The War & Peace of a New Metaphysical Perception : Book 1
Resolving Paradoxes of the Distant Past - An Alien Conversation

Tractate 6 : The Error of Kant


1804 AD Kant - The Error of Systems built upon a Foundation



The Error: The paradox of ‘time and space’ .
The perception: Kant moves our perceptual understanding regarding the system being filled with ‘time and space’ into that of being ‘the’ system filled with ‘the void of time and space’ and ‘time and space’. As such, ‘time and space’, ‘the void of time and space’, passive observation, and active observation, with the help of Kant, now have a location within which they can be found. However, the understanding regarding the role of ‘time and space’, ‘the void of time and space’, passive observation, and active observation, as well as the understanding regarding the interrelationship between ‘time and space’, the void of time and space’, passive observation, and active observation not only remain in a state of confusion but even more disconcerting, the existence of such an interrelationship is not recognized as a significant aspect of the ‘larger’ system.

It is this state of confusion which will be specifically addressed within this tractate.

Contents:

Part I: The Paradox of the ‘unknowable’
Introduction
Cartesian
So, do we need a ‘system’?
‘The’ Missing Foundation
Boredom and knowledge
‘Everything’
Passive observing:
Active observing:
Raising metaphysics up from the dead:

Part II: Resolving the issue with a new metaphysical perception
Metaphysics and Cartesianism revisited
‘a’ Foundation
The need for ‘a’ whole
The whole does not change
A new meaning of the term ‘everything’
How something, which is unchangeable, can change and remain unchangeable
The death of God
Analytic versus Synthetic ‘a priori’.
The causal
The non-causal
The boundary separating the causal and the non-causal
The ‘Absolute Zero’ point of abstraction:
The fusion of: 0 / • and • / 0
God does not change
The future does not exist
The past does not exist
What is exists
Resolving Kant’s four antinomies
The prioritized natural emergence of the first two categorical imperatives
Morality versus categorical imperatives

Terms/concepts:
Absolute Zero Point of Abstraction
Antinomies
Active Observation
Cartesian
Cartesian system
Change
Causal
Endless Repetition
Foundation
Foundationless
Multi-dimensional Combinations of Tessellations
Non-Cartesian
Non-Cartesian system
Non-Causal
Passive Observation

Part I: The Paradox of the 'unknowable'

Introduction:

Werner Heisenberg: The brash German patriot was just 32 when he won the Nobel Prize for the uncertainty principle, which states that it is possible to know a subatomic particle’s position or momentum, but not both. In simplified form, the principle means that the very act of observing something changes its behavior. (U.S. News & World Report, Mysteries of History, Special Edition, 2001, p 33)

And so it is science makes a move to claim that it, science, originated such a concept when in actuality it was philosophy, which did so. So it is we obtain the false impression that science takes the lead in developing and innovating new perceptions regarding our reality when in fact it is philosophy which innovates new perceptions and it is science which follows and attempts to validate such new perceptions.

To find proof of the lead role philosophy plays regarding our perceptual development, one need but look back to 1770 and the work of Immanuel Kant who initiated a philosophical perception which was to be as far reaching in its impact upon philosophy and metaphysics as Copernicus’ ideas were to science and cosmology.

After Hume had destroyed philosophy and any possibility of constructing a metaphysical system, Kant created the greatest metaphysical system of them all . (Paul Strathern, Wittgenstein in 90 Minutes, St. Edmunsbury Press, 1996, p. 7.)

Kant introduced a concept into philosophy known as ‘critical philosophy’. Before Kant, Aristotelian views dominant philosophical perceptions. One could say: Until Kant, no other metaphysical perception existed other than ‘passive observation’ as described by Aristotle. Aristotle’s metaphysical system, regarding the observer’s passive effect upon matter and energy found immersed within space and time, remained in place for more than two thousand years, remained in place until Kant introduced the concept of active observation

Kant introduced the concept of a limited system located within infinite possibilities. (Clarify: The system Kant proposed was limited since there are things within the system that are not known and can never be known. As an example, the universe could have developed in a direction which it did not and therefore we will never know what it could have become as opposed to what it was, what it is, what it will become, and what it could become.) At first glance, such a statement appears paradoxical.

Regarding paradoxes, Wittgenstein stated:

‘It is the business of philosophy not to resolve a contradiction by means of a mathematics or logic discovery but to get a clear view of the state of … affairs before the contradiction is resolved. (And this does not mean that one is side stepping a difficulty.) (Paul Strathern, Wittgenstein in 90 Minutes, St. Edmunsbury Press, 1996, p. ????)

Wittgenstein believed philosophy has the responsibility to resolve paradoxes through an interpretation of what seems most reasonable. It is then mathematics and logic, which follow and validate or invalidate such a view.

