Archive for the ‘Cetera Desunt by William Reynolds’ Category

The Search For Earth-like Planets

Friday, February 27th, 2009 by William Reynolds

Looks like we’re in the market for a change in scenery.  Since it appears we might be moving in the not-so-distant future, can I break open those cases of Right Guard I hoarded just before the EPA cracked down on fluorocarbon emissions? What about the styrofoam drink cups I got stashed up in the rafters of my garage – are those back in play as well?

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Proposed Space Weapon Ban

Friday, February 6th, 2009 by William Reynolds

It will be interesting to see whether informal rules can be enforced on a global scale to govern space conduct, and whether these will fall along the lines of universality as witnessed with maritime rules of engagement.  This does appear to be the next ominous specter on the not so distant horizon.  What was that song the Beatles sang in 67….All You Need Is Love?  Can anyone today listen to this song with a straight face?  Sigh….

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Votes from Space!

Friday, November 7th, 2008 by William Reynolds

And to think some people can’t be bothered because “There wasn’t any parking at my polling place…” Actual quote.  Sigh…. Let me see if I got this straight, astronauts circling in orbit can cast their votes in the general election, but 1 parking spot too few is enough to delay your civic duty 4 more years?

I’m not trying to spin up some indignant rhetoric around patriotic duty and whatnot, but considering how many people have given their lives to obtain and protect the freedoms we enjoy – not the least of these being the right and privilege to determine our leadership through general elections – it seems a tad remiss to take a pass on casting a ballot because of a lack of convenience.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Schopenhauer was right: Part 5 – A Departure From Kant

Friday, October 10th, 2008 by William Reynolds

Having been away from my Schopenhauer series for nearly 2 months, I’ve felt the longing pangs of unfinished business in my gulliver.  So it is with renewed vim and vigor that I return to the dais for yet another installment.

When I think back on my earliest encounter with philosophy, it is not dissimilar from my first brush with theology.  During the spring of my freshman year at the University of Minnesota, I became enamored of theology largely on account of dating an inordinately religious woman named S____.  My enamored fancy fell up Saint Thomas Aquinas via a medieval history course, and I soon found myself reading Summa Theologica at Coffman Union between classes.

Q:  Is there a more wearisome, and austere scholarly contribution than Summa Theologica?
A:  Not likely.

I find a it little amusing that my first forays into philosophy and theology resulted in overmatched efforts involving the aforementioned.  One might deem Socrates and CS Lewis a bit more age appropriate if not efficacious.

Immanuel Kant’s contribution to modern philosophy is well known for synthesizing empiricism and continental rationalism.  Where empiricists contended that knowledge arises from experience, and rationalists asserted that reason alone provides the basis of knowledge, Kant – in his own estimation – created a compromise between the two by presenting knowledge as function of comprehension involving 2 actors:  Concepts of the mind and phenomena.  Concepts (categories) of the mind are 4 fold with 3 aspects each – quantity (unity, plurality, totality), quality (reality, negation, limitation), relation (substance, cause, community) and modality (possibility, existence, necessity).  These concepts are universals; we cannot process phenomena (experience) without them.  For example, we cannot look at 2 apples on a table without immediately apprehending plurality.  Kant went on to refer to these categories as filters through which knowledge is made possible.

There remains in Kant the problem of things – in – themselves.  If knowledge is obtained by applying filters to phenomena arriving via our senses, then how can we ever say with certainty “That which I perceive exists as I perceive it”? On this point, Schopenhauer departs from Kant and is correct in doing so.  For Schopenhauer, the problem of knowing things – in – themselves is even deeper than Kant implied for it is not enough to merely enumerate the filters through which knowledge is made manifest without acknowledging the obvious conclusion:  That so long as filters lie between our senses and our reason, the extension of our knowledge cannot lie beyond our senses i.e. we do not know a sun “but only an eye that sees the sun…”

But we do know our bodies….

To be continued…

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Our Undiscovered Universe Blog is proudly powered by WordPress
Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).