Kant on Space and Time: Transcendental Aesthetics in the Light of Maya Astronomy. (07/24/2001)
In Central America during the Classic period (250 AD to 800 AD), the Maya at Copan, Honduras (14*47'00" N; 88*46'00" W), created a sophisticated arrangement of architectural structures that exactly marked the progression of the sun's motion along the western horizon at certain specific points during the tropical year. Looking toward the west through a window in the wall of Temple 22, for instance, the sun always sets behind a standing stone (Stela 10) placed on the western ridge of the valley exactly 16 days after vernal equinox in the spring and again 16 days before autumnal equinox in the fall. Windows, like the one in Temple 22, are extremely rare in Maya architecture, where the vast majority of temples have no windows at all. The orientation of the line that marks the location of Stela 10, as seen from the window, and consequently the sun's azimuth on the day it sets behind the stone, has been measured at +276*45'00", or 6*45' north of true west. Four days after the sun reaches the Stela in the spring, it crosses the mid-line of the window in Temple 22 with an orientation of +278*25'00". The sun reaches this same position in the fall four days prior to its orientation behind the Stela as it moves back to autumnal equinox. 8*25' of circular arc north of true west, at the mid-line of the window in Temple 22, is highly significant at Copan because the sun's setting orientation there always falls 20 days after vernal equinox and 20 days before solar zenith passage in the spring and 20 days after solar zenith passage and 20 days before autumnal equinox in the fall. When I say "always" in this context, I mean that the four-day separation between the sun's position behind Stela 10 and its subsequent arrival at the mid-line of the window, as well as the temporal relationship the orientations have to vernal and autumnal equinox and solar zenith passage (at 20 days exactly), never changes from one year to the next from 3000 BC to 3000 AD. Put simply, the architectural arrangement at Copan, which came into existence during the reign of 18-Rabbit (at 22.214.171.124.8 5 Lamat 1 Zip on November 11, 657 AD-Julian Day #1961342), when the Temple was dedicated, is as close to an absolute astronomical constant as any man-made, spatially determined, structure can be. In fact, where any expression of the space-time continuum is concerned, the architectural arrangement at Copan is probably the most sophisticated articulation of Ephemeris time ever conceived and built by any human community.
While this statement might seem extreme to people accustomed to believing that European civilization (from Egypt through Athens and Rome to Western Europe) has always been able to claim superlative achievements in mathematics and astronomy, where native American civilization cannot claim any achievement at all in those fields of human endeavor, the structure at Copan required a level of knowledge far in excess of any that existed in Western Europe at a comparable time (657 AD). The overall complexity of the arrangement, from a purely engineering point of view, was made considerably more difficult at the site because Stela 10 was placed in position on the western ridge of the valley above Copan a little more than sixty years before Temple 22 was built. The only date on Stela 10, which may record its actual dedication, fell at 126.96.36.199.0 3 Ahau 8 Yaxkin (February 22, 595 AD-Julian Day #1938434). The pre-positioning of the Stela on the ridge-line of the Copan valley meant that the Temple and its window had to be precisely designed in its relative elevation above the floor of the valley and had to be precisely oriented relative to the north/south axis of the valley itself in order to insure that the sun would set behind the Stela, at 645' of circular arc north of true west, 16 days after vernal equinox and 16 days before autumnal equinox every year. In other words, there was very little room for error in elevation and orientation when the Temple was designed and constructed by the architects and astronomers at Copan. Also true is the fact that a second Stela (#12) was placed on the eastern ridge of the valley, dedicated at 188.8.131.52.0 12 Ahau 8 Ceh (June 2, 595 AD-Julian Day #1938534), in a position which made it possible for a person standing at its base to observe the setting sun behind Stela 10 on the same day that it set at the mid-line of the window in Temple 22. The orientation of the 7 kilometer line between the Stelae, at 825', however, does not pass directly over the location of the window's mid-line but is offset to the south of that marker. This was done so that it became possible for two people to observe the sun's setting orientation at 825' north of true west from two different locations simultaneously; whereas, only one person inside the Temple could see the sun set behind the Stela, at 645' north of true west, four days before it reached the base-line between Stela 10 and 12 in the spring and fours days after it reached that same point in the fall.
What this description of Temple 22 is meant to illustrate is that the Maya at Copan had a profound grasp of spatial relationships involving objects as close and as small to human scale as the window in the western wall of the Temple, the two standing stones on the eastern and western ridge-lines of the valley, separated by 7 kilometers with the Temple resting roughly mid-way between them, and as distant and as large as the earth and the sun as they played out their seasonal motion relative to each other over the course of the tropical year. The precision with which these relationships were executed in real time and real space, furthermore, was so exactly fixed that the calendrical structure they inhabit and articulate repeats itself, year by tropical year, for as long as the stones that mark it remain rooted to the ground where the Maya planted them. No one has to see it either, no one has to watch and observe the phenomena the stones count, since it is clear that they performed their timeless function perfectly from the time Copan was abandoned at the end of the 9th Century AD until the orientations were discovered at the beginning of the 20th Century by European archeologists.
More specifically, in terms of purely temporal relationships as they were expressed in the Maya calendar, these orientations exactly regulate and count the relationship between benchmarks in the tropical year at 365.2422 days and the Maya calendrical interval known as the tzolkin which was set at 260 days exactly. The system is both simplistic and profoundly direct. The interval between the day the sun sets behind Stela 10 in the spring, as seen from the window in Temple 22, and the subsequent day on which the sun reaches its extreme southerly declination from the celestial equator at winter solstice, is always exactly 259 days long. This interval never varies during the Classic period and is an absolute astronomical constant. What this means, of course, is that the tzolkin day-name which counts the day before the sun's setting orientation behind Stela 10 after vernal equinox is always and without failing the same day-name that marks the subsequent winter solstice. Counting forward from any winter solstice by 260 days exactly, one reaches the day, and identical tzolkin day-name, on which the sun sets behind Stela 10 before autumnal equinox in the fall. This interval never varies and is an absolute astronomical and calendrical constant. Once this system was set in place the day-names for these events were completely predictable from one year to the next.
Looking at specific data in this context, and using a computer sky-map program (CyberSky for Windows 95, v2.0b) which recreates the exact configuration of the sky as seen from Copan, the sun reached a setting orientation of +27632'50" on April 3, 595 AD (Julian Day #1938474) as it crossed the western horizon behind Stela 10. This event occurred 60 days prior to the dedication date recorded on Stela 12 (184.108.40.206.0 12 Ahau 8 Ceh) on the Maya calendar day 220.127.116.11.0 4 Ahau 8 Ch'en. The day before this event was counted as 3 Cauac 7 Ch'en and, counting forward by 260 days (259 from 4 Ahau), the day-name at 18.104.22.168.19 3 Cauac 2 Zotz on December 18, 595 AD (Julian Day #1938733) was reached. The sun's position relative to the celestial equator reached
-23*37'12" on this day and marked its extreme southerly declination at winter solstice. Subsequently, on September 3, 596 AD (Julian Day #1938993), 260 days after winter solstice, the sun returned to an azimuth of +276*52'33" as it once again set behind Stela 10 at Copan. The day-name recorded there was 22.214.171.124.19 3 Cauac 2 Kayab to complete the cycle of repetition.
More recently, a single change in this structure has emerged at a remove of 1,400 years since the Maya Classic period. The second interval between winter solstice and the setting orientation behind Stela 10 in the fall has lost one day of its duration and now stands at 259 days instead of 260. The other interval from Stela 10 to winter solstice has remained the same. It is unclear why this has happened. The most likely explanation is that the change reflects an accumulation of error in the computer program but, if that is the case, it seems that the other interval would also have been affected. Another possibility, which also falls under the same rule of both intervals being affected simultaneously, and the least likely one, is that the earth's velocity in its orbit around the sun has accelerated enough to reduce the interval by a single day in the 1,400 years since the Maya orientations were constructed. A third possibility might be, since only one interval has been reduced, that the earth has entered a cycle in its motion around the sun, caused by the tendency of planetary orbits to wobble in the sun's gravitational field, as Einstein has pointed out, where its velocity appears to have been accelerated (from winter solstice to autumnal equinox but not from vernal equinox to winter solstice) because of a subtle shift in the angles of orientation in the planes of the planetary orbits themselves, which is one possible effect of the wobble. Data supporting this change is given in the following table:
|2 Ahau 3 Mol||April 6, 1995||2449814||Sun azimuth +276*31'56" at Stela 10 Copan|
|1 Cauac 17 Uo||December 21, 1995||2450073||Sun decl -23*26'12" at winter solstice|
|13 Etz'nab 16 Muan||September 5, 1996||2450332||Sun azimuth +276*46'03" at Stela 10 Copan|
The shift in Julian dates that mark the solar positions here from the Classic period are the result of the precession of the equinoxes and are expected changes over time.
