Thoughts III / Notes on Kantism and Astronomy

Kantism & Astronomy (4 Fragments)

The idea of space and time as a priori forms of intuition with no content in the external world is a foundation of Kant’s philosophy. However, this is what the relativistic theory claims, implicitly, to have disproved, with its space-time that is a fourth dimension and can be distorted by mass.

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Dark energy is not predicted by the original Big Bang theory, deriving from relativity. According to the original scenario, we should be assisting to a slowdown in universal expansion, because matter and radiation are self-attractive. However, the contrary has been observed: Expansion would be accelerating. The only way for this to happen, under the assumption of the Big Bang, is that dark matter exists, which is self-repulsive gravitationally. The Big Bang theory does not hold either without the hypothesis of an inflation field, otherwise the universe would collapse. I conclude that the theory needs constant amendment to fit in the data, and such is no sign of a good frame-theory.

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Relativistic black holes do not exist. Mainstream astronomers need them because of the Big Bang theory. They do not care that well-known astronomers like Hoyle and Prigogine have already come with alternative models. They stick to the Big Bang, notwithstanding the singularities of the model, like infinite temperature at some point in time (to believe this can occur in the physical world, one really has to be a strong believer). They need black holes so that current observation fits in with the total amount of matter predicted by the theory.

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The world of our experience is an illusion, but an illusion that submits to rules. These rules are given by our cognitive apparatus. Infinite temperature, a so-called singularity of the relativistic Big Bang, or infinite density, at the center of a black hole, does not conform to the rule and possibility of experience, for empirical qualities have to be finite. Kantian antinomies of space, time, causality, regarding the question of their finitude, do not bear on objects of our experience but on a priori forms of knowledge. Their uncertain finitude relates to their being a priori, before all experience.

Published July 2013

2 comments

  1. florentboucharel

    “Empirical qualities have to be finite” (July 20, 2013, 4th fragment). See, for instance, John Locke:
    “If it be so, that our Idea of Infinity be got from the Power, we observe in our selves, of repeating without end our own Ideas; It may be demanded,, Why we do not attribute Infinity to other Ideas, as well as those of Space and Duration; since they may be as easily, and as often repeated in our Minds as the other; and yet no body ever thinks of infinite sweetness, or infinite whiteness, though he can repeat the Idea of Sweet or White, as frequently as those of a Yard, or a Day? To which I answer, All the Ideas, that are considered as having parts, and are capable of increase by the addition of any equal or less parts, afford us by their repetition the Idea of Infinity ; because with this endless repetition, there is continued an enlargement, of which there can be no end. But in other Ideas it is not so ; for to the largest Idea of Extension or Duration, that I at present have, the addition of any the least part makes an increase ; but to the perfectest Idea I have of the whitest Whiteness, if I add another of a less or equal whiteness, (and of a whiter than I have, I cannot add the Idea) it makes no increase, and enlarges not my Idea at all; and therefore the different Ideas of Whiteness, etc. are called Degrees. For those Ideas, that consist of Parts, are capable of being augmented by every addition of the least part; but if you take the Idea of White, which one parcel of Snow yielded yesterday to your Sight, and another Idea of White from another parcel of Snow you see to day, and put them together in your Mind, they embody, as it were, and run into one, and the Idea of Whiteness is not at all increased ; and if we add a less degree of Whiteness to a greater, we are so far from increasing, that we diminish it. Those Ideas that consist not of Parts, cannot be augmented to what proportion Men please, or be stretched beyond what they have received by their Senses ; but Space, Duration, and Number, being capable of increase by repetition, leave in the Mind an Idea of an endless room for more » (An Essay concerning Human Understanding, Book II, Chap. XVII, Ƨ 6)
    June 10, 2014.

  2. florentboucharel

    The Unalterability of Time (Die Unaffizierbarkeit der Zeit):
    “Unsere Apprehension des Mannigfaltigen der Erscheinung ist jederzeit sukzessiv, und ist also immer wechselnd. Wir können also dadurch allein niemals bestimmen ob dieses Mannigfaltige, als Gegenstand der Erfahrung, zugleich sei, oder nach einander folge, wo an ihr nicht etwas zum Grunde liegt, was jederzeit ist, d.i. etwas Bleibendes und Beharrliches, von welchem aller Wechsel und Zugleichsein nichts, als so viel Arten (modi der Zeit) sind, wie das Beharrliche existiert. Nur in dem Beharrlichen sind also Zeitverhältnisse möglich (denn Simultaneität und Sukzession sind die einzigen Verhältnisse in der Zeit), d.i. das Beharrliche ist das Substratum der empirischen Vorstellung der Zeit selbst, an welchem alle Zeitbestimmung allein möglich ist. Die Beharrlichkeit drückt überhaupt die Zeit, als das beständige Correlatum alles Daseins der Erscheinungen, alles Wechsels und aller Begleitung, aus. Denn der Wechsel trifft die Zeit selbst nicht, sondern nur die Erscheinungen in der Zeit, (so wie das Zugleichsein nicht ein modus der Zeit selbst ist, als in welcher gar keine Teile zugleich, sondern alle nach einander sind). Wollte man der Zeit selbst eine Folge nach einander beilegen, so müßte man noch eine andere Zeit denken, in welcher diese Folge möglich wäre. Durch das Beharrliche allein bekommt das Dasein in verschiedenen Teilen der Zeitreihe nach einander eine Größe, die man Dauer nennt. Denn in der bloßen Folge allein ist das Dasein immer verschwindend und anhebend, und hat niemals die mindeste Größe. Ohne dieses Beharrliche ist also kein Zeitverhältnis.” (Kant, Kritik der reinen Vernunft, Die Transzendentale Logik, Zweites Buch, Dritter Abschnitt, 3A)

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