I think I have found the truth

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kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 07:07 pm
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;125545 wrote:
If I looked up whether or not Tokyo existed, what I would find is some persons description of their understanding of Tokyo. He/she would give me information which was previously unknown to me, thus expanding my understanding of Tokyo.

If it were the case that previous to that action both mine and the other persons experience of Tokyo was the same, then I would not have gained any greater understanding from hearing his/her perspective.

I know that your experience of the computer differs from others because if everyone's experience was the same, then there would be no need for arguments. Everyone would posses the same level of understanding about everything. We would in fact be all the same person, we would all be God. People are not all the same person, and we in fact argue about quite a lot, outlining our differing experiences and our lack of divinity. The mere existence of countering opinions proves that our understandings of certain realities are quite inherently different, and due to our unique situations, we can never truly experience anything the same as another person.

You can be quite certain that Tokyo exists, but you can't be certain of what doesn't exist. The only caveat a phenomenologist would have, is to not discredit the existence of something based on pure empiricism, which is prone to uncertainty due to the faultiness of human senses.

What I am claiming is, Tokyo exists to me and you, just differently from how it may exist for someone else. To try to claim that Tokyo exists one way, may also be true, but due to our unique perceptual inabilities, we can only get a restricted representation of the noumenal existence.


It is not only that Tokyo "exists to you and me". All that means is that you and I believe that Tokyo exists. But that there is a city, Tokyo. That belief both of us have, is true. So that Tokyo exists whether or not you and I believe it exists. Tokyo does not exist in any particular way. It is a very large city that is the capital of Japan. Each of us may have his own image of Tokyo, or even no image of Tokyo. I have no particular image of Tokyo, as a matter of fact, although I suppose I could conjure up one from pictures I have seen. But what has that to do with it? I know there is such a city, and it is in Japan; it is Japan's capital. Those aren't perceptions of any kind. That is simply what I know is true. What difference does it make if your particular idea of Tokyo happens to be different from mine? That has nothing to do with Tokyo, nor anything to do with whether when we talk about Tokyo, we are both talking about a large city that is the capital of Japan on the island of Honshu.
 
MMP2506
 
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 07:27 pm
@kennethamy,
Arguing for the existence of some entity outside the perspective sphere of individual perception is not within the frame of what phenomenology is attempting to accomplish.

Phenomenology's goal, so to speak, is to understand and accept the differences existing between different perspectives, and then to reconcile these differences by coming to a mutual understanding behind the difference.

Phenomenology is a psychology of sorts, although many would cringe at that comparison, and would be uninterested in anything outside the frame of human experience.

That may seem uninteresting or absurd to some people, but it must be understood within the scope of what it is attempting to accomplish. Once it is understood within that scope, reality becomes rather expanded. I find it quite an interesting movement.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 07:33 pm
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;125560 wrote:
Arguing for the existence of some entity outside the perspective sphere of individual perception is not within the frame of what phenomenology is attempting to accomplish.

.


True enough. But neither can it argue that there is nothing outside perception either. If it cannot do the one, why should it do the other. That is what bracketing is all about.
 
MMP2506
 
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 07:45 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;125563 wrote:
True enough. But neither can it argue that there is nothing outside perception either. If it cannot do the one, why should it do the other. That is what bracketing is all about.


I understand your point now. I'm sorry if I made the impression that what was perceived was all that was possible.

More than restricting what is possible, phenomenology attempts to break free from the restrictions that modern science has already placed upon reality. It's purpose is to liberate consciousness, not rule over what may or may not be real.

For this reason, perception is reality, but understanding of certain realities can be expanded. Therefore perception can be radically changed, thus allowing, quite literally, for anything to be possible.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 07:48 pm
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;125565 wrote:
I understand your point now. I'm sorry if I made the impression that what was perceived was all that was possible.

More than restricting what is possible, phenomenology attempts to break free from the restrictions that modern science has already placed upon reality. It's purpose is to liberate consciousness, not rule over what may or may not be real.

For this reason, perception is reality, but understanding of certain realities can be expanded. Therefore perception can be radically changed, thus allowing, quite literally, for anything to be possible.


But perception is not reality, since perception may be wrong. And sometimes is wrong.
 
MMP2506
 
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 08:00 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;125567 wrote:
But perception is not reality, since perception may be wrong. And sometimes is wrong.


