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Kants all reasonable beings

 
 
voidere
 
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2012 07:01 am
Kant mentions in his "Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals" various times the expression "Humans and all reasonable beings". What does he mean by the other reasonable beings? I think on our earth he finds no other reasonable being than humans, could it be that he refers to extraterrestrials? Did he believe in extraterrestrial life?
 
Ragman
 
  2  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2012 07:10 am
@voidere,
It Kant happen.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2012 07:11 am
@Ragman,
as a wise man once said, Kant's we all get along
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  3  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2012 07:16 am
@voidere,
Why would Kant...or anyone...think that humans are the only reasonable beings on this planet?

Animals of many kinds make "reasonable" decisions all the time.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2012 10:24 am
@voidere,
From a BBC programme on ethics
Quote:
If people were to think about this seriously and in a philosophically rigorous manner, Kant taught, they would realise that there were some moral laws that all rational beings had to obey simply because they were rational beings, and this would apply to any rational beings in any universe that might ever exist


There is no speculation that extraterrestrials DO exist, but humans are separated by Kant from other animals because humans exhibit rationality. (Reasonable should be taken to mean "ability to reason" i.e "rational")
Ding an Sich
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2012 10:36 am
@voidere,
What Fresco said. Even the angels in God's kingdom are included. If you're a believer in that sort of thing.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2012 10:50 am
@voidere,
Not sure why anyone wants to define the word "reasonable" in a way that excludes, for instance, a single hyena reasonably waiting back while rather than try to shoo a lion pride feasting on a kill.

Everyone can think of animals acting reasonably...indeed rationally, except for human chauvinists who want to suppose only humans can act reasonably and rationally.
fresco
 
  2  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2012 11:12 am
@Frank Apisa,
"Hyenas being reasonable" is merely an anthropomorphic word game. Morality is NEVER applied to animal behavior even if "intelligence" is, and it is morality which governs semantic context in this instance.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2012 11:39 am
@fresco,

Quote:
"Hyenas being reasonable" is merely an anthropomorphic word game. Morality is NEVER applied to animal behavior even if "intelligence" is, and it is morality which governs semantic context in this instance.


Not sure why you addressed a comment to me on morality, Fresco, I certainly didn't introduce that theme into this discussion.

What I did say is: Not sure why anyone wants to define the word "reasonable" in a way that excludes, for instance, a single hyena reasonably waiting back while rather than try to shoo a lion pride feasting on a kill.

I'm still not sure!
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2012 11:54 am
@Frank Apisa,
If you don't understand what this Kant thread is all about you should not be here. Elementary semantic theory indicates that all meanings are contextual and in this case the context could not be clearer. Note the central reference specified in the first post "Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals"
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2012 12:09 pm
@fresco,
Quote:
Re: Frank Apisa (Post 5182806)
If you don't understand what this Kant thread is all about you should not be here. Elementary semantic theory indicates that all meanings are contextual and in this case the context could not be clearer. Note the central reference specified in the first post "Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals"


Fresco, if you do not understand what this thread is about...perhaps it is you who should not be here. Go try to impress someone else somewhere else.

The original poster indicated exactly what he/she was looking for.

It was not a question about morals or "elementary semantic theory" or the work "Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals." It was about the use of the words "Humans and all reasonable beings.”

I am merely noting that one does not have to suspect Kant was thinking about extraterrestrials…because it is “reasonable” to assume there are other “reasonable beings” on this planet other than humans. Perhaps Kant was thinking about that...since I suspect he did not check with you first to see if it would be okay to make such a move.

Are you able to follow that, Fresco…or would you prefer that I gum it up with all that nonsense you use to not actually say anything but give the appearance something is being said?
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2012 12:16 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Stop wittering Frank. Anybody who has read it knows that Kant was talking about humans as a minimal baseline for rationality with respect to morality. That's all there is to it.
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2012 12:26 pm
@fresco,
Quote:
Re: Frank Apisa (Post 5182823)
Stop wittering Frank. Anybody who has read it knows that Kant was talking about humans as a minimal baseline for rationality with respect to morality. That's all there is to it.


I wasn't responding to Kant, Fresco. Anyone who would do that is nuts, because he is dead!

I was responding to Voidere...who asked a question that I actually dealt with.

You ought to give that a try.
0 Replies
 
G H
 
  2  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2012 07:24 pm
@voidere,
Quote:
Kant mentions in his "Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals" various times the expression "Humans and all reasonable beings". What does he mean by the other reasonable beings? I think on our earth he finds no other reasonable being than humans, could it be that he refers to extraterrestrials? Did he believe in extraterrestrial life?

Certainly as mere possibility; but these kinds of references as much concern agnosticism about noumenal entites that may have no counterpart representations at all in the extrospective world, in addition to the supersensible natures of those which do (human and otherwise). Relevant excerpts below from various works of Kant's critical era...

