Newberry

A Few Kant Quotes

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Every affection of the STRENUOUS TYPE (such, that is, as excites the

consciousness of our power of overcoming every resistance [animus

strenuus]) is aesthetically sublime, e.g., anger, even desperation

(the rage of forlorn hope but not faint-hearted despair). [Emphasis in the original]

The Critique of Judgement by Immanuel Kant, translated by James Creed Meredith

Edited by Newberry

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This is amusing as it is an aside smack in the middle of Kant's aesthetics treatise.

War itself, provided it is

conducted with order and a sacred respect for the rights of civilians,

has something sublime about it, and gives nations that carry it on

in such a manner a stamp of mind only the more sublime the more

numerous the dangers to which they are exposed, and which they are

able to meet with fortitude. On the other hand, a prolonged peace

favours the predominance of a mere commercial spirit, and with it a

debasing self-interest, cowardice, and effeminacy, and tends to

degrade the character of the nation.

The Critique of Judgement by Immanuel Kant, translated by James Creed Meredith

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This is amusing as it is an aside smack in the middle of Kant's aesthetics treatise.

War itself, provided it is

conducted with order and a sacred respect for the rights of civilians,

has something sublime about it, and gives nations that carry it on

in such a manner a stamp of mind only the more sublime the more

numerous the dangers to which they are exposed, and which they are

able to meet with fortitude. On the other hand, a prolonged peace

favours the predominance of a mere commercial spirit, and with it a

debasing self-interest, cowardice, and effeminacy, and tends to

degrade the character of the nation.

The Critique of Judgement by Immanuel Kant, translated by James Creed Meredith

Sieg Heil!

Ba'al Chatzaf

Edited by BaalChatzaf

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Genius: "(3) It cannot indicate scientifically how it brings

about its product, but rather gives the rule as nature. Hence, where

an author owes a product to his genius, he does not himself know how

the ideas for it have entered into his head, nor has he it in his

power to invent the like at pleasure, or methodically, and communicate

the same to others in such precepts as would put them in a position to

produce similar products. (Hence, presumably, our word Genie is

derived from genius, as the peculiar guardian and guiding spirit given

to a man at his birth, by the inspiration of which those original

ideas were obtained.)"

The Critique of Judgement by Immanuel Kant, translated by James Creed Meredith

It could be argued that Kant is talking about inborn talent, but for him to state that an art genius does not know what they are doing is bullshit. Two great examples that counter Kant's thesis, are the Julliard Master Class given by Maria Callas, the 3 CD set should be available by Amazon. And, The Cannon, a treatise of proportions for sculpture, by Polyclitus, we only have references to that, and the copy of the sculpture that illustrated the treatise.

Edited by Newberry

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The concept of fine art,

however, does not permit of the judgement upon the beauty of its

product being derived from any rule that has a concept for its

determining ground, and that depends, consequently, on a concept of

the way in which the product is possible. Consequently fine art cannot

of its own self excogitate the rule according to which it is to

effectuate its product. But since, for all that, a product can never

be called art unless there is a preceding rule, it follows that nature

in the individual (and by virtue of the harmony of his faculties) must

give the rule to art, i.e., fine art is only possible as a product

of genius.

The Critique of Judgement by Immanuel Kant, translated by James Creed Meredith

His conclusion that "...fine art is only possible as a product

of genius." because silly double talk combined with his definition of genius above. The total means that fine art is the providence of people who don't know what they are doing or how they got there.

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From this it may be seen that genius (1) is a talent for producing

that for which no definite rule can be given, and not an aptitude in

the way of cleverness for what can be learned according to some

rule; and that consequently originality must be its primary

property. (2) Since there may also be original nonsense, its

products must at the same time be models, i.e., be exemplary; and,

consequently, though not themselves derived from imitation, they

must serve that purpose for others, i.e., as a standard or rule of

estimating.

The Critique of Judgement by Immanuel Kant, translated by James Creed Meredith

This is interesting because he is concluding that genius becomes genius because it is different and other people repeat, copy, or emulate it--but not because it is great.

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The sublime is that, the mere capacity of

thinking which evidences a faculty of mind transcending every standard

of sense.