You seem to be suggesting that a perception can be verified outside of ones subjective experience. You are right that one can become aware of the faultiness of a perception, thus what was once considered real changes, but to claim that a perception is inherently wrong or right is what phenomenology is trying to avoid.
 
Thucydides
 
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 08:02 pm
@Thucydides,
I have my perception of Tokyo, which is influenced by movies, books, hearsay, et cetera. I have never been there but have seen photos and so on.

Now, even if someone out there in the world had been exposed to all the same media relating to Tokyo as I, their perception would remain different, since they relate in to their own lives in a different way. Their context is different than mine. It is different even for people who actually live in Tokyo itself.

If you want proof of that read the massive amounts of books debating what America is, or even just one single city or state is. It goes on forever. Words superficially mean the same thing to everyone, but in the dirty details they actually mean a variety of different things depending on who you are.

I can try to expound the entirety of my perception of Tokyo through well-thought-out words here, but when you read them, you will still not understand MY perspective, since you are not me. The words I wrote are perceived by you, not by me. So your perception may change but it is still YOUR perception at the end of the day.

---------- Post added 02-06-2010 at 08:07 PM ----------

Yes. There is never any way to tell if a perception is wrong, since when you may think you have been proved wrong, this is still inside your perception. Since you will never know if your perception is actually right or wrong, one may assume it is effectively right, though a mistake may later show itself. Even then though, this is inside your perception so you are assuming a level of accuracy. You have to.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 7 Feb, 2010 06:44 am
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;125572 wrote:
You seem to be suggesting that a perception can be verified outside of ones subjective experience. You are right that one can become aware of the faultiness of a perception, thus what was once considered real changes, but to claim that a perception is inherently wrong or right is what phenomenology is trying to avoid.


I don't think I was "suggesting that a perception can be verified outside of ones subjective experience" because I don't know what that means. Anyway, I was talking about what you call "the faultiness of perception".

---------- Post added 02-07-2010 at 07:51 AM ----------

Thucydides;125573 wrote:
I have my perception of Tokyo, which is influenced by movies, books, hearsay, et cetera. I have never been there but have seen photos and so on.

Now, even if someone out there in the world had been exposed to all the same media relating to Tokyo as I, their perception would remain different, since they relate in to their own lives in a different way. Their context is different than mine. It is different even for people who actually live in Tokyo itself.

If you want proof of that read the massive amounts of books debating what America is, or even just one single city or state is. It goes on forever. Words superficially mean the same thing to everyone, but in the dirty details they actually mean a variety of different things depending on who you are.

I can try to expound the entirety of my perception of Tokyo through well-thought-out words here, but when you read them, you will still not understand MY perspective, since you are not me. The words I wrote are perceived by you, not by me. So your perception may change but it is still YOUR perception at the end of the day.

---------- Post added 02-06-2010 at 08:07 PM ----------

Yes. There is never any way to tell if a perception is wrong, since when you may think you have been proved wrong, this is still inside your perception. Since you will never know if your perception is actually right or wrong, one may assume it is effectively right, though a mistake may later show itself. Even then though, this is inside your perception so you are assuming a level of accuracy. You have to.


You mean, I think, your idea, or your conception, of Tokyo. If you have never been to Tokyo, you cannot have perceived Tokyo (except on television). But all of us have the common concept of Tokyo as the capital of Japan, and a large city. And, we may (or may not) have individual associations with Tokyo, but those are not part of the common conception of Tokyo. You know what I mean when I say that Tokyo is on Honshu island. That has nothing to do with what happen to be our individual associations with Tokyo which may be different.
 
Thucydides
 
Reply Sun 7 Feb, 2010 02:33 pm
@Thucydides,
"large" "city" "capital" "Japan" "island" "Honshu" and all the other words you used have slightly different meanings to me than to you, in my perception versus yours.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 7 Feb, 2010 05:29 pm
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;125518 wrote:

An age old problem facing the philosopher is how to discern that what we experience is real. You say you experience a computer or stars, but all you really experience is a representation of those things.

I think you touch on some of the more exciting aspects of philosophy here. Perhaps all that is left out is the linguistic turn, which would examine the language philosophy is made of. Does "experience" have meaning like the number 2 has a meaning? Do words get their "meanings" only from use?

