Tractate 6 : The Error of Kant (continued)

The point needs further emphasis for it is a critical issue regarding Kant’s system:

Kant insists that in his theory he intends to navigate between dogmatic affirmation and skeptical doubt . (See chapter 6: "The Social Pact," in Rousseau, The Social Contract, ed. And with an introduction by Lester G. Crocker (New Yourk: Washinton Square Books 1971), pp. 17 – 19.) If systematic form is essential to knowledge, then the critical theory does not escape skepticism, and the Kantian claim to dissipate Hume’s doubts is simply dogmatic. (Tom Rockmore, Before and After Hegel, University of California Press, 1993, p 21.)

There is no doubt there are many variations regarding a specific definition of Cartesianism. A few might fall into the following forms:

Cartesian: 1. a closed system 2. a system with a beginning 3. a system in a state of permanent equilibrium

  1. a closed system: Aristotle’s system followed the logic of ‘what is is’. As such the only conceivable perception of reality was what is as opposed to what could be for what could be. The universe was in essence static. If the universe, the physical, dissolved into nothingness, nothingness would be all that remained. This led to the concept that the ‘creator’ of the universe was ‘within’ the universe, ‘was’ the universe. This is a pantheistic approach vs. a panentheistic approach. Panentheism as opposed to pantheism takes the approach: if the universe, the physical, dissolved into nothingness, nothingness may remain but this nothingness would be ‘located’ ‘within’ the creator, which would remain as the creator.

  2. a system with a beginning: Aristotle’s system conceived of a beginning to all that existed within the universe and ignored the concept of: What if the physical dissolved? What would remain? This was a senseless question to Aristotle for the concept of nothing did not exist, had been suppressed by the Greeks.

    The whole Greek universe rested upon this pillar. There is no void. (Charles Seife, Zero – The Biography of a Dangerous Idea, Viking, 2000, p 25)

    In essence Aristotle’s system had no end and no beginning. It always existed and always would.

  3. a system in a state of permanent equilibrium

    From an ontological point of view, this is not an arguable scenario for it makes no sense ontologically. Such a statement suggests all action becomes passive. And why is it such a scenario is illogical. Such a scenario establishes the scientific concept of entropy, which applies to the phenomenal/the physical, as ‘the’ direct analogy for the noumenal/abstraction. If such were to be the case, the abstract would, like the physical, find time and space to be innate characteristics of itself and thus find itself to be nothing other than simply another form of the physical. In short within such a scenario, the abstract would be simply another ‘level’ of the physical and thus the noumenal and the phenomenal would be in essence one in the same rather than separate entities one from the other.

    Within such a scenario, even the action of God becomes passive at some point.

We seem to be swimming in a sea with no land in sight. The waters of the ocean are but the endless problems, paradoxes, and contradictions within which philosophers find themselves immersed. The land, when it does appear to emerge before us, soon finds itself to be nothing but a mirage.

We can further understand Kant’s dilemma by viewing a metaphysicians dialogue with a theist:

Part I: Metaphysical perceptions

Ok we agree upon one thing:

1. You exist

Now you understand I did not initiate this Metaphysical discussion with the Descartes’ principle of ‘I exist’ but you also understand that when you look at me and say the two words, ‘You exist.’, my existence becomes a recognized fact by you. By the way I hope you understand the significance of this approach. If the first principle is, ‘I exist.’, it is reinforced by only one entity, myself. When the first principle is, ‘You exist.’ then the concept of ‘I exist.’ becomes reinforced not by one entity, myself, rather the concept of my existence becomes reinforced by six billion you’s out there looking at me and all saying to me personally, ‘You exist..

I must emphasize here that I am not disagreeing with Descartes. I too agree the first principle is ‘I exist.’ I just do not agree with Descartes as to ‘where’ that first principle becomes the ‘first’ principle. That question in essence is the crux of the argument I am putting forward in my next work: The War and Peace of a New Metaphysical Perception. The article I sent you: Metaphysical Systems – On ‘being’ being ‘Being’ is Tractate 14: Metaphysical Systems of that work.