The reason any of these observations matter, apart from their obvious utility in the Maya calendar for predicting benchmarks in the tropical year over the short term, concerns the fact that 59 turns of the 260-day tzolkin (15,340 days exactly) is also equal to only a few tenths of one day less than the precise value of 42 tropical years at 15,340.172 days. What this means, of course, is that every benchmark in the tropical year that the Maya observed and recorded with the orientations at Copan always fall on the same tzolkin day-names after the passage of 59 x 260 days and/or 42 x 365.2422 days. A single day of regression occurs in this formula after 252 years have passed. In other words, it is possible, using the Maya calendrical system, to predict these benchmarks in the tropical year across the 15,340-day interval for 2.5 centuries before a single day of correction becomes necessary. The only action required to accomplish the correction is to shift the day of record back one day in the sequence of 260. Hence, there are both short-term and long-term prediction capabilities in the Maya calendar for fixing the days of occurrence for benchmarks in the tropical year, ones that were specifically determined in the architectural orientations at Copan.
While it might seem obvious from this discussion to assume the Maya chose the 260-day interval as a primary component of their calendrical system because of the way it articulates the tropical year, there are several other aspects of its astronomical use that are equally significant and compelling, ones which broaden the base of its utility as a means of expressing complex relationships between and among objects in real space and real time. For instance, 46 x 260 (11,960 days) is a remarkably precise and effective interval the Maya used to predict eclipse occurrences. Classic period astronomers designed and recorded an eclipse table in the Dresden Codex which exhibits a phenomenal degree of accuracy over the course of its 11,960-day run when its base-day (126.96.36.199.8 12 Lamat 1 Muan) is fixed at June 29, 698 AD (Julian Day #1976182). Counting back in time from that position, in fact, at successive intervals of 11,960 days each, there is a series of fourteen consecutive 12 Lamats that mark the day of lunar eclipses beginning on April 20, 338 AD (Julian Day #1844622) and ending 425 years later on December 25, 763 AD (Julian Day #2000102), as the following table illustrates:
|188.8.131.52.8 12 Lamat 1 Yaxkin||April 20, 338||1844622||Magnitude 0.645 at 4:06 PM|
|184.108.40.206.8 12 Lamat 16 Uo||January 17, 371||1856582||Magnitude 0.866 at 12:29 PM|
|220.127.116.11.8 12 Lamat 16 Pax||October 16, 403||1868542||Magnitude 0.523 at 3:11 AM|
|18.104.22.168.8 12 Lamat 11 Ceh||July 14, 436||1880502||Magnitude 0.797 at 1:31 AM|
|22.214.171.124.8 12 Lamat 6 Mol||April 12, 469||1892462||Magnitude 1.610 at 6:11 AM|
|126.96.36.199.8 12 Lamat 1 Zotz||January 9, 502||1904422||Magnitude 1.803 at 4:20 AM|
|188.8.131.52.8 12 Lamat 1 Cumku||October 8, 534||1916382||Magnitude 1.498 at 9:32 PM|
|184.108.40.206.8 12 Lamat 16 Mac||July 7, 567||1928342||Magnitude 1.949 at 11:27 PM|
|220.127.116.11.8 12 Lamat 11 Ch'en||April 4, 600||1940302||Magnitude 2.830 at 5:55 AM|
|18.104.22.168.8 12 Lamat 6 Zec||January 1, 633||1952262||Magnitude 2.913 at 3:49 AM|
|22.214.171.124.8 12 Lamat 1 Pop||September 30, 665||1964222||Magnitude 2.680 at 9:25 PM|
|126.96.36.199.8 12 Lamat 1 Muan||June 29, 698||1976182||Magnitude 2.618 at 11:25 PM|
|188.8.131.52.8 12 Lamat 16 Yax||March 28, 731||1988142||Magnitude 1.844 at 3:21 AM|
|184.108.40.206.8 12 Lamat 11 Xul||December 25, 763||2000102||Magnitude 1.871 at 9:55 PM|
|10.1.4.4.7 11 Manik 5 Uo||September 21, 796||2012061||Magnitude 2.102 at 1:40 PM|
After the final extension, here, there is a single day of regression which shifts the day-name back one place in the tzolkin to 11 Manik, as opposed to 12 Lamat. The point to be taken here is that the 260-day interval, which calculates both short and long term values in the tropical year, was also used simultaneously to calculate intervals between solar and lunar eclipse syzygies by Classic period astronomers. This broadens the base of the objects, with the addition of lunar motion, that Maya astronomers were tracking within the context of their calendrical system.
