I think I have found the truth

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Lost1 phil
 
Reply Sun 18 Apr, 2010 04:35 pm
@Doorsopen,
Doorsopen;153282 wrote:
..., unconscious example of the relationship between perception and reality.

Your belief, which forms your perception, is made manifest in your expression of that belief.

I contend that one absolute reality exists. Our experience is determined by our belief, and subsequent perception, of this reality. Although perception informs our experience of reality, reality is unalterable.

We are responsible for distinguishing between perception and consciousness. Reality is not an illusion of consciousness, it is the manifestation of consciousness; and being of consciousness, only consciousness can alter reality.


Reality has no need for anyone's believe, consciousness, and can not be altered. That which can be altered can not be reality, according to your own words..."one absoute reality exists."

Please feel free to clear up this contradiction.

Lost1
 
Extrain
 
Reply Sun 18 Apr, 2010 08:29 pm
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;153669 wrote:
You took each sentence I wrote out of the context I was saying them in and created a straw man argument which has nothing to do with the point I was attempting to convey. You are proving my point by arguing against things which I never said.I am trying to convey something other than what you believe I am trying to convey using words which you feel have one concrete meaning.


haha...that has to be the funniest thing I've ever heard. It doesn't work that way at all. You just begged the question on your own behalf. I am not a "mind-reader." If you intend to mean something differently than the conventional meanings people normally associate with those words, then you are not communicating. The purpose of language is to communicate based on a mutually decided-upon set of shared meanings. And if you defy conventional meaning, both in practice and as a general thesis you are trying to prove by using language differently than most people are using it in order to convey the very point that no word has any fixed meaning, then you are just being an a**.

Consequently, I am wasting my time talking to someone who decides to give his own private meanings to any word he chooses. As Witt- said, "there is no such thing as a private language."

---------- Post added 04-18-2010 at 08:45 PM ----------

kennethamy;153672 wrote:
I don't think that Mill believe "Dartmouth" had a meaning. I don't think he believed that proper names had meanings, so I don't think he confused meaning with reference in the case of proper names.


Well, this could just be an interpretive dispute about what Mill actually said, then. So I will just leave it at that.

But suffice it to say, the "Millian Naive Theory of Proper Names" is typically seen as having been first ariculated by Mill--which says, the meaning of a proper name just is its referent. There is a close tie with this "naive theory" and what Saul Kripke later had to say about the rigid designation of singular terms, however....so maybe I shouldn't open up that can of worms:).
 
MMP2506
 
Reply Sun 18 Apr, 2010 09:08 pm
@Extrain,
Extrain;153813 wrote:
haha...that has to be the funniest thing I've ever heard. It doesn't work that way at all. You just begged the question on your own behalf. I am not a "mind-reader." If you intend to mean something differently than the conventional meanings people normally associate with those words, then you are not communicating.

The purpose of language is to communicate based on a mutually decided-upon set of shared meanings. And if you defy conventional meaning, both in practice and as a general thesis you are trying to prove by using language differently than most people are using it in order to convey the very point that no word has any fixed meaning, then you are just being an a**.

Consequently, I am wasting my time talking to someone who decides to give his own private meanings to any word he chooses. As Witt- said, "there is no such thing as a private language."


You are consistently taking my words out of context. I never said that words are private, and I never made up any meaning for any word. Meanings for words come from syntax, not the dictionary. Anything I intended to mean I expressed through my syntax, and you have failed to pick up on.

I'm sorry you consider my opinion that of an ass, but language is not a concrete reality. It is a constant flux of activity that isn't ruled by any one perspective. The beauty of the history of language is that people have used it to create new meaning that didn't exist before. If the meaning was already connected to the phonetic sound itself, then new meaning would never be created, and we would never grow as a society.

You are wasting your time, not because I am giving words my own definitions, but because you are using such narrow definitions for your words that you are failing to see the entire point which I am attempting to convey to you.

Who do you think mutually agrees upon the meaning? Meaning arises out of the syntax used between the subjects which are using that language and nowhere else. Syntax gives words meaning, that is how it becomes agreed upon, otherwise all metaphors would be nothing more than meaningless jumbles of words.

You can mis-interpret Wittgenstein along with the rest of the logical positivists if you'd like, but I will say that you are missing out on a very brilliant philosophy in the process.
 
Extrain
 
Reply Sun 18 Apr, 2010 09:31 pm
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;153820 wrote:
You are consistently taking my words out of context. I never said that words are private, and I never made up any meaning for any word. Words' meaning come from syntax, not the dictionary. Anything I intended to mean I expressed through my syntax, and you have failed to pick up on.

I'm sorry you consider my opinion that of an ass, but language is not a concrete reality. It is a constant flux of activity that isn't ruled by any one perspective. The beauty of the history of language is that people have used it to create new meaning that didn't exist before. If the meaning was already connected to the phonetic sound itself, then new meaning would never be created, and we would never grow as a society.

You are wasting your time, not because I am giving words my own definitions, but because you are using such narrow definitions for your words that you are failing to see the entire point which I am attempting to convey to you.

Who do you think mutually agrees upon the meaning? Meaning arises out of the syntax used between the subjects which are using that language and nowhere else. Syntax gives words meaning, that is how it becomes agreed upon, otherwise all metaphors would be nothing less than a meaningless jumble of words.

You can mis-interpret Wittgenstein along with the rest of the logical positivists if you'd like, but I will say that you are missing out on a very brilliant philosophy in the process.


None of this is my problem. You need to be more careful about how you use the English language. Your own intended meaning is not the same as literal meaning of the words you used. There is no "context" I am ignoring, here. I am just taking the meanings of your words at face value. So it's not my responsibility to interpret your "implied" meanings--whatever they are. So here is my critque of your post again, which I made more explicit:

MMP2506;153293 wrote:
The use of syntax itself has been defiled and people have come under the illusion that the use of language is a secondary effect of consciousness, when it is my belief that language is necessary for consciousness to occur.


You say, "language is a necessary for consciousness to occur."
Dogs do not have language.
Therefore, Dogs are not consious.

MMP2506;153293 wrote:
Words cannot be made to mean one thing or the other.


Yes they can--that is exactly the purpose of having a common language. "Bachelor" means "unmarried adult male," and English language users have stipulate that this is so.

MMP2506;153293 wrote:
Words must represent what is being expressed subjectively and then the meaning of the words must be agreed upon inter-subjectively.


You say:

(1) "Words cannot be made to mean one thing."
(2) "The meaning of the words must be agreed upon inter-subjectively."

If (2) is true, then words can be made to mean one thing, just as "Bachelor" means "unmarried adult male."

So if (2) is true, then (1) is false, and vice versa.

So (1) and (2) are contradictory.

