Kant Notes

AA21 Hegel, identification of the real and the rational. ..It was the rational which made life meaningful, following Kant and Fichte. The 'rational' is to be integrated into a possible rational life, which can only be some identification of the 'rational with the real', but Hegel purports to identify freedom with constraint, with something arrived at independently of the rational process. The 'real' is made rational to satisfy our craving for spiritual meaning. So Marx claims the highest meaning for his artificially constructed society. Real world as existing to draw out our energies. .. Kantianism had its mystical side, as developed in Sidney Klein (Science and the Infinite). It also had a side which seemed to lead to a smug conservatism. Kant's conception of the rational life seems far more sophisticated than Fichte's Vocation of Man. There the idea of making your own reality seems cheapened.

AB131 Chrysal (Charles Johnson), the mid eighteenth century, so much less familiar a period than the Victorian era. The moralistic framework, the idea of 'virtue'. Sense of morality going back to Spenser and beyond. See the influence of this kind of thinking on De Sade. But see the idea of morality as remedy for all the vices of the age. Then of this cast of thinking as leading up to Kant. In such a healthy, vigorous age, in which avarice, pride etc have such free range, it is morality which restrains the more destructive excess. But it was this age, with all its energy that produced the industrial revolution, profoundly disruptive in its effects. Quite obviously morality was no longer enough, and social reform became necessary. Charles Dickens. Sense of The English past.

AB279, Kantianism of the idea of freewill. Of course one can have choices in that sense. If one is fundamentally moral, one may feel that morality bestows meaning on life. Plebeian origins of Fichte. Plebeian origins of the moral obsession. Resentment of the hedonistic lifestyle of aristocrats.

Ab384, Post Kantian moralism. Corruption of the world.

Ab390, The shadow of Kant. Kant's identification of morality with self denial, so alien to the Greeks and even to the English eighteenth century. Bishop Butler attempts to demonstrate the compatibility of egoism and morality. Kant led our culture astray. He did not have all that many predecessors in that respect, the moral outlook of an 'age of faith' is very different, and self denial and asceticism have a clear egoistic point to them.

AC280 Kant's 'beauty of the moral law within'. On an alternative view one needs no moral law beyond do what thou wilt. If a moral law is conceived as a corrective to my desires, & I feel ought to remain faithful to one person even though I want not to, & ought not to kill, to steal etc, while feeling strongly tempted, living by it would lead to what seems a strange kind of life. Perhaps I am over controlled, a potential saint. If I really believed in such an ideal, I suspect I could fulfil it perfectly. Life would then be intolerable. People say morals are necessary when they mean only that the police are necessary. The Christian believes in the beast within, as if remove the restraint of morality and barbarous horror would ensue. I do not murder because I do not want to, not because I feel I ought not.

AD12 The Kantian sort of person whose whole bearing expresses what seems to be a moral position. Holding back floodgates. Fragments of coherent ideological systems one picks up and which become part of one's currency. Bits of second-hand Marxism, Freudianism. Or some or other sociological theory.

AD39, Weininger's linking of maleness, via genius, with an acceptance of the Kantian categorical imperative, is far too tendentious and dogmatic. He is going too far in saying what genius must be like, and in so doing manages to abut the freedom he claims for it.

AE120 D S Shwayder in Winch's Studies in the Philosophy of Wittgenstein, said that Wittgenstein was Kantian from beginning to end. What does this mean? Perhaps that there is a certain amount that is just given. Conditions of any possible experience. Basic Kantian questions. The supposed refutation of Hume. Suggestion in Scherbatsky's Buddhist Logic that the Kantian thing in itself is the infinitesimal point instant. Hume's empirical analysis by no means radical enough. This atomistic analysis into 'ideas' as if they are things. The fact that when we make a judgement a lot of basic categories are already presupposed. It is already theoretical. A great deal of possibility is presupposed, that goes far beyond the immediately given. The assumption is that we cannot justify this, and we cannot do without it. Wittgenstein, in his appeal to ordinary language, is supposed to offer a refutation of scepticism. This might seem to be showing why we should accept certain beliefs which go beyond the immediately given. The given of course may be a belief. It may be a belief or idea which repels us, which we are unwilling to accept but which seems inescapable. The real danger of scepticism. Not in doubting the reality of the external world, or of other minds. For it is quite possible to believe in these. It is in being unable to repudiate what seems omnipresent but which repels us…in being unable to advance beyond any immediately given, such as whatever happens to posses authority at the moment. As, for instance modern journalistic culture (from Time Out to the Spectator), totally uninterested in anything I have to say.

