>>7280175 Yes. Neo-Kantians are still writing books that follows to some extent Kant's work. His works per se were proved wrong at many points (e.g: There is analytic-synthetic dichotomy, Kant's categories are not exhaustive as he claimed) but the general lines of his works were revolutionary and still stand.
Consider the physicist and philosopher of science Hoyningen-Huene, a neo-Kantian who published in 2013 a book called systematicity, which uses Kant's system as one of the 'cores' of science (more precisely he speaks of Wissenschaft and the system that possibilities the communication of knowledge is Kant's transcendental dialectic).
There are no universal rules but for local rules which determine the validity of the philosophical argument, and such rules (the logic involved together with empirical constraints) are very much defined by the subject-matter in question. Kant's works are set to satisfy the classic logical rules (given by the syllogistic Aristotelian, the only one Kant had) and the principles of Newtonian mechanics (which Kant looks forward to satisfy in the Critique of Pure Reason, and develop further in a comment about Newton's metaphysical writings on the foundations of Mechanics, this is, the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science).
Kant's critique could be sound in the same way Anselm's and Descartes' argument were sound - given that the premises are accepted. The latter took elements given as evident at their time (the concept of existence) and granted that premise the arguments are valid. Kant's Critique *could* be valid if the work were completely sound in satisfying the enlightenment's premises - but is not, and the problem given by Kant's categories is an example of that.
>>7280782 >>Kant's Critique *could* be valid if the work were completely sound in satisfying the enlightenment's premises - but is not, and the problem given by Kant's categories is an example of that.
look, -there are several notion of validity in formal logic -Kant seems to believe that Kant's work is valid -even if the work by Kant is not valid according to the current notions of validity, you do not know/are not able to prove whether there is another notion of validity with which kant's work is valid -there is nothing compelling about the validity as a criteria to judge a work -you can manufacture a new notion of validity with which kant's work is valid, precisely the notion of validity which claims that all deductions by kant are valid
reminder that formal logic is man-made and the rationalists still have not established the link between what they call reason and the empirical world.
>>7280823 Creationists believe creation myths are valid. You can't prove the universe wasn't created in its current state 3 seconds ago and with it our false memories of what happened in the past. You can't prove I didn't touch your mother before you were born. You can throw out logic and validity as criteria to judge things by, but the rest of us have no logical reason to take anything you say seriously. Kant is the creationist of formal logic. Literally BTFO by nietzsche.
>>7280850 >You can't prove the universe wasn't created in its current state 3 seconds ago and with it our false memories of what happened in the past. Language fog. It is meaningless because it accounts for existence as a property of things - it is not. It takes time to be independent of human mind - highly arguably. Also it seems to be quite a confusion with the notions of truth and falsehood - how are OUR memories false in such universe and true the more common and 'old' universe?
>but the rest of us have no logical reason to take anything you say seriously You are (trying to) make an argument right now - which is bound to reject the quoted comment by means of a logical principle implicit (non-contradiction). The rest of 'us' rely on (supposed) logical rules given by a linguistic community. Habermas elaborates the precise point you attack on his discursive ethics. If there were no underlying principles of communication (in his case he gives and universal and discursive principle), meaningful discourse would be impossible.
>>7280823 >there are several notion of validity in formal logic Not before the late XIX century.
>even if the work by Kant is not valid according to the current notions of validity, you do not know/are not able to prove whether there is another notion of validity with which kant's work is valid Never cared to. Did you even read my post?
>reminder that formal logic is man-made and the rationalists still have not established the link between what they call reason and the empirical world No one said that logic is not man-made.
>the rationalists still have not established the link between what they call reason and the empirical world. The possibility of applying precisely those rules in a way that overcomes the Pythagorean puzzle and doesn't leave empiricism hanging on uncertainty is the very object of Kant's critique - and not a rationalist but a Neo-Humean.
>>7280929 >It is meaningless because it accounts for existence as a property of things No it doesn't. The only confusion here exists in your mind. If you want to play your linguistic word games and pretend to be an idiot, you're going to have to find someone else's time to waste.
In relation to Kant, Leibniz makes for an important pre-study because, among other reasons, he:
- argued that space is the order of simultaneously existing things, while time is the order of successively existing things, and that neither time nor space exist apart from the things they order, which is a clear anticipation of Kant's thesis on the ideality of space and time.
- is the direct target of the "Amphiboly" seciton of Kant's first critique, which is a brilliant treatment of the signature aspects of Leibniz's system, all in the attempt to refute them within the technical intricacies of Kant's own system; it's a great example of the comprehensiveness of Kant's genius, and an otherwise opaque display of some of his key principles.
- was a major influence on the tradition of rationalists (Wolff, Meyer Baumgarten) that in one aspect shaped Kant's thought, and in another aspect represented to him a) the general flaws of dogmatic attempts to follow laws of human thinking beyond the limits of possible human experience, and b) the particular flaws of conflating concepts with sensations, understanding with sensibility.
Well the plan was to create dutiful subjects ripe for control and his thoughtform has been a success in that regards.
Here's a spoiler for you all, and it's going to sting to accept it but I'm doing my best to help here: magic is real and it's shadow has been over the human mind for millennia. For most simple distraction is all that's needed but for those with more cunning and inquisitive minds something more is needed. Kant was a master of the thoughtform, as was Hegel. The weave their thoughtforms and leave them behind to continue their work. You accept them into your mind and if you aren't aware enough to see what is happening then you're had. If you're lucky you understand nothing you've read and aren't ripe for the spell to take hold. These weavers have poisoned the minds of countless intellectuals, Nietzsche glimpsed it and he hated Kant to the core. Schopenhauer saw it in Hegel and he hated him as well, though Schopenhauer was a wizard in his own right.
Laugh, scoff, think I'm trolling or insane, but mark my words wizardry is alive and kicking and works like Kant's Critique and Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit are some of the most powerful thoughtforms to ever been put in print and they've cast a powerful shadow over the human mind all in the name of control.
>>7283542 I think you don't need magic to disprove Kant.
The myth of magic falls on it's face pretty quickly. Consider the first man to discover splitting the atom could produce the most powerful weapon possible. Why didn't he keep a secret? Even with the great care taken by the Government, the rest of the world heard of this science and it spread like wildfire.
>>7283812 His work has historical significance, but there are plenty of philosophical disciplines/theories, before his era and afterwards, which don't require any of his ideas. At all. In a way he was gifted in that his theories are self-contained, but that also means other independent trains of thought can exist as well.
It's not magic in the typical sense that most people understand it. Illusion, Influence, or Mind Control would probably be a better descriptor for its effects on someone but it's magic all the same. This is more serious than people are willing to admit simply because it IS spooky.
