# The Real is Rational

Extrain

Wed 21 Apr, 2010 10:08 pm
@Fido,
Fido;155079 wrote:
If you think the word has meaning but the object the word points to has no meaning, you are nuts...

This has already been adressed. Stop equivocating language. Physical objects don't have "linguistic meaning." Only words do. Period.

"Meaning" in the sense that you're talking about is what we call "significance," "value," or "purpose." The "mountain" *means* for Longknowledge, "home," and for Kennethamy, "Oh, damn, another hill I have to climb..." But neither "home" nor "Oh, damn, another hill I have to climb," is the linguistic meaning of the word "mountain."

Gold has value, life has value, knowledge, friendship, and happiness have value.

---------- Post added 04-21-2010 at 10:17 PM ----------

Reconstructo;155074 wrote:
To say that the map is not the territory is actually, in my view, idealism.

Then you're wrong. Idealism is the view that the map just is the territory. Read your Berkeley. His conflating the map with the territory is precisely why Berkeley is well-known for having such a hard time accounting for error. If there is no territory, but just the map, or the map is identical to the territory, then there is no way the map can ever be incorrect, since that's all there is.

Quote:
Whereas to equate the map and the territory is to transcend that same idealism. Kant --> Hegel

No one knows what that means except you.

Your continued failure to correctly express the differences between Berkeley, Kant, and Hegel shows you don't understand any of them at all.

longknowledge

Thu 22 Apr, 2010 12:25 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;155112 wrote:
The human real is clearly "rational" if by "rational" one means infused with an intelligible dynamic structure.

The "real" is only "rational" when we interpret it using a "rational" structure. Otherwise it just "is". When we encounter a phenomenon that we do not understand, i.e., we can't fit it into any structure that we know, that phenomenon is not "rational" for us. But the phenomenon is still real for us. It exists in our life, which is the "radical reality."

:flowers:

kennethamy

Thu 22 Apr, 2010 06:52 am
@longknowledge,
longknowledge;155150 wrote:
The "real" is only "rational" when we interpret it using a "rational" structure. Otherwise it just "is". When we encounter a phenomenon that we do not understand, i.e., we can't fit it into any structure that we know, that phenomenon is not "rational" for us. But the phenomenon is still real for us. It exists in our life, which is the "radical reality."

:flowers:

I wonder how, with all those words between inverted commas, I can know whether what you mean is what I mean when I read what you write.

Fido

Thu 22 Apr, 2010 08:41 am
@Extrain,
Extrain;155121 wrote:
This has already been adressed. Stop equivocating language. Physical objects don't have "linguistic meaning." Only words do. Period.

"Meaning" in the sense that you're talking about is what we call "significance," "value," or "purpose." The "mountain" *means* for Longknowledge, "home," and for Kennethamy, "Oh, damn, another hill I have to climb..." But neither "home" nor "Oh, damn, another hill I have to climb," is the linguistic meaning of the word "mountain."

Gold has value, life has value, knowledge, friendship, and happiness have value.

-

And I never once used the term linguistic meaning because it is a mental culldesac, as you prove... Words are meaningless without the people who use them or the objects they represent...Period... In addition, to say something meaningful one must have more than one word, and often many, many words; so it may be argued that it is not the word, or even all the words that have meaning, but the whole shared culture that makes communication at all possible that has meaning.... Of the qualities listed above as having value, only one truly has value, and that is life, for people will trade all the others as worthless to have life... What is gold to men when they are dead??? Life is the ultimate form of relationship, and it is all meaning, a store house of meaning, and yes, value....

Yet, words may be said to have value, and meaning; but what is their value when they are not used, used wrongly, or used to injure??? They have a use value, and an exchange value; but ultimately their value is not a thing apart from those who use them... They are a form of relationship, a simple form that people relate through, and in the case of some people it is cant, meaningless babble that gets them no closer to their ultimate objective...

Signs have significance, and some times words work as signs because they represent... But they do not work as symbols do, directly the way a cross might represent the tree of life for one, or the tree of death for another...It is only because every word is a concept that they have meaning... We do not have the thing in itself, which has both meaning and being...With our concepts we try to capture a bit of knowledge about things, about reality, and what we try to capture is the meaning...

