Kant, however, is correct in that we inevitably try and conceive of transcendent, which means unconditioned, objects. This generates “dialectical illusion” in the Antinomies of reason. Kant thought that some Antinomies could be resolved as “postulates of practical reason” (God, freedom, and immortality); but the arguments for the postulates are not very strong (except for freedom), and discarding them helps guard against the temptation of critics to interpret Kant in terms of a kind of Cartesian “transcendental realism” (i.e. real objects are “out there,” but it is not clear how or that we know them). If phenomenal objects, as individuals, are real, then the abstract structure (fallibly) conceived by us within them is also real. Empirical realism for phenomenal objects means that an initial Kantian Conceputalism turn into a Realism for universals. See:
Meaning and the Problem of Universals, A Kant-Friesian Approach
It s always interesting for me to see what constitutes a Platonist in the world today. So I had to look at this question. There always seems to be help when you need it most, so information in the truest sense, is never lacking, but readily available as if taken from some construct we create of the transcendent.
Platonism, rendered as a proper noun, is the philosophy of Plato or the name of other philosophical systems considered closely derived from it. In narrower usage, platonism, rendered as a common noun (with a lower case ‘p’, subject to sentence case), refers to the philosophy that affirms the existence of abstract objects, which are asserted to “exist” in a “third realm” distinct both from the sensible external world and from the internal world of consciousness, and is the opposite of nominalism (with a lower case “n”). Lower case “platonists” need not accept any of the doctrines of Plato.
In a narrower sense, the term might indicate the doctrine of Platonic realism. The central concept of Platonism, a distinction essential to the Theory of Forms, is the distinction between the reality which is perceptible but unintelligible, and the reality which is imperceptible but intelligible. The forms are typically described in dialogues such as the Phaedo, Symposium and Republic as transcendent, perfect archetypes, of which objects in the everyday world are imperfect copies. In the Republic the highest form is identified as the Form of the Good, the source of all other forms, which could be known by reason. In the Sophist, a later work, the forms being, sameness and difference are listed among the primordial “Great Kinds”. In the 3rd century BC, Arcesilaus adopted skepticism, which became a central tenet of the school until 90 BC when Antiochus added Stoic elements, rejected skepticism, and began a period known as Middle Platonism. In the 3rd century AD, Plotinus added mystical elements, establishing Neoplatonism, in which the summit of existence was the One or the Good, the source of all things; in virtue and meditation the soul had the power to elevate itself to attain union with the One. Platonism had a profound effect on Western thought, and many Platonic notions were adopted by the Christian church which understood Plato’s forms as God’s thoughts, while Neoplatonism became a major influence on Christian mysticism, in the West through St Augustine, Doctor of the Catholic Church whose Christian writings were heavily influenced by Plotinus’ Enneads, and in turn were foundations for the whole of Western Christian thought” Platonism
Now beauty, as we said, shone bright among those visions, and in this world below we apprehend it through the clearest of our senses, clear and resplendent. For sight is the keenest of the physical senses, though wisdom is not seen by it — how passionate would be our desire for it, if such a clear image of wisdom were granted as would come through sight — and the same is true of the other beloved objects; but beauty alone has this privilege, to be most clearly seen and most lovely of them all. [Phaedrus, 250D, after R. Hackford, Plato’s Phaedrus, Library of the Liberal Arts, 1952, p. 93, and the Loeb Classical Library, Euthryphro Apology Crito Phaedo Phaedrus, Harvard University Press, 1914-1966, p.485, boldface added]
For example, thought cannot be attributed to the One because thought implies distinction between a thinker and an object of thought (again dyad). Even the self-contemplating intelligence (the noesis of the nous) must contain duality. “Once you have uttered ‘The Good,’ add no further thought: by any addition, and in proportion to that addition, you introduce a deficiency.” [III.8.10] Plotinus denies sentience, self-awareness or any other action (ergon) to the One [V.6.6]. Rather, if we insist on describing it further, we must call the One a sheer Dynamis or potentiality without which nothing could exist. [III.8.10] As Plotinus explains in both places and elsewhere [e.g. V.6.3], it is impossible for the One to be Being or a self-aware Creator God. At [V.6.4], Plotinus compared the One to “light”, the Divine Nous (first will towards Good) to the “Sun”, and lastly the Soul to the “Moon” whose light is merely a “derivative conglomeration of light from the ‘Sun'”. The first light could exist without any celestial body. Plotinus –
“…underwriting the form languages of ever more domains of mathematics is a set of deep patterns which not only offer access to a kind of ideality that Plato claimed to see the universe as created with in the Timaeus; more than this, the realm of Platonic forms is itself subsumed in this new set of design elements– and their most general instances are not the regular solids, but crystallographic reflection groups. You know, those things the non-professionals call . . . kaleidoscopes! * (In the next exciting episode, we’ll see how Derrida claims mathematics is the key to freeing us from ‘logocentrism’– then ask him why, then, he jettisoned the deepest structures of mathematical patterning just to make his name…)
* H. S. M. Coxeter, Regular Polytopes (New York: Dover, 1973) is the great classic text by a great creative force in this beautiful area of geometry (A polytope is an n-dimensional analog of a polygon or polyhedron. Chapter V of this book is entitled ‘The Kaleidoscope’….)”
So what is Coxeter saying in relation to Derrida? I think this is more the central issue. On the one hand images speak to what perception is capable of, beyond normal eyesight and without concepts, reiterated in the nature of the discussion about animals. This is what animals lack, given they do not have this conceptual ability, just that they are able to deduct, was what I was looking for as that discussion emerged and evolved.
If there is a Platonic Ideal Form then there must be an ideal representation of such a form. According to logocentrism, this ideal representation is the logos.
Think of what the Good means again here that it cannot decay into anything else when it is recognized, and that any other wording degrades. If you can draw from experience then in a way one is able to understand this. I had mention an archetype as a medium toward which one could meet the good, and in that find that the archetype itself, contain in the good, allows this insight to be shared. The whole scene is the transmission of the idea, can become the ideal in life. This is an immediate realization of the form of the good. It needs no further clarification……at the deepest levels you recognize it. You know, and you know it as a truth.
Understanding the foundations of Mathematics is important.
So I relay an instance where one is able to access the good…….also in having mentioned that abstraction can lead to the good. This distinction may have been settle in regard to the way in which Coxeter sees and Derrida sees, in regards to the word, or how Coxeter sees geometrically.
This is a crucial point in my view that such work could see the pattern in the form of the good. This is as to say, and has been said, that such freedom in realization is to know that the fifth postulate changed the course of geometrical understandings. This set the future for how such geometries would become significant in pushing not only Einstein forward, but all that had followed him, by what Grossman learned of Riemann. What Riemann learned from Gauss.