AE2 People find Kant so great insofar as they believe him, think he was right. I do not feel he puts me especially in touch with the nature of things. I find Leibniz more interesting, perhaps Hume too. Kant's thing in itself does not seem to me to resolve many difficulties. The Buddhist point instant I find absorbing.

AE218& Schopenhauer on Kant. He brings Kant's philosophy back before my memory. So much of Kant is pedantic and tedious. Dry as dust. Schopenhauer has some good criticisms of it. How Kant ignores the rich world of perception, referring to it simply as 'given'. Treating concepts as if they exist prior to experience rather than deriving from it. But this is a great deal of Kant's originality. Always with Kant I have the problem that I feel I do not understand him sufficiently. This is because I have a problem seeing how profound he is said to be. Take the doctrine of the antinomies. As Schopenhauer shows this is mostly sophistry. Much of what is original in Kant strikes me as bizarre and unnecessary.

AE242 Look how Schopenhauer legitimises his thought. Genuine progress brought about through Locke and Kant, attachment to reality. But we cannot do this. In justifying our present position, it is not on to run through a catalogue of old errors.

AI104 I admire R M Hare (Freedom and Reason) for his rationalism. As with many such theories, there are holes in it, seemingly tiny holes, easily plugged, but which others would see as vast breaches, allowing ample scope for their alternative constructions. This is the history of philosophy, Kant's system has some weak points; concentrating on these Hegel builds up a vast system that seems to negate most of what Kant stood for. From the thing in itself to the Absolute idea.

AI11 Nietzsche points out that Kant rose up against Hume and his materialistic philosophy. In so doing he followed the footsteps of Hammaan and other pietists. Does Nietzsche really mean to commend them? (Of Peoples and Fatherlands in Beyond Good and Evil).

AJ116 Marx (in The German Ideology) attacks Kant's Critique of Practical Reason as the ineffectual ideology of burghers and bureaucrats not yet become bourgeois.

AJ47 Kant's solution to Hume's objection to causation was to treat the belief in it as an inextricable feature of our cognitive apparatus. What to Hume was something incomprehensible, was for Kant a necessary precondition of thought. Kant objected to Hume's critical scepticism on more than purely theoretical grounds, it represented a world view which he found distressing and objectionable. Is there an analogy between the anti-Wittgensteinian views hinted at by Kripke and Kant's attack on Hume? Are some of the attacks on Wittgenstein inspired by the objective of undermining the Wittgensteinian world view?

AJ63 A phrase 'passing through the prism of Kant'. It no longer seems to apply, Kant is no longer so important as he once seemed to be. Of modern continental philosophy one complains about its lack of intellectual rigour. A present opinion tries to justify itself by attaching itself to some scheme which reveals it to be supreme enlightenment, or the logic of history. The prism of Kant. Then Hegel's claim to have progressed further. People like Althusser, who see Feuerbach and Nietzsche as regression, a failure to learn the lesson of Hegel.

AK117 Hegel and Marx on Kantian understanding. The principle of non contradiction as characterising eighteenth century understanding. 18th century understanding as rationality. Its egoism. Idea of transcending individualism. That a non individualistic form of experience is possible is undeniable. It exists in Buddhism. That it may be satisfying is not to be denied either.

AK364 At least Kantian morality contains a reservation. Hegel wants to do away even with that.

