.g. drug dealing is immoral, but the situation of drug dealing is a fact. It cannot be considered immoral. See, morality has to do with acts, activity action. A situation is not itself an activity. It is a context, a frame of reference, concerning activities that happen in it. I don't know if this makes sense to you.

    I could see an argument that acts are only good or bad in virtue of the fact that we expect said acts to bring about states of affairs that are more or less just/good (and indeed I think this is a fairly common view in moral philosophy, consequentialism and all). In which case, the morality of the facts is the key player here, the morality of acts is derivative of that.Count Timothy von Icarus
    There. You are talking too about acts, that can be good or bad and that bring about sates of affairs. See, "bring about" means they result into, they produce something. Can that something be moral or immoral? Or only the actions that led to that something?

    the morality of the facts is the key player here, the morality of acts is derivative of that.Count Timothy von Icarus
    [/quote]
    OK, I see what is the problem here. You kind of equate "facts" and "acts". Well, although they differ by one letter, they are two totally different things.

    (BTW, I found something interesting regarding the above two words: "In the 15th centurythe Latin factum, was the neuter past participle of facere ‘do’, So, the original sense was ‘an act’, later ‘a crime’, surviving in the phrase before (or after) the fact . The earliest of the current senses (‘truth, reality’) dates from the late 16th century." (https://www.etymonline.com/word/fact))
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