A Short Critique of Kants Unreason

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The main purpose of the present Meditations is to inspire and assist readers to practice meditation of some sort, and in particular 'sitting meditation'.

Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason

Zen Judaism is a frank reflection on the tensions between reason and faith in today's context of knowledge, and on the need to inject Zen-like meditation into Judaism. This work also treats some issues in ethics and theodicy. Volition and Allied Causal Concepts is a work of aetiology and metapsychology. Aetiology is the branch of philosophy and logic devoted to the study of causality the cause-effect relation in all its forms; and metapsychology is the study of the b More Meditations is a sequel to the author's earlier work, Meditations.

It proposes additional practical methods and theoretical insights relating to meditation and Buddhism. It also discusses certain often glossed over issues relating to Buddhism Hume's Problems with Induction is intended to describe and refute some of the main doubts and objections David Hume raised with regard to inductive reasoning. It replaces the so-called problem of induction with a principle of induction.

A Short Critique of Kant's Unreason is a brief critical analysis of some of the salient epistemological and ontological ideas and theses in Immanuel Kant's famous Critique of Pure Reason.

Johann Georg Hamann (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

It shows that Kant was in no position to criticize reason, In Defense of Aristotle's Laws of Thought addresses, from a phenomenological standpoint, numerous modern and Buddhist objections and misconceptions regarding the basic principles of Aristotelian logic. Many people seem to be attacking Aristotle's Lyssna fritt i 30 dagar!

Ange kod: play Ladda ned. The second point of our quotation, qualifying the first, then stipulates that the originality that is constitutive of genius cannot simply be wild, untamed novelty. So even though the work of genius has not arisen through calculation, or the mere following of rules, it must nevertheless be capable of being held up to others as a model or standard. So if it were to simply and mechanically follow a pre-existing set of rules this would foreclose originality; however, in order to avoid arbitrariness, or nonsense, it must simultaneously be in conformity with such rules while transforming them.

For, no matter how much a work may upset our preconceptions of a given artistic form, it must still elicit a certain recognition for this upset to take place. Simply put, if The Rite of Spring was not at all recognizable as being in conformity with Western musical traditions it would not have caused such a scandal. Furthermore, if there were not a more or less strictly codified set of rules concerning tonality, structure, rhythm, dynamics, and instrumentation, for Stravinsky to draw upon, there would have been no possibility of its emergence.

To put the same aporia another way, the artist of genius must not and cannot work to a rule otherwise there is no originality , but must not and cannot work without rules otherwise the result is nonsense. But we have already seen that it must not simply amount to the mechanical application of a rule, otherwise it is not a decision either. Thus in order to be an exemplary rather than nonsensical form of originality the artist must work in conformity with rules, while in order to be original, rather than derivative, it must not merely follow those rules.

However, in transgressing the order of rule-following there can evidently be no guarantee for originality—nothing that absolutely assures the artist that what he is embarking upon will result in an exemplary outcome rather than a nonsensical one. If it were guaranteed in advance, if there were no risk, if the odds had been calculated beforehand, then the outcome would have been predetermined and therefore nothing truly new would emerge.

So while the artist must not succumb to nonsense, he must surely risk nonsense as soon as he suspends the order of general rules. In the act the artist works on faith: a faith without foundation that the result will not be mere nonsense. However, the only way this originality can emerge is by risking failure and tarrying with senselessness.

Between Reason and Unreason: Nietzsche – The Enlightenment – Romanticism

Were it to tip over into madness, the senseless, art would cease; but it must enter into a relationship with this limit and risk the void of nonsense if it is to produce anything truly new. Without this risk we would have simply good taste, measure, rules and calculation; however, in the time of creation there is no guarantee as to which side of the limit the artist inhabits, for such a certainty could only derive from the surety of a rule.

None of what we have drawn out here regarding the irreducible risk of nonsense involved in genius is explicitly stated by Kant; however the exposition of the theory of aesthetic ideas provides us with a telling indication. So, while Kant wants to clearly distinguish nonsense from exemplarity, such a distinction cannot be rigorously upheld.

The risk of nonsense structures the exemplary outcome; as such nonsense is not simply external and foreign to exemplarity but internal to it. So when Kant speaks of exemplarity, and of the work inspiring others without leading them to simply copy or reproduce the same work, it is this putting oneself at risk or tarrying with the void that is at issue. For once a radically original practice has been confirmed, recognized and accepted if not popularly then at least by other artists then this risk is elided and it becomes a given fact. That is why, if an author owes a product to his genius, he himself does not know how he came by the ideas for it; nor is it in his power [ Gewalt ] to devise such products at his pleasure, or by following a plan, and to communicate [his procedure] to others in precepts that would enable them to bring about like products.

The third point is a logical consequence of the above, and insists upon this non-knowledge on the part of genius that we have already touched upon. The artist who possesses genius cannot logically, step by step give an account of how he arrived at the outcome; firstly because it was not produced according to a formula, and secondly because he himself does not know how it came about and nor can he reproduce it at will.