AK79 Notable facts about Durkheim. Influence of Kant, in his moral view of reality. Influence of orthodox Judaism, with its rule bound and moralising way of life. Commitment to French republicanism, i.e. trying to clarify the beliefs of a committed egalitarian republican. I was inspired to read a book on Durkheim by a what struck me as a very odd view put forward by Alex Mercer. When I put forward a Darwinian view about not promoting genetic defects, on the ground that it is better to be healthy, that this is happier and more fulfilling, he said that this selfish way of looking at life is not the only one. People with various disabilities, he said, could contribute to society. He mentioned ideas like 'pulling your weight in society' which I said is repressive crap. He then told me about the perspective he learnt from his sociology. How you live not for yourself, but for society, as part of a collective. The peculiar results of such ideas with respect to disabilities. Disabilities may be seen as good, as adding to the contributions made to society. And the end of that is not even to be thought of as the happiness of the individual. So logically speaking one may favour a programme that does not even favour the happiness of the individual, is even inimical to it. Instead it may further the strange value of 'contributing to society'. Ants nest. The morals and values by which people justify their actions. Some people do not think that what they do is directed towards their happiness or fulfilment. This is like 'moral' behaviour, A lot of people, including Marx, might say that this 'morality' is mere hypocrisy, or a cloak for self interest. Some people would say, in profound disagreement with the English eighteenth century, that this moral interpretation gives the true significance of all action. That it is the egoism from Hobbes onwards that is distorted. A key text here, would I suppose be Kant's Critique of Practical Reason. Marx and Durkheim are obviously close, both hostile to Stirnerite egoism, even if Marx is in some respects a psychological egoist. The Marxist objection to Stirner, Nietzsche, De Sade or myself, is that some people have a desire to dominate. That this is unfair and should not be allowed. That they only find Marxism oppressive because it does not allow the satisfaction of this unfair desire.

AK96 Kant versus Nietzsche. The Kantian Critique of Practical Reason. An anti egoistic explanation of behaviour. The egoistic versus the moral. What Durkheim does is to transmit the moral anti egoistic dimension to the level of unconscious reality. These so called social facts. Psychological egoism claims to understand altruism by descending to the unconscious level Durkheimism does the seeming opposite, explaining even egoism in terms of conforming to a rule.

AL194 What Nietzsche said about Kant. How he only made the clarity of English philosophy acceptable to Germans by making it obscure. Heidegger sees the will to power as the last gasp of metaphysics. He sees nihilism as a universal predicament of modernity. But this is not philosophy, it is religion. It is undemonstrated hypothesis. Who wants a religion, to be told what to think and feel, even if it is only a problem? I suppose Heidegger fulfilled a role a bit like Hegel, or even Kant, making it possible to believe.

AL364 Kant's baroque architecture, the creative beauty of his claim. Read the Critique of Pure Reason, perhaps get much illumination into other things, To hold as clearly as possible in the mind the different ways in which Hegel and Schopenhauer both derive from Kant. Contrast Kant's logical system with Nietzsche's way of arriving at his insights. What if the true heroic does not lie with the aristocratic but with the bourgeois misfit? Creation of values. Those ones able to create values that are not the expression of deprivation.

AM152 Norris's tedious essay Kant Disfigured, in The Truth about Deconstruction). He wants to be able to use Kant against Burke. Kant's universalisation, he says, deconstructionists and relativists claim to be impossible. He wants to show that it is still possible. But why go all the way to Kant to make this point? Something very tedious about Kant. Kant is the possibility of morality. Ethical obsessions of people like George Eliot. The moral interpretation of reality. Showing that it is possible. I am sure it is possible to say it. To make universal moral judgements. But what really hangs on all this intellectualism? That something is possible does not mean we have to agree with it…Wyndham Lewis on God. His paradoxical inversion of Kant.

