• Arthur Rupel
    4
    There seems to be a difficulty here.

    Statement 1: Kant in the Critique gave a solid argument here. Remove all awareness of an object (the thing itself) and something still exists, noumena. These are the external, independent of our minds.This is a one way track: from noumena to mind to its representations to us, phenomena. All science is based on phenomena, not the true external realities, noumena (not quite what Kant may have said).

    Statement two: Science has shown remarkable capability of verification, prediction and use.
    How is is this possible if it is only the appearance of external reality (phenomena), not the external reality itself (noumena)?

    I appreciate any ideas on this subject.

    Thanks,
    Arthur Rupel
  • Christoffer
    371
    Because Kant didn't write his philosophical ideas based on modern understanding of science. Therefore, I would argue that while his ideas might be interesting and thought-provoking, they are flawed because they lack all knowledge that came after him.
  • tim wood
    1.8k
    Because Kant didn't write his philosophical ideas based on modern understanding of science.Christoffer
    There's much in this, but it implies that Kant may now be dismissed, and it's not that simple. It's akin to dismissing Newton because of special and general relativity, or Euclid because of non-Euclidean geometry.

    I'll argue this way (and Kant is no way responsible for my errors). Kant's was about knowledge. His gold standard for knowledge was science - then as now understood to be the science of nature. "But," he asked himself, "how does that work? what grounds it?"

    He noted that one theory was that nature was all "out there." But how if it's all out there can we move beyond mere observation - this being Hume's question? Alternatively, it's all a creation of the mind - but how then do we know anything of what we call nature? His resolution was through a synthesis of the two. And his answer is mocked by people who have misunderstood him and think to correct him. But they fail to recognize not that he was talking about how as a practical matter we know what we know, but how as a matter of science as a grounded enterprise. His was about grounding the Wissenschaft - science of nature, as a science via observation.

    To be sure, observation is but a part of modern science, and what matters to modern scientists is less what they observe, but rather what happens to what they observe after they do something to it. An experimental and a thinking science, more than Kant's observational science. Perhaps modern process, what do things do, than a Kantian "being" science as the effort to find out what things are.

    More to this point, it's often noted that Kant knew nothing of electrons, neutrons, protons, quarks, etc. What's overlooked is that we don't know either: we simply observe - look at - instruments. The point is that Kant is still relevant, but that science as moved on to other considerations and methods. He's not displaced, rather we've moved the ground.
  • Echarmion
    191
    Statement two: Science has shown remarkable capability of verification, prediction and use.
    How is is this possible if it is only the appearance of external reality (phenomena), not the external reality itself (noumena)?
    Arthur Rupel

    It's possible because phenomena are still related to noumena. The phenomena are in some way related to the noumena. So, if we establish a relation between phenomena, we have also established a relation between whatever parts of the noumena created them. This relationships is "true" even if it's not the objective relation.

    I like to think of it as an encrypted message. Objective reality is the original text, your mind the encryption machine, empirical reality is the encrypted message. You can analyze the encrypted message and find relations between different parts. These are "real", they represent information that was in the original message, but they are not that information.
  • Josh Alfred
    71
    Nomena = Unknown
    Phenomena = Known

    Having both is essential, as you cannot have complete knowledge of any one thing, but some knowledge of what it is. This prediction is a postulate of Gödel's Incompleteness theorem. .
  • Mww
    277


    Ideas on the subject. Or, more accurately, opinions. Or, more more accurately, a possibly inaccurate understanding of an EXCRUCIATINGLY complex speculative epistemological philosophy:

    Kant is accepted as being ahead of his time in the physics of his day, but only from a theoretical approach. That is, he theorized, but didn’t experiment, and just because some of what he thought has been subsequently established by physical science, I don’t think the modern science community attributes much of its progress to him.

