When Rorty Met Manny




Codicalism is the yang-yin-like intercourse of linguistic pragmatism (Richard Rorty) and substrative transcendentalism (Immanuel Kant).

Beyond the limits of languages — natural languages, mathematics and formal languages, programming languages — there is (ultimately ineffable*) substrate: the “thing-in-itself”, or noumenon.

Codicalism is materialism with this yang-yin nature: All is matter, but while matter is expressed (or modeled, as scientists would say) by linguistic entities (e.g., mathematical equations or computer programs) — it is experienced by substrative entities (biological beings, natural or synthetic).


* cf. The Silence After Kant (alt) It could be to that substrative transcendentalism could match Ludwig Wittgenstein’s later philosophy, or ‘When Rorty Met Ludy’. On “The Noumenon”: In seizing the transcendental nature of our relationship to reality, Kant maintained the thing-in-itself principally to anchor ideated reality to something objectively real outside ideation. A thing-in-itself became the underwriter for objective science; and in the manner of Descartes using An Infinite God to buy back certain knowledge for the finite world, he posited an existent, mind-independent world, though this world must remain forever unknowable by sense or reason. Systematically, this led him to present his “noumena” negatively, or as denoting a limiting concept about that which no knowledge can be established. However, he did not disallow for a positive noumenon down the lines of Plato’s forms, though doubted we have a non-sensory faculty for making these determinations. … [Wittgenstein] winds up with Kant, seeing things-in-themselves as prohibited concepts from which no formal metaphysical system … could arise.


The extralinguistic inner language of nature

While codicalism — the offspring of a Rortian linguistic pragmatism and a Kantian noumenic transcendentalism — is a realization that there may be no final language made by us to model nature, it holds that nature itself has an inner language that we can reverse engineer, making science and technology possible.

cf. “Kant: Experience and Reality” philosophypages.com/hy/5g.htm


Philip Thrift


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