What would you say about some word like justice, or virtue??? Do you think only the word has meaning, and that when people die for justice or virtue, or, more commonly, die for the want of these qualities that they are dying for a word??? You understand nothing if you think that...It is not the words that have meanings...They have definitions, and what they represent has meaning to people, or they are meaningless....

---------- Post added 04-22-2010 at 10:49 AM ----------

longknowledge;155150 wrote:
The "real" is only "rational" when we interpret it using a "rational" structure. Otherwise it just "is". When we encounter a phenomenon that we do not understand, i.e., we can't fit it into any structure that we know, that phenomenon is not "rational" for us. But the phenomenon is still real for us. It exists in our life, which is the "radical reality."

:flowers:

Quite correct... When we understand nature, nature begins to act rationally...

It is wrong to think of phenomenon as real... Each is a singular event that cannot begin to be grasped until it can be identified as distinct in space or time, and identity is the first step in forming a concept of it, and with that it may be classified...The most basic logic is the syllogism, and that is all about identification... What qualities does the thing have, and how may it be classed...To say a thing is real, we must know it as a finite object, of which we may make a judgement, which is knowledge, that the thing has a certain meaning of which we may form some conception...

kennethamy

Thu 22 Apr, 2010 08:52 am
@Fido,
Fido;155221 wrote:
. Words are meaningless without the people who use them or the objects they represent...Period... .

Question mark.

If that were true, then what about words that: 1. Do not represent objects like, "although", "when", "the', and, "etc."? And 2. Words whose objects do not exist, like "unicorn", "mermaid", and so on? Is "although" meaningless? Is "mermaid" meaningless? When the World Trade Center was destroyed, was the meaning of the term, "The World Trade Center" also destroyed?

What are your replies to these questions?

Fido

Thu 22 Apr, 2010 09:25 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;155223 wrote:
Question mark.

If that were true, then what about words that: 1. Do not represent objects like, "although", "when", "the', and, "etc."? And 2. Words whose objects do not exist, like "unicorn", "mermaid", and so on? Is "although" meaningless? Is "mermaid" meaningless? When the World Trade Center was destroyed, was the meaning of the term, "The World Trade Center" also destroyed?

What are your replies to these questions?

Do you not agree with me in saying the words do not have meaning if you give me words having no meaning out of place in the whole structure of language as a cultural form??? Mermaids and unicorns are not real, so the concept of them is meaning without being, just as liberty is, or courage... While each of the moral forms has meaning, that is their only shared quality since clearly liberty has greater meaning than mermaids...Although is by itself almost meaningless, although to express complex ideas or to order them correctly, which is to say, in its place, in the structure of language as a social form, there "although" does have great meaning...

Not one thing has meaning on its own, or by its own nature... Everything that has meaning has meaning in relation to our lives which are all meaning... Now, it is fine to talk of things as more meaningful, as more valueable or more important... Why they have value, or meaning is the essential knowledge of them in relation to our individual lives, and ultimately to the life of humanity...

kennethamy

Thu 22 Apr, 2010 10:20 am
@Fido,
Fido;155226 wrote:
Mermaids and unicorns are not real, so the concept of them is meaning without being,

Exactly, so if "mermaid" has meaning, but there are no mermaids, then it follows that even if mermaids do not exist, the word "mermaid" has meaning, and so is not meaningless. And therefore, the meaning of the word "mermaid" cannot be any object it points to, since there is no such object. QED

"Logic is logic, that's all I can say". Oliver Wendell Holmes

Fido

Thu 22 Apr, 2010 11:32 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;155232 wrote:
Exactly, so if "mermaid" has meaning, but there are no mermaids, then it follows that even if mermaids do not exist, the word "mermaid" has meaning, and so is not meaningless. And therefore, the meaning of the word "mermaid" cannot be any object it points to, since there is no such object. QED

