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Ilya Startsev

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  1. Transcending Objectivism and Kantianism

    Kant contradicts non-euclidean geometry:
  2. As can be seen with an old popular thread I started on Objectivism online forum, I am very interested in putting side-to-side various philosophies, even before I learn that some of them cannot be thoroughly compared! So I would like to find out whether it is even possible to conceive of transcending Rand’s worldview with that of her well-known ‘archenemy’ – Immanuel Kant himself. I’ve spent the last two years trying to figure out this big conflict in contemporary philosophy by studying Kant’s philosophy and debating Kantians, especially on Philosophy forums, which are now, unfortunately, non-operational. So what are some ideas that I’d like to put forward to initiate this discussion? Part I: Describing conflicts First, I want to delineate the premises of my argument as conflicting characters of both philosophies. Let Objectivism take only (a) subdivisions, while Kantianism take only (b) subdivisions. General vs. specific Objectivism is general in respect to being broadly applied to most areas of life, including even sex (in Rand’s words!). Philosophy, according to Rand, is a way of living, rather than only a way of thinking (which is a part of living but not the whole). Hence Rand is more concerned with having an integrated picture of the whole rather than only its parts in isolation or abstraction. Rand’s epistemology starts with metaphysics (most broad or general field of philosophy). Kantianism is specific in respect to being narrowly applied only to thoughts concerning positive knowledge in theoretical science, moral/ethical practice, and judgments in art. Kantian way of thinking takes ideas in isolation and abstraction and only bounded by mind, representing all areas of knowledge within mental structures and through categories of thought. Kant’s epistemology cycles through itself, making metaphysics subservient to it without a possibility of deriving any knowledge about ends. External vs. internal Objectivism is concerned with external experience of reality, where it finds knowledge. Every judgment must correspond to or be ultimately derived from external reality. Kantianism is concerned with internal experience, wherein it claims to find all positive knowledge. Everything considered to be ‘external’ to mind is merely thought to be a representation or appearance structured by our mind as pure reason or inwardly directed by mind as practical reason with aesthetic judgments connecting the two reasons. Public vs. academic Objectivism is well known in general public by means of popular novels, podcasts, presentations, and audiobooks, but not among many academicians, who openly oppose it or try to avoid it. Formal discussions of Objectivism mostly occur in Objectivist journals, and Objectivist scholars do not take these discussions to established and trustworthy academic philosophical journals. Hence the nature of Objectivist discussions and research is mostly closed rather than open, in regard to academic work. Kantianism is popular among many academicians but not in general public. Kantianism is considered by many academicians to be a ‘suble’ and ‘true’ philosophy not comprehended quite enough by most others. Objective vs. subjective Objectivism follows the ethics of rational or objective egoism to the detriment of sometimes being able to develop healthy relationships with others. Objects in this philosophy precede private subjects. Kantianism follows the ethics of rational yet subjective altruism to the point of forcing others (even violently) to heed one’s ‘social’ will (especially of those in power) as if it were universal law. Peikoff describes Kantian influences on Nazism in The Ominous Parallels, and Kant himself praises the sublime in war over peace in Critique of Judgment, §28. Thus, subjects in this philosophy are not only central but the only ones, as physical objects in themselves are non-existent. Political vs. scientific Objectivism has greatly influenced the progress of politics and economics through conservatives, neoconservatives, libertarians, and even some liberals. However, Objectivism hasn’t had much effect on science. Kantianism has greatly influenced the progress of science through Bohr’s Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, Chomsky’s universal grammar theory, and various neuro and cognitive scientists, anthropologists, and psychologists. However, Kantianism hasn’t had as much direct effect in politics. Part II: Transcending conflicts Second, as a possible way to transcend these areas as it would mostly benefit Objectivism (like a stronger connection to academia in 3), I need to provide a potential idea to be built upon. My current and main source of inspiration is Leonard Peikoff’s DIM Hypothesis (2012), which is based on Rand’s epistemology, in particular her theory of concepts. What Peikoff develops in his book called after his hypothesis is a metaphilosophy (although he doesn’t call it that) specifying boundaries of all philosophies involving three categories: disintegrating, integrating, and misintegrating. As a point of contention, these are Peikoff’s words that I reinterpreted in favor of my own hypothesis: I’ve been building on some concepts from Peikoff’s hypothesis this past couple of years and have found another way (a visual method) to describe all philosophies, while also borrowing some of these terms from Peikoff. Based on my extensive research, I would like to show not only that I independently verified some insights from Peikoff’s hypothesis (as I also did a few years back for Rand’s theory) but also describe what he had achieved (and he considers this book his greatest achievement so far) as an understanding of Rand’s epistemology not as an epistemology in academic sense (which they don’t accept as such) but a meta-epistemology that transcends epistemology as conceived by Kant. If Rand’s epistemology be truly a meta-epistemology and Peikoff’s hypothesis be truly metaphilosophical, then we can use these areas to transcend Kant’s ‘transcendental’ philosophy without losing specificity required (as in 1). As far as I know, Kant never covered these areas in his philosophy. Considering that there also exists a term ‘metametaphysics’ (books on the topic: 2009, 2015, and 2016; cf. my metaphysics), maybe this so-called ‘transcendence’ can also achieve greater breadth than Rand was able to conceive, although, as speculative as all this may sound, there is currently not enough understanding of these new ‘meta’ (meaning not just ‘after’ but ‘beyond’) fields because they are on the frontier of contemporary philosophical research. Maybe we can share knowledge and understanding to see whether any of my suggestions have ground for further developments. At the end, if we reach any conclusion, we may find and improve upon the missing links required for Objectivism to hold the center stage it deserves in philosophical discussions.
  3. Transcending Objectivism and Kantianism