Just take something banal like marketing for instance, it's literally magic when done properly. You have an individual or a team design a series of highly suggestive words and images that rarely speak to the rational individual mind, they sneak in past your defenses and hit you in your emotional centers, and the outcome is that a number people do as they ask, namely, "Buy our product". Like I've said this is a very banal example and usually with innocuous results. Marketing is one of the very weakest forms of magic simply because it's obvious from the start what its goal is so it's easily ignored by most. There are much stronger and insidious forms, political smokescreening, most religious texts fall here.
Those who understand the weaving of thoughtforms at a master level are particularly dangerous. They go far beyond attempting to grab you in your weak emotional centers only and attack logic and reason itself. Kant was one of these wizards. The Critique appears for all intents and purposes a thorough piece of philosophy, but its true motive (which I can only assume that Kant was hired for this purpose) was the creating of a fixed idea, a spook for those that love le stirner maymay for the purpose of infecting even the most intelligent reader with slave logic. It's all bound up in his categorical imperative, this is his Pièce De Ré·sis·tance.
My friend who graduated with a philosophy degree kept talking about how he could work for a corporate HQ or an intelligence agency the whole time he was in school. He just quit his job at Goodwill to grow weed.
>No. But philosophy isn't about relevance... It is about the pursuit of autism.
Well he was a massive influence on Burke who still dominates serious conservative thought (ie. not the "conservative" party, or neo-liberals/Thatcherites) in the UK. So he's still relevant in English conservative circles. Pic related. This guy loves Kant and quite likes Hegel too I think.
I've thought about it quite a bit and I'm completely unsure how to take this. I know what you're referencing but I don't know the intent. Are you suggesting that he actually physically transformed water into wine via some magical process? Are you merely agreeing with me with a wink? Are you being metaphorical?
>>7287286 i mean, yeah, if the church killed him for publishing it then maybe it'd be more "historically Copernican"? idk. it's good either way. pain in the ass to read, but very useful methodological framework and some nEEt ideas
>mfw i can't remove the spectacles of space and time and my reality is necessarily bound to synthetic a-priori
>>7287368 >i can't remove the spectacles of space and time you can though. with equanimity towards events inside of you and outside of you, control you mind until you manage to stop discursive thoughts in order to access your conciousness, then control you conciousness until you manage to make it cease.
Some of Kant's later religious writings got him censored by the Prussian government, though. And do you have any specific examples of ecclesiastical endorsements of Kantian theology, especially if close to his lifetime?
> i can't remove the spectacles of space and time and my reality is necessarily bound to synthetic a-priori
Well, Kant's critical project aims to demonstrate that we can't have "knowledge," strictly speaking, without the forms of space and time - but we can "remove" them insofar as we can merely *think* of things as independent of space and time.
>>7286596 Water into wine is a great alchemical example of taking a necessity and turning it into something sophisticated. To turn water into wine is to take this insipid life of ours and make it into an art. It's beautiful, man.
>>7287625 tbh there's a cool parallel between rational frameworks in modern political philosophy (rawls, scanlon, habermas) & optimistic accounts of semantics, intentionality, and linguistic communication vs communitarians (taylor, macintyre) endorsing cultural primacy (and rational frameworks' inability to recognize identities) & the late wittgensteinians, davidsonians, quinians, early linguistic heideggerians (division 1 of BT is strangely pragmatist, see mark okrent or john haugeland for analytical accounts of his work) who ceaselessly demonstrate the futility of any kind of all-encompassing theory of language, meaning, or translation
I'm not even referring to any praise his work got, it's just that his thinking naturally lends itself to ecclesiastical approval because his sense of everyday reason is part of a hierarchy with essentially faith trumping reason in "certain circumstances" which you just don't question with reason.
>>7291772 Magic by definition defies the laws of physics and nature. You can dress it up to fit your narrative, but does a performing magician get by with acts that simply enlighten us with some pretentious bullshit? No, they amaze us with things that seem impossible. Eat shit.
Different anon here, but Kant tended to downplay the importance of institutional religion (and criticized the superstitious heteronomy often associated with it), emphasizing the sufficiency of each person's own faculty of reason.
If you mean to describe Kant's philosophy, you're incorrect. His system requires that we maintain the ability to think of things without the conditions of space and time - this is what allows us to posit the thing-in-itself as the correlate of appearances. The thing-in-itself is not spatiotemporal, thus not knowable, but is still thinkable through the unschematized categories, the empty forms of thinking.
When you say that we can conceive of the absence of objects within space, but we can't conceive of the absence of space itself, you're using an argument from Kant's metaphysical exposition in the Transcendental Aesthetic, the whole point of which is to show that space and time are intuitive representations, not discursive (that is, strictly speaking, the same as saying "not conceptual"). To be more precise, we'd have to say that we can *imagine* the absence of objects within space, but we cannot *imagine* the absence of space itself - yet we can represent concepts without spatial attributes, such as the concept of a transcendentally free will, or the concept of God. These concepts are essential to Kant's philosophy, and while we can't properly have knowledge of what the objects of those concepts would be like, we can think them, becuase they are not logically contradictory.
As far as the claim that all events are conditioned by a time before and a time after, you're correct - because the concept of an "event" is one that is bound up with causality, which, like all schematized categories, requires the form of time. When we remove time conditions from this concept, we're left with the mere concept of the ground/consequent relation, mere logical dependence without temporal succession. This is how Kant could argue that the thing-in-itself grounds appearances without technically betraying his principles with the claim that they are the cause of appearances.
>>7292871 >yet we can represent concepts without spatial attributes, such as the concept of a transcendentally free will, or the concept of God. These concepts are essential to Kant's philosophy, it is not because you call them concept that they make sense. All of these words, space, time, god free will are pure speculations, pure imagination
>>7293404 >>7292871 >becuase they are not logically contradictory. exactly, the idea of contradiction is purely imaginative. you have no idea what a contradiction is, beyond some statement that you think is necessarily false, that is to say, a statement that you cannot imagine , and even worse, all the logical rules are imagined as well and nobody so far agrees on what logical rules to follow, especially those involving the negation and therefore those connected to falsum/ contradiction.
> If you mean to describe Kant's philosophy, you're incorrect.
Kant draws an important distinction between imagination, which carries with it spatiotemporal conditions, and understanding, which can function without spatiotemporal conditions. Logical contradictions like "A = not-A," and "If P then Q; P, therefore not-Q" would be examples he'd give of propositions that violate the purely formal laws of thinking, without involving any form or content of sensibility, thus not involving imagination.
>>7280175 Can anyone redpill me on Kant? I'm taking a mandatory ethics class and we're on him right now. Thing is, I'm too busy trying not to fail organic chem to make sense of his bullshit. Utilitarianism is stupid.
top kek, you greasy twat. analyticity is inherently circular in that it relies on synonymy which in turn relies on analyticity. meaning is contextual, all sentences are internal to a language, you carnapian gnat.
you write like a former encarta editor with a meth problem
>>7280175 >>7296373 logic is already imagination: you manufacture rules which you hope that are tied to the empirical world, but the plurality of logics and the universal disagreement on which logic is appropriate without a context shows that logic is not about objectivity.