    Awareness is the same as consciousness. To remove awareness is to remove the extant intuitions residing in consciousness of the object, which immediately deletes any experience of them. Removing the intuitions, however, does not remove the conditions under which it is possible to become aware of objects given from sense. These are the “something that remains” as the pure forms of intuition, of which there are only two, called space and time. They are not noumena, but pure a priori conceptions belonging to the mind, the deduction of which is both unknown and unnecessary, because no experience is at all possible without them.

    There are two ways to cognize an object, either it is given by sense or it is thought by understanding. That which is unknowable in the sensible world is the thing-in-itself, that which is unknowable in the world of thought is the noumenon.

    On empirical knowledge:
    The as yet undetermined object given to sense is called phenomenon, and that which resides in consciousness that relates to it is intuition. Imagination unites phenomenon to its intuition, from which representation of an object arises, of which no true identity of the object is yet allowed, but to which now understanding has something to relate its conceptions.

    That a determined object of extant experience can be cognized without being presented to sense is evident by the mere thought of it, and an undetermined object remains imaginable. But if an object is thought, there is no sensuous phenomenon with which intuition may be related, and therefore imagination must import a suitable object to use for the creation of its representations. Otherwise, there would be no consistency between an object of sense and the very same object merely thought. These relations are the conceptions belonging to understanding itself, and are deduced from experience even while not derived from an immediate instance thereof.
    ————————-

    On non-empirical knowledge:
    There obviously arises in the mind conceptions for which no empirical object is possible, as is the case with “cause”, “substance”, “quality”, and such other pure conceptions. Because it is absurd to suppose the human cognitive system has two distinct methodologies to cope with two distinct kinds of knowledge, but rather it is very far more parsimonious to suppose there is but one method but with distinct components contained within it, or, which is worse, we are left with the reality of only one kind of knowledge, but by means of which it is absolutely impossible to explain how it is we really do know that things like “cause” and “quality” actually are comprehensible, effective and even necessary in our understanding of the world of sense.

    Here of course, we are presented with a major problem, for we must exclude anything from our cognitions suggesting even the possibility of an object associated with an empirical conception, including the entire faculties of sensibility, intuition, imagination and most importantly, representation, yet holding with understanding and judgement, for even this method of cognizing is relational because of the type of rational being we are. It is here the transcendental deduction of, and the objective validity for, the pure categories are required, these being no more than the pure form of properties or attributes to which a concept would necessarily adhere if it were possible to think one. That is, for instance, if a thing is a cause it must be possible to conceive that it exists. If this be accepted, the method for the uniting the pure conceptions with......something....must happen, or there remains nothing to which judgement may apply, and no cognition would follow and we would have a cognition of what constitutes “cause”. Because we do think “cause”, consistently and intelligibly, it must be the case the concept relates to something. This something is a noumenon, and we have no idea what it is, but it must be something, because without it, no relation between a pure conception and a priori cognition is possible.

    Ever wonder why it is, that we can cognize a multiplicity of properties for frying bacon, but we can’t intuit a smell for it. While science rightly declares the sensory apparatus precludes this information, the philosophy of speculative epistemology makes no such intuitive distinction. One of the most obvious requisites grounding our knowledge for this particular thing, has a missing intimate component. If it is possible to truthfully cognize frying bacon while missing an important consideration, it stands to reason it is possible to just as truthfully cognize a pure a priori conception without that which makes it possible.
    ———————

    The root of the confusion:
    Empirical Understanding has a thing (phenomenon) associated with it and an unknown thing-in-itself is associated with that phenomenon. Pure Understanding has an a priori thing (category) associated with it and a noumenon associated with that category, as its unknown thing-in-itself. They are not the same, not even close, even if they share a term meant to illustrate a similar quality of each.

    For what it’s worth.
  • MindForged
    755
    Nomena = Unknown
    Phenomena = Known

    Having both is essential, as you cannot have complete knowledge of any one thing, but some knowledge of what it is. This prediction is a postulate of Gödel's Incompleteness theorem. .
    Josh Alfred

    Eh, that's a little much, even if it's close to correct. For one, Gödel's Incompleteness Theorems are really only applicable to math formalisms and more strictly, to those expressive enough to form number theory. They don't apply, for example, to propositional and first-order logical systems. We know everything about those systems*, they're complete and consistent.

