[lit-ideas] Re: Believing What One Knows To Be False

  • From: Phil Enns <phil.enns@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 18 Sep 2010 10:28:42 +0700

Perhaps the following helps in understanding these Nietzsche quotes:

"So my view is this: transcendental ideas [i.e. the belief in the
unity of the self, the unity of the world of experience, and the unity
of everything] are never to be used constitutively, posing as concepts
of certain objects.  When they are so used, they’re merely sophistical
(dialectical) concepts. On the other hand, they have an excellent
regulative use, and we need them in that role, in which they direct
the understanding towards a certain goal, setting directional lines
along which all its rules converge as though on their point of
intersection. Of course this point isn’t anything real; it is a mere
idea, a focus imaginarius.  Because this focal point lies quite
outside the bounds of possible experience, the concepts of the
understanding don’t really emanate from it; yet it serves to give to
these concepts maximal unity combined with the maximal scope. This is
the source of the illusion that the directional lines radiated out
from a real object lying outside the field of empirically possible
knowledge—just as objects reflected in a mirror are seen as behind it.
We don’t have to let this illusion actually deceive us, but we can’t
get rid of it, because it is indispensably necessary if we are to
direct our understanding to keep extending its range as far as it
possibly can. Analogously, the object-behind-the-mirror illusion
doesn’t have to deceive us, but it can’t be got rid of as long as we
are using a mirror to see things that are behind us." (Kant - Critique
of Pure Reason)


Phil Enns
To change your Lit-Ideas settings (subscribe/unsub, vacation on/off,
digest on/off), visit www.andreas.com/faq-lit-ideas.html

Other related posts: