• Mww
    4.7k


    One of us has grossly misinterpreted the Critique.
  • Arthur Rupel
    13
    Kant, at the start stated the concept of the "thing in itself." Later on, one of the uses of noumena is
    what exists when all perception is taken from from the "observeables". It would seem that it is the remarkable capability of the mind to take what is utterly beyond awareness and give it an appearance in awareness. How this can happens is one of the great ignored questions.

    Bishop Berkley had previously that that it is ridiculous to believe that anything exists outside our minds since everything we see is inside our minds. God is the great coordinator. Kant got us out of this annoying statement by the very logical statement that there is a real existence outside our minds which is given an appearance inside our minds

    Kant did not write a lot about noumena other than it is there. What I am doing is simply exploring and speculating further what noumena is. This is not part of Kant. But this is an exploration and speculation of idea.I claim nothing else.

    My main point is that physics have studied phenomena with remarkable success. Physics explains, predicts and is experimental verified. If noumena is the actual external reality, it should be calling the shots. This is an contradiction of two statements that are obviously true.
  • Mww
    4.7k


    Kant is notoriously hard to grasp, so right off the top, I shouldn’t present myself as an expert by any means.

    That being said, I haven’t found anything on the removal of perception from “observables” that leaves behind anything but space and time, which do not fit the explanation for noumena.

    And the mind does indeed give appearance to that which is far beyond it. Such is called transcendental illusion and is PRECISELY why the critique was written in the first place, to direct reason to its proper domain. Kant states definitively the illusion cannot be removed because of the nature of the mind itself, only exposed and controlled.

    Explore to your metaphysical content.
  • Arthur Rupel
    13
    Thanks for the comment. I was looking a little more deeply into the concept of nonmena on Utube. One presentation gave the example of a sunset. Perception sees it as the color yellow (as an example).
    However if we look at the science yellow is in the electromagnetic spectrum I thing (and I could be wrong) in the range of 500 nm,

    Many would say this is the noumenal interpretation of the color yellow, However how is a nm? It is a measurement in space. What is space? It would be Kant's interpretation that an inherent quality of our mind, a seed, in consort with perception, to give order to our perceptions (phenomenal objects in space).

    Or space could very well be (not Kant's interpretation) of something in noumenon..

    Electric and magnetic fields were based on Faraday's perceptions and thought.
    Perceptions are representations of noumenon. The external real gives, with the interaction of the mind, the phenomenal real (what's in our minds).

    I would guess that giving noumenon a conscious representation is some how a part of evolution. Somewhat along the line evolution and maybe something else kicked in to improve our chances for survival.

    To say that what we see is really out there is a questionablel assumption. To say that what we see is what represents what we cannot see may be a more reasonable assumption

    Another Utube presentation was given by Amy HABER,The Noumenon of Kant gives a very enlightening discussion of this. Crudely put she discusses noumenon as triparte:
    1. It is the utterly unperceivable interacting with the mind to give the perceivable. The external reality and the mind interacts to give the world reality,

    One interesting point that feeling of "outside" is a mental impression (Kant). This simple short statement
    knocks the wind out of a lot of stuff.

    2. The noumenon of the I, "das ich."

    3. Tjhe noumenon of the whole (I could be wrong on this one).
  • Dan Langlois
    2
    '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.'

    Impossible to overstate this point. Maybe even more true of theoretical physics. Thus, finding the right way to synthesize these two areas is tricky. Is it even worth it? I am a fan of Kant, but even the infamous 'analytic/synthtetic' distinction, which Kant thought of as a fine way to begin, is poorly understood. Kant claimed that mathematics is synthetic, or 'synthetic a priori' judgment. This is a controversial point, and much of the controversy is about understanding what it even means. I think one would want to understand what it means before speculating about what Kant might have made of Einstein's non-Euclidean geometry, for example. This theoretical physics of Eistein is certainly a challenging and fascinating subject.
  • EnPassant
    667
    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

    Look at it this way. If we surmise that what we perceive is analogous to what is really out there we may be able to make progress. For example, if we see something moving in a circular manner we can surmise that there is something out there that is changing in a cyclical manner - not necessarily a circular manner. So our experience is telling us something real.