It is the function of the philosophical field known as metaphysics to examine the concept of the whole. Is the physical the whole? If the physical is not the whole then what lies beyond the physical, meta – beyond, physics – the physical? Kant proposed a metaphysical system of limited existence ‘containing’ infinite possibilities. Such a perception is metaphysical in nature for it places a limit upon the whole leading to the question regarding what lies beyond the limit itself. Such a topic lies well beyond the parameters regarding a dialectic of space and time. In fact, such a topic lies beyond the parameters regarding a dialectic of the void of space and time. We will not ignore such a topic, rather we will address the topic of what lies beyond the limits of the whole in Tractate 18: The Emergence of Theoretical Metaphysics.

What then are we to examine within this tractate: Tractate 6: Kant and the Void of Space and Time? We are to examine space and time, the void of space and time, passive observation, active observation.

In spite of the pronouncements of philosophers to follow Kant, meta-physics, is not dead. Meta-physics has just been set aside while we await a new metaphysical system. Kant said we have no choice but to establish a more comprehensive metaphysical system before we relegate his system to the archives of ancient history. Such then becomes the task of this dialectic for it is the very purpose of this work, The War and Peace of a New Metaphysical Perception, to establish the rationality regarding a new metaphysical model.

As we shall see, however, the task of ‘replacing’ Kant’s system is not to be attempted through the process of destroying Kant metaphysical model but rather the new model is established through the process of fusing Aristotle’s, Kant’s, and Hegle’s model all into one metaphysical model.

Kant’s metaphysical system presented many contradictions. Before we can replace Kant’s system we must first examine Kant’s system to, as Wittgenstein said:

‘… get a clear view of the state of … affairs before the contradiction is resolved

It is both aspects, examination and replacement, which is the focus of this tractate.

Kant embraced the concept of an Aristotelian Cartesian system. A Cartesian system is one built upon ‘a’ ‘foundation’. Kant, therefore, believed a metaphysical system must have ‘a’ first principle.

Kant’s system:
Kant’s critical philosophy is a syncretic theory bringing together in a single framework doctrines of realism and idealism. The philosophical movement following from his position, known as German idealism, includes…. (Tom Rockmore, Before and After Hegel, University of California Press, 1993, p 6.)

…In all experience, there is someone who experiences the experiential subject, and the object, or what is experienced. We can distinguish between two approaches to experience: the claim that the mind is passive with respect to what it experiences, and merely registers what impacts upon it: and the converse claim that the mind is active with respect to its experience, so that in some sense the mind shapes what it experiences. (Tom Rockmore, Before and After Hegel, University of California Press, 1993, p 6.)

…The distinctive feature of German idealism is the claim, common to all great German idealists, that the subject is never passive but always active with respect to what it experiences. (Tom Rockmore, Before and After Hegel, University of California Press, 1993, p 7.)

The brief description of Kant’s system, leads us to Kant’s dilemma.

Before we delve into the substance of this tractate however, a few additional words would be appropriate regarding the direction this tractate is to take. This tractate is not to be a critique of Kant’s work; rather this tractate is an examination followed by an expansion of two of Kant’s positions.

First: The universe evolves as our thoughts evolve.

Second: The concept of system is critical to metaphysics.

Regarding the first concept: The perception, the universe evolves as our thoughts evolve, provides the rationale as to why our understanding of the ‘Greater’ picture is so important. The concept that the universe evolves as our thoughts evolve implies we actively ‘form’ what ‘will be’ as opposed to the past Aristotelian perception that we are merely observers of ‘what is’.

Regarding the second concept: Kant was the first to propose such an upside down concept as the universe itself evolving as our thoughts evolved. Kant turned metaphysics and thus philosophy on its head just as Copernicus turned cosmology and thus science on its head. Kant was the first metaphysician to step beyond the perceptual metaphysical perception of the day. Kant was able to step beyond the perception of the day regarding the observer passively observing. Kant, however, was unable to step beyond the perception of the day regarding the existence of an Aristotelian closed system. Such conflicting positions generated unwieldy metaphysical contradictions.

Kant innovated a perception incapable of being ‘confined’ within an Aristotelian closed system and thus found himself incapable of finding both first truth and his dearly sought categorical imperative.

It is these two concepts, first truth and categorical imperatives, that this tractate will examine and with the help of Hegelian concepts attempt to resolve.

In this tractate, as in previous tractates, we will focus upon a relatively few basic references. This is not intended to demean Kant’s contribution to philosophy. Kant’s work is extremely complex but the complexity of Kant’s work is not the concern of this tractate. Rather the intent of this tractate is the same as previous tractates. The intent of this tractate is to examine the paradox this philosopher presented to us and then resolve the paradox created by the philosopher in order that metaphysics may move on from its seemingly endless state of stagnation.

To accomplish such a monumental goal, we have no choice but to simplify Kant.

Since we are not seeking an in-depth understanding of Kant, we are going to apply an extreme form of Husserl’s reductionism in conjunction with the surgical application of Ockham’s razor to Kant’s metaphysical perceptions.

Through the application of techniques developed by both Husserl and Ockham, we should be able to apply Kant’s metaphysical concepts to two aspects of Epistemology:



Cartesian
Active/passive – Passive/active

A graphic will help us better visualize where it is Kant’s system came to an abrupt halt. We will begin constructing the graphic from the point of view within which Kant found himself personally immersed:

Perception of Kant’s day: Time exists.


