Friday, May 24, 2013

On Troikas 10: Kantian Troikas

Kantian Troikas

We can turn Kant’s Four Antinomies into voter’s paradoxes, thus:

A.    Antinomy of Time:  Limited or infinite?

Moe says that time is linear, bounded, and finite:
|‑-‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑|
Larry says that time is linear, unbounded, and infinite:
<‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑>
Curly says that time is circular, unbounded, and finite:
‑‑‑‑>‑‑‑
|           |
‑‑‑<‑‑‑-

2/3 (ML) say:  time is linear.
2/3 (LK) say: time is unbounded (i.e. has no beginning nor end).
2/3 (KM) say: time is finite.

B.   Antinomy of Atomism: Ultimate mechanism or none?

Moe, a Reductionist, says that all things are made of simple parts, and can be fully explained in terms of their parts;
Larry, a Holist, says that all things are made of simple parts, but that some things cannot be fully explained in terms of their parts;
Curly, a Chaoticist, says that all things can be fully explained in terms of their parts, but that some things have only composite parts.

2/3 (M&L) say: all things are made of simple parts;
2/3 (K&M) say: all things can be fully explained in terms of their parts;
2/3 (L&K) say: some things cannot be fully explained in terms of simple parts.

That is, all wholes have simple parts; all wholes are the sum of their parts; yet some wholes are not the sum of simple parts!

C. Antinomy of Freedom:  Free or not?
Curly, a medieval Supernaturalist, says that not all phenomena are governed by the laws of nature, which are deterministic;
Moe, a modern Mechanist, says that all phenonema are governed by the laws of nature, which are deterministic;
Larry, a postmodern Quantumist, says that all phenonema are governed by the laws of nature, which are not deterministic.

2/3 (M&L) say: all phenonema are governed by the laws of nature;
2/3 (K&M) say: the laws of nature are deterministic;
2/3 (L&K) say: not all phenomena are pre‑determined.

So all is natural, nature is predictable, yet not all is predictable!

D. Antinomy of God:  Exists or not?

Moe says there is no God either within or beyond this world;
Larry says that God exists, but only within this world;
Curly says that God exists, but only beyond this world.

2/3 (M&L) say: there is no God beyond this world;
2/3 (K&M) say: there is no God within this world;
2/3 (L&K) say: there is a God.
Between immanence, transcendence, and nonexistence, God gives the Stooges the slip!

Here is a similar “Existentialist” troika:
2/3 (M&L) say:  life has no meaning beyond itself;
2/3 (K&M) say: life has no meaning within itself;
2/3 (L&K) say: life has meaning.

Exercise for the reader: figure out each Stooge’s life-philosophy.