    I can't do anything here but agree with Rand concerning the connection between Newton and Aristotle. Yet I explain the connection differently. Both of them, although used different rules of description, accepted reality as an ontological given. Yes, Aristotle viewed reality teleologically to describe its mechanics. Interestingly, so did Newton, as he also mystically described reality in his Alchemical Papers. We can also independently verify the connection by evaluating these two factors: Kant's antifoundationalism, particularly as found in his The False Subtlety of the Four Syllogistic Figures (1762) and Attempt to Introduce the Concept of Negative Magnitudes into Philosophy (1763), meaning he intentionally contradicted Aristotle. Kant's congruence with quantum physics as seen in the ways of thinking of the leading quantum physicists: Niels Bohr, Richard Feynman, and Alan Guth. The idea is to reduce the universe to sensations being material particles, represented and structured in mathematical language. These particles do not follow laws of ontological logic. If 1 and 2 are true, then Kant contradicts Aristotle and Newton. And since we also know that Aristotle and Newton are contradicted by quantum physics, we can realign the connections, contra the academically accepted, in sync with Rand.
  4. Transcending Objectivism and Kantianism

    That's 5b from the OP. This is not accepted by most academicians. Rand's genius was in seeing that Kant is congruent with quantum physics, whereas most academicians think he isn't because they connect Kant to Newton. In contrast to them, Rand connects Newton to Aristotle, hence the opposing connections. Additionally (edit): academicians think that Newton contradicts Aristotle because Aristotle's physics was non-experimental and logical, whereas Newton's physics was experimental (empirical) and mathematical. It is academically accepted that euclidean and non-euclidean geometries contradict each other. Yet I am still confused as to why so many philosophers, like M. Schlick, H. Reichenbach, and T. Oizerman, believed that Kant's a priori space was contradicted by Einstein's spacetime continuum, which itself was similarly ideal and empirical. Kant only explicitly mentioned that a line is the shortest distance between two points and that space has three dimensions, both are factual statements in euclidean as well as non-euclidean geometries. As for politics, I think Kant is represented by the likes of John Stuart Mill, on whose political philosophy EU and, in particular, the Scandinavian model are based and whose examples are set as the goal for America by liberals. Egalitarianism by John Rawls is also Kantian in nature, hence the kind of tolerance presented by Social Justice Warriors is also in order.
  5. The DIM Hypothesis - by Leonard Peikoff

