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So, I've been wondering this for a while, and having stumbled upon this forum, figured it would be a good place to ask it: What exactly is the reason objectivists dislike Kant so strongly?

A couple more things (some of the reasons I have found previous answers useless):

1) Please only answer this if you have /actually read/ Kant him, even something as simple as the Grounding (Groundwork) would probably do, if you have just read other people talking about him don't bother answering. Believe it or not, I can read, and I find the party line in your Lexicon unenlightening.

2) Don't just cite the conclusion's of Kant's arguments, I realise he reaches different conclusions than you lot do, what I want to know is where exactly in his process do you lot disagree, and why.

3) If you are going to call Kant anti-reason, have some serious support for that claim. (One of the primary criticisms of Kant in the history of philosophy is that he focuses on rationality far too much.)

4) If you are going to attack his claims regarding the noumenal, please present a working alternative.

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4) If you are going to attack his claims , please present a working alternative.

His claims regarding the noumenal are arbitrary. I don't need to present anything to attack them, except maybe explain why they are arbitrary. (at least not on this forum, on your forum you could of course make up your own rules of who can argue with you and how)

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His claims regarding the noumenal are arbitrary. I don't need to present anything to attack them, except maybe explain why they are arbitrary.

First off, please don't mis-quote me, you cant take things out of context and keep the same meaning, much less chop up a single sentence. That particular statement I made was limited in scope to the argument concerning the noumenal, and it is a perfectly reasonable thing to ask, as it's an epistemological concern.

His claim (at least the one to which I was referring, I guess my statement could be kinda ambiguous) is, quickly summarized, that you can't know the noumenal from the phenomenal, and that the phenomenal is all we can know through the senses (definitionally). The form of this particular issue (the thing I was talking about when asking for an alternative) would be how can you know something in-itself? I'd be interested in you guy's answer to this question, but didn't ask it just because it's kinda tangential to my main question thus I don't really want to get into it here except as it relates to my primary question, and I didn't want to put words in you guy's mouths (that is, assuming you guys would make that claim).

His philosophy. Please ask that question only if you have actually read what Rand said about Kant. And also read the forum rules.

There really isn't much else discussed in regards to Kant other than his philosophy, I think it's fairly evident that that is what my question was about. I have read Rand, I just didn't find anything in her writings that satisfactorily explained to me why she felt the way she did about Kant, that's why I'm /asking/ you guys. Additionally I did read the rules, and I see no violation thereof in my post, if you have a concern, then could you be a bit more specific?

Reason for Edit: Making the bbcode work

Edited by Tiberious726
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First off, please don't mis-quote me,

That was accidental. My spell checker must've whacked that word, I guess it never heard of Kant. I did answer the original post though, so misquoting you on purpose would've been pointless.

His claim (at least the one to which I was referring, I guess my statement could be kinda ambiguous) is, quickly summarized, that you can't know the noumenal from the phenomenal, and that the phenomenal is all we can know through the senses (definitionally).

His claim is that "there is a noumenal, that you can't know". If we can't know, then how does he know? The answer is that he doesn't, he's just making an arbitrary claim, same as the other God people.

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His claim is that "there is a noumenal, that you can't know". If we can't know, then how does he know? The answer is that he doesn't, he's just making an arbitrary claim, same as the other God people.

Well, actually he says that the phenomenal (which we can know) implies the noumenal, as one needs to have objects (the noumenal) before one can have relations between them (the phenomenal). So, he does have some basis for claiming this (I wouldn't agree with him, but for metaphysical reasons).

Additionally, one can claim that something is outside of knowledge without knowing it... actually that's kinda the point, if he did know the noumenal, then he could hardly claim it to be outside of knowledge. (An analogy (at a smaller scale than the entirety of knowledge so its easier to see the form of the claim): the beauty of a poet's words is outside the realm of logical knowledge (this is a logical piece of knowledge (in that it can be translated into a logical language)).)

Since no other point has come up, might as well pursue this one a bit. As an objectivist, you believe we can have objective knowledge of the world, that is knowledge of things-in-themselves (the noumenal), how exactly do we obtain this?

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Since no other point has come up, might as well pursue this one a bit. As an Objectivist, you believe we can have objective knowledge of the world, that is knowledge of things-in-themselves (the noumenal), how exactly do we obtain this?

