18 July 2013
Edward G. Nilges, Kant Sentence Diagram, pencil and pen on A4 paper, June 2013, copyright (c) 2013 by Edward G. Nilges: moral rights asserted.
30 minute workout at 5:30 AM: walk up Senior Staff quarters hill, then a bit of stair work, 100 lowrise steps down from planned 200 owing to tiredness and pain, 75 weight moves. Need to do 200 lowrise steps as first step in workout and to reduce weight moves…they caused a little deltoid pain: but the walk up the hill caused the most pain.
Need to reconcile with pain going forward since I still prefer to move despite it. I shall dance with it, stuck as it is to my ass. I am a cancer dancer.
Finished seven rereads of Paul Guyer’s commentary on the metaphysical and transcendental deduction(s) of the categories. Also read the Dieter Henrich article on the relative thickness of a perception and need to focus on second edition’s deduction of concepts. Started to read Eric Watkins’ commentary, in the Cambridge Companion, on the System of Principles.
Worn out by this study, need to back off some and let my new Follower on WordPress (Bill Liktor, brilliant grad student apparently with a blog called Sitdown Tragedies) take the strain. He’s posting his notes as he grinds through the Critique and they look great.
But as an indication of what may just be chemo brain, I get the feeling that everyone knows Kant better than I, and that my major theory is an excuse for not understanding Kant. Bill Liktor certainly seems to better grasp Kant in real time judging from his notes. Whereas to “understand” I need to make something my own in an at times wacked-out pre-existing structure.
Here is my major theory: Kant didn’t know what he was talking about, so let’s all be Kantians. Based on what he bequeathed, put it together without any guidance, kick the tires, light the fires, and develop a dynamic Kant, more precisely a Kantian-ism or Kant machine such that we could turn a crank to emit Kantian wisdom: space and time are not concepts, perception (or whatever you choose to call it) is different from “raw sensation” (or whatever you choose to call that) because perception includes intuition where the “I” realizes she’s having the perception, and possibly also applies to categories to sensation, etc. See where this Kantianismus takes us and what it explains.
Recall that Spinoza’s “sive” was an unusual form of “or”, neither “vel” (inclusive or) nor “aut” (exclusive or). Sive was perhaps proto-transcendental in that it means “the one or the other, it does not matter”. The discovery/invention by Spinoza of non-determinism in his conception of God freed him from having to either deny pantheism (and find another way to account for nature). Kant as we account for him should also be given a non-deterministic reading because he left so many things unresolved.
Wow, sleepy as hell, practically dreaming this content (although I stand by it) owing to early rising, and chemo brain. The chemo’s cell destruction, of good-guy cells, may be catching up with me.
Taking Ontology Seriously
If we only took ontology seriously. I’ve always been attracted to realistic ontologies since they make you construct as well as criticise. If you believe nothing more than that this world is a dream, or that sense-data are all that is, there’s naught to do except negative and critical analysis, elegantly expressed as in Hume.
But in a realistic ontology we have to account by construction for the way we get from our sensory equipment to things out there. This can be something as simple as a thin-bordered box drawn by the Austrian critical realist Gustav Bergmann to show that an experience, for him, consists of our experience of having that experience (the box) and its content (the image in the box). It can also be the far more complicated, and dare I say, fun account given by Kant, or Carnap for that matter. Realistic ontologies have a depth which seems to recommend them on purely aesthetic grounds.