"In consequence of this revolutionary assertion Kant states that: 'Space is not an empirical concept which has been derived from outer experiences.' (B/38) On the contrary: '…it is the subjective condition of sensibility, under which alone outer intuition is possible for us.' (A/26; B/42)
In other words, Kant asserts that space (and time) are not objective, self-subsisting realities, but subjective requirements of our human sensory-cognitive faculties to which all things must conform. Space and time serve as indispensable tools that arrange and systemize the images of the objects imported by our sensory organs. The raw data supplied by our eyes and ears would be useless if our minds didn't have space and time to make sense of it all. ...
Kant's view of space (and time) is the groundwork of his Critique [of Pure Reason], However the inseparable bond he claimed between geometry and the nature of space serves to undermine his case rather than support it. ...
When Kant refers to geometry, he must mean Euclidean geometry, since Non-Euclidean geometry, the brainchild of the 19th Century, was unknown to him. Hence space, in Kant's philosophical system must conform to Euclidean geometry. Norman Kemp Smith, in his Commentary on the Critique, remarked that for Kant '…space in order to be space at all, must be Euclidean.'
Space, in Euclidean Geometry, is a concept which is independent of the attributes of our human minds and senses. The word Geometry is derived from Greek - geo 'earth', and metron 'to measure', namely 'earth measurement'. With such semantic-conceptual roots its hardly conceivable that Euclid regarded Geometry as divorced from an objective independent space."
(Pinhas Ben-Zvi, 2005, Philosophy Now)
Ben-Zvi, P. (2005). "Kant on Space." Philosophy Now, January/February 2005(49).
"When considering the relevance of Kant's transcendental position on Euclidean space, one widespread complaint goes something like this: In what concerns the transcendental validity of mathematics in experience, Kant failed to distinguish between pure and applied geometry the way we do today. Pure geometry, as Hilbert showed, is a mere mathematical multiplicity, an axiomatic system interwoven by means of formal relationships where a priori intuition plays no role at all. Its claims have no empirical content whatsoever. Applied geometry, on the other hand, as exemplified by the use of non-Euclidean geometries by Einstein, has to do with the application of a formal geometrical structure as a means of depicting the empirical world. This application is done under certain theoretical assumptions and the postulation of an empirical spatial congruence. Once the coordination of the geometrical structure with the empirical phenomena is established, it can be empirically tested. There is no place for the idea that Euclidean geometry is a priori and synthetic, a transcendental constitutive of experience. Euclidean geometry is just a possible 'mathematical multiplicity', a formal structure whose correspondence with the physical world is not imposed. Thus, the transcendental a priori validity of geometry for all possible experience as implicitly ascertained in the mathematical principles of the pure understanding appears to have been refuted."
(José Ruiz Fernández, 2003)
Essays in Celebration of the Founding of the Organization of Phenomenological Organizations. Ed. CHEUNG, Chan-Fai, Ivan Chvatik, Ion Copoeru, Lester Embree, Julia Iribarne, & Hans Rainer Sepp. Web- Published at www.o-p-o.net, 2003
"Philosophical hermeneutics suggests a possible basis for an alternative philosophical view. Hans-Georg Gadamer's (1989) discussion of the epistemological basis of the humanities, includes a discussion of art which emphasises its profound import and value in developing understanding. His concern is to reassert the distinctiveness of humanistic and artistic insight, via a forceful argument that 'art is knowledge and experiencing an artwork means sharing in that knowledge' (97). A key element in Gadamer's argument is the early chapters' painstaking archaeology of post-Enlightenment thought. This aims to show how deep-rooted concepts in the history of ideas in the modern West, such as the idea of a sensus communis, have become forgotten or distorted, thereby undermining the basis of the humanities' claim to truth. In the case of art, Gadamer argues that post-Kantian philosophical treatments have subjectivised the domain, to the point where artworks became mere objects of aesthetic experience or vehicles of communication for the artist as genius - their particular mode of being and its cognitive import dissolving in their reconfiguration as aspects of the individual subject's experience or activity. One consequence has been art's relegation to the status of an epistemologically suspect domain, a soft relation of 'hard' scientific enquiry. Within this tradition of thought, art's contribution to knowledge (along with that of other humanities disciplines) can increasingly only be characterised in negative or derivative terms