There is no evidence whatsoever for the noumenal, so it is arbitrary to even talk about it. Regarding things-in-themselves, there is no such thing. Perception gives us reality the way it really is; there is no underlying really real stuff, noumenal or otherwise. We observe the really real stuff with our senses. All the knowledge that we have is accurate, so long as we base it on what is observed and rationally integrate from there.

What Kant was doing was driving a wedge between man's mind and existence; of trying to claim there was a really real stuff that we couldn't observe and couldn't understand in any way whatsoever. This is evil, because it makes all of man's knowledge superfluous; of not really being about reality. However, man does observe reality and he does know it objectively -- with his senses and with his rational mind based upon sensory evidence.

No, Kant was not overly rational, as you claim. He wasn't rational at all because he never gave one shred of evidence for any of his claims. It's all a big fantasy, with no grounds whatsoever.

And, yes, I have read Kant -- I studied him while I was getting my BA in philosophy. He took every skeptical claim against man's type of knowledge and fashioned it into a pseudo-system that went completely against rationality. That's why we consider him to be evil.

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There is no evidence whatsoever for the noumenal, so it is arbitrary to even talk about it. Regarding things-in-themselves, there is no such thing. Perception gives us reality the way it really is; there is no underlying really real stuff, noumenal or otherwise. We observe the really real stuff with our senses. All the knowledge that we have is accurate, so long as we base it on what is observed and rationally integrate from there.

So it would be fair to say that you are making the Russell-eque claim that the world itself is really comprised of sense-data? Also, could you explain how your view is distinct from idealism (the philosophical school, not the whole optimistic thing)? Same way as Russell, or do you have a different mechanism?

What Kant was doing was driving a wedge between man's mind and existence; of trying to claim there was a really real stuff that we couldn't observe and couldn't understand in any way whatsoever. This is evil, because it makes all of man's knowledge superfluous; of not really being about reality. However, man does observe reality and he does know it objectively -- with his senses and with his rational mind based upon sensory evidence.

This is an appeal to unpalatable consequences, could you explain what exactly makes Kant's argument wrong, other than your disagreement with the conclusion? What exactly makes it wrong? (insisting the opposite is true, without support is really rather unconvincing btw)

No, Kant was not overly rational, as you claim. He wasn't rational at all because he never gave one shred of evidence for any of his claims. It's all a big fantasy, with no grounds whatsoever.

There is a difference between being rational and being empirical. Being empirical requires evidence in the form of real world observations. Being rational requires deduction from premises, which he does a lot, for example his categorical imperative is based on the law of non-contradiction and universality, both of which are incredibly important concepts to reason. (Dont misunderstand me, I disagree with his particular rational system, but I don't see how you can call it irrational, could you explain your claim some more?)

And, yes, I have read Kant -- I studied him while I was getting my BA in philosophy. He took every skeptical claim against man's type of knowledge and fashioned it into a pseudo-system that went completely against rationality. That's why we consider him to be evil.

Ok.... could you back up that interpretation? The way I, and the majority of the philosophical community, and Kant himself interpret what he was doing is an attempt to save things like scientific knowledge from being consigned to the flames, as suggested by Hume (specifically by the idea of a priori synthetic knowledge). Could you say, show where his system violates rationality?

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The way I, and the majority of the philosophical community, and Kant himself interpret what he was doing is an attempt to save things like scientific knowledge from being consigned to the flames, as suggested by Hume (specifically by the idea of a priori synthetic knowledge). Could you say, show where his system violates rationality?

Kant violated rationality because he never gave any evidence for any of his claims -- that is he never referred to facts. We observe reality with our senses and then our mind can abstract out similarities and form them into concepts. Without observation, there is no rationality and there is no logic. Logic is the non-contradictory identification of the facts of reality as given by observation. There is no such thing as logic without observation -- there is no a priori logic, no logic prior to observation. If deductive logic is not based upon the facts of reality, then it is a floating abstraction -- not tied to reality in any way whatsoever, which is the way Kant's whole system was presented. Kant's philosophy is not rational at all, because there is no factual evidence presented.

