What is Truth made of?

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mickalos
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 02:48 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;111175 wrote:
Ok, then, I'll provide an argument. THC. Drugs change perception. So do concussions. Reality is quite obviously mediated.


Certainly, one might hallucinate in certain circumstances, but how does it follow that reality is mediated? It seems to me to rest on the completely unfounded assumption that hallucinations are of the same nature as veridical perceptual experience: when we hallucinate we are not experiencing material objects, what happens when we perceive is identical to what happens when we hallucinate, therefore when we perceive we do not experience material objects. First of all, I would dispute that hallucinations are qualitatively indistinguishable from genuine perceptions. It is an important indication of this that we have a meaningful word that isn't perception that describes hallucinations. If hallucinations were not different from perceptual experience then the word 'hallucination' would be applicable to all experiences. Certainly, if you were to ask anybody with any experience of drugs whether they were undergoing some kind of drug induced hallucination, he might answer "No, I'm not high". You can tell the difference between a drug induced hallucination (and I suspect all hallucinations, dreams, etc.) just as you might tell the difference between drunkenness and sobriety.

Nevertheless, let's assume that there are some hallucinations that are qualitatively indistinguishable from genuine perception, does that mean the two are identical? That is, 'of the same nature'? Clearly not. The reflection of an object in a mirror, or its projection on a TV screen might be indistinguishable from looking at the object, but we are seeing very different things in both cases. Similarly, if you tell me that lager and ale are not the same thing, does it follow that I will never be able to tell the difference (without unreasonable information gathering demands)? In short, hallucinations are not the same as perceptions.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 02:59 pm
@mickalos,
mickalos;111315 wrote:
Certainly, one might hallucinate in certain circumstances, but how does it follow that reality is mediated? It seems to me to rest on the completely unfounded assumption that hallucinations are of the same nature as veridical perceptual experience: when we hallucinate we are not experiencing material objects, what happens when we perceive is identical to what happens when we hallucinate, therefore when we perceive we do not experience material objects.


What you mean by material objects sounds exactly like noumenon, things-in-themselves. I don't just mean hallucinations but the subtle differences in perception that drugs cause. Reality is obviously mediated, in my opinion. We only see and hear certain frequencies of vibrations. The subjective experience of pitch and color is presumably not already there. Look at the world with one eye closed and you lose your depth perception.
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 04:01 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;111198 wrote:
If by "perception is all of reality" you mean that only what we can perceive exists, I don't believe that, since I believe that there are quanta, and that they are not perceivable. But I hope that does not imply that I have to believe that there is a TII. Of course, drugs change perception. But since we can see reality when we are not drugged (at least some of us can) it does not follow that reality is always mediated. The experience of animals is different from that of people. But why does that mean that what is being experienced is different? It doesn't. You really have to start to distinguish between the experience, and what is experienced. Otherwise you will keep making the same mistake of confusing them.

I don't believe that, since I believe that... What does existence mean to you if it is not a part of the world of sense...Justice does not exist, and freedom does not exist... That much is certain...What about gravity waves??If they are presumed to exist on the certain knowledge of what does exist, then perhaps they do; but what should anyone seeking knowledge choose to believe???...Belief is that condition we all hope to escape, and philosophy is our door...
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 04:23 pm
@mickalos,
mickalos;111315 wrote:
In short, hallucinations are not the same as perceptions.


It's exactly by means of the concept of noumenon or things-in-themselves or objective reality, that we distinguish between hallucinations and perceptions. The correspondence theory of truth is founded on things-in-themselves. If you are experiencing a real moon and not a hallucination, this is to say that there is something outside your perception that corresponds to it.

It seems that the word "veridical" (in the context of your post) implies a correspondence theory of truth. It seems that truth-as-correspondence demands a concept like noumena, or things-in-themselves, which for me are equivalent to material objects.

Pragmatism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hilary Putnam suggests that the reconciliation of antiskepticism and fallibilism is the central goal of American pragmatism. Although all human knowledge is partial, with no ability to take a 'God's-eye-view,' this does not necessitate a globalized skeptical attitude. Peirce insisted that contrary to Descartes' famous and influential methodology in the Meditations on First Philosophy, doubt cannot be feigned or created for the purpose of conducting philosophical inquiry. Doubt, like belief, requires justification. It arises from confrontation with some specific recalcitrant matter of fact (which Dewey called a 'situation'), which unsettles our belief in some specific proposition. Inquiry is then the rationally self-controlled process of attempting to return to a settled state of belief about the matter. Note that anti-skepticism is a reaction to modern academic skepticism in the wake of Descartes. The pragmatist insistence that all knowledge is tentative is actually quite congenial to the older skeptical tradition.
 
