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Kant, freedom, and reductionist science

August 31st, 2010 · 1 Comment

Freedom Evolves
This issue is the classic snafu created by causal science. You would think that scientists with so many resources at their disposal would be able to snap out of it and at least read the history of this question.

What I find remarkable is the way that ‘scientific’ publics are unaware of the entire history of this issue, especially as it emerges in Kant. Everyone is kept locked in a box so that the work of people like Kant will not disturb the minds of the brainwashed science cadres.

When you are confronted with the way that a figure like Dennett will convince more than Kant (who is never even mentioned), you know with some sadness that science has failed culturally, and you can also realize why religion is making a comeback. Scientists seem to prefer that alternative, to the approach of Kant who was a friend of science and a critic of religion.

Scientists can’t seem to grapple with the issue. But Kant analyzed that psychology well, with his analysis of the ‘basic antinomies’ of reason.
Scientists are stuck in a mode of thought where their successes produce failure here.
But the options are clear. If you create a culture based on disbelief in free will, you will start in motion something ugly, if not impossible (e.g. the abolition of court law assuming criminal responsibility, etc). It is not a real option.
Kant tried patiently to deal with this issue in the context of science, apparently in vain. Complete idiots like Dennett get the name of philosopher, and we live in that especial case of philosophy in decline where mediocrities like Rorty (and Dennett) can claim to have refuted Kant.

You don’t even need to agree with Kant: simply follow the course of his analysis, and get beyond the willed nescience created by bad science education (indoctrination).

The real answer lies beyond even Kant, perhaps, (and Schopenhauer embraced the same framework as Kant, without agreeing on free will) in a realization that we simply don’t understand the universe. Physics may have confused us with a deceptive universalism of laws. Don’t quote me, however.
But Kant’s formulation clearly states the issues and proposes a way out.

In WHEE, btw, I have a tricky set of hybrids based on ‘self-consciousness’ which is the ‘donkey’ of free will and changes gears with higher and lower degrees of freedom.

Tags: Kant · Philosophy

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