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Additionally I did read the rules, and I see no violation thereof in my post, if you have a concern, then could you be a bit more specific?
I'm just letting you know that the purpose of this forum is to discuss Ayn Rand's philosophy, not Kant's, and that using this forum to promulgate Kantian philosophy is contrary to the purpose of the forum. In additional, expressions like "party line" are insulting, and (unjust) insults are a violation of forum rules. If yo had egregiously violated the rules, you would know.
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So, I've been wondering this for a while, and having stumbled upon this forum, figured it would be a good place to ask it: What exactly is the reason objectivists dislike Kant so strongly?

A couple more things (some of the reasons I have found previous answers useless):

Okay, let's see if I meet your qualifications...

1) Please only answer this if you have /actually read/ Kant him

I don't know what it means to /actually read/ Kant him, aber ich habe die meisten Werke von Kant im Original gelesen, which I suppose is a good substitute for what you are looking for.

2) Don't just cite the conclusion's of Kant's arguments

Don't cite the conclusion's what? Or do you mean don't cite the conclusions? Anyway, don't worry, I won't cite anything.

3) If you are going to call Kant anti-reason, have some serious support for that claim. (One of the primary criticisms of Kant in the history of philosophy is that he focuses on rationality far too much.)

So I take it you agree with the criticisms? If yes, you probably won't like any answer that includes "far too much" rational argumentation. No problem, I'll make sure to keep it on the level a three-year old can understand.

4) If you are going to attack his claims regarding the noumenal

Okay, I'll stick to attacking his claims regarding the pheonomenal, if anything.

With that out of the way, back to your question:

What exactly is the reason objectivists dislike Kant so strongly?

His philosophy.

Hope that helps...

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Kant violated rationality because he never gave any evidence for any of his claims -- that is he never referred to facts. We observe reality with our senses and then our mind can abstract out similarities and form them into concepts. Without observation, there is no rationality and there is no logic. Logic is the non-contradictory identification of the facts of reality as given by observation. There is no such thing as logic without observation -- there is no a priori logic, no logic prior to observation. If deductive logic is not based upon the facts of reality, then it is a floating abstraction -- not tied to reality in any way whatsoever, which is the way Kant's whole system was presented. Kant's philosophy is not rational at all, because there is no factual evidence presented.

"a posteriori logic" is a self-contradictory term... Logical validity is about what is /necessarily/ true regardless of experience, thus it is definitionally a priori. It is about what propositions _must_ be true if certain other propositions are true. Saying that "Logic is the non-contradictory identification of the facts of reality as given by observation" would allow for things like the two statements "the grass is green" and "the sky is blue" to be considered logical. They aren't, they are just two propositions, floating out there. Logic is a system of relating propositions. Things like "All men are mortal" "Socrates is a man" therefore "Socrates is mortal" are logical systems. If you disagree with this, could you explain your view, and the reasons thereof more?

(As a side question, where did you get your BA in philosophy you mentioned earlier? I'm not ripping on you or anything with this question, I'm just rather curious because most departments with which I am familiar (in the US and England at least) really tend to focus on logic a lot)

Also, could you answer my first question in my previous post? I think that would definitely serve to elucidate you guys' stance for me.

I'm just letting you know that the purpose of this forum is to discuss Ayn Rand's philosophy, not Kant's, and that using this forum to promulgate Kantian philosophy is contrary to the purpose of the forum.

How objectivism responds Kantian philosophy is still about objectivism. The same way in a course on say, Rousseau, when you discuss how his ideas respond to Locke's ideas, you are still studying his ideas, and if anything gaining deeper insight into their particularities.

His philosophy.

Hope that helps...

Wow.... with insights as penetrating as that one, I don't see how you lot could possibly be viewed as a bunch of posturing adolescents who have no idea what they are talking about.

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Wow.... with insights as penetrating as that one, I don't see how you lot could possibly be viewed as a bunch of posturing adolescents who have no idea what they are talking about.

Space is not a conception which has been derived from outward experiences. For, in order that certain sensations may relate to something without me (that is, with something which occupies a different part of space from that in which I am); in like manner, in order that I may represent them not merely as without of and near to each other, but also in separate places, the representation of space must already exist as a foundation. Consequently, the representation of space cannot be borrowed from the relations of external phenomena through experience; but on the contrary, this external experience is itself only possible through the said antecedent representation.

Space then is a necessary representation a priori, which serves as the foundation of all external intuitions.

-Critique of Pure Reason, Part I, Section 1

Time is not an empirical conception. For neither coexistence nor succession would be perceived by us, if the representation of time did not exist as a foundation a priori.

