I came here after reading and being intrigued by Russell Standish's book.
I just thought I'd share one bit of fun before I go into lurker mode. It's
a little ditty about Kant's philosophy. I remembered it after reading the
book because it sounds very similar to some of the anthropic ideas and
"White Rabbit" problem solutions.
THE TRANSCENDENTAL DEDUCTION
of the Pure Concepts of Understanding
by Immanuel Kant
Translation by Roderick T. Long
Music and vocals by Paul L. Fine
Let us first divide cognition into rational analysis
and sensory perception (which Descartes considered valueless).
Now reason gives us concepts which are true but tautological;
sensation gives us images whose content is phenomenal.
Whatever greets our senses must exist in space and time
for else it would be nowhere and nowhen and therefore slime;
the space and time we presuppose before we sense reality
must have innate subjective transcendental ideality.
Thus space and time
are forms of our perception
whereby sensation’s synthesized in orderly array;
the same must hold
for rational conception:
in everything we think, the laws of logic must hold sway.
But a problem here arises with respect to natural science:
while empirical in method, on pure thought it lays reliance.
Although for Newton’s findings we to Newton give the glory
Newton never could have found them if they weren’t known a priori.
We know that nature governed is by principles immutable
but how we come to know this is inherently inscrutable;
that thought requires logic is a standpoint unassailable
but for objects of our senses explanations aren’t available.
So let's attempt
to vivisect cognition
by critical analysis in hope that we may find
the link between
pure thought and intuition:
a deduction transcendental will shed light upon the mind.
You may recall that space and time are forms of apprehension
and therefore what we sense has spatiotemporal extension;
whatever is extended is composed of a plurality
but through an act of synthesis we form a commonality.
If we are to be conscious of a single concrete entity
each part of its extension must be given independently
combining in a transcendental apperceptive unity
to which I may ascribe the term “self-conscious” with impunity.
The order of
our various sensations
arises from connections not beheld in sense alone;
our self creates
the rules of their relations
and of this combination it is conscious as its own.
While these rules correspond to scientific causal laws
the question of their constancy remains to give us pause;
but once we recollect the source of our self-conscious mind,
to this perverse dilemma a solution we may find.
The self is nothing but its act of synthesis sublime;
this act must be the same to be self-conscious over time.
The rules for combination of its selfhood form the ground
so what we perceive tomorrow by today’s laws must be bound.
These constant laws
whereby we shape experience
are simply those which regulate our reason: that is plain.
So don’t ask why
the stars display invariance --
the Cosmos is produced by your disoriented brain!
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