Wednesday, March 9, 2005 - The Progress & Freedom Foundation Blog

The Thing-In-Itself: Kant on VoIP

To offer a slight modification to Randy's discussion of "Something Old, Something New," I think the metaphysics of VoIP belong not to the religious traditions of metaphysics, but rather invite a Kantian analysis. Kant would hold that we cannot know "the thing-in-itself" or the noumena of VoIP; indeed, we cannot even prove it exists absent some a priori principles which scientific inquiry cannot lead us to. We can therefore only know the phenomena of VoIP, those qualities that are coincident with the ability of our mind to perceive. Thus, we can never really "know" the essence of VoIP to be able to categorize it. Then again, neither can we know our categories of "telecommunications" and "information" service with any metaphysical certainty. We are in the realm of practical reason where we must behave according to the categorical imperative "as if" these categories exist and are known.

Such reasoning is about as fruitful and insightful as any other discussions on the topic, so why not add it to the mix? That, and for all of the, shall we say, exercised correspondents about my Level 3 Forbearance Petition post can take solace in the real-world, practical reasoning I use to reach my conclusions.

This is also why a St. John's education is so valuable -- annoy your friends and blog readers with unwelcome and unnecessary displays of philosophic esoterica.

posted by Ray Gifford @ 10:56 AM | VoIP