" Kant Can't "
Beautiful fat cat or Glob of Green
Goo. (see below)
If I only had this book years ago for my
Evaluation of Immanuel Kant's Epistemology by
a Charachter in
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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,
All derived from the fiction of Kant
and his like: