What it is to be a Substance? and What it is to Exist? We need to establish knowledge about the man on a firm basis and the information it provides must be tested for its accuracy and consistency with an external reality. We have to make the fundamental distinction between the living and the non-living matter. The scientific advances of the 19th and 20th centuries reinforced the materialistic position concerning the basic similarity of organic living and inorganic physical matter. The man is viewed as a product of natural evolution and is thought to be subject to the same laws of Physics and Chemistry or mechanistic principles.
We need a methodology to study philosophy and to understand philosophical statements. Logical Positivism, also known as Scientific Empiricism aims to clarify concepts in both everyday and scientific language. It describes analysis of language as the function of philosophy. This analysis of language and of concepts is important to understand questions of belief and ideology which affect what we think we ought to do individually and socially. I would use this method of ‘Applied Philosophy’ to analyze the philosophical doctrine of Transcendental Idealism and to study the views and philosophy of Immanuel Kant and his efforts to interpret the world of experience.
The man has the Subjective and the Objective experience of the reality called Existence. The man has to account for this experience using the Faculty of Understanding, and the Faculty of Reasoning. I recognize ‘Tat Asmi Prabhu’, a statement made by Indian thinker Shankara as the ‘Fifth Mahavakya’ or the Fifth Great Aphorism, a short, concise statement of Principle expressing a general truth about a man’s essence and the man’s existence. The word ‘Tat’ refers to the man’s essence that constitutes man’s identity in the physical world. The word ‘Asmi’ refers to unity, harmony, agreement, concord, or arrangement of parts that will produce a singular effect that establishes oneness of that which is made up of distinct elements. The word Prabhu refers to LORD GOD Creator as the Supreme Being or the Supreme Power. To arrive at a complete understanding of the man’s existence, it is important to make the distinction between the Constitutive and the Regulative Principles of Existence. To describe the Constitutive and the Regulative dimensions of the Human Existence as a subject matter of Natural Science, I would begin with my tribute to Immanuel Kant who explained the difference between constitutive and regulative concepts.
THE CONSTITUTIVE AND THE REGULATIVE PRINCIPLES OF KANT’S PHILOSOPHY
The term ‘Constitute’ refers to having power to establish, appoint, or enact to make a thing what it is. It includes substances and their causal connections that may account for the appearance of a thing. The term ‘Regulate’ means to rule, to adjust to a particular standard, to adjust so as to make operate accurately, to make methodical, orderly, a rule or law by which conduct is regulated. The term ‘Regulatory’ means ordered, prescribed, a person or thing that regulates, a mechanism for controlling or governing movement of parts of an integrated System. The constitutive concepts and principles, and the regulative concepts and principles are central to Kant’s philosophy. In the Critique of Pure Reason this distinction marks the division between the faculty of reason and the faculty of understanding. The principles that objectively state what is present in the object itself, that is, what is the constitution of its physical appearance, is Constitutive Principle. Such principles of pure understanding describe the standard and necessary constituents of the world of appearance. The constitutive principles are contrasted with the Regulative Principles, which are rules to show how experience may be organized or regulated without making a reference to the constitution of the object. The regulative principles play no part in determining the objective character of the world of appearance. They are maxims, neither provable nor disprovable and are not to be understood as true or false. They serve to guide our inquiry within experience and lead us to transcend the limits of reason from the conditioned to the unconditioned. Kant recommends that we must observe the distinction between these two kinds of principles.
The faculty of understanding is constitutive of the possibility of experience. All experience must conform to the concepts and principles of the understanding, which are realized or instantiated in experience: experience contains substances, causal connections and so on. The faculty of reason, by contrast, is merely regulative in relation to experience. Although reason plays an indispensable role in experience, the concepts used in the reasoning process, such as the idea of God, or the idea of world as a complete totality, cannot be realized or instantiated in experience at all. Nevertheless, ideas of reason still function legitimately to guide empirical inquiry of objects that can be given experience.
THE CONSTITUTIVE AND THE REGULATIVE PRINCIPLES OF HUMAN EXISTENCE
The man is the Subject and is the Object of his experience called Human Existence. Such experience requires operation of two principles; 1. Mass or Substance that constitutes what is present in the Object itself without which there can be no understanding, and 2. Gravitation Force or Power that regulates the Subject’s experience of the Object’s Mass or Substance. The experience of human existence will be incomplete without the operation of the Regulative Principle or Power. The Regulative Concept and Principle helps in complete understanding of the constitution and connection of the Subject with the Object of experience. The man knows that he exists for he has the experience of his own body weight. Gravitation is a Regulative Force or Power that organizes or regulates the man’s experience without reference to the constitution of the Object. All things that have Mass experience the same Regulative Force or Power but the Regulative Principles play no part in determining the objective character of the world of appearance. The man has the Subjective experience of the Objective reality of his body Mass for he is constituted of a principle that has awareness or consciousness of such a Subjective experience. Gravitation does not determine the constitution of a man or a man’s ability called understanding.
For experience of Body Weight, body mass is the Constitutive Principle that determines man’s physical appearance in the world. But, this experience of body weight is not the same at all locations in the universe. Gravitational Force is the Regulative Principle that regulates or governs the man’s experience of his body mass or weight. The faculty of Reasoning is more concerned with Regulative Concepts and Principles and it is important for it provides the complete understanding of experience of Body Weight.
The man has experience of Body Weight for he thinks he is a stationary object. In realty, every point on the surface of Earth partakes in the motions of Earth. The man exists on the surface of a fast, spinning object. If a man has direct, sensory experience of the speed of Earth, the man will not have the opportunity to have the sensory experience of his Body Weight. The Regulative Concept and Principle is of fundamental value in understanding of the constitution of a man as a living object with sensory experiences. In its regulative use, reason guides our work in striving for knowledge, helping us to correct errors and arrive at more comprehensive insights.
There are several Regulative Principles that govern the man’s existence as a mortal Physical Being. The man exists in world without the ability to rule, govern, or regulate the living functions performed by the individual, living cells of his own body. It is not easy to prove the operation of such Regulative Principles using the method of experimental verification. The problem is that of constructing the man using, assembling, and putting together the building blocks of human existence. But, using the Faculty of Reasoning, the man can declare that the things in World must be considered as if they derive their existence from a higher Source of Knowledge called God or ‘Prabhu’. It does not mean that the Faculty of Reasoning can define God as an Object and give a description of what constitutes the thing called God. However, the Faculty of Reasoning as it is related to the Regulative Concepts and Principles will provide guidance to relate a man’s constitution and connection with all the objects of his experience. The Faculty of Reasoning will guide the man to use ‘Devotion’ as a method of Scientific Inquiry for he cannot construct his own existence.