I used to be a constructivist, but now I am a classical, if I must be. Math is just pure imagination, which is blatant from the formal logics. since imagination is disconnected from the empirical world, if you truly want to use your imagination, do it full-on and be a classical guy. to be a constructivist in math is to claim that there is a link imagination -> sensations, just like the mathematician believes that there is a link, which we call abstraction, sensations -> imagination permitting to categorize our sensations. Of course, the mathematician cannot prove that the concepts that he produces tie back to the sensations, are relevant wrt the sensations. the rationalist takes the reason seriously as relevant in life, he thinks that the reason/rationality is not a subset of the imagination, but given the diversity of logics, he is not able so far to defend his thesis since de facto, there are several logics.
the classical guy acknowledges that classical math through classical logic is disconnected from the sensations -- which can be seen with the contrived notion of truth taken as validity of statements in classical logic, instead of the justification of constructivist math -- so he has the right to do anything that he wants, within the framework of the classical logic that he imagined. of course, his notion of truth is really dubious. The problem of the mathematician/logician is in one word why does he do math/logic ? Why does he think that math/logic is relevant, is worth doing ? He has no clue, beyond some vague fantasy of ''explaining the world''. of course, he has no idea what ''explaining'' means
To be a constructivist is really to be a rationalist and to claim to be an empiricist at the same time in order to to avoid the criticism that the work of the constructivist is pure speculation/metaphysics/non-sense, just like in philosophy.
>>7296806 Once you learn to stop the discursive thoughts to access your conciousness, you understand that the mind is nothing but a factory of speculations, of categories and hierarchies. The mind is a sixth sense and cannot give you knowledge of anything. The term knowledge itself is a word from the mind and since it comes from the mind, it is disconnected from any sensation. What the mind produces is at best analytical knowledge. The constructivist thinks that the mind gives more than this, in thinking that the justification as the validity of statements is adequate. But the justification is another speculation and any example found in the real world permitting to justify a claim in constructivist math will be bound by the space and time (space and time which are themselves speculation-- they exists only when the mind is active and takes over the other senses, when we stop the thoughts, the conciousness do perceive space and time). It is the problem of the spatial and temporal induction that the physicist have.
There is nothing relevant in the speculations form the mind. to reach knowledge is to stop the imagination where you escape efficiently the categorization of the sensations, categorization which is always relative to the subject (so relative to space and time) and whose relevance as knowledge is a matter of past experience and taste.
> "A = not-A" does involve imagination, does it not?
Not in the technical Kantian sense. You seem to be using the word "imagination" in a broad way to mean (almost) any operation of the mind; but Kant separates the mind into several largely separate faculties: sensibility, understanding, reason, and judgment. Space and time are a priori forms of sensibility; the categories are a priori forms of the understanding; reason has its own a priori law to seek the unconditioned for a given series of conditions, which leads it to come up with ideas of ultimate objects, like "immortal, immaterial soul" and "spatiotemporally (in)finite world whole" that easily lead the mind astray; the power of judgment has its own a priori law to seek universal concepts under which it can classify particularly given phenomena, but it also functions as a kind of mediator between faculties. Imagination is a mental operation (though Kant doesn't claim that it is its own faculty) similar in this way to judgment, in that imagination also has a mediating role, namely to join understanding and sensibility for the production of knowledge - but the understanding can still function on its own without this relation to sensibility, in a way that produces mere thinking, not knowledge proper.
>isn't recognition of a logical contradiction still categorized under synthetic a-priori knowledge?
No, because the above-mentioned independent function of the understanding, in separation from sensibility, is what contributed the laws of thinking and, with them, the law that the laws of thinking can't be violated by a logical contradiction. This law of contradiction is the fundamental principle of analytic judgments, while the fundamental principle of synthetic a priori judgments is different: the conditions of a possible experience are also the conditions of any possible object of experience. The main difference is that while the understanding in its lone function can't violate the law of contradiction, the law of contradiction isn't sufficient when the understanding cooperates with sensibility. These two sources, with their respective laws accommodated to one another, are what allow for *synthetic* a priori judgements; two concepts, neither of which is analytically contained in the other and thus can't be connected by the mere understanding, can be schematized in intuition and connected by the bridge of sensibility. Thus, Kant says, merely thinking about a closed figure with three angles will never reveal analytically that such a figure's angles add up to 180 degrees, nor will merely thinking about the concepts "5," "plus," and "7" yield the concept "12." It's only when we also *imagine* these representations - by visualizing a triangle in pure mental space (maybe with the empirical help of visual diagrams), or by counting up unit after unit across pure mental time (maybe with the empirical help of our fingers or tally marks) - that their necessary truth becomes clear.
There are some good ones, but I'd also recommend comparing the views there - especially if not coming from a scholar - with some Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy articles on Kant.
> his ethics are considerably easier to understand than his critique of pure reason
I think they're about equally hard, since his ethics requires so much of the foundation put forward in the first critique, and requires the same level of attention and cross-referencing of passages, due to Kant's characteristic intricacy and abstractness. Kant's ethical writings might be easier due to their shortness relative to the first critique, but I think sections of equal length, taken from each, will on average be of equal density.
>>7296806 so what i can conclude from what you're saying is the only thing stirring anyone toward knowledge is passion/will. the apathetic mind wouldn't even consider explaining anything or uncovering knowledge as it is. would you go as far to say that knowledge or maybe consciousness is inherently useless? waste product? excess? that every explanation or rationalisation is just another layer of smegma-smelling crust?
science/math are attempts at mimicking what reality does autonomously. we're just reproducing what we started off with (blind innocent animal) turning ourselves into objects, turning ourselves into reality, into floating referent.
humans are opportunists. we don't know where our actions/thoughts fit so we fill in the gaps wherever they present themselves and are therefore driven by some strange fate. something is leaving traps for us to fall into.
we only have consciousness because we've got too much energy to spend. there was nothing better do in the multiverse apparently so consciousness popped it's perverse little head up and started sprouting heads from it's own head to expend all the energy but instead found itself becoming more constipated. everyone is a rich cunt.
>>7296806 ahhh yeah. so....Math and Logic are tautological?
and i agree with the whole constructivist = rationalist with empiricist features thing. if Kant's revelation concerning the falsehood of Hume's dichotomy (between rationalist and empiricist thought) has taught us anything....well...
>>7280175 The notion of ethical principles only being valid if you can make them universal is more relevant in politics today than it was in his time, because now we have democracies pushing inequality as justice.
>>7300533 math and logic give at best what is called analytical knowledge, not synthetic knowledge. math and logic are conventional
math and logic are like legal laws in natural language and synthetic knowledge is like morality (which has a notion of absolute).
From morality, you can write, in natural language, all the laws that you want. But then the people who have faith in the laws, who take the human conventions for more than what they are, they try to say that the laws lead to or, even worse, are the absolute, the morality. (this is the case for the liberals with their human rights)
the desire to conflate synthetic knowledge with analytical knowledge is nothing but the human desire to reach a certainty and a verification (without knowing why we wish for certainty and verification, beyond some terror of anarchism).