"Logic is logic, that's all I can say". Oliver Wendell Holmes

Let me try to explain this again... Nothing can be said to have meaning; not mountains nor mermaids, nor words... It is us, each of us, and the life in us that has meaning, and all things we say have meaning have meaning through us... Does logic mean??? Is it logical, rational??? Who is it rational and logical to??? Who does it have meaning to... Because the problems that confound us are not so much the meaning of tangible reality upon which many of us can agree; but on the intangibles of moral reality, the value of life, the extent of rights, the existence of God, and etc... These qualities do not have the being of a grain of sand, and yet we find them to have great meaning; and it is because we find them essential to our lives, our sense of life, or our continued life...

kennethamy

Thu 22 Apr, 2010 11:43 am
@Fido,
Fido;155241 wrote:
Let me try to explain this again... Nothing can be said to have meaning; not mountains nor mermaids, nor words... It is us, each of us, and the life in us that has meaning, and all things we say have meaning have meaning through us... Does logic mean??? Is it logical, rational??? Who is it rational and logical to??? Who does it have meaning to... Because the problems that confound us are not so much the meaning of tangible reality upon which many of us can agree; but on the intangibles of moral reality, the value of life, the extent of rights, the existence of God, and etc... These qualities do not have the being of a grain of sand, and yet we find them to have great meaning; and it is because we find them essential to our lives, our sense of life, or our continued life...

Words have meaning, and things, as you pointed out have significance to individuals. The point is that as far as words go, their meaning is one thing. But any object they refer to is a different thing. As I have shown clearly. So, meaning is one thing, and reference is a different thing. Those are the facts.

Extrain

Thu 22 Apr, 2010 02:49 pm
@Fido,
Fido;155221 wrote:
And I never once used the term linguistic meaning because it is a mental culldesac, as you prove... Words are meaningless without the people who use them or the objects they represent...Period... In addition, to say something meaningful one must have more than one word, and often many, many words; so it may be argued that it is not the word, or even all the words that have meaning, but the whole shared culture that makes communication at all possible that has meaning.... Of the qualities listed above as having value, only one truly has value, and that is life, for people will trade all the others as worthless to have life... What is gold to men when they are dead??? Life is the ultimate form of relationship, and it is all meaning, a store house of meaning, and yes, value....

Yet, words may be said to have value, and meaning; but what is their value when they are not used, used wrongly, or used to injure??? They have a use value, and an exchange value; but ultimately their value is not a thing apart from those who use them... They are a form of relationship, a simple form that people relate through, and in the case of some people it is cant, meaningless babble that gets them no closer to their ultimate objective...

Signs have significance, and some times words work as signs because they represent... But they do not work as symbols do, directly the way a cross might represent the tree of life for one, or the tree of death for another...It is only because every word is a concept that they have meaning... We do not have the thing in itself, which has both meaning and being...With our concepts we try to capture a bit of knowledge about things, about reality, and what we try to capture is the meaning...

What would you say about some word like justice, or virtue??? Do you think only the word has meaning, and that when people die for justice or virtue, or, more commonly, die for the want of these qualities that they are dying for a word??? You understand nothing if you think that...It is not the words that have meanings...They have definitions, and what they represent has meaning to people, or they are meaningless...

What "meaning"???? Stop saying "reality has meaning" without telling us what the hell you mean by that! :rolleyes: You both assert and deny the same thing at the same time. You say things don't have value or linguistic meaning in themselves, but then simultaneously contend that we try to capture "the meaning of the thing in itself," of reality, in boldfaced above. Your view is a contradiction.

Get on board and try to start making sense!

---------- Post added 04-22-2010 at 03:00 PM ----------

kennethamy;155243 wrote:
Words have meaning, and things, as you pointed out have significance to individuals. The point is that as far as words go, their meaning is one thing. But any object they refer to is a different thing. As I have shown clearly. So, meaning is one thing, and reference is a different thing. Those are the facts.

But he also says stuff like "we can't reach the thing in itself but it still has being and meaning." And then, "we try to capture with our concepts a bit of knowledge about things, about reality, and what we try to capture is the meaning," presupposing life really did have an objective meaning and purpose. I still don't know what Fido's view actually is.

