Kant, Relativity and Transcendental Idealism

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3017Metaphysician
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Kant, Relativity and Transcendental Idealism

Post by 3017Metaphysician »

Hello fellow Metaphysicians!

I'm working on part of a theory, and need some help. Much like Kant, in trying to conceive of a noumenal realm of independent existence, I have a transcendental inquiry, as he might posit:

Is it reasonable (treating like cases likely and different cases differently) to infer if we understand within temporal time itself, that the speed of light exists (eternity/time stops) but we are not able to actually experience it or travel in it (otherwise we would explode), does this in itself imply another realm of existence. If it does, what kind of 'existence' does this involve? What kind of reality is this?

Noumenon: The term noumenon is generally used in contrast with, or in relation to, the term phenomenon, which refers to any object of the senses. Immanuel Kant first developed the notion of the noumenon as part of his transcendental idealism, suggesting that while we know the noumenal world to exist because human sensibility is merely receptive, it is not itself sensible and must therefore remain otherwise unknowable to us.

Time: The ostensible experience of temporal flow is an illusion. All we ever actually experience is the present snapshot, which entails a timescape of memories and imaginings analogous to the landscape of valley and mountains. Everything else is a story. The implications of this realization for physics and philosophy are profound.

Also, since the perception of time is paradoxical in its explanation & experience (experiencing the past, present, future), and the speed of light is simply theoretical, is time itself transcendent? Meaning, is it yet another abstract metaphysical structure form reality?

I appreciate any and all thought.
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AmericanKestrel
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Re: Kant, Relativity and Transcendental Idealism

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Advaita philosophy asserts that the one single Consciousness that exists, and is all that exists, there is nothing else other than it, transcends time and space.
"The Serpent did not lie."
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Steve3007
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Re: Kant, Relativity and Transcendental Idealism

Post by Steve3007 »

3017Metaphysician wrote:Is it reasonable (treating like cases likely and different cases differently) to infer if we understand within temporal time itself, that the speed of light exists (eternity/time stops) but we are not able to actually experience it or travel in it (otherwise we would explode), does this in itself imply another realm of existence. If it does, what kind of 'existence' does this involve? What kind of reality is this?
These questions seem incoherent to me. I think it would be a good idea to read the paragraph back to yourself. Take the first sentence (i.e. the part up to the first period/full stop):

"Is it reasonable (treating like cases likely and different cases differently) to infer if we understand within temporal time itself, that the speed of light exists (eternity/time stops) but we are not able to actually experience it or travel in it (otherwise we would explode), does this in itself imply another realm of existence."

Can you try to write that more succinctly as a potentially answerable question? Perhaps it might be something like this:

"Is it reasonable to state that light travels at a finite speed and that we cannot ever travel at that speed ourselves?"

Is that something close to what you wanted to ask?
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3017Metaphysician
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Re: Kant, Relativity and Transcendental Idealism

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Steve3007 wrote: July 21st, 2021, 10:09 am
3017Metaphysician wrote:Is it reasonable (treating like cases likely and different cases differently) to infer if we understand within temporal time itself, that the speed of light exists (eternity/time stops) but we are not able to actually experience it or travel in it (otherwise we would explode), does this in itself imply another realm of existence. If it does, what kind of 'existence' does this involve? What kind of reality is this?
These questions seem incoherent to me. I think it would be a good idea to read the paragraph back to yourself. Take the first sentence (i.e. the part up to the first period/full stop):

"Is it reasonable (treating like cases likely and different cases differently) to infer if we understand within temporal time itself, that the speed of light exists (eternity/time stops) but we are not able to actually experience it or travel in it (otherwise we would explode), does this in itself imply another realm of existence."

Can you try to write that more succinctly as a potentially answerable question? Perhaps it might be something like this:

"Is it reasonable to state that light travels at a finite speed and that we cannot ever travel at that speed ourselves?"

Is that something close to what you wanted to ask?

Hi Steve!

Thanks for your contribution :shock:

Well, not really. We already know that it is reasonable to conclude we cannot travel at the speed of light. Yet, we know in theory (through relativity) that the speed of light exists. Thus is it reasonable to infer a kind of independent existence of some sort (where time stops)? Philosophically, (or otherwise) what kind of reality would this suggest?

There are many things to think about, one of which are the differences between temporal time and eternal time... (?).