    Also, if we perceive something, assuming the analogy as above, we can then focus on a smaller detail of the perceived object. Then on a smaller detail and so on. We can then determine how these details are related to each other and assume that these perceived relationships between parts are also analogous to the actual relationships between the parts of the perceived object.

    This process of endless division into smaller parts should be coherent and analogous to the coherence between the parts of the object itself. If there is coherence in our phenomenological perception, down to the finest detail, this coherence can be understood to reflect the actual coherence of the object itself because the object is the source of our perception.

    In other words, if our perception is, in any way, analogous to what is really there, it should be analogous down to smaller and smaller details. We can then make a detailed map of what is really there.

    The only other possibility is that nothing in our perception is analogous to what is actually there, which is philosophy gone mad.
  • Kenosha Kid
    3.2k
    It is not necessary to know anything about noumena in order to do science. Science is limited to making predictions about observable phenomena. It does this by using theoretical models of reality, of noumena. Good theories have good models that make verified predictions. Bad theories have bad models that make false predictions.

    There is always the temptation -- many if not most scientists do this -- to identify models as the noumena themselves. This is not to be confused with people who refer to models as if they were noumena as a shorthand. But some people believe that the theoretical models known as quantum mechanical wavefunctions are as they would be if we had direct knowledge of the noumena themselves.

    Sometimes this is fairly justifiable. If we have direct knowledge of the phenomena of the noumena, such as atoms, DNA, etc., then it's reasonable to proceed on the basis that this regular, scientific universe is not so much of a trickster as to make the noumena vastly different from the models. Sometimes the theory itself is so compelling (e.g. the special theory of relativity) that one is inclined to bet that it is a good match for underlying reality.

    But, generally, identifying models as noumena is a failure of scientific thinking. Science provides insight about phenomena. It is up to philosophy whether the models are accurate depictions, and it is a matter for science to determine whether the models give accurate predictions.
  • Gregory
    4.6k
    We don't start with all mathematics in our minds. We figure math out by synthesis. That was kants point. You cannt prove there is math out there Platonically. Same with spiritual beings. Kant had a clear distinction between noumena and God, the spiritual and the material. Latter German idealists denied this distinction
  • Gregory
    4.6k
    Physicists with fat heads are saying this year that mathematics now can prove causation and not simply correlation. Hume disproved this centuries ago. I don't think physicists know any objective truth from their field. They are too Kantian
  • Kenosha Kid
    3.2k
    Physicists with fat heads are saying this year that mathematics now can prove causation and not simply correlation.Gregory

    I've never really understood this widespread detestation of physicists among philosophers. I've seen it in every philosophy forum I've been in. Whether you're interested in it or not, it's been extremely successful on its own terms. Complaining it doesn't operate differently seems no more sane to me than berating a spoon for not being a hammer.
  • Mickey
    14
    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)?
    Arthur Rupel

    Awareness of the object is distinguished from noumena, which is the thing in itself, according to Kant. Kant was very concerned with questions regarding causality. He wanted to know how we could know, for example, that the law-like succession we observe is governed by unseen causal forces. An overly simple way of stating this is, we have immediate use and awareness of mental acts. These mental-logical acts involve strict necessity. Such necessity is not observable, so in order for us to be able to apply these acts towards an observable phenomena, a noumenon must lend itself in such a way that it grounds our use of necessity. In other words, such necessity must exist noumenally in order to use concepts that we cannot observe phenomenally. So, we can infer some things about what reality must be like, as a condition on the possibility of certain forms of cognition/experience.
  • Gregory
    4.6k


    By what standard do you say science is successful. They've gone ape shot of matter and been able to make some things. Who's to say it's successful enough or that there aren't alternate reasons for how they created what they did?
  • Kenosha Kid
    3.2k
    By what standard do you say science is successful.Gregory

    I already stated that: on its own terms. Science proceeds from building models of reality and succeeds by testing those models. The more accurate the prediction, the more successful the model. The more phenomena it can predict or explain, the more successful the model. Science's predictive power outclasses anything else we know of. Those are science's terms, because that's what science is. If you want anything else, use a different tool.

