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Kant and Hubbard

Discussion in 'Evaluating and Criticising Scientology' started by Vinaire, Sep 27, 2007.

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  1. Vinaire

    Vinaire Sponsor

    THE CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON

    THE CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON

    What is meant by this title? Critique is not precisely a criticism, but a critical analysis; Kant is not attacking “pure reason,” except, at the end, to show its limitations; rather he hopes to show its possibility, and to exalt it above the impure knowledge which comes to us through the distorting channels of sense. For “pure” reason is to mean knowledge that does not come through our senses, but is independent of all sense experience; knowledge belonging to us by the inherent nature and structure of the mind.

    [KANT presents a critical analysis of reason. Knowledge, which comes to us through the distorting channels of sense, is impure. “Pure” reason is knowledge belonging to us by the inherent nature and structure of the mind. It is independent of all sense experience.]

    [HUBBARD: “Pure reason” would be postulation without any prior association.]

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  2. Vinaire

    Vinaire Sponsor

    At the very outset, then, Kant flings down a challenge to Locke and the English school: knowledge is not all derived from the senses. Hume thought he had shown that there is no soul, and no science; that our minds are but our ideas in procession and association; and our certainties but probabilities in perpetual danger of violation. These false conclusions, says Kant, are the result of false premises: you assume that all knowledge comes from “separate and distinct” sensations; naturally these cannot give you necessity, or invariable sequences of which you may be forever certain; and naturally you must not expect to “see” your soul, even with the eyes of the internal sense. Let us grant that absolute certainty of knowledge is impossible if all knowledge comes from sensation, from an independent external world which owes us no promise of regularity of behavior. But what if we have knowledge that is independent of sense- experience, knowledge whose truth is certain to us even before experience—a priori? Then absolute truth, and absolute science, would become possible, would it not? Is there such absolute knowledge? This is the problem of the first Critique. “My question is, what we can hope to achieve with reason, when all the material and assistance of experience are taken away.” The Critique becomes a detailed biology of thought, an examination of the origin and evolution of concepts, an analysis of the inherited structure of the mind. This, as Kant believes, is the entire problem of metaphysics. “In this book I have chiefly aimed at completeness; and I venture to maintain that there ought not to be one single metaphysical problem that has not been solved here, or to the solution of which the key at least has not here been supplied.” Exegi monumentum aere perennius! With such egotism nature spurs us on to creation.

    [DEFINITION: "Exegi monumentum aere perennius." I have erected a monument more lasting than bronze. (Horace)]

    [KANT asserted that the assumption that all knowledge comes from “separate and distinct” sensations is incorrect. Very likely there is knowledge that is independent of sense experience, knowledge whose truth is certain to us even before experience. Else how could there be any structure to the mind?]

    [HUBBARD: Knowledge has to be created (outflow) before it can be experienced (inflow).]

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  3. Vinaire

    Vinaire Sponsor

    The Critique comes to the point at once. “Experience is by no means the only field to which our understanding can be confined. Experience tells us what is, but not that it must be necessarily what it is and not otherwise. It therefore never gives us any really general truths; and our reason, which is particularly anxious for that class of knowledge, is roused by it rather than satisfied. General truths, which at the same time bear the character of an inward necessity, must be independent of experience—clear and certain in themselves.” That is to say, they must be true no matter what our later experience may be; true even before experience; true a priori. “How far we can advance independently of all experience, in a priori knowledge, is shown by the brilliant example of mathematics.” Mathematical knowledge is necessary and certain; we cannot conceive of future experience violating it. We may believe that the sun will “rise” in the west tomorrow, or that some day, in some conceivable asbestos world, fire will not burn stick; but we cannot for the life of us believe that two times two will ever make anything else than four. Such truths are true before experience; they do not depend on experience past, present, or to come. Therefore they are absolute and necessary truths; it is inconceivable that they should ever become untrue. But whence do we get this character of absoluteness and necessity? Not from experience; for experience gives us nothing but separate sensations and events, which may alter their sequence in the future.’ These truths derive their necessary character from the inherent structure of our minds, from the natural and inevitable manner in which our minds must operate. For the mind of man (and here at last is the great thesis of Kant) is not passive wax upon which experience and sensation write their absolute and yet whimsical will; nor is it a mere abstract name for the series or group of mental states; it is an active organ which moulds and coordinates sensations into ideas, an organ which transforms the chaotic multiplicity of experience into the ordered unity of thought.

    But how?

    [KANT: General truths must be true no matter what our later experience may be; true even before experience; true a priori. Mathematical knowledge is necessary and certain; we cannot conceive of future experience violating it. They are absolute and necessary truths. These truths derive their necessary character from the inherent structure of our minds, from the natural and inevitable manner in which our minds must operate.]

    [KANT’S THESIS: The mind of man is not passive wax upon which experience and sensation write their absolute and yet whimsical will; nor is it a mere abstract name for the series or group of mental states; it is an active organ which moulds and coordinates sensations into ideas, an organ which transforms the chaotic multiplicity of experience into the ordered unity of thought.]