    *I think first-order classical logic isn't entirely decideable though? Can't recall.
  • TheMadFool
    2.9k
    There seems to be a difficulty here.

    Statement 1: Kant in the Critique gave a solid argument here. Remove all awareness of an object (the thing itself) and something still exists, noumena. These are the external, independent of our minds.This is a one way track: from noumena to mind to its representations to us, phenomena. All science is based on phenomena, not the true external realities, noumena (not quite what Kant may have said).

    Statement two: Science has shown remarkable capability of verification, prediction and use.
    How is is this possible if it is only the appearance of external reality (phenomena), not the external reality itself (noumena)?

    I appreciate any ideas on this subject.

    Thanks,
    Arthur Rupel
    Arthur Rupel

    What is odd is Kant's proposal of a noumena is unobservable and therefore unscientific.
  • Echarmion
    191
    What is odd is Kant's proposal of a noumena is unobservable and therefore unscientific.TheMadFool

    Well Kant was a philosopher, not a scientist in the strict sense. Noumena are a metaphysical concept.
  • TheMadFool
    2.9k
    Well Kant was a philosopher, not a scientist in the strict sense. Noumena are a metaphysical concept.Echarmion

    A private world then, this noumena...

    I can't see how noumena can be talked of though. Did Kant simply posit noumena and then say nothing about it?
  • Echarmion
    191
    A private world then, this noumena...

    I can't see how noumena can be talked of though. Did Kant simply posit noumena and then say nothing about it?
    TheMadFool

    The argument for noumena is that there must be something that creates the phenomena. That is, our minds are affected by something outside of themselves. This is the noumena. Kant's point, and this is one of the major cornerstones of his philosophy, is that all that can be said about the noumena is that they *are* in some way. What they are or how they are cannot be determined by humans, as humans only have access to phenomena.
  • Echarmion
    191
    But, do humans really have access to phenomena?Evola

    Phenomena are our observations and experience of things outside of our awareness of self. As such, we have "access" to them by experiencing them.

    A scientist might notice a dark spot on a photographic plate, in one place rather than another, and conclude that the orbit of Mercury does not apparently obey Newton's laws. The phenomenon she has access to is just a dot in a particular place.Evola

    The dot is not the only phenomenon. There is a whole range of phenomena that, taken together, we call "Mercury".
  • Mww
    277

    “....
    But, do humans really have access to phenomena?Evola

    What you’re missing....if anything, really....is, it depends on how one uses the term. Science, including the Enlightenment era science of Kant’s time, usually terms natural events as phenomena, as a dot on a photograph is plate or, much earlier, Newton’s spinning bucket. As such, we all have access to phenomena just by being extant in an objective reality.

    But Kantian metaphysics does not use the term that way, it being a particular nomenclature assigned to a very specific epistemological procedure:
    “....The undetermined object of an empirical intuition is called phenomenon...”

    In other words, the scientific phenomenon isn’t a Kantian phenomenon until the scientific, or which is the same thing, the experience, is received into and processed by reason. This distinction in terminology is important only insofar as it is diametrically opposed to the even more metaphysical name, noumenon.
  • TheMadFool
    2.9k
    I suspected as much. Is Ockham's razor applicable?
  • Mww
    277


    Ahhh....excellent. You are quite correct. The whole reach of this kind of metaphysics has to do with the relational nature of human reason, to which everyone must agree. We relate everything to something, endlessly and completely. If we decide on a truth, it is only because we have determined something about the conditions that justify it. Same with phenomena; just because we think a certain way in order to arrive at them does not in itself preclude the possibility of cognizing another way, which still must be relational, but can have different manifestations of its objects. Simply put, under the terms of this theory, noumenal objects cannot be either intuited or conceived, but noumena itself remains as a viable concept because it fulfills a function within the terms of the theory. Different theory, different noumena, or, different manifestations of the job noumenon actually perform.