    As for the "functional sense", here is Aristotelian synergy in electrical engineering, taken from Konrad Lorenz's Behind the Mirror: A Search for a Natural History of Human Knowledge, Ch. 2.2.
  6. The DIM Hypothesis - by Leonard Peikoff

    I don't know about you, but I agree with this quote by Aristotle:
  7. The DIM Hypothesis - by Leonard Peikoff

    Because once you quantify something, it won't be the whole. What's the difference between 'every thing' and 'everything'?
  8. The DIM Hypothesis - by Leonard Peikoff

    For my Master's thesis I may choose to work on the issue of integrating post-Kantian philosophy with modern, post-Einsteinian science. It is peculiar, however, to find that not only Kantian a priori are contradicted by empirically valid non-euclidean geometry at the foundation of the theory of relativity but that also Ayn Rand is similarly incompatible with the latter theory. Perhaps there could be something with the concept of the "relativized a priori" coined by Reichenbach and exhibited in Padovani's "Relativizing the relativized a priori: Reichenbach’s axioms of coordination divided".
  9. The DIM Hypothesis - by Leonard Peikoff

    Let me rephrase that. Kant used scientific reason to oppose philosophy. Philosophy is not a science. Kant projected science on philosophy (and religion) and hence reduced philosophy to a scientific worldview, reflected in the third positivism of Frege, Russell, Carnap, and Wittgenstein, all of whom cherished Kant. Kant was a scientist and only thought of mathematics in the scientific sense as applied to matter. In contrast to Kant, Plato was a philosopher and not a scientist. He projected philosophy on science (and mythology). Mathematicians and science-minded philosophers like Cantor, Whitehead, Quine, and Gödel are in this group along with Plato. Plato was a philosopher and only thought of mathematics in the philosophical sense as independent from matter. Here is a way to connect them: Frege, Russell, Carnap, Wittgenstein Cantor, Whitehead, Quine, Gödel Rand, on the other hand, was a philosopher who wanted to connect philosophy with science without projecting one on the other. We have yet to see a science based on Rand's foundational philosophy. My guess is that this kind of science has yet to be born out of philosophy and be separated from it to become a full-fledged science in its own right.
  10. The DIM Hypothesis - by Leonard Peikoff

    Concerning Kant's epistemology, I've found this diagram on his page of German Wikipedia. Basically his theory goes through several confused and muddled stages, as far as I can understand it: first, our sense organs (Sinne) are affected, then we feel sensations (Empfindungen), then with help of imagination (Vostellungen) through time and space we experience phenomena (Erscheinungen), then with help of categories and rules of "productive imagination" (Produktive Einbildunsgkraft) we form concepts (Begriffe), and finally with help of "schemes" of the same "productive imagination" and our reason we form judgments (Urteile). Not only is imagination hereby confused with sensations, perceptions, and concepts (i.e., Vostellungen and Einbildunsgkraft), but the entire diagram doesn't follow the passage of pure reason to practical reason through the maxims and categorical imperative, the connection which would unite the thing-in-itself (Dinge an sich) with the postulates (Regulative Ideen). Please correct me if I am wrong, but this seems to be Kant in a nutshell. If Peikoff was wrong about the disintegration of epistemology and philosophy in general by Kant, then I am a tram(p) who knows nothing. To those of you who think that Kant was anti-reason, think again. He was rather anti-philosophy. His reason is way beyond what Objectivists are generally accustomed to.
  11. Transcending Objectivism and Kantianism

    Kant on rational egoists:
  12. The DIM Hypothesis - by Leonard Peikoff

    In terms of increasing complexity that is given to the problem of perception, I would rate these in the following way: Illusion (partial misperception) Misjudgment (misperception of a real object) Hallucination (misperception of an unreal object) Lucid dream (misjudgment of an unreal object)
  13. The DIM Hypothesis - by Leonard Peikoff

