30 June 2013

20 min workout first thing: walk, two flights of stairs up and down, 80 steps using the stairwell riser. Strong and pain free today.

Kant: putting my notes into the computer, finishing up with the Critique. A “Grand High” reading or re-reading has to be conducted in a certain way, I have found in this re-reading of Kant.

The first time I read Kant, I mindlessly scanned Edition 1 (1781) in a cheap and inferior translation. I knew prior to reading this version of Kant that he felt time and space were modes of perception, that he felt we participate actively in perception, and that he refuted St Anselm’s “ontological’ proof of God’s existence by showing that “existence is not a predicate”.

I didn’t know much more after reading the cheap version because I didn’t fully grasp the arguments and additional results, but now that I have the cultured leisure to read Kant, take notes, write essays, create pictures, and make dances about Kant I now know more about how he got his results.

I find that I can “plug” Kantian logic including the notion of the Transcendental as preconditions for meaning and the beginnings of intuitionist mathematical philosophy “into” my own cultural baggage to realize, for example, how relatively uncultured Peter Strawson was in 1960 when he taught Kant and on that basis alone developed a strong meta-critique of the Critique in “Bounds of Sense”.

On p 176 and 177 of BOS, Strawson seems unaware of how Kant wanted us to think about infinities. Naively, Strawson’s counter-arguments to Kant’s arguments concerning the antinomies of complete (completed) infinities such as “all space” floating in what, more space?

Strawson even accuses Kant of ontological jiggery-pokery when Kant talks about surveying the universe, asking by what right Kant talks about “surveying” at all…as if at Oxford in 1960, gentlemen did not survey. Strawson needs to show why “surveying” is inadmissible because in making arguments we have a right to use vivid analogues. Strawson, it would seem, would ask Alan Turing why his vulgar machine is needed.

Turing was urbane and international in a way Strawson wasn’t because his machine avoids “real infinities”. I do not fully understand the section in question; Strawson is a difficult writer: but at this time, I can accept constructivist articles based on the “surveying” metaphor, and, I wonder why Strawson cannot.

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