Ortega's Doctrine of the Point of View

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Bones-O
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 07:19 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;111192 wrote:
What I meant is that it seems to me that it is Ortega's argument for his conclusion that is in question. Not whether his conclusion is true or false. Since, of course, even if his conclusion were true, that would not show his argument for that conclusion was correct. Of course, now that I am told that his point was only about landscapes, the argument loses some of its interest. I didn't say that this wasn't the right place to ask the question. I thought it was rather a diversion. But that is when I thought that the issue was not about landscapes, but that landscapes was only an example, and it could as well have been about mountains. But now that it appears that the issue is about whether landscapes are real, and not, say, about whether mountains are real, I withdraw my comment. It was made under a misapprehension.


I'd be interested to hear how you think the issue differs if you substitute 'mountain' for 'landscape' as, while the example is about landscapes, given that by 'landscape' it did turn out we are talking about geographical features, I would have thought it held true for mountains too.

I think, though, you might have inferred from my question some assumption as to its purpose (it really was just a question) as the question itself did not critique either the argument or the conclusion. It's relevance was that two different views by one observer would seem equivalent to different views by two different observers. If I knew how Ortega treated the former (where continuity appears) this would have some impact on the latter (where conformance appears).

My present view was stated earlier, although perhaps not clearly enough: Irrespective of whether the conclusion is correct or not, it seems unjustified by the argument. While an innate physiognomy may be redundant to address the truth and reality of each perspective (or more accurately their non-falsity and non-illusory nature), it does not follow from these that an innate physiognomy does not exist. Or, more to the point, an evaluation of whether any actual perspective is false and/or illusory is not sufficient to determine that such an innate, observer-independent 'landscape' (which may mean actual expanse of geographical features or just the sum total of all possible potential perspectives) is false and/or illusory.

It is the means by which the conclusion follows from the argument I am troubled by.

Bones
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 07:26 am
@Bones-O,
Bones-O!;111203 wrote:
I'd be interested to hear how you think the issue differs if you substitute 'mountain' for 'landscape' as, while the example is about landscapes, given that by 'landscape' it did turn out we are talking about geographical features, I would have thought it held true for mountains too.

I think, though, you might have inferred from my question some assumption as to its purpose (it really was just a question) as the question itself did not critique either the argument or the conclusion. It's relevance was that two different views by one observer would seem equivalent to different views by two different observers. If I knew how Ortega treated the former (where continuity appears) this would have some impact on the latter (where conformance appears).

My present view was stated earlier, although perhaps not clearly enough: Irrespective of whether the conclusion is correct or not, it seems unjustified by the argument. While an innate physiognomy may be redundant to address the truth and reality of each perspective (or more accurately their non-falsity and non-illusory nature), it does not follow from these that an innate physiognomy does not exist. Or, more to the point, an evaluation of whether any actual perspective is false and/or illusory is not sufficient to determine that such an innate, observer-independent 'landscape' (which may mean actual expanse of geographical features or just the sum total of all possible potential perspectives) is false and/or illusory.

It is the means by which the conclusion follows from the argument I am troubled by.

Bones


Yes, I would have thought it was true for mountains too, too. But, apparently, according to longknowledge, it is only about landscapes. Isn't that what he indicated in the post you thanked him for? Why else would it have been relevant for him to do research on landscapes?

Yes, whether the conclusion is true or not, it is the argument that is awful. I thought I already clearly indicated that was my position. Apparently not. I wonder what you thought I was saying, though. Perhaps it was a combination of how I put it, and how you read it.
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 07:45 am
@longknowledge,
longknowledge;111148 wrote:
Hold on, guys. Let's try to clear up the confusion by looking at some definitions:
Hey, I just happened to be reading about the origin of the word landscape:

In 1710, Ashley Cooper wrote in "The Moralists" that people should "no longer resist the passion for Things of a natural kind: where neither Art, nor the conceit of Caprice of Man has spoiled the genuine order... Even the rude Rocks, the Mossy Caverns, the irregular unwrought Grottos and broken Falls of Waters, with all the horrid Graves of Wilderness itself, as representing nature more, will be the more engaging, and appear with Magnificence beyond the formal Mockery of Princely Gardens."