Since certainty is already purely imaginative, inside the imagination, we posit contrived rules like the rules for first order logic in formal language, or the rules of the legal laws in natural language, and pray very hard that these rules are accepted by other people.
>>7300602 ah ok nice metaphor for math and logic, thanks.
i agree with the collective urge to avoid anarchism at all costs, no matter how haphazardly.
hmmm. so imagination has its own, somewhat arbitrary(?) internal rule-set....does Kant still cover this topic? or are there others that more successfully engage with this particular branch of what i guess is a study of what Kant referred to as "transcendental" operations?
Hume would say that in an analytic a priori statement like "2+2=4" the "4" is "contained" in 2+2 somehow.....predicate in subject, etc....
But then Kant asserts that Pure Math like 2+2=4 or 7+5=12 is necessarily synthetic a priori because it cannot possibly come from experience, because it's universal, and one cannot have a universal experience because one cannot observe at once the whole universe....right?
>>7300651 It is hard to give a definitive answer. The kantian thought on mathematics as a synthetic a priori was held until the late XIX century, times when Frege and others founded the logicist project - to found mathematics solely on logic. Logical statements are analytical, thus it would follow that mathematics is analytical as well. Godel theorems ended logicism (and Frege returned at the end of his life of the Kantian position), but neologicism is still a live and rather than founding mathematics on first-order logic it relies on second-order logic, or if needed, on a new logic yet to create and powerful enough to be able to define mathematics on its term.
My pleasure - I'm happy to come across anyone who's genuinely interested.
> don't Space and Time presuppose all thought?
Not technically. In Kant's system, thought is only one part of the human mind, but it's not the part of the mind that space and time belong to; space and time instead belong to the part of the human mind called "sensibility." Sensibility is the mental faculty that receives raw sense data and imposes spatiotemporal order on it; in other words, space and time are the way in which raw sense data like colors, sounds, temperatures, textures, flavors, etc. - which would otherwise be in an incoherent jumble - gets ordered. Sensibility also gives these spatiotemporally ordered sensations (AKA appearances) to the understanding, and the understanding thinks about them (which involves a higher level of ordering, via the understanding's categories). Thus, space and time presuppose sensibility, and since sensibility is just one faculty of the human mind, space and time presuppose the mind; but since thinking is accomplished by a mental faculty that's different from sensibility, space and time don't presuppose thought.
What complicates (in an interesting way) this taxonomy of the mind is that Kant claims that we can only recognize these separate faculties once our mind has been active for a while; we reflect upon the way in which our mind works, and we isolate the respective roles played by sensibility, understanding, reason, and judgment. So if our mind had never been activated by sensations, we'd never have conscious experience, and we'd never be aware of space and time. But this is only to say that our *awareness* of space and time is dependent on our thought - but sensibility (and thus space and time, its forms) itself does not depend on our thought. This is basically Aristotle's distinction, forwarded in his Metaphysics, between the order of existence and the order of knowledge.
I'm 25, went to Fordham University, double- majored in theology and philosophy, and about two years after taking a semseter-long course on Kant (that centered around his first critique) taught by Michael Baur, I spent about six months reading Kant's major works, supplementing with some scholarly commentaries.
>in a philosophy of culture class >our prof is a heidegger scholar and indian >rags on kant every single class, even going off topic to talk about it >claims he invented scientific race theory and the hierarchical model of race >she wanks over herder every class
I found the articles on Kant from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy to be very helpful - the article on Kant's views of space and time enormously so. Copleston's treatment of Kant in volume 6 of his history is also good, though probably nothing earthshaking.
I haven't extensively compared translations, and I can't read German. I've stuck almost exclusively to the Cambridge translations, which seem to cover a lot of the important nuances in Kant's terminology.
>>7301278 I've always seen Kant as an antagonist to Hume, but reading what you have here makes his thought seem more like an extension/improvement upon what Hume laid the foundations for. What would you say is something the two would fundamentally disagree on?
>>7302794 I also have a philosophy degree, though I never had a course specifically on Kant. I'm just wondering what some good secondary sources are. I know there's a fuckload of them for Heidegger, so I'm sure there are some good ones for Kant.
>>7302804 I'm not KantBro, but here's what I know:
Kant broke Hume's dichotomy between Empiricist and Rationalist thought by suggesting that it was a false dichotomy. The basic suggestion that synthetic a priori even exist disrupts the "Synthetic aposteriori/Analytic a priori" split that Hume had been hinging his proto-phenomenology on for years.
Thought there are some scathing critiques out there, his ideas were...somewhat Copernican, i guess.
>>7301278 also, again, somewhat basic, BUT *is* the number "4" contained in the expression "2+2"? and if not, why ins't it? thanks for basically tutoring me here anon. im not studying Kant till January, but this is helping me more than you know
Yeah, I think it's better to see Kant as someone who adopts much of Hume's empiricism into a rationalistic framework. The ethical aspects philosophies seem to me to differ much more than the theoretical aspects.
One of the places they significantly differ, though, is in their views of mathematical judgments. Kant makes a big deal about this in the Prolegomena, basically putting it this way: if Hume saw that mathematics consisted of synthetic judgments, rather than of analytic judgments ("relations of ideas," in Hume's terminology), then Hume would not have dismissed metaphysical knowledge in the way he did. Hume recognized that knowledge of a causal connection would involve consciousness of one representation E (the effect) and the consciousness that E is connected to another representation C (the cause), and that this connection is necessary even if E and C are totally different from one another; but Hume couldn't find any way of explaining how such a connection could be known, since as far as he could tell, we could only be conscious of a necessary connection between two concepts if one is contained in the other. If Hume had recognized that concepts in mathematical judgments could NOT connected in this way (analytically), he certainly would not have claimed that we therefore don't have knowledge of mathematical equations; he instead would have been open to accepting that such a synthetic connection could also be known to join the cause and the effect of a causal judgment, with the same necessity that joins the terms in a mathematical judgment. Hume would have thus concluded that metaphysical knowledge - such that all events have causes, and that the external world is not illusory, but exists - is possible after all, and can be defended rationally rather than being founded on an unshakeable, sub-rational disposition to believe.
>*is* the number "4" contained in the expression "2+2"?
Not according to Kant. His claim is that the mere concepts "2" and "plus" and "2," when taken together, can only yield by analysis the concept "some as-yet-undetermined sum." In order to solve the equation, we need to render these concepts sensibly, mapping them out in intuition (Kant's technical term for this is "schematism"). Through this process, the concept "2" is rendered as **, or //, or any other way you'd want to sensibly represent the concept of two units (though these marks on your computer screen, like the fingers you might count with on your hand, are empirical aids that merely help you keep track of what's ultimately occurring in pure intuition - that is, in your faculty of sensibility; but the objects of pure intuition are mathematical objects like points, lines, planes, etc. and can't be adequately displayed empirically).
