Silly Subjectivism

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apehead
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 09:09 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;169975 wrote:
But, if you happen only to mean that although whether the fire truck is red is not a matter of opinion...


If I may interject, I think I have a scenario that may clear up this whole fire truck business.

Bill has developed a condition that prevents him from seeing the color red. He used to know what was red and what was blue, but now every time he sees something that we perceive as red, he sees the color blue. He and I are looking at the fire truck in question. Bill says,
"Huh. A blue firetruck. That's weird, isn't it?"
Confused, I turn to Bill and say,
"What are you talking about man, that firetruck is red, like all firetrucks!"
"Dude, I know what I see, that truck is blue!"
"No it's not!"
"yes it is!"

And so on and so forth. Now, the fire truck wasn't changing colors for us, it stayed the same color, let's call it the "true color". The problem is we have different perceptions of the "true color", making our perceived truths (knowledge) different. How would we go about determining which of us was perceiving the "true color", since we both "know" what color the truck is?

---------- Post added 05-28-2010 at 11:12 AM ----------

Twirlip;169982 wrote:
Isn't that the topic of Searle's The Construction of Social Reality? (Don't ask me, I haven't read it yet, but it looks like it.)

I haven't heard of it. Sounds interesting, though.
 
mark noble
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 09:15 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;169984 wrote:
Up and down are opposing, but they are not values. Wide and narrow are opposing, but they are not values. Rude and polite are both, opposing and are values. But the values they have has nothing whatever to do with their opposition to each other. You are confusing opposition with value. (Aside from having begged the question. See my earlier post).


Hi Ken,

In MY story they are "Values" and "Opposing Values" at that. I'm not confusing anything - you are. I'm not begging any question either. What does "Begging the question" mean, anyway?

Anyway, I'm off out to cut my hedges now, before it rains, so have a great day. I'll catch up with you tomorrow, maybe...

Mark...
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 09:17 am
@apehead,
apehead;169985 wrote:
If I may interject, I think I have a scenario that may clear up this whole fire truck business.

Bill has developed a condition that prevents him from seeing the color red. He used to know what was red and what was blue, but now every time he sees something that we perceive as red, he sees the color blue. He and I are looking at the fire truck in question. Bill says,
"Huh. A blue firetruck. That's weird, isn't it?"
Confused, I turn to Bill and say,
"What are you talking about man, that firetruck is red, like all firetrucks!"
"Dude, I know what I see, that truck is blue!"
"No it's not!"
"yes it is!"

And so on and so forth. Now, the fire truck wasn't changing colors for us, it stayed the same color, let's call it the "true color". The problem is we have different perceptions of the "true color", making our perceived truths (knowledge) different. How would we go about determining witch of us was perceiving the "true color", since we both "know" what color the truck is?


Perceived truths are not knowledge.

We go about determining which of us is seeing the true color in the usual way. By determining whether the person is a normal observer observing under normal conditions of observation. That does not apply only to color. If some says that people have suddenly shrunk in size, but is observing those people from a very high building, we judge that observing people from a great height is not an ideal way of telling what their true size is.
 
Twirlip
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 09:30 am
@apehead,
The Goon Show Site - Script - Foiled By President Fred (Series 6, Episode 7)
FX:
[Door opens]

Bluebottle:
Has he gone, Eccles?

Eccles:
Yeah! Ha ha...

Bluebottle:
Eehe, now we both have sacks.

Eccles:
Say that again.

Bluebottle:
The red one and the blue one. We have both sacks. This is a good game you know, that, what is. This is what is liking this game. Eccles, which sack has the real money?

Eccles:
The blue one.

Bluebottle:
Then we will split it fifty-fifty. You take that nice red one and I'll have this rotten stinking old blue one.

Eccles:
Fine, fine.

Bluebottle:
And you're quite sure you're not colour-blind, ain't you?

Eccles:
Oh no, I'm not colour blind.

Bluebottle:
Oh. Well, goodbye Enccles.

FX:
[Door shuts]

Eccles:
Goodbye, Redbottle.
 
apehead
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 09:38 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;169992 wrote:
Perceived truths are not knowledge.


"Know - to perceive or understand as fact or truth; to apprehend clearly and with certainty"

That's what the dictionary defines it as. But since you seem at ease claiming you interpretation of phenomena as facts, Let's say you are right. It's simple enough to say non-omniscient entities are incapable of perceiving knowledge, if it makes you feel better.


kennethamy;169992 wrote:
We go about determining which of us is seeing the true color in the usual way. By determining whether the person is a normal observer observing under normal conditions of observation. That does not apply only to color. If some says that people have suddenly shrunk in size, but is observing those people from a very high building, we judge that observing people from a great height is not an ideal way of telling what their true size is.


