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I don't quite understand your categorization of reality into X and Y. I don't think knowledge is really a separate thing, I think it is just the result of complexity in closed systems (brain). Knowledge is just memory of what we pick up in the world. everything is physical interaction though. The things we see are caused by the light waves that they reflect and as they enter our eyes we make sense of them with chemical reactions in our minds.
No problem, Cypressmoon. Is this reply late? I think it might be.
Anywho, I think I agree with you about values needing pre-established rules. But why are those rules or grounds fake? Necessarily, I mean.
For instance, I'm saying if we don't "make sense", we are blind, deaf, dumb...etc. There is an value judgment there and I think it is one we should all share. Is seeing everything? No, but I believe the five senses are some kind of foundation for everything X. I think we know where this thought is going.
We may disagree about what music is. I think it is a making sense. It plays on the ear. That is not to say that any animal with an ear can "hear" music. I'm saying that if we are deaf - can't make sense of the vibrations against our ears -, then we won't hear music. I guess I'm saying that on the second look, it still seems obvious to me that making sense is a good thing. Well, good isn't precisely the right word. I think it is vital. Blind people can still live happy lives, I'm sure. But, well, they still are short one functional organ and organs are important. vital.
We must still disagree and I'm fairly confident that I haven't said anything that you aren't likely to have already heard. Still, I don't know what. That's my inability to see what it is we are really talking about. Which again is not a problem with my eyesight. Its just a problem of solving for X ... or actually Y. Letters are confusing, aren't they?
They are potentially false.
Qualia, I think, is really at the heart of this epistemic, ontological divide. Feeling pain, and the idea of it are two very different things. Feeling is real, and the word "pain" is a convention to point to the real feeling. It's nothing other than a wagging finger. We can map things. I can tell you where they are, when they happen, how often it occurs, and (most interestingly, I think) value it. How does one value the feeling of pain? 1 to 10? Blue to red? None to alot? Expressing it is a value judgment. It can only be expressed upon contingent things, like past experiences. You cannot extrapolate pain. It is not compatible with reason. Reason must start and end. Without the confines of reason, there would be no expression. It is determinately uncertain. Reason can make determinations and map things, but it is uncertain because of the practical necessity to extrapolate where it is unwarranted, like pain (a 10, for instance)
But why does music make us dance?
We're not talking about anything. We're talking about language. If you think we can actually talk about real things, then I think we should talk about language.
Let X be Knowledge that consists of all sorts of properties that are adaptable to X (knowledge itself) Knowledge's architecture is conducive to forming more knowledge from that knowledge. Whether or not this is an infinite complexity, in that knowledge will never cease to grow is an ontological assumption I'm not willing to make.
So we have X - knowledge and knowledge of that knowledge ad nauseum.
And Y - the physical world of feeling. Let's just assume there is a physical world that interacts with the body in a purely physical way. Let's go so far to say, this is all there is. This is an untenable, practical and rational philosophical position (an ontological supposition, even).
So what becomes of y, when all we can know is x? X is not Y. X does not even correspond to Y in a rigorous and exact way, either. All of our theories are provisional. They work. If NASA decides to make a launch path to Mars, they will use a theory that works, but is not compatible with the whole of physical reality. It is not an ontology. Also, our descriptions - our language - is only referencing the physical world. It is a different "world". It is one of deduction without induction. It is one full of historically and culturally contingent logical paradoxes --- congruencies, incongruencies. Buildings that carry thier weight... well srtuctured, floating buildings of the imagination. The paradoxes are merely there because of our incapacity to deal with paradox, incompatiblities, probabilities, and complexities. Nothing has become completed. No knowledge is certain - Only knowledge of that knowledge; hence the strength of an idealistic position.
It makes me wonder if the physical world (Y) is beyond rationality. It is transrational. Our descriptions work when employed, but thier seems to be a conflicts arising within our current paradigm of rationality.
God, for instance, might be beyond our paradigm.
A strong theistic argument might be to say, If X is not Y in every case, why should X be given so much power in an argument. I might even go so far as to say, Atheism is a dogma because of this. I live my life now without contemplating God's Existence... without knowing wether or not there is a God. It's not a practical necessity at all.
X is often mistaken for Y. Y, though is a mystery for our time.
So in other words, Qualia is not something that can be communicated. For instance, 'my green is your green in a qualitative sense' is not a verifiable proposition. I can only verify the aspects that are quantitative: the wavelength of light for instance. However, there is no relational difference that occurs from perceiving green light as another person might perceive orange light so long as the perception is consistent. As long as there is no change to the relation framework of your perception, it is functionally the same as anyone elses and the difference cannot be revealed simply through communication.
It doesn't make me dance. I don't know why it makes you dance. I can dance to it, but it isn't the music making me dance. It might be the social conditioning I have been subjected to, it might be that I see a girl I want to dance with, I might simply choose to dance, but the music does not make me dance. As far as I know there is no physiological reason to believe that music makes you dance. If dancing is how you have been conditioned to react to music, the quandry at hand is sociological. Whether it can be solved from a physical basis is another matter.
Are we not talking about anything or are we talking about language? Please don't say something cute like 'Does it really have to be one or the other?' because it does indeed. Also, I don't think that it is just language in general we are talking about. We are talking about the limits of communication in respect to qualia, and whether these limits impede the usefulness of communication to any degree.