    I've noticed that hallucinations are not limited to their creation by brain states under hallucinogenic drugs or in schizophrenia but in us normal human beings as well. For example, I was watching a walk-through of a video game called >observer_ and I noticed a man standing on the balcony there. Then I rewound the video and noticed him again and yet realized that it was not a man, as he wasn't moving, and it was probably just light effects (which are everywhere in the game). There are two ideas here. First, Smith's (visual) kinestetic basic perceptual state, which allows us to experience perception in the first place by virtue of movement of objects in respect to us. Since this failed, I realized that the man wasn't real in the game. The second idea is that we need appropriate conditions, as well as for the place where you experience the effect of drugs (usually at night or in a specially lighted place), and in this game psychological and hallucinogenic factors are significant. I made myself believe there was a man but partially I was also convinced by the presence of a particular cluster of sense data there which I could associate with the figure of a man. Of course it would be easier to experience a hallucination under drugs, but my point is that you don't have to, and thus there is no necessary influence by a hallucinogen or a mental illness for such an experience to occur. Although hallucinations are much more rare than illusions in the normal state, they are certainly possible and occur with everyone. Concerning the discussion by Binswanger in Perception about a pencil being viewed as bent in the water: whenever we say or think that there is something wrong with the pencil and that it doesn't look like a normal pencil, it's a case of misjudgment rather than merely an illusion or a hallucination. I differentiate all three and think that all three are significant when it comes to problems of acquiring knowledge. Another, similar example is an ancient one from India: are we seeing a snake or a rope in front of us? If we look closer we notice that it's a rope and not a snake. So seeing the snake in place of the rope was an instance of a misjudgment, which is similar to hallucination in that it is also a misintegration of sense data, but it's also different from a hallucination in that a hallucinated object doesn't actually exist there, whereas for a misjudgment a rope or a pencil does, in place of what you saw. So a hallucination is a more significant misintegration of sense data because it actually "creates" rather than simply erroneously transforms an object, but such a creation still has conditions, even though these conditions are not limited to the presence of an object. Misjudgment requires an object, whereas a hallucination requires specifically colored or sensed sense data. Another thing I thought about when I analyzed hallucination is whether it could be compared to lucid dreams. In movies like Waking Life (2001) it seems like the character experiences hallucinations, but he doesn't, if we believe the scenario. We know from cases of lucid dreams (which I never experienced myself), such as in the book I Am You: The Metaphysical Foundations for Global Ethics by Daniel Kolak (an expert on lucid dreams, among other things), that lucid dreaming is a conscious state in which we think we are experiencing something that seems very real but in fact, on closer observation, isn't so. The main difference between hallucinations and lucid dream states, then, is that in hallucination we are experiencing something real (the sense data are coming from outside of our brain), whereas in lucid dreams all experience is internal and there are no sense data that are genuinely real, only thought so. Perhaps a lucid dream state is a state when misjudgment is applied to internally existing objects, so it's more complex than a mere hallucination. But, honestly, I wouldn't know unless I experience such a state firsthand.
  14. The DIM Hypothesis - by Leonard Peikoff

    Based on my personal experience of hallucination, I would say that the cause of hallucination is misintegration of sense data through association with a percept of an object that doesn’t exist anywhere other than in the head of the hallucinator.
  15. The DIM Hypothesis - by Leonard Peikoff

    Smith's third failure is his misunderstanding of hallucination. He writes: I've taken hallucinogenic mushrooms and can tell from experience that a hallucination necessarily involves actual sense-data in order to occur, so the external sense-data are "integrated" into a "percept" of an object that doesn't exist. The example he mentions is impossible for a genuine hallucination: It seems that the author has watched too many movies about pseudo-hallucinations and believed them too well.
  16. Toward new epistemology

    Besides, the only way you could integrate (or manipulate in other ways) sensations is if they were thoughts.
  17. Toward new epistemology