With respect to planetary motion, the tzolkin exhibits one direct and one indirect reflection of planetary periodicity from a synodic (as it were from the surface of the earth) point-of-view. The average whole number synodic period of Mars is 780 days in length, or 3 x 260. This fact is not particularly significant in real time, however, because individual periods of Mars can vary by as much as 46 days from one interval to the next. Venus, on the other hand, shows, in some important aspects of its synodic period, intervals that are very consistent with the 260-day tzolkin. The planet's periods of visibility as morning and evening star are 263 days in length on average with only a few days of variation from period to period. While these are not absolute values, the tzolkin does tend to count rational intervals, day-name to day-name, in Venus's motion over long periods of time. Maya astronomers took advantage of this fact and created a table of Venus positions, also recorded in the Dresden Codex (pp. 24, 46-50), which utilizes an interval equivalent to 146 x 260 (37,960 days) to stabilize, if not actually freeze, Venus positions relative to the sun and the stellar background over the 104-year course of the table's run. The connection to the tzolkin is epitomized by the fact that there are 260 sequential positions of the planet, specified by day-names at regular intervals (236, 90, 250, 8 days) in each synodic period (584 days) of the planet, from one base-day (1 Ahau 18 Kayab) to the next. The Venus Table, then, draws the motion of yet another celestial object into the calendrical structure the Maya used during the Classic period to express their conceptualization of real time and real space.
At the end of Book I of the Critique of Practical Reason,
in which Kant claims to demonstrate the necessary existence of
God, that freedom is derived from adherence to a supreme moral
law, and that the human soul is immortal, he also argues that
space and time are transcendental ideals that cannot be said to
exist as attributes of objects in and of themselves but are wholly
dependent on the perception of human reason for their existence.
Kant notes, for instance, that "the separation of time (as
well as space) from the existence of things in themselves,"
a notion he claims was "effected" in the "Critique
of the Pure [Speculative] Reason," is of "great
importance" to his position because
"If now it is possible to affirm freedom in spite of the
natural mechanism of actions as appearances (by regarding existence
in time as something that belongs only to appearances, not to
things in themselves), then the circumstance that the acting beings
are creatures cannot make the slightest difference, since creation
concerns their supersensible and not their sensible existence,
and, therefore, cannot be regarded as the determining principle
of the appearances. It would be quite different if the beings
in the world as things in themselves existed in time, since
in that case the creator of substance would be at the same time
the author of the whole mechanism of this substance."
The point Kant makes here by differentiating between substance (things in themselves) and appearances (things as they only appear to be in human reason), is that the creator (God) cannot be held responsible for having created appearances, since they only exist in the human mind, but only of substances, which exist in or as things in themselves. The only way Kant can get this to work is to argue that time and space are nothing other than constructs of human reason, hence are only appearances, are only transcendental ideals, and do not exist at all as things of substance, are not capable of existing in things in themselves. In other words, space is not an attribute of any object in itself: neither as a limit to its own dimension, on the one hand, nor as a limit between its own dimension and any other object to which it might be related. Spatial reality is nothing more than a projection of human reason, arbitrarily imposed from the outside in against every object, and every relationship between objects, in order to create an appearance of order and separation in the physical world that apparently does not otherwise exist. Kant makes this point clear when he says that the creator only made human reality in terms of its "supersensible," not in terms of its "sensible," existence. Put differently, since only human reason and the immortal soul (the "supersensible") are things given value by Kant in his philosophy, everything human that is not contained in or by reason is devalued as being only "sensible"; that is, as things that are only perceptible to the five senses, which are not, in Kant's view, part of what constitutes pure reason's proper field of activity.
Kant lays the foundation for these statements in his Critique
of Pure Reason where he "proves" that space does
not actually exist as a quality of things in themselves. He says,
for instance, that
"the transcendental conception of phenomena in space is
a critical admonition, that, in general, nothing which is intuited
in space is a thing in itself, and that space is not a form which
belongs as a property to things; but that objects are quite unknown
to us in themselves, and what we call outward objects, are nothing
else but mere representations of our sensibility, whose form is
space, but whose real correlate, the thing in itself, is not known
by means of these representations, nor ever can be, but respecting
which, in experience, no inquiry is ever made."
