Ortega's Doctrine of the Point of View

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kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 01:13 pm
@Bones-O,
Bones-O!;111298 wrote:
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.



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.



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


It is arbitrary for determining the 'goodness' of the view because it is only good for determining the colour of a piece of material.

The goodness of what view? And what does it mean for a view to be good? And what is your view. I am getting mixed up with the various views. I am just claiming that in order to discover what the properties of something are, it is better to have a clear, unobstructed view, than an obscure obstructed view. Do you agree or disagree? In the case of the color of the material, it is better to have good light than dim light. Same question? If you agree than you don't think that all views are equivalent.

The gloved hand is a less accurate instrument for ascertaining the texture of material, than a bare hand. Agree or disagree? If you agree than you don't think that all views are equivalent.

I thought you were producing an argument by analogy. If you were using the example of inertial systems just as an illustration of what you mean, then you were not arguing, of course. But you are simply mistaken. Inertial systems are equivalent. Views are not. It is a terrible example.
 
longknowledge
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 01:24 pm
@Bones-O,
Well, since my first post in this thread did not generate much of a respose I thought I'd better add another post and see what happens:

Below I have included without comment my translation of a portion of a chapter from a book by a student of Ortega's who completed an in depth study entitled Perspectiva y verdad: el problema de la verdad en Ortega ("Perspective and Truth: The Problem of Truth in Ortega"). The words in brackets are words that do not appear in the Spanish version, but are added for clarity. I will include my translation of another section of this work about Ortega's idea of perspective in a subsequent post to this thread.


[CENTER]The Idea of Perspective
[/CENTER]

1. The essential "figure" of "perspective" and the "visual perspective".

[CENTER]* * *[/CENTER]
Under the term "perspective" Ortega understands very different things [that al]though [it's] not a question of an equivocal term, [is] rather at most analogous. There is, therefore, an essential "figure" which is always present in whatever use or application of this concept, and that is the first [thing] that it is important for us to fix [on].

The very [s]election of the term "perspective" seems to remit us to a fundamental signification, which is the one it has in the expression "visual perspective." And, in effect, this could be true, as long as we would understand by "visual perception" something somewhat distinct from that which such an expression commonly denotes, because Ortega has a peculiar idea of seeing itself that differs from the usual. On the one hand it is also not at all clear, nor much less - rather the contrary is clear- , that the originating reality to which the term "perspective," in the Orteguian acceptance, consigns us, is the fact of physical vision. What is clear, on the other hand, is that Ortega has served himself of it to forge the "model concept," to say it that way, of "perspective," which indicates that for him it is the notion of "visual perspective" where with most clarity we can discover that basic and common essential "figure" to which I was referring above. It would be convenient, therefore, that we begin by asking ourselves what is the elemental structure of all visual perspective. And we find that, for there to be a visual perspective, there have to be given concurrently the following facts and conditions- that is requisites- :

1. Someone who looks from a point in a direction ("point of view").

2. Something seen in that looking.

3. What is seen has to be ordered at different distances from the point of view, that is to say occupying different termini or planes (arrangement in profundity).

4. There is, thus, a first plane, a last plane and a series, major or minor, of intermediate planes in what is seen.

5. What is seen, in each case, comes to be exactly determined by the point of view, so that to each point of view there corresponds one aspect and only one, and, vice-versa, each aspect can only be seen from one determinate point of view and only from one. The relation between what is seen and the point of view is thus a bi-univocal correlation; as a consequence, to each variation of the point of view there would correspond a precise and unique variation of the perspective, of what is seen.

