You said that you have been taking my words at face value.
Then you subsequently agreed with me that words have no face value?
No! I never said "words don't have face value." Of course they do. Do you not know the difference between a person's intentions, context, phonetics, implicature, and the literal meanings of words? They don't always match. You need to read Grice on Conversational Implicature and Context. There was no context from which to determine what the hell you were implying from the literal meanings of your words. And I still
can't determine your intended meaning half the time.
My intentions matched what I said. It was me expressing my intention, so my words could not have been expressing anything besides my intentions. You failed to grasp the meaning of what I was saying based on my choice of words, but my words still meant what they intended.
So you really intend to mean dogs are not conscious because they don't have language? Ok, but that's false. Dogs ARE conscious.
Again, the meaning which words bring is not created by the words themselves, but by the context in which the words are used. Meaning isn't reducible to words, because words by themselves are meaningless.
Ibid above. There are different layers of meaning, and what context, syntax, speaker intention do to determine implied meanings and reference. This is all part of language. "You" means the same thing across all contexts and speaker intentions, but it doesn't always refer to the same thing or same set of people. "Bachelor" means the same thing across all contexts, and never
not means "unmarried adult male"--unless a linguistic community chooses to decide otherwise. There exist core literal meanings of words, and the additional meanings suggested by these other factors.
Once again, meaning isn't created by the individual words themselves, but by the context in which the words are used.
When did I ever say "meaning is created by words themselves"? sheesh!
You took my words out of context, and tried to understand them one sentence at a time. I was conveying a point that needed the whole paragraph, not just each individual sentence, to explain.
THEN GIVE ME AN EXAMPLE! Stop accusing me of things I never did!
How can "reality" be experienced other than linguistically?
A dog an myself can both experience the same event of a post-man beating us with a stick even though the dog does not have language. What do you not understand??
"Reality" is an experience that is processed linguistically and experienced as an already constituted setting.
Has a dog ever told you he is experiencing reality?
So what? It is more likely the dog is conscious than not.
It seems it is you who is jumping to conclusions about that which can't be proven.
It is not "jumping to conclusions." It is perfectly rational to think a dog is conscious and can experience the same kind of event that I do of the post-man beating us.
What each individual subject considers reality is only reality insofar as the subject experiences it.
This is partially true. A subect experiences reality only insofar as he experiences reality. But it does not follow that reality just is his experience of reality.
We each experience reality, and we can know that we each experience it because of inter-subjective communication. Dogs do not communicate as we do, so we can not be sure what they do or do not experience.
But have more reason to think a dog can experience the post man beating him, than not experience the post man beating him.
What do the differing detailed idiosyncracies of each private experience of the same event have to do with anything here? Just because my dog experiences the post man beating him in his own "doggy kind of way" doesn't mean he is not conscious, or doesn't feel pain like I do, or that we cannot experience the same event of the same individual postman beating us at the same time.
Do I believe dogs experience the reality we do? Maybe, but I can't jump to the conclusion that I am certain they do, because inter-subjective reality is the only reality we know. It is not private only because of language.
What's your point? There's more reason to believe a dog can
experience the exact same event that I do.
Can you be certain that reality is shared between the higher and lower species? Our reality is constituted linguistically as a way to come to terms with differences in perception. What we perceive is simply what we perceive, and we can only describe what we perceive linguistically. If another subject is unable to describe his experience to me, how can you be sure he is experiencing the same reality? Again, that seems to be an unsupported assumption on your part.
It doesn't matter. You are just defining "reality" as "a subject's experience in all it's idiosyncratic detail." But I don't care. I define reality as "what is, in fact, the case."
"Object X" is nothing more than what "object X" means in the context that it is presented.
"Object X" means "Object X."
But it is false that "Object X" means the object denoted by "Object X." You are confusing the referent of a word with the meaning of the word itself. You need to study theories of reference and meaning--Russell, Frege, Kripke, Searle, etc.
To countenance otherwise is to think physical objects have linguistic meanings, which is absurd. No one predicates linguistic meanings to physical objects except you, because you just think experiences
of objects are identical to the objects
of experience. But this is false. The post-man himself is not my perception of the post-man. My perception is of the post-man, just as the dogs perception is the same postman. There are not two post mans. This is absurd.
Ex. My experience of this thread becomes tied into your experience of this thread only when we inter-subjectively grasp the fact that we are in fact both discussing the same thread.
This is trivially true.
If we were unable to do this, the thread would in fact be two different threads to the both of us.
This is doesn't follow from the true premise above. So again, your argument is invalid. You are deriving Idealism as a Robust Metaphysical Thesis from a trivially true epistemic premise.
The concept of grasping the same object is what it means to be perceiving the same thing.
That's right. But it doesn't follow that jsut because inter-subjective communication fails between us that there are two threads. There is still only one.
As far as I experience, a dog has no concept of sameness of differentness, or even thingness for that matter, and until he conveys that he does, it is an assumption to say that what the dog experiences is the same as what I am experiencing.