Majority opinion determines what is normal, therefore who is qualified to determine fact. Would that be a fair assessment of your position?

kennethamy;169992 wrote:
So now objective morality is determined solely by the whims of at least 51% of the populace?

Where on earth did you get such an idea. I didn't say such a foolish thing, and no one else did, so far as I can tell.


Oh. Well then I guess I don't quite understand what you are trying to say.
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 10:45 am
@apehead,
apehead;169891 wrote:

Please refer to the definitions I posted.
I would disagree with that stance. "Shoving" has no inherent value statement married to it. According to the definitions, being rude essentially boils down to behaving in a way that society deems inappropriate (values statement). Shoving is just applying force to a person (value free).

Again, this analogy doesn't apply. Defining medicine as "something that heals sickness" is a value-free definition, since it isn't implied that healing sickness is "good" or "bad". If the definition of medicine was "the best stuff because it makes you better" than that would be analogous.



No, like I said, despite having quoted definitions you are confused about it. You have the definition correct but assume something else. You say right here that rude is behaving in a way that people deem inappropriate, but then you deny that behaving in a way that people deem inappropriate is rude! What you are trying to say is something about it there being no objective reason for it being rude, in the same way that there is no objective reason for one side of the road to be tho common one to ride on.



Quote:
I think you are misunderstanding. I'm saying that if society had no values against which to measure behavior, rude would become impossible to gauge, since there would be no fixed morality against which to measure any action. Therefore, without fixed aesthetic and moral values, the word rude would be meaningless.


Where is this alien society located?


Quote:
First, I'd like to congratulate you on solving the whole nature-nurture (chicken-egg) problem. And second, who determines the persons rudeness? The others around said acting individual? God? The Sheriff? Why are their opinions on rudeness more valid that the acting party?


Refer to your definition. But at least you are clear that you are arguing about whether something that is rude should be rude. That is a much more fruitful discussion.


Quote:
And that's exactly my point. The definition of rude is subjective, based upon preferences and values.


You don't mean this. My preferences and values cannot make the definition of rude equal to "a small green teapot" can they? You mean that whether someone thinks an action is rude is based on preferences and values. But everything that someone thinks of as rude based on those values is within the framework of the common definition of rude.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 10:51 am
@apehead,
apehead;169998 wrote:




Majority opinion determines what is normal, therefore who is qualified to determine fact. Would that be a fair assessment of your position?



.


Not at all. My view is that what is normal determines what is majority opinion. You have it exactly backwards. It is because fire engines appear red that people believe that fire engines are red. Not the other way round.
 
apehead
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 11:17 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;170029 wrote:
Not at all. My view is that what is normal determines what is majority opinion. You have it exactly backwards. It is because fire engines appear red that people believe that fire engines are red. Not the other way round.


How do you know that firetrucks appear red to everyone? Even if you did, how is this any different from claiming a majority determines reality? This is a circular argument.

"Firetrucks are red."
"How do you know that is a fact?"
"It is common knowledge."
"So majority knowledge (perceived truth) determines facts?"
"No. The commonality of a held belief has nothing to do with the fact that the firetruck is red."
"How do you know that is a fact?"
"It is common knowledge..."

And on and on.

---------- Post added 05-28-2010 at 01:47 PM ----------

Jebediah;170026 wrote:
No, like I said, despite having quoted definitions you are confused about it. You have the definition correct but assume something else. You say right here that rude is behaving in a way that people deem inappropriate, but then you deny that behaving in a way that people deem inappropriate is rude! What you are trying to say is something about it there being no objective reason for it being rude, in the same way that there is no objective reason for one side of the road to be tho common one to ride on.


Yeah, that's what I'm saying, I'm not trying to argue over the definition, rather what is considered rude.


Jebediah;170026 wrote:
Where is this alien society located?

In the magical land where the concept of "rudeness" does not exist.


Jebediah;170026 wrote:
Refer to your definition. But at least you are clear that you are arguing about whether something that is rude should be rude. That is a much more fruitful discussion.


You're telling me. I dislike bickering over semantics, yet constantly find myself doing it. Perhaps I should be a bit more concise in my posts.



Jebediah;170026 wrote:
You don't mean this. My preferences and values cannot make the definition of rude equal to "a small green teapot" can they?

If you happen to consider them rude, then sure. It's a pretty open-ended definition.
Jebediah;170026 wrote:
You mean that whether someone thinks an action is rude is based on preferences and values. But everything that someone thinks of as rude based on those values is within the framework of the common definition of rude.


Um, I think so. Although, if you ask me this is just splitting hairs.
 
Twirlip
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 12:23 pm
@apehead,
apehead;169985 wrote:
Twirlip;169982 wrote:
Isn't that the topic of Searle's The Construction of Social Reality? (Don't ask me, I haven't read it yet, but it looks like it.)

