It's a German Thing

The A Priori Fallacy of Kant Icon

June 10, 2019

Dialectics was the most important part of Socrates’ philosophy, of which the Socratic dialogue is the only part that is understood by academics. Its most important parts are the metaphysical laws that he established, such as:

  • the immortality of the soul and its reincarnation
  • the pantheist God (Brahma) as the source of all souls
  • the superiority of the metaphysical over the physical
  • and so on

Nowadays, dialectics seems to be understood to be an exercise in logic, without any reference to metaphysical truths, God, or to finding solutions. The culprit is the 19th century, specifically the German philosophers led by Kant who established a corrupted version of a priori knowledge.

Kant Profile

Unlike Socratic knowledge which aimed for a practical or moral purpose, Kant’s knowledge is derived for the sake of exercising the brain. It would be like running around in circles uselessly just for the experience of running.

Destroying Kant’s a priori is essential if we are to destroy its child ideas called Transcendental Analytic, Transcendental Dialectic, and Transcendental Idealism which are totally abstract and useless in the real world. Those ideas led to Epistemology which is supposed to parse fact from fiction, but is actually equally useless. This is because this was already done by the study of Logic . Epistemology effectively killed off enlightened philosophy, which explains why junk philosophies sprang up during the 19th century:

  • Nazism led to the Holocaust which destroyed many people
  • Marxism led to the violent Communist Revolution
  • Utilitarianism led to marginal utility, profit maximization, and consumerism which are destroying the planet
This philosopher class is where the authors of the greatest good or evil come from. But a small man never does any great thing to others. So philosophy is left desolate. Her own devotees have fallen away and forsaken her. Other unworthy persons see that she has no protectors so they enter and dishonour her.. Philosophy thus becomes evil. Simplified Republic by Plato, Book 6 Chapter 1

With Epistemology (and its religious version Ontology) wiped out from the face of the Earth, we can bring back Logic, Moral Philosophy, and Dialectics to release philosophy from its current shackles. Once freed, it can be used to solve the growing number of modern problems such as pandemics, terrorism, inequality, global warming, overpopulation, etc, all created by the evil philosophies of 19th century.

Kant’s Definition

Like most philosophers, Kant divides all knowledge as experiential or a posteriori, and non-experiential or a priori. Traditionally:

  • a priori means ‘before experience’
    • Omniscience, prediction, prophecy, and intuition all fall under this, because you know something in advance before it actually happens
  • a posteriori means ‘after experience’
    • This is how we normally know things – by experiencing them, either directly (as in seeing things) or indirectly (as in education or someone else telling you what they saw or know)

However, he makes a very subtle but corrupting addition that a priori knowledge is that not experienced by onself, but may be experienced by others.

Is there knowledge and sensory impressions that exist without being experienced? This knowledge is called a priori. This is in contrast to experiential or a posteriori knowledge based on experience. But a priori is not as yet definite enough. Experiential knowledge might be known a priori, because we do not derive this knowledge immediately from experience,but from a general rule which we have borrowed from experience [OF OTHER PEOPLE]. Introduction, Simple Critique of Pure Reason, emphasis added

So Kant’s a priori knowledge is really a-posteriori-knowledge-from-others. It would be calling a man who has decided to become a female as a ‘woman’ just because that’s how he wants to be seen. But the word ‘woman’ does not really match the man’s nature and is false or a sophistry.

Shemale

Fallacies and lies do not support themselves and need to be supported by other fallacies in a chain. Kant supports the a priori fallacy by adding the idea of pure and impure a priori.

A priori knowledge is either pure or impure. Pure a priori knowledge has no empirical element.

This makes something non-empirical as somewhat empirical. Refering to our man-woman example, this is like calling the man as an ‘impure woman’ instead of calling him as a man.

So What’s the Big Deal?

The problem is that it corrupts the definition of knowledge and facts which are demonstrative and real, by mixing it like mixed fruit, with opinions and beliefs which may or may not be real.

Mixed fruits

To solve this non-problem, academics had to create epistemology which is supposed to re-separate fact from opinion. This then adds unnecessary effort when the whole problem could have been avoided by not mixing up fact and opinion in the first place.