    This should probably be in Laboratory section, but I haven't found a way to post there, so I am posting to the next most related forum, which is one concerned with epistemology and metaphysics. I've recently been fascinated by David Kelley's philosophy of mind described in Diana Mertz Hsieh's "Mind in Objectivism: A Survey of Objectivist Commentary on Philosophy of Mind" (2003). Here is an excerpt: The idea of upward and downward causation in terms of brain-consciousness interface is really interesting and, I think, can be applied to a deeper understanding of epistemology. It would be helpful if anyone knows where Kelley elaborates on this idea, if he ever did so. Maybe since 2003 he touched upon it in any of his articles or books? Maybe it can be applied if we consider downward causation a stimulation done by consciousness in the manner of focusing as in Harry Binswanger's understanding of perception. Let me first explain some things before I go into further details. Sensation, as I define it, is a thought that is externally stimulated or excited. There are five kinds of sensation in two groups: electromagnetically stimulated (sight - photons, touch - electric force) and molecularly stimulated (taste and smell - chemical, hearing - vibrational). We may be not aware of these thoughts, such as when we sit we may not be aware of the chair and our body pushing against each other or when we close our eyes we may not be aware of all the photons that are continuously sensed in our eyes. We may be aware of these thoughts but still not focused on them. I think that focus is directly related to our consciousness, and it is the stimulation that is caused by our consciousness internally and in a downward manner. When we focus on a sensation we are more than aware of it - we are also affecting it consciously. Here is the idea: it depends on the strength of sensation whether it would directly get into our consciousness. So if we feel very strong pain, we focus on it, so it becomes a conscious experience. This can be called an upward causation. Upward causation can also occur when we think about something internally (conceptually) and we get a random thought or even a related thought but one we didn't cause with our consciousness but rather that came from a stimulation of some adjacent neurons, thus entering our consciousness from our brain, like other sensation does. I think these ideas can be related to how we perceive. If perception is an integration or synthesis of sensations, then it is also an integration of thoughts. But the question is: what thoughts are being integrated? Are we aware of these thoughts or not, are we conscious of them or not, and are they only internally or only externally stimulated? Moreover, can we have a pure perception, that is from only externally stimulated thoughts, pure sensations? I think this question directly relates to the epistemological questions academically posed: namely by Thomas Reid. Are perceptions conceptually manipulated? Kant took this important point and basically reduced perceptions into his categories and forms of intuition, whose content is sensation. An interesting point is that sensation in Reid, Kant, and also Rand is considered to be pure empiricism and not related to thought per se. But I think that by understanding sensation as thought we are not necessarily mixing it with conscious thought, as I explained. Moreover, this picture becomes more complex when we consider how sensation is synthesized by our brain and consciousness. If we are to form percepts or concepts, all agree that we must somehow synthesize sense data, that is, we need to take multiple sensations as they are co-occurring or coexistent. But how does this synthesis occurs? I think this synthesis is formed by particular processes in our consciousness. First, we focus. The focus implies limitation to what enters our consciousness. We cannot focus on all thoughts that are constantly happening in our consciousness or in the tissues of our body. Instead, we like to work optimally, so we don't go insane. However, we do not know what to focus on if we haven't had enough experience. So how we focus depends on our prior experience. We learn to focus through trial and error in order to know what are the essential areas to focus upon. But this means that concepts that we have formed affect what we focus on, and a lack of concepts affects our ability to focus efficiently and correctly. For example, American Indians never experienced ships before and so hadn't formed a concept of a ship. When Europeans were approaching in ships, Indians had a hard time of focusing on them right away. Instead, they were only able to perceive the ships when those were already near land. Moreover, they didn't even necessarily try to focus, but could have just been unaware of the ships when those were on the horizon. This issue of when our perceptions are affected conceptually can be likened to downward causation affecting our thoughts. For example, the better our concepts are of an object, the more expertly we can perceive and understand it. This also applies to external stimulation from reading. When we read a word we first get sight sensation of which we are aware, and when we focus on the word with our consciousness we start stimulating its thought inside our consciousness which relates to our memory of concepts. The accuracy of our knowledge of the concept that is expressed by this word depends on how many integrations of these thoughts we'd experienced before and thus how proficient we are in isolating essential concepts, which means the same process of focus happens not only on sensation and perception but also in conception. The second process that happens when we focus is our volition or will combining areas that we accept as essential. This is the tricky part that could lead to mixing make-believe hallucinations (upward causation) with our own ideas of what we perceive (downward causation as in Binswanger's explanation of how our concepts affect seeing a pencil bent in water). So can we purify our perception by ignoring our internal stimulation of the externally stimulated thoughts? I think this depends on practice and experience, as mentioned before. The more we learn what are essential characteristics for us to focus on (and this depends on what we do in life, what