With the concept "2" thus schematized in intuition as **, we perform the function represented by the concept "plus," and add one by one however many units the equation calls for - in this case, another two. Whereas merely thinking about the unschematized concepts "2+2" could yield only the concept "=x," we now intuit that ** + * + * yields the determinate sum of ****, which we represent in the understanding by the concept "4," and could only have reached by using sensibility as the third thing that connects - *synthesizes* - the otherwise separate concepts at opposite ends of the equation.
I don't recall if Kant made the following argument (Schopenhauer might have) but I think it's consistent with his view: the equation 2+2=4 is so well known to us from childhood that we can solve it effortlessly, and thus it may seem like the sum is analytically contained in the concept "2+2," and the same could probably be said of any very simple arithmetic problem that we can solve almost automatically. But if you conceive of "88,177 - 34,929," or something like that, it will seem more plausible that without having recourse to sensibility and approaching the determinate answer unit by unit across time, you can only analytically extract the concept of "some as-yet-undetermined difference."
And you're welcome - I'm happy to have an audience.
>>7280653 that's a good enough standard for observing logic and making it useful for arguments. and either way you attack it: talking about logic is in a sense designing some meta rules about logic. Might as well look to the best set of rules that can be established.
As an appetizer in case you ever ask a Kant scholar, I'll say:
>How does Kant critique pure reason?
By reflecting on experience to determine its laws, the sources of those laws, and thus the scope and limits of those laws.
Kant claims that we can engage in an activity he calls "transcendental reflection," which among other things allows us to distinguish the formal aspects of experience from the content of experience; the former is what is contributed a priori by our own mind - the laws by which we automatically impose order upon the ever-changing raw data that our senses confront us with - while the latter is this sense data itself, given a posteriori and enformed by our mind's laws. Kant makes repeated, varying, and difficult use of the Platonic/Aristotelian distinction between form and matter (aka content), and his critical philosophy just can't be understood without grasping it.
For example, Kant argues that transcendental reflection reveals that a form of experience is the causal law: any event must follow in accordance with a rule from some other event that preceded it in time. This general law of causality applies no matter what particular phenomenon we're talking about - flames boiling water, meteorites impacting the earth, selfish desires leading us to steal, etc. The content may vary, but the law of causality imposes the same kind of order on it, yielding its intelligibility. But transcendental reflection also reveals that time is a form of our mind - it's a form whose source is sensibility, while causality is a form whose source is the understanding in cooperation with sensibility (recall the temporal qualification in the above description of the causal law). Since time in general, and causality in particular, is only a way in which the human mind structures raw sense data into conscious experience, we can't attribute temporal adjectives or causal force to anything that we conceive to be independent of the human mind. Thus, whatever there may be apart from human experience - or (to say close to the same thing) whatever the things humans experience might be like apart from human experience of them - we can't know, or even imagine. (We CAN merely think about them, but this only gives us logical formulas empty of content - ways of thinking without anything determinate to think about; for examples, we can think of the thing-in-itself A) as a something-in-general, B) as a thing that isn't an attribute of some more fundamental thing, C) as a thing that is the ground of consequences (that is, is the explanation for something logically, rather than spatiotemporally, distinct from it).)
Thus, discovering these a priori laws of the mind allows us to recognize the limits of our mind, and the project that discovers these laws and limits is critique. It revealed our knowledge to be limited to within the domain of spatiotemporal phenomena, prohibiting us from insight into what the thing-in-itself could be like.
So that's what Kant means by a "critique of pure reason" in the general sense: reflect on experience to isolate the mind's a priori forms (that is, *purified* from sensory content) to determine what the mind is capable of and what it's not. But while Kant (in translation, at least) often uses the word "reason" to refer to the mind as a whole with all its faculties, he also has a more specific definition of "reason." In this more technical sense, reason is its own faculty (as I said in >>7296821) and its a priori laws need to be examined in isolation, so that we can see what they contribute as opposed to the a priori laws of the understanding, and of sensibility, and of judgment. So, in the more intricate sense, the project of critique requires that we go through each faculty individually, grasping its characteristic function and limits, so that we can better grasp and correct the interplay of the faculties in the various combinations of their cooperation. This is one of the reasons that, as Kant's later career progressed, he decided to write several critiques, providing specialized examinations that his previous writings wouldn't or couldn't undertake.
>What's wrong with living life purely according to reason?
If you mean "what's wrong with living life without critiquing reason?" Kant would point to the history of philosophy as a cautionary tale. If we don't exert the effort to critique our faculties of mind, we're liable to rely too much on one faculty to the detriment of a proper balance with others, allowing certain processes of mind to overstep their limits and lead us into mistaken conclusions. One such error is to think that we have knowledge of things-in-themselves - that if all human minds ceased to exist, rocks would still fall from mountainsides, the seasons would still change, and the planets would still orbit the sun, only without anyone to be aware of it. But this isn't the case, Kant says, since that natural order is almost entirely a construction of our own human minds, and assuming the mind-independent existence just described would make it impossible for us to explain the knowledge of mathematics and natural laws that Kant believed to be incontenstably ours. Another special family of errors is one that Kant sees Leibniz as a notable representative of, as I said in >>7283142
Other related errors have led competing philosophical schools into unending arguments, with one side maintaining and the other denying that, for examples: the universe had a first moment in time; the universe is actually spatially infinite; freedom of the human will does not exist; god exists; there is an immaterial and immortal human soul; morality is ultimately based on human happiness; there is an objective standard for beauty. Kant maintains that some of these questions can be answered, while others dissolve when we recognize that they're based on a misunderstanding - but in either case, such clarity can only come after critique.
>>7305080 >that if all human minds ceased to exist, rocks would still fall from mountainsides, the seasons would still change, and the planets would still orbit the sun, only without anyone to be aware of it. But this isn't the case, Kant says, since that natural order is almost entirely a construction of our own human minds, and assuming the mind-independent existence just described would make it impossible for us to explain the knowledge of mathematics and natural laws that Kant believed to be incontenstably ours.
You seem to be phrasing this pure-idealistically. Can you explain why you think it is so much a matter of our existence? As far as I know, the noumenon has been removed from contemporary Kantian study.
>>7280850 >You can't prove the universe wasn't created in its current state 3 seconds ago and with it our false memories of what happened in the past. Then it would have a past. Unless you were outside the universe looking on as it came to be.
All we have of the past are memories and inferences on the former states of things.
Carbon dating, for instance, picks up how much of carbon-14 is left in something to infer how long it's been there, based on how long it takes for carbon-14 to decay. What if the carbon-14 in those fossils was created in it's current amount, 15 seconds ago due to some thermonuclear miracle?
Time only exist to frame movement of matter.
This doesn't really relate to your discussion but I like this stuff and I wanted to write it. I'll show myself out.
why does kant thinks, contrary to Hegel, that phenomenology is bad, that our senses are still less important than the mind ?
