Exposing Kant's Sophistry
Part 1: The Fallacy of Kant'sA PrioriKnowledgeby Juan, June 10, 2020
Destroying Kant'sa prioriis essential in destroying its child ideas calledTranscendental Analytic, Transcendental Dialectic,andTranscendental Idealismwhich are totally abstract and practically useless in the real world, along with Epistemology which is supposed to parse fact from fiction. This then will bring back dialectics and free up philosophy from its current shackles in order to create real, useful ideas that can really solve the growing number of modern problems such as pandemics, terrorism, inequality, global warming, overpopulation, etc.
Like most philosophers, Kant divides all knowledge as experiential asa posteriori,or non-experiential asa priori.However, he makes a very important and subtle, though corrupting addition in thata priori knowledge is those not experienced by onself or himself, but may be experienced by others who are not him.
Is there knowledge and sensory impressions that exist without being experienced? This knowledge is calleda priori,This is in contrast to experiential or a posteriori knowledge based on experience.
Buta prioriis not as yet definite enough. Experiential knowledge might be known a priori, because we do not derive this knowledge immediately from experience,but from a general rule, which, however, we have itself borrowed from experience[OF OTHER PEOPLE].
So Kant'sa prioriknowledge is reallya-posteriori-knowledge-from-others.It would be calling a man who has decided to become a female as a 'woman' just because that's how he wants to be seen. But the word 'woman' does not really match the man's nature and is false or a sophistry.
Fallacies do not support themselves and need to be supported by other fallacies in a chain. Kant supports thea priorifallacy by adding the idea of pure and impurea priori .
A priori knowledge is either pure or impure. Pure a priori knowledge has no empirical element.
This makes something non-empirical as somewhat empirical. Refering to our man-woman example, this is like calling the man as an 'impure woman' instead of calling him as a man.
So What's the Big Deal?
The problem is that it corrupts the definition of knowledge and facts which are demonstrative and real, bymixing it, like mixed fruit, with opinions and beliefs which may or may not be real.
To solve this non-problem, academics had to createepistemologywhich is supposed to re-separate fact from opinion. This then adds unnecessary effort when the whole problem could have been avoided by not mixing up fact and opinion in the first place.
The original tool to split fact from opinion is calleddialecticsand already was doing its job just fine, simply by accepting arguments that can offerproofs.Nowadays, this is seen inpeer-reviews.Notice how Kant even tries to destroy the intellectually-democratic tool of dialectics:
Dialectics is a logic of illusion. It is a sophistical art for giving ignorance and intentional sophistries.. it teaches us nothing regarding the content of our cognitions. It merely shows the formal conditions of their accordance with the understanding, which do not relate to and are quite indifferent in respect of objects,any attempt to employ it as a tool to extend our knowledge must end in mere nonsense since anyone can oppose any assertion.
When a person reviews your research paper, it is true that that person is showing the content of his cognitions, and none of yours. And yes, it is true that this allows him or anyone reviewing your work to oppose your assertion.But such steps are essential to creating knowledge, or separating fact from fiction.
Let's Get Technical
Normally, what Kant callsimpure a priori knowledge is calleda posteriori knowledgefrom memory.
But this would destroy transendence, so he instead disregards memory and instead places the fact or idea within the metaphysical soul itself. In computer-speak, each soul would be like a laptop that saves everything to a cloud server, as theTranscendental Memory,instead of to its own local memory.
In such a case, the laptop is a ‘thin-client’ and isa mere extensionof the cloud server and not an independent computer. Its new data comesa posteriori from its keyboard and mic, while its old data comesa priori from the cloud server itself. Instead of the laptop doing the normal logic and processing of its old data and ideas, it would be done by theTranscendent cloud server and merely fed down to the laptop. The powerful server would then have more resources to do its own kind ofTranscendent Analysis andTranscendent Logic that is superior to the logic of the tiny laptop.
But this is what Theology and organized religions do.