MMP2506;153293 wrote:
Many are under the assumption today that all words are forced to have one concrete meaning, and all people use words the same way.


People use words different ways, for sure, and the intended, or implied, meaning is often suggested by context, syntax, phonetics, and attitudes.

But words have accepted conventional meanings in and of themselves. So people can mistakenly think the word means one thing rather than another. If my boss says quite angrily, "You're fired!"--he means that I no longer work for him. If I thought my boss meant, "Go get me a beer" I would be clearly mistaken.

MMP2506;153293 wrote:
Reality is only realized once it can be talked about, therefore I wouldn't consider what trees and many animals experience reality.


What on earth do you mean by "reality is realized"??

Of course animals experience reality. Surely, my dog doesn't need a language to perceive reality. A dog does not have self-reflective conceptual capacities needed to form judgments--this is true--but this doesn't entail that he doesn't consciously experience the world as it is.

MMP2506;153293 wrote:
To say that one reality exists is to imply that their is some one perspective that is always watching everything everywhere.


No it doesn't "imply" this. Why would it?

How does "one perspective see everything"? Creatures with functioning eyes see things. Perspectives don't see things. And no one creature can see everything from his own limited perspective.

MMP2506;153293 wrote:
An absolute reality may exist in some form, but since we can never reach it, it is much more functional to agree that we each experience a different reality.


What on earth do you mean by "absolute reality"?

Certainly we can have different experiences of the same object, but that doesn't entail the object just is my experience. That's why someone can be in error about what is really the case.

---------- Post added 04-18-2010 at 09:47 PM ----------

MMP2506;153820 wrote:
You can mis-interpret Wittgenstein along with the rest of the logical positivists if you'd like, but I will say that you are missing out on a very brilliant philosophy in the process.


How am I misrepresenting Wittgenstein? Accusations require proof.
 
MMP2506
 
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 11:29 am
@Extrain,
Extrain;153824 wrote:
None of this is my problem. You need to be more careful about how you use the English language. Your own intended meaning is not the same as literal meaning of the words you used. There is no "context" I am ignoring, here. I am just taking the meanings of your words at face value.


People often take words at face value, but no one person holds absolute knowledge of language. To suggest this is to suggest that language can hypothetically be a private experience.

The word itself has no "face value" because it can only express meaning within a certain context. If I just say "dog barks", then I am not conveying anything intelligible to you. If I add a "that" and create syntax by saying "that dog barks" then I gave those words meaning. Not meaning that was already there, but meaning which was created by my syntax.

Extrain;153824 wrote:
You say, "language is a necessary for consciousness to occur."
Dogs do not have language.
Therefore, Dogs are not consious.



I was using language as a vague term to denote communicable ability. Maybe I should have been a bit more explicit, but the meaning I was trying to convey is that a creature can only be as conscious of reality as his ability to communicate can take him. Reality is a subjective experience, and can only be expanded outside of ones own experience through inter-subjective communication.

Extrain;153824 wrote:

Yes they can--that is exactly the purpose of having a common language. "Bachelor" means "unmarried adult male," and English language users have stipulate that this is so.

You say:

(1) "Words cannot be made to mean one thing."
(2) "The meaning of the words must be agreed upon inter-subjectively."

If (2) is true, then words can be made to mean one thing, just as "Bachelor" means "unmarried adult male."

So if (2) is true, then (1) is false, and vice versa.

So (1) and (2) are contradictory.



Again, I should have been more explicit here, and I apologize. When I said "words cannot be made to mean one thing or the other", i meant before the word is experienced within its proper context. The meaning that is attached to the word, only is attached to the word because of the word's ability to be used within a certain context. Words don't have some magic power to create meaning on their own, however, people use words to create meaning, and then that meaning becomes attached to the word after the fact. The phonetic sound of the word is quite arbitrary, and it is only after people understand each other through syntactical dialogue that meaning is applied to the phonetic word itself.

Extrain;153824 wrote:

People use words different ways, for sure, and the intended, or implied, meaning is often suggested by context, syntax, phonetics, and attitudes.



My point exactly. There is not any one objective or absolute reality in which words exist. Words are used by subjects to express subjective experience and come to an inter subjective understanding. Reason is a public experience, but it can only be made public because of dialogue. Words don't make reason public, people make reason public by using words.

Extrain;153824 wrote:

But words have accepted conventional meanings in and of themselves. So people can mistakenly think the word means one thing rather than another. If my boss says quite angrily, "You're fired!"--he means that I no longer work for him. If I thought my boss meant, "Go get me a beer" I would be clearly mistaken.



The conventional meanings for words do not exist because of the words themselves, but how people use the words. If it was conventional to call a cat a "dog," then the word "dog" would have a different meaning. If someone is using a word one way, and it functions for them, they have the right to use the word that way. Philosophy is an attempt to use words which universalize meaning, not control it.

Extrain;153824 wrote:
What on earth do you mean by "reality is realized"??

Of course animals experience reality. Surely, my dog doesn't need a language to perceive reality. A dog does not have self-reflective conceptual capacities needed to form judgments--this is true--but this doesn't entail that he doesn't consciously experience the world as it is.

No it doesn't "imply" this. Why would it?

How does "one perspective see everything"? Creatures with functioning eyes see things. Perspectives don't see things. And no one creature can see everything from his own limited perspective.



Again, reality can only be what is experienced. The only things that aren't real are things that aren't experienced. If there is only one form of reality, then nobody could experience it since people each experience reality differently.

Extrain;153824 wrote:

Certainly we can have different experiences of the same object, but that doesn't entail the object just is my experience. That's why someone can be in error about what is really the case.


We have different experiences of the same object, but the only reason that it is the same object is because of our ability to communicate about it. The object is what is experienced, so an error is only a distinction between two different experiences. Whatever is "really the case" is real to the subject which is experiencing whether there is agreement or not. To say that only your experience is real, for whatever reason, is claiming that your reality is the only reality and you are thus making consciousness a private occurrence, which as you pointed out, Wittgenstein would disagree with. Which is where it seems you mis-understand him. He isn't suggesting that words exist outside the realm of subjective experience, he is suggesting that subjective experience constitutes objectivity; and hence constitutes language.
 
fast
 
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 12:08 pm
@Thucydides,
Thucydides;52463 wrote:
I believe I live an imagined life in this imagined universe, but that it is all coherent and effectively real.

Well, that ain't good.
 
Extrain
 
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 12:56 pm
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;154045 wrote:
People often take words at face value, but no one person holds absolute knowledge of language. To suggest this is to suggest that language can hypothetically be a private experience.


Did I ever suggest or say this? No. But you've admitted twice in this post that your intentions did not match what you actually said. So I rest my case.