profession we choose, what we perceive more than anything), the better our essentials become. This means that our concepts change based on practice because we change what essentials we focus on. When we are children we do not yet know what areas of sensation we need to focus on, so we may focus on things that we later deem to be not essential. Education also helps us (if not just inculcates us) to form better concepts, which condition how we perceive the related objects later on. The point that our concepts affect our percepts is very important. It shows that concepts are required for us to be better observers (this especially applies in art). With concepts internally stimulated, we can become more efficient and knowledgeable concerning our interactions with environment and other people. In a way, concepts precondition our percepts, if we accept that there is evolution of our consciousness in terms of how we 'grasp' things by focusing on them and using our will to synthesize or integrate thoughts to better connect with external things. So in order for external things to be reflected better in our consciousness, we need to have a developed internal 'environment.' That is, we need to have our own concepts to help us better integrate sensations and perceptions. An interesting consequence of this is that sensations (S) and perceptions (P) that we experience vary from person to person. Additionally, concepts also vary through conception (C), depending on what your area of expertise is. Because of variations of S, P, and C, we may presume that all three are infinite in possibilities. So the next question becomes is there some area that is limited to all people, regardless of what they do or how they conceive. One way to answer this question is no, we are all conceptual beings and thus are different because we all conceive of things differently and relate them to different words. However, we find in this answer a hint that something is still shared in this infinity besides even the trivial understanding of us as human beings. Or perhaps it indeed helps that we as human beings share something that is limited for our purposes of more efficient conceptualization. We call this categories. Categories are not concepts, but instead they are preconceptual conditions. Categories are in all concepts and also beyond concepts as metaconcepts. We use categories to think more concisely, like we use concepts to perceive better. Categories are filled with concepts like containers with objects or rivers with water. In this case, categories can be viewed as the stage of epistemological development after C. All philosophers, and perhaps most people, use categories of thought. Rand's category, what she called an implicit concept, was existence. She used existence as a precondition for all concepts. Categories thus metaphysically necessitate particular ways we conceive. When we focus upon many concepts that we can summon to our minds from memory encoded in neurons, we learn that we cannot focus on all of them but only on specific ones, as the amount of units we can be conscious of from memory is limited and based on what we are dealing with or thinking about. Categories help with this as essential features of concepts that we pick out when we focus conceptually. In contrast to S and P stages, or stages of externally stimulated and internally/externally - mixed - stimulated thoughts, C and categories (C2) are purely internal stimulations, whether of downward or upward causation. In any major philosophy, C2 plays a pivotal role in structuring what we conceive. In Kant, for example, C2 are the conditions of deriving knowledge from experience (S, to which P is also reduced). To describe C2 Kant uses a lot of abstract C, which makes it hard to understand. Because there is not one C2 chosen by Kant but instead a bunch (but not all!), we can become kind of lost in his realm of C2. Perhaps what is needed is to simplify C2 further like we had in Rand. Because C2 have a limited number in contrast to the units of S, P, and C, we may think right away that why can't we simplify this number to, say, a single C2. And Rand's way shows that it can be done. However, it also shows that there can be other ways to simplify C2, based on our experience with this internal realm. I will mention how I categorize categories metaphysically just to complete the whole picture of my discussion. To select a unity among categories you need to conceive (select a word with some conceptual connotations, of course, and not a mere idea) a metacategory that can structure other categories and contain them precategorically. Such a metacategory also needs to organize other categories. For me, existence is a metacategory of choice, but not the only one. Perhaps it would help if we think not of C2 per se but C in terms of infinity of concepts. Since all concepts are organized by categories, they can also be used to understand how we can organize categories themselves. An infinity of concepts involves taking all concepts there are and trying to find basic distinctions among them. Once we think of infinity (which is a daunting task requiring much abstract thought) we cannot help ourselves but think of something singular, like a line, a unity, or singularity. To think of all concepts becomes easy when we think of just one or two. Or three, when we also include infinitesimally small and infinitely large in C. These three ways of thinking of C is how I think of metacategories. The infinitesimally small is nonexistence and infinitely large is existence, but both at the same time, as in singularity, is APEIRON, which cannot be comprehended as it becomes meaningless from the metaphysical equation of nonexistence and existence, thus continually mixed, spread through all space and time, containing all that is conceptually physical but themselves are categorically metaphysical. Nonetheless this fifth stage, let's call it A, provides a condition for C2 that is based on belief, since we already know that all our C2 are internally stimulated and condition our internal stimulation retroactively. To understand A, we reduce it to C2, to understand C2, we reduce it to C, C to P, P to S. Once we grasp each stage, we can understand how epistemology, through David Kelley's two causations, works in both directions. Any thoughts?
  18. Toward new epistemology