Hegel has at least the decency not to order the spirit and the senses, even though he still thinks that the liberation of a man is connected to the reason, after he shows his mediocrity in his critics of stoicism and buddhism which he has not understood at all. It shows that Hegel dwells well in his imagination and thinks that his deliriums on such and such subjects are indeed relevant about these subjects.
>>7305377 >after he shows his mediocrity in his critics of stoicism and buddhism which he has not understood at all. How do you understand his critique of Stoicism? What *in particular* do you think is mediocre in his understanding of it?
I think this shows Hegel's Platonic/Gnostic side, his hatred of the body/senses. imo thinking is best when it produces powerful images. it's because of the rise of Newtonian physics and positivist philosophy that turns the world into mathematical abstractions that makes modern poetry fall flat so often
>>7305377 >>7305443 also, look at the ancient world where thought was always "picture thinking", before Plato. the mythologies were concepts embodied in images.
yet your image ends, "conceptual thought always proves more adequate to the expression of truth than picture thinking" what's funny about this is that the ancient "picture thinking" societies believed in transcendent truths, whereas our society that prefers the more abstract and conceptual doubts the very notion of such truth
>>7305443 >imo thinking is best when it produces powerful images. Actually, that relates to what Hegel's critique of picture-thinking amounts to, namely, that while helpful in some respects, it can also introduce false notions, and it also *can't picture thinking itself*. It's use is limited, like the use of diagrams in geometry or physics.
>>7305449 >and it also *can't picture thinking itself*. I think the idea that we can think thought itself is a delusion. Our thought is a medium, not an object. Thought is the light by which we see, not the thing we see.
>>7305452 >I think the idea that we can think thought itself is a delusion. Our thought is a medium, not an object. Thought is the light by which we see, not the thing we see. If thought's not an object, then you wouldn't be able to describe it as a medium. This isn't to say "thought is a *physical* object," but to deny that thought is something that can be *thought* about is significantly more delusional.
>>7305452 >Our thought is a medium, not an object. Thought is the light by which we see, not the thing we see. it is exactly the contrary. thoughts are objects created by the intellect/the mind which can be considered as a sixth sense.
>>7305248 >As far as I know, the noumenon has been removed from contemporary Kantian study. I'm not really familiar with modern Kant studies, but that sounds interesting. Does it just get ignored, or do they offer some way of dealing with the issues he brought up?
>>7296809 >to reach knowledge is to stop the imagination where you escape efficiently the categorization of the sensations, categorization which is always relative to the subject (so relative to space and time) and whose relevance as knowledge is a matter of past experience and taste.
> The term knowledge itself is a word from the mind and since it comes from the mind, it is disconnected from any sensation. What the mind produces is at best analytical knowledge
Whether or not Kant was successful against Hume will depend on who you ask. His general strategy, and the particular details of how he argued for it, were pretty brilliant though - a paradigmatic example is that Hume said that we can't derive knowledge of causality from experience, so Kant instead located causality in the mind and thus made knowledge of experience derive from it. If causality is just a way in which the human mind organizes the data it receives, then any and every possible human experience, past present and future, will conform to the law of causality, and we won't have to explain causality by habit, as Hume did, with the resulting problem of induction.
And given the opening paragraph of that wikipedia page, I'd say that Kant is a phenomenalist. For Kant, a thing "exists," is "real," if it is perceived in space and time, or is connected with what we perceive in space and time (thus magnetic fields exist, even though we can't directly perceive them, because we can perceive the effect that they have on some metals). But space and time themselves, and thus every object within space and time, are only ways in which our mind receives raw sense data and imposes order on it - space and time do not exist on their own apart from human minds. Kant argued that there is something that is (not something that "exists," or has "reality," insofar as these words imply spatiotemporal attributes, but rather something that "is," a "being," since these words can refer to things conceived as spatiotemporal OR as non-spatiotemporal) independent of our minds, but can't have knowledge of it; humans are limited to knowledge of appearances, prohibited from knowledge of the underlying thing-that-appears.
> Can you explain why you think it is so much a matter of our existence?
I'm not sure exactly what you mean by this - you might have in mind some more contemporary idealistic ideas from philosophers I haven't gotten to yet. Unless there's another way you can phrase your question, the most I can say is that the phenomena I described - rocks falling, seasons changing, planets orbiting - depend on the existence* of human minds because all those phenomena occur within space and time, but space and time are only the forms of the human mind's faculty of sensibility. We have no justification for asserting that there are other, non-human intelligent beings who intuit things through space and time - and even though we can think of such intelligent beings as possible, the rocks and seasons and planets would then merely depend on the minds of those beings, and still wouldn't exist in-themselves.
*Here I use the word "existence" loosely, since technically the word only applies to what is wholly spatiotemporal; yet the human mind is not within space and time - rather, space and time are only attributes of the human mind. It would probably be more accurate to say that space and time depend on the "being" of the human mind.
>>7307036 not going to set out a book for you in 2000 words but
>moral scepticism >placement of intrinsic value cannot be logically justified or unjustified >moral truth may or may not exist, impossible to know, assume whatever you choose to believe to be true if you like as there is nothing forcing you to accept any one else's moral views as true
>indefinitely plural values: experiential happiness matters but so do many other things - various conceptions of justice, freedom, truth, etc >permitting plural values lets experiential happiness divest itself of a lot of mental gymnastics (how does jumping on a grenade make you happy? it doesn't, you care about being loyal or something. how do we deal with integrity? people care about not being lied to etc) >preferences can be irrational but values cannot - if you calmly contemplate your preferences and find you might prefer something over what initially appears to be the option of greater utility and accept this, you hold that thing to have intrinsic value (ie you would rather be free and slightly less happy, so freedom is intrinsically valuable) >worth of values varies dynamically depending on how well they and other values are already satisfied - diminishing marginal utility in most cases >all values are commensurable and could theoretically be graphed using an indifference curve - this gives the system flexibility and if something is of such enormous importance that only in a ridiculous counterexample could it be compromised, that just means it is weighted very heavily >utility is an aggregate of the satisfaction of values considered to be of intrinsic worth >all preferences are informed by values, utility is informed by values, the source of everything is values and utility is just a convenient way of compiling them all >utility does not exist in a vacuum, individual utility exists and is tautologically the end of every rational action, group utility can exist for a specified group as preferences can be aggregated - the utility of a nation would be interested in would likely be that of every competent adult citizen >dead people and animals still have preferences and utility, this doesn't mean you have to care about them and include them in your group utility
>plug in a moral foundation of your choice (such as, an action is good to the extent that it satisfies aggregated values of everyone on earth) >you now have a moral framework that will always produce results you agree with, and is as provable as any other - if you are wrong, there is no way you could know and no reason you should care
>>7307138 the problem with all this is that, for one person, the value of a thing depends on time and supposes that this person knows beforehand all the consequences of possessing the thing in order to get a value. the more i use one thing, the more i get used to it and the more my value towards this thing will change positively or negatively, especially if I have other things in my life.
so >preferences can be irrational but values cannot
this does not hold, and what is rational or not is not even universal.