If we add to this graphic, the existing Aristotelian perception of Kant’s day we obtain:


The graphic demonstrates the concept of time passing from ‘what was’ to what is’ to ‘what will be’. The ‘beginning’ demonstrates the ‘creation’ concepts of the day, demonstrates the cause and effect concepts of the day. The Aristotelian additions refer to the universe. The Aristotelian perception is comprised of two factors:

  1. The universe exists and we can measure it through observing what it is.
  2. The universe is what it was, is what it is, and is what it will be.

In other words: The universe is permeated with fundamental universal laws, which are both universal and predictable. Objects fell ‘downward’ yesterday. Objects fall ‘downward’ today. Moreover, Objects will fall ‘downward’ tomorrow. This might better be called the certainty principle as opposed to Heisenburg’s present day ‘uncertainty principle’

The universe in other words existed and we as observers observed in a passive fashion. Granted we could act within the universe and alter it through action but we could not alter the universe through simply observing the universe, nor could we in any way alter the laws of the universe through active action, rather our actions were limited by the laws of the universe themselves.

There is room in the graphic to indicate the passive past and the passive future for both occupy a ‘span’ of time. There is no room to indicate the passive present for the present is fleeting and in actuality ‘occupies’ no time. It is for this reason there are only two forms of passivity indicated. In fact, many Aristotelian believers would argue whether or not we altered the universe in any manner, ala the determinists.

Kant then proposed a unique concept:

Kant drew an analogy between the critical philosophy and the work of Nicolas Copernicus…. Copernicus inverted the traditional claim for the relation between the earth and the universe. The critical philosophy depends on a revolutionary new concept, called the Copernican Revolution, which similarly inverts the relation between the subject and object, between the perceiver and the perceived. This general claim, namely that the mind of the subject, or perceiver, is active with respect to, and influences, what the subject perceives, is central to Kantian position and recurs, in different ways, throughout all later German idealism.

This new perception regarding the universe, directly impacts the most basic philosophical concept regarding knowledge itself. In fact, it was philosophy, not science, which was to first find its most basic premises, turned upside down.

The concept of the observer changing ‘what is’ through simply observing ‘what is’ creates a scenario of the observer being ‘active’ in regards to the Aristotelian perception:

  1. ‘What is’ was.
  2. ‘What is’ is.
  3. ‘What is’ will be.

Kant’s metaphysical system changes this to being:

  1. ‘What is’ was.
  2. ‘What is’ is.
  3. ‘What is’ may not be, ‘what it presently is’, in the future.

Thus Kant initiated the idea known as German idealism: The very fact that our observing changes what it is we observe. A scientific form of this was later to be called the ‘the uncertainty principle’.

This leads us to modifying the graphic. As such the graphic becomes


The ‘passive’ remains on the graphic because the passive remains as a perception found within present day society. Kant’s suggestion of the ‘active’ in no way displaced the concept of the ‘passive’. Even today Kant’s perception of a ‘new system’ has not replaced the old Aristotelian system.

The new system proposed by Kant was both ‘a system’ and ‘new’. Kant did not discard the concept that ‘a’ system existed. Kant was a firm believer that reality could be demonstrated through the process of modeling.

Copernicus inverted our view of centricism. With Copernicus, we began to understand that not all things revolved around ourselves. Kant inverted our view of knowledge. With Kant, we began to understand that
knowledge was not necessarily an absolute.

This presented a problem for Kant. Kant believed in what is known as a Cartesian System, believed in a foundation-based system, believed in a system based upon ‘a’ 1st truth. But what is this thing we call a ‘Cartesian system’? A detailed examination of a Cartesian system is found in Tractate 2: Aristotle and Cartesianism. For the present, however:

…. With respect to the Cartesian concept of system. Descartes, in effect, insists on a foundation known to be true as the condition of knowledge

Which brings us to the question: When analyzing metaphysics, do we ‘need’ a system?

So do we need a ‘system’

…Philosophy has always been concerned with what is called the theory of knowledge, or epistemology. The theory of knowledge, more precisely, the problem of how to formulate a systematic theory of philosophy, is central to the critical philosophy. It is also the central thread linking the views of Kant, the post-Kantians, and Hegel. (Tom Rockmore, Before and After Hegel, University of California Press, p. 5, 1993)

It could be argued that knowledge can be understood in terms of the lack of ‘a system’ but the ‘lack of a system’ is simply another form of a system. The lack of any system is the least/greatest possible form of a system. The lack of ‘a system’ is a system so minimal the system is reduced to a system zero in size; the lack of ‘a system’ is so maximal in size the system extends beyond size. The lack of a system is simply a system so minimal it is ‘no’ system at all, nothing at all. It is a system so maximal it extends beyond the concept of size itself and thus size finds itself a part of the system rather than the system finding itself defined by size/space.