-ibid., Section 2

Thus does Kant lay down the foundation of the metaphysical unreality of space and time, and thus of all perceptions and entities.

Note, he assumes that any aspect of metaphysical reality must be directly perceived or else be the representation of a priori knowledge. He evades, and in fact dismisses, the possibility of working "backwards" from sensation, to perception, to conception, to reality. An infant senses a chaos of unconnected visual inputs. Through trial and error, those inputs are brought into focus and he distinguishes blobs, which he tracks with his eyes. By continuous integration of his sensations and perceptions, he perceives shapes, then the positions of those shapes. He perceives that things are in front of, or behind, to the right or to the left of, above or below, other things. Then he conceptualizes the idea that things are closer or farther from each other and from himself. Distance and direction become concepts which help him integrate the relationships between things. Finally, the concept of space, which is the possibility of infinite potential distances and directions evolves as a tool of integration. Kant assumes that space must be an a priori representation, because we think of all things as existing "in space." He therefore concludes that the existence of all things, since they are conceived as existing in the conception we call "space" must also be dependent on a priori representations, and not on any absolute metaphysical reality.

Likewise, time, in his view must be either directly perceived, or must be an a priori representation. It can not be the conceptual result of perceiving that something was just there, and now it's gone, and, oh look, it's back again. How can it be there and not there at the same.... ah, time!

Clearly he is missing/evading something. And as his thesis is to argue that perceived reality is no more absolute than mystical reality, i.e., that God and heaven exist even though they can not be directly perceived, it is clear that he makes every effort to evade the reality of the physical world in favor of the mystical. If you doubt that that is what Kant was striving for (and which diverted him away from logic and reason), I leave you with two quotes from the ultimate chapter of the same work...

It is very remarkable, although naturally it could not have been otherwise, that, in the infancy of philosophy, the study of the nature of God, and the constitution of a future world, formed the commencement, rather than the conclusion, as we should have it, of the speculative efforts of the human mind...

If my reader has been kind and patient enough to accompany me on this hitherto untraveled route, he can now judge whether, if he and others will contribute their exertions towards making this narrow foot-path a high-road of thought, that, which many centuries have failed to accomplish, may not be executed before the close of the present - namely, to bring Reason to perfect contentment in regard to that which has always, but without permanent results, occupied her powers and engaged her ardent desire for knowledge.

Kant is a mystic. Mysticism is the basis of most evil in the world. Objectivists strongly dislike evil.

Get it?

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@Agrippa1: First off, thanks for the reply, this is the kind of thing I was looking for.

Thus does Kant lay down the foundation of the metaphysical unreality of space and time, and thus of all perceptions and entities.

How exactly does treating space and time as a priori conceptions make them unreal? They are the way we organize our knowledge, the way we understand our perceptions, for him they are very real.

He evades, and in fact dismisses, the possibility of working "backwards" from sensation, to perception, to conception, to reality.

No, because within a perception, there is only the content of that perception. Within an infant's sight there are only blobs of colour, there is nothing he sees that is "space". Thus the idea of space cannot be a component of his perceptions. It is rather the way he orders his perceptions in order to understand them.

Kant would entirely agree with that story you told about how an infant gets the idea of space, except he sees no reason to assume that "concepts which help him integrate the relationships between things" (as you put it) exist in the outside world. In fact, simply by virtue of them being concepts they have to exist solely in your mind. (The same applies to time.)

So, on what basis do you lot hold these _concepts_ to be components of the world, instead of our understanding thereof?

And as his thesis is to argue that perceived reality is no more absolute than mystical reality

No... not at all... his thesis, at least in the first critique (which is what we have been talking about here) is to understand how how reason works, and what it's limits are. (Mostly this was a reply to Hume, who argued everything must consist solely of the principle of non-contradiction or empirical observation, Kant argued against this, and thus tried to save things like the theory of general relativity (obviously this wasn't around in his time, but its the kind of thing Hume would have been against))

Kant is a mystic.

Kant was most certainly _not_ a mystic, Mysticism is the belief that reality is really a indivisible whole, and that we, when trying to rationally apprehend it, break it up into chunks and thus make it something other than what it really is, and thus direct, irrational experience is the only way to truly know the world (F H Bradley is an example of this view). Kant argued that exact opposite, that in order to know anything we have to subsume it under one or more of the 12 categories of the understanding. He's as anti-mystic as it gets.