MMP2506;154045 wrote:
The word itself has no "face value" because it can only express meaning within a certain context. If I just say "dog barks", then I am not conveying anything intelligible to you. If I add a "that" and create syntax by saying "that dog barks" then I gave those words meaning. Not meaning that was already there, but meaning which was created by my syntax.
Again, I should have been more explicit here, and I apologize. When I said "words cannot be made to mean one thing or the other", i meant before the word is experienced within its proper context. The meaning that is attached to the word, only is attached to the word because of the word's ability to be used within a certain context. Words don't have some magic power to create meaning on their own, however, people use words to create meaning, and then that meaning becomes attached to the word after the fact. The phonetic sound of the word is quite arbitrary, and it is only after people understand each other through syntactical dialogue that meaning is applied to the phonetic word itself.


Of course. All of the above is what we dub by "public language use." Every linguist and philosopher of language knows this.

MMP2506;154045 wrote:
I was using language as a vague term to denote communicable ability. Maybe I should have been a bit more explicit, but the meaning I was trying to convey is that a creature can only be as conscious of reality as his ability to communicate can take him.


This is just saying the same thing. It doesn't matter how you define "reality." If you mean "linguistic reality," then no, a dog does not experience this kind of "reality." But a dog certainly has a "doggy reality," does he not? He can still experience the post-man beating him with a stick even if he can't say "the post-man is beating me with a stick"--while I can experience the very same kind of event as my dog, namely, the post-man beating me with a stick.

So there is a shared reality between animals of "higher an lower" species, even though one can articulate it, and another cannot.

MMP2506;154045 wrote:
Reality is a subjective experience, and can only be expanded outside of ones own experience through inter-subjective communication.


I doubt it. Ibid, dog example above. Language use and communication is not necessary to perceive or experience object X.

MMP2506;154045 wrote:
My point exactly. There is not any one objective or absolute reality in which words exist.


If by "reality" you mean "subjective reality" then this is trivially obvious.

But if you mean that there does not exist an objective reality people and animals can have veridical/non-veridical perceptions and/or judgments about-- then this is false.

MMP2506;154045 wrote:
The conventional meanings for words do not exist because of the words themselves, but how people use the words. If it was conventional to call a cat a "dog," then the word "dog" would have a different meaning. If someone is using a word one way, and it functions for them, they have the right to use the word that way.


Yes. But so what?

MMP2506;154045 wrote:
Philosophy is an attempt to use words which universalize meaning, not control it.


huh?

MMP2506;154045 wrote:
Again, reality can only be what is experienced.


Again, if by "reality" you mean "subjective reality" this is trivially true. But if by "reality" you mean no real world exists outside a persons perceptions of it, then this is Idealism--which is a strong Robust Metaphysical Thesis about the world itself--and is not a thesis supported by any of the things you've said.

MMP2506;154045 wrote:
The only things that aren't real are things that aren't experienced.


That's false. I don't have to experience the moon for the moon to be real.
The moon is not my experience of the moon.

MMP2506;154045 wrote:
If there is only one form of reality, then nobody could experience it since people each experience reality differently.


If you are trying to construct an argument, this, above, is a non-sequiter.

(1) You say, "Each person experiences reality differently"--but this is sometimes true, sometimes false. It is not the case that everyone always experiences reality differently. This should be obvious. If nobody was ever capable of having the same experiences, then communication would be impossible, knowledge would be impossible, and we should all become Cartesian Solipsists!

(2) You say, "If there is only one reality, then nobody could experience it." This is clearly false. Take a stick in a glass of water that appears broken. It appears to be broken by all people. It also appears not-broken when you remove it from the glass. But it is certainly true of the outside world that the stick is either broken or not broken. So there is a fact of the matter independent of people's perceptions whether the stick is really broken, or the sick is really not broken.

MMP2506;154045 wrote:
We have different experiences of the same object, but the only reason that it is the same object is because of our ability to communicate about it.


This is such B.S. The knife that cuts John is the same knife that cuts me, even if John does not feel pain and I do. The knife is not the same knife at times T1 and T2 merely because we can talk about it.

Why is Idealism the default position? You phenomenologists are just lazy (which is why I stopped reading Husserl, Heidegger, and Brentano years ago).

Just because persons can have different experience of the same object--as in the object appearing hot to one person and cold to another--this does not entail we experience two different objects. Hot and Cold are not properties of objects, but properties of our experiences, just as pain is not a property of a knife when it cuts me, but the experiential effect it has on me. So certainly, two people can be cut by the same identical knife, while one person feel the pain and another not feel the pain.

MMP2506;154045 wrote:
The object is what is experienced, so an error is only a distinction between two different experiences. Whatever is "really the case" is real to the subject which is experiencing whether there is agreement or not.


"experiencing agreement"? I don't understand any of this. You need to be more clear.

MMP2506;154045 wrote:
To say that only your experience is real, for whatever reason, is claiming that your reality is the only reality and you are thus making consciousness a private occurrence,


huh? This is because you are defining "reality" as "subjective reality"--and everything that you say comes out trivially obvious. This was the problem for Husserl. One can never tell if he is saying something trivially true about private experiences, or advancing some deep metaphysical thesis--such as Berkelian Idealism--about the world.

MMP2506;154045 wrote:
which as you pointed out, Wittgenstein would disagree with.


Wittgenstein was not a phenomenologist. The phenomenologist merely *brackets* metaphysical questions, while Wittgenstein (similar to Kant) rejected the possibility metaphysics altogether because he advanced logical positivism, which says that words, language, etc., have meaning if and only if the statements in which they are embedded can in principle be subject to experiential verification.

MMP2506;154045 wrote:
Which is where it seems you mis-understand him.


Then you're wrong. I only said Wittgenstein rejected the notion of a private language. So don't jump to conclusions.

Wittgenstein never advanced the metaphysical thesis that "an external mind-independent object two people experience is the same if and only if the communicate about it." He merely said we can only talk about commonly shared objects of experience by using language--which is true. But he didn't conclude external objects exist only if we can talk about them. The first is an epistemic thesis about language use and meaning--the latter is a robust metaphysical theory about the world. Wittgenstein reject metaphysics--Idealism is metaphysics--he didn't uphold it whatsoever.

MMP2506;154045 wrote:
He isn't suggesting that words exist outside the realm of subjective experience, he is suggesting that subjective experience constitutes objectivity; and hence constitutes language.


True, we can only talk about objectivity using human language. But Wittgenstein didn't say "subjective experience constitutes the mind-independent reality because the only thing that exists is a mind-dependent reality." They are not the same thing.
 
Doorsopen
 
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 01:32 pm
@Lost1 phil,
Lost1;153718 wrote:
Reality has no need for anyone's believe, consciousness, and can not be altered. That which can be altered can not be reality, according to your own words..."one absoute reality exists."

Please feel free to clear up this contradiction.