When I said, "it's nothing more than a wagging finger", I meant that it is a physical gesture, a physical mannerism. It is nothing else. If my thumb gets smashed by a hammer, and I jump up and down and wriggle my limp wrist with a flailing arm and say "ouch!", I will be communicating some idea to whoever witnesses that experience of mine through a gesture. What am I communicating though? I'm communicating an idea. Some considerate person may say, "do you want ice?" after my antics. It's a gesture... physical behaviors that must be interpreted. They are symbols (the wagging wrist, the grimace etc.,) just like words.
It's my pain. Yet somehow, you know I need ice (just pretend you're considerate for the time being). How is this interpretation possible? If you were to walk by empty space, you wouldn't ask the empty space for ice. If you were to walk by a vertical line, still no response. If you were to walk by a cross, still no response. On the other end, as this pattern is extended to its pole, where all variables of angles are exhausted within the limits of this extrapolation, you would end up with a sphere, or a circle depending on your rules. Still, you don't ask the sphere for ice. Yet, you ask me if I want ice.
Why would you ask me if I want ice, and not a circle, sphere, or line? Why would you be so considerate of me and not inanimate matter?
You don't feel my pain, you know it to some degree. Otherwise, there would be some strange response, like giving me a cake. By flailing my arms like a cute girl, I have successfully communicated to you that I need ice and attention. Similarly, If I wag my wrist in a way with a stick in front of an orchestra, I will control the dynamics of the sound. They won't ask if i need ice. I sincerely ask you why? Why one response with one gesture and another with another one?
Matter generates ideas. I'm sure Cybersemiotics is discovering how this works in great detail and high probability with neurology, mathematics, semiotics etc. But the truth is, matter generates ideas and contra wise. I'm not communicating with you through ideas right now, but words - symbols. They're generating ideas in you - just a bunch of well placed lines. Disparities and tensions both in the visual matter itself - varying degrees of opposition - and in the concepts generated by the matter give a word its power both visually and conceptually ( hot cold).
I'll respond later to the music thing. Don't try to shed your VALUES onto me by implementing homophobic tactics. That's bullshit. If that's where this is going, raise your own chilren.
Many of the ideas your are expressing smack of the magnum opus of R.D. Lang 'Politics of Experience'.
The idea that language objects point to certain concepts or thought objects goes way back to Frege.
I was simply trying to illustrate that physical response to qualia is determined socially.
So you want me to expatiate on the idea that physical response to qualia is socially determined? You point out that body language somehow seems to alert me to your present state of mind. This is due to social conditioning. I might respond to certain stimuli in a natural way, and other stimuli in a less natural way(like music and dancing). The mutual understanding of the response, however, comes from my recognition(or assumption) that other people have similar experiences to mine and that they respond similarly. This is socially conditioned into my thought process. The same thing is true of language in general and since, as you pointed out, response to stimuli is in a sense very much communicative, it should come as no surprise that body language is no different.
The reason that I know in a general way what you mean when you say 'I am in pain' is that language itself is a social tool, so that compounded with the social/psychological tendency to project oneself onto whatever one interacts with, elicits an understanding of what is being communicated by another person. Also, the tendency to inductively expand a concept leads to the understanding(not totally accurate, but often close enough) of greater pain that one has experienced.
I'm not sure what you mean by socially conditioned. Are you talking about historically contingent influences? Is this physical? Mental?
By social conditioning, I mean a social process/interaction that one is habitually exposed to, to the point that it becomes ingrained in their behavior and by extension their perception of the behavior of others.
I ask you this in honesty, because I don't know... how is social conditioning much different, in process, than the pressure on a rock at the bottom of the canyon changing it's atomic makeup?
Wouldn't social conditioning be a completely physical process with all sorts of autopoietic feedback loops with matter and matter digested by the senses and processed with the brain... some hypercomplex (cannot be modeled mathemetically) loopy, hermeneutic genetic evolutionary process - a historically continual (i.e. never ceases) physical process?
Consider a social structure. There is a line of command, authority, power etc. In this hierarchy, how does one attain their position? I think it's through social game playing. In the case of a promotion, they are measuring say 2 people by criteria that the one's in power are making up. You get a winner and a loser based upon contingent criteria. They are analysing physical behavior in this process. They are using historically contingent criteria. The power divisions are made up. Our valuations through contingent criteria (the normative for brevity's sake) create delusions of power. What is a hierarchy, but socially, and uncertainly determined degrees of control? Although, the delusions of a big executive making a few phone calls a day that completely change the financial direction of the company and effect millions of lives is a delusion / dream / nightmare that is only possible because many believe the dream is real. This is a problem rooted in epistemic problems - particularly the contingency of criteria on physical history. Remember, matter generates ideas... it generates the normative (criteria). I deas generate matter. Ontologically, though, the assumption (a highly probable one) is that matter generates matter. Brain matter generates physical structures and physical structures generate brain matter in autopoietic feedback loops. (that's the fancy phrase for automatically produced matter through physical interaction).
What makes music different from natural languages? It doesn't reference the world. It's not a referent. It's not a wagging finger pointing at an object or an idea. It's not really something musicians, listeners, dancers, or singers understand the way you're understanding this paragraph
The reaction to it, even if it's baking a cake or throwing a sharp in there, is derived from purely physical interaction of the ears and the world. The way in which you react, if indeed the assumption that everything is physical is correct, is a historically, genetically and culturally continual (never ceases... no gaps) reaction.