I haven't heard of it. Sounds interesting, though.

A quick scan through the book suggests that it doesn't contain anything that bears directly on the existence of such things as rudeness, politeness, respect or disrespect. For instance it's not obvious to me where such facts (if there are such facts) would fit in his Figure 5.1, "Hierarchical Taxonomy of (Certain Types of) Facts" on page 121. So this would seem to have been a red herring (or perhaps a blue one).

Back to Plato, then, in search of the Form of the Rude. Very Happy
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 12:47 pm
@apehead,
apehead;170035 wrote:
How do you know that firetrucks appear red to everyone? Even if you did, how is this any different from claiming a majority determines reality? This is a circular argument.

.


Everyone says that fire trucks are red, that's how I know they are red. (You think they are lying?) That fire trucks are red is not determined by any majority, since the majority call fire trucks red because fire trucks are red. I already explained to you how you have the whole thing backwards. You must be confusing two different things:

1. What it is that justifies my belief that fire truck are red. Answer. Everyone says they are red.
2. What causes (determines) fire trucks to be red. Answer. They are painted red.

See the difference? One is about justification of my belief. The other is about the cause of the fire trucks' color.
You are confusing them.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 12:47 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;169566 wrote:
Objective, by definition, is that which is true mind-independently. Maybe you meant intersubjective.


I agree with this. And I swear I'm not trying to be difficult. For me this is a basic logical issue, and an interesting one. How do we as humans immersed in our common language(s) decide what notion to have of this mind-independent reality? Because all experience is associated with the concept mind, mind-independent reality can only be an abstraction --and of course it is a crucial and respectable abstraction. Still, no one ever directly experiences mind-independent reality (because it's mind-independent). We speculate upon it and make important decisions, like the design of space shuttles, according to these speculations. Some ideas have been so successful for us that they are accepted as true.
We have to give reasons for our descriptions of mind-independent reality, right? So we are giving reasons to other humans. We debate about the nature of this mind-independent reality. Scientists disagree at times on mind-independent reality but generally agree that experiments must be repeatable. And this is crucial to the scientific method, no? In the end, individual humans have to verify with their personal experience, which is sensual even if only to the degree of seeing chalk on a blackboard. And often they are reading computer screens, I'm sure.

In any case, a psychotic is described as a psychotic because others are not persuaded of his assertions concerning mind-independent reality. And if a scientist achieves cold fusion when alone and the same procedure fails to offer similar results to others, his experience is not integrated into the socially accepted system of concepts that represents this mind-independent reality for us.

So I'm saying that objectivity must, logically, be inter-subjectivity -- the result of society and language use.
 
apehead
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 01:05 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;170053 wrote:
Everyone says that fire trucks are red, that's how I know they are red. (You think they are lying?) That fire trucks are red is not determined by any majority, since the majority call fire trucks red because fire trucks are red. I already explained to you how you have the whole thing backwards. You must be confusing two different things:

1. What it is that justifies my belief that fire truck are red. Answer. Everyone says they are red.
2. What causes (determines) fire trucks to be red. Answer. They are painted red.

See the difference? One is about justification of my belief. The other is about the cause of the fire trucks' color.
You are confusing them.


No, you are in circular argument denial. There is no difference, because fundamentally, you are still taking a leap of faith in deciding that you have knowledge of objective reality, which you don't unless you are a god.

Fire trucks are red because I and "everyone" (how you could possibly know this is beyond me) perceive them that way, because they are red, because I and "everyone" (how you could possibly know this is beyond me) perceive them that way.

Do you understand why I would consider your logic as circular? If not, please sum up your firetruck position as a proposition or hypothesis, because I am not understanding it as linear one bit.

---------- Post added 05-28-2010 at 03:18 PM ----------

Reconstructo;170054 wrote:
I agree with this. And I swear I'm not trying to be difficult. For me this is a basic logical issue, and an interesting one. How do we as humans immersed in our common language(s) decide what notion to have of this mind-independent reality? Because all experience is associated with the concept mind, mind-independent reality can only be an abstraction --and of course it is a crucial and respectable abstraction. Still, no one ever directly experiences mind-independent reality (because it's mind-independent). We speculate upon it and make important decisions, like the design of space shuttles, according to these speculations. Some ideas have been so successful for us that they are accepted as true.
We have to give reasons for our descriptions of mind-independent reality, right? So we are giving reasons to other humans. We debate about the nature of this mind-independent reality. Scientists disagree at times on mind-independent reality but generally agree that experiments must be repeatable. And this is crucial to the scientific method, no? In the end, individual humans have to verify with their personal experience, which is sensual even if only to the degree of seeing chalk on a blackboard. And often they are reading computer screens, I'm sure.