AM156 I wonder if there is a move in leftist circles to return to Kant, as an alternative to Marx? In attacking relativism, why not go to Nietzsche? The very source of a lot of these relativistic ideas, as it supposed? And show that he has been completely misapplied….that the will to power idea is far from giving sustenance to relativistic doctrines, but is the most direct way to overcome them. That the Kantian position does not really work in this regard, that its ultimate effect is solipsistic. Kantianism I would say is insufficiently offensive. It does offer a justification for moral language that takes place anyway. It shows how one may hold a particular position, Norris is I think unfair to Wittgenstein and Winch. He sees them as expressing a position which would make it impossible for him to say what he wants to say, but perhaps that is not the point at all. In Ethics and Action, Winch seems to be describing the possibility of ethical judgement quite effectively. Why is it that thinkers so often get condemned for positions that are the precise opposite of their intentions? Suppose a Kantian position is possible. Does one have to agree with it? One may object to it on other than relativistic grounds. That may be all well and good. In some ways Norris's book appears badly flawed. Perhaps he knows Kant very well, but he seems to miss out much of what is central. The introduction of the categorical imperative it seems he has to defend against some of the most elementary possible misunderstandings. As if some people were saying Kant is a foundationalist, in the sense of committing the naturalistic fallacy. As if the whole thrust of the controversy surrounding Kant is located far away from his response to Hume. He attacks Wittgenstein as a relativist, when Wittgenstein was himself concerned to answer relativism. He finds Nietzsche an even more appalling relativist. His seeming answer is a return to Kant. Kant seen in the light of what are usually seen as some of his more occasional pieces (like What is Enlightenment). Where he is seen as taking part in civilised dialogue, and not trying to deduce principles in some cold abstract way. Back to Kant we could call this, presumably because Marx has failed.

AM167 Morality, will to power. Kant and Hegel on Ethics. Ethical language obviously has a place in any life. Kant however inflates it to obsessive proportions. Then it is we have moralistic ideology.

AN52 Hegel's History of Philosophy. Hegel on Kant. The real meat, getting there to what he really believes. Jacobi, a philosopher who expressed a philosophy which was like a crude version of Kant. In Hegel there is much that is right that is not expressed anywhere else, but yet he produces an obnoxious particularity. It is rather as if he makes the right considerations and perverts them. His section on Kant must be among the best things he wrote. He shows how the difficulties in Kant's position lead on to other things. He has the effrontery to accuse Kant of barbarous jargon. Fichte deducing the categories from the ego. A philosophical enterprise no doubt, but is it an entirely rational and sensible one? Ultimately Hegel comes out of Schelling. The bizarre concepts and principles he bears throughout his journey are really the end product of this continuing process of philosophic criticism. And much to do with the desires that Kant stimulated and left unsatisfied.

AO324 Will v feelings. Kant's practical reason, see how this can be seen as an expression of rational will. Feelings open to seduction, will to rational persuasion. Asceticism of the power seeker, who desires not simply happiness but the fulfilment of his will. Thus his desire is clear and rational. Not like the person who primarily seeks happiness, whose will is mutable. Like the woman open to seduction.

AQ196 Hinton's philosophy (in Scientific Romances). As with Scherbatsky, an interesting interpretation of Kant. Idea of the will operating in a four dimensional space. Idea of a moral life as the higher life. Unselfishness. I have a criticism of that. Like with the Persian King, the will operating as if not subject to the normal laws. Not ruled by pleasure and pain, that essentially eighteenth century calculus. He treats Kant almost as the discoverer of the fourth dimension.

AQ209& Magical significance of Kant. His peculiar idea of the freedom of the will, as somehow outside the laws of nature. See its application in Hinton's story of the Persian King. What this freedom of the will amounts to is only will, ie the power of the will, conceived as sovereign, rather than subject. Like the possible irrelevance of the normal causal network. The appetitive causal network. Moral, he calls it, but that is not the end of the story. There is a certain pride in being free from nature. Like in being able to disregard pain, Like being in another dimension. Pride of the scientist in being able to control nature. Idea for paper, Kant's influence on Weininger. Scherbatsky, Hinton. Yet who would be interested? Think of all H S Chamberlain wrote on Kant. One would have to make it relevant. Hinton - Einstein. Kant's perspective. Concentrating on the object of will is the most important thing. As if it is more important than the whole of nature. Tanner describes this theory as a deplorable aberration (in his book Nietzsche). Kant's morality is about being outside the laws of nature. Isn't this like Colin Wilson's Outsider? A kind of pride, being superior to normal humanity, superior to the normal laws of cause and effect? Is there some hint of Gurdjieff here? Laws of nature are there, but they are of secondary importance, mere phenomena.