What is especially interesting about Gadamer's writings from the point of view of the argument here, is the way he links the cognitive value of art practice to an ontology of the artwork which highlights the latter's autonomy. For Gadamer, art is essentially play: but, even though it has implications for the nature of the spectator's engagement, 5 this characterisation is meant to emphasise 'neither the orientation nor even the state of mind of the creator or of those enjoying the work of art, nor the freedom of a subjectivity engaged in play, but the mode of being of the work of art itself' (1987, 101). The process of art making effects what Gadamer terms a 'transformation into structure' (ibid., 110) which detaches the work from the activity of the creative artist, to foreground the meaningfulness of the content that the artwork conveys. 6 That content consists essentially in the work's re-presentation of aspects of the world and of experience. In recognising the import of a work, the agents involved do not simply register its reference to something familiar; in understanding art, '[t]he joy of recognition is rather the joy of knowing more than is already familiar' (ibid., 114). From Gadamer's perspective, then, an artwork itself embodies new insight. That insight may be variously applied and integrated into the experiential horizons of different viewers and audiences, but this variability in interpretation is tempered by a common sense of the work's transformative power. As autonomous structures, artworks move us beyond a subjective reflection on themes by artist and viewer, and towards a common participation in the work's play-structure, which in itself has the potential to reconfigure perception and the world.
This cursory overview of Gadamer's account of art scarcely does justice to the depth and scope of his analysis, and probably raises more questions about the epistemological status of PAR [practice as research] than it resolves. For example, how can one distinguish PAR from art not governed by research-imperatives if all art has the kind of cognitive import that Gadamer suggests? The hermeneutic view would also need much more detailed elaboration to clarify its implications for the conduct, presentation and assessment of PAR. In particular, perhaps, the question looms of how an artwork might be judged to fail to embody knowledge, given that Gadamer's philosophy seems to indicate that it should by definition make new insight available. And yet without being able to question critically, or even deny, the epistemological value of some works, it is unclear whether one can positively identify the claim to knowledge of any. 7 Gadamer's work may suggest that an artwork stands or falls on its transformative power within the audience's experience, but how exactly can one tell whether a work has this power? The responses of individual viewers – including those responsible for assessing PAR projects – might give us some indication: but, as Gadamer himself points out, the subjectivisation of aesthetics has weakened our trust in the commonality of artistic experience to the extent that we doubt the wider resonance of individual response. The philosophical argument for the intersubjectivity of art experience would thus need fleshing out in much more detail to counter the weight of tradition and of the received views attendant upon it."
(Anna Pakes, 2004. Roehampton University of Surrey, England)
Pakes, A. (2004) Art as action or art as object? the embodiment of knowledge in practice as research. Working Papers in Art and Design 3 Retrieved
"The radio and the television were called means of communication; however, communication implies interaction between subjectivities. The radio and the television are means of information. The telephone and the internet in actual time (just text, chats, and telepresence) allow communication. Both require a partner and participation: becoming active part. Here, communication and transportation coincide: there is voice teletransportation by telephone, there is teletransportation of moving image and voice by internet.
Umberto Eco, in Kant and the Platypus talks about prostheses and mirrors. The prostheses would be extensive (they extend our senses), intrusive (they intrude into our bodies), and also magnifying (they amplify minuscule spaces and reduce huge spaces), and occasionally, deforming. The mirrors would be prostheses that do not deceive, paraspecular image: an absolute double, incapable of lying, with no indicial value; image in which type and occurrence coincide.
'Thus, and always taking into account a theoretical point of view, what appears on the television screen is not a sign of anything: it is paraspecular image that is apprehended by the observant with the belief we give to a specular image.
(...) We do not doubt the television because we know that since each prosthesis, extensive and intrusive, does not provide us with signs in a first instance, but only perceptive stimuli."
(Maria Beatriz de Medeiros)