Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Real

Disclaimer: This, as always, is for my own education. If you have any input please feel free to share... As we both know, i have no clue what i'm talking about :)

The Real is an idea that was first conceived of by Immanuel Kant... as far as i can tell :) Basically this is the first clear presentation of the fact that internal reality and external reality are irrevocably separated. The concept states that there is a "kernel" of reality that is impenetrable to our senses. An aspect of existence that we are cut off from. When we experience an object outside of ourselves, we do it through our perceptions. Thus we are at the mercy of any falsity that might arise in our apprehension of the data. Space and time are both concepts created by our arrangement of reality into a presupposition that allows operation. They are not external to our perceptions, we create them through differentiation. The conclusion of these assertions is that we are seeing reality through a veil. There is certain things about the "outside" world we are completely denied knowledge of. This, as usual, is a subject i am still educating myself on. The implications and applications of the concept are wide spread i know. Ranging from the nature of metaphysics to our capacity to make a value assertion.(which to me is much the same thing)

It seems that most proceeding philosophy is a reaction to this seemingly undeniable assertion. It is a problem in that we can find no place for truth in an environment like that. No matter how me look for it, if there is something unapproachable/inconceivable to reality how can we establish ultimate truth? If God is unknowable how can we gauge value? Many approaches have been attempted varying from trying to find meaning from within this seeming meaninglessness(without trying to look beyond what we can know), to ignoring the question altogether.

I think it is a question that plagues modernity in general, and is an epidemic for the thoughtful. How can we find self identity, if we can't identify an ultimate truth? The sad fact is there's no good answer to this. There's an infinitude of ways we can approach (and possibly solve) this problem, so the question becomes which way is best for ME? This is something i find myself coming back to again and again. so instead of restating what i always say, perhaps we can look past my typical point of learning to validate personal experience. Instead to realize that perceived validation or lack there of, has no impact on the value or our experience. they are what they are, no matter how we label them. That unknowable kernel operates outside our perceptions and thus any concept we could place on it would simply fall short. Whatever intrinsic value experience seems to have, by nature of it's existence outside our comprehension, perhaps we can learn to intuit and appreciate it, instead of trying to impose mental boundaries upon it.

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