Also, why do you think mysticism is evil? (I think you might being using evil in a different way than it is commonly used, could you explain it?)

Edited by Tiberious726
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How objectivism responds Kantian philosophy is still about objectivism. The same way in a course on say, Rousseau, when you discuss how his ideas respond to Locke's ideas, you are still studying his ideas, and if anything gaining deeper insight into their particularities.
So to reduce the issue to its simplest form, exactly which aspects of Rand's position on Kant do you not understand?
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Saying that "Logic is the non-contradictory identification of the facts of reality as given by observation" would allow for things like the two statements "the grass is green" and "the sky is blue" to be considered logical. They aren't, they are just two propositions, floating out there. Logic is a system of relating propositions. Things like "All men are mortal" "Socrates is a man" therefore "Socrates is mortal" are logical systems. If you disagree with this, could you explain your view, and the reasons thereof more?

Logic, in Objectivism, means to have your own mind being consistent with reality; and there are no conceptual or logical a priori structures in the mind. Under Objectivism, to correctly identify a fact of reality is to be logical, so saying the sky is blue and saying that grass is green is to be logical. If one said that the sky was brown or that grass was purple, and this contradicted observation, then one would be illogical.

I think to answer your query about Russel, no reality is not composed of pieces of perception -- in Objectivist existence exists prior to perception and one's perception or observation does not make something what it is. Something is what it is and we observe that something with our senses. Our eyes do not create reflective surfaces nor do they create the light -- those objects exist and we observe them. The senses are not creative but rather reactive to stimuli.

To answer a further question you asked someone else after your reply to me, Kant is mystical because he does not present any evidence for his claims. He does not make any observations and then logically show that there is a noumenal world out there; just as Christians claim there is a God without referring to any factual evidence.

Mysticism -- considering something for which one has no evidence -- is the most irrational thing anyone can do; and in Objectivism, the irrational is evil. In other words, to believe in God or to believe in the noumenal world without any evidence and with plenty of evidence that the world as we observe it is the real world and that it behaves by natural process is to deny the logical and embrace the illogical; and we consider that to be such a huge vice that it is evil.

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Logic, in Objectivism, means to have your own mind being consistent with reality; and there are no conceptual or logical a priori structures in the mind. Under Objectivism, to correctly identify a fact of reality is to be logical, so saying the sky is blue and saying that grass is green is to be logical. If one said that the sky was brown or that grass was purple, and this contradicted observation, then one would be illogical.

Wow... that's one weird definition of logic... And would definitely explain why so many objectivist claims seem so nonsensical to me. Why do you lot pick that definition? How is it any different than pure (non-logical (the traditional definition here)) empiricism?

Also, two questions of it's implications: 1) Does this mean that you guys don't believe in what is traditionally called logic? 2) Would being a creature of pure logic, for you guys, be the same thing as possessing all knowledge in the universe?

Also, lets say one of my peers decided to tint my glasses green while I was asleep one night, then I look at my wall the next morning, without knowing about my glasses new property, and say that it is green. Would that statement be illogical? If so, how do you know that any of your statements are ever /truly/ logical? (your definition of logical here) We could extend this to a whole population (living on some island), lets say everyone's eye's made things that look white to us, green to them. Are their observations illogical? If so, how would they know? Additionally, how do we know that our observations are not illogical? (btw... this definition of logical is just weird to use...)

I think to answer your query about Russel, no reality is not composed of pieces of perception -- in Objectivist existence exists prior to perception and one's perception or observation does not make something what it is. Something is what it is and we observe that something with our senses. Our eyes do not create reflective surfaces nor do they create the light -- those objects exist and we observe them. The senses are not creative but rather reactive to stimuli.

So are you saying we observe the objects in themselves with our senses? (implied by "Something is what it is and we observe that something with our senses") Aren't we simply observing the light bouncing off the reflective surface, not the surface itself? (this becomes a big issue with things like quantum mechanics, where bouncing electrons have sufficient energy to change things drastically.) If we only ever observe what bounces off the surface, how can we say we have any knowledge of the surface itself, other than how things tend to bounce off it?

He does not make any observations and then logically show that there is a noumenal world out there; just as Christians claim there is a God without referring to any factual evidence.