For example, some philosophical examples of eternal time would be:

a) An unending stretch of time – everlastingness;

b) That which is entirely timeless; and

c) That which includes time but somehow also transcends it.
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Re: Kant, Relativity and Transcendental Idealism

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AmericanKestrel wrote: July 21st, 2021, 9:05 am Advaita philosophy asserts that the one single Consciousness that exists, and is all that exists, there is nothing else other than it, transcends time and space.
Hi AK! Thanks for your contribution.

In your view, just curious, would that be considered akin to perhaps certain phenomena relative to NDE studies/experiences? Alternatively, since
I am unfamiliar with that philosophy, I will have to study the Advaita Vedanta to see if there is any likeness there... .

Since Kant felt like our sensibility was only receptive, (much like our brains being a radio receiver/transmitter) and that the signals existed as a some thing-in-itself unknowable to us, beyond our understanding (noumena), I was wondering if there was some sort of connection... . In cognitive science we read things like: ...but they do suggest that NDEs might include contact with reality, even without normal heart or brain function, and that this contact may actually stretch beyond what we are capable of when our bodies are operating normally.
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Re: Kant, Relativity and Transcendental Idealism

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3017Metaphysician wrote: July 21st, 2021, 11:11 am
AmericanKestrel wrote: July 21st, 2021, 9:05 am Advaita philosophy asserts that the one single Consciousness that exists, and is all that exists, there is nothing else other than it, transcends time and space.
Hi AK! Thanks for your contribution.

In your view, just curious, would that be considered akin to perhaps certain phenomena relative to NDE studies/experiences? Alternatively, since
I am unfamiliar with that philosophy, I will have to study the Advaita Vedanta to see if there is any likeness there... .

Since Kant felt like our sensibility was only receptive, (much like our brains being a radio receiver/transmitter) and that the signals existed as a some thing-in-itself unknowable to us, beyond our understanding (noumena), I was wondering if there was some sort of connection... . In cognitive science we read things like: ...but they do suggest that NDEs might include contact with reality, even without normal heart or brain function, and that this contact may actually stretch beyond what we are capable of when our bodies are operating normally.
This might help:
https://www.advaita-vision.org/kant-advaita-1/
"The Serpent did not lie."
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Re: Kant, Relativity and Transcendental Idealism

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3017Metaphysician wrote:Hi Steve!

Thanks for your contribution :shock:
You're welcome.
Well, not really. We already know that it is reasonable to conclude we cannot travel at the speed of light.
Just to be clear on that point: We know that in the sense that it fits into a logically self-consistent set of laws (the laws of physics) which are based on patterns we've seen in our observations. Those laws predict that no object with mass can travel at or beyond that particular speed relative to another object with mass.
Yet, we know in theory (through relativity) that the speed of light exists.
This seems to me a slightly odd way to use the word "exists". I guess we could say that it exists in the same sense that other physical constants exist. It doesn't exist in the same sense that material objects exist. I think a materialist/physicalist might argue that it is not a real existent but is an abstract concept.
Thus is it reasonable to infer a kind of independent existence of some sort (where time stops)?...
Existence of what? In my usage, "existence" refers to the existential state of things; objects. So to say something like "there is an independent existence", as if existence is some kind of place, makes no sense to me.
...Philosophically, (or otherwise) what kind of reality would this suggest?

There are many things to think about, one of which are the differences between temporal time and eternal time... (?).
I don't know how you'd define those two types of time. As far as I can see, there is one type of time and it is defined as the thing that is measured by clocks, or, alternatively, it is defined as change in physical objects and in their interactions.
For example, some philosophical examples of eternal time would be:

a) An unending stretch of time – everlastingness;

b) That which is entirely timeless; and

c) That which includes time but somehow also transcends it.
To me, (a) is just normal time (there might be an unending sequence of changes or there might not) and (b) and (c) are self-contradictory.
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Re: Kant, Relativity and Transcendental Idealism

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3017Metaphysician wrote:(where time stops)
On this point, I think it's worth trying to be clear as to how the world appears to work (as expressed by the laws of physics, and in particular the theory of relativity). The idea of time stopping is incoherent. "Stop" is one of the words which describes an object's state of motion relative to another object. If I travel closer and closer to the speed of light relative to some other object, the clock which I'm carrying doesn't slow down or stop. It ticks away just as it always did. Time dilation is not about time, as some kind of universal, changing its speed. Time doesn't have a speed. Speed is distance divided by time. Relativistic time dilation is intimately connected to the fact that there is no universal absolute time and that time is what is measured by clocks. There is no universal clock. There are only particular clocks that are moving relative to each other, and there are observations of clocks that are moving with us and clocks that are moving differently to us.

