On 23 Oct 2012, at 14:04, 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).
Descartes was not solipsist. The 1p is solipsist from the 1p view, but
this does not enforce it to be solipsist, as we can believe or guess
in some thing which we cannot prove.
If solipsism is true, it seems to raise the problem that we cannot
prove that objects outside
us exist .
Even if solipisism is false, we cannot prove that something exists
"outside us". But we can guess it. Assume it, and then we can prove it
in the theory which assumes it, by a one line proof.
But Kant refutes this thesis by his observation that we cannot
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
No problem with this, if we want to believe in some notion of time.
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 order.
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)
3) No conscious state of my own can serve as the permanent
entity by reference to which
I can determine the temporal order of my experiences. (premise)
4) Time itself cannot serve as this permanent entity by
reference to which I can
determine the temporal order of my experiences. (premise)
(5) If (2), (3), and (4), are true, then I can be aware of
having experiences that occur in a
specific temporal order only if I perceive persisting objects in
space outside me by reference
to which I can determine the temporal order of my experiences.
(6) Therefore, I perceive persisting objects in space outside me
by reference to which
I can determine the temporal order of my experiences. (1�5)"
That is not rigorous, and contradicted by comp, as we know that if
comp is correct, time and space are construct of the mind. The
argument is locally correct, but does not bear on what is ontological,
only epistemological. As such it makes some sense.
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