Joseph Addison, a poet, supported Cooper's view and first introduced the word "landskip."

This apparently evolved out of the European preoccupation with gardens. In the 17th century, European garden designers learned that Chinese gardens don't have the formal geometric quality of western ones. Europeans were fascinated with Chinese civilization, a phenomenon called "Chinoiserie." It affected philosophy, arts, crafts, and design.

Chinese gardens are a kind of work of art that didn't have a western corollary. The pervasive symbolism is part of the experience. England has the right kind of climate, and in the 17th century, the spirit, to explore an English take on the idea. In 1719, Alexander Pope wrote: "In laying out a garden, the first and chief thing to be considered is the genius of the place. All gardening is landscape painting..." This methodology and idea was similar to that of Chinese landscaping, except that the two garden styles were based on two different styles of painting from two different cultures. --"Planting Design" by Gang Chen.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 07:51 am
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;111210 wrote:
Hey, I just happened to be reading about the origin of the word landscape:

In 1710, Ashley Cooper wrote in "The Moralists" that people should "no longer resist the passion for Things of a natural kind: where neither Art, nor the conceit of Caprice of Man has spoiled the genuine order... Even the rude Rocks, the Mossy Caverns, the irregular unwrought Grottos and broken Falls of Waters, with all the horrid Graves of Wilderness itself, as representing nature more, will be the more engaging, and appear with Magnificence beyond the formal Mockery of Princely Gardens."

Joseph Addison, a poet, supported Cooper's view and first introduced the word "landskip."

This apparently evolved out of the European preoccupation with gardens. In the 17th century, European garden designers learned that Chinese gardens don't have the formal geometric quality of western ones. Europeans were fascinated with Chinese civilization, a phenomenon called "Chinoiserie." It affected philosophy, arts, crafts, and design.

Chinese gardens are a kind of work of art that didn't have a western corollary. The pervasive symbolism is part of the experience. England has the right kind of climate, and in the 17th century, the spirit, to explore an English take on the idea. In 1719, Alexander Pope wrote: "In laying out a garden, the first and chief thing to be considered is the genius of the place. All gardening is landscape painting..." This methodology and idea was similar to that of Chinese landscaping, except that the two garden styles were based on two different styles of painting from two different cultures. --"Planting Design" by Gang Chen.


Does what you read say that there really are no landscapes, only landscape-views?
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 08:07 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;111211 wrote:
Does what you read say that there really are no landscapes, only landscape-views?
That book was on design. In landscape design, as with interior design, it's all about shaping the experience of the viewer. Therefore the governing factor for a designer is appearance.

I think what you're focusing on is what there is other than appearance. What's there, whether you see it or not. You place prime importance (my translation of your thinking) on what is not seen, but discerned through reason.

People experience reality in different ways. It could seem that you sort of discredit what you actually experience compared to what you reason must be true?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 08:20 am
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;111212 wrote:
T
I think what you're focusing on is what there is other than appearance. What's there, whether you see it or not. You place prime importance (my translation of your thinking) on what is not seen, but discerned through reason.



All empiricists reach conclusions about what is not seem, but discerned by reason, which is, itself, based on what is observed. Reason and observation work together to discover the truth of things.
 
Bones-O
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 08:25 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;111207 wrote:
Yes, I would have thought it was true for mountains too, too. But, apparently, according to longknowledge, it is only about landscapes. Isn't that what he indicated in the post you thanked him for? Why else would it have been relevant for him to do research on landscapes?


longknowledge was just clearing up an ambiguity about the word 'landscape', I believe, rather than stating this argument is only about landscapes. I thanked him for clarifying.

kennethamy;111207 wrote:
Yes, whether the conclusion is true or not, it is the argument that is awful. I thought I already clearly indicated that was my position. Apparently not. I wonder what you thought I was saying, though. Perhaps it was a combination of how I put it, and how you read it.


