November 19, 2009
I need to compose something intelligent and clear on the First analogy. I am taken by the notion of the parallel times, that each thing were in its own time, and so where there would be the time of the chair and the time of the sofa and the time of the tree. And each would be in its own time. From the standpoint then of my time things would come into and go out of existence. That would be exactly what would happen if time were inherent in things and so where each thing had its own time.
We would have to then think up another time in which to array all these various time. So we donâ€™t judge things as being in their own time, but rather as represent universal time. Each thing represents endurance itself, that which can give meaning to time (for an empty time is twice over meaningless, an infinite nothing coupled with nothing). So we are necessitated to consider external objects as the substrata of time, i.e., because they exist always even so is there always a (single) time.
Now, as I muse about this, what would be an alternative judgment that we could make about objects as substance? We could judge essentially that they could go in and out of existence. Since that is the alternative judgment and does not lead to any experience (for such a world would be like Aliceâ€™s Wonderland), and since we do in fact have experience, e.g., knowing that Humeâ€™s shrinking table is only in the eye, it follows that we do indeed make the judgment that the quantity of matter in the universe is ever constant.
I wonder if there is also an alternative judgment related to causality? If things could go in and out of existence on their own, then that would mean that things did not change, e.g., the standing tree and the same tree cut down would be two different trees (and not one thing in different states) and would have no more connection than the standing tree and a cloud. Out of sight, out of mind. This could only lead to basing knowledge of constant experimentation, and so therefore the refutation of Humeâ€™s is based on the recognition of the role of natural causation (in recognizing that the shrinking table is entirely in the eye or brainarium).
The question, as Schopenhauer notes (I think), gets down to the question of things going into and out of existence. Since, according to him, the casualty of going into and out of existence cannot be conceived, and so is rejected, and the judgment is made that they (the standing and down trees) are one and the same thing and so something has happened to it. We opt for what we can conceive with respect to causality, namely: since we cannot conceive of the cause of something coming into or going out of existence we will think of the two trees as one and the same tree and investigate the cause of the change in the condition of the one tree.
So it seems here that the question revolves around the unification of the two (differently perceived) trees and how it is that we make this identification of these two perceptions? Coming into and going out of existence cannot be considered as changes. The only way to have a change, and thus an occasion for the judgment of causality (Second Analogy), is by having a single object which endures through all time (speaking of the quantity of its matter). That object is substance, the First Analogy.
So only by recognizing the two perceptions as of the same thing are we able to conceive of a change, and it is only with regard to change that causation and the Second Analogy come into play. And it is only through the continuity of matter in all time that we are able to unify the two perceptions into two perceptions of a single thing.
How about the Third Analogy? How does this continuation in existence of all things (the First Analogy) tie in with the notion of simultaneous effectation? where things are in constant interaction? Supposedly it goes like this: I can look in front of me and tell if something is happening in the back of me, or at least that is the judgment that I make, and it is only by virtue of this judgment that I can speak of things being simultaneous.
Now we know from the First Analogy that all things continue in all time and so we are not talking about the physical existence of things behind me, but about their state. Kant uses the example of looking at the moon and then at the earth and then back to the moon, and judges all this to be simultaneous because since the light waves are bringing the images of the moon to him on the earth (and Kant never used such words) he know they are also traveling back from him to the moon. And so there is a dynamic sort of illumination taking place.
We can judge that the space between objects is totally empty or we can judge that it is full of the interactions of the objects. Were we to judge according to the first, then there is no way of telling that the things behind me that I saw awhile ago are changing or not. And so if standing looking at the tree with the house behind me, and seeing the illumination of the tree starting to flicker, it would not occur to me to turn around, for if there is an empty space between me and the tree and the house behind me, then there is no way that the flickering could be a result of a fire behind me.
Filed under: Kant