AQ222 J S Mill and apparent conflict between his commitment to liberty and his sympathies with socialism…see how the Kantian will fits in here. See the will to power theory as a basis for rejecting associationism. This psychological theory which undermines liberty. James Mill & Hartley. Think of the flaws from the viewpoint of will to power. Think of how we could say this theory is actually wrong. This pleasure pain mechanism, this unlimited conditionability, malleability, of man. Where exactly is the error? Can we say it is something to do with dimensions? With the oppressiveness of being forced to think something. A completeness about it, but something unconsidered. That the objection to it can be basic perversity? Suppose one can imagine the associationist scheme to be complete, and even in its own terms, correct, this is where Kant comes in. My will may be formed by nature, but it is nonetheless a reality. Whatever its origins, it perceives this scheme. The prefect conditioning proposed, expresses a desire for power, for the triumph of one scheme over another possible. And there in lies the insuperable weakness. For the scheme is not just idea, it is will through and through, however much that is disguised. Associationism and the idea of an innate will to power. Difference of these pictures. The will to power theory contains the idea of something obstinate and innate. We picture it in terms of a desire, something that has to be taken account of. Where is this desire? It is in the theory itself. I think this could be a most fertile idea. See the echo of Kant. Possibility of a most interesting argument. In Associationism we have a theory which leaves something out. It leaves itself out. It has an explanation for itself, but this is where disingenuousness comes in. Might one not desire power? But one does and that can be shown. The whole doctrine is will driven. Associationism is an explanation of desire in terms of something other than desire. It thus produces a theoretically unlimited malleability of desire. There is some desire that cannot be removed, namely whatever works on this. Say I make people desire what I want them to desire. All I have done is to set up some kind of monstrous despotism. Where would my desire for power come from? Could that too be explained in terms of experience of pleasure and pain? James Mill's reformist zeal. This idea of the purpose of life. Theoretical and empirical questions. A lot may be decided in a theoretical way. The pleasure pain calculus may be acceptable as far as it goes. It explains where desire comes from, and how desire might be different. The desire that it frustrates is something felt at the outset. Looking at people abstractly in terms of behaviour. Say there is a teleology in desire. A kind of drive, or nature we call power. And which to deny is to create frustration. It depends on a knowledge, a certain perspective. Like knowing what we know we could not be happy with the conditioning proposed. Perhaps Mill senses this somewhere. One essential unstated condition - ignorance. This becomes a fact of overwhelming importance. Because we are not ourselves ignorant, we have to recognise this factor. As soon as we do this, power comes in as a motive.

CC33 Modern design, believing it returns to a simplicity even nobler than that of the Greek Doric, in reality reverting to the aridity of Kant.

D150 Where did modern nihilism begin? A certain amount of nihilism is implicit in Kant, glossed over nihilism, as it were. Perhaps some of the French dandies of the ancien regime could be said to express a certain nihilism in the way they lived. Kant the German pedant reacted against what to him were the nihilistic implications of Hume's empiricism. Some of the French dandies were the eighteenth century equivalent of modern existentialists. Dispute the whole Bonhoeffer idea about man's coming of age. For a long time western culture has incorporated the idea of ultimate meaninglessness.

D45 Crowley in religion and Wittgenstein in logic, a later stage of spiritual and philosophical insight than Kant. Einstein and the whole modern movement in contemporary civilisation. The pseudo justification of morality perpetrated by Kant, something from which most of Wittgenstein's followers have not yet escaped, This Kantian view suggests that all values are to be placed in the hands of an arbitrary power. So this destroyed the eighteenth century rationalist programme and paved the way for Hegel.

D82 Nietzsche right about the fundamental dishonesty in Kant's philosophy. It taught man not to obey his instincts without telling him exactly why. Man alienated from his instincts tends to be confused and ripe for control

DD44 Our civilisation has ceased to be classical and become Kantian. Classical ideal- order out of chaos, Kantian ideal refers back to the perceiver, says nothing, merely presents geometrical order.

EE132 Nietzsche quote on Kant's influence. Kant initiated an era of truly adventurous speculation which marked the distinctive German contribution to civilisation. Schelling, Fichte, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Spengler, Stirner, Marx. Truth could be what one wanted it to be, so this led to a riot of free speculation, some good some deplorable. The mystical and the analytical traditions are fused. Mysticism concerned with the search for certainty and the end of all desire. This philosophy, partly religious as it was, had a tremendous effect on the Russians, who were more radical than anyone, coming new to western culture and seizing of it what they liked best. Kant gave speculation a new lease of life.

FF243& Kant's importance, something I want to lay my finger on. Conception of the thing in itself, of a different kind of explanation from the physical mathematical (mysticism). Kant's philosophy, arguably very faulty, inferior in logical coherence to Hume. But he does open the door to the kind of explanation which has previously been the prerogative of religion. This the explanation of his immense importance. The eighteenth century was to a great degree bound by the necessities of rationalist thought. Crabbe's incomprehension of The Ancient Mariner. The difficulties of rationalism are overcome by limiting its scope and speaking of things in themselves. Ie another kind of explanation is allowed a place in rational philosophy. It is only Kant's suggestion that we can have direct experience of things in themselves. Sorel is entirely right, if for difficulty we substitute importance, or uniqueness. If someone else after Kant had thought that it is possible to have direct experience of TITs in the manner described, something which Kant had never mentioned, the influence of the two combined could never have been anything like as great as Kant as he was. Kant's analytical technique lends authority to his mystical views. ..Kant brought mystery back into philosophy, thus to some extent he is dangerous and irrationalist. His statement of this mystery is dangerous because his explicit aim is not to open new questions but to solve them, and his solutions introduce a dangerously repressive principles, one which continues in Hegel…But on the other hand the line goes through Schopenhauer to Nietzsche who restored rationalism.. Kant laid open the possibility of discovering new kind of relationship, a new kind of science.

FF300 Romanticism and decadence had a kind of philosophic base. They stood for an attitude to life at least. Then what happened after the first war? Joyce, Eliot and others brought about what was in some respects a serious regression, albeit that certain excesses needed to be counteracted and satirised. The focus went right away from the higher fulfilment of the individual towards the neo Kantian ethic that prevails in universities. In effect the elite were preparing themselves for socialism, vasectomising their higher selves…reaction against the entire romantic movement, yet not back into pre romantic enlightenment synthesis, certainly not to the proto romantic renaissance ideal, rather to something earlier and more repellent, something of the atmosphere of the mediaeval cloister. One of the elements in this movement was elitism, a desire to preserve the sense of being a cultural elite…

GG248 Oxford as the Byzantium of the western world. Perhaps a connection can be traced between Forsterism and the late decadence, Oxford becomes a convenient institution onto which the individual can shift the burden of his intellectual centre, …Collingwood's aesthet… Kant, Byzantium, the indeterminate and unknown, the determining concept which the individual cannot guess. This is a thoroughly anti classical ideal, alternative to the ideals which have nourished our civilisation for so long. It is a standpoint from which an intellectual life is possible but uncreative.

GG95 Kant's things in themselves may be thought of in various ways. Hegel makes it into the whole world of phenomena, as in Bradley, the logical subject of anything, not a mysterious impenetrable shadowy entity, the same in every case, but one TIT, the subject of every judgement.

IX79 An interesting philosophical issue is raised by Schopenhauer that Kant's ethical theory has removed the concept of theological authority from that of moral duty and hence rendered moral language as he wishes to use it meaningless. If Kant were the first to say 'stealing money is wrong' without believing in God, then he would have made an innovation in language. People would continue to talk in this way, thinking that Kant had made it all right, would this render the mode of language meaningful?

