Sunday, June 29, 2014

Money Wisdom #282

"A deeper complexity underlies Kantian reason: If the noumenal reality can only be refracted by reason's own laws, if the real is a synthesis of mind and nature, if the very self that knows the world is itself a noumenon, what could reason's own foundation be? Kant's answer: 'Reason operates according to laws that it gives itself' (Neiman 1994, 91). In other words, reason is independent of the natural world of appearances and causation.  [...]

...Kant meticulously derived reason's 'laws,' which include the unrequited search for the unconditioned (the ground or foundation of the world) (Neiman 1994, 86) Simply, reason becomes 'the capacity to act according to purposes' (88), which is comprised by the search for its own grounding. Further, by seeking 'its own reflection in nature' (88), reason structures reality according to a human perspective, not as the world really is in any final sense, but only in reason's terms. In other words, human minds are 'the lawgivers' to nature. [...]

Thus the 'concepts of the understanding give order to experience, the principles of reason are the standard by which it is judged' (Neiman 1994, 6).

[...]

...unlike certain human behaviors that have an obvious empirical content and thus deterministic causality, reason possesses no temporality (or what we perceive as natural causality) 'and thus the dynamic law of nature, which determines the temporal sequence according to rules, cannot be applied to it'.

Thus to fulfill its function, reason must be free of experience, and, on this view, the ability to survey the world and make judgments depends on reason's independence of that world. Reason, accordingly, resides outside the natural domain, free and autonomous, to order nature through scientific insight and regulate behavior through rational moral discourse."

Albert Tauber Freud - The Reluctant Philosopher (2010) p.125-127



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