History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

Darwiniana header image 2

Philosophy in decline?

July 10th, 2014 · No Comments


The question of philosophy seems misunderstood by philosophers, and the reason can be seen at once from looking at the macro effect: The clustering of philosophic ‘advance’ along the ‘eonic or macro’ mainline is too obvious to discount: the most spectacular case is in the modern transition with the explosion of German ‘Classical’ philosophy with spooky timing near the ‘divide’ point. Once you see that the next question is, why can’t post-kantian philosophy measure up? Already answered, but with a mystery remaining.

It is possible, but unlikely, given this evidence that ‘modern philosophy’ will ever transcend pure temporal ‘thinking ad infinitum’ instead of making any fundamental breakthroughs.
We can see one reason from this: the intangible ‘noumenal’, first appearing in Socrates?/Plato sinks for millennia, then reappears in the modern transition with Kant.
With Kant’s ‘transcendental deduction’ we see the problem. It is just too hard (??). Although the root idea is a cinch. We can trace Kant’s steps, but we can’t really advance transcendental idealism, although Schopenhauer comes close. And there is a lot more where that came from that human reason doesn’t seem to be able to do creatively.
So a hint: twice in a row down the ‘macro’ mainline philosophers grapple with the ‘representation’/’thing in itself’ issue, to switch to Schopenhauer’s terminology.
So we have an answer we suspect to the perplexity of ‘continuous time’ philosophy, versus blast-the-sockets ‘eonic’ philosophical transitions: continuous time philosophy can’t solve the nexus of problems pointed to by Kant.

But, what to do? Consider the transcendental idealism of Schopenhauer: the whole game seems to collapse on the issue of representation and the ‘summoning into existence’ of an entire universe. That seems to falsify the whole subject. But too much else is ‘right’ for that. We are thus running in the ‘shadow’ zone of the decline of philosophy.
But greater nature seems to drop a hint of what philosophers must do, and they may become physicists also to proceed, because these questions resemble the ‘place of the observer’ issues in physics.
Kant’s transcendental deduction is hard for me to grapple with, much muddled by Kant’s own struggle here, (it helps to take a course, or find the time for an organized study of the foothills leading up to the main discourse). There are few subject more muddled in presentation than Kant’s mindbender here. Did Kant get his down master idea right? But suddenly the whole fog lifts for a moment and we see what Kant is driving at, maybe. Small wonder we retreat here. And, of course, instant successors found a lot of problems in Kant, e.g. Hegel. But I think Schopenhauer tried to recover something from disaster and restores transcendental idealism to consideration . The strong resemblance to basic ‘Upanishadic’ psychology is an important clue.

Tags: General

0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment