Truth and such.

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Reply Fri 27 Nov, 2009 06:21 pm
"Reality" is an abstraction. The map is the territory. We live largely in our descriptions of the world, in our words for the world. Most agree that the earth is round. There's enough consensus on this that a person seems silly to question it. But soon it gets more complicated.

This forum is a collision of descriptions of "reality." How many of us are positivists here? Not many, I would think. So "reality" certainly includes our descriptions of it.

The idea of a reality apart from our descriptions is an abstraction. It's a convenient scientific prejudice that we take for granted. But this idea is just that, an idea. What are we but ideas and sensations?

Abstractions are made of words. One cannot explain any single part of reality (exhaustively) unless one explains the whole (exhaustively.) I doubt such a thing is possible.

We make due with opinions that are "true enough. "
Reply Fri 27 Nov, 2009 08:29 pm
Reconstructo;106491 wrote:
What are we but ideas and sensations?

We make due with opinions that are "true enough. "

Hmm. And I always thought that I was a person who had ideas and sensations. I guess I will have to revise my thoughts.

Sometimes I do. But it really depends. For instance, I do like my opinions about how much money there is in my bank account to be exact. And if I am in a city, I rather like to know what city I am in. Exactly. Sometimes, "close enough for government work", is not close enough.
Reply Sat 28 Nov, 2009 06:25 pm
Hence the word "enough." Enough is one thing in horseshoes and another in space-shuttle design. For all its inexactness, it's a useful word. Useful enough that we continue to use it.

One could argue that you don't have "ideas" and "sensations" but rather something that you symbolize with those words. To say you have ideas is an abstraction. Also to say you are a "person" is an abstraction, an idea. Hume tackled this, dissolved the self into associated ideas. But Hume had trouble with this, as it is a complicated (and eventually boring) issue. At some point he had enough of it, and poured himself some gin.

Still, I liked his persuasions enough to reference them. I admit freely that we are playing a game of persuasion. And its often ourselves we persuade, for the mind is a complex organism. And all of this is abstractions and metaphors, like the rest of philosophy, which is here and there true enough.

We are all in the fog of language, some of us more aware of it.

You end on the word "enough." "Enough" was the keyword of my last post, and "enough" is a flexible enough word for all those situations you mentioned.

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