Category Archives: Kantian Philosophy

Understanding the Role of Kant’s Antinomies in Refuting Transcendental Realism

In one of my first blog posts, I posted the notes for help in understanding the role Kant’s antinomies play in the refutation of transcendental realism.  It was just a skeleton of references and bits of commentary over a secondary sources and the first Critique.  I have recently been impelled to flesh out this skeleton.  The essay presented is a work in progress.  Continue reading

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There May Be No Such Thing as Quantity in Nature, with an Example from Physiology

Some time ago, I was discussing the qualitative-quantitative divide with a friend, a medical doctor, who happens to be very interested in the philosophy of science.  The discussion became a debate, where we trying to get to the bottom of whether it was as I said, that the world is a qualitative entity, wherein the mind supplies quantity; or as he said, that the world has a mathematical ontology, something like the worldview championed by Meillassoux or Galileo.  To be clear, I was just arguing that it could be either way, with some slightly greater likelihood that the world may not have quantity in it, apart from that supplied by the mind.  By contrast, my colleague, the M.D., did not understand how it could be that there is no such thing as quantity in the world, in the sense that he could not envisage as scenario in which number does not inhere in the world.  Between us was the barrier of language and experience, which was constituted in the difference between education of a physicist —though I did do a pre-med track and have interests in the philosophy of medicine— and that of a physician.  We ended up settling on an example that is grounded in physiology.  I will set up the groundwork for the discussion, then, give the example, and, finally, provide the resolution that has come to me only recently.

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Filed under Kantian Philosophy, phenomenology, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Science, Pure Philosophy, Science

Thoughts on a Fractured Reality

There is some discussion going on in the blogosphere (and youtube) about whether the world we live in is pluralistic or monistic.  Critical Animal’s blog (click here) contains a list of some of these blog posts.  As with most ideas, I am of many minds about the issue.  While I think I would prefer a world that is as envisioned by the zeitgeist of the Enlightenment, axiomatically and formally structured from the bottom up, it is becoming very difficult to see how the world could be anything other than pluralistic.  What I will do in the following is lay out why it seems to me that the world is pluralist, and then lay out why I think the human mind has such a natural bias toward mosism.  On the latter point, I think most readers will agree with me that the commonsense disposition —the disposition of any ole jane or joe on the street— is one inclined toward a single truth, possibly slightly more nuanced, in the axiomatic manner I described; and so I will spend some time explaining why this is probably the case.

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Filed under Cognitive Science, Kantian Philosophy, Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Physics, Philosophy of Science, Pure Philosophy

The Subject-Object Divide, Corey Anton, and on the Priority Debate between Being and Knowing (Part 2)

With the conceptual baggage drawn out more fully and clearly marked, it is clear that the heart of the matter is overcoming correlationism, whose tenet of the subject-object split is paramount.  A great deal of work has been performed in the attempt to resolve the issue of the subject-object divide, which originally arose in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason.  It’s important to understand the centrality of the critical project in this discussion, because Kant’s way of resolving the debate between the rationalists and empiricists synthesized the positions in such a way as to instantiate in remarkably lucid terms, and formulating in its present form, the subject-object divide.  Perhaps beginning with an exchange between Chad and Corey is the way to go, and then following it up with a very perceptive remark made in a video (“Ontological Creativity (response to professoranton)”) by Matthew Segall, a graduate student at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Continue reading

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Filed under Epistemology, Kantian Philosophy, Philosophy, Pure Philosophy, Speculative Realism, Uncategorized

The Subject-Object Divide, Corey Anton, and on the Priority Debate between Being and Knowing (Part 1)

Prefatory remark: I will be breaking this blog into two parts, due to its length.

Corey Anton (of Grand Valley State University) recently published a series of videos (“Ontology”, “Epistemology Is a Subset of Ontology”, “A Lively Dialogue on Ontology, Epistemology, Emergence & Agency”, and “Understanding Agency (Information, Language, Literacy, Calendars)”), hosted by youtube, concerning the idea that epistemology is a subset of ontology.

 

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Filed under Epistemology, Kantian Philosophy, Philosophy, Pure Philosophy, Speculative Realism

Examining and Thinking Through “The Simplest Possible Universe”

This is the first in a series of blog posts about a work done by Dr. David Lee Cale, professor at West Virginia University.  Cale, a polymath, is chiefly a philosopher, trained in physics, political science, mathematics, economics, and numerous other disciplines, holds a Ph.D. in philosophy, an M.B.A., a B.A. in political science, and is ABD in economics, and is a notable ethicist.  The work of his being examined is “The Simplest Possible Universe,” a monograph that synthesizes ancient Greek and Scholastic styles of thinking with modern physical insight.  The work is striking, in that its brand of creativity is not common in modern intellectual enterprises.  Retaining the good sense and substance of modern physics, Cale employs modes of thinking that are on loan from times nearly forgotten.  The objective of this blog series is to deconstruct the monograph, examine its components, and assess the merits of each, redoubting where possible.  At the end, if efficacious, an attempt at resynthesis of the project, consequent upon the conceptual retooling, will be made.  Continue reading

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Filed under Kantian Philosophy, Natural Philosophy, Philosophy, Philosophy of Physics, Philosophy of Science, Pure Philosophy

Meillassoux: On the Road to Absolutizing Phenomenology

At a conference I presented at, held at Duquesne University, notable scholar, Adrian Johnston, stopped me in the middle of something I was saying.  ‘Whoa, whoa,’ he said (and I paraphrase), ‘but Meillassoux does away with phenomenology.’  What I had said prior is not important.  What is important are the words “phenomenology” and “Meillassoux.”  I really had no real clue what he meant.  I mean, I knew that Meillassoux threw Heidegger, a phenomenologist, in the correlationist brig with all the other correlationists (Kant, Berkeley, etc.), and I knew that I was referring to phenomenology qua assessment of phenomenal experience.  However, at that time —much has changed in a few months—, I knew absolutely nothing about phenomenology: nothing about Brentano, Meinong, Husserl, and the gang, and what their philosophies were all about.  Coming from the hard sciences, the reason I jumped on the opportunity to work with the Speculative Turn in philosophy was because it requires an extraordinary knowledge of contemporary and near-contemporary philosophy, which constituted a knowledge gap for me, and has done much to remedy that.  Continue reading

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Filed under Epistemology, Kantian Philosophy, Philosophy, Pure Philosophy, Speculative Realism