On Muggles And Kant

Whenever domestic tyrants denigrate “Reason”, we must refrain from being drawn on the philosophy, because that is not what it is about. We need immediately to ascribe what looks like an epistemological doctrine to their natural aversion to anything that might help the marks figure out the particular scam they are running.

Such people, and I speak from personal experience, cannot tell you what Immanuel Kant wrote in The Critique Of Pure Reason, but if you give them their first sight of the bare title, they will express satisfaction that somebody you know has critiqued – that is to say, they imagine, exploded – the very idea of an objective rationality. Because once that pesky heathen Enlightenment idea is undermined, then all knowledge must rest on Faith, and if that is so, then whatever the muggle wishes to believe must automatically be true. And so in turn, whatever the muggle wishes to do unto you must be fully justified. For if first principles are unprovable, then we cannot disprove the superstitions of anyone who wants to impose his own by force.

You will see the same thing if you drop G.B. Shaw’s term “Life-Force” in front of the same audience. They will leap to the conclusion that this is the same thing as their god, and tell you that since you believe in god you must obey their rules. That the force so denoted in Man and Superman, basically a woman’s drive to breed with the genetically superior man at all costs, is actually the same thing as the domestic tyrant’s personal god of him-approval and others-condemnation seems highly unlikely, but he will not care about that. If he hears “Life-Force” as another name for what Schopenhauer considered the ultimate stuff of the universe, he will likewise never take on board the fact that Schopenhauer considered it inimical to happiness.

No, give these people the little finger of many technical terms of philosophy and they will immediately grab the whole hand, hearing them only as complete ratification of their own narcissistic delusions and predatory agendas, and expecting you now to toe the line. Just Say No – don’t even pass the time of day with them.

Posted on March 25, 2009 at 18:21 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink

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  1. Written by urban
    on January 17, 2018 at 19:24

    Reminded by your Kant example of Al Ghazali’s “Incoherence of the Philosophers” which ought more properly be called the “Incoherence of Four Problematic Claims Made by Avicenna.” Since 9/11 many a pundit has latched onto the title without bothering to read the book. “See!” they cry out triumphantly, “Al Ghazali believed that Philosophy is incoherent,” and they’re off to the races with sweeping generalizations about Islam being innately hostile to the use of reason.

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