But back to the business at hand. What next? Since we agree ‘You exist.’ we now need a place to put you. Remember we have previously Husseraled, reduced, everything away, the earth, the moon, the sun, the galaxy, the universe itself, God Itself, even what remains, nothingness has been reduced away and all that is is ‘you exist’

Now we could bring God into the equation but since I am directing this part of the discussion, I would prefer to leave God out of the equation a little longer. So then what? Well how about the universe? Can we agree to bring the universe back into the equation? Can we agree:

2. The universe exists.

Now I am not saying the universe is real nor am I arguing the universe is simply an illusion, I am just suggesting it exist in whatever form you wish to think of it yourself. Your perceptions of what it is personally are not the issue here – that is a cosmological debate not a metaphysical debate. The issue is simply: Does the universe exist in some form or other or not?

To speed things along here (We are not face to face and thus the need for advancing the conversation – remember I am limited to only five more letters after this one) If you agree the universe exists in some form or another – real or illusionary or a real illusion as I would say, can we agree you are inside the universe?

3. You are inside the universe.

Now I know we can get cute here and begin all types of debate regarding the universe but lets try to rise above the cute philosophical stuff and stay two reasonable rational men discussing a metaphysical point. If you would like to debate the concepts such as ‘everything is simply a figment of my imagination, or your imagination, or whatever’, lets do that later. The process we are taking leads us nicely into the heart of these cute and interesting discussions. In fact, this process we are taking not only leads us into these discussions but does so in a new, fascinating, and serious manner as opposed to our old, perplexing, and glib manner.

To summarize:

We agree:

1.You exist

Can we agree:

2. The Universe exists (either in some ‘form’ or ‘non-form’)
3. You exist ‘in’ the Universe.

Part II: Personal perceptions

I have put additional thought into your solution regarding WWII. In addition to the more obvious problems regarding the ‘lack’ of understanding that not all humans are altruistic, another thought comes to mind. You say we could have sent a boatload of 3000 people to take the place of 3000 Jews in order to shame Hitler and his cronies (all shameless people by the way) into discontinuing their atrocious acts. If that did not work, we would repeat the action as often as it took to accomplish our ends – the termination of the act of the holocaust.

If, as this solution would imply, violence is so taboo under ALL circumstances that one should seek to actively, give up one’s own life to oppose violence, then that brings up a question: Forgetting the self-inflected violence Jesus allowed Himself to be put through, what about the Jews?

(Interestingly enough you view the act of ‘allowing’ oneself to be violated as an act of pacifism as opposed to such an act being an act of active violence. This would seem to imply one should view oneself as ‘lesser’ in value than one views someone other than one’s self. Why is it we cannot regard ourselves on a level of ‘equal’ value, ‘equal’ significance, having ‘equal’ purpose for existing. In regards to your question: was Jesus’ act of allowing himself to be crucified an act of violence? Yes, emphatically yes. I would view Jesus’ act of giving up his life as a conscious self imposed act of violence of the greatest degree, which, by the way, in my eyes only elevates the significance of his commitment to his teachings of ‘love one another’ I would regard this act to be the ultimate expression of commitment to his teachings: Love thy neighbor as thyself. He loved us so much He was willing to give up His own life in an excruciating manner of violence (and who can deny it was done very painfully) (Also note Jesus did not say: Love thy neighbor ‘more’ than thyself.’) to show the degree of love for us and commitment towards his teachings.)


At the time before Christ, God had parted the Red Sea to allow an escape route to open up for the Jews. The Jews moved across the dry riverbed followed by the Egyptians.

There were three players involved here: the Jews, the Egyptians, and God. The Egyptians were threatening to kill the innocent, the Jews. The Egyptians could have stayed upon their banks of the River but choose not to. They were out to kill and maim the Jews. God had a choice, to kill the Egyptians or allow the Jews to be killed. God choose. God closed the waters of the Red Sea behind the Jews and drowned the army of the Egyptians.

Under you perception of pacifism, God should not have done this. Under your proposed plan, the Jews should have run back to the Egyptians, dispersed throughout their ranks, held their hands upward and cried out, ‘We will not be a part of your actions, God.’ They would have attempted to ‘shame’ God into acting differently.