The Critique of Judgement by Immanuel Kant, translated by James Creed Meredith

Pure Platonicism. Our senses in music, painting, sculpture, architecture are one of the key elements that form and respond to art, and they connect us to both art and to the world we live in. The senses ground us, and Kant removes this factor from his concepts of the sublime.

Edited by Newberry

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But in this very way the aesthetic judgement itself is subjectively

final for reason as source of ideas, i.e., of such an intellectual

comprehension as makes all aesthetic comprehension small, and the

object is received as sublime with a pleasure that is only possible

through the mediation of a displeasure.

The Critique of Judgement by Immanuel Kant, translated by James Creed Meredith

I find this opinion petty and small minded.

Edited by Newberry

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I have several more of Kant's quotes. One thing to watch out for is that also writes about the nature of beauty, in which he is quite astute, but throughout the Critique of Judgement he pairs Beauty unfavorably to his concepts of the Sublime, which I find to be thoroughly disgusting.

Edited by Newberry

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Michael, congratulations if you were able to understand -any- of the quotes above.

They remind me of Bill Buckley on drugs. Trying to impress you with big words, grandiose claims, sweeping deductions that he demands you accept without evidence or proof. Rand somewhere spoke of 'coils of obfuscation'.

They remind me of the huge headache I got trying to read Kant years ago: Huge chains of (mostly floating) abstraction and floating deduction linked together with very few concretes to make clear what the referents are.

If he gets better (and clearer) anywhere I hope you will quote that.

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Michael, congratulations if you were able to understand -any- of the quotes above.

If he gets better (and clearer) anywhere I hope you will quote that.

Phil,

That is why quoting Kant is difficult, these are some of the clearest statements I have on him. If I have time later, I can carefully go over one of the quotes and point out the similarities with a postmodern art work--that was my particular way of grasping him. He never sites examples, as Rand does often in the Romantic Manifesto--the reader has got to grasp his abstraction and try to find an art reference that fits it.

Gotta run, got lots of stuff happening today.

Michael

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Michael -- Clear clean words and clear clean thoughts go together. They generally indicate and reveal truth. Convoluted, serpentine, torturous, strangled words generally indicate and reveal the exact opposite.

Or as Kant might put it: "Semiotic verbal iconography, hermeneutically circumscribed by ratiocinated linguistic translucence..." :D

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Kyrel, I agree, and I particularly enjoyed this withering Kantian putdown which has been quoted for centuries by great minds, deep thinkers, and standup comedians:

"Those of you who do not appreciate my transcendental intuitive categorization of the noumenal idiom are only phenomenal emanations of the underseen pscyhosemantic appearance.

Never let the adumbrations of your misunderstandings come back upon the immanent catheterization of your prostate."

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". . . And categorical intuitive imperative alleviated and joined by counter-cyclical Copernican standing on its head plus epistemological filterings means I have revolutionized all science and proven intuitively that God rules all but free will exists.... So there."

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Guys; Are the last two posts real quotes from Kant? I know by asking this question I mark myself as a dummy.

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Guys; Are the last two posts real quotes from Kant? I know by asking this question I mark myself as a dummy.

Chris -- My quote was made up. In fact, Kant wouldn't have been as easy to understand. Seriously. You can't parody him.

Ultra-vermin Kant once claimed that "Never a straight thing was made from the crooked timbre of man." But the truth is: "Never a straight thing was written by the crooked pen of Kant."

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> My quote was made up

Mine two...all jokes. :D:rolleyes:

> Never a straight thing was written by the crooked pen of Kant.

I'm not ready to conclude this...I need some quotes from Kant backing up the claims for his interest, value, connection to Oism made by several people on the 'heresy' thread.

So far (with only the partial exception of Bill P) they have not been willing to provide them though or too busy or too much trouble or whatever.

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Never a straight thing was written by the crooked pen of Kant. [claims me]

I'm not ready to conclude this...I need some quotes from Kant backing up the claims for his interest, value, connection to Oism made by several people on the 'heresy' thread.

So far (with only the partial exception of Bill P) they have not been willing to provide them though or too busy or too much trouble or whatever.