For me, certain epistemological questions are cleared up by linguistic investigate. But linguistic philosophy soon bumps up against its limits, however useful on the way there.

---------- Post added 02-07-2010 at 06:31 PM ----------

Thucydides;125573 wrote:

If you want proof of that read the massive amounts of books debating what America is, or even just one single city or state is. It goes on forever. Words superficially mean the same thing to everyone, but in the dirty details they actually mean a variety of different things depending on who you are.


Very important point. How little to look to these words we use, to see what they are actually capable of.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 7 Feb, 2010 05:31 pm
@Thucydides,
Thucydides;125824 wrote:
"large" "city" "capital" "Japan" "island" "Honshu" and all the other words you used have slightly different meanings to me than to you, in my perception versus yours.


What meaning does "Honshu" have to you that it doesn't to me? I don't see how you could know that, since you don't know what meaning it has for me. So far as I go, Honshu island is the largest island in the archipelago off the Asian coast known as Japan. The capital city of Tokyo is located on Honshu. Perhaps you have been to Honshu, and you had a love affair there, and had pleasant memories ot the island. That is wonderful. But that has nothing whatsoever to do with the meaning of the term,"Honshu". That would be a private association the term has for you, but not for me.
 
MMP2506
 
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 03:24 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;125909 wrote:
What meaning does "Honshu" have to you that it doesn't to me? I don't see how you could know that, since you don't know what meaning it has for me. So far as I go, Honshu island is the largest island in the archipelago off the Asian coast known as Japan. The capital city of Tokyo is located on Honshu. Perhaps you have been to Honshu, and you had a love affair there, and had pleasant memories ot the island. That is wonderful. But that has nothing whatsoever to do with the meaning of the term,"Honshu". That would be a private association the term has for you, but not for me.


When you say meaning, you are using the denotative definition. By doing this, you assume that all other people share the same denotative meaning of Honshu as you. Which may be correct. As far as denotative meanings go, most people do have quite similar concepts for words.

Meaning, as it is understood today, is constituted out of denotative, connotative, and operational definitions of words. Connotative and operational definitions vary greatly depending upon the word's significance to individual persons. As far as having a love affair in Honshu, the connotative meaning of the city would be greatly effected by this experience.

In my opinion, these distinctions between types of meaning are only necessary because of the loss of meaning that has occurred to language in the recent centuries. If you study the history of language, these distinctions arose around the same time as modern scientific objectivity. Language and meaning became objectified, which created walls between the natural flow of meaning.
 
Extrain
 
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2010 03:28 pm
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;126526 wrote:
When you say meaning, you are using the denotative definition. By doing this, you assume that all other people share the same denotative meaning of Honshu as you. Which may be correct. As far as denotative meanings go, most people do have quite similar concepts for words.

Meaning, as it is understood today, is constituted out of denotative, connotative, and operational definitions of words. Connotative and operational definitions vary greatly depending upon the word's significance to individual persons. As far as having a love affair in Honshu, the connotative meaning of the city would be greatly effected by this experience.

In my opinion, these distinctions between types of meaning are only necessary because of the loss of meaning that has occurred to language in the recent centuries. If you study the history of language, these distinctions arose around the same time as modern scientific objectivity. Language and meaning became objectified, which created walls between the natural flow of meaning.


It all depends on whether you think proper names denote any linguistic meanings at all--or if their function is purely objectually referential.

So assuming that names like "Tokyo" do have linguistic meanings (which I don't think it does), then it is enough that people share the meaning of "Tokyo" as "the capital of Japan" to guarantee successful communication about the same object when using the proper name. But it is not necessary that someone knows "Tokyo" means "the capital of Japan" for his use of the word "Tokyo" to always and only refer to Tokyo. And if someone thought "Tokyo" meant "the capital of China" then his associated description with the word would clearly be the wrong meaning of the word, irrespective of his other private associations with it.
 
Doorsopen
 
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2010 03:56 pm
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;126526 wrote:
the loss of meaning that has occurred to language in the recent centuries.


What meaning has language lost? Your syntax has made it the victim of some terrible crime of which you yourself are guilty!

I'm sorry to tease you with this, but it is such a funny, unconscious example of the relationship between perception and reality.

You believe that language has lost meaning, and therefore unconsciously offer a statement which is direct proof of the statement. I can only wonder if you might have constructed a more precise, meaningful statement if you believed otherwise.

