Kant’s Intellectually Intuitive God vs. Spinoza’s Fractal Onto-Theology?

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God / kant / Spinoza / Substance

Back to philosophy. In my earlier post on Kant, I tried to make a distinction between intellectual intuiton and empirical sensation. Kant will say something like: we cannot have a pure intellectual intuition of the object because that would give us the thing-in-itself (also known as the transcendental object). What Kant means is something like: the “transcendental” part of the thing-in-itself means that it serves as the grounds for the possibility of experience. So, the thing-in-itself, for Kant, allows for the object to be given to us, but since we participate in space and time (mediative intuitions) we only have representations of the object and never a pure intuition of it. I am trying to stress that Kant sees our spatial-temporal media as being, in a literal sense, that which keeps us from having truly primary a priori knowledge of the object.
However, that’s Kant’s view of human finitude. Rewind. Kant says “intuition has its seat in the subject only, as the formal character of the subject, in virtue of which, in being affected by objects, it obtains immediate representation, that is, intuition, of them; and only in so far, therefore, as it is merely the form of outer sense in general” (71).
Fastforward. “In natural theology, in thinking an object [God], who not only can never be an object of intuition to us but cannot be an object of sensible intuition even to himself, we are careful to remove the conditions of time and space from his intuition–for all his knowledge must be intuition, and not thought, which always involves limitations” (90).
But then Kant goes on to say that since time and space are conditions of existence, they must also be conditions of the existence of God. Further down though: “This mode of intuiting in space and time need not be limited to human sensibility. It may be that all finite, thinking beings necessarily agree with man in this respect, although we are not in a position to judge whether this is actually so. But however universal this mode of sensibility may be, it does not therefore cease to be sensibility. It is derivative (intuitus derivativus), not original (intuitus originarius), and therfore not intellectual intuition. For the reason stated above, such intellectual intuition seemse to belong solely to the primordial being, and can never be ascribed to a dependent being, dependent in its existence as well as in its intuition, and which through that intuition is conscious of its own existence only in relation to given objects” (90).
Long quote, I know–but the point I’m trying to make is that Kant wavers on a fundamental point: does God partake of the conditions of existence, and thus does he exist in space and time? On the other hand–God cannot exist in space and time because he has direct access to the Thing–or the thing-in-itself–pure noumenon. It is intellectual intuition that is equated with this ability–so God, the primordial being, has intellectual or original intuition. Doesn’t this sound like a world in which man is fallen and only perceives so many bad copies of the object?
Anyway–the fundamental point I was trying to make in relation to Spinoza–Spinoza considers substance to be God, and God’s substance to consist of an infinity of attributes. The trick is, human subjectivity only works in two dimensions: thought and extension (mind/body–space/time?). However, this does not exclude the very real fact that the true nature of God’s substance exists on an infinity of different dimensions (understood as attributes–understood as possible expressions of being–a truly fractal onto-theology in the sense that there exists an infinity of modes of being that exist outside, inside, between, alongside of the realms of thought and extension. Quantum Physics–String Theory–Spinoza? hahaha. nice.

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Please feel free to email me about anything and everything that's on the site. I love every chance I get to engage in stimulating conversation. Email: tadkins613@hotmail.com

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