Now this would have implied God did not know what he was doing, had no ‘reason’ for protecting the Jews, had no ‘grand plan’ but rather is a very emotional fellow who, like many of us, says: Do as I say not as I do.’ (I am not implying by a ‘Grand Plan’ that determinism is the way of reality. In fact, as you will see later, I am stating quite the opposite.)

The question becomes why would God act in such a violent manner yet say violence is ‘wrong’. Perceptually we have had no understanding regarding the solution to this paradox. We just say: Well God is God and as such God can, by definition, do what God wants to do and Who are we to question His actions? But this is exactly where the heart of metaphysics goes. No it does not go into the realm of questioning Him for his acts but rather questioning ‘why’ He acts as He does in order that we can understand, in order that we can emulate his behavior.

Metaphysics, for the religious metaphysician, accepts His acts and then attempts to build a simple model of what is, in order to understand how we can merge ourselves into becoming harmonious with God’s creation. (Keep in mind there are non-religious metaphysicians also. These non-religious metaphysicians my not ‘accept’ the ‘acts of God’ but in essence they examine ‘Being’. The two are in essence no different on a metaphysical level. They become ‘different’ on an ontological level. I am not ignoring your question regarding the differenced between metaphysics and ontology. But the question need not be addressed at this point. It will resolve itself as we proceed with the discussion. In fact, the question is the very orientation of the progress of this discussion.)

And why attempt to move into a harmonious existence with nature? Because such a state would logically lead us into the highest degree of efficiency in terms of accomplishing our very purpose for existence: more efficiently accomplishing the very reason we were ‘created’, the very reason we exist in the first place. There is little doubt in my mind that the closer we come to fulfilling our purpose the closer we will come to finding personal satisfaction, joy, happiness, love, tolerance… not only as individuals but as a specie.

(Keep in mind a ‘lack’ of purpose is, metaphysically speaking, as much a purpose as ‘a’ purpose itself.)

You do not need to reply to this aspect of the discussion, there is more than enough for you to do in Part I and II on your part. If you feel a need to reply, however, do not confuse it with your Parts I & II. A reply would fall under Part III for you.

Also take note the above statement is simply given to you to place in your head where it will begin brewing. It will become obvious later how such paradoxes are not paradoxes at all if one views them from a different perspective than we have presently. And after all, isn’t this the very purpose of metaphysics: to resolve paradoxes we identify which expose the shortcomings of our present perceptions of reality?

And so the dialogue goes. The dialogue goes on endlessly and the mirage of ‘a’ foundation upon which we can build a metaphysical system remains, seemingly forever, but an illusion.

We glimpsed only three potential foundations to a metaphysical system: I exist, you exist, the universe exists. We did not even venture into the realm of the existence of causation itself, the existence of a ‘creator’ itself, the existence of God, the existence of ‘Being’ versus the existence of ‘being’. Nor did we examine the potential of ‘action’ itself on the part of ‘Being’, ‘being’ and/or both ‘Being’ and ‘being’

The sea remains and we find ourselves still swimming within the same endless morass of questions, problems, contradictions, and paradoxes, which faced philosophers twenty five hundred years ago.

Zeno, Aristotle, Boethius, and Copernicus each provided us with the temporary sense of being washed upon the beach of solid perceptions. Such perceptions were only temporary and soon gave rise to the next wave of self-doubt regarding our significance in reality.

Now we see Kant before us and once again we sense land appearing before us. The question is: Is the land but another mirage? We have studied Kant for almost three hundred years and the answer appears to be: The land is but another mirage, however, upon closer examination, it appears another shore lies beyond the mirage of Kant. The new shoreline appears, as a shoreline comprised of the works of six philosophers rather than the isolated ghostly image emerging from the works of any one philosopher.

The ghostly image of the more promising shoreline appears to lie beyond Kant. This new shoreline is the new metaphysical perception of ‘being’ being ‘Being’. Is this new ghostly image simply another mirage or is it a shoreline from which we can establish a beachhead for our assault upon new and exciting ontological, cosmological, and metaphysical adventures we are sure to find awaiting us once we have emerged from our ocean of self doubt, once we emerge from the sea of questions which have been washing over us since what seems to be time eternal?

