Is Kant's project of reconciling freedom with an apparently deterministic nature still relevant given how Quantum mechanics does not (as I understand it) see nature as a deterministic totality?

In my opinion, it's no harder to reconcile freedom (free choice, responsible action) with determinism than to reconcile it with indeterminism. On the contrary, it may be easier; see, for example, this SEP entry . According to compatibilists, we can act freely even if determinism should turn out to be true and hence even if the indeterministic interpretation of quantum mechanics should turn out to be false. But no one thinks that the truth of indeterminism (whether quantum indeterminism or some other kind) by itself would suffice to give us freedom. The debate is about whether indeterminism is necessary for freedom. In my view, incompatibilists bear the burden of showing that it is and have failed to discharge that burden.

St. Augustine wrote that he once stole some peaches. When he reflected on that experience he observed that he got a rush from breaking the rules. He then concluded that he broke the rules for the sake of breaking the rules and that more broadly this meant that at least some human sins are committed for the sake of sin. I think that St. Augustine was using this example to refute the Socratic claim that lack of knowledge was the cause of sin. Is St. Augustine's claim valid? Does it follow from the fact that he got excited from breaking the rules that he broke the rules for the sake of breaking the rules rather than the excitement it generated? Are there other reasons why breaking the rules might be exciting other than a desire to break the rules for its own sake? Maybe he got excitement from stealing the peaches because it was risky or because he wanted to challenge authority or to feel less confined by rules.

Warning: I grind my methodological ax a bit in these answers. 1. "Does it follow from the fact that he got excited from breaking the rules that he broke the rules for the sake of breaking the rules rather than the excitement it generated?" No: it doesn't follow; the former doesn't logically imply the latter. A philosopher (indeed, any decent reasoner who understands the question) can answer that one. 2. "Are there other reasons why breaking the rules might be exciting other than a desire to break the rules for its own sake?" I can't see why not, but here you're better off asking a psychologist, someone who studies people's actual motivations in a systematic way. 3. "Maybe he got excitement from stealing the peaches because it was risky or because he wanted to challenge authority or to feel less confined by rules." Maybe so. For more than "Maybe so," you'd again need to consult someone with psychological insight into rule-breakers in general and (if possible) this rule-breaker in particular...

Struggling with Wittgenstein. "The World is all that is the case". Does this mean both positive facts ("Paris is the capitol of France") AND negative facts ("Lyon is not the capitol of France") I can say "It IS the case that Lyon is not the capitol of France". Or does Wittgenstein mean only the pos. facts, i.e what has been actualized? Thanks.

I don't know what Wittgenstein was up to, i.e., whether he'd include among the facts of the world the "negative" fact that Lyon isn't the capital of France. As the questioner says, it plainly "is the case" that Lyon isn't the capital of France, so the first line of the Tractatus suggests that this fact does help comprise the world. But that's just my conjecture. At least one questioner wanted to see more give-and-take on this site, so I thought I'd query Prof. George's answer. It seems to rely on the unstated premise that if we have to list facts in order to describe the world, then that implies (or gives us some reason to think) that the world is a collection of facts. But in order to describe the Eiffel Tower, we can't just list all of its parts; we'd have to list facts about the Eiffel Tower. I don't think that gives us any reason to conclude that the Eiffel Tower is a collection of facts rather than a concrete, physical object.

According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of philosophy Schopenhauer was one of the first philosophers to advocate for the idea that the universe was not something "rational" What is an "irrational" universe then? Is there a difference between a universe being beyond the grasp of human reason and saying that the universe is "irrational"? Does he mean to say that the universe can do things that are illogical such as have square triangles?

I'm also no scholar of Schopenhauer, but from what I remember he's claiming that our universe is at bottom non-rational -- fundamentally arising from causes rather than from reasons . The universe isn't, on this view, irrational if that means 'capable of reasoning but bad at it' or 'containing logical inconsistencies'. I take it that Schopenhauer is rejecting a theistic or deistic view that sees reason (and not causation) as fundamental to our universe. I agree with Professor Manter that neither Schopenhauer's view nor the view he's rejecting allows for inconsistent things such as square triangles. Can I take this opportunity to grind an axe? Advocates of a supernatural (theistic or deistic) origin of our universe often claim that only their view -- rather than metaphysical naturalism -- gives us hope of achieving a rational understanding of the universe by investigating it. They say that only if the universe was rationally intended can we hope to understand it. I think the...

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