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Okay, maybe OT but...Kant:

Right at the beginning, he separates a posteriori from a priori

Critique of Pure Reason (Prefaces and Introduction)

Experi- ence tells us, indeed, what is, but not that it must necessarily be so, and not otherwise. It therefore gives us no true universality; and reason, which is so insistent upon this kind of knowledge, is therefore more stimulated by it than satisfied. Such universal modes of knowledge, which at the same time possess the character of inner necessity, must in themselves, independently of experience, be clear and certain. They are therefore entitled knowledge a priori; whereas, on the other hand, that which is borrowed solely from experience is, as we say, known only a posteriori, or empirically.

When I read this I think, "Hold on!  You can only build logical constructs a posteriori--for a start you have to be alive (contingent) to propose anything."  I also think that the urge to universality is....the urge to apply a rule across all time and space--

Critique of Pure Reason (Prefaces and Introduction)

Even without appeal- P 045 ing to such examples, it is possible to show that pure a priori principles are indispensable for the possibility of experience, and so to prove their existence a priori. For whence could experience derive its certainty, if all the rules, according to which it proceeds, were always themselves empirical, and therefore contingent?

For me, experience would derive its certainty from its...existence.  I experience ergo it is possible.  The alternative: I have proved that existence is not possible ergo nothing exists cannot be the case.  There is no abstracted place where e.g. mathematics happens without humans.  Mathematics (as the classic eg) is a human invention to describe the universe.  When the last human dies, there will not be "the universe in any case acting according to the rules"--the "universe" is a human construct--I mean: there is an out there--from a human perspective.  When the last human dies the "out  there" will get on with its business without regard to mathematics.

2 + 2 = 4 is about relations...ach...

I suppose I'm questioning the idea that human beings can use their brains to arrive at some position above our material existence--some "universality"--as our material existence determines what we consider to be the limits of the case.  The limiting factor is precisely "the limits of our possible experiences"--something like that.


Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sun Mar 23rd, 2008 at 02:45:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When the last human dies the "out  there" will get on with its business

I'd like to correct myself as follows:

"When the last human dies the 'out there' that humans understand will cease to be; as 'in here' and 'out there' are human constructs.

Certainly (to bring this less OT) Jill Bolte Taylor managed to exist at the same time as being unable to see where she ended and everything else began (a sort of pan-consciousness of energy.)  Who knows if conditions of this kind won't--a posteriori--make up human consciousness in 20,000 years?

The only a-priori I can see in the world are the limits on our possible constructs--and science digs or tugs or pushes or works its away to the edges of those limits and proposes those extra 10 more intriguing questions...

Or hardwired = a priori but materially not metaphysically?

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sun Mar 23rd, 2008 at 02:53:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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