    That being said, the Kantian use of noumena, while not original, is by far the most developed, even if wrongly so.
  • Echarmion
    191
    But that particular dot in that particular place was taken to be a phenomenon of the planet Vulcan. If we have direct access to phenomena, how can we be so wrong about them?

    It seems more like we have only access to our theories of phenomena.
    Evola

    That objection makes no sense to me. In what way is calling the dot "Vulcan" insetad of "Mercury" wrong? The world of the phenomena is a collection of experiences. If additional experiences are registered, that world changes. This doesn't make the old phenomena "wrong", it just makes the old theories about the entirety of phenomena incomplete.

    I suspected as much. Is Ockham's razor applicable?TheMadFool

    Ockham's razor is applicable as part of the scientific method, i.e. within phenomena. I don't think it's a general principle of epistemology.
  • TheMadFool
    2.9k
    Ockham's razor is applicable as part of the scientific method, i.e. within phenomena. I don't think it's a general principle of epistemology.Echarmion

    Wouldn’t Kant have to explain why the noumena is inaccessible? What’s Kant’s criteria for accessing the noumena?

    He seems to be saying phenomena are an indirect means of getting to the noumena but what would satisfy Kant if direct knowing of the noumena is the issue?

    I ask because if he’s asking the impossible then it seems quite futile to make the distinction noumena-phenomena.
  • Echarmion
    191
    Well, the spot on the photographic plate is Mercury, where the spot happens to be was purported to be due to the existence of Vulcan.

    Vulcan does not exist, so the phenomenon cannot be due to the thing-in-itself, or the noumenon that is Vulcan.

    So, we need theories to connect phenomena to noumena, and these theories are fallible. Other examples might be the existence of the ether, or flogiston. Presumably the phenomena they purported to exhibit (which is why we thought they existed) were due to their noumena?
    Evola

    Neither Mercury nor the purported "Vulcan" are noumena though. As I said, Mercury is a collection of phenomena, as are all physical objects. There are noumena behind these phenomena, but we have no idea what they are, and they cannot meaningfully be called "Mercury".

    "Vulcan" was presumably the name of a collection of phenomena as well, but the concept or theory of a planet Vulcan fell out of favor as new phenomena were added that the old theory could not account for.

    Wouldn’t Kant have to explain why the noumena is inaccessible? What’s Kant’s criteria for accessing the noumena?

    He seems to be saying phenomena are an indirect means of getting to the noumena but what would satisfy Kant if direct knowing of the noumena is the issue?

    I ask because if he’s asking the impossible then it seems quite futile to make the distinction noumena-phenomena.
    TheMadFool

    Kant did, of course, explain. I don't know if I can do that explanation justice, but I can try.

    So the noumena are that which exists outside our self. They cannot be known by thinking alone, because that would require them to already be within the thinking subject. So they can only be known by the ways they affect us. Everything that affects us is filtered through our senses and our minds though. It is subjective. Therefore, objective or "direct" knowledge of noumena is impossible to humans. It would only be possible to a subject that knows noumena by thinking them.

    This distinction is important because it tells us something about the nature of empirical knowledge, which has implications for the interpretation of certain apparent dilemmas like the first cause or free will.
  • darthbarracuda
    2.9k
    Because Kant didn't write his philosophical ideas based on modern understanding of science.Christoffer

    But science was already very sophisticated by the time of Kant, and proved to be a reliable way of obtaining useful knowledge about the world.

    Therefore, I would argue that while his ideas might be interesting and thought-provoking, they are flawed because they lack all knowledge that came after him.Christoffer

    Although the original Kantian metaphysics does indeed suffer from certain anachronisms in light of newer developments in science and mathematics, the general idea behind Kantian philosophy remains viable to this day.
  • Echarmion
    191
    Except there is no noumenon behind "Vulcan". Though, presumably there is one behind Neptune.

    Explaining phenomena in terms of unobserved, unseen aspects of reality, is not easy. We make mistakes all the time. Currently we have perhaps three major theories that explain reality in terms of spacetime, quantum fields, and replicators subject to variation and selection.

    Gaining knowledge of phenomena is hard for various reasons, why is gaining knowledge of noumena impossible?
    Evola

    Do we explain phenomena in terms of "unobserved" aspects of reality? The way I see it, all scientific theories do is account for observations. Our theories on spacetime, quantum fields and replicators (?) are all based on the observations they account for.

    Gaining knowledge of noumena would mean gaining information that has not been processed by a human mind. This is impossible for a human mind to do.
  • Echarmion
    191
    It took 100 years for gravitational waves to be observed after being discovered in the theory of general relativity. 50 years for entanglement to be observed, and 50 years for the Higgs boson. Scientific theories certainly do a great deal more than account for observations.

    I'm not even sure you can claim that scientific theories are based on observations, rather they are solutions to problems. Special relativity came about through the problem of unifying electrodynamics with Newtonian mechanics for example.
    Evola

    Sure, theories also include predictions for future observations, that is the point of making them after all. But that prediction is based on accounting for past observations. If a theory cannot account for current observations, whatever it predicts for future observations is already beside the point.

    Doesn't the fact that noumena have been proposed directly contradict that restriction? If reason can arrive at the existence of something, be it quantum fields or noumena, then why can't reason be employed to discover something else about these things?Evola

    For "reason" to discover information, that information must be there. It must be accessible to reason. Quantum fields are observable via their effects, they are possible to experience. Noumena are not, because experience necessarily makes that which is experienced subjective.
  • Christoffer
    371
    But science was already very sophisticated by the time of Kant, and proved to be a reliable way of obtaining useful knowledge about the world.darthbarracuda

    I'm not saying he was wrong or that the methodology wasn't advanced enough for serious science. I'm saying that science is a field which builds on top of itself in order to progress. Previous findings get adjusted or changed depending on new evidence and proven theories get mixed together with new ones into a synthesis. Hypotheses clash until they are proven into theories and strange observations lay the foundation for tomorrows struggle for evidence.

    All of this leads up to the best possible answers about the world there is and that time is usually the current present time. So, my point was that in order to view his ideas with rational eyes we need to view them in the context of all the knowledge we have today.

    Before our modern methods of science, before Popper and alike, science lacked in its methodology.
    Although the original Kantian metaphysics does indeed suffer from certain anachronisms in light of newer developments in science and mathematics, the general idea behind Kantian philosophy remains viable to this day.darthbarracuda

    Agreed. The problem though is that many thinkers/philosophers take a lot of previous philosophy and scientific methodology as truths instead of parts of a general overview of the history of science. We use what works, but need to apply it to our modern understandings. One thing that I find lacking with the people who try to create hypotheses and arguments based on ideas before the 20th century is the lack of things like falsifiability and understanding of logical reasoning. Not saying Kant's ideas aren't working, just that the logic and falsifiability methods came long after him and could help improve upon his ideas. The solution to combine older ideas with new ones is using them through the methods of modern times.
  • Mww
    277
    why can't reason be employed to discover something else about these things?Evola

    Reason certainly can be used to ascertain something further about these things, these things being noumena. But upon discovery of this something new, which falsifies the theory that initially developed them, it may not be advisable to continue calling them noumena at all. As in the case of any falsified theory, the terminology of it cannot be displaced, but is usually either consequently re-named, or the conditions sustaining that old terminology are remediated.

    “....And even if we should suppose a different kind of intuition from our own, still our functions of thought would have no use or signification in respect thereof. But if we understand by the term, objects of a non-sensuous intuition, in respect of which our categories are not valid, and of which we can accordingly have no knowledge (neither intuition nor conception), in this merely negative sense noumena must be admitted. For this is no more than saying that our mode of intuition is not applicable to all things, but only to objects of our senses, that consequently its objective validity is limited, and that room is therefore left for another kind of intuition, and thus also for things that may be objects of it. But in this sense the conception of a noumenon is problematical, that is to say, it is the notion of that it is possible, nor that it is impossible, inasmuch as we do not know of any mode of intuition besides the sensuous, or of any other sort of conceptions than the categories—a mode of intuition and a kind of conception neither of which is applicable to a non-sensuous object. We are on this account incompetent to extend the sphere of our objects of thought beyond the conditions of our sensibility, and to assume the existence of objects of pure thought, that is, of noumena, inasmuch as these have no true positive signification....

