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Arguing against the validity of reason - D'Souza - Kant

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Old 08-17-2011, 02:40 PM   #1
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Arguing against the validity of reason - D'Souza - Kant

In arguing against the validity of reason, D’Souza relies on the ideas of arguably the most influential philosopher in modern history, none other than Immanuel Kant. “Kant’s accomplishment,” D’Souza boasts, “was to unmask the intellectual pretension of the Enlightenment: that reason and science are the only routes to reality and truth.”Basically, Kant argued that the reality we perceive with our senses is not true reality; it is simply the reality “appearing” to us. True reality, the reality beneath the so-called appearances, is allegedly unknowable. “Perhaps the best way,” D’Souza states, “to understand this is to see Kant as positing two kinds of reality: the material reality that we experience and reality itself.”The world of appearances (material reality) Kant calls the “phenomenal world” whereas real reality (“reality-in-itself”) Kant calls the “noumenal world.”

Skeptics

Anyone else into this kind of exercise or should I just go to my room now?
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Old 08-17-2011, 02:42 PM   #2
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Re: Arguing against the validity of reason - D'Souza - Kant

Lotus is about to make you his bitch in this thread. You just stepped into his octagon son
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Old 08-17-2011, 02:44 PM   #3
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Re: Arguing against the validity of reason - D'Souza - Kant

So he's basically saying everyone perceives "reality" in their own way? I could dig that idea, because two different people might look at the same situation and see two entirely different things.

Either way, I'm not getting into this too much. It's a little above my head.
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Old 08-17-2011, 02:51 PM   #4
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Re: Arguing against the validity of reason - D'Souza - Kant

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Lotus is about to make you his bitch in this thread. You just stepped into his octagon son
His 'Octagon' may well be my oil slathered slip-n-slide.

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Old 08-17-2011, 03:00 PM   #5
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Re: Arguing against the validity of reason - D'Souza - Kant

If man makes himself a worm he must not complain when he is trodden on.
Immanuel Kant
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Old 08-17-2011, 03:19 PM   #6
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Re: Arguing against the validity of reason - D'Souza - Kant

And what exercise might that be?

For the record, I essentially agree with D'Souza. The fundamental tenet of the Enlightment was based on the hubris that the infinite can be determined and accurately described through finite methods. I think the article's critique is correct to a point - if D'Souza is saying that we cannot ever understand the true reality because our perceptions of reality interfere, then I would disagree. As the critique points out, their are ways in which we can be sure that certain realities exist - perceiving the motion of a fastball is a "real" reality that allows the batter to hit it.

What the article fails to accept or credit, however, is that the multitude of changes occurring in the sum total of reality just at the moment the ball leaves the pitcher's hand are simply "unperceivable" to anyone through those same senses that let us track the reality of the ball in order to strike it (babies are born, stars may be exploding, etc). Further, that "reality" vanishes the moment the ball travels on its path, never to be discovered again. Thus, though we percieve a limited snapshot of reality that contains real truths, the ultimate reality of any moment (and thus every moment) is simply beyond conception through the means which we can perceive it. The enlightenment's faith in the believe that the universe could be "solved" through the use of our limited means to perceive it was, at best, naive.


It has been ages since I sat down and read this stuff - small children have an adverse affect on both your ability to read anything deeper than "Pinkilicious Tells A Joke" and the ability to think logically.
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Old 08-17-2011, 04:11 PM   #7
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Re: Arguing against the validity of reason - D'Souza - Kant

This captured all that needs to be said on the matter.

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If one is going to argue that the senses and reason are invalid and incapable of grasping reality, then what is the arguer relying on?
D'Souza is self-defeating by using reason to argue against reason itself not our perception of reason. This man can not be taken seriously on the subject of philosophy or others. He gets an F in Philosophy.
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Old 08-17-2011, 04:25 PM   #8
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Re: Arguing against the validity of reason - D'Souza - Kant

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And what exercise might that be?

What the article fails to accept or credit, however, is that the multitude of changes occurring in the sum total of reality just at the moment the ball leaves the pitcher's hand are simply "unperceivable" to anyone through those same senses that let us track the reality of the ball in order to strike it .
As these realities are imperceptible they bear no relevance to the stated 'reality', surely?

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The enlightenment's faith in the believe that the universe could be "solved" through the use of our limited means to perceive it was, at best, naive.
That was then, this is now. We have so many advances that allow us to measure the previously immmesurable that I think they can be considered correct-ish.
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Old 08-17-2011, 04:26 PM   #9
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Re: Arguing against the validity of reason - D'Souza - Kant

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This captured all that needs to be said on the matter.



D'Souza is self-defeating by using reason to argue against reason itself not our perception of reason. This man can not be taken seriously on the subject of philosophy or others. He gets an F in Philosophy.
That's what I took from the article as the main slap down.

Still an interesting point to ponder.
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Old 08-17-2011, 04:44 PM   #10
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Re: Arguing against the validity of reason - D'Souza - Kant

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That's what I took from the article as the main slap down.

Still an interesting point to ponder.
If you're interesting in even more interesting things to ponder pick yourself up a copy of History Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell History Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell and/or A History of Western Philosophy by Will Durant A History of Western Philosophy by Will Durant.
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Old 08-17-2011, 05:19 PM   #11
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Re: Arguing against the validity of reason - D'Souza - Kant

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If you're interesting in even more interesting things to ponder pick yourself up a copy of History Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell and/or A History of Western Philosophy by Will Durant.
Thanks, I'll certainly have a look.

Here's my recommendation:

Peter Kreeft: What Would Socrates Do?

Richard Dawkins: The Greatest Show on Earth

Jeffrey Satinover: The Quantum Brain
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Old 08-17-2011, 05:29 PM   #12
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Re: Arguing against the validity of reason - D'Souza - Kant

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If man makes himself a worm he must not complain when he is trodden on.
Immanuel Kant

"Please accept my resignation, I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member"

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Old 08-17-2011, 05:58 PM   #13
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Re: Arguing against the validity of reason - D'Souza - Kant

C'mon, it's Czechoslovakia. We zip in, we pick 'em up, we zip right out again. We're not going to Moscow. It's Czechoslovakia. It's like going into Wisconsin.

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Old 08-17-2011, 06:14 PM   #14
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Re: Arguing against the validity of reason - D'Souza - Kant

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C'mon, it's Czechoslovakia. We zip in, we pick 'em up, we zip right out again. We're not going to Moscow. It's Czechoslovakia. It's like going into Wisconsin.

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Hey! This is a serious philosophy thread!

You should have gone with this:

"My philosophy: a hundred-dollar shine on a three-dollar pair of shoes."

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Old 08-17-2011, 08:29 PM   #15
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Re: Arguing against the validity of reason - D'Souza - Kant

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Originally Posted by saden1 View Post
This captured all that needs to be said on the matter.



D'Souza is self-defeating by using reason to argue against reason itself not our perception of reason. This man can not be taken seriously on the subject of philosophy or others. He gets an F in Philosophy.
I am not sure that is a fair characterization of the quoted statement of D'Souza. If that is, in fact, D'Souza's point. I agree with you.
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