Sunday, December 13, 2009

Unamuno, cont.

On somersaults......

""Take Kant, the man Immanuel Kant, who was born and lived at Königsberg, in the latter part of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth. In the philosophy of this man Kant, a man of heart and head—that is to say, a man—there is a significant somersault, as Kierkegaard, another man—and what a man!—would have said, the somersault from the Critique of Pure Reason to the Critique of Practical Reason. He reconstructs in the latter what he destroyed in the former, in spite of what those may say who do not see the man himself. After having examined and pulverized with his analysis the traditional proofs of the existence of God, of the Aristotelian God, who is the God corresponding to the ζωον πολιτικον, the abstract God, the unmoved prime Mover, he reconstructs God anew; but the God of the conscience, the Author of the moral order—the Lutheran God, in short. This transition of Kant exists already in embryo in the Lutheran notion of faith.

The first God, the rational God, is the projection to the outward infinite of man as he is by definition—that is to say, of the abstract man, of the man no-man; the other God, the God of feeling and volition, is the projection to the inward infinite of man as he is by life, of the concrete man, the man of flesh and bone.

Kant reconstructed with the heart that which with the head he had overthrown. And we know, from the testimony of those who knew him and from his testimony in his letters and private declarations, that the man Kant, the more or less selfish old bachelor who professed philosophy at Königsberg at the end of the century of the Encyclopedia and the goddess of Reason, was a man much preoccupied with the problem—I mean with the only real vital problem, the problem that strikes at the very root of our being, the problem of our individual and personal destiny, of the immortality of the soul. The man Kant was not resigned to die utterly. And because he was not resigned to die utterly he made that leap, that immortal somersault,[5] from the one Critique to the other."""


jh said...

for kant no matter how much he might be spiritualized by U the whole reconstruction came from a sense of moral duty...somehow we are obligated to be dutiful adn therefor somewhat religious
a very lutheran dictum

nothing could be further from catholic truth


J said...

Perhaps, but, ethically speaking, the categorical imperative should not be mistaken for evangelical religion. It's an attempt to establish objective ethics, even platonic ethics, from the standpoint of the individual: "act as if your every act was a maxim binding on all."

So, "you ought not to torture people" is categorically wrong, regardless if (as Sammy Harris has said) some good might on occasion come out of torture. Even from a secular standpoint, most humans, even Sammy Harris, would not care to be tortured under any circumstance (I mean, good could even conceivably come out of torturing the innocent); therefore, they would, considering the Cat.Imp., agree torture was wrong, even from a subjective standpoint (in brief). That's not merely utilitarianism.

And Kantian ethics sounds fairly biblical to me, ie golden rule --perhaps not Aquinas, but then Aristotle's systme of "virtu" was hardly biblical either (ie the Nico. ethics was the code of Caesar more or less, hermano JH

J said...

Actually, JH, I agree there's something cold, distant, and Kant's philosophy, whether in terms of metaphysics or ethics. ..Ghostly. Unamuno even hints at that, I think. Kant's certainly not hangin' with the homies--yet Kant does attempt to preserve the autonomy of Reason, for lack of a better term. Politically, Kant's against tyranny (including the anglo- Churchillian-zionist sort--rah-thur!); really, I think Kant understood in some sense what Hume would lead to (e.g. materialism, Darwin, Nietzsche, positivism, et al)

Ergo Kant doesn't seem to be a complete foe of catholicism; he does allude to Aristotle (from whence he derived his categories). Some catholics have attempted to make use of Kant, have they not? I recall reading even something on Kantianism (not entirely negative) from the current El Papa.

jh said...

faith and reason are duly wed
in catholic thought

no doubt benedict XVI knows his Kant knows the work of joseph marechal et al

thomas regards aristotles' acheivement in physika a monumental thing

he takes metaphysika and moulds it into the foundation for catholik thinking ever since
t of a
in effect baptizing the thought of aristotle and in a way sort of baptizing the stagierite by proxy

insofar as the thinking more lr less demolishes metaphysics...despite the thinking has had to stop short of accepting the legitimacy of kant

most recently catholic thinkers who've been formed in continental thought can't seem to understand why they run afoul of basic catholic ideas
they soemhow think the categorical imperative is metaphysics me thinks

there's plenty of dialectical activity going on with all postkantian european thought in all catholic academies

the impasse always seems to be as far as i can tell the humean kantian and cartesian bracketing or the taking god out of the philosphical picture

metaphysics in aristotle/thomas is first philosophy
most people ignore this

jacques maritain's
the degrees of knowledge
is the greatest unread work of teh 20th century

good posts

i'm resisting the temptation to
treat you the way you treated my lutheran surrealist friend


J said...

Some varieties of catholicism I respect a bit, at least in principle--like the jesuits. Others, like the Dominican Bros, I do not. Maritain is one thing; Roody Guiliani another--.

Many a Billy bob baptist--- or Darwinist/scientific materialist in college-town for that matter--doesn't really understand what he tosses out when rejecting Aquinas, Aristotle, and the catholic canon. I have a decent understanding of Aquinas' first cause arguments, and some of the Summa--my view is that the thomistic chestnuts have a certain persuasive force (a sequence of events would require an Event Initiator, in brief)--even metaphorical force-- but are not necessarily true, and they follow from the older, pre-gallilean, pre-Newtonian mechanistic physics, and from Aristotle--even Archimedes and other greek thinkers had already begun to modify Aristotle's views re physics and metaphysics; and for that matter Ari's logic has been substantially upgraded (via Frege & co).

Ezra Pound, while perhaps not a complete papist (tho' I've read he attended La Misa at times), nonetheless preferred the latin-catholic tradition to, well, anglo-royalists, or ...Billy bob baptists, and calvinist-evangelical bozos.

Your pal K-O affirms evangelicalism, not to say neo-cons, Foxnews bozos, McCain-Palin, Rush Limbaugh--no catholics among that crew (except maybe O'Reilly at Fox). Hence the satire (really, I was hardly as rude or insulting as K-O was).

J said...

Correctio: that was , "you ought to torture people" is categorically wrong, regardless if (as Sammy Harris has said) some good might on occasion come out of torture."

Not that the Fed snitches and Mormonics watching Contingencies care much either way.

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