Quora answer: Should we question everything?

Feb 16 2014



It is in my view impossible to question everything. However, this is precisely what Descartes tried to do, or at least said he did in order to find something that could not be doubted, and that was his famous “I think therefor I exist”, he could not find a way to doubt this because it was the doubter who still existed even if he doubted everything, including himself, still the doubter existed in the doubting. This is a proof by existence. I am doubting so I must be here to do that. But the problem is that the ego who is there is finite and much less complex than the world of things to be doubted, and so essentially the finitude of the doubter is the limitation that makes it so we cannot doubt everything. We can doubt everything that occurs to us, or comes our way, but that is not everything. So doubt is a process, it is not absolute. Just like getting to infinity is a process, in which we never really reach infinity. There is the limit of this process which we can estimate, and there is the actual infinity that we cannot bear due to our finitude.

So the whole reason to go into this is that it is precisely this discrepancy between all the things we can doubt given our temporal finitude, and the near infinite amount of things in the pluriverse that are doubtable, that produces schematization. In other words to protect ourselves from this gap between actual infinity and its estimated process limit we schematize, and that schematization process is precisely our projection of finite realms that we can handle which have a pre-ordained order that is imposed by us. This is where Idealism comes from, and the idea that there are a priori projected categories, or transcendentals. A good book to read about schemas is Kant and the Platypus by U. Eco, and in there he distinguishes “mathematical and geometrical schemas” which is what I mean when I use the term. Not all schemas but those related to spacetime only which are the most basic schemas, our first projection so to speak. The novelty of the idea of General Schemas theory is that it posits that we project different levels of schematization of various scopes and that the projection itself is striated and not a homogeneous plenum as Kant and it appears all idealists after him thought. Knowing that there are different schemas or templates of pre-understanding with different inherent organizations that nest with each other is important if we are going to understand art, engineering, and science in any fundamental way, and it is odd that no one seems to have realized that we need General Schemas Theory as a level of emergent abstraction previously in our intellectual history. I have been searching for a precursor in Architectural Theory, in Art Criticism, in Science or Engineering and I have not found anyone yet, who posits anything like the S-prime Schemas Theory that there are ten schemas that nest at different scopes each with a different self-organizing pattern and that they are related to dimensionality by the rule Two Schemas per Dimension and Two Dimensions per Schema. If we posit this S-prime theory, then it can tell us a lot about our own projection process. And one thing that is interesting is that this set of schemas goes up to the ninth dimension, and then stops just before string theory begins, not to mention M and F theory. This tells us that there is a fundamental limit to doubt, because we cannot form an image of things in spacetime to which we can relate in our finitude beyond the ninth dimension. We just don’t have schemas for that. And just like we cannot understand Quantum Theory, there is a fundamental limit on our understanding String Theory due to these limitations. We can posit these theories mathematically but we cannot relate to them in our finitude, and this has to do with the organization of spacetime itself. It turns out that in the ninth dimension our ability to understand things breaks down. This is because if we fill the universe with spheres close packed, and then we place a smaller sphere in the interstices of that close packing in the ninth dimension the smaller spheres defined relative to the close packed larger spheres is actually bigger than the larger spheres. Here our intuitions of relative size completely breaks down and so we cannot schematize beyond this limit.

And so I posit that we can only doubt things which have been schematized, and so that means anything which is beyond the ninth dimension cannot be doubted because doubting brings them into relation with our finitude via the schemas and if we cannot schematize something then it is impossible to doubt it. So in a sense we are saying that we cannot doubt string theory because we cannot really bring it into relation with our finitude as such. So if this is true it means that Doubt has a limit, and thus by definition we cannot doubt everything because we cannot schematize everything. This limit of schematization is equivalent to the limit of the possibility of doubt. Therefore we cannot doubt everything, because some things cannot become things through our schematization in order for us to doubt them.

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