I would like to examine Holiday's post to figure out what exactly he is talking about. I think that he is reaching towards something that he himself has not adequately seperated yet and can, therefore, not determine precisely what he is saying. I will give some background information in the form of definitions of some terms and concepts and then try to seperate the thoughts from eachother, only to see what Holiday is getting at; if not point him in some more directions.
Actuality and Potentiality
is that which is the state of affairs at a given time (usually 'the now'). Potentiality
consists of the conditions for actuality. Immanuel Kant
defines these conditions as being space and time. Lets not get into a discussion on what potentiality is in this topic, but let us consent in the thought that potentiality must, at the very least, be the stable and unchanging 'basis' in which all possible things that may take in actuality find its facilitation.
Empiricism and Rationalism
consists of the thought that human reasoning begins with observation and that all human thought evolves from those first observatons, refining itself by use of the prior thoughts and thereby being able to understand what is observed better. In that sense Empiricism 'dictates' that all thoughts at the very least necessarily bases itself on something which exists.
on the other hand consists of the thought that thinking exists a priori
to, at the very least, humans and that our observations are what is used to think (about). Thinking itself being a priori it is this process which percieves
(The word perception is derived from the Latin perception, which is a mental activity.) what is observed; like the 'grasping' which is involved in the creation of thought-objects
. In that sense rationalism 'dictates' that everything we percieve is, at the very least, a thought-object and, at the very worst, might be a figment of our imagination.
Objectivity and subjectivity
is the form of observation which might give a distorted view of an observed 'thing' because a 'subject' is involved in the observation. The subject stands for a point from which our 'thing' is observed; a 'body' usually containing a 'mind' to store the subjective observation.
is the form of observation which is mind-independent so to speak; every mind might be able to percieve the same thing. No distortion is present.
In Holidays post I notice a tangling of these differentiations.
It's just that now I'm questioning the existence of objectiveness as something purely objective.
Objectivity itself is something which exists. That no human cognitively
'knows' anything in an objective way because of the fact all humans have a body and therewith a standing which, by its very nature, deforms all observations (not to mention perceptions). Anyway, that no human has the possibility to obtain any objective knowledge does not mean that things do not exists seperate from our observations (nor perceptions). So, I do agree with Holiday in the sense that objectivity cannot be known by any human, just nopt that it would not exist. To know anything objectively one needs a 'standing' outside of that which is observed though...
Russel said that the universe is just waves and conditions are there for matter to exist. But aren't waves just a perception of the math and quantum state that are virtuous for our thinking. A way of perceiving a state that can't be physically observed directly that has potential.
This is just what Kant said. Walter Russel is, apparently, a rationalist like Kant. They both argue that what is percieved (or observed for that matter) might very well be completely based on the workings of the mind alone. However, even if what is percieved (or observed) is in fact only a figment of our imagination, we must conclude that something does exists, namely thought itself: that which thinks and exists a priori.
The above is largely based on Descartes
' , 'Cogito ergo Sum
', just like the reasonings of all rationalists after Descartes like Kant and, apparently Walter Russel.
Anyway, I do agree with Holiday in the sense that what we percieve is not equal to the thing-in-itself, not taht there is no thing-in-itself, but I am not exactly clear on what he means with the quoted statement.
And so I figure that actuality in its purest sense should be completely objective, and therefore I don't think would exist.
I think that Holiday has arrived at this conclusion by the thought that actuality is the same as that which is percieved. It is not. Actuality is the state of affairs which exists (usually ment as in 'the now'). If, as Holiday states, that actuality does not exist, then potentiality does not exist either because atuality is an expression of potentiality. Nothing could be observed because there would be noting that can observe.
So, I do agree with Holiday that actuality is not the foundation of what exists, but merely an expression of that thing-in-itself and in that sense part of which exists. Therefore I do not think it does not exist. It is merely the current expression of the thing in itself; the thing-in-itself in one of its possible forms (not meaning to point to Aristotle's 'forms').
Solution to the problem
As stated above it becomes hard to be able to state with any kind of certainty that what we percieve actually exists. Immanuel Kant called himself a transcendetal idealist
. He used the term to say that although he was not absolutely sure that what he percieved existed in reality he thought that, at the very least, there was something on which our perceptions were based. He therefore called himself an idealist because no proof of this can ever be attained.
The reason he believed that something does exist on which our perceptions were based is because of the fact that if everything did sprout from his own imagination at the very least his own imagination did exist (as Descartes reasoned). So, however different what actually existed was from what he percieved
he could state that at thevery a thing-in-itself
necessarily exists. Whether or not the thing-in-itself is merely that which percieves or many things-in-themselves exist is perhaps a matter of semantics, Kant believed many things in themselves exist though. The reason for this is that potentiality because of its very nature is bound(ry)less, which necessarily facilitates an unending and unlimited actuality; although all can be seen as one thing-in-itself.
So, there you have it, even if our standing or our way of percieveing deforms everything which exists because we are a part of it instead of have a standing outside of it which creates a subjective thought-object of it in our minds, a thing-in-itself, must, at the very least, exist.
Well, I hope this will clear matters up a little. I think the above is the reasoning Holiday followed and I think this post may point him and others to the difficulties and and nuances of understanding that which exists around us at least so much as to start scratching the surface.
I have not been as complete in my post as I wanted. It is 04.00 AM here. I am having a quiet nightshift.
If there are any parts I have not been sufficiently clear about, please feel free to ask. I will try to elaborate as much as I can. Bear in mind that I am a human as well though, so my perceptions are as distorted as those of yourself.
I think a noteworthy theory is the one the maya held. Maya means illusion. The maya named themselves illusion, thereby signaling that they thought of their physical presence was merely illusion. Apparently they thought something else was more real than actuality.Perhaps this theory is closest to what Holiday ment with his post. Their theories on time
suggest that they did seperate between potentiality and actuality
. This would become a totally different discussion though...albeit an interesting one.