I'm not sure that makes sense. I didn't question your position, only the meaning of your response to my question. In fact, I've said nothing about your treatment at all yet.

I think we're basically in accord. You've covered both possible meanings of landscape that are justified by both the OP and the Ortega quote (which, in my view, does show the argument to be self-contradicting insofar as it follows the lines of : i. X; ii. if X, Y; iii. if Y, not X).

Your first point follows the lines of mine. Your second I'm uncertain of. The argument does establish an equivilence between all views of the landscape by establishing an equivilence between two non-specified views. Since these views can be any views, all views are equivalent. Thus if there is one true view, it is equivilent to all views. This is a contradiction, so you must reject either the equivalence of all views or the existence of one true view. However, Ortego does not seem to justify his decision except by focusing only on the truth and reality of all views (my earlier post). Is this what you meant too?

Bones
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 08:35 am
@Bones-O,
Bones-O!;111217 wrote:
longknowledge was just clearing up an ambiguity about the word 'landscape', I believe, rather than stating this argument is only about landscapes. I thanked him for clarifying.



I'm not sure that makes sense. I didn't question your position, only the meaning of your response to my question. In fact, I've said nothing about your treatment at all yet.

I think we're basically in accord. You've covered both possible meanings of landscape that are justified by both the OP and the Ortega quote (which, in my view, does show the argument to be self-contradicting insofar as it follows the lines of : i. X; ii. if X, Y; iii. if Y, not X).

Your first point follows the lines of mine. Your second I'm uncertain of. The argument does establish an equivilence between all views of the landscape by establishing an equivilence between two non-specified views. Since these views can be any views, all views are equivalent. Thus if there is one true view, it is equivilent to all views. This is a contradiction, so you must reject either the equivalence of all views or the existence of one true view. However, Ortego does not seem to justify his decision except by focusing only on the truth and reality of all views (my earlier post). Is this what you meant too?

Bones


What relevance do you think did the meaning of the word, "landscape" has to the issue?

Why do you think that all views of a landscape are "equivalent"? "Equivalent" how? Do you think that if I view something through a fog, or through heavy smoke, or from a great distance, that those views are "equivalent" (whatever that may mean) to viewing it in normal daylight from the usual distance? But Ortega's argument seems to be (it is really hard to tell what he is arguing) that because there are conflicting views, there is no correct view, and maybe even, that there is no there, there (apologies to Gertrude Stein).
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 08:49 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;111216 wrote:
All empiricists reach conclusions about what is not seem, but discerned by reason, which is, itself, based on what is observed. Reason and observation work together to discover the truth of things.
I assume you're saying you're an empiricist.

If you were me, if you saw things from my point of view, "empiricist" would be only one mode of experience. You'd see flaws in the notion that reason is based on observation.

The difference between us, from my point of view, is that I honor and value your perspective. I realize that if I were you, I'd see what you see and make the same criticisms you do. I see that you're 100% right, from your point of view.

I think from your point of view, I'm just stupid.Smile
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 09:20 am
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;111227 wrote:
I assume you're saying you're an empiricist.

If you were me, if you saw things from my point of view, "empiricist" would be only one mode of experience. You'd see flaws in the notion that reason is based on observation.

The difference between us, from my point of view, is that I honor and value your perspective. I realize that if I were you, I'd see what you see and make the same criticisms you do. I see that you're 100% right, from your point of view.

I think from your point of view, I'm just stupid.Smile


I never said that reason is based on observation (as you say I did). I think that is obviously false. Maybe you had better read what I wrote. Everybody thinks that what he believes is true. Otherwise, he would not believe it. So I am not special in that regard. If you mean that I am certain that what I believe is true, you are wrong. I am not. However, when I have good reasons for believing what I do, I am confident in what I believe.

