Re: [quickphilosophy] Re: 1.12; 1.13; 1.2 & 1.21

  • From: wittrsl@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: quickphilosophy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 7 Sep 2010 18:11:20 -0700 (PDT)

Hi Martin:
First of all, welcome back! I'll comment on your points about the Tractatus 
later. But, I do think that within the combination of Kant, God, and morality, 
God is not peripheral:
"Happiness is the condition of a rational being in the world with
whom everything goes according to his wish and will; it rests,
therefore, on the harmony of physical nature with his whole end and
likewise with the essential determining principle of his will. Now the
moral law as a law of freedom commands by determining principles,
which ought to be quite independent of nature and of its harmony
with our faculty of desire (as springs). But the acting rational being
in the world is not the cause of the world and of nature itself. There
is not the least ground, therefore, in the moral law for a necessary
connection between morality and proportionate happiness in a being
that belongs to the world as part of it, and therefore dependent on
it, and which for that reason cannot by his will be a cause of this
nature, nor by his own power make it thoroughly harmonize, as far as
his happiness is concerned, with his practical principles.
Nevertheless, in the practical problem of pure reason, i.e., the
necessary pursuit of the summum bonum, such a connection is postulated
as necessary: we ought to endeavour to promote the summum bonum,
which, therefore, must be possible. Accordingly, the existence of a
cause of all nature, distinct from nature itself and containing the
principle of this connection, namely, of the exact harmony of
happiness with morality, is also postulated. Now this supreme cause
must contain the principle of the harmony of nature, not merely with a
law of the will of rational beings, but with the conception of this
law, in so far as they make it the supreme determining principle of
the will, and consequently not merely with the form of morals, but
with their morality as their motive, that is, with their moral
character. Therefore, the summum bonum is possible in the world only
on the supposition of a Supreme Being having a causality corresponding
to moral character. Now a being that is capable of acting on the
conception of laws is an intelligence (a rational being), and the
causality of such a being according to this conception of laws is
his will; therefore the supreme cause of nature, which must be
presupposed as a condition of the summum bonum is a being which is the
cause of nature by intelligence and will, consequently its author,
that is God. It follows that the postulate of the possibility of the
highest derived good (the best world) is likewise the postulate of the
reality of a highest original good, that is to say, of the existence
of God. Now it was seen to be a duty for us to promote the summum
bonum; consequently it is not merely allowable, but it is a
necessity connected with duty as a requisite, that we should
presuppose the possibility of this summum bonum; and as this is
possible only on condition of the existence of God, it inseparably
connects the supposition of this with duty; that is, it is morally
necessary to assume the existence of God." [Kant, Critique of Practical Reason 

--- On Sun, 9/5/10, Martin N Brampton <martin.lists@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

From: Martin N Brampton <martin.lists@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [quickphilosophy] Re: 1.12; 1.13; 1.2 & 1.21
To: quickphilosophy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Sunday, September 5, 2010, 2:50 PM


Ron Allen wrote:
> Hi Martin:
> Well, you seem to want to draw the discussion away from Wittgenstein and 
> the TLP. My emphatic claims were not about me but about W and his points 
> in his early work. I don't see any basis for calling him an idealist 
> here. I could see calling Berkeley, or Schelling, or Fichte, or Hegel an 
> idealist, or Whitehead, but not Wittgenstein. Not in the TLP. 
> Rationalist? Yes. Idealist? No.

Do I? I'm not "calling" him an idealist, I'm simply looking for a 
reading of TLP that makes sense. It seems to follow from the concluding 
remarks that the TLP is not to be taken at face value, so that leaves us 
looking for an interpretation to show how the book can have significance 
without being so taken. Presumably the bulk of TLP is *not* W's view or 
the closing comments would not be sincere.

Kant is certainly a self proclaimed idealist, although a transcendental 
idealist, and therefore opposed to Berkeley as well as Hume. But the 
point is more to do with whether any sense can be made of claiming a 
relationship between statements and some unspecified other called "facts".

Why do you think of W as a rationalist?

> But, it any case, I'm not opposed to metaphysics. It seems like everyone 
> is just itching to call someone a logical positivist. Kant claimed that 
> we must have God because without Him we would have no morality. So, his 
> efforts at dismissing metaphysics didn't quite clear the whole field.

I haven't called anyone a logical positivist, I mentioned LP only in 
connection with Ayer as an illustration of another philosopher who 
changed his mind quite radically.

Are you sure Kant said that? It's a while since I read the Critique of 
Practical Reason. The involvement of God seems peripheral according to 
the account given at

> If the TLP was truly the nonsense that Diamond asserts it to be, then it 
> would not deserve scholarly articles asserting it to be nonsense. There 
> must be, therefore, some intellectually motivating core within the TLP.

That seems a non sequitur.

> The propositions of the TLP do not have sense, because they are not 
> built up from logical operations from elemental propositions about 
> states of affairs. It is an equivocation to say that they are nonsense 
> because of that.

I have never argued that, but why is it an equivocation? If the 
standard of sense is (and I'm not saying that it is) that a statement be 
built up from logical operations from elementary propositions about 
states of affairs, then what are things that are not so built? Unsense? 
Not sense?

> I don't know how many different kinds of statements there can be. I 
> haven't yet seen all the statements that are possible, so I can't begin 
> to put them into bins, let alone determine how many bins should be set 
> aside for the universe's propositions.

Why do we need to put them into bins?

> The history of science is an example of logical atomism at work. In 
> designing a philosophical theory, it would be better to proceed from how 
> something works rather than from how you, or I, or Wittgenstein might 
> think it should work. So, epistemology doesn't have an exclusive hold on 
> philosophy; there is a spot for methodology too.

Why do you think that?

> I'll try to continue this later.
> Thanks!
> --Ron

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