    ......Thought is certainly not a product of the senses, and in so far is not limited by them, but it does not therefore follow that it may be employed purely and without the intervention of sensibility, for it would then be without reference to an object. And we cannot call a noumenon an object of pure thought; for the representation thereof is but the problematical conception of an object for a perfectly different intuition and a perfectly different understanding from ours, both of which are consequently themselves problematical. The conception of a noumenon is therefore not the conception of an object, but merely a problematical conception inseparably connected with the limitation of our sensibility....

    .....Understanding accordingly limits sensibility, without at the same time enlarging its own field. While, moreover, it forbids sensibility to apply its forms and modes to things and restricts it to the sphere of phenomena, it cogitates an object in itself (consequently not itself a phenomenon), and which cannot be thought either as a quantity or as reality, or as substance (because these conceptions always require sensuous forms in which to determine an object)—an object, therefore, of which we are quite unable to say whether it can be met with in ourselves or out of us, whether it would be annihilated together with sensibility, or, if this were taken away, would continue to exist. If we wish to call this object a noumenon, because the representation of it is non-sensuous, we are at liberty to do so. But as we can apply to it none of the conceptions of our understanding, the representation is for us quite void, and is available only for the indication of the limits of our sensuous intuition, thereby leaving at the same time an empty space, which we are competent to fill by the aid neither of possible experience, nor of the pure understanding.....”

    All that says is, if the theory concerning how we logically and comparatively think, and how our knowledge is constructed is true, or at least as yet unfalsified, there is room for things like noumena, even if we can’t use them for anything. A wheat/chaff kinda thing, sort of.
    ————————
    On science. Science of the day, that is:
    The Nebula Hypothesis, in “ Universal Natural History and the Theory of the Heavens”, 1755, anticipating LaPlace 1796;
    The natural disposition of geography for earthquakes, Lisbon, “On the Occurences of Natural Calamities..... ”, 1756a,b; the theoretical possibility for replacing religious acts of God;
    Berlin Royal Academy of Science Prize “Examination of the Question Whether the Rotation of the Earth......”, 1754a, anticipating “leap seconds” and the theory of tidal friction;
    Discredit of Newtonian absolute time, “Metaphysical Foundation of Natural Science”, 1783, anticipating Einstein, 1905;
  • Josh Alfred
    71
    "GTm applies to number theory. @MindForged
    Yes, but the number of possibilities for a single things spatial relation reaches infinity; it very functionality is potentially infinite (my theory called "infinite variation"). Its not a practical life/decision theory, though, like you stated.

    I don't know what you mean when you say, "We know all things about logic systems." Apparently I don't know them all, or even a good number of them. What is noumena to me, may be phenomena to you. XD
  • TheMadFool
    2.9k
    I don't think the interaction is all one-way. We observe the world and discern patterns and we project these patterns back onto the world. We don't simply invent stuff. We discover too.
  • StreetlightX
    3.4k
    Originally posted by @philosophy, merged here:

    "In his Critique of Pure Reason, Kant argued that knowledge does not conform to objects but, rather, objects conform to knowledge. That is to say, the subject himself imposes the order he experiences in nature. As such, the subject is not in direct experiential contact with the world. Reason cannot extend beyond the world as we experience it.

    But could it be said that the tremendous success of modern science, particularly physics, suggests that we are indeed in direct experiential contact with the world and that Kant is therefore wrong?"
  • Mww
    277


    Wouldn’t it depend on what you mean by physics suggesting we are indeed in direct experiential contact with the world? Under what conditions would that theoretically, then provably, be the case?