Before examining this new shoreline, examining this new metaphysical perception in depth, we will have no choice but to conquer the crest of Kant. To do so we have no choice but to examine a few other aspects of Kant’s metaphysical system. We might find it interesting to start the process by examining the concept regarding the ‘boredom’ of knowledge.

Boredom and knowledge
If there is a set known number of elements of knowledge, regardless of the immensity of the number of elements of knowledge involved, the number of combinations regarding the set number of elements of knowledge eventually leads to beginning the set number of combinations over once again.

Now regardless of whether time is endless or a void of time exists, the number of reruns becomes a factor of infinity, be infinity an exponent of the number of combinations or an exponent of the number of pieces of knowledge is not the issue.

What is the issue is that of boredom. ‘Eventually’ a knowing ‘Being’, with either infinite time or the void of time at its disposal, will find ‘reruns’ to be an issue with which it must deal. The issue with which it must deal is the same issue all ‘knowing’ entities must address when it comes to repetition. The issue is that of boredom - endless, repetitious boredom.

One difference between the two systems:

Aristotle: time is found ‘within’ the universe
Kant: time is found ‘within’ the unit of the individual

In both systems, the universe is ‘the’ system, ‘the only’ system. In such systems, there are two choices:

1. Time is limited


2. Time is endless

Time being limited is not an option for Aristotle’s system. In a system where time is the very fabric of the system, the end of time becomes the end of the system itself, leaving what? If the answer is leaving nothing then ‘all’ ends with the end of time, thus an irrational ending emerges from the given system where the system is ‘all’ and time is limited.

Time being endless is not an option for Kant’s system. In a system where time is the fabric of the individual, the fabric of the system becomes ‘knowing’. Whether ‘All knowing’ becomes the summation of ‘all’ knowing or the summation of ‘all’ knowing plus ‘All knowing’ is not the issue. The issue we are discussing is that of limited time and we understand time to be limited in terms of the individual for the individual, as an element of the physical, ‘begins’ and ‘ends’. The result, the eventual sum of all knowledge emerges as a concept of ‘divine’ foreknowledge’ which leads us to our previous dilemma of ‘boredom’ for in such a system ‘reruns’, boredom, becomes an issue.

If we reexamine the two systems we can now interject the only rational argument, which gives both systems rationality:

Without the interjection of infinity, both systems face the issue of termination. Such an issue is not an acceptable scenario for either system. Neither metaphysician acknowledges nor accepts the issue of their system eventually ‘ending’.

This is the paradox of both systems: How does one rationalize the elimination of boredom? How does one rationalize the elimination of repetition? How does one rationalize the elimination of the infinite repetition of knowledge leading to the eternal state of boredom?

Time being endless is Aristotle’s system:

Time being limited is Kant’s system

But why is it assumed that there are only two choices: either there is endless time or there is limited time? In this tractate we will examine a third option: Endless time and limited time both existing simultaneously and independently one from the other while existing simultaneously and dependently one upon the other.

Before making a direct assault upon such a task, there are a few issues we need to address.

‘Everything’ equals passivity
The concept of ‘what is’ lies at the heart of the concept known as omniscience/passivity, which in turn lies at the heart of divine foreknowledge/passivity, which lies at the heart of determinism/passivity, which lies at the heart of… /passivity.

Passivity: living eternally in the past, living eternally in the present, the existence of no future. The past and present void the future equals passivity. It matters not if such an existence applies to subunits of the whole, individual entities of knowing, or if such an existence applies to the whole of knowing.

Passive observing:
In Tractate 3: Boethius and Free will, we discussed four forms of action:

Four forms of action:

Passive action:

  1. Action as a state of being:

    Passive actions of being is the action of the primal state of existence as opposed to other forms of action emerging from the primal state of existence

  2. Actions bound by the laws of nature

    Passive actions are actions taken by inanimate objects as well as actions that simulate the action of inanimate objects - a rock falls, you fall, a rock exists, you exist

Active action:

  1. Free will

    Active actions of free will are actions taken by a 'knowing' object, action which could go various ways and whose action was directed by the 'knowing' object

  2. Determinism

    Active actions of free will taken by a 'knowing' object whose intended actions have been overridden by actions of free will generated by a dominating second 'knowing' object

Kant brought us to the point where we are now ready to reevaluate this categorization of action.