If we're going to try to draw philosophical conclusions from something like Relativity, I think we first need to make sure we're reasonably clear, at least in general terms, what it says.
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Re: Kant, Relativity and Transcendental Idealism

Post by 3017Metaphysician »

AmericanKestrel wrote: July 21st, 2021, 3:32 pm
3017Metaphysician wrote: July 21st, 2021, 11:11 am
AmericanKestrel wrote: July 21st, 2021, 9:05 am Advaita philosophy asserts that the one single Consciousness that exists, and is all that exists, there is nothing else other than it, transcends time and space.
Hi AK! Thanks for your contribution.

In your view, just curious, would that be considered akin to perhaps certain phenomena relative to NDE studies/experiences? Alternatively, since
I am unfamiliar with that philosophy, I will have to study the Advaita Vedanta to see if there is any likeness there... .

Since Kant felt like our sensibility was only receptive, (much like our brains being a radio receiver/transmitter) and that the signals existed as a some thing-in-itself unknowable to us, beyond our understanding (noumena), I was wondering if there was some sort of connection... . In cognitive science we read things like: ...but they do suggest that NDEs might include contact with reality, even without normal heart or brain function, and that this contact may actually stretch beyond what we are capable of when our bodies are operating normally.
This might help:
https://www.advaita-vision.org/kant-advaita-1/
Very nice AK!

Thank you kindly for that. Of special importance to me was his distinction he made between Berkley's idealism and Kant's.

Also, the synthetic a priori, in itself, to this day, is still a mystery!
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Re: Kant, Relativity and Transcendental Idealism

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Steve3007 wrote: July 22nd, 2021, 5:17 am
3017Metaphysician wrote:Hi Steve!

Thanks for your contribution :shock:
You're welcome.
Well, not really. We already know that it is reasonable to conclude we cannot travel at the speed of light.
Just to be clear on that point: We know that in the sense that it fits into a logically self-consistent set of laws (the laws of physics) which are based on patterns we've seen in our observations. Those laws predict that no object with mass can travel at or beyond that particular speed relative to another object with mass.
Yet, we know in theory (through relativity) that the speed of light exists.
This seems to me a slightly odd way to use the word "exists". I guess we could say that it exists in the same sense that other physical constants exist. It doesn't exist in the same sense that material objects exist. I think a materialist/physicalist might argue that it is not a real existent but is an abstract concept.
Thus is it reasonable to infer a kind of independent existence of some sort (where time stops)?...
Existence of what? In my usage, "existence" refers to the existential state of things; objects. So to say something like "there is an independent existence", as if existence is some kind of place, makes no sense to me.
...Philosophically, (or otherwise) what kind of reality would this suggest?

There are many things to think about, one of which are the differences between temporal time and eternal time... (?).
I don't know how you'd define those two types of time. As far as I can see, there is one type of time and it is defined as the thing that is measured by clocks, or, alternatively, it is defined as change in physical objects and in their interactions.
For example, some philosophical examples of eternal time would be:

a) An unending stretch of time – everlastingness;

b) That which is entirely timeless; and

c) That which includes time but somehow also transcends it.
To me, (a) is just normal time (there might be an unending sequence of changes or there might not) and (b) and (c) are self-contradictory.
Thank you Steve!

My theory is just in it's initial stages, and I'm thinking through all the 'logical possibilities'. So I apologize if things are a bit convoluted right now. I'm researching the old block universe theory and other time paradox's. When you ask "Existence of what?', as an analogy, I can only imagine what existed before humans appeared on the scene. Obviously, there was some sort of independent existence within spacetime, even after the initial stages of the BB. It's just that we were not around to observe or experience it. So in that way, there is even a small notion of independent existence.

Totally thinking aloud... , or some Platonic realm of being, some mathematical abstract law of eternal time that always existed (in theory, prior to the BB-some thing started the BB). Similar to the idea that the laws of physics always existed v. human invention.

With respect to the speed of light, of course, in that realm of existing, material clocks would not work, nor would humans be able to work :) . Yet theoretically, there is still something and not nothing. I'm trying to think what would this something be... any ideas?

Again, sorry for the random thoughts... I appreciate you taking the time to offer contribution, thanks again.
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