What is "Western Idealism" in philosophy?
What is wrong with Greek philosophy having "speculative tendencies"?
What is "mathematical realism" if numbers don't exist?
It's still metaphysical, regardless. It is also contradictory. No theory can sustain a contradiction. So it's doomed from the start.
I meant, the idealist philosophy arising from the Ancient Greek tradition, by way of contrast with idealist tendencies in Indian philosophy.
Nothing, provided it doesn't become the basis for interminable disputes which really have no bearing on anything that happens in real life.
I think numbers are real in that a numerical value is the same for any person, and also the same in any language. One can create any symbol for "7" but it always refers to the same quantity. I find that interesting. The distinction I am interested in is exactly that numbers don't exist in the sense that objects do. The number 7 never came into existence and does not go out of it, whereas ordinary objects by their nature are transient. I am interested in this.
What contradiction do you see?
'the lawfulness of the universe' cannot be objectified. It is not anything in particular - it is simply the way that everything is related or comes to exist. In other words, in itself it does not exist. It is not any particular thing. Nevertheless, without it, nothing would exist. Furthermore, it underlies not only all material particulars, but also the way that the mind itself works.
although LK was right in saying that I named it non-metaphysical because of the rejection of the substance-idea.
What interests me is the platonic 'ideas' but without the idea of 'substance'.
although LK was right in saying that I named it non-metaphysical because of the rejection of the substance-idea.
If there is no incorporeal substance, or no spiritual 'things', then how is it that spiritual realities exist?
It seems to me that thought must always posit a substance or a thing of some kind. But it seems possible to me that the substance we are considering in this case could be better expressed as 'the substance of thought'. And the substance of thought is actually meaning itself. Meaning->gist->geist.
"Reality, to put it in the simplest form, is here defined as that which is not fake. Existence is that with which an encounter is comprehensible. Reality contains everything that exists, but existence is only a subset of what is real. Nothing unreal exists, but some things which are real do not exist. Existence is of objects, while reality also covers ideas beyond objects. A number is only real, while a baseball exists. The gross national product is only real, while Antarctica exists. The probability of the sun not rising tomorrow is real, while the sun itself exists." (Source shall be provided.)
categories, signifies being as existing in and by itself, and serving as a subject or basis for accidents and accidental changes."
Hence the idea of a 'spiritual substance' as in Descartes res cogitans. But I have always found the idea of 'spiritual substance' completely self-contradictory even though it is used widely in pre-modern and scholastic philosophy. I have asked previously if the idea of 'substance' appears in Plato or the pre-socratics. I think it only commences with Aristotle. That is something I am investigating.
If some real things do not exist, then those things are not part of a set.
"Substance" is the most widely disputed term throughout philosophical history. It means something different for just about every philosopher who makes use of it...fyi.
How is res cogitans self contradictory?
But we are considering possible differences between 'to be real' and 'to exist'. If there are 'transcendent realities' these might be beyond existence.
Isn't one of the meanings of 'transcendent' 'that which is beyond experience' or 'existence'.
A quote from a passage about 'Systematic Theology'.
'Paul Tillich sees God as Being-Itself, or the "Ground of all Being." For this reason there cannot be "a" God. There cannot even be a "highest God," for even that concept is limiting. We cannot make an object out of God. And the moment we say he is the highest God or anything else, we have made him an object. Thus, beyond the God of the Christian or the God of the Jews, there is the "God beyond God." This God cannot be said to exist or not to exist in the sense that we "exist". Either statement is limiting. We cannot make a thing out of God, no matter how holy this thing may be, because there still remains something behind the holy thing which is its ground or basis, the "ground of being", that by virtue of which things exist, but not an existing thing.'
Now in this sense, God is a reality beyond existence. He is not non-existent in the sense of a phantasm or a fiction or the square root of two. These are things that fall short of existence. God (or the transcendent ground of being) is beyond existence, that by virtue of which anything at all exists. This is what 'transcendent' means, in connection to the nature of Deity. Most atheists and materialists seem to think that God is just another kind of existing thing, albeit a pretty mysterious one. They don't seem to realise just what is involved in a radically different kind of being.
I am finding that out. I still think metaphysics went seriously wrong with the idea of 'substance'.
Because there is no res, no thing that thinks. There is not actually a 'thinking thing'.
It might sound like a small point, but it has given rise to diabolical problems, because, again, it conveys the idea that there is something in the brain that thinks. Ghost in the machine.
This is pretty well what Ryle demolished, isn't it?
But is the conclusion, then, that being is just the activities of neural networks? That humans are just another thing, but thinking is one of their attributes? Even this doesn't account for the unitary nature of experience, the Hard Problem, and much else besides. There is something radically wrong with all accounts of the nature of being, in terms of neural activities or other reductionist explanations, and a lot of it arises from the attempt to 'explain consciousness' when it always must be consciousness doing the explaining. So I think all such attempts must always assume what they are setting out to demonstrate.
So where does God exist?
What is the meaning of the word 'transcendent' in your book?
---------- Post added 04-12-2010 at 09:35 PM ----------
I should add: I don't think a person is a thing. I think a person is a being. Being and things are different, although loosely speaking one might equate them.
As for transcendent, the dictionary says:
1. going beyond ordinary limits; surpassing; exceeding.
2. superior or supreme.
3. Theology. (of the Deity) transcending the universe, time, etc.Compare immanent (def. 3).
4. Philosophy. a. Scholasticism. above all possible modes of the infinite. b. Kantianism. transcending experience; not realizable in human experience. Compare transcendental (defs. 5a, c).
c. (in modern realism) referred to, but beyond, direct apprehension; outside consciousness.
'Not realizable in human experience' and 'outside consciousness' seem awfully close to 'beyond existence'.
It is natural to assume that to exist and to be real, mean the same thing. But I don't think they do. I think 'exist' has a specific meaning which is different to the meaning of 'to be'. The particle 'ex' means 'apart from'. So anything that exists has an identity, it is individuated. Every existing thing is composed of parts and has a beginning and an end in time.
In Kant, I think I would be correct in saying that we can infer the existence of 'the nouemenon' but beyond the fact that 'it exists' or 'is real', we can't say too much about it.
In some types of theology (as quoted above) and in mysticism, the 'ground of being' similarly precedes or gives rise to existing things, however it does not exist in the sense of being an individuated entity.
As for the manner in which God is, you might be familiar with the term 'the uncreated' or 'the unmanifest'. This says something about the nature of the divine being. For obvious reasons, one cannot say too much about it.
I would be interested to know how what I have written could be described as materialism
well there are a couple of things I would like to say. The idea of 'immaterial substance', which is also the idea of 'soul' (as a paraphrase of Res Cogitans in Descartes) is impossible to demonstrate by scientific means, as is well known. One can assert the existence of soul, or God for that matter, but there is no way to demonstrate, prove, or show that there is any such thing. So if you say that the soul and God exists, it seems to me scientific naturalism will have you on a hiding to nothing. You can then simply assert that you believe it anyway, and it is a matter of faith, but then it is really out-of-scope for philosophy as such.
I think there is a philosophical method. The method required is what the Greeks called 'metanoia' which is a change in perception. It is analagous to 'religious conversion' but, again, it relies more on reason and on insight than on devotional theology, which is why it is more philosophical than religious. Through metanoia mind itself has to be brought into accord with that which it seeks to know. In the West, this no longer seems to me the subject matter of philosophy. But every time I say this, it provokes howls of outrage. So if I am wrong, I would be glad to know it and will freely acknowledge it. If there are philosophers who advocate this understanding in the modern discipline of philosophy, I would like to know of them, I will buy their books, study them and sing their praises. The only current philosophical academic I am aware of is Pierre Hadot, who understands this matter in the context of ancient philosophy. I am working through his books.
That acrid smell is ego burning, as far as I can tell.
I write everything on this forum as a free expression of a reasoned argument. I attempt to be diligent, courteous, conscientious and reasonable in my interactions with others. By way of contrast, I find your attitude brimming with condescension, hyperbole, sarcasm and subjectivism.
If you have any philosophical criticism of what I have written, I would be quite willing to consider it, and if it is accurate, I will change my views accordingly.
But all I am getting from you is ideological polemic with nothing of philosophical substance whatever (with the exception of your excellent answers on Kant which I acknowledge).
Passion is one thing, temper another, and you clearly have not identified the line yet. I refuse to get drawn into one of the shouting matches you seem to enjoy stirring up. If you have anything useful to say, I shall look forward to resuming correspondence with you.
lol....yeah, ok, Mr. Scientific Materialist. Youre wrong. Science doesn't say squat. People like yourself make science say that. This view is scientism; not science. Can you get any more paltitudinal than saying something a 15 year old would say? That's a pretty rudimentary understanding of the neuroscience/philosophical landscape with respect to the current Mind/Body problem as it is seen today. :rolleyes: Trying reading some recent works by Fodor, Chalmers, Jackson, Searle, Levine, Block, and Stoljar about this matter in cognitive science, neuroscience, linguistics, and the Philosophmy of Mind. It is not as near so simple-minded as your own simple-minded view of these things.
Your presumption just astounds me. You are not even afraid to show it either. Who do you think you are judging people's own personal struggles with philosophy?! You haven't the slightest clue what goes inside other thinkers within philosophical circles in academia! Time and again philosophers struggle with these things just as any human being does who is willing to give life's deep questions the hearing they deserve!
I see clearly that gnawing worm of disgust toward the Western Tradition buried underneath that shallow "Eastern facade" of equanimity you flaunt to people. Your hypocracy is very noticeable, and one can only wonder why these Eastern views have failed to teach you that "mindful awareness" necessary to put your own biases into proper perspective. I'm tired of defending my peers and fellow thinkers against your own secret bitterness toward them. I'm done with you. Don't bother asking me anymore questions, because I clearly understand what your agenda is now: to scowl at Western Tradition in order to supplant it with your own tyrannical ideologies. Let others help you out with that. I won't do it anymore.
No need for this aggression. Jeeprs is good people. This comes off as paranoid, too angry.
It's not paranoid. It's a result of having to listen to someone attack my profession for weeks on end now while having to listen to the same old remarks about how misguided philosophy my profession is, when Jeeprs knows very little about it anyway. You would be upset, too, if someone insisted on continually attacking what you love to do for a living. Of course I take it personally!
I salute Jeeprs for having the guts to present something. I would say that his theory might be called metaphysical, but I like the word "metaphysics." And I contend that physics rests on an implicit metaphysics to begin with. Metaphysics includes ontology, and we are all living with a more or less implicit ontology. Personally, I say shine some light on it. Let us see what it is we think. Let us discover our perhaps unconscious axioms. And let's meet as friends, as far as is possible, to do it. Because unfriendly conversation is generally a waste. It ups stress levels, kicks us in to our uglier modes.