    [HUBBARD’S THESIS: The “first cause” has to be self-determined by definition. Therefore, the element of “self-determinism” is an inevitable factor in the equation of life. Let’s represent that factor by the Greek letter THETA (). Let us now isolate the self-determinedly “active” part of the mind from the structure of the mind, and call it THETAN. Thus, we have THETAN + MIND. THETAN would be the “ability to postulate without any prior association,” and MIND would be the structure employed to perceive and analyze.]

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  4. Vinaire

    Vinaire Sponsor

    TRANSCENDENTAL ESTHETIC

    The effort to answer this question, to study the inherent structure of the mind, or the innate laws of thought, is what Kant calls “transcendental philosophy,” because it is a problem transcending sense-experience. “I call knowledge transcendental which is occupied not so much with objects, as with our a priori concepts of objects.”—with our modes of correlating our experience into knowledge. There are two grades or stages in this process of working up the raw material of sensation into the finished product of thought. The first stage is the coordination of sensations by applying to them the forms of perception—space and time; the second stage is the coordination of the perceptions so developed, by applying to them the forms of conception—the “categories” of thought. Kant, using the word esthetic in its original and etymological sense, as connoting sensation or feeling, calls the study of the first of these stages “Transcendental Esthetic”; and using the word logic as meaning the science of the forms of thought, he calls the study of the second stage “Transcendental Logic.” These are terrible words, which will take meaning as the argument proceeds; once over this hill, the road to Kant will be comparatively clear.


    [KANT refers to the study of innate laws of thought which form the inherent structure of the mind as “transcendental philosophy.” He formulates “transcendental esthetic” to study the process of working up the raw material of sensation into perception through imposition of space and time. He then formulates “transcendental logic” to study the process of working up the raw material of perception into knowledge by applying certain forms of conception.]


    [HUBBARD: The “innate laws of thought” may be expressed through a number of well-defined axioms, the first of which is:

    AXIOM 1: Life is basically a static. A life static has no mass, no motion, no wavelength, no location in space or in time. It has the ability to postulate and to perceive.

    The AXIOMS and LOGICS define the process of postulation, perception and conception.]


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  5. Vinaire

    Vinaire Sponsor

    Now just what is meant by sensations and perceptions?—and how does the mind change the former into the latter? By itself a sensation is merely the awareness of a stimulus; we have a taste on the tongue, an odor in the nostrils, a sound in the ears, a temperature on the skin, a flash of light on the retina, a pressure on the fingers: it is the raw crude beginning of experience; it is what the infant has in the early days of its groping mental life; it is not yet knowledge. But let these various sensations group themselves about an object in space and time—say this apple; let the odor in the nostrils, and the taste on the tongue, the light on the retina, the shape-revealing pressure on the fingers and the hand, unite and group themselves about this “thing”: and there is now an awareness not so much of a stimulus as of a specific object; there is a perception. Sensation has passed into knowledge.

    [KANT: Sensation is awareness of a stimulus. It is the raw crude beginning of experience. But when sensations group together to form a recognizable object in space and time, we have perception.]

    [HUBBARD: Perception is what is recognized or apprehend to some degree by the individual. It registers because of existing programming in the mind, which resonates to the input. That programming may operate either through conscious determination or automatically.]

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  6. Mojo

    Mojo Silver Meritorious Patron

     
  7. Vinaire

    Vinaire Sponsor

    That was a quote from Will Durant on what Kant's thinking was.

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  8. Vinaire

    Vinaire Sponsor

    But again, was this passage, this grouping, automatic? Did the sensations of themselves, spontaneously and naturally, fall into a cluster and an order, and so become perception? Yes, said Locke and Hume; not at all, says Kant.

    [KANT: This grouping of sensations in form of a perception (object and events) does not occur automatically.]

    [HUBBARD: The mind could be programmed to respond to incoming sensation and that programming then placed beyond individual awareness. Furthermore, the response to the incoming sensation could be set up to bypass individual awareness. Therefore, the grouping of sensations as perceptions can be made to occur automatically with respect to individual awareness.]

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  9. Mojo

    Mojo Silver Meritorious Patron

    I imagine they are both correct (Kant and Hubbard). I will have to go back and review Locke's and Hume's words to formulate an opinion of my own.

    I believe Kant's 'absence of automation' and Hubbard's 'could be programmed' are two sides of observing one coin (with each being incomplete in themselves). To wit: Kant's insistence that such 'a grouping' does not occur automatically is accurate, but only to a degree. His opinion being inaccurate after the point where 'social' conditioning enters into the equation. In other words (and for example) it stands to reason that human perception does in fact develop in a self-unfolding manner prior to objective conditioning. For example, a 7 day old infant in the presence of a lion (merely purring) would not expierence the fight or flight phenomena of self preservation whereas a 7 year old child would. Here then is a wedding between Hubbard and Kant.

    Mojo