prothero
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 07:59 pm
@Reconstructo,
[QUOTE=mickalos;111168] but either way we know nothing of the object 'in itself'. .[/QUOTE] It that what Kant was saying? That we know nothing of the TII? Or that we only know what our senses or our instruments can perceive? That the TII always has or may have properties that we can not perceive or be aware of because of the limits of our perceptive tools?
[QUOTE=Reconstructo;111171]Kant on things-in-themselves. [/QUOTE]
Reconstructo;111171 wrote:

"...though we cannot know these objects as things in themselves, we must yet be in a position at least to think them as things in themselves; otherwise we should be landed in the absurd conclusion that there can be appearance without anything that appears." .
I would interpret this to mean that our "knowledge" of reality is always partial and incomplete. That what we know is a synthesis of our mental construction and those properties of the TII that we are able to detect with our senses or with our instruments. What do you think?

[QUOTE=Reconstructo;111338]It's exactly by means of the concept of noumenon or things-in-themselves or objective reality, that we distinguish between hallucinations and perceptions. The correspondence theory of truth is founded on things-in-themselves. If you are experiencing a real moon and not a hallucination, this is to say that there is something outside your perception that corresponds to it. [/QUOTE]
Reconstructo;111338 wrote:


The pragmatist insistence that all knowledge is tentative is actually quite congenial to the older skeptical tradition.
Locke distinguished between primary qualities of an object (weight, volume, etc) and secondary qualities (qualia) of an object (color, taste, etc). Which may be of some use in deciding which properties the object itself has and which properties are the result of sensory processing.

I do not take Kant's message to be that we can not have any knowledge of the TII only that what knowledge we do have is both processed (indirect) knowledge and partial and incomplete knowledge. For me it is a warning about the claims of science to be the sole arbitrator of being, real and exists. Our knowledge of reality is partial and incomplete.
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 09:23 pm
@Reconstructo,
No definition is ever complete, so no knowledge of any finite object is ever complete...As soon as we begin to classify, to define, recognize the form or object in the phenomena, we have our idea...Being precedes meaning...Ideas are meanings, but without a recognition of the meaning of a certain phenomena, we cannot see it...It is not distinct in our minds so it recedes into its back ground...

I was reading a bit from Schopenhaur today, and he made a statement that all animals form an idea of the objects of their reality, but that only humans form abstract ideas.(My paraphrase)..By abstractions I would take all moral forms, since they are not tangible, or sensible; but only exist as ideas out of a need...Virtue cannot be shown to exist, but is thought to exist, or it exists out of our thoughts because we recognize it as a moral quality essential to the health and well being of our society...
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 11:33 pm
@prothero,
prothero;111407 wrote:
It that what Kant was saying? That we know nothing of the TII? Or that we only know what our senses or our instruments can perceive? That the TII always has or may have properties that we can not perceive or be aware of because of the limits of our perceptive tools?
I would interpret this to mean that our "knowledge" of reality is always partial and incomplete. That what we know is a synthesis of our mental construction and those properties of the TII that we are able to detect with our senses or with our instruments. What do you think?
.

Well, I think that whatever we perceive he would call phenomena, and he would differentiate these phenomena from noumena(TII). For me, then noumena must remain conceptual, never to be experienced except as the concept of mind-independent reality. I would say the Kant assumes these are the co-cause of perception (the other cause being our structuring mind.) I would say this is related but different to Locke's primary qualities.

---------- Post added 12-15-2009 at 12:35 AM ----------

prothero;111407 wrote:

I would interpret this to mean that our "knowledge" of reality is always partial and incomplete. That what we know is a synthesis of our mental construction and those properties of the TII that we are able to detect with our senses or with our instruments. What do you think?


I agree. It only makes sense. Anything else is too naive on the side of realism or idealism, in my opinion.

---------- Post added 12-15-2009 at 12:39 AM ----------

prothero;111407 wrote:

Locke distinguished between primary qualities of an object (weight, volume, etc) and secondary qualities (qualia) of an object (color, taste, etc). Which may be of some use in deciding which properties the object itself has and which properties are the result of sensory processing.

I always felt there was a relationship between Locke's primary qualities and Kant's TII. I feel there are some differences though. If I understand Kant correctly, time and space are applied by the structure of the mind. This would make noumena less predictable than primary qualities. But Locke's view is more reasonable in the pragmatist sense I think. I also don't think the mind creates space, even if it creates the qualia of the experience of space. Still, Kant laid some great groundwork.

---------- Post added 12-15-2009 at 12:41 AM ----------

Fido;111423 wrote:
..Virtue cannot be shown to exist, but is thought to exist, or it exists out of our thoughts because we recognize it as a moral quality essential to the health and well being of our society...


I agree. Reason is not the foundation of morality, but rather its tool.
 
 

 
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