At the beginning of his concluding remarks about his conceptualization
of space, Kant says that
"Space does not represent any property of objects as things
in themselves, nor does it represent them in their relations to
each other; in other words, space does not represent to us any
determination of objects such as attaches to the objects themselves,
and would remain, even though all subjective conditions of the
intuition were abstracted. For neither absolute nor relative determination
of objects can be intuited prior to the existence of the things
to which they belong, and therefore not a priori."
On one level, what Kant says here cannot be disputed; that is, the space any object occupies cannot be determined prior to that point in time when someone first sees that object and measures its dimensions. Also true is the fact that the distance in space between one object and another cannot be determined prior to the time when someone measures that distance. In other words, one cannot intuit a priori how far an object like the sun will move along the western horizon at Copan, Honduras, in a given and fixed number of days unless, and until, someone actually in situ measures that distance in some practical and sensible way. Hence, the space occupied by the sun, and the distance it moves in four days along the horizon, cannot be said to belong, a priori, as a property to the objects that determine it. At the same time, however, saying that an object cannot be determined in its objective reality, in the space it occupies, prior to the time when a rational soul first perceives its existence, is to say nothing more nor less than what is only obvious; that is, if a sighted person sees the setting sun at Copan, he or she will have a sense of its dimensions, of the space it occupies, whereas, a person who is blind, and who is "looking" at the same exact phenomenon, the setting sun at Copan, will have no sense whatsoever of the space the sun occupies. Following Kant's logic here, that the property of space does not belong to the object in itself, an inescapable and inevitable contradiction arises from the fact that two separate and distinct rational souls simultaneously perceive the setting sun at Copan as occupying a certain definitive space, to the sighted person on the one hand, and no discernible space whatsoever, to the blind person on the other. Kant's argument, therefore, elevates an irresolvable contradiction to the level of a universal law.
Now, the essential problem with Kant's argument here is his assertion that the space traveled by the sun along the western horizon at Copan during the four days between its orientation behind Stela 10 and the one it reaches at the mid-line of the window in Temple 22 is, or must be, somehow different before the Maya measured it than it was after they set the stones on the ridge-line and built Temple 22 with its western-facing window. In fact, according to Kant, that space is not just different; rather, that space cannot be said to exist at all prior to the time the Maya measured it with standing stones, an assertion which seems, quite frankly, absurd.
While it might be possible to get around this problem, by claiming,
for instance, that the blind person does not have a sensible faculty
with which to perceive objects and is, therefore, removed from
consideration in this context, even if it is also true that he/she
cannot be said to have a supersensible perception of the object
either, by virtue of having never seen the sun, it is with respect
to time that Kant's argument comes to its greatest grief. He notes,
for instance, that
"we deny to time all claim to absolute reality; that is,
we deny that it, without having regard to the form of our sensuous
intuition, absolutely inheres in things as a condition or property.
Such properties as belong to objects as things in themselves never
can be presented to us through the medium of the senses. Herein
consists, therefore, the transcendental ideality of time, according
to which, if we abstract the subjective conditions of sensuous
intuition, it is nothing, and cannot be reckoned as subsisting
or inhering in objects as things in themselves, independently
of its relation to our intuition."
To say that time cannot be "presented" to us through our senses fails to take note of the fact that time can only be perceived sensibly; that is, after the duration of seconds, minutes, hours, that are required for the earth to complete one full revolution on its axis, which constitutes the length of the day and, by extension, after 365.2422 such intervals have been accumulated, the length of the tropical year has been seen to occur. Kant, and anyone else for that matter who wishes to do so, can dispute the validity of this definition of time, which would be necessary for him to say what he does about it, that it only exists in transcendental ideality, where the fact remains, even indisputably, that time has always been reckoned by human beings, for as long as they have been able to reckon anything at all, by the alternative durations of night and day. This phenomenon, of course, is caused by an objective reality, the earth's rotation on its axis, not by an ideal one, the rational soul's perception of that motion. This indisputable fact is demonstrated by the orientation line in the architectural structures at Copan for the simple reason that the earth's motion relative to the sun has remained essentially constant over the 1,400 years, during which time no one was watching, that elapsed from the abandonment of the ceremonial center to the re-discovery of the line by European archeologists. Now, one can say, if only disingenuously, that people elsewhere in the world were watching the sun's motion along the western horizon during this period, which somehow maintained the perceived ideality of time, as opposed to its objective reality, but that assertion completely fails to account for the four day interval between the sun's setting position behind Stela 10 and its arrival at the mid-line of the window in Temple 22 which only occurs at Copan and not anywhere else in the world. To say that the objective reality of the relationship between earth, sun, and orientation lines at Copan, were suspended absolutely for 1,400 years because no one perceived them, no rational soul apprehended those objects, is simply a Eurocentric absurdity. Both the space occupied by those objects and the duration of seconds, minutes, hours, required for them to move along the western ridge-line at Copan are objective realities of the things in themselves that do not depend in any way whatsoever on whether or not they are perceived by human reason. The only way to save Kant's argument is to assert, even beyond all reason, that the stones themselves have rational souls and were watching in place of the human beings who planted them in the earth.