This is just nonsense.

kennethamy

Thu 22 Apr, 2010 03:15 pm
@Extrain,
Extrain;155295 wrote:
What "meaning"???? Stop saying "reality has meaning" without telling us what the hell you mean by that! :rolleyes: You both assert and deny the same thing at the same time. You say things don't have value or linguistic meaning in themselves, but then simultaneously contend that we try to capture "the meaning of the thing in itself," of reality, in boldfaced above. Your view is a contradiction.

Get on board and try to start making sense!

---------- Post added 04-22-2010 at 03:00 PM ----------

But he also says stuff like "we can't reach the thing in itself but it still has being and meaning." And then, "we try to capture with our concepts a bit of knowledge about things, about reality, and what we try to capture is the meaning," presupposing life really did have an objective meaning and purpose. I still don't know what Fido's view actually is.

This is just nonsense.

I try to make sense of what he says even if it is not what he says.

Fido

Thu 22 Apr, 2010 04:15 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;155243 wrote:
Words have meaning, and things, as you pointed out have significance to individuals. The point is that as far as words go, their meaning is one thing. But any object they refer to is a different thing. As I have shown clearly. So, meaning is one thing, and reference is a different thing. Those are the facts.

In a sense, correct, since the thing is one thing, and our conception of it is something else... The idea is not the thing, and yet the idea holds the essence, which is not alone boring details, but is also meaning... And words convey this meaning as part of a concept of the thing... So, to regress, we never know a mountain except through the concept of a mountain, and there we might well say the word/name as part of the concept does have meaning, but as a sound, and a handful of letters it has no meaning except the meaning we give to it out of our own lives which are the source, and storehouse of all meaning, everywhere... If that point is settled, then consider this, that the connection between concept and what is conceived is seamless...Philosophers divide them for the sake of understanding, but were not the word, and concept of mountain true of all mountains, or a single mountain, and if it did not represent as well as refer it would be all but useless... What is the difference between you and your reflection??? You move and it moves...You grow fat and it grows fat...If you walk out of the glass so walks the reflection...Were does your image become object??? To the mind of us all, to all of our minds the concept is the thing in the most general sense because what is true of all mountains is how mountains are conceived, but what is true of a particular mountain is how particular mountains are recognized even while that mountain shares all general characteristics... We draw the line between concept and thing, and if we did not do this consciously, we would see it not...

Consider if you will the great power of words in primitive thought... The word was the thing, just as the concept is still the thing today to many if not most people...Rumplestilskin is one such story, or Isthanta the Hippo... That is why Skalds could hurt you, or rhymes were curses, and Carman, which meant song, once meant charm... Logos was one of the primitive forces, for one and all, meaning both talk and reason...Some primitives could not bring themselves to introduce themselves to strangers because they recognized the name/word, as the thing, and who can say that our ability to name, as part of conceptualization has not led to our great power... There is no question that it has...The word, for all practical purposes is the thing...

---------- Post added 04-22-2010 at 06:24 PM ----------

Extrain;155295 wrote:
What "meaning"???? Stop saying "reality has meaning" without telling us what the hell you mean by that! :rolleyes: You both assert and deny the same thing at the same time. You say things don't have value or linguistic meaning in themselves, but then simultaneously contend that we try to capture "the meaning of the thing in itself," of reality, in boldfaced above. Your view is a contradiction.

Get on board and try to start making sense!

---------- Post added 04-22-2010 at 03:00 PM ----------

But he also says stuff like "we can't reach the thing in itself but it still has being and meaning." And then, "we try to capture with our concepts a bit of knowledge about things, about reality, and what we try to capture is the meaning," presupposing life really did have an objective meaning and purpose. I still don't know what Fido's view actually is.

This is just nonsense.

Life is all meaning, and in relation to life, things have meaning.... Words as a part of concepts, the names of the reality and the concept which are identical -are used to communicate meaning...That is their purpose, and that is what they do..Words have no objective meaning, and if you do not believe me listen to Chinese...As I have, knowing not one part of it... It is not the words that have the meaning, but the objects in the form of the concepts which they communicate which have the meaning... Ultimately, life is the only meaning, and it is objective even while we experience life subjectively we know that nothing is indeed nothing without life, and everything to, so life, and the preserverence of life is the object... Life makes everything real...Life is the only reality even though it seems so unreal at times...