In any case, a psychotic is described as a psychotic because others are not persuaded of his assertions concerning mind-independent reality. And if a scientist achieves cold fusion when alone and the same procedure fails to offer similar results to others, his experience is not integrated into the socially accepted system of concepts that represents this mind-independent reality for us.

So I'm saying that objectivity must, logically, be inter-subjectivity -- the result of society and language use.


Excellent post. Great summation of what I've been trying to get across. I think differentiating between objective and intersubjective is the crux of this thread. Even the most widely held intersubjective notion is still not objective, therefore is not truth, nor fact (in the strictest sense of the words).
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 03:51 pm
@apehead,
apehead;170060 wrote:
No, you are in circular argument denial. There is no difference, because fundamentally, you are still taking a leap of faith in deciding that you have knowledge of objective reality, which you don't unless you are a god.

Fire trucks are red because I and "everyone" (how you could possibly know this is beyond me) perceive them that way, because they are red, because I and "everyone" (how you could possibly know this is beyond me) perceive them that way.

Do you understand why I would consider your logic as circular? If not, please sum up your firetruck position as a proposition or hypothesis, because I am not understanding it as linear one bit.

---------- Post added 05-28-2010 at 03:18 PM ----------



.


But of course there is a difference between the question, what justifies my belief that the fire truck is red, and why is the fire truck red. The answer to the first is that it appears red to me and to everyone else I ask or would ask. The answer to the second is that it was made or painted red. How could there be no difference? I don't understand what you are asking me to do. If you are asking me why I believe that the hypothesis that the fire truck is red is true (if it is an hypothesis) than my answer is (of course) that the fire truck looks red, and that there is no reason to believe it is not red. That is an adequate justification of the red fire truck hypothesis so far as I can see. Why do you think it is not?

I don't have to have superhuman powers to have knowledge of what you call objective reality. All I need is my normal powers of perception. That does not mean that I may not think I know that the fire truck is red, and it not be red. Of course, since I am human I may err. But, since there is no particular reason to think that I have erred, there is no reason to think I do not know that the truck is red. As I pointed out before, it does that follow that because it is possible that I am mistaken, that I am mistaken, and if I am not mistaken, then, of course, I do know that the truck is red. After all, for me to know that the truck is red it is not necessary for it to be impossible that I am wrong. It just has to be the case that I am not wrong. Now gods, I suppose cannot be wrong. Mortal can be wrong. But from the fact that I am not a god, and so cannot be wrong, why does it follow that I am wrong?

You seem to think that for me to know it must be that I cannot be wrong. But that is false. For me to know it is only necessary that I am not wrong (not that I cannot be wrong, like a god). Gods may have certainty. Mortals have knowledge. That is the difference.
 
Twirlip
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 03:54 pm
@kennethamy,
Where's the fire?
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 03:55 pm
@Twirlip,
Is bold the new CAPS?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 04:04 pm
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead;170125 wrote:
Is bold the new CAPS?


The new italics.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 04:14 pm
@apehead,
apehead;170060 wrote:

Excellent post. Great summation of what I've been trying to get across. I think differentiating between objective and intersubjective is the crux of this thread. Even the most widely held intersubjective notion is still not objective, therefore is not truth, nor fact (in the strictest sense of the words).

Thanks! I agree with you on the crux. I think that the belief in true objectivity has so little practical backblow that no one bothers to really look at it. It's logically weak, but in a practical sense quite functional. We are so used to looking at the world as if disembodied that we have forgotten that all human life is what they call subjective. Oh, but where is the subject? Of course the subject concept is quite justified practically, but it too has logical weaknesses. An organizing abstraction. That's what it seems to me.

Stirner was an interesting character, by the way.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 04:16 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;170134 wrote:
It's logically weak,.


Can you support that assertion? Or do you even care to? I suppose the answer to both questions is, no.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 04:25 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;170136 wrote:
Can you support that assertion? Or do you even care to? I suppose the answer to both questions is, no.


That's half of what I do here, but you always claim that you can't or don't understand me. Does anyone seriously accuse me of being at a loss for words?:detective:
 
Twirlip
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 04:40 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;170134 wrote:
I think that the belief in true objectivity has so little practical backblow that no one bothers to really look at it. It's logically weak, but in a practical sense quite functional.

I have the strong impression (am I mistaken?) that, except among backwoods religionists (of whom there are far too many), the most widely held position on this question, both inside and outside the academy, is that either there is no objective knowledge at all, or else scientific knowledge (including mathematics) is objective, but nothing else is; thus, anyone like me who wishes to defend the possibility of objective, non-scientific knowledge feels acutely uncomfortable doing so (unless he or she is an idiot, which I hope I am not, even though I nearly always feel like one).
 
 

 
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