Critique of Judgement

"So, if we call the sight of the starry heaven sublime, we must not found our estimate of it upon any concepts of worlds inhabited by rational beings, with the bright spots, which we see filling the space above us, as their suns moving in orbits prescribed for them with the wisest regard to ends."

Critique of Pure Reason (Friedrich Max Muller Translation)

Supplement XI: "...It is not necessary, moreover, that we should limit this intuition in space and time to the sensibility of man; it is quite possible that all finite thinking beings must necessarily agree with us on this point (though we cannot decide this)."

[P 027]: "...We cannot judge whether the intuitions of other thinking beings are subject to the same conditions which determine our intuition, and which for us are generally binding."

[P 277] "...We cannot understand anything except what carries with it in intuition something corresponding to our words. If the complaint ‘that we do not understand the internal of things,’ means that we do not comprehend by means of the pure understanding what the things which appear to us may be of themselves, it seems totally unjust and unreasonable; for it means that without senses we should be able to know and therefore to see things, that is, that we should possess a faculty of knowledge totally different from the human, not only in degree, but in kind and in intuition, in fact, that we should not be men, but beings of whom we ourselves could not say whether they are even possible, much less what they would be like."

[P 639] "...We cannot in fact go beyond concepts, nor, unless we follow the empirical connection by which nothing but phenomena can be given, hope to discover new objects and imaginary beings."

Critique of Practical Reason

"...As to attempting to remedy this want of objective and consequently universal validity by saying that we can see no ground for attributing any other sort of knowledge to other rational beings, if this reasoning were valid, our ignorance would do more for the enlargement of our knowledge than all our meditation. For, then, on this very ground that we have no knowledge of any other rational beings besides man, we should have a right to suppose them to be of the same nature as we know ourselves to be: that is, we should really know them."

"[...] Now this principle of morality, just on account of the universality of the legislation which makes it the formal supreme determining principle of the will, without regard to any subjective differentes, is declared by the reason to be a law for all rational beings, in so far as they have a will, that is, a power to determine their causality by the conception of rules; and, therefore, so far as they are capable of acting according to principles, and consequently also according to practical a priori principles (for these alone have the necessity that reason requires in a principle). It is, therefore, not limited to men only, but applies to all finite beings that possess reason and will..."
G H
 
  2  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2012 07:46 pm
@voidere,
How could I have forgotten and left out this one in the previous?!:

Kant ... "That there may be inhabitants in the moon, though no man has ever seen them, must be admitted; but it means no more than that, in the possible progress of our experience, we may meet with them; for everything is real that hangs together with a perception, according to the laws of empirical progress. They are therefore real, if they are empirically connected with any real consciousness [outer sense and interpersonally verified], although they are not therefore real by themselves, that is, apart from that progress of experience." (p. 492-493, Muller translation of CPR)
RST
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2012 08:28 pm
@G H,
Conclusively, Kant was open to the possibility that there may exist beings in this universe other than humans who are rational and reasonable; beings that could be reasoned with.
An open mind is always good to have in possession.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  2  
Reply Sun 2 Dec, 2012 02:28 am
@G H,
Quote:
these kinds of references as much concern agnosticism about noumenal entites that may have no counterpart representations at all in the extrospective world


Good point. The reference to noumena is another contextual factor with which we should read Kant. Wittgenstein was of course instrumental in drawing our attention to the parochial nature of language (language games). And the erosion of noumena by phenomenologists such as Heidegger
with his signal confinement of "existence" ( Existenz) to humans (Daseins) is an interesting demonstration of post Kantian developments in both ontological and ethical thinking.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Dec, 2012 10:26 am
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

"Hyenas being reasonable" is merely an anthropomorphic word game. Morality is NEVER applied to animal behavior even if "intelligence" is, and it is morality which governs semantic context in this instance.

Quite right.
0 Replies
 
voidere
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2012 05:36 am
@fresco,
G H and fresco, thanks for those illuminate answers. I myself found assumptions from Schopenhauer that Kant was apparently thinking of "Engelchen", little angels without body, and therefore without physical necessities in the Kingdom of Ends.
G H
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2012 10:33 am
@voidere,
Quote:
G H and fresco, thanks for those illuminate answers. I myself found assumptions from Schopenhauer that Kant was apparently thinking of "Engelchen", little angels without body, and therefore without physical necessities in the Kingdom of Ends.

Yes, either in or on the edges of Kant's practical / moral philosophy, the lingering Scholastic / Christian traditions could still cling to an assortment of useful (to them) symbols for beings that possessed an intellectual intuition. Even though Kant discarded Plato's contention that humans had a pre-natal intuition of an intelligible world (thus limiting us to only a sensible intuition), he nevertheless allowed the possibility of such an intellectual intuition in other beings (especially a "First Being"). But these noumenal "thinking" entities are not referred to positively in the context of his theoretical philosophy, and would merely have grounds to be argued for in his practical philosophy (never proven).