    Who's to say it's successful enoughGregory

    Scientific standards. Kind of covered by "on their own terms" yet again.

    that there aren't alternate reasons for how they created what they did?Gregory

    Irrelevant. If you postulate a god, for instance, who is making all observations fit with theories that have previously and consistently made other excellent predictions (also via the god), it's still working. It's just working via a god.
  • Kenosha Kid
    3.2k


    Btw none of that really explained why there's such a widespread disdain for physicists among philosophers. I mean, even if science had massively underachieved, is that sufficient cause for hate? You say we're too Kantian? But Kant and Kantian philosophers don't bother you?
  • _db
    3.6k
    I've never really understood this widespread detestation of physicists among philosophers. I've seen it in every philosophy forum I've been in. Whether you're interested in it or not, it's been extremely successful on its own terms. Complaining it doesn't operate differently seems no more sane to me than berating a spoon for not being a hammer.Kenosha Kid

    Someone once told me that an insult only hurts if it's true.

    In the words of Graham Harman, philosophy has an inferiority complex. A few scientists have a big dick and like to show it off. A few philosophers get emotionally hurt, take the bait and make an even bigger fool of themselves than the scientists did.

    It's all very pathetic, since the majority of scientists and philosophers are mature and too busy to care about this sort of thing.
  • Gregory
    4.6k


    It could be God or anything the human imagination can think of pulling the strings. Scientist think they understand matter, but can't prove that. Kant tried to defend regularities but it all fails. I think consciousness effects matter more than we know. Heidegger implies as much. This could explain how scientist make things. There i s no relation between sciences model and reality. They are wrong to think they can model reality anyway. Their statistics are flawed too. Something as basic as whether space-time push us into the chair, pulls us, or opens up to let it rest are still debated by scientists. Your senses can't feel the laws of nature, so there I no access to them even in they exist
  • Wayfarer
    21.1k
    Awareness of the object is distinguished from noumena, which is the thing in itself, according to Kant. Kant was very concerned with questions regarding causality.Mickey

    ‘Appearance’ is a better term than ‘awareness’, as it is nearer in meaning to ‘phenomenon’, which means literally ‘what appears. The term ‘noumenal’ is derived from nous, intellect, meaning ‘an ideal object’ or ‘an object of rational perception’. This goes back to the Platonic-Aristotelian understanding that perfect forms were known immediately, knowledge of them was not meditated by sense-data.

    My gloss on it is that all we know are appearances, we don’t know how things are in themselves. And appearance always implies a subject, as the subject is the one to whom something appears.

    Kant’s analysis of causation was a response to Hume - it was exactly Hume’s attack on causality which Kant said ‘awoke him from his dogmatic slumbers’. Kant was concerned to show that the assumption of causal relations was foundational to the nature of reason.

    I don’t see any necessary conflict between science and philosophy, although I see plenty of conflicts between scientific materialism and other schools of philosophy. But some of the current leading physicists, like Lee Smolin and Carlo Rovelli, are deeply philosophically informed.
  • Kenosha Kid
    3.2k
    A few scientists have a big dick and like to show it off.darthbarracuda

    That does make sense, mine is enormous :rofl: Seriously though, was that a thing I missed? I remember the Science Wars back in the early pomo days, and that kind of went weird. A scientist definitely started that one with a (tiny) dick move, but it seemed to get forgiven and forgotten pretty quickly. Bruno Latour gave us a kicking and everyone seems to think we're butthurt over it, but we totally incorporated that stuff. The science/philosophy pissing contest I'm not aware of.