People pretend to like this hyper-evil clown because he once said "Dare to know," and "Man is an end in himself." Two empty, useless, meaningless, out-of-context quotes which are entirely contradicted and refuted by the rest of his voluminous, completely-unread work. His dull, sluggish, strictly-mediocre, four-page essay What is Enlightenment? is evidently the clearest, best thing he ever wrote. Pitiful!

Might as well say the Bible is wise and good because is says "You shall know the truth and it shall set you free." Might as well say the Koran is tolerant and good because it says "There shall be no compulsion in religion," and "Anyone who has done an atom's worth of good, he shall see it." After wading thru a thousand pages of malicious gibberish, that's it?! Sad.

The fact is, there's far more insight and truth in a poorly written comic book than in Kant! Objectivists seem to praise him just to be perverse or to intellectually intimidate or to show the usual pseudo-individualism ("Hey, I'm no cultist!"). Immanuel Kant is stunningly evil, insipid, and unreadable. No-one's even decently slogged thru twenty pages, I'll bet. And why should they? Kant basically never says anything true, insightful, wise, or worthwhile.

I'll say it again: When it comes to truth and virtue, there's not a single badly written comic book in existence which can't royally kick the ass of the whole uber-destructive corpus of Kant!

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Kant is highly bashable, particularly on the matter of clarity and style. Apparently he did not wish to be understood readily.

Be that as it may, we don't get reality into the conceptual part of our brain processing until it is filtered and operated on by the senses. All conception based on sight (for example) is working on material produced in the visual cortex in the occipital lobe of the brain.

To put it more clearly, all our minds get to work on are the phenomena. The underlying reality for the most part is too big, too small, too slow, too fast to grasp directly. That is why our understanding of What Is Out There comes by way of inductive and deductive inference, rather than direct perception. Most of reality is at Planck Length and Planck Time. Out best instruments are fifteen orders of magnitude removed from those sizes and intervals. That is why our knoledge of the world, out of the range of our senses, is inferential at best. And what do we need to -infer-? Our minds. We view reality through a glass darkly. Even Galileo needed a telescope to see the moons of Jupiter. Our feeble eyes by themselves could not do the job. Which means that most of what we know about reality is gotten through -devices- which are constructed based on theories and hypothesis constructed based on mental work. Our best observations are theory laden.

Have any of you guys seen an electron lately? You can't. It is too small to be resolved by the human retina. You need a fancy machine whose operations is based on quantum physics which is a mental artifact. It takes a mind, equipped with a theory to make an electron microscope.

What is the bottom line? Reality does not get to the interior of our skulls passively. It takes an active mentality to grasp (In Here) what is Out There.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Kyrel,

Just a thought.

Would you have the Objectivists you bash read Kant and think for themselves about what they read, or would your prefer they just take your word for it?

:)

Michael

Quotes from Peikoff podcast of 24 March 2008, speaking of Kant:

"He has to say his system follows logically." "He even went so far to take the side of the United States for liberty and independence as against Great Britian so there was (sic) a lot of things that he put in his philosophy to conceal from himself the full meaning."

"If he read for instance my presentation of his philosophy, he would reject that out of hand."

Again, I'm no spokesperson for or defender of Kant, other than to say that the depiction of him as the most evil man who ever lived is very much overblown.

Bill P (Alfonso)

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At least on my first 30 or 50 readings, in my 20's, of Kant's aesthetics it sounded like the gibberish that Phil and Kyrel joke about. Since then, I have read it many, many more times, and feel very comfortable understanding his style, content, and meaning. For many people it is not anymore understandable then the more weird aspects of Postmodern Art--but in his aesthetics lies the key to understanding the theoretical basis for PM art.

But the analysis of the sublime obliges a division not required by

that of the beautiful, namely one into the mathematically and the

dynamically sublime.

A reminder by what he means by sublime:

Sublime is the name given to what is absolutely great.
Now,

since in the estimate of magnitude we have to take into account not

merely the multiplicity (number of units) but also the magnitude of

the unit (the measure), and since the magnitude of this unit in turn

always requires something else as its measure and as the standard of

its comparison, and so on, we see that the computation of the

magnitude of phenomena is, in all cases, utterly incapable of

affording us any absolute concept of a magnitude, and can, instead,

only afford one that is always based on comparison.