This is the elemental structure, and commonly accepted [one], of all visual perspective. Ortega also would accept it, but upon condition of introducing in it some modifications, without which the reality described would be a pure abstraction and even more than that, a pure impossibility. The question rests on only in a small detail: the notion of "point of view." In the schema traced the "point of view" is defined solely by the place that the eye occupies and by the direction of the look (it is supposed, naturally, that, in there being a look, there is also ocular accommodation to a certain distance of the many that the profundity of the perspective implies). Now then, what Ortega adds is the following: The "point of view," in addition to the factors previously signaled, comes to be defined by the someone whose look it is, by the subject who looks. Such that if upon varying the place and the direction the point of view changes, no less- although in a different manner- does the subject who looks change to another. In the constitution of the "point of view" and, as such, in the precise determination of what is seen in each case, there intervenes, thus, a new factor that already is not of a spatial order. This means to say that two individuals situated successively (and if could be simultaneously, it would be the same), in the same place and looking in the same direction- and even the same object and the same distance- , represent, nevertheless, two different points of view and as a consequence, they do not see the same [thing]. The reason for it is that "all seeing is a looking", and that the look is governed by the law of attention: all looking is an attending to something- that in which "we fix [on]," in which the attention fixes itself- and for that [reason] itself, inevitably, a dis-attending of the rest (Ortega underscores insistently this elemental fact, which it is not usually sufficiently heeded, that all seeing is ipso facto a "blinding oneself" for that which is excluded from our vision in each moment). The attention selects, thus, among the many visible things, a few; it concentrates or projects [itself] on them, like a luminous focus, and leaves in a penumbra or obscurity the rest, on the background of which the attended ones clearly stand out. Well now, the attention, in turn, is governed by the law of interest. We attend to that which interests us. And who or what decides about our interest in each moment? Well, without a doubt, the intimate constellation of our necessities, desires, appetites, vital conveniences, sentiments, preferences, loves; in sum, all that which Ortega designates many times with only one word: our heart. [. . .] But, in turn, that intimate constellation functions in each moment according to the project or program of life that each man is-a project, on the other hand, also conditioned by it-, that is, according to what the realization of said project in that moment requires. That is what we properly can call the situation and permits us to speak already of the special perspective as a pragmatic structure (about these two concepts we will return later). Thus, therefore, the "modeling" or organization of the "visual perspective," the "selection" in which it consists and which attention operates, comes already to be directed from within the subject; it originates itself in the "personal depth" of the latter and as a function of its affective interests and preferences. All vision supposes, thus, a pre-vision or anticipated preference for certain objects (later we will see the far-reaching consequences of this fact). And as each individual represents a system of interests- and a project or program- [that is] different, it follows that not only does the attention select in each moment its scope, but also each individual as such is already by himself a selective organ. From this [it follows] that various individuals, even situated in the same place, do not see the same [thing]. (For example, a laborer, a hunter and a painter, facing the same landscape, see three different landscapes- Ortega poses that example, or, in another place, that of a laborer and an astronomer, to make the same viewed with maximum clarity- ; but the same thing occurs with any two individuals, even though they be of the same profession, education, interests [aficiones], etcetera); and it's [such] that, rigorously, two different men cannot ever be in the same situation, even though they occupy the same place and even, as an impossibility, if they could occupy it simultaneously.

But there is even more: not only can two distinct individuals ever see the same [thing], but also, hurrying things and taking them in their extreme rigor, neither [does] the same individual, situated in the same place, looking at the same object and without moving the pupil, see exactly the same in two successive moments, because the attention suffers displacements from moment to moment, as minimal and imperceptible as one wishes, but effective ones, a result, on the one hand, from our vital dynamism, and, on the other, from being always open to things and from their possessing an inexhaustible richness of aspects, which demands that, [upon] attending one, we transition incessantly from one to other aspects of the same. This double instance - internal and external- conjoined makes all perspective to be in essence mobile, including in the same individual.

Having made these corrections, the rest of our first description is valid. But these corrections are, as we have already begun to see, of enormous reach. They signify, in the meantime, that there is no "pure" visual perspective; that which is commonly called this is nothing other than an abstraction, something that does not have, nor can it have, effective reality and, as a consequence, that, in line with the modification of the concept of "point of view," one has to also modify, consequently, other notions which enter into forming part of that common idea. And, above all, the notion of distance. The usual concept of "distance" is quantitative, metrical. Now then, already in the real visual perspective- not in the abstract [one]- distances are qualitative: more than "geodesic quantities" they are optical qualities: "near" and "far" do not depend on "metric factors, but rather they are better [understood as] two distinct methods of looking."