    I also want to stress that a sensation can be considered a thought only when it exists within the brain of an animal. Sensations also belong to plants, but obviously not as thoughts, since plants don't have brains.
  19. The DIM Hypothesis - by Leonard Peikoff

    The second and even bigger failure of Smith is his confusion of Anstoss, or "sheer force, or renitency" (p. 165), which he takes from Fichte's Not-I, with mere air (friction, resistance, pressure). Or really his confusion that he doesn't view it as such and yet takes it as the ultimate solution.
  20. Toward new epistemology

    Besides adding "or the constant noise or ringing happening in the background" to this passage, I'd also like to stress that this sensation of light or "light-show" as A. D. Smith calls it in his The Problem of Perception, is internal, rather than external, also implying that seeing darkness is a type of sensation rather than nothing. Additionally I would like to also differentiate between sensations of which we are unaware and sensations of which we are aware but not conscious: We may be not aware of these thoughts, such as when we close our eyes we may be unaware of all the internal photons that are continuously sensed in our eyes, or the constant noise or ringing happening in the background. On the other hand, we may be aware but not conscious of some sensations, such as when we sit we may be aware but not conscious of the chair and our body pushing against each other, or while living in a big city we may get used to noise, thus being aware but not conscious of it.
  21. The DIM Hypothesis - by Leonard Peikoff

    Since the above quotes may be difficult to understand, I will interpret them in order to explain why I consider this a failure on Smith's part. In the quote Merleau-Ponty meant that a thing that caused no sensations cannot exist, and Reid meant that a thing that caused no sensations can exist. To be fair Merleua-Ponty should be considered a realist and Reid an idealist, the opposite of Smith's evaluations of them. On a related note, Smith believes that insects (and presumably other animals, except humans) don't feel sensations. This is absurd.
  22. The DIM Hypothesis - by Leonard Peikoff

    A. D. Smith's biggest failure that I've noticed so far is that he thinks of Maurice Merleau-Ponty as an idealist based on this quote: And then states that Thomas Reid is a realist and quotes him thus:
  23. The DIM Hypothesis - by Leonard Peikoff

    An explanation of the cause of an illusion, from my point of view, is that a contrast causes sense data integrated into perception to disintegrate or break apart, dividing them into ones that remain unaffected because of their closeness to some features of perception and those that have changed through the contrast.
  24. The DIM Hypothesis - by Leonard Peikoff

    There are too many good points in that book, so I cannot share all of them, but here are two salient ones that at least relate, through criticism, to naive realism, which is how Oism is usually portrayed by its opponents: The idea here that the author is trying to communicate is that illusory sensation is a replacement of real sensation characterized by its conflict with perception itself, although it is contained in it because it affects perception, even though our brains modify the input as well. In other words, the difference is that integration of all sense data is not achieved when perception is "infected" (author's word) by illusion. Rather, what you get is the same as in popular illusions: there is a mix of sense data that correspond to "normal" (another author's word) perception and ones that do not, regardless of whether they are modified by our subjects or not.
  25. The DIM Hypothesis - by Leonard Peikoff

    I've just started reading this excellent, excellent book, so I am already very impressed, thank you very much for the recommendation! The only issue I have so far is with his first passage on Kant: There are two issues actually. First, from the quote, he seems to think that Kant somehow defended Newton's conception of objective space in KrV, which is false, as you've shown in your article. The second issue is that there is not little but no perception in Kant's latest edition of KrV, as I've shown previously.
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