This unity we call "the pure conception of the understanding".. This we might call "the qualitative plurality of characteristic marks".. The unity of this apperception I call "the transcendental unity of self-consciousness".. The understanding with these schemata we shall call "the schematism of the pure understanding". This representation..I call "the schema of this conception".. the pure conceptions of pure reason have a new name as "transcendental ideas".. This dialectical argument I shall call "the transcendental paralogism".. This dialectical argument I shall call "the ideal of pure reason".. I shall term the synthesis of the series.. "as regressive.. and progressive".. the conflicts of the laws of pure reason are "antinomy".
Kant is like an overeager software developer that makes and documentsa lotof useless schemas andcounterintuitivedefinitions to create his own transcendent virtual universe confined only by his fallacy of time. As such, he has no proposition on multiverses, teleportation, nor time travel.
A person who is sensitive to sophistry can easily see Kant planting blind belief in his reasoning about time and even morals which can be very arbitrary, leading to the categorical imperative:
A good will is good not because of the will's virtue. It is good in itself. It is considered by itself much higher than all inclinations.. It is alright for reason to interfere with happiness, as nature has intended this. Happiness can even be reduced to nothing and nature will still be correct.
In the moral philosophy of the Enlightenment, the good is defined asthe common interestorDharma or Tao (flow of things)which can only be known by getting all thea posteriori perceptions of pleasure and pain of all entities which is then sourced from thea priori definitions from the Generator of Existence which the West calls Providence and the East calls Brahma.
In contrast, Kant bypasses the perceptions of entities and goes directly to Providence, leading to arbitrariness. He would support the willpower of a good country invading a bad country to impose its version of goodness, as proven inGroundwork andPerpetual Peace. Together with Nietzsche, it helps explain why Germany kept on invading countries in WWI and WWII under the idea of spreading its Nazi-goodness to inferior races, backed by sheer will.
Why Did Kant Do This?
Kant was trying to establish a hyper-immaterialist philosophy in the tradition of non-democratic religions by combining logic and metaphysics.
Enlightenment works, such as the empiricism by David Hume, was all about destroying Church dogma and blind belief, driving dogmatic intellectuals away from it. This drove intellectuals away from religion and so Kant gave them a new philosophical refuge. It's the same nonsense, but in different pseudo-scientific colors.
What theologians call 'God', Kant calls Pure Reason. In both, God and Pure Reason needs no experiential proof, and there is no room for debate or dialectics. Both Theology and Pure Reason have no practical use since their meat is in the abstract or theoretical dimension only. Both theolgians and epistemologists gain revenue by selling books and a fee from its believers or students ascollege debt. Theologians were then known asmendicant scholars , just as epistemologists are known asphilosophers flipping burgers.
In terms of practicality, Kantianism's main rival,Objectivism, is superior simply because its meat is in the physical dimension as material objectives. It's easy to see objectivist-philosophers beingrich economists, bankers, and CEOs. Even Marxist-philosophers or dialectical-materialists are more prominent as national leaders. But who has ever heard of a Kantian president or world leader?
The only bright side with Kantianism is that it isuselessin real life and so it does little or no real damage as well. In contrast, Objectivism's successes come with the evils of inequality and financial crises, while Communism comes with war and poverty.
So What Do We Do With Kant's Ideas?
Since Kant's system is useless, then the best solution is to do nothing about it. Do not bother reading it just as you wouldn't bother counting to infinity orhow many angels can fit on a pin, all of which have nothing to do with reality and are really of Pure Imagination.
Instead, study things that areactually usefulin the real world, like science, math, anddialectics(discussing ideas with others with a specific goal in mind as thesis, iterating with every opinion or failure as antithesis until you get it right as synthesis). These can lead to real innovations and solutions for the many problems that are cropping up.
If a person wants to have the truth or knowledge of the Transendental Ideal, then Eastern Philosophy is the way to go, as it can give a directa posteriori knowledge of the Ideal through the experience ofSamadhi, Nirvana, orsatori and can even do itfree of charge.The only catch is that you pay with yourego, which is the most expensive and fundamental part of one's soul, symbolized bytaking the red pill in the Matrix).
This is infinitely better than giving away real money or getting into debt to enter a philosophy college in exchange for useless knowledge of epistemology. In contrast, the knowledge of Eastern philosophy can help people improve the real world, such as Steve Jobs getting his trillion-dollar product philosophy by going to an ashram in India, and Japanese CEOs getting their management skills from Buddhism.