Your belief, which forms your perception, is made manifest in your expression of that belief.

I contend that one absolute reality exists. Our experience is determined by our belief, and subsequent perception, of this reality. Although perception informs our experience of reality, reality is unalterable.

We are responsible for distinguishing between perception and consciousness. Reality is not an illusion of consciousness, it is the manifestation of consciousness; and being of consciousness, only consciousness can alter reality.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2010 04:16 pm
@Extrain,
Extrain;153278 wrote:
It all depends on whether you think proper names denote any linguistic meanings at all--or if their function is purely objectually referential.

So assuming that names like "Tokyo" do have linguistic meanings (which I don't think it does), then it is enough that people share the meaning of "Tokyo" as "the capital of Japan" to guarantee successful communication about the same object when using the proper name. But it is not necessary that someone knows "Tokyo" means "the capital of Japan" for his use of the word "Tokyo" to always and only refer to Tokyo. And if someone thought "Tokyo" meant "the capital of China" then his associated description with the word would clearly be the wrong meaning of the word, irrespective of his other private associations with it.


As John Stuart Mill pointed out, the name, "Dartmouth" does not mean that the city need be at the mouth of the Dart river. Dartmouth, New Hampshire is not, but that does not mean that the city is not Dartmouth. But if Tokyo is the capital of Japan, and the capital of Japan is on Honshu island, then it follows that Tokyo is on Honshu island.

What a word means "to someone" and what a word means, may be two very different matters. To confuse these is just asking for confusion.
 
Extrain
 
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2010 04:32 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;153290 wrote:
As John Stuart Mill pointed out, the name, "Dartmouth" does not mean that the city need be at the mouth of the Dart river. Dartmouth, New Hampshire is not, but that does not mean that the city is not Dartmouth.


Ok, yes. But I disagree with Mill that the meaning of "Dartmouth" just is Dartmouth. Mill equivocates reference and meaning of proper names when he ought to have kept them separate.

kennethamy;153290 wrote:
But if Tokyo is the capital of Japan, and the capital of Japan is on Honshu island, then it follows that Tokyo is on Honshu island.


True.

kennethamy;153290 wrote:
What a word means "to someone" and what a word means, may be two very different matters. To confuse these is just asking for confusion.


I agree.
 
MMP2506
 
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2010 04:36 pm
@Doorsopen,
Doorsopen;153282 wrote:
What meaning has language lost? Your syntax has made it the victim of some terrible crime of which you yourself are guilty!

I'm sorry to tease you with this, but it is such a funny, unconscious example of the relationship between perception and reality.

You believe that language has lost meaning, and therefore unconsciously offer a statement which is direct proof of the statement. I can only wonder if you might have constructed a more precise, meaningful statement if you believed otherwise.

Your belief, which forms your perception, is made manifest in your expression of that belief.

I contend that one absolute reality exists. Our experience is determined by our belief, and subsequent perception, of this reality. Although perception informs our experience of reality, reality is unalterable.

We are responsible for distinguishing between perception and consciousness. Reality is not an illusion of consciousness, it is the manifestation of consciousness; and being of consciousness, only consciousness can alter reality.


The use of syntax itself has been defiled and people have come under the illusion that the use of language is a secondary effect of consciousness, when it is my belief that language is necessary for consciousness to occur. Reality only nears absolute once it is agreed upon through language, otherwise it is very relative, and even then it isn't fully absolute.

Words cannot be made to mean one thing or the other. Words must represent what is being expressed subjectively and then the meaning of the words must be agreed upon inter-subjectively. Many are under the assumption today that all words are forced to have one concrete meaning, and all people use words the same way. The problem lies in the reality that language isn't experienced that way, and it seems irrational to believe that language was created in such a way.

Reality is only realized once it can be talked about, therefore I wouldn't consider what trees and many animals experience reality. To say that one reality exists is to imply that their is some one perspective that is always watching everything everywhere. An absolute reality may exist in some form, but since we can never reach it, it is much more functional to agree that we each experience a different reality.
 
Extrain
 
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2010 04:47 pm
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;153293 wrote:
The use of syntax itself has been defiled and people have come under the illusion that the use of language is a secondary effect of consciousness, when it is my belief that language is necessary for consciousness to occur.


So my dog is not sentient or conscious?