    The Critique, particularly the part you reference, is concerned with the possibility of a priori knowledge, hence the critique of *PURE* reason. Of course, the only way that would even be possible is if intuitions and conceptions already exist in the mind. So if it can be proved some do, then it becomes theoretically possible all do. And if it can logically be shown they all do, then the mind, and therefore reason, and therefore the thinking subject in possession of it, can not have, and does not function by, direct knowledge of the world. Direct perception, yes; direct knowledge, not so much.

    Direct experiential contact is misleading. Experience is itself not a contact, it is a process. Perception is direct contact, but it is not an experience. Direct knowledge, ok; direct experience ok; direct sensory awareness, ok. Direct experiential contact, not ok. The first two are negatives. The third is a positive. The last is simply unintelligible.

    There is no doubt The Good Professor was quite wrong about a lot of scientific things. His math for tidal friction had the Earth slowing down rotationally 1/86th of a second in 2000 years. A whole bunch of orders of magnitude too fast, because the conservation laws had yet to be codified. And being a Newtonian at heart, he would probably have embraced them. A lot of his metaphysics, if not wrong for his time, are at least outdated, re: on women’s place in social structure, the “Science of Right” having to do with ethical politics.
  • Rank Amateur
    1.2k
    agree with you both, and on this with Kant. At is core all physics is, is a mathematical expression of observation, and then expanded. You build a model of how you perceive the world to work, you change the variables to the question you are trying to answer and turn the crank. then derive some experiment to see if your predicted answer in fact happens. If is does great, the model you have works, if it doesn't time to modify the model.

    And although the math can get complicated, and the concepts can get more and more complex - that is pretty much what physics is.
  • Arthur Rupel
    4
    My major point is not the limitations of Newtonian physics but a simple statement made by Kant:

    "Physics is valid within the limits of human reason."
    I would change one word:
    Physics is valid within the limits of human awareness.

    "At the core of all physics is a mathematical expression of observation and then expanded."

    The key word is observation which is perception-phenomena.Delete all perceptual qualities, and something still exists, the thing in itself, noumena. Noumena and noumenal processes are what is there when we are not, It is the actual external reality independent of consciousness.

    That something is there, which is given representation to our minds as phenomena, I believe is a statement hard to dispute.

    We study phenomena, which are based on noumena and awareness. In a way it can be said we are studying representations (to us) of actual external realities, not these realities itself.

    The question then is how is physics so successful when in a sense we are studying what we see in our minds, not what is actually out there.

    Another point: If all that a physicist know about physics is what he is conscious of and yet we have no idea what consciousness is, then what is physics?

    Another point is consciousness is a very real part of the universe, yet we seem to separate it from physics. It is most likely that it is impossible that it can be included, but we should at least remember it is there and that a full understanding of the cosmos is therefore not possible.
  • Echarmion
    191
    "Physics is valid within the limits of human reason."
    I would change one word:
    Physics is valid within the limits of human awareness.
    Arthur Rupel

    Kant was very meticulous with his wording, to the point where to properly understand his work, you need to write your own dictionary as reference. Changing words around in Kant's works is not a good idea.

    The question then is how is physics so successful when in a sense we are studying what we see in our minds, not what is actually out there.Arthur Rupel

    The success of physics is also a phenomenon and thus "just in our minds", so there is no contradiction.

    Another point: If all that a physicist know about physics is what he is conscious of and yet we have no idea what consciousness is, then what is physics?Arthur Rupel

    We know perfectly well what consciousness is, since we constantly experience it. What we do not know is how consciousness is.

    Another point is consciousness is a very real part of the universe, yet we seem to separate it from physics.Arthur Rupel

    Consciousness is very real. But it's not part of the universe in the sense that "the universe" is constructed by a consciousness.

    It is most likely that it is impossible that it can be included, but we should at least remember it is there and that a full understanding of the cosmos is therefore not possible.Arthur Rupel

    That depends on whatever you consider a "full understanding". We cannot be omniscient of course.
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