    It could be God or anything the human imagination can think of pulling the strings. Scientist think they understand matter, but can't prove that. Kant tried to defend regularities but it all fails. I think consciousness effects matter more than we know. Heidegger implies as much. This could explain how scientist make things. There i s no relation between sciences model and reality. They are wrong to think they can model reality anyway. Their statistics are flawed too. Something as basic as whether space-time push us into the chair, pulls us, or opens up to let it rest are still debated by scientists. Your senses can't feel the laws of nature, so there I no access to them even in they existGregory

    I'm not even sure any of that is coherent, and I'm even less convinced it's a case for actually disliking a group of people. Personally I find consciousness overrated, but we have an interpretation of 50% of the theoretical keystones of modern physics that puts way too much emphasis on the importance of consciousness. Sounds like you'd be in your element. "[N]o relation between sciences model and reality"? Really? If a model 100% of the time in 100% of circumstances predicts what a real thing does, there's no relation? You sure? And what does curved spacetime have to do with statistics?
  • Gregory
    4.6k
    The model has plenty of irrelevant math and it's basic.principles are analogies of nature
  • Gregory
    4.6k
    They say "we just need to change the math a little on that one", admitting that they are changing, not describing, nature, which may be indescribable
  • Gregory
    4.6k
    Imo scentists are sorcerers and philosophers are the unbiased thinkers. The former looks for games to play ( that's their psychology), the latter quest for truth. The general philosophical system of African philosophy would probably agree with me. Ey moderns
  • Gregory
    4.6k
    One last point, a scientist should say "if memory serves i saw the objects fall at the same rate ten times." To say " objects fall at the same rate" is to adopt objects as platonic objects.
  • Mickey
    14


    I would add that we can't know things in themselves apart from the manner in which they appear to us, according to Kant, but we can infer that certain realities, such as causal forces and free will must exist (metaphysical certainty), as conditions on the possibility of the types of things that appear to us. I think this is essential to Kant's position as a whole.

    In response to Hume's analysis, Kant argued that we never observe causal forces, we infer they exist based on the strict, law-like successive order in the phenomena. Although we never observe necessary connections in the succession, we apply our a priori concepts which involve necessity and logic. However, the fact that we are able to apply these concepts and recognize causal force implies that such causal forces must exist and ground the phenomena, as a condition on the possibility of our experience of them. So, Kant is in agreement with the standard scientific viewpoint in many regards, and in disagreement with hard materialists and other philosophers on this issue.
  • Wayfarer
    21.1k
    Totally agree, well put. :up:
  • _db
    3.6k
    The science/philosophy pissing contest I'm not aware of.Kenosha Kid

    I had in mind the "new atheist" thing and counter-thing, which seemed to generate some pissing.
  • prothero
    429
    From Steven Shaviro:
    For Hume, ‘all events seem entirely loose and separate. One event follows another; but we never can observe any tie between them. They seem conjoined but never connected.’4 It is true that we often
    observe the ‘constant conjunction’ of certain events. But correlation is not causation, and we cannot legitimately infer from the former to the latter. Hume concludes that the ‘idea of a necessary connexion among events’ arises only because ‘the mind is carried by habit’ to expect a second, associated
    event when it encounters the first.

    Kant, of course, endeavours to overcome Hume's scepticism by means of a transcendental argument. We cannot do without causality. If relations of cause and effect cannot be found in sense-data themselves, as Hume maintains, then they must inhere in ‘our ways of thought about the data’ (S 37). For Kant, causality is rescued as an a priori category of understanding. If we were not able to organise the sense-data we receive according to the laws of cause and effect, Kant says, then we would scarcely be able to have subjective experience at all.