This [much] for that which refers to what of the merely visual there is in a real perspective. But one must have in mind that the real space-that is, that lived by man, the "human" space- is not only, nor even primarily, visual. It is more: it is not only, even primarily, "sensible". The sensorial organization of our body- having an organic body that functions sensorially- is a sine qua non condition for there to be space and, therefore, perspective. Nothing less, but nothing more. I want to say that if it is a necessary condition it is not sufficient. "Pure" sensibility- supposing it would exist- , would not engender spaciousness, spatial relations. [. . .] But even in that essential part which in the constitution of real space corresponds to the senses, visual sensations are not, as I say, the most important ones, but rather the tactile ones; at least these are the most "primitive" and those which engendered the "livingness" [longknowledge: my word for the Orteguian coinage, "vivencia," which was Ortega's translation of the German"Erlebnis"] of corporeality; therefore, the impression of "resistance," that in Ortega- as in Maine de Biran, Dilthey and Scheler- , is equivalent to that of existence. In addition, the corporeality of man brings with it the possibility of "living" the rest of the bodies as such and the necessary, fatal location- that of man- in a here, a basic condition (even though, I repeat, not sufficient in itself) for there to be perspective, so that the world "converts itself automatically into a perspective." (Do not forget that speaking of "senses" and of "sensations" is already moving oneself in the terrain of an intellectual, "scientific" interpretation,- that of the psychophysical- , and a mere "verisimilitude" of primary reality, that is [of] "the marvelous presence of things.") Well now, the forcefulness of the here in which my body "nails" me in each instant, [which] condemns it to live inexorably from a place, brings with it precisely as a consequence "that the space is originally for man" something very different than [what it is] for the geometer and that "all the other places of the world are organized in a living, dynamic perspective, of emotive tensions," in which "near and far" are not, as such, geometrical distances, but rather sentimental tensions or distensions, in relation to my interests, conveniences, expectations and projects of the moment. The real distance, is not only qualitative, but also dynamic, sentimental, and we can say pragmatic.

We see, therefore, how in the constitution of visual perspective a multitude of ingredients collaborate that are not visual. Already all visual perspective is inserted and as if boxed into a spatial perspective, to whose constitution contribute, in addition to sight, other senses. But in the latter, in its turn, there intervenes factors of an intellectual, affective, estimative and volitional order, without which the purely sensorial elements would be to the effects of such a constitution, null. There collaborates, as a consequence, time- of which, as of the real space we said that its is not the geometric, we can say that neither is it the metric, homogenous and empty time of the astral revolutions or of the clocks, but rather the time [that] is full, serious and charged with the dramatism of the counted hours, that is to say, the time of life- . The intervention of the living time in the perspective makes of it something essentially dynamic and mobile. There collaborates, naturally, also, and of an absolutely essential mode, the reality seen in each case- without which, it is clear, there is no possible perspective- . Finally, and in summary, there collaborates all the personal destiny of each spectator, which, definitively, determines the radical irreducibility of the distinct individual perspectives.

Now it can be seen with more clarity why we said that the "visual perspective," in the usual acceptation of that expression, is a pure abstraction , is nothing real. The truly real "is what destiny integrates. And the real is never species, aspect, spectacle". . . "All this precisely is the irreal, is our idea, not our being."

The notion of "visual perspective" has lead us to the distinction between "real perspective" and "abstract perspective," and has made patent that, if Ortega has served himself of that notion for constructing his own [notion] of perspective, it is not that, nevertheless, which translates the original reality that he thinks [of] under the term "perspective," but rather that it's only an abstract dimension of the much more complex- and concrete- fact with which with all propriety we could call perspective that is: the real perspective. But in addition to the visual, there are many other classes of abstract perspectives, for which it is convenient that we dedicate some space to complete these two notions.

[Translated by longknowledge from: Perspectiva y verdad: El problema de la verdad en Ortega, by Ortega's Idea of Perspective - II
 
Bones-O
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 01:25 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;111263 wrote:
But different perspective don't seem to me at all like intertial frames, since different perspectives are not equivalently good perspective.


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.


kennethamy;111300 wrote:
It is arbitrary for determining the 'goodness' of the view because it is only good for determining the colour of a piece of material.

The goodness of what view? And what does it mean for a view to be good? And what is your view. I am getting mixed up with the various views.


True that. :rolleyes:

kennethamy;111300 wrote:
I am just claiming that in order to discover what the properties of something are, it is better to have a clear, unobstructed view, than an obscure obstructed view. Do you agree or disagree?


Yes, but the topic is not about determining the properties of things or any other purpose with which we view things but whether one view is any more 'real' or 'true' than another.

kennethamy;111300 wrote:
I thought you were producing an argument by analogy. If you were using the example of inertial systems just as an illustration of what you mean, then you were not arguing, of course. But you are simply mistaken. Inertial systems are equivalent. Views are not. It is a terrible example.