MMP2506;153293 wrote:
Reality only becomes absolute once it is agreed upon through language, otherwise it is very relative.


Stipulated assumption.

MMP2506;153293 wrote:
Words cannot be made to mean one thing or the other.


Yes they can--that is exactly the purpose of having a common language. There are no private languages.

MMP2506;153293 wrote:
Words must represent what is being expressed subjectively and then the meaning of the words must be agreed upon inter-subjectively.


So then it necessarily follows that words can, after all, be made to mean one thing rather than another. So your view is a contradiction.

MMP2506;153293 wrote:
Many are under the assumption today that all words are forced to have one concrete meaning, and all people use words the same way.


But people can mistakenly think the word means one thing rather than another. If my boss says quite angrily, "You're fired!"--he means that I no longer work for him. If I thought my boss meant, "Go get me a beer" I would be clearly mistaken.

MMP2506;153293 wrote:
Reality is only realized once it can be talked about, therefore I wouldn't consider what trees and many animals experience reality.


So animals have no experiences? Surely, my dog can feel pain, adoration, and shame. He doesn't need a language to express these feelings in order to undergo them as a sentient being, nor does he need language to perceive objects in his environment. A dog does not have self-reflective conceptual capacities needed to form judgments--this is true--but this doesn't entail that he doesn't consciously experience the world as it is.

MMP2506;153293 wrote:
To say that one reality exists is to imply that their is some one perspective that is always watching everything everywhere.


No it doesn't "imply" this. Why would it?

MMP2506;153293 wrote:
An absolute reality may exist in some form, but since we can never reach it, it is much more functional to agree that we each experience a different reality.


Certainly we can have different experiences of the same object, but that doesn't entail the object just is my experience. That's why someone can be in error about what is really the case.
 
MMP2506
 
Reply Sun 18 Apr, 2010 03:09 pm
@Extrain,
You took each sentence I wrote out of the context I was saying them in and created a straw man argument which has nothing to do with the point I was attempting to convey. You are proving my point by arguing against things which I never said. I am trying to convey something other than what you believe I am trying to convey using words which you feel have one concrete meaning.

The phonetic sound of a word is arbitrary to what the word is trying to convey, however, meaning that is being conveyed by the word is a public shared meaning that can only be constituted inter-subjectively.

The point I am trying to make is that all of our knowledge is communally constituted, there is no private consciousness, therefore, animals who have lower levels of communications skills have lower levels of consciousness.

I never said that dogs are not consciousness, that was you jumping to assumptions based on your inability to grasp the point I was making. Personally I believe dogs do experience consciousness because they do have lower level proto-communication skills, but with lower level lifeforms, such as a sponge, I am a bit more hesitant to make that claim. There are different levels of language, and I believe that entails different levels of consciousness. Nothing exists one way or the other, and it isn't the case that lifeforms can be judged by us to simply be consciousness or not based on their behavior. There exist gray areas throughout which we may never fully grasp.

I find it interesting that you took the statement "many animals" to include your dog. I have no idea how you came to that conclusion, but I assure you I never meant to speak your dog out of existence, I am sorry you were so mistaken. Words are expressions of consciousness which are used to come to basic understandings about two different experiences. We can come to knowledge about things, but those things aren't existing out there in their own little world, they only exist in the world which they are experienced. The subject that is experiencing the things are what is making those things into reality. Other than the subjective experience about the thing, nothing can be known about the thing, so to try and talk about the existence of the things outside of the experience of them is an insurmountable task.

Everything needs a context to exist in, and all language requires syntax to present concise meaning. Taking things out of their context and words out of the syntax of their sentence put them in a place that makes them meaningless.

You are free to use words however you'd like, but the purpose of philosophy is to promote the use of language which performs some function between different perspectives, and I don't see how that is possible if one assumes that there is only one reality that exists that no one can ever completely experience. We are all completely experiencing reality, but reality couldn't exist without experience.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 18 Apr, 2010 03:14 pm
@Extrain,
Extrain;153292 wrote:
Ok, yes. But I disagree with Mill that the meaning of "Dartmouth" just is Dartmouth. Mill equivocates reference and meaning of proper names when he ought to have kept them separate.



True.



I agree.


I don't think that Mill believe "Dartmouth" had a meaning. I don't think he believed that proper names had meanings, so I don't think he confused meaning with reference in the case of proper names.
 
 

 
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