Indeed, although a human can prescribe itself in the latter context (above) as having freedom or autonomy from the empirical world -- that is, the human portrayed as a thing in itself from the perspective of an intellectual intuition -- a human still lacks the capacity to "know" itself in such a non-spatiotemporal manner of making noumena "real" or "giving" a noumenon. It is therefore stuck with verification of its thoughts (self) only in the introspective sense and extrospectively as a body existing in causal, lawfully organized connections with other phenomena (the mind/matter dichotomy of experience [inner sense; outer sense ]).

Kant ... "For the reason mentioned before, the latter [intellectual] intuition seems only to belong to the First Being, and never to one which is dependent [as depicted in experience], both in its existence and its intuition (which intuition [sensible intuition] determines its existence with reference to given objects) . This latter remark, however, must only be taken as an illustration of our æsthetic theory, and not as a proof." --Critique of Pure Reason; SUPPLEMENT XI, iv; Friedrich Max Muller translation

. . . . .

"For appearance can be nothing by itself, outside our mode of representation. Unless, therefore, we are to move constantly in a circle, the word appearance must be recognised as already indicating a relation to something, the immediate [representation of which is, indeed, sensible, but which, even apart from the constitution of our sensibility (upon which the form of our intuition is grounded), must be something in itself, that is, an object independent of sensibility. If, therefore, we should attempt to apply the categories to objects which are not viewed as being appearances, we should have to postulate an intuition other than the sensible, and the object would thus be a noumenon in the positive sense. Since, however, such a type of intuition, intellectual intuition, forms no part whatsoever of our faculty of knowledge, it follows that the employment of the categories can never extend further than to the objects of experience. Doubtless, indeed, there are intelligible entities corresponding to the sensible entities; there may also be intelligible entities to which our sensible faculty of intuition has no relation whatsoever; but our concepts of understanding, being mere forms of thought for our sensible intuition, could not in the least apply to them. That, therefore, which we entitle 'noumenon' must be understood as being such only in a negative sense. If I remove from empirical knowledge all thought (through categories), no knowledge of any object remains. For through mere [sensible] intuition nothing at all is thought, and the fact that this affection of sensibility is in me does not [by itself] amount to a relation of such representation to any object. But if, on the other hand, I leave aside all intuition, the form of thought still remains [the categories of the Understanding]. There thus results the concept of a noumenon. It is not of anything, but signifies only the thought of something in general, in which I abstract from everything that belongs to the form of sensible intuition. But in order that a noumenon may signify a true object, distinguishable from all phenomena, it is not enough that I free my thought from all conditions of sensible intuition; I must likewise have ground for assuming another kind of intuition, different from the sensible, in which such an [intelligible] object may be given. For otherwise my thought, while indeed without contradictions, is none the less empty. We have not, indeed, been able to prove that sensible intuition is the only possible intuition, but only that it is so for us. But neither have we been able to prove that another kind of intuition is possible. That is, the mode of determining an object for the manifold of a possible intuition. The categories accordingly extend further than sensible intuition, since they think objects in general, without regard to the special mode (the sensibility) in which they may be given. But they do not thereby determine a greater sphere of objects. For we cannot assume that such [noumenal] objects can be given, without presupposing the possibility of another kind of intuition than the sensible; and we are by no means justified in so doing." --Critique of Pure Reason; p. 269-271; Norman Kemp Smith translation

. . . . .

"Now, in order to know ourselves, we require, besides the act of thinking, which brings the manifold of every possible intuition to the unity of apperception, a definite kind of intuition also by which that manifold is given, and thus, though my own existence is not phenomenal (much less a mere illusion), yet the determination of my existence can only take place according to the form of the internal sense, and in that special manner in which the manifold, which I connect, is given in the internal intuition. This shows that I have no knowledge of myself as I am, but only as I appear to myself. The consciousness of oneself is therefore very far from being a knowledge of oneself, in spite of all the categories which constitute the thinking of an object in general, by means of the connection of the manifold in an apperception. As for the knowledge of an object different from myself I require, besides the thinking of an object in general (in a category), an intuition also, to determine that general concept, I require for the knowledge of my own self, besides consciousness, or besides my thinking myself, an intuition also of the manifold in me, to determine that thought. I exist, therefore, as such an intelligence, which is simply conscious of its power of connection, but with respect to the manifold that has to be connected, is subject to a limiting condition which is called the internal sense, according to which that connection can only become perceptible in relations of time, which lie entirely outside the concepts of the understanding [i.e., belongs to the sensibility]. Such an intelligence, therefore, can only know itself as it appears to itself in an intuition (which cannot be intellectual and given by the understanding itself), and not as it would know itself, if its intuition were intellectual." ----Critique of Pure Reason; Supplement XIII, 25; Friedrich Max Muller translation
0 Replies
 
 

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