I don't think you are stupid. But you may be untrained. Anyway, read what I wrote, and try not to impute to me on no evidence, opinions I don't have.
 
Bones-O
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 09:54 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;111221 wrote:
What relevance do you think did the meaning of the word, "landscape" have to the issue?


See my first post, the resulting conversation and longknowledge's clarification.

kennethamy;111221 wrote:
Why do you think that all views of a landscape are "equivalent"? "Equivalent" how? Do you think that if I view something through a fog, or through heavy smoke, or from a great distance, that those views are "equivalent" (whatever that may mean) to viewing it in normal daylight from the usual distance?


They are equivilent insofar as no one view is privileged. This is, in the argument, given by two non-specific views both being true and real. Personally, I don't think this is enough to demonstrate universal equivalence (hence my earlier post on completeness and incompleteness). But the argument does seem to be self-consistent to me.

kennethamy;111221 wrote:
But Ortega's argument seems to be (it is really hard to tell what he is arguing) that because there are conflicting views, there is no correct view, and maybe even, that there is no there, there (apologies to Gertrude Stein).


Like I said, difficult to say on the basis of the quote alone - it is ambiguous. Where the 'landscape that isn't there' is a physical thing, I agree completely. Where it is some kind of God's eye view (a more right view), I'm more sympathetic to the argument but still have problems with it.

Again, look at the equivalence of inertial frames as an analogue.

Bones
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 10:05 am
@Bones-O,
Bones-O!;111245 wrote:
See my first post, the resulting conversation and longknowledge's clarification.



They are equivilent insofar as no one view is privileged. This is, in the argument, given by two non-specific views both being true and real. Personally, I don't think this is enough to demonstrate universal equivalence (hence my earlier post on completeness and incompleteness). But the argument does seem to be self-consistent to me.



Like I said, difficult to say on the basis of the quote alone - it is ambiguous. Where the 'landscape that isn't there' is a physical thing, I agree completely. Where it is some kind of God's eye view (a more right view), I'm more sympathetic to the argument but still have problems with it.

Again, look at the equivalence of inertial frames as an analogue.

Bones


I don't know whether you think that all views are equivalent, but that is obviously not true. And I gave several example of its not being truth. Fog, distance, for instance. Fairy tales are self-consistent. That does not make them true.

Sorry, I don't understand what you are saying in the last paragraph.
 
Bones-O
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 10:30 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;111250 wrote:
I don't know whether you think that all views are equivalent, but that is obviously not true. And I gave several example of its not being truth. Fog, distance, for instance. Fairy tales are self-consistent. That does not make them true.


The analogy to equivalence of inertial frames holds. Distance differs from frame-to-frame, but no one frame is privileged: to that extent, they are equivalent.

kennethamy;111250 wrote:
Sorry, I don't understand what you are saying in the last paragraph.


I was just saying that the bracketed parts of the Ortega quote make it ambiguous. I agree that 'if all views of X are real and true, there is no X' is wrong. I also agree that 'if all views of X are real and true, there is no one objective view of X' is not true, reason being that reality and truth are not the only qualities of a perspective.

Bones
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 10:37 am
@Bones-O,
Bones-O!;111260 wrote:
The analogy to equivalence of inertial frames holds. Distance differs from frame-to-frame, but no one frame is privileged: to that extent, they are equivalent.



I was just saying that the bracketed parts of the Ortega quote make it ambiguous. I agree that 'if all views of X are real and true, there is no X' is wrong. I also agree that 'if all views of X are real and true, there is no one objective view of X' is not true, reason being that reality and truth are not the only qualities of a perspective.

Bones


Yes, if it were like intertial frames, I suppose you would be right. But different perspective don't seem to me at all like intertial frames, since different perspectives are not equivalently good perspective. Why would you think different perspectives are like different intertial frames?