I equate meaning with value, but value alone does not alone equal meaning... A life boat to a drowning man may have meaning, but it is not a constant measure of importance... Instead, food may mean more than shelter one day, and shelter may mean more than food on the next...Yet all things have their value in relation to life, and we value most what is essential to life, and that means that life is the essential characteristic which allows us to find meaning..

Reconstructo

Thu 22 Apr, 2010 04:39 pm
@longknowledge,
longknowledge;155150 wrote:
The "real" is only "rational" when we interpret it using a "rational" structure. Otherwise it just "is". When we encounter a phenomenon that we do not understand, i.e., we can't fit it into any structure that we know, that phenomenon is not "rational" for us. But the phenomenon is still real for us. It exists in our life, which is the "radical reality."

:flowers:

I agree that there is something in our experience that isn't rational. But perhaps it also isn't "real" yet, for we have not processed it conceptually. Isn't "real" just one more pincer in another dichotomy? Do we tend to think in dichotomies, in bidirectional spectrums?

It may be that our most beautiful moments are irrational in the sense of not-conceptualized. I think of being half-asleep while great music plays. I think of love, wonder, etc. We are...language and something else. (?)

Extrain

Thu 22 Apr, 2010 04:50 pm
@Fido,
Fido;155319 wrote:
In a sense, correct, since the thing is one thing, and our conception of it is something else... The idea is not the thing, and yet the idea holds the essence, which is not alone boring details, but is also meaning... And words convey this meaning as part of a concept of the thing... So, to regress, we never know a mountain except through the concept of a mountain, and there we might well say the word/name as part of the concept does have meaning, but as a sound, and a handful of letters it has no meaning except the meaning we give to it out of our own lives which are the source, and storehouse of all meaning, everywhere... If that point is settled, then consider this, that the connection between concept and what is conceived is seamless...Philosophers divide them for the sake of understanding, but were not the word, and concept of mountain true of all mountains, or a single mountain, and if it did not represent as well as refer it would be all but useless... What is the difference between you and your reflection??? You move and it moves...You grow fat and it grows fat...If you walk out of the glass so walks the reflection...Were does your image become object??? To the mind of us all, to all of our minds the concept is the thing in the most general sense because what is true of all mountains is how mountains are conceived, but what is true of a particular mountain is how particular mountains are recognized even while that mountain shares all general characteristics... We draw the line between concept and thing, and if we did not do this consciously, we would see it not...

Consider if you will the great power of words in primitive thought... The word was the thing, just as the concept is still the thing today to many if not most people...Rumplestilskin is one such story, or Isthanta the Hippo... That is why Skalds could hurt you, or rhymes were curses, and Carman, which meant song, once meant charm... Logos was one of the primitive forces, for one and all, meaning both talk and reason...Some primitives could not bring themselves to introduce themselves to strangers because they recognized the name/word, as the thing, and who can say that our ability to name, as part of conceptualization has not led to our great power... There is no question that it has...The word, for all practical purposes is the thing...

---------- Post added 04-22-2010 at 06:24 PM ----------

Life is all meaning, and in relation to life, things have meaning.... Words as a part of concepts, the names of the reality and the concept which are identical -are used to communicate meaning...That is their purpose, and that is what they do..Words have no objective meaning, and if you do not believe me listen to Chinese...As I have, knowing not one part of it... It is not the words that have the meaning, but the objects in the form of the concepts which they communicate which have the meaning... Ultimately, life is the only meaning, and it is objective even while we experience life subjectively we know that nothing is indeed nothing without life, and everything to, so life, and the preserverence of life is the object... Life makes everything real...Life is the only reality even though it seems so unreal at times...

I equate meaning with value, but value alone does not alone equal meaning... A life boat to a drowning man may have meaning, but it is not a constant measure of importance... Instead, food may mean more than shelter one day, and shelter may mean more than food on the next...Yet all things have their value in relation to life, and we value most what is essential to life, and that means that life is the essential characteristic which allows us to find meaning..

whatever. word salad. there's nothing illuminating here.

