Mundo e causação


  • J. P. Monteiro Universidade de Lisboa



We cannot assert the existence of a real world subsisting in and by itself, independently of our cognitive construction. There are several contemporary variants of the Kantian negation of the possibility to know things as they are in themselves. We are unable to apprehend the world as it is, for the world is a construction by the knowing subject, not a set of autonomous objects. But at least one aspect of the causal properties of objects cannot be viewed in terms of a radical constructivism, or perspectivism. It would be senseless to attribute to the subject alone the construction of causal constraints from which depends her own survival. The sensible properties of objects, or their positions in space and time, depend from a given perspective. But if their causal properties had he same dependence, the subject herself, who is supposed to be a living being, would establish the causal conditions of her own survival. From this would follow an absurdity: the lethal properties of things would act or not act on living beings depending from the way they themselves construct those properties. The simple possibility of death should prevent us from considering causal connections as appearances, although causal inferences are obviously part of our acts of construction.