I visited BYU on Thursday, spoke to their Philosophy Club on “Hume, Kant, and Ultimate Reality,” and spoke to their faculty about the reality of individuals in Spinoza. I had a great time, and was happy to build upon the friendships with faculty members there.
The talk about “ultimate reality” grew from these musings about whether there has to be an ultimate reality, trying to deny the Principle of Sufficient Reason, squarely facing “Balls to the Wall” skepticism, and re-introducing Kant’s idealism as a live contender.
(Side note: I am quite sure that I am the first person to introduce BYU’s Philosophy Club to “balls to the wall” as a technical term. I hasten to assure everyone that the phrase is quite wholesome. According to what I’ve been able to find on the web, it originated among jet fighter pilots in the Korean War/early Vietnam war. You see, the throttle in a jet cockpit is a stick with a ball atop it, and the joystick is also a stick with a ball atop it, so if you push the balls to the firewall, you are in a highly-accelerated dive. It is an extreme maneuver, and anyone doing it is “going all out.” I’d very much appreciate knowing if this story of the phrase’s origins is wrong, so please let me know if you encounter any plausible contrary accounts.)
I have to admit that I think it would be cool to be a Kantian idealist. But I probably have so much of an inclination toward skepticism that I won’t be able to make the conversion. It feels a lot like test driving a Cadillac — pretty awesome, but really you can’t see yourself owning the thing.