"Seriously though, Jeff, what are you so angry at?"
Seriously, Donald, I'm not angry at all. I'm somewhat exasperated by the SOLO "editor" who put up this post ("Can't This Pompous Ass Take What He Dishes Out?") *after* posting my reply to Linz, at a time when it was now irrelevant and no longer applied. And I'm annoyed by twits and ignoramuses who strut around and pound their chests, amid delusions of their vast knowledge.
But I'm not really *angry* -- not at all.
The Learned Jody Allen Gomez:
"How was Rand wrong in here [sic] 'caricature' of Kant." [sic]
Well, this is a large subject, and one I haven't written about for probably thirty years. It's been many years since I've read Kant, too. Frankly, when I made my brief statement, I was assuming that most SOLOists who were interested in the issue at all had read the Critique of Pure Reason for themselves and would know what I meant without the necessity of explanation. Or, I figured, if they hadn't read Kant himself, surely they'd read some of the comments of other Objectivist or libertarian writers who feel Rand did Kant wrong -- such as SOLOist Fred Seddon. Who was it who lectured me on the theme that "Linz has stated his arguments in detail around here enough times that each time he encounters shit-kickers like yourself, he is justified in giving us the cliff-notes [sic] description"? Let's just say I was giving the CliffsNotes description.
Briefly, quoting imprecisely from memory and without double checking anything in any books (I haven't time for that at the moment -- three or four weeks from now, I'll be happy to dig into my library for more exact citations), Kant does not maintain, as Rand absurdly claims, that "because we have eyes we cannot see, because we have ears we cannot hear," etc., etc., etc. What he maintains is that because our sense organs are what they are, because they have the particular makeup, the particular character, they do, they cannot bring us knowledge of the way reality is in itself; they can only bring us partial knowledge, knowledge within limits. Kant never maintains that our senses cannot bring us all the knowledge we *need* or that the knowledge provided by the senses is of no value. He merely stresses that our information about the world in which we live is, *by its nature*, partial and selective. Anyone who has ever seen a mirage in the desert knows what Kant is talking about. Our senses deceive us; we must apply reason and make inferences (on the basis of outside information -- information not immediately available to the senses that "see" the mirage) in order to reach a true understanding of the situation.
This seemingly simple and even self-evident observation has profound implications for many issues in philosophy, which is why it is frequently credited with touching off a "Copernican revolution" among philosophers.
Also, in describing his "categories of the understanding," Kant made the pioneering steps toward a correct understanding of the extent to which concept formation -- and even, to an extent, perception itself -- is theory-bound, i.e., dependent in some degree on unconsciously held assumptions that direct the individual's attention when s/he is observing the world outside his or her head.
Rand's ravings about how Kant was the most evil man in mankind's history and how he preached that knowledge was impossible (which he certainly did not) and how he thought that there was another dimension that humans simply could know nothing about (Kant's concept of the "noumenal world," which is clearly intended metaphorically to refer to aspects of existence of which humans can have no direct sensory awareness) -- what is one to call this but "absurd"?