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kant articles

Where universality breaks: about Kant's triads and the dual to Laplace's demon

Hi. Let’s wait for more people to show up… Or it’s just us? OK. So listen up, I wrote this very cool post that gathers almost all my mathematical and philosophical interests in one place…

OK, whaterver, if you are not interested I will stop.

OK, let’s try again * clears throat * “The age-old mystery of Kant’s triads has baffled academics for centuries: what is the significance of the third element that finishes each of his triad. And is it possible that the categories were given to Kant by aliens?”

What, now it’s too dramatic? No, impossible, Kant never used any drugs! OK, whatever, I give up, no more introductions for these articles, let’s just get on with it!

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Booknotes - The critique of pure reason

Lately, I’ve been exploring this book, which I will refer to as simply “The critique” from now on, by following the lectures by Robert Paul Wolff and decided to put my notes here in case someone finds them useful. This is a summary. The ideas expressed in it belong to Immanuel Kant. The phrase “Kant thinks” can accompany each sentence from it, but it is omitted for brevity and ease of reading. But at the same time, it is not objective - I am interpreting the ideas in the book the way I understand them, which may or may not be the way your philosophy professor interprets them. Also, the text is not in any way a substitute of reading the book itself - rather my aim was for it to help people who read the book by providing an additional viewpoint into what is happening in it.

I put my original research in a separate article about Kant’s categories.

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kant shorts

Kant's principle

Kant’s principle: If there is only one of it (and there cannot ever be more), then it’s probably imaginary e.g. time, space, god, self…

Corrolary: You only truly understand the things that you yourself made up. And so if you think you truly understand something, either you are wrong or you made that thing up.

Kant's discovery

The main discovery of Kant is that we are not “blank sheets”, but are born predisposed to certain modes of perception. This thought had profound influence on almost every intellectual discipline.

I believe that Kant discovered that when thinking about the laws of Euclidean geometry (“Given two points, there is a straight line that joins them”). These are “facts” that are deeply embedded in our perception of the world, so much that we cannot imagine a world where they are not true, but at the same time they cannot be proved, they don’t follow from anything.

Therefore, he reasoned, there are laws/axioms/postulates that are “embedded” in our minds, that come before perception giving general direction about our perception of the world. They are “pure reason”.


Word of the day: Antinomy — an undecidable conflict between two theses, none of which is true, simply because the question has no answer. (via Immanuel Kant)

Deepest chapter of Kant's Critique

At first I thought that the Transcendental Deduction was the heart of the matter of “The Critique of Pure Reason”, but upon rereading, it’s definitely not it. The deepest chapter is appropriately called “Systematic representation of All the Synthetic Principles of Pure Understanding” and is awesome. Especially the “Analogies of Experience” and the “Anticipation of Perception” are so deep that I did not understand a single word at first, but it all comes together with time.

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