On 10/23/2012 5:47 PM, meekerdb wrote:
On 10/23/2012 2:39 PM, Russell Standish wrote:
I have not met this argument before. I have comments interspersed.
On Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 08:04:35AM -0400, Roger Clough wrote:
Kant's Refutation of (Problematic) Idealism
Problematic Idealism (Berkeley's idealism, not that of Leibniz) is
the thesis that we cannot
prove that objects outside us exist. This results directly from
that the only thing I cannot doubt is that I exist (solipsism).
If solipsism is true, it seems to raise the problem that we cannot
prove that objects outside
us exist . But Kant refutes this thesis by his observation that we
cannot observe the
passing of time (in itself inextended or nonphysical) unless there
is some fixed inextended substrate
on which to observe the change in time. Thus there must exist a
fixed (only necessarily over a small
duration of time) nonphysical substrate to reality. A similar
conclusion can be made regarding
Here is an alternate account of that argument:
"Dicker provides a compelling initial representation of Kant's
argument (Dicker 2004, 2008):
1) I am conscious of my own existence in time; that is, I am
aware, and can be aware,
that I have experiences that occur in a specific temporal
2) can be aware of having experiences that occur in a specific
temporal order only if I perceive
something permanent by reference to which I can determine their
temporal order. (premise)
What motivates this premise?
I think it is implicitly assuming that experiences have no 'fuzz' in
their duration, they are discrete like states of a Turing machine
computation. I'd say we perceive temporal order by overlap between
successive experiences. This is consistent with the idea that an
experience is not just a state of a computation, but a bundle of
states that constitute the same stream of consciousness.
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