All of this invalid.
Dogs don't have concepts. But dogs still possess "how to" knowledge. It is just like the memory of riding a bike. The learned how-to memory in the dogs neurons helps him recognize sameness and distinctions. obviously.
Our individual biological and historical differences dictate what we perceive and how it is perceived.
You still fail to make distinctions because you're an incredibly sloppy thinker. Try adopting a little clarity into your thoughts before you draw conclusions. Biological and historical differences only sometimes dictate how and what we perceive. What and how we perceive is a result of a cooperative interplay between neurological faculties, cultural upbringing, and the world as is it is independent of cultural/biological/neuronal factors.
If humans had eyes on the sides of their heads, we would all have a very different concept of what constitutes reality.
I seriously doubt it.
Therefore, when people talk about reality, what they are really talking about is how they experience reality.
You need concrete cases to illustrate your abstract philosophizing....I am not convinced by anything that you say.
Many times, however, people just assume every subject experiences reality the same, which is a lapse in judgment.
They do?? Wow! People must be really stupid!
NO ONE thinks this. You are knocking down a strawman. Everyone understands each individual experience has its own idiosyncratic pieces that are different than other people's experiences. But these differences doesn't entail people can't have the same kinds of experiences, or that people can't have perceptions of the same object.
How can any "reality" exist that isn't subjectively constituted? Only subjects experience reality, so doesn't that entail that any "reality" is subjective at its foundation?
You are just drawing metaphysical conclusions from epistemic premises. Your argument is tautologous if you mean one thing, and invalid if you mean another.
(1) "reality is subjectively constituted"
(2) Therefore, "reality is subjective at its foundation."
But (1) just begs the question whether reality is, or is not, subjectively constitued. So you are just assuming what you are trying to prove. And I don't buy it for one second.
(1) "reality is reality"
(2) "Only subjects experience reality"
(3) Therefore, "reality is subjective at its foundation."
But this argument is invalid. (1) and (2) are true. But (3) does not follow. And I personally think (3) is false.
Subjective doesn't necessarily mean isolated and disconnected. The only reason people assume this is because of the object-subject dichotomy myth created by Descartes' dualism. Reality can be subjective and still influenced by other subjects. Idealism can be transcendent, and when it is it allows for inter-subjectivity to create objectivity through communication.
This makes no sense to me. You need examples. You need an argument. You need to articulate more clearly what you are saying. You need to offer definitions for your choice words such as "reality." My definition is "the objective world existing independent of my own subjective experiences of it." We are not communicating.
What is objectivity outside of subjectivity?
It is not the position of the phenomenologist that objectivity doesn't exist, just not the way many people assume it does today. We reach objective truth through inter-subjective dialogue, and if there was not this inter-subjectivity, then yes, no objectivity could possibly exist. Objective reality is what is inter-subjectively experienced.
For a thing to be real, it has to be experienced as real.
No. Where's your proof? For the moon to really exist I have to experience it? whatever. Where's the sound argument for this claim?
Before that there is no experience of it, so it is nothing.
So the moon doesn't exist until someone looks at it? whatever. Where's the sound argument for this claim?
The experience of "reality" and the concept of "things" are human experiences.
But "reality" is literally a word. And "things" is literally a word. We don't experience words. We experience things those words denote, and we construct concepts from those experiences and interdefine these words with the help of other words. But words are invented to account for empirical experiences.
What makes things the things they are is our experience of them through our senses and through the linguistically developed reasoning skills that each of us have to conceptualize that thing.
This is false. It is true that the moon is a satellite orbiting the Earth. And this is true because the moon is, in fact, a satellite orbiting the earth. The moon is not a satellite orbiting the earth just because I've described the moon that way. It's the other way around! I describe the moon that way because the moon is, in fact, a satellite orbiting the earth!
Without this ability, the thing wouldn't be able to exist.
This is false. Where is your argument? The Moon existed before I looked at it. The moon exists in spite of my abilities. It doesn't cease to exist because someone fails to describe it certain ways.
Reality as truth is something that must be reflected upon to be understood, and until something is understood as truth I would suggest it doesn't exist by whatever subject is experiencing it.
Reality is not truth--whatever that means. Propositions about reality are either true or false depending on the actual state of affairs in reality.
So you could suggest that dogs might experience something similar to what we consider reality, but to jump to the conclusion that what they experience is reality would mean that they comprehend the concept of reality.
NO! You are strawmanning what people believe by your own carelessly and privately stipulated, ad hoc, definitions. And you continue to repeat yourself.
For phenomenologists, the only thing that knowledge is reducible to is experience, and without proper understanding of ones own experience, one cannot completely convey what is or is not real to them. If a subject isn't conveying an understanding of reality, then it is wrong to suggest that they experience reality. I would say phenomenologists are even more precise than most about their word choices because a proper description of experience is the key to any sort if truth.