KK93 Existentialist freedom. I feel myself driven by the pleasure/pain principle, I do not feel I have any freewill, surely the existentialist freedom is like the Kantian. Freewill, something to do with choice, with the phenomenon of moral choice. Or is it moral vacillation? I cannot help seeing principles and ideas as part of nature, forces like any others. I do not have the feeling of freedom, of which some people make so much, I always felt that Freewill is a piece of nonsense. Or is freewill connected with 'commitment', i.e. faith in some dogma or other? Is what freewill means the possibility of adopting a set of beliefs in which one can deny determinism? Is it indeed a merely subjective phenomenon, a state of mind? Does freewill mean in effect little more than the freedom to believe in freewill? I.e. you are not necessarily bound by determinism because you can come to believe that you are not. I have no objection to people believing in whatever nonsense they want to believe, about freewill or whatever. I can't see the excitement of it. The peculiar character of existentialist choice. 'On what principle shall I act?' All to do with principles, meanings. Like the Kantian moral action….etc etc…

KK94 In any list of the most influential men in history Kant should be given a high place. He undermined the enlightenment from within, and is responsible for the distinctively Germanic contribution to world culture, far more than Goethe or any of the composers. What does it matter whether or not a philosopher perpetrates a monumental error, when he can so powerfully influence the current of history? This Germanic culture was taken over by the Russians….De Quincey, well aware of the importance of Kant…

PP113 Curious intellectual moralism of Germans. Kantianism probably going back through pietism to Luther. Both Eichmann and a Baader-Meinhof terrorist, looking to the categorical imperative as their guide through life. Kant, Fichte, moral behaviour as the object of life, and as filling a great void,

SS153& Collingwood on history, Kant, Fichte, Hegel. Kant's idea of History as the realm of freedom. A most illuminating perspective on post Kantian idealism. The conception of the noumenal reality. History as the unfolding of ideas according to a dialectical pattern. A kind of knowledge very different from that of the relations between phenomena….History as the history of thoughts, The nature of historical understanding Imaginative sympathy with systems of thought. Relating every historical event to the mind of the historian. Ideas values. Their significance as lying in what I can think about them. Kantian antithesis between nature and mind, between the world of phenomena and the world of values, the latter being what human beings have tended to think of as important. Kant himself reduced the whole of the world of values to the merely ethical, but we could replace ethics by values.

WW28 Kantianism of the Victorian middle class. Anti Nietzscheanism of Britain today. Fear of revolution, fear of fascism. The protest against morality in the name of personal freedom, Baudelaire. But spiritual freedom is a value they find dangerous. Society not being equal it is felt that those with power, justified as the cultured section of society, are to be constrained in their behaviour by a sense of duty to the lower classes. Ideals of self realisation, it is felt, result in something like the amoral, atheistic French revolution. Or alternatively to fascist oppression. Expose nakedly the power relationships of society (as if you tried to live aristocratically) and there is much danger. As fascist ideas are the most vigorously suppressed today {because feared} so were certain free spirited ideas to the Victorians. Particularly was openness about sex…So people try to resolve the problem by calling for equality. If there are no longer lower classes, no more people to be considered at a lower cultural level, the problem disappears. Bourgeois morality is unnecessary. But equality is tyranny. If I am obliged to consider all men as my equals, where does that leave me? Equality is a dogma, inequality is mere feeling in infinite gradations. I need to be able to despise, to distance myself, to consider others my inferiors. This is all part of freedom, to be able to feel this.

XX238 The moralistic tradition of Kant. The introduction of emotional repression as a means of staving off revolution. The false idea that the purpose of life is moral rather than hedonistic.