For we have already stressed that in the act of creation the artist cannot know for sure that what he is doing will result in exemplarity or nonsense, for such a guarantee would imply knowledge of a rule. There is thus a constitutive ignorance in the work of the artist. However, this non-knowledge by no means prescribes a particular mode of creative activity—for instance, one that is unpremeditated, intuitive and freely expressive, such as the non-knowledge that characterizes automatic writing, or certain strains of expressionist painting.

For the emergence of something new, however, this determinate knowledge must be suspended. To restate the aporia cited above, the artist must not know what he is doing, so that it not be prescribed by a rule, and he must know what he is doing, in order to avoid arbitrariness. The impossible instant of creation or inspiration would be the coinciding of these two states.

So, given that the artist is thus disarmed by this non-knowledge that constitutes the act of creation, it could legitimately be asked who creates?


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Who is in charge of this situation? If the one who says I , the artist himself, were simply and straightforwardly the author of his work, if its emergence resulted from an innate capacity or potentiality within the artist, then it could surely be wielded at will and the product of genius could be solicited on demand.


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It does not constitute an event. However, if genius is not a power Gewalt or ability that the artist wields, then in this operation a fundamental passivity must intervene. In the second case, it is the invention of the other because it must likewise take its inventor by surprise. Genius is the name of this other that intervenes in any act of invention or creation; this coming of the other is not some supernatural force that the artist channels, or that works on his behalf, rather it designates the gap that structures any act of creativity.

This gap breaks with precedent, rules, formulae, and as such is as unknowable, untraversable and unmasterable to the artist as it is to the layperson. However, this operation is not a simple passivity. Even if the artist cannot premeditate his inspiration or generate it at will, he is not simply powerless, waiting for some foreign agent to intervene.

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So the space must be cleared for the event to occur without, however, predetermining what it will be. The artist solicits the coming of the other genius ; he does not decide to receive it for how can I decide what happens to me but he facilitates its coming. Kant says something analogous in his repeated stipulations that genius must not simply renounce taste and formal correctness.

The one who forgoes all constraint in the mistaken idea that this better allows for the intervention of genius gives in to the passive apathy that Derrida describes. Nothing truly new, or absolutely surprising, can come about if we simply wait and hope for it to happen or throw ourselves heedlessly into anything at all, which amounts to the same thing as doing nothing. The artist of genius, Kant tells us, must prepare the ground with academic training and the cultivation of good taste.

This does not pre-empt or cause the emergence of the new, however, for there will be many, most even, who do so but without genius. So there is an active preparing of the ground but not a predetermining that would foreclose the coming of the other. Here too I receive a reward and so have not truly given. So to be a gift both the giver and the receiver must be unaware of what is given.

As soon as the gift appears to either party, it annuls itself as gift.

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Any verdict handed down by juridical fiat can always be challenged by disputing the grounds of its rational or legislative power. Thus the law, like philosophy, constantly runs up against the problem of establishing its own claims-to-truth on the ground of impartial reason. Decisions of the court are repeatedly quashed and the case reopened for further cross-examination. But these attacks on the system from beyond its immediate jurisdiction always fail in their attempt to shift the debate onto a radically different terrain.

Yet each attempt to fight consciousness and its possessions on non-litigious terrain does not dissolve but reinforces the antinomy of law, the battle over jurisdiction, and ends up back in court. The Kantian antinomies of pure and practical reason — played out between the parties in successive juridical scenes — may admit of no final arbitrating judgment. But they do at least keep open the critical court of appeal, in so far as they allow reason to grasp the constitutive process that has engendered the individual subject and his or her standing before the law.

Post-structuralism mystifies this process by dissolving the antinomies and recognising only a contest of wills between rival claimants to power. This regression is signalled by its falling back upon a language of military tactics and strategies, a discourse sustained by feudal metaphors of warfare and direct coercion. The result is to sever all connection between law and reason as joint representatives of bourgeois society in search of an ultimate legitimating ground.

Thus thought is deprived of any purchase on the forms of administrative reason and justice, whose evolving relationship Foucault does little to explain. Rose can also demonstrate convincingly that post-structuralism ignores the legal and historical implications of its own favoured metaphors and tropes. What is truth? To Rose this account seems the merest of sophistical evasions. The effacement of identifying marks on a coin may be taken more pointedly as signalling the way in which regulative concepts maintain their power despite our forgetting whence they derive.

What is required is the effort to demystify this powerful irrationalist strain in modern thinking in order to demonstrate the motives at work in the turn toward language or rhetoric as an ultimate ground of explanation. Post-structuralism fails to meet this requirement, since it always discovers the same baffling end-point to rational thought: the idea that knowledge is everywhere subject to rhetorical forces beyond its power to grasp or effectively criticise.

And this last-ditch scepticism goes along with a regressive tendency to bypass the antinomies of critical reason as they bear upon the discourses of law and politics. But this move has turned out to have disturbing consequences. And this ambivalence can be seen as the result of abandoning that tradition of enlightened critique which has characterised not only Marxist thinking but every attempt to separate truth from ideological illusion.

Without at least an operative grasp of what it means to uphold this distinction, thinking is thrown back onto a relativist position where — quite simply — truth is up for grabs in the medley of competing discourses. Post-structuralism needs to address these issues more seriously if its political claims are to carry much weight.