Hence it comes that the sublime is not to be looked for in

the things of nature, but only in our own ideas.

Here we readily

see that nothing can be given in nature, no matter how great we may

judge it to be, which, regarded in some other relation, may not be

degraded to the level of the infinitely little, and nothing so small

which in comparison with some still smaller standard may not for our

imagination be enlarged to the greatness of a world. Telescopes have

put within our reach an abundance of material to go upon in making the

first observation, and microscopes the same in making the second.

Nothing, therefore, which can be an object of the senses is to be

termed sublime when treated on this footing.

Kant spends some pages discussing the mathematical sublime. His theory is that if we can see the totality of the thing, see it was a whole unit, then it is not a very big deal. But, if the thing goes on without end, or seems to go on without end, it startles are imagination and inspires sublimity in our contemplation.

Another reminder, this is about his aesthetic thought.

Okay, based on Kant's theory of the sublime, the David would not measure up. Nor the Sistine Chapel, as we can still see the whole of it. And if you want to go for really monumental works like the Statue of Liberty, or the portraits of Mount Rushmore, they wouldn't measure up either.

Kant views artworks that are ends in themselves, that are total, complete, whole are insignificant to his never ending mathematical sublime. We do have some PM artists that are attempting to give us at least the illusion of the never ending, which convey the same idea as Kant's mathematical sublime. I have no idea whether these artists have read anything of Kant or not. It may simply be the Kant's theories have sunk into the modern art consciousness, like osmosis, by influences of teachers, their teachers, critics, etc.

Here is one example of a never ending project, well it is ended now because the artist is dead. In this Rauschenberg work, the order of the panels doesn't matter, if it is finished or not doesn't matter, the images don't matter.

68-eventpage-rausch_500.jpg

The 1/4 Mile or 2 Furlong Piece was a monumental work-in-progress that Rauschenberg began nearly two decades ago and continues to work on intermittently between other projects. Although the number of pieces shown and the exact sequence may vary from one installation of the work to the next, in its entirety the work currently consists of 195 parts and measures nearly 1,000 feet long; when completed, it is intended to reach the entire length of its title and perhaps beyond. By its sheer size and through both visual and aural elements, this multi-part work creates an encompassing environment. Blurb from MASS Moca site.

Another project, when it was up was something you never could see in total was Christo's Umbrellas.

christo.jpg

So by Kant's aesthetics you would have to view Michelangelo as merely a competent craftsman and Christo as sublimely great.

If you look at the most famous and influential artists later 20th Century and early 21st Century art this is exactly where we are. Undoubtedly, Kant's aesthetics theories have infiltrated the western mindset and created havoc in the arts. There are great artists out in the world, a few of them I have reviewed in TNI, but they are treated generally as "competent craftsmen", as 2nd rate artists by the art world at large.

Based on my knowledge of art, and my thorough knowledge of Kant's aesthetics, his theories on aesthetics are, at their core, anti-art. Or from a positive perspective--they are a black hole of evil.

MSK:

Would you have the Objectivists you bash read Kant and think for themselves about what they read, or would your prefer they just take your word for it?

Exactly, don't take my word for it. But, it is pretty simple really, my opinions are my own. And specifically on Kant I got to them with a tremendous amount of effort, time, and dedication on both working for my art values in practice and theory, and understanding what I rejected and why. The vast majority of people, neither have the time, inclination, or reward to do this kind of work. But then, they can run into trouble for their dramatic opinions if they don't have the knowledge to back it up.

Edited by Newberry

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People pretend to like this hyper-evil clown because he once said "Dare to know," and "Man is an end in himself." Two empty, useless, meaningless, out-of-context quotes which are entirely contradicted and refuted by the rest of his voluminous, completely-unread work. His dull, sluggish, strictly-mediocre, four-page essay What is Enlightenment? is evidently the clearest, best thing he ever wrote. Pitiful!

[....]

Kant basically never says anything true, insightful, wise, or worthwhile.

Have you yet read and considered the material in my post last night on the "incomprehensible, mind-cracking Kant" on humor?