Ok, but can't this same criticism be turned back against you? Do you have any empirical (or "logical" to use your definition) reason to believe that only the empirical is valuable? Or is this an a priori, metaphysical belief that you accept without empirical proof? If you do have empirical proof to prove that only the empirical is valuable then please state it.

(A heads up: This is impossible because in order to use empirical information to prove something you first have know that empirical information is valuable, thus to use empirical information to prove empirical information's value is begging the question (or to use Hume's imagery going in a circle.))

So, unless you have some clever way out of this (which I would be extremely interested in hearing), isn't your system just as "mystical" (again, your definition) as Kant's?

Mysticism -- considering something for which one has no evidence -- is the most irrational thing anyone can do; and in Objectivism, the irrational is evil. In other words, to believe in God or to believe in the noumenal world without any evidence and with plenty of evidence that the world as we observe it is the real world and that it behaves by natural process is to deny the logical and embrace the illogical; and we consider that to be such a huge vice that it is evil.

So you guys are redefining mysticism too? Words have meaning by convention for a reason.... a really good one... namely communication... Anyway, is your conception of mysticism any different than the negation of your conception of logic?

Also, is evil defined to be that which is illogical, or does evil have its own definition, and your definition of illogical falls under that definition of evil? (In more precise wording: is calling the illogical evil a tautology, or does it convey information?)

Edited by Tiberious726
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How exactly does treating space and time as a priori conceptions make them unreal? They are the way we organize our knowledge, the way we understand our perceptions, for him they are very real.

I dunno, let's ask Immanuel...

In order to prevent any misunderstanding, it will be requisite, in the first place, to recapitulate, as clearly as possible, what our opinion is with respect to the fundamental nature of our sensual cognition in general. We have intended, then, to say, that all our intuition is nothing but the representation of phenomena; that the things which we intuite, are not in themselves the same as our representations of them in intuition, nor are their relations in themselves so constituted as they appear to us; and that if we take away the subject, or even only the subjective constitution of our senses in general, then not only the nature and relations of objects in space and time, but even space and time themselves disappear; and that these, as phenomena, cannot exist in themselves, but only in us.

Is that exact enough for ya?

Kant would entirely agree with that story you told about how an infant gets the idea of space, except he sees no reason to assume that "concepts which help him integrate the relationships between things" (as you put it) exist in the outside world. In fact, simply by virtue of them being concepts they have to exist solely in your mind. (The same applies to time.)

So, on what basis do you lot hold these _concepts_ to be components of the world, instead of our understanding thereof?

That's a good question, so I'll cut to the chase scene: Objectivists believe that logic is the act of non-contradictory identification. Reason is the exercise of logic on our perception of reality, which informs our understanding of reality. If the concept of space creates a basis for understanding what we perceive, then space is non-contradictory with respect to reality, and therefore exists in reality. There is something about reality which is analogous to the concept of space we develop as we integrate our perceptions and eliminate contradictions in all that we perceive. That something is "space." We recognize it as a valid (i.e., true, i.e., non-contradictory) concept, which therefore truthfully describes reality (there is distance between entities, and relative direction to every such distance). Kant, on the other hand, posits that space is an a priori concept in which we perceive all objects existing. Since space is a priori, and unreal (in an absolute sense), then all objects existing within space are also unreal. He went to great pains to "prevent any misunderstanding" about this conclusion of his.

I won't write to the rest of your post, except to point out that you are evading Kant's own words irt A Critique of Pure Reason. I refer you back to the quote and ask that you provide a different interpretation of his words. (N.B., my translation is by J.M.D. Meiklejohn)

Specifically: what did he mean by "that which has always ... occupied her powers and engaged her ardent desire for knowledge."

[Edit: typos]

Edited by agrippa1
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Wow... that's one weird definition of logic... And would definitely explain why so many Objectivist claims seem so nonsensical to me. Why do you lot pick that definition? How is it any different than pure (non-logical (the traditional definition here)) empiricism?

I think you have way too many question to have ever read any of Ayn Rand's philosophy. I could actually give you the entire corpus of Objectivism, but that is a lot of work on my part. So, I'm not going to do that. Do some independent reading of Ayn Rand; and then you can ask what she means by such and such.