Reconstructo

Thu 22 Apr, 2010 05:04 pm
@Reconstructo,
For those who haven't realized it, this is all just poetry. It's not going to mow your lawn. Much of philosophy has always been just that. I like Rorty on the matter. He called himself, and others who work with such problems, "rather fussy." He said this in one of his last interviews. He said he regretted not reading more poetry, not having closer friendships.

I suppose I rate the engineer so far above the philosopher in practical matters that I'm surprised at the notion of a "professional" philosopher. The more useful philosophy pretends to be, the more sterile it tends to appear. We already have linguistics, psychology, sociology, politics, physics, etc. If the philosopher is not providing something more general, or something prior...what is he really doing?

This is another reason that I've never felt impressed by philosophy degrees, etc., as the humanities have always been a pleasure for yours truly. A man earns my respect by the words he uses, not by the hoops he has jumped through, perhaps because he needed the approval of others in the first place. The sciences, on the other hand, are tough. Build the first airplane that works, and you have transcended rhetoric.

I can't help but think of Socrates. Philosophy attracted young me as a game for the loner, as a place for those who could think differently. My heart out goes out to explorers, artists, inventors, poets, etc.

Fido

Thu 22 Apr, 2010 05:30 pm
@Extrain,
Extrain;155348 wrote:
whatever. word salad. there's nothing illuminating here.

If it is salad, then eat it...I am sure it will be good for you, Mr. Philosopher...

kennethamy

Thu 22 Apr, 2010 05:45 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;155352 wrote:
For those who haven't realized it, this is all just poetry. It's not going to mow your lawn.ral, or something prior...what is he really doing?

You seem to think that there are but two alternatives: poetry, or mowing the lawn. Again, the black or white fallacy.

Reconstructo

Thu 22 Apr, 2010 06:03 pm
@Reconstructo,
Ah, why waste electricity on the blind? Why waste music on the deaf? But what else have they to do, these little ones, than follow after the positive? Those who actually assert/suggest/explore?

If they start a thread, it must be negative. If they join a thread, it must be negative. To see someone enjoy philosophy must simply enrage them. And yet philosophy is so impractical. What do they accomplish? Are they saving Western Civilization? How can they have time? If they haunt philosophy forums, of all places?

Fantasies of significance. Sir Retorts-a-lot versus Reconstructo the Dragon of Word Salad. Oh yes, boys, I'm going to break the world over my knee with my word-salad, that incidentally happens to be old news. Teacher told you it was bad, I know. I'm sure you have a nice little collection of all the right books, the books approved of by your chatty little social groups that mean nothing to the "big boy" world you pretend to speak for. A worldly man ignores philosophers as the useless poets they are these days. The question remains: why do they sweat me, these...dangerous minds?

kennethamy

Thu 22 Apr, 2010 06:10 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;155396 wrote:
Ah, why waste electricity on the blind? Why waste music on the deaf? But what else have they to do, these little ones, than follow after the positive? Those who actually assert/suggest/explore?

If they start a thread, it must be negative. If they join a thread, it must be negative. To see someone enjoy philosophy must simply enrage them. And yet philosophy is so impractical. What do they accomplish? Are they saving Western Civilization? How can they have time? If they haunt philosophy forums, of all places?

Fantasies of significance. Sir Retorts-a-lot versus Reconstructo the Dragon of Word Salad. Oh yes, boys, I'm going to break the world over my knee with my word-salad, that incidentally happens to be old news. Teacher told you it was bad, I know. I'm sure you have a nice little collection of all the right books, the books approved of by your chatty little social groups that mean nothing to the "big boy" world you pretend to speak for. A worldly man ignores philosophers as the useless poets they are these days. The question remains: why do they sweat me, these...dangerous minds?

Is your name "Elijah" by any chance? You are starting to sound biblical. But, you know how it is. The prophet hath no honor in his own country.

prothero

Thu 22 Apr, 2010 09:13 pm
@Reconstructo,
"The real is rational"
Yes, of course. Which is why we can discover the "laws" of nature and express them in mathematical form. It also implies IMHO that there is a rational and creative agency behind the "real" which I suppose implies some form of mind or intelligence inherent in nature.
Imagine a world in which the real was not rational?