Category Archives: 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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Why .9999… (Repetend) Is Not Equal to 1

I recently bumped into a graduate student in the economics department at the University of Pittsburgh, Shawn McCoy, and he brought to my attention that there are some folks who wish to claim that .9999…=1.  That is, the decimal value, .9-repetend, which has infinitely many places of ‘9’ after the decimal, is equivalent to the whole number, 1.  Any individual of sufficient commonsense and no real inclination toward contrarianism-for-the-sake-of-contrarianism will maintain that the claim is silly and move on.  However, there is a bit of mathematical prestidigitation —and that’s precisely what it is, as I will show— presents an “argument” to the contrary of commonsense.  The argument requires that we do the following:

Let x be .9999…  Then, let the left-hand side (LHS) of our equation be 10x-x.  Also, let the right-hand side of the equation (RHS) be the same, not in algebraic terms, but in numerical terms: 9.9999…-.9999…=9.  Solving the LHS, we get 10x-x=9x.  The conundrum is that it should be the case, of course, that LHS=RHS.  However, if one divides LHS and RHS by 9, the consequent value is x=1, though, ab initio, we said that x=.9999…  Therefore, some try to conclude, .9999…=1.  Continue reading

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Examining and Thinking Through “The Simplest Possible Universe”: Part II

This is the second 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 Natural Philosophy, Philosophy, Philosophy of Physics, Philosophy of Science, Pure Philosophy

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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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

Why Emergence Doesn’t Emerge and Secondary Qualities Are Not Secondary

This is the full, uncut version of the paper I sent to the Harvard-MIT graduate philosophy conference.  It is entitled, “Why Emergence Doesn’t Emerge and Secondary Qualities Are Not Secondary.”  I may pursue this project further, depending on feedback.  There are a number of shortcomings, among them being that I am not as well versed in Aristotle, and it has come to my attention (through al-Kindi, of all people!) that Aristotle’s epistemology contains the an idea of subtraction from perception to arrive at mental content.  Contingent upon looking further into this, I may add a significant section on Aristotle, or just had his philosophy, insofar as it is applicable, to the Meillassoux-Objectivism discussion.

Also posted on my blog are two papers, “Cognition as Negation” and “The Onto-Epistemic Stance,” which line up with the purpose of this paper.  If I take this collective project any further, I may look into writing a full-length monographic work for publication.

Again, this is the raw form of the paper, well over 5,000 words, and exceeding the 4,000-word limit imposed by the conference.  Nonetheless, feel free to comment.

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Filed under Cognitive Science, Epistemology, Natural Philosophy, Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Science, Pure Philosophy