Objectivism does not deny deductive logic, which is what you are referring to as "traditional logic," but Objectivism also identifies that there is an inductive logic and that deductive logic is derived from inductive logic -- of observing reality and identifying aspects of it in a non-contradictory manner. The attempt to do deductive logic not based upon any observations is what we call rationalism, which means one's deductions are not tied to reality, which means they are worthless conclusions.

To answer your question about the evidence of the senses, this is evidence and does not require proof because we observe reality directly with our senses -- one only needs proof if one makes an argument, and then the proof consists of remaining consistent with reality. The senses give us reality directly, the one and only reality, the one that is observed with the senses or logically derived in a non-contradictory manner from sensory evidence. If you have no evidence -- if you can't point to something that you can observe -- then your claims are hollow and illogical.

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I dunno, let's ask Immanuel...

Is that exact enough for ya?

Nope. Not unless you can explain how something existing in us (our minds) is unreal. (see below)

If the concept of space creates a basis for understanding what we perceive, then space is non-contradictory with respect to reality, and therefore exists in reality.

Wait, you are saying that space is a way we order things, therefore space must exist in the external world? What basis? Simply because it is doesn't contradict anything you know about the world? That's an ad ignorantiam logical fallacy. To pick an example we would both agree to be absurd, there existed a school of thought (dunno if they are around any more..) who argued that everything that happened from interactions of objects did so because God appeared and made it happen. This is a way to understand, to order, the world around us there is nothing in our perceptions that implies God, just like there is nothing in blobs of colour that implies space. Neither of these violate your principle of non-contradiction with reality. (Nothing contradicts God if we limit him solely to this role.) What makes the space one real and the God one false?

Kant, on the other hand, posits that space is an a priori concept in which we perceive all objects existing. Since space is a priori, and unreal (in an absolute sense), then all objects existing within space are also unreal. He went to great pains to "prevent any misunderstanding" about this conclusion of his.

You are horribly misreading Kant... He most certainly does not deny existence... I don't want to get into the variety of ways this interpretation is wrong... I think the root of it is your idea of him making a claim about "unreal-ness" which I address below.

I won't write to the rest of your post, except to point out that you are evading Kant's own words irt A Critique of Pure Reason. I refer you back to the quote and ask that you provide a different interpretation of his words. (N.B., my translation is by J.M.D. Meiklejohn)

Meiklejohn is a fine translator, he is a real pain to read for an extended period of time if you are interested in Kant I would recommend checking out Norman Kemp Smith (He's a lot more clear). (Note to those overly concerned about the rules: Here I am not promulgating Kant's philosophy, I am merely recommending a translation, which you lot could very well use as a tool to attack him more accurately)

Anyway, as for a different interpretation, just look at the text, he never accuses space and time to be unreal, he simply says that they are not elements of the external world. Notice that bit about space and time disappearing was the tail end of a conditional starting with "if we take away the subject". In order for something to disappear, it would have to be there in the first place, so Kant clearly thinks that as long as the subject is present space and time are real, he just puts them in a different place than you do.

Specifically: what did he mean by "that which has always ... occupied her powers and engaged her ardent desire for knowledge."

Questions outside the scope of reason, be it God, or the organization of reason itself. Things that reason definitionally (at least in the second case) can't address.

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@Thomas

I think you have way too many question to have ever read any of Ayn Rand's philosophy. I could actually give you the entire corpus of Objectivism, but that is a lot of work on my part. So, I'm not going to do that. Do some independent reading of Ayn Rand; and then you can ask what she means by such and such.

No, I've read some of it, I just didn't find its explanations/reasons for its ideas satisfying (in the slightest... it was rather like Aristotle all over again in that sense, just less Greek (which, for me, is a very bad thing)). A lot of my questions are purely rhetorical... I know what objectivism's stance on them is, but the answer to them is relevant to some larger questions I have for you lot, and I don't want to be putting words in you guys' mouths.

Objectivism does not deny deductive logic, which is what you are referring to as "traditional logic," but Objectivism also identifies that there is an inductive logic and that deductive logic is derived from inductive logic -- of observing reality and identifying aspects of it in a non-contradictory manner.

Ok, first off there is a big difference between inductive logic and non-contradiction with reality. Inductive /reasoning/ (it's not, in my experience, usually called logic) studies general trends of two things occurring together in the past, and predicts that they will occur together in the future. There is absolutely _no_ certainty in inductive reasoning (Hume provided a nice accounting of this) and it has nothing to do with ideas in your mind conforming to the outside world. How is this at all the same as your non-contradiction with the outside world idea?