The original tool to split fact from opinion is called dialectics and already was doing its job just fine, simply by accepting arguments that can offer proofs. Nowadays, this is seen in peer-reviews. Notice how Kant even tries to destroy the intellectually-democratic tool of dialectics:

Dialectics is a logic of illusion. It is a sophistical art for giving ignorance and intentional sophistries.. it teaches us nothing regarding the content of our cognitions. It merely shows the formal conditions of their accordance with the understanding, which do not relate to and are quite indifferent in respect of objects,any attempt to employ it as a tool to extend our knowledge must end in mere nonsense since anyone can oppose any assertion. Part 2, Introduction, Simple Critique of Pure Reason

When a person reviews your research paper, it is true that that person is showing the content of his cognitions, and none of yours. And yes, it is true that this allows him or anyone reviewing your work to oppose your own assertions and cognitions. But such steps are essential to creating knowledge, or separating fact from fiction. It is used to make sure that your observations are also observed by other people and are not arbitrary*.

*This explains why Marx and Hitler just pushed for their own arbitrary opinions and sophistically forced them onto people through half-truths and lies

Let’s Get Technical

Kant and cloud computing

Normally, what Kant calls impure a priori knowledge is called a posteriori knowledge from memory.

But this memory would destroy transendence, and so he instead disregards memory and instead places the fact or idea within the metaphysical soul itself. If each soul were a laptop, then Kant’s system would force all laptops to save everything to a cloud server, as the Transcendental Memory, instead of to its own local memory.

In such a case, the laptop is a ‘thin-client’ and is a mere extension of the cloud server and not an independent computer. Its new data comes a posteriori from its keyboard and mic, while its old data comes a priori from the cloud server itself (which matches Kant’s definition). Instead of the laptop doing the normal logic and processing of its old data and ideas, it would be done by the Transcendent cloud server and merely fed down to the laptop. The powerful server would then have more resources to do its own kind of Transcendent Analysis and Transcendent Logic that is superior to the logic of the tiny laptop.

But this is what Theology and organized religions do.

This unity we call "the pure conception of the understanding".. This we might call "the qualitative plurality of characteristic marks".. The unity of this apperception I call "the transcendental unity of self-consciousness".. The understanding with these schemata we shall call "the schematism of the pure understanding". This representation..I call "the schema of this conception".. the pure conceptions of pure reason have a new name as "transcendental ideas".. This dialectical argument I shall call "the transcendental paralogism".. This dialectical argument I shall call "the ideal of pure reason".. I shall term the synthesis of the series.. "as regressive.. and progressive".. the conflicts of the laws of pure reason are "antinomy". Simple Critique of Pure Reason

Kant is like an overeager software developer who invents and documents a lot of useless schemas and counterintuitive definitions to create his own transcendent virtual universe confined only by his fallacy of time. As such, he has no proposition on multiverses, teleportation, nor time travel.

A person who is sensitive to sophistry can see this scientific-sounding dogma being planted by Kant. This is obvious is his arbitrary defintion of goodness in his “categorical imperative”:

A good will is good not because of the will's virtue. It is good in itself. It is considered by itself much higher than all inclinations.. It is alright for reason to interfere with happiness, as nature has intended this. Happiness can even be reduced to nothing and nature will still be correct. Simple Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals

Thus, Kant ends up defning good and bad arbitrarily according to his whim, just as the Church defined it as they liked. What theologians call ‘God’, Kant calls Pure Reason. In both, God and Pure Reason needs no experiential proof, and there is no room for debate or dialectics. Both Theology and Pure Reason have no practical use since their meat is in the abstract or theoretical dimension only.

Both theolgians and epistemologists gain revenue by selling books and a fee or tithe from its believers or students as college debt. Theologians were then known as mendicant scholars, just as epistemologists are known as philosophers flipping burgers. Kant’s smart-sounding words draw in unthinking students just as the authoritative theological assertions drew in the weak-minded.

Flip

In contrast, in the moral philosophy of the Enlightenment, the good is defined as the common interest which can only be known by getting all the a posteriori perceptions of pleasure and pain of all entities throughout space and time. To know what is good or evil, the enlightened system gets the opinions of everyone, even criminals and terrorists, so that the flow or the Tao of all feelings and perceptions can be known. A compromise can then be created to bring back harmony as dharma.

Kant bypasses the perceptions of entities and goes directly to Providence, leading to arbitrariness. He would support the willpower of a good country invading a bad country to impose its version of goodness, as proven in his essay called Groundwork and Perpetual Peace. Together with Nietzsche, it helps explain why Germany kept on invading countries in WWI and WWII under the idea of spreading its Nazi-goodness through sheer will to inferior races.

War

In terms of practicality, Kantianism’s main rival, Objectivism, is superior simply because its meat is in the physical dimension as material objectives. It’s easy to see objectivist-philosophers being rich economists, bankers, and CEOs. Even Marxist-philosophers (dialectical-materialists) sometimes become national leaders. But who has ever heard of a Kantian president or world leader?

