Philosophy Class

"The Truth will make you odd."

" Kant Can't "

 

Beautiful fat cat or Glob of Green

Goo.  (see below)

         goo !

    If I only had this book years ago for my

classes.

 

Evaluation of Immanuel Kant's Epistemology by

a Charachter in

Muriel Barbery's

ELLEGENCE OF THE HEDGEHOG

 

 

In relation to Kant's  "Transcendental Idealism"

our author says in Ch. 6, "Homespun Cowls":

"...What we know of the world is what our

consciousness can say about it because of what

has been perceived. - and nothing else.

 

Let us take an example, at random: a sweet cat

by the name of Leo. Why? Because I find it

easier with a cat. And let me ask you: how can it

be certain that it is really a cat and, likewise how

can you even know what a cat is? A healthy

reply would consist in emphasizing the fact that

your perception of the animal, complemented by

a few conceptual and linguistic mechanisms, has

enabled you to constitute your knowledge. But

the response of the transcendental idealist would

be to illustrate how impossible it is to know

whether what we perceive and conceive of a cat

- if that which appears to our consciousness as a

cat - is actually true to what the cat is in its

deepest being. It may well be that my cat - at

present I perceive him as an obese quadruped

with quivering whiskers and I have filed him

away in my mind in a drawer labeled "cat"- is in

actual fact, and in his very essence, a blob of

green sticky stuff that does not meow. My

senses, however, have been fashioned in a way

that this is not apparent to me, and the revolting

block of green sticky stuff, deceiving both my

disgust and my earnest trust, is masquerading

before my consciousness beneath the

appearance of a silly gluttonous house pet."

 

So much for Kantian idealism. What we know of

the world is only the idea that our consciousness

forms of it. But there is an even more depressing

theory than that one, a theory that offers a

prospect even more terrifying than that of

innocently caressing a lump of green drool or

dropping our toast every morning into a pustular

abyss we have mistaken for a toaster."

 

 

 

Our author goes on to tell us her dread of the

epistemology of Edmund Husserl...(not our

subject for now)

 

(Just mentioned this to whet the appetite.)

 



 

 

Now some reactions from our Web Philosopher

which have been irritating her mind for decades.

 

(Take it; leave it ! Your choice.)

 

"All we know are our own ideas." is the essence

of Kantianism..

  

So taking Kant to his logical conclusion: How do

we know there are other human beings, even

our sons, husbands, daughters, neighbors..

 

Maybe they are green globs of mucus. Maybe

Brad Pitt (name your fave movie star) is a

hideous distorted troll.

 

Maybe what we see as other humans are stones.

 

Maybe they are not living beings. AND just

maybe, there is no one in existence but myself!

 

HELLO! Is there anyone out there?

 

------------------------------------------------------

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It has been said by many that Kant's

epistemology leads to solipsism.. (The belief that

"I am the only one in existence.) Which, in turn,

can lead to the idea that "I AM GOD."

 

It is no wonder that Kant's ethics is not based on

his epistemology. No one is known to be out

there with whom to be ethical.

 

Traditionally, metaphysics and epistemology

were basis for ethics, especially social ethics

which deals with justice.

 

However, if I don't know what's out there, and if

there really are no humans out there, and just

green globs of goo, how am I able to build an

ethics of justice ? For justice is "giving one his

due". And if we can't know that anyone else

exists, what due is there to give him?

 

Kant has helped build this mess called Modern

Philosophy (along with postmodern) with its

relativism and its "my Truth is not the same as

your Truth." foolishness. For the Kantian man

can't really be sure of anything out there at all.

So we children of Kant just live like there is no

one else in existence but ourselves; and those

holding Kant's philosophical position, consciously

or not, will not reproduce much, nor will they

think too much of the worth others, or their

"DUE".



 

 

Of course, Kantianism is so artificially contrived,

there had to be reaction to his fancies.

Consequently there are quite a few modern

reactions to the mess which Kant's spiritual

children have made of the contemporary state of

philosophical work.

 

These reactions involve ideologies like: Political

Revolution, Environmentalism, Speciesism,

Population Control, Objectivism, etc., not to

mention the Marxism, deconstructionism,

indifferentism,  ethical nihilism, and other older

"isms".

 

 


 Of course, these ideologies are ethical dead ends

 

 

 

which also do not honor the existence of MAN as

a special being on this earth or in the universe.

In many cases these beliefs do not seem to

concern themselves with true justice.  They

assume a materialistic Utilitarian Ethic which

demeans the value of the individual of the

human species. 

 

Besides the adherents of these "fine" theories

don't reproduce much either, so they have to

recruit from those who do repopulate the earth.

 

It takes a lot of work and a lot of money to

convert others . The American Educational

Establishment and Media are assisting in this

necessary recruiting, but they cannot rest easily,

for once there is a "convert" to one of these

causes, these converts don't reproduce many

followers either.. The ideological recruiting must

go on and on until it dies of exhaustion or

another "ism" takes its place.

 

Kant-like skepticism also ends creating people,

several schools of thought and years later from

Kant , like Penn and Teller who don't

particularly appreciate Mother Theresa. There

are also those who think works, such as saving

an single dying person from the agony of dying

on the filthy street, or retrieving a single human

fetus from the trash, are a waste of time.. They

believe in "Salvation by Politics".

 

Belief in this type of salvation, encompasses

believing that governmental laws and actions are

truly the most effective solutions to human

problems.

 

After all, governments have the guns and can

take your money, so they can work on a massive

scale. Implied is the notion that the individual is

not worth saving. The whole is..

 

One excellent student of mine, concluded after his basic studies,

"There are two kinds of philosophers. Ones who talk about the things that are and those who make things up."

 

 

 

 

...A Fictional Utopian delusion:

 

Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Fabian

Socialism, environmentalism, deconstructionism,

skepticism..

All derived from the fiction of Kant

and his like:

SOLUTIONS?

 

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