Kant moved Aristotle's metaphysical system from being a passive form of system to being an active form of system.

A passive system is:

... the claim that the mind is passive with respect to what it experiences, and merely registers what impacts upon it ...

Such a perception reinforces the validity of the categorization of action demonstrated.

Aristotle presumed that merely registering, observing an event, does not affect the event and therefore actions created by or subject to the laws of nature are actions predestined through the natural act of cause and effect itself.

Active observing:

... 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.'

Kant 'turned the philosophical world upside down' by suggesting that merely registering, observing an event, actually affects the event.

Kant and therefore German idealism believes that the very act of 'observing' an object shapes what it is that is being observed. But is such an action a form of 'active' action? In reality it is no more active than an observation having no affect upon the event being observed.

If Kant's presumption is correct, and the uncertainty principle tends to indicate it may be, then in effect the event being 'changed' by observation is simply another form of natural event and subject to natural laws of which we at present are unaware exist.

Does the universe, do planets, does nature have awareness and as such decide to create natural catastrophes to intentionally offset the actions of humankind? Some individuals 'believe' this to be true. Is it a rational perception based upon science, reason, and religion? Such a debate is not the intent of this tractate.

The intent of this tractate is to understand how we can incorporate both Kant's critical philosophy, Kant's active abstract metaphysics and Aristotle's passive physical metaphysics into 'a' metaphysical system which would simultaneously resolve the paradox Kant's system and the paradox Aristotle's system create.

Since we have addressed Aristotle's paradox in Tractate 2: Aristotle and Cartesianism, the intent is to now concentrate upon Kant's metaphysical system while at the same time acknowledging the basic validity of Aristotle metaphysical system.

Such a perception leads to a new categorization of action:

Four forms of action:
Passive action:

  1. Action as a state of being:

    Passive actions of being is the action of the primal state of existence as opposed to other forms of action emerging from the primal state of existence

  2. Actions bound by the laws of nature

    Passive actions are actions taken by inanimate objects as well as actions that simulate the action of inanimate objects - a rock falls, you fall, a rock exists, you exist

  3. Determinism

    Active actions of free will taken by a 'knowing' object whose intended actions have been overridden by actions of free will generated by a dominating second 'knowing' object

    Active action:

  4. Free will

    Active actions of free will are actions taken by a 'knowing' object, action which could go various ways and whose action was directed by the 'knowing' object

Why is it that determinism becomes a form of 'passive' action? Action, which is controlled by ‘intent’ of the initiator of the action itself, is active action from the perspective of both the one producing the action and the event/object experiencing the action. Action uncontrolled is action found within the realm of the cause and effect cycle. The only forms of ‘active’ actions are actions controlled by the one being acted upon. In essence, actions which are 'active' are ones 'intended' by the 'creator of the action itself.

This is where free will lies. Free will lies in the ability to 'control' one's act, control one’s intentional acts. What of the will of the whole as the whole? If the whole has consciousness, then the only form of active action generated by the totality of awareness are actions intentionally initiated by the whole itself.

For example: The fact an object falls 'downward' is most likely not an intentional act initiated by total awareness. It rather is a passive act simply following the laws of physics. It is doubtful that every act of an object ‘falling’ is intentional contemplated by the whole. It is not reasonable to expect the whole examines every single isolated event where a unit of mass is subjected to the gravitational potential of free fall and then decides whether or not to 'intentionally' allow the object to fall.

It is more probable, more reasonable to deduce that total awareness may have intended to initiate the dynamics required for a system of physical laws within which the physical operates in a form of passive dynamic action. An analogy to the process would be the situation of a person stepping into a car and turning the key with the intent of starting the complex interaction of pistons, valves, fuel injectors, energy transfer to the transmission, etc to begin in order to reach an objective. The objective: to go from here to there, wherever 'there' may be.

What then of totality? What is totality’s objective in 'turning the key' to start the universe going. That is the issue we are to examine as we attempt to resolve the paradox Kant's system creates.