As noted earlier, Kant submerges his "proof" of the existence of God, the immortality of the human soul, and the idea that freedom must exist before moral action can become possible, on the prior condition that space and time exist, not as a qualities of things in themselves, but as transcendental idealities that depend on human reason, in the form of appearances only, not as substances, for their existence. In a very real sense, Kant simply inherited the notion of God's existence and the immortality of the human soul from the long tradition of Christian ideology that preceded him and merely attempted to work those a priori givens into the essential frame of his own philosophy. That he did so by making space and time ideals wholly dependent on human reason, as a necessary condition for the possibility of God's existence and the soul's immortality, also means that he simultaneously drew those possibilities under that same dubious cloud. In short, if space and time are nothing more than consequences of human perception, then the existence of God and the human soul must also be conditional idealities that depend on human reason alone for their existence as well.
To see why this might be a problem, one need only evaluate Kant's perception of morality. After establishing as fact that the "law of the will" is the "determining principle of [all moral] action," he says that: "The only objects of practical reason are therefore those of good and evil. For by the former is meant an object necessarily desired according to a principle of reason; by the latter one necessarily shunned, also according to a principle of reason." He follows this by repeating the concept in slightly different terms; that is, "What we call good must be an object of desire in the judgement of every rational man, and evil an object of aversion in the eyes of everyone." In the long history of the European domination of the Western hemisphere, countless examples of actions taken against native Americans by Europeans have been documented, which were indisputably genocidal in character, but that, nevertheless, can be shown to fall clearly under Kant's definition of the good because they were "objects of desire in the judgement of every rational [European] man" living in the colonies at the time. David E. Stannard, for instance, in American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World (Oxford UP, 1992), demonstrates clearly that the vast majority of white settlers in New England, fueled by the inflammatory rhetoric of their religious (Cotton Mather, Solomon Stoddard) and political (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson) leaders pursued a hundred-years-long policy of eradicating both the culture and people who were indigenous to the Western hemisphere and were perceived as impediments to the successful colonization of the New World (240-241). Even into the 20th Century, in Central America, the Maya have been, even are being, subjected to "death-squad" programs of annihilation conduced against them by European-dominated governments in Guatemala and Mexico (Stannard 258). Kant's perception of the summum bonum (the greatest good), as that which determines the will's desire through reason for what is best in human culture, a concept equated with moral law in his philosophy, inevitably justifies even genocide when people holding political and military power over the other decide that the best world possible is the one which denies existence to those who are perceived as impediments to the will of the majority. Since Europeans have always defined native Americans as subhuman beasts (wolves for instance) incapable of rational behavior, and hence, as animals without benefit of rational souls, there is nothing in Kant's prescription of the greatest good to prevent the annihilation of indigenous others by an invading force of God's most high and moral soldiers.
While it would be inappropriate to claim that Kant's moral philosophy inspired European genocide against native Americans, simply because most of the annihilation occurred before the Critique of Practical Reason was published (1788), it is entirely credible to assert that his moral precepts justified in retrospect every act of genocide conducted by Europeans against native people in the Americas in the 300 years prior to its appearance. Even more significantly, Kant's moral philosophy, since it is still so highly honored today as the foundation in reason for what is perceived as right and wrong by the majority of the descendants of the white settlers who hunted Indians like animals and effectively annihilated them, still stands as the only barrier protecting those same colonists and settlers, and their descendants, from the justice they deserve for every act of genocide they committed, and continue to commit, against the native people of the Western hemisphere. Anyone who believes that justice will always be denied is living in the same dream-world Kant created in his Critique of Pure[Speculative] Reason, a dream-world that depends on the notion that human beings live above and outside time, and the space where it was marked, by the earliest and most recent victims of Eurocentric arrogance and greed. Time will someday turn the world back around again-it always has, it always does.