>>7308042 By rational I mean consistent. It will often be that you want something, but if you stopped and considered how this preference is informed by your fundamental values you would realise that intact it isn't and you want something else, and have been misled by passing psychological impulse. It might also be that you are misinformed as to how an outcome will satisfy values - you might have a preference for eating an apple because you expect it to taste nice and cause pleasure which you value, but in fact the apple is poisoned and will kill you, which due to you valuing your survival is not something you would be correct to want based on your values.
This means you don't have the problem that preference utilitarianism has with giving moral weight to misinformed, poorly judged, and logically inconsistent preferences. The things being maximally satisfied are the values that inform your preferences, which aren't things you can get wrong and won't fluctuate over a short period of time.
You might find a thing satisfies your values, and as you continue to enjoy that thing your appreciation of it grows further due to you valuing familiarity. That's fine.
Kant doesn't claim that "7+5" is a synthetic a priori judgment; he claims that "7+5=12" is a synthetic a priori, for the reasons I mentioned regarding "2+2=4."
As for the synthetic a priority of "the shortest distance between two points is a [straight] line," Kant would say that the concept of "straight line" isn't contained in the concept of "shortest distance" or "between two points" or any combination of the concepts in those phrases. It's only when we have recourse to the pure intuition of space, visualizing in imagination two points connected by a straight line as opposed to a curved line, that we recognize the truth of the proposition.
I should also point out that, for Kant, we refer to pure intuition in one way when we do arithmetic, but in a different way when we do geometry. Arithmetic employs the pure form of time, since combining unit after unit to reach a sum/difference/product/etc. can only occur successively. In geometry, however, we refer to the pure form of space, for obvious reasons - and I believe Kant could say that we can recognize a geometrical truth in the very moment that we construct the figure in imagination, rather than requiring a series of moments as we do with arithmetic.
>>7310891 fucking fascinating. I think you helped me understand it finally. I'm re-reading your 2+2=4 argument and I think I actually get it now....a lot deeper than I initially thought. Thanks again. Love this friggin board
Hell nah, I don't think I'd feel prepared to write a book for quite a while. And if the notes in this thread are archived for any length of time on warosu or whatever, that should suffice for the 0-4 people who ever consult them (and hopefully in tandem with other sources).
>>7312156 Not really, "whatever you think you should do" might be inconsistent or based on inadequate information. The point is that it boils down your preferences to the level at which there is no scope for them to be inconsistent or wrong (or at least provably so), and founds moral judgements on those values.
I'm taking a look at Kant for the first time and trying to read up on his use of duty as the necessary basis of all motivation, but from what I've read so far I must be either thoroughly misunderstanding him or his position is so catastrophically, obviously stupid that I can't imagine how anyone could even think of supporting it. Does anyone know where I can find an explanation of him that will help me understand what on earth he's thinking?
Hard to say, since I'm still slowly developing my own metaphysical position, thus I'm trying to be as tentative as possible when holding beliefs at that level. But I don't believe in noumena in Kant's sense, as in something that is definitely not spatiotemporal, since I'm no orthodox Kantian. I think he's correct when he says that humans cannot know for sure what mind-independent things are like, since we can't get outside of our mind to perceive them. But I'm less convinced he's correct about the impossibility of imagining that the mind-independent world is spatiotemporal - that to imagine the world-in-itself is one of spatially extended objects yields unavoidable contradictions.
I want to explore the possibility that humans have evolved to perceive at least some aspects that pertain to things-in-themselves, like their spatial shape and position and some laws of their interaction, even if colors and tastes and temperatures pertain only to how those objects affect us without inhering in the objects themselves, and even if there are some/many/a majority of features of the world-in-itself that humans can never perceive directly or indirectly due to the particular way our sense organs have evolved. I wouldn't be surprised if this strategy has been attempted many times and failed many times - I've come across some descriptions of viewpoints that seem like arguments for and against this strategy - but I'll have to continue my studies for a while before I can decide for myself.
>>7313089 >I think he's correct when he says that humans cannot know for sure what mind-independent things are like, since we can't get outside of our mind to perceive them. try the meditation of the buddhists, either samatha mediation or vipassana meditation. the general guideline is to be aware of what goes on through your senses (the five ones+ the mind which is nothing but a sense here) the first method of meditation is the unification of the self with an object (external to you or not) where the first explicit result is what they call the first jhana, you slow the thoughts until you you are left with emotions until the fourth jhana where you have only conciousness. in the higher jhanas, you notice that this conciousness is gross and can be refined in analysis ''the experience'' in order to see that there is some clinging of you towards some object. You reach higher and higher states of conciousness until you cease the most refined conciousness.
to me, space and time are already abstractions that are done by the intellect [=this sixth sense which agregates together the sensations that we get through our senses (to phrase this in terms of sel/not self)] which also speculates on these abstractions. [rigoursly, the space is done not by the intellect, but by one layer of the conciousness which is understood as fabricated in the 7th jhana (buddhists call cessation what should be called as understanding as purely fabricated))
Once that your mind ceases, you no longer perceive space and time (nor thoughts). TO phrase it in realist terms, with self/not self, You stay with the thing/matter, the affects (pleasant, neutral, displeasant) and the knowing of the matter : these three sides of whatever remains once your thoughts are stopped cannot be separated from each others. There is no pure conciousness (that is to say, we are always concious OF something), there is no pure affect, there is no pure matter. there is always these three faces of conciousness when we are concious (at least until we go high in the jhanas).
this guy speaks better than me https://books.google.com/books?id=XJkmCgAAQBAJ&pg=PA109&lpg=PA109&dq=%22Cessation+of+Feelings+and+Perceptions%22&source=bl&ots=FZ9HUMP2kW&sig=f7xXlvBTmTNfRgryFcXH4W5Y3R8&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
for instance, Heidegger is right that we live in terms of possible, but he takes seriously the category of the understanding, instead of acknowledging that the understanding leads to nowhere but speculations. The mind is more of a cross to bear which leads to relativism since there is no universalism through speculation (speculations are personal). the refusal to take the mind for just what it is is pure nihilism, since life is actually goes on once we are able to tame our mind.
Thanks - I hope to study Buddhism eventually, and I expect to find a lot of parallels with idealistic philosophers like Kant; I'm currently reading Schopenhauer, and his relationship with eastern thought is well known.
Yep - working my way in order through his published material. Currently halfway through the second volume of The World as Will and Representation. I've been enjoying him a lot, despite the sections that drag on, though I'm kind of disappointed by what seems like a glaring contradiction in his system, about the spatiotemporal world's dependence on the forms of the mind, the mind's dependence on the spatiotemporal world.