One may object at establishing such a seemingly impossible task. But one must not forget it is Kant we are examining and,

Kant insisted that although we cannot prove the world has a purpose, we must look upon it ‘as if’ it has a purpose. (Paul Strathern, Kant in 90 Minutes, Ivan I Dee, 1996 P 38)

Kant also held the view that humanity played a role in such a purpose.

Reading Leibniz, led Kant to see humanity as not only participating in nature, but over and above this participating in the ultimate purpose of the universe. (Paul Strathern, Kant in 90 Minutes, Ivan I Dee, 1996 P 18)

In this tractate, however, we are not going to refer to humanity in particular as ‘the’ participant in nature and participating in the ultimate purpose of the universe but rather we are going to refer to the concept of humanity as units of unique knowing filled with the concepts of space and time. The reason for this form of generalization is that our time in history differs from Kant’s time in history.

During Kant’s time in history, the concept of humans finding themselves confronted with entities of unique knowing from outside their own planet or for that matter from outside their own galaxy, was incomprehensible. Today such an encounter, such an existence, is no longer incomprehensible. In fact, we as a society are actually preparing scientifically for such an encounter. We are, however, avoiding such preparations both metaphysically and ontologically. This is perhaps the greatest sociological failure of our time.

The essence of this work, The War and Peace of a New Metaphysical Perception, is intended to lay the initial groundwork for just such preparations and it is the study of past metaphysical concepts, which acts as the means of allowing us to establish just such a foundation.

To accomplish such a task, we must return to the concept of Kant and metaphysical systems. Finding Kant’s elusive foundation will lead us to resolving the metaphysical shortcomings of philosophers such as Zeno, Aristotle, Boethius, Leibniz, Kant, Hegel, Russell, Einstein, and Heidegger in order to establish the ‘intra’ as well as ‘inter’-universal categorical imperatives, which will naturally emerge from a complete metaphysical system.

Kant could not find his categorical imperatives because Kant could not find 1st truth.. Kant could not verbalize the complete workings of his metaphysical system. The problem Kant had with all these issues emerged out of the fact that Kant’s system lacked specific elements needed to complete his system.

It is the elements alluding Kant that we will establish. It is the missing elements, which we will add to both Kant’s system and Aristotle’s system in order to establish ‘a’ complete system.

In truth, it is not an addition of elements we will use as the means of finding a complete system but rather the more potent process of fusion, which we shall use.

Kant and Aristotle had no idea regarding the power of fusion. It is only in today’s time period that we have been made aware of such phenomenal potential.

Before we can begin using the tool of fusion, however, we must resurrect an element of philosophy from the dead.

The place to begin such a process is with the understanding of the ramification of Kant's system. The ramification: the premature announcement regarding the death of metaphysics.

Raising metaphysics up from the dead:
The perception exists that Kant believed Metaphysics died with the emergence of his ‘system’. Such a perception emerges from the ‘belief’ that Kant’s system is ‘the’ ultimate of systems. But was this the case or was Kant’s perception simply that his ‘system’ was ‘the’ system and as such described the whole of all?

Kant perceived his system to be:

As such, Kant visualized no ‘outside’ to his system since his system was the whole, accounted for the whole.

‘Metaphysics’ is a term coined by Aristotle. The term is comprised of two syllables: ‘meta’ – outside, ‘physics’ – the physical.

Kant visualized his abstract system as replacing the old Aristotelian physical system:

Kant’s system was perceived to be the ultimate of metaphysical systems

In essence Kant and Aristotle had the same model. The variation, which occurred between the two, lay in the fabric comprising the medium of the two. The universal fabric found within Aristotle’s system was the physical and the universal fabric found within Kant’s system was the abstract. Again we see the paradox of Zeno, multiplicity versus seamlessness, comes once again to the surface.

This presented a problem, however, for Kant sought to find ‘the’ foundation of his system, sought to find first cause to his system, sought to find first principle.

It was in the basic quest to find first cause where Kant found his system to be lacking.

With the perception that Kant’s system was not only the ultimate of systems but ‘the’ system itself, metaphysics died for having ‘discovered’ the ultimate of metaphysical systems there was now no need for the further study of metaphysics. Now metaphysics in actuality did not die for metaphysics is abstractual and as such cannot ‘die’ for abstractions are not affected by space or time.