Kant and Marx

Let’s Fix Kant!

To prove that Kant’s system is useless, let’s translate his definitions into ordinary English:

Original English Layman’s English Meaning
Transcendental Metaphysical Beyond physicality
subject main idea
predicate sub-idea Connected to the main idea
intuitions passive knowings The mind arrives at the thought automatically, the mind is like an apple falling effortlessly
conceptions active knowings The mind makes an effort to create the thought, the mind is like an airplane or bird making an effort to fly
analytic passive-thinking The passive effort of the mind to connect ideas (rather than using ‘union’ or ‘division’, this paradigm uses ’energy’)
synthetic active-thinking The active effort of the mind to connect ideas beyond what it is immedately connectable (forming things takes more energy than smashing them to pieces, fusion needs more energy that fission)
analytic judgement passive-thinking judgement like a CPU getting data easily from RAM
synthetic judgement active-thinking judgement like a CPU getting data from the Hard disk or other inputs as external experiences with more effort
a priori confined-to-the-mind Mind does not look outward
a posteriori mind-goes-out Mind looking externally
synthetic judgement a priori active-thinking judgement confined-to-the-mind like a CPU getting data from the Hard Disk, or a person thinking seriously alone

This converts the confusing word “synthetic a priori judgements” into “judgements made from active thought confined within the mind”, or for brevity, “active-thinking judgements confined-to-the-mind”. This includes any serious thought, problem solving, and even prayer or meditation that is supposed to output an answer.

This simplifies the statement:

Geometry is a science which determines the properties of space synthetically, and yet à priori.

into:

Geometry determines the properties of space through active-thinking, yet confined-to-the-mind.

Much easier, huh?

With geometry, you can think of whatever shapes inside your mind and it would be fine. But you can’t do the same with geology or chemistry. But why did Kant end up having to create so many weird new concepts anyway?

A Natural Consequence of Denying Experience, Feeling, and Reality

Ayn Rand vs Kant

According to David Hume, who inspired Kant to write his work, all thinking is based on feeling. If a computer were a thinking being, then its electricity would be its feeling. A computer with no electricity cannot think and is technically dead, but once electricity runs through it, it becomes ‘alive’ and starts to process logic in its virtual memory.

For some reason, Kant denies reality to focus purely on the virtual by cutting off all experience and feeling. This is similar to unplugging a computer to see how a computer would run all by itself. Instead of relying on an external power source or external experiences and feelings, he imbues the mind or computer with that power directly from his own mind, by assigning new qualities and dimensions to its processes:

Thinking Process Factor Quality 1 Quality 2
Energy Synthetic (active) Analytic (passive)
Effort Conception (active) Intuition (passive)
Scope or Location a posteriori (outside the mind) a priori (within the mind)

It’s similar to Islam banning interest on loans, which causes it to be transferred as rent as a workaround or roundabout solution, and then creating processes to regulate that, as a bloated complex idea called Shariah banking. Kant bans reality and so he has to recreate everything himself. This is why Kant must have the highest regard for his own mind (since it’s the one that powers everything in his Kant-only-reality):

The reality of the object of our internal sense (that is, myself and my internal state) is clear immediately through consciousness.External objects in space might be a mere delusion. But the object of my internal perception is undeniably real.

Probably a German Thing

Instead of basing the judgement on strong or weak feelings or sensations and their location or distance from the self, Kant adds strength or weakness and distance on the thinking action itself. This is why he has to painstakingly specify whether a thought process was high energy (active thinking) or low energy (passive thinking) or was confined (a priori) or not confined (a posteriori) each time.

Mechanically, it would be like totally denying the relation of gasoline consumption to engine power, or electrical consumption to CPU speed with the belief that the engine power and cpu speed can run by themselves, or that the mind exists for or by itself (as “I think”). These then leads to obvious fallacies in his explanation of the nature of time, existence, and, more importantly, of morals, which I can explain in future posts.

I could only think of Hegel and Marx as similarly-complicated-writers who write so much but have relatively little meat or valuable thought. All of this makes me pity philosophy students who try to understand Kant.

The Germans are the only people who at present use this word to indicate what others call the critique of taste.

Germans overengineering everything

Avoid!

This is why Kant (and epistemology in general) should be avoided.

The occupation with the auxiliary sciences [logic] constitutes a waste of one's life, occupation with something that is of no concern. Muqaddimah, Chapter 6, Part 37