I'm hoping that this isn't a main reason for why Schopenhauer's philosophy has been relatively ignored (as I've heard it has been), since I'd rather it be overlooked for an unfair reason, rather than because of some legitimate flaw; his worldview does have a certain beauty to it, though I should be on guard against becoming seduced by his writing style and rooting too much for his system, especially since Schopenhauer's world doesn't seem like the most preferable one.
Schopenhauer also argues that the mind, with its a priori forms, is just the function of the spatiotemporal nervous system. The physical brain is the objective correlate of the mind, and the mind is the subjective correlate of the brain. Whereas in Kant the physical brain depends on the non-physical mind, but not vice-versa, Schopenhauer claims that there is a reciprocal dependence. I found it to be a very unexpected development, and while the first volume might imply it (though it wasn't a conclusion I drew), the second volume makes it explicit.
Can someone help me wrap my head around the noumenal self? Kant appears to go with an incompatibilist interpretation of free will, a determinist interpretation of the material world, and insist that free will exists and is the necessary foundation of all morality, by appealing to some sort of noumenal self that exists outside of time. This seems really silly to me, sounds like cartesian dualism.
There are nine levels of meditative concentration. The first four are the Four Dhyanas. These are concentrations on the form realm. The next five levels belong to the formless realm. When practising the first dhyana, you still think. At the other eight levels, thinking gives way to other energies. Formless concentrations are also practised in other traditions, but when they are practised outside of Buddhism, it is generally to escape from suffering rather than to realize the liberation that comes with insight into our suffering. When you use concentration to run away from yourself or your situation, it is wrong concentration. Sometimes we need to escape our problems for relief, but at some time we have to return to face them. Worldly concentration seeks to escape. Supra-mundane concentration aims at complete liberation. To practice samadhi is to live deeply each moment that is given us to live. Samadhi means concentration. In order to be concentrated, we should be mindful, fully present and aware of what is going on. Mindfulness brings about concentration. When you are deeply concentrated, you are absorbed in the moment. You become the moment. That is why samadhi is sometimes translated as "absorption."Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration lift us above the realms of sensual pleasures and craving, and we find ourselves lighter and happier. Our world is no longer gross and heavy, the realm of desires (karma dhatu). It is the realm of fine materiality, the realm of form (rupa dhatu). In the form realm, there are four levels of dhyana. Mindfulness, concentration, joy, happiness, peace, and equanimity continue to grow through these four levels.
After the fourth dhyana, the practitioner enters a deeper experience of concentration — the four formless dhyanas — where he or she can see deeply into reality. Here, sensual desire and materiality reveal their illusory nature and are no longer obstacles. You begin to see the impermanent, nonself, and interbeing nature of the phenomenal world. Earth, water, air, fire, space, time, nothingness, and perceptions inter-are. Nothing can be by itself alone. The object of the fifth level of concentration is limitless space. When we begin to practice this concentration, everything seems to be space. But as we practice more deeply, we see that space is composed of and exists only in "non-space elements,"like earth, water, air, fire, and consciousness. Because space is only one of the six elements that make up all material things, we know space does not have a separate, independent existence. According to the teachings of the Buddha, nothing has a separate self. So space and everything else inter-are. Space inter-is with the other five elements. The object of the sixth level of concentration is limitless consciousness. At first, we see only consciousness, but then we see that consciousness is also earth, water, air, fire, and space. What is true of space is also true of consciousness.
>>7316686 The object of the seventh level of concentration is nothingness. With normal perception, we see flowers, fruit, teapots, and tables, and we think they exist separately of one another. But when we look more deeply, we see that the fruit is in the flower, and that the flower, the cloud, and the earth are in the fruit. We go beyond outward appearances or signs and come to "signlessness."At first, we think that the members of our family are separate from one another, but afterwards we see that they contain each other. You are the way you are because I am the way I am. We see the intimate connection between people, and we go beyond signs. We used to think that the universe contains millions of separate entities. Now we understand "the nonexistence of signs." The eighth level of concentration is that of neither perception nor non-perception. We recognize that everything is produced by our perceptions, which are, at least in part, erroneous. Therefore, we see that we cannot rely on our old way of perceiving, and we want to be in direct touch with reality. We cannot stop perceiving altogether, but at least now we know that perception is perception of a sign. Since we no longer believe in the reality of signs, our perception becomes wisdom. We go beyond signs ("no perception"), but we do not become perceptionless ("no non-perception").
The ninth level of concentration is called cessation. "Cessation"here means the cessation of ignorance in our feelings and perceptions, not the cessation of feelings and perceptions. From this concentration is born insight. The poet Nguyen Du said, "As soon as we see with our eyes and hear with our ears, we open ourselves to suffering."We long to be in a state of concentration where we cannot see or hear anything, in a world where there is no perception. We wish to become a pine tree with the wind singing in our branches, because we believe that a pine tree does not suffer. The search for a place of nonsuffering is natural. In the world of non-perception, the seventh (manas) and the eighth (alaya) consciousnesses continue to function as usual, and our ignorance and internal formations remain intact in our store consciousness, and they manifest in the seventh consciousness. The seventh consciousness is the energy of delusion that creates the belief in a self and distinguishes self from other. Since the non-perception concentration does not transform our habit energies, when people emerge from that concentration, their suffering is intact. But when the meditator reaches the ninth level of concentration, the stage of arhat, manas is transformed and the internal formations in the store consciousness are purified. The greatest internal formation is ignorance of the reality of impermanence and nonself. This ignorance gives rise to greed, hatred, confusion, pride, doubt, and views. Together, these afflictions produce a war of consciousness called manas, which always discriminates self from other.
>>7316691 When someone practices well, the ninth level of concentration shines light on the reality of things and transforms ignorance. The seeds that used to cause you to be caught in self and nonself are transformed, alaya is freed from the grip of manas, and manas no longer has the function of making a self. Manas becomes the Wisdom of Equality that can see the interbeing and interpenetrating nature of things. It can see that others' lives are as precious as our own, because there is no longer discrimination between self and other. When manas loses its grip on store consciousness, store consciousness becomes the Wisdom of the Great Mirror that reflects everything in the universe. When the sixth consciousness (manovijñana) is transformed, it is called the Wisdom of Wonderful Observation. Mind consciousness continues to observe phenomena after it has been transformed into wisdom, but it observes the mind in a different way, because mind consciousness is aware of the interbeing nature of all that it observes — seeing the one in the many, all the manifestations of birth and death, coming and going, and so on — without being caught in ignorance. The first five consciousnesses become the Wisdom of Wonderful Realization. Our eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and body that previously caused us to suffer become miracles that bring us to the garden of suchness. Thus, the transformation of all levels of consciousness is realized as Four Wisdoms. Our wrong consciousness and wrong perceptions are transformed, thanks to the practice. At the ninth level of concentration, all eight consciousnesses are functioning. Perception and feeling are still there, but they are different from before, because they are free from ignorance.
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