I already know what phenomenologists think. So I don't care. They don't present any arguments for their premises; they just stipulate them as you have been doing.
Phenomenology evolved greatly from Brentano to Heidegger and I would suggest reading an introduction to phenomenology which distinguishes the two before reading any of them.
I am a graduate student in philosophy at one of the better philosophy departments in the nation. I have both an BA and am about to finish my MA in philosophy. I have taken several courses in the continental tradition and have written several essays on Husserl, Heidegger, Brentano, etc., etc.,...and I don't respect continental philosophy like I respect analytic philosophy because of the ambiguity and lack of precision in these philosophers' use of language.
Again, if John is experiencing a different thing than you, then they are two different things. They only become the same thing upon the inter-subjective confirmation. Your experience may be more sensibly filled by your sense experience, but to John it is a different knife. Experience constitutes reality subjectively, and only through inter-subjective experience can a more objective reality be reached.
There are two different experiences
of the knife. But it does not logically follow that there are two knives
It becomes the same knife upon confirmation. Before that there is no reason to suggest it being the same as anything else. Phenomenology is an attempt to get back to the things themselves, and by that I mean it is an attempt to rediscover the primordial experiences by which things are understood. Things are in fact what they are, and what they are is constituted linguistically.
But you just assume
experience of x=x experienced.
This is not arrived at by any arguments.
Phenomenology does not operate under the adaquation theory of truth. Truth is not what is represented exteriorly, because that would entail that many of our experiences can't be truthfully described. For a phenomenologist, there is no interior-exterior dichotomy, so all experiences are equally real, some are just more concretely presented to us than others, and thus easier to express truthfully.
You are just constructing a word salad.
"truth, experience, object, subject, real, and unreal" are very technical terms used in philosophy to express clear, well-articulated thoughts. So you need to get on board.
Wittgenstein was not a phenomenologist per se, that is correct, but his later works were very influential on the movement. He expressed great frustration that his earlier works were greatly mis-interpreted by many positivists that had read Tractatus. It is not a coincidence that his later work took such a sharp turn towards transcendent idealism, and it seems to me to be closer to his position all along.
I happen to be a subscriber to Kantian Transcendental Idealism. But Transendental Idealism is not Metaphysical Idealism. Read my analysis of Kantian and Berkelian Texts side by side in "Berkeley's Dialogues As it is" thread on this forum. It got shut down because some moron thought Berkely and Kant said the same thing and continued to abuse the two philosophers.
In any case, my opinion is that the phenomenologists have perverted transcendental idealism into a form that too much resembles Berkelian Idealism. I don't have time to articulate why. But just know that's where I stand, and I don't agree with half the things you are saying.
True, he never concluded anything about metaphysics, but metaphysics will determine ones epistemology.
Well, it was the exact opposite for the logical positivists. They thought epistemic verifiability was a necessary condition for being able rationally hold a given ontology--in this case--objects of sense.
Phenomenology provides the metaphysical foundation for the Wittgensteinian linguistically focused epistemological position. Both Wittgenstein and early phenomenologist were heavily influenced by many of the same people, and all were responding to the irrational Cartesian axiom that many philosophies were working with which was inherent in modernism.
This is a hasty generalization. I don't agree. You need to make distinctions instead of wide comparisons. Every person's philosophical position is going to overlap with someone else's. But that doesn't entail similarities are evidence that they held the same view.
I suggest reading Wittgenstein and Phenomenology: A Comparative Study of the Later Wittgenstein, Husserl, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty by Nicholas F. Grier. He does a fine job of rationally connecting it all together in a very concise manner.
When I have time.
But they are the same thing. The "mind-independent" reality is in fact dependent upon the mind which perceives it.
No it isn't. You just stipulate that it is. The burden of proof is no more on me than you. I just don't understand why your idealism has to be the default position. I haven't yet seen any good arguments for Idealism throughout the entire Western Tradition. And Transcendental Idealism, if it is articulated correctly, is not the same as Metaphysical Idealism which is what you are proposing. You need to pay attention to Kantian Scholars such as Longuenesse, Guyer, Strawson, and Hanna (who is my very own professor and friend).
Check out Hanna's entry in Stanford. Kant's Theory of Judgment (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Also Check out Perebome's entry Kant's Transcendental Arguments (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Again, the only knowledge we can have is of that which can be perceived.
No, this is not the only knowledge I can have. I can have knowledge that Quito is the capital of Ecuador even though I have never been there. I know this through inferences, empirical and logical probabilities, eye-witness testimonies, etc.
I can also have a priori knowledge that 2+2=4 is necessarily true, without having perceived numbers. It is true independent of a posteriori perception, and is not dependent on it. All emprical truths are contingent and could have been otherwise; all mathematical truths are necessary and could not be otherwise.
We form judgments within our already constituted world, and to try to suggest that whatever exists within this world is constituted separately from it is a fallacy supported only by modern philosophers.
I don't see the fallacy at all.