Lost1


You are quite right, I've omitted a concept, which I hope now to correct:

I maintain that Reality is an absolute and that perception does not alter Reality. Perception is ordered by our belief system and determines our reaction to reality. We may alter our beliefs, and subsequently our perceptions as concerns reality, but until beliefs are in agreement with the absolute nature of Reality, perception will remain in conflict with the Absolute. Perceptions and belief evolve in an attempt to find agreement with the Absolute, however these shifts in belief and in perception do not alter Reality.

But I have also stated that it is our responsibility to distinguish between perception and consciousness ...

Consciousness is a direct awareness of Reality. At the risk of becoming too esoteric, Consciousness is Reality's awareness. It is not the experience of reality, it is Realty. As Consciousness and Realty form a balanced structure, a shift in Consciousness will effect Realty, just as a shift in Reality will influence Consciousness.

Consciousness and perception are not opposed, they must also form a balanced structure. So, if Reality and Belief are analogous, and I believe they are, Consciousness is to Realty what Perception is to Belief.

So I come back to your statement: "Reality has no need for anyone's belief, consciousness, and cannot be altered. That which can be altered can not be reality, according to your own words...'one absolute reality exists.' "

Consciousness and Belief are not the same. I can agree that Reality has no need for our beliefs, but I do not agree that Reality has no need for Consciousness.

From here, I cannot understand how you qualify an alteration to reality. Nevertheless, I am tempted to suggest that only a shift in consciousness can alter reality. I could offer a mathematical equivalent to such a shift: if we divide any value by itself ... the result will be an absolute value.
 
MMP2506
 
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 02:46 pm
@Extrain,
Extrain;154073 wrote:
Did I ever suggest or say this? No. But you've admitted twice in this post that your intentions did not match what you actually said. So I rest my case.

Of course. All of the above is what we dub by "public language use." Every linguist and philosopher of language knows this.


You said that you have been taking my words at face value.

Then you subsequently agreed with me that words have no face value?

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.

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.

Once again, meaning isn't created by the individual words themselves, but by the context in which the words are used. 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.



Extrain;154073 wrote:

This is just saying the same thing. It doesn't matter how you define "reality." If you mean "linguistic reality," then no, a dog does not experience this kind of "reality." But a dog certainly has a "doggy reality," does he not? He can still experience the post-man beating him with a stick even if he can't say "the post-man is beating me with a stick"--while I can experience the very same kind of event as my dog, namely, the post-man beating me with a stick.


How can "reality" be experienced other than linguistically? "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? It seems it is you who is jumping to conclusions about that which can't be proven. What each individual subject considers reality is only reality insofar as the subject experiences it. 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.

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.

Extrain;154073 wrote:

So there is a shared reality between animals of "higher an lower" species, even though one can articulate it, and another cannot.


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.


Extrain;154073 wrote:

I doubt it. Ibid, dog example above. Language use and communication is not necessary to perceive or experience object X.


"Object X" is nothing more than what "object X" means in the context that it is presented.

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. If we were unable to do this, the thread would in fact be two different threads to the both of us. The concept of grasping the same object is what it means to be perceiving the same thing. 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.

Our individual biological and historical differences dictate what we perceive and how it is perceived. If humans had eyes on the sides of their heads, we would all have a very different concept of what constitutes reality. Therefore, when people talk about reality, what they are really talking about is how they experience reality. Many times, however, people just assume every subject experiences reality the same, which is a lapse in judgment.

Extrain;154073 wrote:

If by "reality" you mean "subjective reality" then this is trivially obvious.

But if you mean that there does not exist an objective reality people and animals can have veridical/non-veridical perceptions and/or judgments about-- then this is false.

Yes. But so what?

huh?

Again, if by "reality" you mean "subjective reality" this is trivially true. But if by "reality" you mean no real world exists outside a persons perceptions of it, then this is Idealism--which is a strong Robust Metaphysical Thesis about the world itself--and is not a thesis supported by any of the things you've said.


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?

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.

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.

Extrain;154073 wrote:

That's false. I don't have to experience the moon for the moon to be real.
The moon is not my experience of the moon.



If you are trying to construct an argument, this, above, is a non-sequiter.

(1) You say, "Each person experiences reality differently"--but this is sometimes true, sometimes false. It is not the case that everyone always experiences reality differently. This should be obvious. If nobody was ever capable of having the same experiences, then communication would be impossible, knowledge would be impossible, and we should all become Cartesian Solipsists!

(2) You say, "If there is only one reality, then nobody could experience it." This is clearly false. Take a stick in a glass of water that appears broken. It appears to be broken by all people. It also appears not-broken when you remove it from the glass. But it is certainly true of the outside world that the stick is either broken or not broken. So there is a fact of the matter independent of people's perceptions whether the stick is really broken, or the sick is really not broken.


For a thing to be real, it has to be experienced as real. Before that there is no experience of it, so it is nothing. The experience of "reality" and the concept of "things" are human 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. Without this ability, the thing wouldn't be able to exist. Subjects use reason to create things which can be intelligibly communicated to others.

Reason is a public experience that is also constituted linguistically. The higher the linguistic capability of the subject, the greater his ability to reason, and the higher level of objectivity that person is able to reach.

Experiences can be different and still become similar once they are described inter-subjectively. Again, don't think I'm suggesting solipsism because we can be certain universal concepts exist, but they only exist once they are reasoned into existence. 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. 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.

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.


Extrain;154073 wrote:

This is such B.S. The knife that cuts John is the same knife that cuts me, even if John does not feel pain and I do. The knife is not the same knife at times T1 and T2 merely because we can talk about it.

Why is Idealism the default position? You phenomenologists are just lazy (which is why I stopped reading Husserl, Heidegger, and Brentano years ago).


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.

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.

All experiences are not the same. Some are more filled with sensibly verifiable truth , but that does not mean that for something to be real it must be verified truthfully. All experiences are real, but they are not equally truthful. You can't just through truth out the window, and you cannot determine reality as reality is simply whatever is experienced.


Extrain;154073 wrote:

Just because persons can have different experience of the same object--as in the object appearing hot to one person and cold to another--this does not entail we experience two different objects. Hot and Cold are not properties of objects, but properties of our experiences, just as pain is not a property of a knife when it cuts me, but the experiential effect it has on me. So certainly, two people can be cut by the same identical knife, while one person feel the pain and another not feel the pain.


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.


Extrain;154073 wrote:

"experiencing agreement"? I don't understand any of this. You need to be more clear.



huh? This is because you are defining "reality" as "subjective reality"--and everything that you say comes out trivially obvious. This was the problem for Husserl. One can never tell if he is saying something trivially true about private experiences, or advancing some deep metaphysical thesis--such as Berkelian Idealism--about the world.


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.