You call Kant "hyper-evil" and "clown." Yet, (1) can you honestly imagine him doing a consciously malevolent Toohey-gloat at the thought of all the destruction and suffering that has (supposedly) followed from his ideas? Or do you (like I) think that he would be appalled and try to re-think his views to see what went wrong? Do you really dismiss the idea that he was simply trying to understand reality and value the best he could, given the mess the Rationalists and Empiricists left things in?

(2) Can you really justify calling someone who devised one of the most complex, well-integrated (though erroneous) systems of philosophy in history a "clown"? What have you produced, other than bogus parodies of Kant? Please supply links to your achievements, so that we may evaluate them for their goodness and dignity.

REB

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Roger, I don't think it's valid to ask "what have YOU produced?" when someone criticizes an important thinker or set of ideas. As you know, KZ's personal achievements are not relevant to the logic of what he has to say. That sort of belittling attack justs leads to flame wars and insults and personal hard feelings and the loss of possible friends or contacts. A movie critic is not required to have made movies or an architectural critic to have built a building to have valid things to say about the defects of a movie or building.

> someone who devised one of the most complex, well-integrated (though erroneous) systems of philosophy in history

The respect someone is due for this -- if it is highly invalid, a feat of rationalism, or the like -- can drop precipitously if the complex theories are bizarre or destructive. Given this, best not to nitpick the choice of one word "clown".

If you want to attack KZ's point of view, it's the *completeness* of his disparaging Kant in every area which is subject to inquiry - one would have to be familiar, either through direct reading, or through the critics or histories of ideas and philosophy, with a broad spectrum of what he wrote.

1. The burden of argument and conversation on those who claim K provided many things of value is to display them (long enough quotes and their context).

2. The burden of argument and conversation on those who claim K as utterly without value (KZ, apparently) is far higher -- a survey of what he did in many areas.

If people want to discuss this, they should try to have a -good- discussion offering evidence, not get sidetracked on rhetorical flourishes and personal put-downs or belittling.

(No, I haven't had a chance to evaluate your humor quote yet - Kant sure is long-winded and requires time.)

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Roger, I don't think it's valid to ask "what have YOU produced?" when someone criticizes an important thinker or set of ideas. As you know, KZ's personal achievements are not relevant to the logic of what he has to say. That sort of belittling attack justs leads to flame wars and insults and personal hard feelings and the loss of possible friends or contacts. A movie critic is not required to have made movies or an architectural critic to have built a building to have valid things to say about the defects of a movie or building.

> someone who devised one of the most complex, well-integrated (though erroneous) systems of philosophy in history

The respect someone is due for this -- if it is highly invalid, a feat of rationalism, or the like -- can drop precipitously if the complex theories are bizarre or destructive. Given this, best not to nitpick the choice of one word "clown".

If you want to attack KZ's point of view, it's the *completeness* of his disparaging Kant in every area which is subject to inquiry - one would have to be familiar, either through direct reading, or through the critics or histories of ideas and philosophy, with a broad spectrum of what he wrote.

1. The burden of argument and conversation on those who claim K provided many things of value is to display them (long enough quotes and their context).

2. The burden of argument and conversation on those who claim K as utterly without value (KZ, apparently) is far higher -- a survey of what he did in many areas.

If people want to discuss this, they should try to have a -good- discussion offering evidence, not get sidetracked on rhetorical flourishes and personal put-downs or belittling.

(No, I haven't had a chance to evaluate your humor quote yet - Kant sure is long-winded and requires time.)

Phil, you're right that the ~logic~ of KZ's argument does not justify asking him what he has produced. But I was responding not to his logic -- because there ~is~ none -- but his ~rhetoric~, of which there is a repetitious surfeit. (He keeps recycling the same Kant-bashing remarks with no supporting evidence except his bogus "quotes.") (He puts down Kant's essay on Enlightenment, which is clearer and more interesting than anything I have read by KZ.)

But OK, let's have your evaluation of the humor quote -- as well as the Enlightenment essay Bill P. posted. How much time do you need? These pieces are not encyclopedic, and they are no more long-winded than anything I've seen posted by you on OL. Not an insult, just a fact. Let's have some engagement with actual Kant's writings, not this distracting meta-argument (that you are so good at).

REB

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