    From Wikipedia
    “ In metaphysics, a noumenon (/ˈnuːmənɒn/, UK also /ˈnaʊ-/; from Greek: νoούμενον) is a posited object or event that exists independently of human sense and/or perception.[1] The term noumenon is generally used when contrasted with, or in relation to, the term phenomenon, which refers to anything that can be apprehended by or is an object of the senses. Immanuel Kant used noumenon to refute idealism, that the noumenal world may exist, but remains unknowable through human senses.[2] In Kantian philosophy, the unknowable noumenon is often linked to the unknowable "thing-in-itself" (in Kant's German, Ding an sich), although how to characterize the nature of the relationship is a question still open to some controversy.”

    From Stephen Hawking
    “If what we regards as real depends on our theory, how can we make reality the basis of our philosophy? But we cannot distinguish what is real about the universe without a theory. I therefore take the view, which has been described as simple-minded or naïve, that a theory of physics is just a mathematical model that we use to describe the results of observations… Beyond that it makes no sense to ask if it corresponds to reality, because we do not know what reality is independent of theory.”

    I think both Kant and Hawking would object to the notion that the models of science get us direct access to reality itself. Scientific models are good in so far as they allow us to make predictions. That does not allow us to say that science gives us an entirely, complete, adequate or satisfactory model of all of our experience of the world or of reality itself.
  • Kenosha Kid
    3.2k
    I think both Kant and Hawking would object to the notion that the models of science get us direct access to reality itself. Scientific models are good in so far as they allow us to make predictions. That does not allow us to say that science gives us an entirely, complete, adequate or satisfactory model of all of our experience of the world or of reality itself.prothero

    :up:
  • Kenosha Kid
    3.2k
    I had in mind the "new atheist" thing and counter-thing, which seemed to generate some pissing.darthbarracuda

    That's quite a recent thing, though, isn't it. The dislike seems older than that. And it's a pro-science rather than intra-physics thing. They quote Bertrand Russell a lot too. :grin:

    If it's the atheism generally of science that's responsible, that wouldn't surprise me at all. Gregor's beef isn't obviously a religious one in the normal sense, though the idea that science might be wrong not in any pragmatic sense but because it's based on the wrong book (Kantism rather than Humism) is very familiar.

    They say "we just need to change the math a little on that one", admitting that they are changing, not describing, nature, which may be indescribableGregory

    That really is too silly. Of course scientists don't believe they're changing reality by changing its models. They're improving their models to better predict real phenomena. It's a self-correcting discipline.
  • Mww
    4.7k
    Kant claimed that mathematics is synthetic, or 'synthetic a priori' judgment. This is a controversial point, and much of the controversy is about understanding what it even means.Dan Langlois

    What he means by it is given in a few short sections of the introduction and is relatively easy to understand. The problem since, isn’t the understanding of it, but whether or not it is the case. And because it is contained in a theoretical domain, transcendental philosophy, it must be completely legitimate within that domain, but may not stand outside it. Quine, I think, being the most vocal antagonist, Frege and Carnap being favorable towards it.

    More important than all that, was why Kant developed that thesis to begin with, what it was the groundwork for, the whole intent of this entirely novel metaphysics. That mathematics is synthetic is beside the point of whether a priori cognitions are possible, and if so, whether they are necessary. And THAT is the alleged “dogmatic slumber”.
    ——————

    what Kant might have made of Einstein's non-Euclidean geometry,Dan Langlois

    In Kant’s time, a good horse dictated one’s top speed. Trains were in their infancy, their import and longevity yet to be established. If he’d made it just another few years, he might have been the one to notice tossing an object out the window of his railcar didn’t appear anywhere near the same to him as it did to his manservant watching him ride away. The guy was a peer-reviewed scientist after all, even if his legacy is philosophy.
    —————-

    I am a fan of Kant......Dan Langlois

    ....which is always a good thing, but do yourself a favor and forget those damned cursed noumena; they have no place in Kantian epistemology except as a placeholder for that which isn’t. And when you read his texts, and find the one or two instances where he actually calls noumena a thing-in-itself, it is most important to take it in context, for he explicitly states elsewhere, noumena are nothing whatsoever for us as humans.
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