Have you any reason to think that all views are equally good views? I would think that notion was obviously false. Seeing something obscured by a heavy fog is not equally good as seeing it in broad daylight. Don't you agree?
 
Bones-O
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 11:04 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;111263 wrote:
Yes, if it were like intertial frames, I suppose you would be right. But different perspective don't seem to me at all like intertial frames, since different perspectives are not equivalently good perspective.
...
Have you any reason to think that all views are equally good views? I would think that notion was obviously false. Seeing something obscured by a heavy fog is not equally good as seeing it in broad daylight. Don't you agree?


First, without introducing some arbitrary criterion for a 'good' perspective the phrase is meaningless, and since the criterion would be arbitrary it is generally meaningless.

Second, even letting the above slide, the values cited are not the quality of the perspective (e.g. its clarity), but their reality and truth. That is the basis proposed in the OP for the equivalence of perspectives. 'Goodness' is not.

kennethamy;111263 wrote:
Why would you think different perspectives are like different intertial frames?


Because none is priveleged (with respect to truth and reality).


Bones
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 11:19 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;111216 wrote:
All empiricists reach conclusions about what is not seem, but discerned by reason, which is, itself, based on what is observed. Reason and observation work together to discover the truth of things.


kennethamy;111234 wrote:
I never said that reason is based on observation (as you say I did). I think that is obviously false. Maybe you had better read what I wrote. Everybody thinks that what he believes is true. Otherwise, he would not believe it. So I am not special in that regard. If you mean that I am certain that what I believe is true, you are wrong. I am not. However, when I have good reasons for believing what I do, I am confident in what I believe.

I don't think you are stupid. But you may be untrained. Anyway, read what I wrote, and try not to impute to me on no evidence, opinions I don't have.
Your confidence in what you believe, based on good reason, has no doubt served you well. I think that kind of confidence is an essential part of our humanity.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 11:30 am
@Bones-O,
Bones-O!;111273 wrote:
First, without introducing some arbitrary criterion for a 'good' perspective the phrase is meaningless, and since the criterion would be arbitrary it is generally meaningless.

Second, even letting the above slide, the values cited are not the quality of the perspective (e.g. its clarity), but their reality and truth. That is the basis proposed in the OP for the equivalence of perspectives. 'Goodness' is not.



Because none is priveleged (with respect to truth and reality).


Bones


But why must the criterion be arbitrary? Don't you think that we can see better what properties something has when our view is not obscured, than when it is obscured? Why not? Suppose I want to see the actual color of a piece of material. Do you think I should look at it by the light of the television set in a dark room, or look at it in natural daylight?

First of all, I did not say anyone is. I said that there are circumstances in which we can get a more accurate view of something, than in other circumstances.

But, don't you think that someone with very poor eyesight is less likely to make a correct judgment than someone with optimal eyesight? Why do we give eye tests to prospective drivers otherwise?

So the analogy between conditions of viewing, and intertial systems seem to me not a very good one. In fact, it begs the question, because it supposes exactly what is at issue. That every condition of viewing is equally valid.
 
Bones-O
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 11:48 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;111283 wrote:
But why must the criterion be arbitrary? Don't you think that we can see better what properties something has when our view is not obscured, than when it is obscured? Why not? Suppose I want to see the actual color of a piece of material. Do you think I should look at it by the light of the television set in a dark room, or look at it in natural daylight?


Supposing you want to see the actual colour of a piece of material is an example of an arbitrary criterion for a view's quality in the arena of this discussion. The view in which the material's colour is evident is not universally 'good', only good for seeing the material's colour.

kennethamy;111283 wrote:
First of all, I did not say anyone is. I said that there are circumstances in which we can get a more accurate view of something, than in other circumstances.


