The problem with perspectivism

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Nameless 23232
 
Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2009 08:52 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;75906 wrote:
It is not possible for me to tell whether or not we are disagreeing, for I don't unkderstand a lot of what you are saying, or if I do, it is only vaguely.
For instance, it seems to me that what is generally known as the "scientific method" can be used to answer non-scientific questions like philosophical questions. At least, I hope so, for other than that, I know of no method.


I think finally we are understanding each other to some degree, my point and this is as clear as I can say is that scientific method cannot be applied to all philosophical questions, or it can be applied but it can't add anything further to the debate, as is seen in the example of knowing other minds. I agree that scientific method is generally the most sound approach, but I disagree with avoiding philosophical questions that still have relevance just because they cannot be answered through this scientific method, such as the problem of knowing other minds. That's about as clear as I can be I feel.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 8 Jul, 2009 09:02 am
@Nameless 23232,
Nameless_23232;75909 wrote:
I think finally we are understanding each other to some degree, my point and this is as clear as I can say is that scientific method cannot be applied to all philosophical questions, or it can be applied but it can't add anything further to the debate, as is seen in the example of knowing other minds. I agree that scientific method is generally the most sound approach, but I disagree with avoiding philosophical questions that still have relevance just because they cannot be answered through this scientific method, such as the problem of knowing other minds. That's about as clear as I can be I feel.


Good. But why cannot the SM be used to know that another person (say) is angry? As a result of certain observations, I formulate the hypothesis that my friend is angry. I may, then, test that hypothesis by making some predictions from it, and determining whether the predictions are successful, or unsuccessful. I just might ask my friend whether he is angry, and (CP) if he says no, he is not, I may simply take that as good reason to think my hypothesis is false. If, on the other hand, my friend says that yes, he is angry, then I will take that as good reason to think that my hypothesis is true (it tends to confirm my hypothesis). What is the matter with this account?
 
grasshopper
 
Reply Thu 9 Jul, 2009 04:11 pm
@hue-man,
The only 'prespective' that can ever be closer to the truth(eve tho it makes me smile, this word -truth-) is the window where you can see every window and not choose any.
My psychologist told me to get a bit lower and adviced my mother to try to go a bit higher in order to meet in one point. So it is not always enough to see everything from a bigger view but also be capable to get yourself in a 'lower' position, if you know what i'm saying.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 9 Jul, 2009 05:22 pm
@grasshopper,
grasshopper;76155 wrote:
The only 'prespective' that can ever be closer to the truth(eve tho it makes me smile, this word -truth-) is the window where you can see every window and not choose any.
My psychologist told me to get a bit lower and adviced my mother to try to go a bit higher in order to meet in one point. So it is not always enough to see everything from a bigger view but also be capable to get yourself in a 'lower' position, if you know what i'm saying.


Why does the word, "truth" make you smile? It is an ordinary English term, like "chair" or "table". It means what it means. You can even look it up in the dictionary. The dictionary doesn't tell you to smile when you look it up. Does it?
 
grasshopper
 
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 03:57 am
@hue-man,
It is funny because truth always changes. It means what it means? What does it mean?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 06:32 am
@grasshopper,
grasshopper;76283 wrote:
It is funny because truth always changes. It means what it means? What does it mean?


Truth never changes. If it is true that it is raining in the middle of Central Park in New York City at 11:AM on July 20, 1989, then it is true now, on July 20, 2009 that it is raining n the middle of Central Park in New York City at 11:AM on July 20, 1989; it was true a million years ago that, n the middle of Central Park in New York City at 11:AM on July 20, 1989, and it will be true a million years from now that it rains in the middle of Central Park in New York City, at 11:AM on July 20, 1989. And until the end of the world.

To say that a sentence (or a belief) is true, is to say that it corresponds with the facts. But everyone knows that.

Aristotle put it very well: "To say what is true, is to say that what is, or to say that what is not, is not."

That's nothing to smile about. It is something to applaud.
 
richrf
 
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 07:35 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;76287 wrote:
Aristotle put it very well: "To say what is true, is to say that what is, or to say that what is not, is not."


Suppose the person standing next to you in Central Park does not feel the rain and says it is not raining. Or suppose a sensor that is a few yards away doesn't register the rain. Or suppose someone misreads the sensor and says it didn't rain. So what is true?

There is no way of getting away from the fact that an observer must always be involved which means that each individual mind will "say what is true". Which is fine, as long as everyone realizes that it is a subjective evaluation. Eventually they will all probably reach some consensus on whether it rained or not, after they have shared each other's perspective. Or they might not.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 07:59 am
@richrf,
richrf;76294 wrote:
Suppose the person standing next to you in Central Park does not feel the rain and says it is not raining. Or suppose a sensor that is a few yards away doesn't register the rain. Or suppose someone misreads the sensor and says it didn't rain. So what is true?

There is no way of getting away from the fact that an observer must always be involved which means that each individual mind will "say what is true". Which is fine, as long as everyone realizes that it is a subjective evaluation. Eventually they will all probably reach some consensus on whether it rained or not, after they have shared each other's perspective. Or they might not.

Rich


Whether or not anyone knows it is raining is one thing. Whether or not it is raining is an entirely different think. Rain need not be detected for it to be raining. It might have been raining in Central Park 300,000 years ago when there was nothing to detect it. You continue to confuse knowing that something exists with existing. No one has to say it is true, or think it is true that it is raining, for it to be raining. Rain doesn't care whether anyone believes or says it exists. It just comes down.
 
richrf
 
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 08:03 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;76303 wrote:
Whether or not anyone knows it is raining is one thing. Whether or not it is raining is an entirely different think. Rain need not be detected for it to be raining. It might have been raining in Central Park 300,000 years ago when there was nothing to detect it. You continue to confuse knowing that something exists with existing. No one has to say it is true, or think it is true that it is raining, for it to be raining. Rain doesn't care whether anyone believes or says it exists. It just comes down.


Fine. Whatever you want to believe is true.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 08:32 am
@richrf,
richrf;76304 wrote:
Fine. Whatever you want to believe is true.

Rich


But I have lots of evidence for that belief. What evidence have you for your belief? Or doesn't that matter to you? Truth is not what I want to believe; rather, I want to believe what is true. See the difference? When I go to a bank, I want to believe that I have $500,000 in my account. But the teller does not tell me that whatever I want to believe is true. Have you a different kind of teller? Does your teller tell you that you have in your account whatever you want to believe is in your account? I take it the answer is, no. So why would you think that what is true is whatever anyone wants to believe is true?

There is also a difference between its being true that you believe whatever you believe, and what you believe is true, is, in fact true. You appear to mix those up too.

And there is also a difference between the fact that when some one believes something, that person believes that something is true; and whether if someone believes something that belief is true. That need not be a fact.

If you hold these distinctions in mind, you will not be so confused.
 
richrf
 
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 12:48 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;76314 wrote:
I want to believe what is true.


It looks like you really do. I just believe what I believe.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 01:46 pm
@richrf,
richrf;76378 wrote:
It looks like you really do. I just believe what I believe.

Rich

Isn't that just adorable!
That is called, "wishful thinking", I do believe. That is effective only in fairy tales. Peter Pan asks his audience to have faith that Tinker Bell, the little fairy, will live. And, by gum, the audience complies, and Tinker Bell does live! But then, Peter Pan wants never to grow up, and remain a little boy for the rest of his life in, Never-Never Land. I see you want to emulate him. But I bet some people think it is adorable of you.
 
ACB
 
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 02:00 pm
@richrf,
richrf;76378 wrote:
I just believe what I believe.


Can you elaborate on this, please? How do you decide what to believe? I take it that you base your beliefs on your observations and experiences, and that you therefore believe some things that are unwelcome to you.

---------- Post added 07-10-2009 at 09:15 PM ----------

kennethamy;76287 wrote:
Truth never changes. If it is true that it is raining in the middle of Central Park in New York City at 11:AM on July 20, 1989, then it is true now, on July 20, 2009 that it is raining in the middle of Central Park in New York City at 11:AM on July 20, 1989; it was true a million years ago that, in the middle of Central Park in New York City at 11:AM on July 20, 1989, and it will be true a million years from now that it rains in the middle of Central Park in New York City, at 11:AM on July 20, 1989. And until the end of the world.


I mostly agree with you, but I am doubtful about the above passage in bold. Doesn't it imply predestination? I would prefer to say that a million years ago no statement about an event in 1989 had any truth-value (true or false). Of course, many people claim that time is not real, and that past, present and future are all co-existent; but that is open to debate.
 
richrf
 
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 05:16 pm
@ACB,
ACB;76398 wrote:
Can you elaborate on this, please? How do you decide what to believe? I take it that you base your beliefs on your observations and experiences, and that you therefore believe some things that are unwelcome to you.


There are many ways to try to understand things. It is like detective work. Yes, sometimes things I observe around me and in my self leave an unwelcome feeling. So, that is the way my mind work.

But in all cases, I know it is my own mind at work - sometimes working with other minds - using its senses, its knowledge, and its skills, to try to figure things out. I am satisfied that it seems like I am changing all the time, and it seems like the world around me is doing the same thing - like an ocean with waves.

What is the truth about an ocean? I am not sure. I just seems like it is changing and I am watching it change. Others may also be watching it, and probably seeing something different than I.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 11 Jul, 2009 12:30 am
@ACB,
ACB;76398 wrote:


---------- Post added 07-10-2009 at 09:15 PM ----------



I mostly agree with you, but I am doubtful about the above passage in bold. Doesn't it imply predestination? I would prefer to say that a million years ago no statement about an event in 1989 had any truth-value (true or false). Of course, many people claim that time is not real, and that past, present and future are all co-existent; but that is open to debate.


I don't think it implies predestingation. Why should it? But, whether or not it does, it is still true. A theory may imply unpleasant consequences, and still be true.

---------- Post added 07-11-2009 at 02:35 AM ----------

richrf;76453 wrote:
There are many ways to try to understand things. It is like detective work. Yes, sometimes things I observe around me and in my self leave an unwelcome feeling. So, that is the way my mind work.

But in all cases, I know it is my own mind at work - sometimes working with other minds - using its senses, its knowledge, and its skills, to try to figure things out. I am satisfied that it seems like I am changing all the time, and it seems like the world around me is doing the same thing - like an ocean with waves.

What is the truth about an ocean? I am not sure. I just seems like it is changing and I am watching it change. Others may also be watching it, and probably seeing something different than I.

Rich


(Sigh) The fact that you, or anyone, does not know the truth about something, is no reason in the world to believe that there is no truth about that something that you do not know. What makes you think that because the truth about something is not known, that it does not exist. And, if two different people disagree about the truth about something, what makes you think there is no truth about the matter? The world does not revolve around people, you know. It revolves around the Sun. You seem to have the perspective of the Middle Ages.
 
richrf
 
Reply Sat 11 Jul, 2009 06:33 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;76561 wrote:
You seem to have the perspective of the Middle Ages.


In fact, your thinking is exactly what they thought during the Middle Ages, and what's more tens of thousands of people died during the Inquisition and Crusades because of your kind of thinking. I think you should read up on Galileo and what happened to him because he disagreed with people who knew the Truth.

BTW, as long as it is all about beliefs, you believe one way and I another way, what's the problem? I think less people die my way, but live and let live, I always say.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 11 Jul, 2009 10:07 am
@richrf,
richrf;76606 wrote:
In fact, your thinking is exactly what they thought during the Middle Ages, and what's more tens of thousands of people died during the Inquisition and Crusades because of your kind of thinking. I think you should read up on Galileo and what happened to him because he disagreed with people who knew the Truth.

BTW, as long as it is all about beliefs, you believe one way and I another way, what's the problem? I think less people die my way, but live and let live, I always say.

Rich


Because some beliefs are true, and some beliefs are false. And it makes a difference whether you hold a true or a false belief. I wouldn't have thought it was necessary to tell a grownup that, but apparently it is.

What happened to Galileo was that he knew the truth, and the others did not know the truth. They only believed they knew the truth. As Will Rogers pointed out, "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It is what you "know" that ain't true that does it". (Notice the quotes around the second occurrence of the word, know. They are very important).
 
richrf
 
Reply Sat 11 Jul, 2009 01:44 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;76628 wrote:
Because some beliefs are true, and some beliefs are false. And it makes a difference whether you hold a true or a false belief. I wouldn't have thought it was necessary to tell a grownup that, but apparently it is.

What happened to Galileo was that he knew the truth, and the others did not know the truth. They only believed they knew the truth. As Will Rogers pointed out, "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It is what you "know" that ain't true that does it". (Notice the quotes around the second occurrence of the word, know. They are very important).


Oh, .... I think the people who were for the Inquisition of Galileo were just plain ordinary everyday folks who who cocksure that they knew the Truth. As you said, Middle Ages - but apparently not only the Middle Ages, but also now, and probably the future.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 11 Jul, 2009 03:00 pm
@richrf,
richrf;76671 wrote:
Oh, .... I think the people who were for the Inquisition of Galileo were just plain ordinary everyday folks who who cocksure that they knew the Truth. As you said, Middle Ages - but apparently not only the Middle Ages, but also now, and probably the future.

Rich


Well, they didn't know the truth. Does that mean that some people do not know the truth, just because other people think they know the truth and, in fact, do not? Galileo did know the truth, didn't he?
 
Nameless 23232
 
Reply Sat 11 Jul, 2009 03:21 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;75912 wrote:
Good. But why cannot the SM be used to know that another person (say) is angry? As a result of certain observations, I formulate the hypothesis that my friend is angry. I may, then, test that hypothesis by making some predictions from it, and determining whether the predictions are successful, or unsuccessful. I just might ask my friend whether he is angry, and (CP) if he says no, he is not, I may simply take that as good reason to think my hypothesis is false. If, on the other hand, my friend says that yes, he is angry, then I will take that as good reason to think that my hypothesis is true (it tends to confirm my hypothesis). What is the matter with this account?


The problem in this account is that emotions are very imprecise things, in the sense that it is very hard to describe with any degree of precision exactly what the emotion 'angry' is. Furthermore it is hard to measure emotions, and it seems that they can be either measured through behaviour of the subject or asking the subject what emotion he is feeling. The problem lies however in not being certain that they attribute the emotion 'angry' in the same way as you do, you just have to assume that they do, and I see this as very shaky.
Another problem is placing too much faith in the believe that one cannot be deceitful in terms of hiding emotions or willingly mis-representing their emotions.
 
 

 
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