Extrain;154073 wrote:

Wittgenstein was not a phenomenologist. The phenomenologist merely *brackets* metaphysical questions, while Wittgenstein (similar to Kant) rejected the possibility metaphysics altogether because he advanced logical positivism, which says that words, language, etc., have meaning if and only if the statements in which they are embedded can in principle be subject to experiential verification.


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.


Extrain;154073 wrote:

Then you're wrong. I only said Wittgenstein rejected the notion of a private language. So don't jump to conclusions.

Wittgenstein never advanced the metaphysical thesis that "an external mind-independent object two people experience is the same if and only if the communicate about it." He merely said we can only talk about commonly shared objects of experience by using language--which is true. But he didn't conclude external objects exist only if we can talk about them. The first is an epistemic thesis about language use and meaning--the latter is a robust metaphysical theory about the world. Wittgenstein reject metaphysics--Idealism is metaphysics--he didn't uphold it whatsoever.


True, he never concluded anything about metaphysics, but metaphysics will determine ones epistemology. 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.

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.

Extrain;154073 wrote:

True, we can only talk about objectivity using human language. But Wittgenstein didn't say "subjective experience constitutes the mind-independent reality because the only thing that exists is a mind-dependent reality." They are not the same thing.


But they are the same thing. The "mind-independent" reality is in fact dependent upon the mind which perceives it. Again, the only knowledge we can have is of that which can be perceived. 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.
 
Extrain
 
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 04:56 pm
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;154100 wrote:
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.

Quote:
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.

MMP2506;154100 wrote:
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.

MMP2506;154100 wrote:
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!

MMP2506;154100 wrote:
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!

MMP2506;154100 wrote:
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??

MMP2506;154100 wrote:
"Reality" is an experience that is processed linguistically and experienced as an already constituted setting.


MMP2506;154100 wrote:
Has a dog ever told you he is experiencing reality?


So what? It is more likely the dog is conscious than not.

MMP2506;154100 wrote:
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.

MMP2506;154100 wrote:
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.

MMP2506;154100 wrote:
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.

MMP2506;154100 wrote:
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.

MMP2506;154100 wrote:
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."

MMP2506;154100 wrote:
"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.

MMP2506;154100 wrote:
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.

MMP2506;154100 wrote:
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.

MMP2506;154100 wrote:
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.

MMP2506;154100 wrote:
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.

MMP2506;154100 wrote:
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.

MMP2506;154100 wrote:
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.

MMP2506;154100 wrote:
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.

MMP2506;154100 wrote:
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.

MMP2506;154100 wrote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.


Ibid, above.


Quote:
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?

Quote:
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?

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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!

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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!

Quote:
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 that,

experience of x=x experienced.

This is not arrived at by any arguments.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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)


Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.
 
MMP2506
 
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 08:14 pm
@Extrain,
I don't feel like going through each point one by one, and quite frankly I see the wall that we keep running into and don't see us getting passed it. It really comes down to your starting point, and if you start with an individual Cogito that is separate from the exterior world, then much of what I am saying will seem like illogical BS, I understand that.

The only way to make sense of what I am saying is to epoche that notion, and start with a Cogito that is radically intertwined with others in a world filled with linguistic meaning. Once you epoche the subject-object dichotomy, you begin to understand that the subject gains knowledge of the object by becoming one with it. You are talking of knowledge of things like they are discursive, but I experience things very intimately. Through my relationship with things, their knowledge becomes part of me and there really isn't a metaphysical distinction to be made between me and the objects which I come to know.

Again, others can experience the same things as me, I don't adhere to solipsism, but these things are the inter-subjective experience of them. It isn't taking anything away from the things themselves, it is just being truthful about my experience. My sense-experience of things are very meaningful.

The facticity behind those things are important, and become part of the thing as it becomes known to me. You keep asking me to provide proof, but my only proof is my experience, and my only argument is my description of that experience. I am inviting you to take a look at a different perspective, not one that is essential in itself, but one that urges you to distinguish what is essential in reality from what is accidental.

You keep urging me to be mindful of the words I use, but I am using the only words I know to describe my experience. You say I am jumping to conclusions, but I am only describing you what becomes presented to me during my experience in the world. I am describing it as carefully as I possibly can, but it isn't something easily described. Experience of reality is a very abstract existence, and it is my opinion that one can only understand it through careful dialogue with other subjects about their personal experience. We all share our experience, and understandings can be reached; sometimes it just takes a shift in perspective to make that happen.

I am not suggesting that any one creature is or is not conscious. From my experience, I can only become certain about another creatures consciousness upon their communication of it to me. I have had experiences of Dogs displaying some signs of consciousness, however, I have never had a conversation with a dog, or any other animal, to confirm it. For that reason, I maintain that it cannot be said for certain what the state of each animals consciousness is, and all that can be said for certain is that they display some signs of consciousness.

You demand verification, but I ask you what does verification entail? How much justification is needed to justify a belief? In my experience grounding epistemic belief in these types questions leads one down a very slippery slope.
 
Extrain
 
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 09:06 pm
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;154244 wrote:
The only way to make sense of what I am saying is to epoche that notion, and start with a Cogito that is radically intertwined with others in a world filled with linguistic meaning.


I don't deny that.

MMP2506;154244 wrote:
Once you epoche the subject-object dichotomy, you begin to understand that the subject gains knowledge of the object by becoming one with it.


But I don't understand what it means to "become one with the object." That doesn't even make linguistic sense. You are certainly free to talk that way, but don't just assume every philosopher automatically knows what that is even supposed to mean. Personally, I don't think that means anything, neither within my experience, nor projected outside my experience, metaphysically, epistemically, or even spiritually. I simply cannot make sense of it.

MMP2506;154244 wrote:
You are talking of knowledge of things like they are discursive, but I experience things very intimately.


I agree. But experiencing things intimately is not antithetical to having discursive knowledge of things. You just assume it must be.

MMP2506;154244 wrote:
Through my relationship with things, their knowledge becomes part of me


Things? "their knowledge"? So rocks have knowledge? And their knowledge becomes a part of you?

MMP2506;154244 wrote:
and there really isn't a metaphysical distinction to be made between me and the objects which I come to know.


You just assume this metaphysical distinction does not hold. I contend my knowledge of an object X, is not identical the object known. Metaphysical realism is the default common sense position, not metaphysical Idealism, or monism for that matter. So the burden of providing a good argument for showing us why you think any of your monism is true, is your problem, not the dualist's problem.

MMP2506;154244 wrote:
Again, others can experience the same things as me, I don't adhere to solipsism, but these things are the inter-subjective experience of them. It isn't taking anything away from the things themselves, it is just being truthful about my experience. My sense-experience of things are very meaningful.


I agree. But how does this entail the subject of knowing is identical to the object known? I don't understand that at all.