Additionally, claiming deductive logic to be based on inductive logic is absurd. Deductive reasoning is about what /must/ be true if other things are true. Inductive reasoning is about what has happened in the past... they are two entirely different things. You can't get logical necessity from observations.. (unless you are now proposing that you can some how see modu ponens (If so, let me know where to look))

To answer your question about the evidence of the senses, this is evidence and does not require proof because we observe reality directly with our senses -- one only needs proof if one makes an argument, and then the proof consists of remaining consistent with reality. The senses give us reality directly, the one and only reality, the one that is observed with the senses or logically derived in a non-contradictory manner from sensory evidence. If you have no evidence -- if you can't point to something that you can observe -- then your claims are hollow and illogical.

Right, but here you are just substituting in another proposition that means the same thing, let's apply your own test to that claim. "The senses give us reality directly, the one and only reality, the one that is observed with the senses or logically derived in a non-contradictory manner from sensory evidence." Can you prove /this/ claim empirically? (Note: I am not talking about the observations themselves, but rather about the proposition relating them to reality) (Obviously you can't for circularity reasons) And since you can't empirically prove this claim, doesn't that make it every bit as "mystical" as Kant's metaphysics? (where your definition of mystical is not based on empirical observations)

(BTW, of all this discussion, this is the question that has really peaked my interest (I'm just noting this, because you guys tend to only answer a few of my question, and if you are going keep doing that, pick this one as one of them))

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No, I've read some of it, I just didn't find its explanations/reasons for its ideas satisfying (in the slightest... it was rather like Aristotle all over again in that sense, just less Greek (which, for me, is a very bad thing)).

That is your primary problem -- you are rejecting Aristotle. And it is true that in a sense, Objectivism is an extension of Aristotle's philosophy.

I would suggest that you read Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Leonard Peikoff as this will answer most of your questions. It is a summation of Objectivism in one book presented in a hierarchical manner. After you read that, then you can ask your questions of us. After all, you didn't want to have a discussion about Kant from anyone who hadn't actually read Kant, so why shouldn't we hold you to the same standard?

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That is your primary problem -- you are rejecting Aristotle. And it is true that in a sense, Objectivism is an extension of Aristotle's philosophy.

No, you see, that would only be a problem if the matter at hand was convincing me that objectivism was correct. I can assure that that is not what I am talking about here (and it's also not within the realm of possibilities, for reasons far outside the scope of this thread). I am asking you guys why you believe what you believe, in terms of how you understand it to be justified.

(Additionally, objectivism is only an extension of Aristotle if by "extension" you mean that some parts are rejected too (In which case you could say that anything is an extension of anything) I will, however, grant you that it's methodologically the same: presenting statements, without argumentative support, as ineffable truth)

I would suggest that you read Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Leonard Peikoff as this will answer most of your questions. It is a summation of Objectivism in one book presented in a hierarchical manner. After you read that, then you can ask your questions of us. After all, you didn't want to have a discussion about Kant from anyone who hadn't actually read Kant, so why shouldn't we hold you to the same standard?

I find it humorous that you take my request for information from someone with primary knowledge to be equivalent to a demand of secondary knowledge before inquiring.

What I was after was not what you believe, but why you believe what you believe what you believe, something very different. That being said, I guess I'm not going to get any clear basis for your understanding, much less an actual discourse on how your views avoid/solve the skeptical and logical criticisms leveled at all other views, from you guys... I guess it was kinda silly of me to consider the alternative as a possibility. I'm out of here.

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What I was after was not what you believe, but why you believe what you believe what you believe, something very different. That being said, I guess I'm not going to get any clear basis for your understanding, much less an actual discourse on how your views avoid/solve the skeptical and logical criticisms leveled at all other views, from you guys... I guess it was kinda silly of me to consider the alternative as a possibility. I'm out of here.

So what he wanted to know is why we think Objectivism is true? "What exactly is the reason objectivists dislike Kant so strongly?" is a rather unusual way of phrasing that question. I sort of suspected he wouldn't like my answer, nor any other answer anyone was going to give him. There is no way to have a rational conversation with someone who finds Kant to be too pro-reason.

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