Getting a more accurate view of a particular thing is not what is being discussed in the OP, but the entirety of an actual view, irrespective of its content or the desire of the viewer.

kennethamy;111283 wrote:
But, don't you think that someone with very poor eyesight is less likely to make a correct judgment than someone with optimal eyesight? Why do we give eye tests to prospective drivers otherwise?


The view that gives the best basis upon which to make a particular judgement is not what is being discussed either. However, the instance of myopia might be interestingly applied: Is a myopic view as 'true' as any other?

kennethamy;111283 wrote:
So the analogy between conditions of viewing, and intertial systems seem to me not a very good one. In fact, it begs the question, because it supposes exactly what is at issue. That every condition of viewing is equally valid.


No, what is at issue is the existence of a privileged view. The premise is that all views are equally valid.


Bones
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 12:16 pm
@Bones-O,
Bones-O!;111288 wrote:
Supposing you want to see the actual colour of a piece of material is an example of an arbitrary criterion for a view's quality in the arena of this discussion. The view in which the material's colour is evident is not universally 'good', only good for seeing the material's colour.



Getting a more accurate view of a particular thing is not what is being discussed in the OP, but the entirety of an actual view, irrespective of its content or the desire of the viewer.



The view that gives the best basis upon which to make a particular judgement is not what is being discussed either. However, the instance of myopia might be interestingly applied: Is a myopic view as 'true' as any other?



No, what is at issue is the existence of a privileged view. The premise is that all views are equally valid.


Bones


I don't understand why it is arbitrary to believe that seeing the material by the dim light of television is not a good a way of determining the color or a piece of material, than is seeing the material by normal daylight. Can you explain that to me? Even if it is only good for determining the color or the material, why is it arbitrary? It is still better for determining the color than any other conditions. Suppose you want to feel the texture of the material. Would you think that feeling it with the bare hand, or feeling it with thick gloves on, is a better way of determining the texture. What you say simply makes no sense to me.

The premise is that all views are valid. You are right. And so, to say that all conditions are like inertial systems begs the question as to whether that premise is true. Is just assumes the premise is true. But isn't the truth of that premise exactly what is in question. What you are, in effect saying, is that since differing conditions are like inertial systems, differing conditions of observation are equally valid. But my question is, is it true that different conditions of observation are like inertial systems? You are saying they are because they are. That is no answer.
 
Bones-O
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 12:58 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;111292 wrote:
I don't understand why it is arbitrary to believe that seeing the material by the dim light of television is not a good a way of determining the color or a piece of material, than is seeing the material by normal daylight. Can you explain that to me? Even if it is only good for determining the color or the material, why is it arbitrary?


The first statement is not mine, so I'm not supporting it. It is arbitrary for determining the 'goodness' of the view because it is only good for determining the colour of a piece of material. As a criterion for determining whether my view is, in general, better than yours or vice versa, it is useless.

kennethamy;111292 wrote:
Suppose you want to feel the texture of the material. Would you think that feeling it with the bare hand, or feeling it with thick gloves on, is a better way of determining the texture. What you say simply makes no sense to me.


But again the OP is not talking about what I want to achieve by having the view, only whether the view is equivilent to any other in terms of falsity and illusion. What I feel when I feel something with a gloved hand is as true and real as what I feel with my ungloved hand. In the former case what I happen to feel is mostly the inside of my glove.

kennethamy;111292 wrote:
The premise is that all views are valid. You are right. And so, to say that all conditions are like inertial systems begs the question as to whether that premise is true. Is just assumes the premise is true. But isn't the truth of that premise exactly what is in question. What you are, in effect saying, is that since differing conditions are like inertial systems, differing conditions of observation are equally valid. But my question is, is it true that different conditions of observation are like inertial systems? You are saying they are because they are. That is no answer.


No, that's not what I'm saying. That's tantamount to saying I'm including the equivalence of inertial frames in the proof of no privileged view. What I said was it was analogous - if you can grasp one, you can grasp the other.

Bones
 
 

 
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