MMP2506;154244 wrote:
The facticity behind those things are important, and become part of the thing as it becomes known to me. You keep asking me to provide proof, but my only proof is my experience, and my only argument is my description of that experience. I am inviting you to take a look at a different perspective, not one that is essential in itself, but one that urges you to distinguish what is essential in reality from what is accidental.


And I do, do that. I just don't see how the subject of knowing is identical to the object known. Or how my perception of an object is identical to the object that I perceive. You just assume they are one and the same. I don't think that is commonsensical at all. And most people would disagree with you--philosophers and non-philosophers alike.

MMP2506;154244 wrote:
You keep urging me to be mindful of the words I use, but I am using the only words I know to describe my experience. You say I am jumping to conclusions, but I am only describing you what becomes presented to me during my experience in the world. I am describing it as carefully as I possibly can, but it isn't something easily described. Experience of reality is a very abstract existence, and it is my opinion that one can only understand it through careful dialogue with other subjects about their personal experience. We all share our experience, and understandings can be reached; sometimes it just takes a shift in perspective to make that happen.


But you are not using your words carefully. Most average people distinguish between their experience and the object experienced, no matter how rich and unique that experience is. So you are in the minority in thinking what you do.

MMP2506;154244 wrote:
I have had experiences of Dogs displaying some signs of consciousness, however, I have never had a conversation with a dog, or any other animal, to confirm it.


So. You can't confirm you are talking to a Zombie, or a robot, either, when you talk to what looks and sounds like a rational human creature using the same sets of sounds and exhibiting the same behavior that you do. Descartes pointed this out long ago.

MMP2506;154244 wrote:
For that reason, I maintain that it cannot be said for certain what the state of each animals consciousness is, and all that can be said for certain is that they display some signs of consciousness.


But this isn't a good reason to think dogs don't have experiential states. We inductively infer what dogs are thinking and feeling. So we have what is called an "indirect awareness" of what they might be feeling. You don't think mammals can feel shame, anger, love, and fear? Of course they can!! Just look at your average dog cowar away in shame with his tail in between his legs when you slap him on the ass, and yell "no," for eating your sandwhich.

We inductively infer what human beings are thinking and feeling from their outward signs and behaviors too. So it is no more problematic guessing what a dog is feeling when he doesn't talk than what a human being is feeling when he doesn't talk. Human beings are more complex creatures than dogs, anyway, so sometimes it can even be harder to determine what someone else is thinking or feeling than dogs, even by his own sounds and words.

But how is any this relevant? I am not even sure what the topic of conversation is anymore.

MMP2506;154244 wrote:
You demand verification, but I ask you what does verification entail? How much justification is needed to justify a belief? In my experience grounding epistemic belief in these types questions leads one down a very slippery slope.


You're being sloppy again.

I never asked for "verification." "Verifcation" and "confirmation" are terms having to do with empirical/scientific observation of the world. I only asked for a good reasoned argument for your Idealism. And I haven't heard one yet, precisely because I'm sure you can't give any. That's why the "burden of proof" is on you.
 
MMP2506
 
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 11:32 pm
@Extrain,
Extrain;154262 wrote:
I don't deny that.



But I don't understand what it means to "become one with the object." That doesn't even make linguistic sense. You are certainly free to talk that way, but don't just assume every philosopher automatically knows what that is even supposed to mean. Personally, I don't think that means anything, neither within my experience, nor projected outside my experience, metaphysically, epistemically, or even spiritually. I simply cannot make sense of it.


It doesn't make linguistic sense within a paradigm featuring a closed consciousness, but if you accept that experience in the world is that of a subject intimately connected with objects within a given state of affairs, you understand that they all only exist within one context, and any one piece of that state cannot be taken out and examined apart from it. This would be an attempt to judge something in a way it does not naturally occur and this is the problem phenomenology has with most empirical sciences today.

This version of Intentionality is a central theme in both brentano's and husserl's philosophies. I assumed you would've been aware of it, again I was not explicit enough, and I apologize.

Extrain;154262 wrote:
I agree. But experiencing things intimately is not antithetical to having discursive knowledge of things. You just assume it must be.


No, I don't assume they are antithetical, I just don't think knowledge of things come about discursively. I think knowledge of processes or directions to places come about discursively, which can become intimate with practice. I firmly believe when we grasp knowledge of a thing it is a directly intimate relationship.


Extrain;154262 wrote:
Things? "their knowledge"? So rocks have knowledge? And their knowledge becomes a part of you?


Rocks have knowledge about them which can be known, just as any other object. Knowledge associated with a rock becomes presented to me, and for me, upon my experience with it. Whether it be directly or through a medium, such as a picture or another person. That knowledge of the rock becomes part of my consciousness, and once it becomes part of my consciousness it becomes part of me.

Extrain;154262 wrote:
You just assume this metaphysical distinction does not hold. I contend my knowledge of an object X, is not identical the object known. Metaphysical realism is the default common sense position, not metaphysical Idealism, or monism for that matter. So the burden of providing a good argument for showing us why you think any of your monism is true, is your problem, not the dualist's problem.


The dualists created their own problem by separating the cogito from the exterior world. Please explain to me how we can experience any reality exteriorly that is separate from individual interior consciousness. It doesn't make any sense. This is a modern problem that didn't need to happen. The only way Cartesian dualism makes any sense is if you adhere to Descartes idea of God placing exterior knowledge into the Cogtio; otherwise, it leaves individuals isolated, and alienated from the outside world, with no access to any sort of knowledge.

Phenomenology is not idealism in the traditional sense, and it deals with a cogito that is also much more than the Cartesian cogito could offer. Consciousness is not different from reality, they are intertwined with each other along with other consciousnesses creating an inter-subjective reality.


Extrain;154262 wrote:
I agree. But how does this entail the subject of knowing is identical to the object known? I don't understand that at all.

They are distinguishable yet they become part of each other. Forgive me for my sloppy language, but they appear with each other, for each other, within a given state of affairs. They give each other meaning, and give meaning to the whole state.

Extrain;154262 wrote:
And I do, do that. I just don't see how the subject of knowing is identical to the object known. Or how my perception of an object is identical to the object that I perceive. You just assume they are one and the same. I don't think that is commonsensical at all. And most people would disagree with you--philosophers and non-philosophers alike.


I don't assume anything about the object. It takes an assumption to make the claim that the object is different from the object that appeared. Remember to understand what I'm talking about you have to suspend all learned presuppositions which you carry with you, including your dualist perspective of the world.

People have disagreed with phenomenologist throughout its entire evolution, and they even often disagree with each other. I am not claiming that phenomenology asserts its primacy over any other way of thinking, and it is still a very young philosophy. However, all who become involved with it seem become consumed by it, and there is something very real about it. I would say that it is closer to a realism than an idealism; however, realism carries with it undesirable connotations. It can't be labeled any way, and because of its prime focus deals with subjective experience it is not very desirable for those in need of some tactile understanding of reality. For those who grasp it, however, it brings with it a very serine perspective towards the world.