YY67 Quinton says that the philosophy behind modernism is existentialism. I disagree. The philosophy behind modernism is some kind of Kantianism. Idea that here is a reality behind appearances and the exploration of that. What is the philosophy behind the various aesthetics of modernism? Kant. Braque, Picasso, Cezanne, Le Corbusier, Einstein, Joyce, Andre. Infusing into the notion of the thing in itself a powerful emotional charge. So many people when questioned appear to take Kant for granted, no matter what other ideas they profess. The esotericism of modernism turns out to be no more than Kant, or the emotional exploration of Kant. The philosophy is out of date. I resent the hierophantic pretensions of the artistic establishment, their assumption that one ought to share their beliefs. The Kantian philosophy is obviously used for an elitist purpose. It is used for a species of esoterism preserving the privileges of an elite group, an academic establishment.

ZZ224 Kant's idea of rational moral freedom, the 'exhilarating sense of freedom', a wrong twist, a false path. Seeming escape from enlightenment determinism. Romantic objection thereto and expressivism. Hegel's attempting to reconcile this with reason. Attempt to show this present feeling as inevitable.

ZZ239 Kant's idea of 'radical freedom' as Taylor calls it (Charles Taylor- Hegel and Modern society). Contacting the thing in itself. Escape from the apparent limitations of enlightenment thought. This freedom is the realisation that it is possible to think differently. In fact there is a real discovery here. Kant as proto romantic. His philosophy may be wrong, subsequent German philosophy may be on the wrong track. But that can only be said from a particular point of view. The fundamental assumption may be unacceptable to us, as with most Indian philosophy. But we may reinterpret it in accordance with our own interests. And still defining much of value.

at23, Idea of art as mystagoguery. As a superior kind of philosophy, a kind of mystery teaching. This is like Kant come back. Nietzsche goes and we get Kant instead. Kantianisation of art, the removal of the Nietzschean imperative. The demand to admit beauty in what you may see as ugly. The demand to accept ugliness as art.

at299, Lange on Kant. What at first was a rather tedious chapter (all the stuff about the synthetic a priori character of maths) became interesting and illuminating for the clarification it affords on Nietzsche.
Lange was Nietzsche's History of Philosophy, what he used. We don't need to argue that he was part neo-Kantian, it was simpler than that. Obviously he wouldn't stick with Schopenhauer, all his life. Kant might easily seem as far as philosophy had got. And he followed Lange's take on it.
So much of the stuff about art as illusion is no more than Lange's Kant. It is hardly some deep Nietzschean insight into the nature of truth. Not something fantastically complicated.
All the influences on Nietzsche that Small (Robin Small- Nietzsche in Context) brings up should not be exaggerated. The larger names are the real centre of his attention. When he sneers that Kant was most proud of his categories, that is from Lange. Much of Nietzsche's thinking is an entrée into a forgotten nineteenth century world. Mistakes can be fertile as can misreadings. Ignorance.
The search for Nietzsche's greatest originality. Those who look to art as some kind of illusion. Actually the ordinariness of this view, as some kind of Kantianism. See how a whole range of philosophical problems can be generated by a failure in interpretation. As if something very difficult and interesting is being said about art and truth, whereas put in context it is really very simple. And the real originality comes elsewhere.

at305, Lange's History of Materialism, 1875, fascinating stuff on theoretical physics. Mach suggesting more than 3 dimensions to make things explicable. Reymond Bois. Points of force. Speculations about atoms and their reality. All with a kind of Kantian framework. Boscovitvch and points of force mentioned. Surprising how much modern science is there. Rejecting Schopenhauer's metaphysics, as one must. Kantian thing in itself as a theoretical limit.
Fascinating questions of scientific methodology all there.
Neo-Kantianism, positivism, Wittgenstein. Metaphysics of theoretical physics. New ideas for the will to power. Something like 'force'. Lange so significant. Importance of Lange's saying how the significance and status of atoms, etc. comes down to the theory of knowledge. And that this is the significance of Nietzsche's more metaphysical sounding speculations.
That we are not to take any metaphysical conception as preceding knowledge. But questions of knowledge determine all our most basic categories.
The will to power having such an important basis in psychology, it underlies all our most basic assertions of knowledge, even of the constituents of the universe. Basic constituents of reality. Nietzsche's alternative to Kantianism,

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