10 June 2013

First thing workout: 30 minutes: 100 steps, 100 supine pull-ups, ten minute walk and supine free dance. Set higher objectives this week since I was unable, yesterday, to walk and ride the ferry to Lamma Island: I got exhausted at the IFC mall after a Starbuck’s lunch (rather yummy new sandwich available since I’ve been there, red bell pepper and tomato.)

La Maison du Chocolat: very good but way overpriced 68% cacao bar. Because of the turnaround at the expensive mall unable to get to an affordable source for chocolate.

Not putting on weight as planned, at 136 lbs which is absurdly low. It is probably five Imperial pounds greater than it was when I measured it at the cancer centre since today, I was in socks and jammies at Grantham whereas at the cancer centre I was in shoes and heavier street clothes. But the weight is still too low. The chocolate is adding only fat to overall body mass. Could it be that the Grantham diet is just too basic?

I KANT Understand! Continued…

Finished On the Concepts of Pure Reason: read this difficult material seven times. Excellent defense of the Platonic “Idea” as a prototypical Concept of Pure Reason. But as I simultaneously read Adorno’s commentary the latter raises a problem without solving it: the “we” of the apperceptifve subject: how do we know this exists as a “we” and doesn’t this make room for a theoretical sociology?

I think that I shall not only have to read the harder material in COPR seven times, I shall have to do so in one sitting. I may have to commit this book to memory in order to understand it. I do know its utility, its greatness; at worst I shall have “thought really hard about really stupid things”, and thinking really hard, mental aerobics, is good for you.

It’s just this guy’s verdammte style, still stuck, to some extent, in the writings and concepts of the Scholastics.

We do have to understand what it means to be human, and that’s constituted in what’s called in Kant, “spontaneity”: we cannot help when conscious but to (1) sense and (2) think. Who is sensing and who is thinking when the Other senses and thinks, and can I get from “I sense, I think” to the importance of her sensing and her thinking?

Leibniz certainly thought this important. 20th century behaviorism (along with logicism and formalism in mathematics) now seem to be dead ends. “Who cares about x” can be answered “we care.”

Kant: Open Courseware Homework Assignment 1

Professor Rae Langton, in her 2005 class in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason at MIT, asked her students to translate the following Kant text to a schematic argument, so here’s my attempt

“Space is a necessary representation, a priori, which is the ground of all outer intuitions. One can never represent that there is no space, although one can very well think that there are no objects to be encountered in it. It is therefore to be regarded as the condition of the possibility of appearances, not as a determination dependent on them, and is an a priori representation that necessarily grounds outer appearances.” (Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, A24/B39, Guyer and Wood translation)

Call the above argument argument A. Schematically here it is in a clearer form.

1. One cannot represent that there is no space
1.1. You can imagine empty space
1.2. But not the non-existence of space
2. Space is therefore
2.1. Known apriori and not aposteriori from appearances or experiences
2.2. The condition of the possibility of objects: no space => no objects

But space can be inferred in another way (Argument B): the existence of at least one spatial object implies a spatial container. By “spatial object” I mean an object with three dimensions of size, height, width and breadth (x, y, and z) where any or all of, y and z can be zero (but as magnitudes never less than zero): a plane in space has one of x, y and z zero, a line has two of x, y, and z as zero and is a mere length and finally a point has all of these magnitudes zero.

Of course, x,y, and z don’t fully determine the point, line, shape or solid object since they do not give its location.

The argument from “at least one object” to “space exists necessarily” is weaker than “no-space cannot be conceived” to the necessary existence of space. This “inductive” argument goes from 1 to infinity. The “unimaginability of no-space” goes from 0 to infinity. We can transform Argument B into a full argument for any kind of space including empty space by “psychologizing” B:

1. The existence of at least one spatial object implies
2. The existence of space with at least one object in it
3. I can imagine an empty space
4. Therefore space exists even if there are no spatial objects


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