Extrain;154262 wrote:
But you are not using your words carefully. Most average people distinguish between their experience and the object experienced, no matter how rich and unique that experience is. So you are in the minority in thinking what you do.

I may be in the minority, but this is where I believe Wittgenstein would understand my perspective. This is the language game I choose to play because it is most functional for me in my daily life. It allows me to understand myself within a world already constituted for me. It allows me to become part of my world along with others' worlds, and it is this experience that leads me to describe my perspective as realism.


Extrain;154262 wrote:
So. You can't confirm you are talking to a Zombie, or a robot, either, when you talk to what looks and sounds like a rational human creature using the same sets of sounds and exhibiting the same behavior that you do. Descartes pointed this out long ago.

It would take me very long to explain my perspective on this issue, and I already know we are going to have communicative problems, but put is simply I'll say that I communicate with persons and not humans. The two terms are not always interchangeable and only have been since the rise of modernism, as I consider the term person to be species-neutral. If you want I can explain more, but to make it easier I would suggest looking into Robert Sokolowksi's Phenomenology of the Human person. He could sum it up better than I ever could; although, like I said I could try if you so desire.


Extrain;154262 wrote:
But this isn't a good reason to think dogs don't have experiential states. We inductively infer what dogs are thinking and feeling. So we have what is called an "indirect awareness" of what they might be feeling. You don't think mammals can feel shame, anger, love, and fear? Of course they can!! Just look at your average dog cowar away in shame with his tail in between his legs when you slap him on the ass, and yell "no," for eating your sandwhich.

We inductively infer what human beings are thinking and feeling from their outward signs and behaviors too. So it is no more problematic guessing what a dog is feeling when he doesn't talk than what a human being is feeling when he doesn't talk. Human beings are more complex creatures than dogs, anyway, so sometimes it can even be harder to determine what someone else is thinking or feeling than dogs, even by his own sounds and words.


I never said they don't have experiential states, I only claimed we cannot be sure of those states without discourse with the subject. They may feel all sorts of feelings, but I am hesitant to jump to any absolute conclusion concerning their actual state.

It is here that I will share with you a bit of my expertise. I have a BA in psychology and am working on my masters in phenomenological research methods. As much as I've studied the field of psychology, I must admit much of it rests in a faulty foundation. I cannot assert that consciousness is reducible to behavior, and biological factors do not have a causal relationship with mental states. You won't find many psychologists who will say that they do because all that the scientific method can give you is correlational data. It requires a leap of faith to find a cause, and I know from experience that many psychologists take that leap much too easily. Some of the data that is spewed out by psychologists are just unscientific garbage that isn't practically useful in the least. I practice phenomenology because I, along with many other psychologists, see it as a more rational alternative to a very irrational science.

I find it insulting, and flat out wrong, that a scientist can tell me more about my experience as a being-in-the-world than I can tell him myself. Much too often are unhealthy conclusions made based on appearances alone, and I feel much more can be learned about a person from proper discourse than any other means.

Extrain;154262 wrote:
You're being sloppy again.

I never asked for "verification." "Verifcation" and "confirmation" are terms having to do with empirical/scientific observation of the world. I only asked for a good reasoned argument for your Idealism. And I haven't heard one yet, precisely because I'm sure you can't give any. That's why the "burden of proof" is on you.


I don't feel any burden of proof, because again I am simply describing my experience of the world exactly how I experience it. I can suggest that you attempt to suspend your judgement while reading what I write, but that is an impossible task for most.

It is only an idealism insofar as its emphasis on the Cogito, but again it is not a closed Cogito. I am not saying what exists only exists the way it does because of the single mind that perceives it, but because of the way it is perceived by all who are perceiving it. Things appear to whomever they appear to, and those who they appear to are free to express to others however they experience it. Only through this freedom can objectivity emerge from the chaos.
 
Extrain
 
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 11:45 pm
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;154318 wrote:
It doesn't make linguistic sense within a paradigm featuring a closed consciousness, but if you accept that experience in the world is that of a subject intimately connected with objects within a given state of affairs, you understand that they all only exist within one context, and any one piece of that state cannot be taken out and examined apart from it. This would be an attempt to judge something in a way it does not naturally occur and this is the problem phenomenology has with most empirical sciences today.

This version of Intentionality is a central theme in both brentano's and husserl's philosophies. I assumed you would've been aware of it, again I was not explicit enough, and I apologize.



No, I don't assume they are antithetical, I just don't think knowledge of things come about discursively. I think knowledge of processes or directions to places come about discursively, which can become intimate with practice. I firmly believe when we grasp knowledge of a thing it is a directly intimate relationship.




Rocks have knowledge about them which can be known, just as any other object. Knowledge associated with a rock becomes presented to me, and for me, upon my experience with it. Whether it be directly or through a medium, such as a picture or another person. That knowledge of the rock becomes part of my consciousness, and once it becomes part of my consciousness it becomes part of me.



The dualists created their own problem by separating the cogito from the exterior world. Please explain to me how we can experience any reality exteriorly that is separate from individual interior consciousness. It doesn't make any sense. This is a modern problem that didn't need to happen. The only way Cartesian dualism makes any sense is if you adhere to Descartes idea of God placing exterior knowledge into the Cogtio; otherwise, it leaves individuals isolated, and alienated from the outside world, with no access to any sort of knowledge.

Phenomenology is not idealism in the traditional sense, and it deals with a cogito that is also much more than the Cartesian cogito could offer. Consciousness is not different from reality, they are intertwined with each other along with other consciousnesses creating an inter-subjective reality.



They are distinguishable yet they become part of each other. Forgive me for my sloppy language, but they appear with each other, for each other, within a given state of affairs. They give each other meaning, and give meaning to the whole state.



I don't assume anything about the object. It takes an assumption to make the claim that the object is different from the object that appeared. Remember to understand what I'm talking about you have to suspend all learned presuppositions which you carry with you, including your dualist perspective of the world.

People have disagreed with phenomenologist throughout its entire evolution, and they even often disagree with each other. I am not claiming that phenomenology asserts its primacy over any other way of thinking, and it is still a very young philosophy. However, all who become involved with it seem become consumed by it, and there is something very real about it. I would say that it is closer to a realism than an idealism; however, realism carries with it undesirable connotations. It can't be labeled any way, and because of its prime focus deals with subjective experience it is not very desirable for those in need of some tactile understanding of reality. For those who grasp it, however, it brings with it a very serine perspective towards the world.


I may be in the minority, but this is where I believe Wittgenstein would understand my perspective. This is the language game I choose to play because it is most functional for me in my daily life. It allows me to understand myself within a world already constituted for me. It allows me to become part of my world along with others' worlds, and it is this experience that leads me to describe my perspective as realism.



It would take me very long to explain my perspective on this issue, and I already know we are going to have communicative problems, but put is simply I'll say that I communicate with persons and not humans. The two terms are not always interchangeable and only have been since the rise of modernism, as I consider the term person to be species-neutral. If you want I can explain more, but to make it easier I would suggest looking into Robert Sokolowksi's Phenomenology of the Human person. He could sum it up better than I ever could; although, like I said I could try if you so desire.




I never said they don't have experiential states, I only claimed we cannot be sure of those states without discourse with the subject. They may feel all sorts of feelings, but I am hesitant to jump to any absolute conclusion concerning their actual state.

It is here that I will share with you a bit of my expertise. I have a BA in psychology and am working on my masters in phenomenological research methods. As much as I've studied the field of psychology, I must admit much of it rests in a faulty foundation. I cannot assert that consciousness is reducible to behavior, and biological factors do not have a causal relationship with mental states. You won't find many psychologists who will say that they do because all that the scientific method can give you is correlational data. It requires a leap of faith to find a cause, and I know from experience that many psychologists take that leap much too easily. Some of the data that is spewed out by psychologists are just unscientific garbage that isn't practically useful in the least. I practice phenomenology because I, along with many other psychologists, see it as a more rational alternative to a very irrational science.

I find it insulting, and flat out wrong, that a scientist can tell me more about my experience as a being-in-the-world than I can tell him myself. Much too often are unhealthy conclusions made based on appearances alone, and I feel much more can be learned about a person from proper discourse than any other means.



I don't feel any burden of proof, because again I am simply describing my experience of the world exactly how I experience it. I can suggest that you attempt to suspend your judgement while reading what I write, but that is an impossible task for most.

It is only an idealism insofar as its emphasis on the Cogito, but again it is not a closed Cogito. I am not saying what exists only exists the way it does because of the single mind that perceives it, but because of the way it is perceived by all who are perceiving it. Things appear to whomever they appear to, and those who they appear to are free to express to others however they experience it. Only through this freedom can objectivity emerge from the chaos.


Psychology is way different than philosophy. So your phenomenology fits well. But phenomenology doesn't fit well within the analytic tradition whatsoever. It's too sloppy. There is not enough attention paid to clarity, precision, reason, and logic.

I agree roughly with half of what you say. The rest is either convoluted, or isn't argued for and just assumed. I will spend another 20 minutes correcting your mistakes, and I don't feel like playing the role of "teacher."

I don't pass premature judgments--I've just been discussing these exact same topics in academia for over 8 years, and reading this stuff for 15 years--and this topic is a little elementary for me, so it's boring. Sorry, that's condescending, I know. But it's the truth. I'm just not learning anything new. I want to learn. I want to be challenged with a puzzle to try and figure out--not with opinions I just flat out find absurd.

Take care.
 
MMP2506
 
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 11:54 pm
@Extrain,
Extrain;154323 wrote:
Psychology is way different than philosophy. So your phenomenology fits well. But phenomenology doesn't fit well within the analytic tradition whatsoever. It's too sloppy. There is not enough attention paid to clarity, precision, reason, and logic.

I agree roughly with half of what you say. The rest is either convoluted, or isn't argued for and just assumed. I will spend another 20 minutes correcting your mistakes, and I don't feel like playing the role of "teacher."

I don't pass premature judgments--I've just been discussing these exact same topics in academia for over 8 years, and reading this stuff for 15 years--and this topic is a little elementary for me, so it's boring. Sorry, that's condescending, I know. But it's the truth. I'm just not learning anything new. I want to learn. I want to be challenged with a puzzle to try and figure out--not with opinions I just flat out find absurd.

Take care.


I understand, it is not for everyone, and I feel I am not doing it enough justice. I would recommend looking into it more if you get the chance. Thanks for entertaining all my ranting and raving.

Have a good one
 
Extrain
 
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2010 12:07 am
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;154326 wrote:
I understand, it is not for everyone, and I feel I am not doing it enough justice. I would recommend looking into it more if you get the chance. Thanks for entertaining all my ranting and raving.

Have a good one


But I have looked into the phenomenology of Husserl, Heidegger, Brentano, etc...quite extensively already. To pick it up again, I would need a good reason, such as needing a reference concerning a phenomenologist's analysis of perception and how the presupposition of the Cogito is necessarily contained within the structure of that experience--something kantian like that. But that's not to say I won't read it again. I rather enjoy reading it.

Here's the deal: I totally understand why you would be interested in phenomenology if you have a BA in psychology. That makes perfect sense. But it's just not a way of approaching philosophy that is readily respected by "the professionals" in the better philosophical departments throughout the States. There is a good reason for this too--since the entire method of "bracketing" traditional philosophical issues in order to describe the structure of 1st person experience as it is immediately (not mediately) given, is what is so suspect.

I don't deny phenomenology is difficult for anyone to read, especially Husserl. I like reading him, but I can only take him seriously so far--and then I find myself giving up because I begin to feel like I am reading nonsense. I've racked my head with that guy for years, and I like Kant much better.

So no worries.

Take care.
 
MMP2506
 
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2010 12:47 am
@Extrain,
Extrain;154334 wrote:
But I have looked into the phenomenology of Husserl, Heidegger, Brentano, etc...quite extensively already. To pick it up again, I would need a good reason, such as needing a reference concerning a phenomenologist's analysis of perception and how the presupposition of the Cogito is necessarily contained within the structure of that experience--something kantian like that. But that's not to say I won't read it again. I rather enjoy reading it.

Here's the deal: I totally understand why you would be interested in phenomenology if you have a BA in psychology. That makes perfect sense. But it's just not a way of approaching philosophy that is readily respected by "the professionals" in the better philosophical departments throughout the States. There is a good reason for this too--since the entire method of "bracketing" traditional philosophical issues in order to describe the structure of 1st person experience as it is immediately (not mediately) given, is what is so suspect.

I don't deny phenomenology is difficult for anyone to read, especially Husserl. I like reading him, but I can only take him seriously so far--and then I find myself giving up because I begin to feel like I am reading nonsense. I've racked my head with that guy for years, and I like Kant much better.

So no worries.

Take care.


Point well taken. I have had similar discussions with analytic philosophers before, and I have learned that if I am not coming off a bit convoluted to them I am not representing phenomenology properly. :-)

I completely agree that one needs a reason to study continental philosophy, and if analytic philosophy functions for you, then I completely understand your perspective concerning it. They are quite incompatible. I enjoyed the conversation though, always great to get a new perspective on the issue.
 
 

 
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