Well, clearly I differ. And I'm not convinced (due to all the above) you've grasped the either the analogy or its comparison. One inertial frame may also be best suited to determine the properties of things. For instance: the rest frame of a body is best for determining its rest mass; a co-moving frame with a body is best for determining its relative kinetic energy, etc, etc. If your rejection of the analogy is based on the notion that some perspectives are better for discerning qualities of things than others, I'm afraid you have so far rejected it on false grounds.

Bones
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 01:30 pm
@Bones-O,
Bones-O!;111302 wrote:
True that. :rolleyes:



Yes, but the topic is not about determining the properties of things or any other purpose with which we view things but whether one view is any more 'real' or 'true' than another.



Well, clearly I differ. And I'm not convinced (due to all the above) you've grasped the either the analogy or its comparison. One inertial frame may also be best suited to determine the properties of things. For instance: the rest frame of a body is best for determining its rest mass; a co-moving frame with a body is best for determining its relative kinetic energy, etc, etc. If your rejection of the analogy is based on the notion that some perspectives are better for discerning qualities of things than others, I'm afraid you have so far rejected it on false grounds.

Bones


Yes, but the topic is not about determining the properties of things or any other purpose with which we view things but whether one view is any more 'real' or 'true' than another.

But the criterion for whether a view is a valid one or not is whether or not it is the best view form determining the properties of the the object viewed. What else do you mean by "real" or "true" view? The unobstructed view of a stage is a better view for seeing what is going on, on the stage, than the obstructed view. Isn't that right?

It is not your analogy I don't grasp, but the point of it.
 
Bones-O
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 01:41 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;111303 wrote:
Yes, but the topic is not about determining the properties of things or any other purpose with which we view things but whether one view is any more 'real' or 'true' than another.

But the criterion for whether a view is a valid one or not is whether or not it is the best view form determining the properties of the the object viewed. What else do you mean by "real" or "true" view? The unobstructed view of a stage is a better view for seeing what is going on, on the stage, than the obstructed view. Isn't that right?


Well, put it this way. If you can see the hills through the fog and I can't, would you consider my view (en tout including of the fog) to be false or illusory?

kennethamy;111303 wrote:
It is not your analogy I don't grasp, but the point of it.


Well, you can't say I didn't try. Smile

Bones
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 02:07 pm
@Bones-O,
Bones-O!;111304 wrote:
Well, put it this way. If you can see the hills through the fog and I can't, would you consider my view (en tout including of the fog) to be false or illusory?





Bones


Neither, of course. But why would I be able to see the hills through the fog, and you not able to do so? Could you explain that to me? Might it be because an angelic being gave me the gift of seeing though the fog? If I could see through the fog, as you say, then, of course, my view would be as good as one if there were no fog. Why?
 
Bones-O
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 02:28 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;111307 wrote:
Neither, of course. But why would I be able to see the hills through the fog, and you not able to do so? Could you explain that to me? Might it be because an angelic being gave me the gift of seeing though the fog? If I could see through the fog, as you say, then, of course, my view would be as good as one if there were no fog. Why?


It doesn't matter why. It isn't relevant to the argument or the conclusion.

Bones
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 02:38 pm
@Bones-O,
Bones-O!;111312 wrote:
It doesn't matter why. It isn't relevant to the argument or the conclusion.

Bones


Fine. Then let me repeat: If I could see through the fog, as you say, then, of course, my view would be as good as one if there were no fog.
 
pagan
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 02:54 pm
@Bones-O,
longknowledge

as i see it Ortega is positing a radical view. He is not proving it. He is not disproving others.

Perspective is a necessary living aspect of reality to ortega. The super ideal thinking perspective, that there is therefore to be an expected objective real landscape, free of the constraints of perspective, is rejected for another (his) idea. The test of persuasiveness is in the living. Its a different idea. Consistent within itself, but unproven and contradictory when argued from the perspective of a different idea.

An advantage of ortega's scheme i suppose is that it becomes a kind of thought scheme that places itself in its own scheme. Objectivity on the other seeks an ideal ghost to hold it, not something constrained to a perspective like humanity.

We can thus only aspire to objectivity. We can live ortega?
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 02:58 pm
@longknowledge,
The word 'propadeutic' comes to mind - Ortega is actually 'clearing the decks' so we can get out of our own complacent (and somewhat pompous) conviction that our sense of conventional normality is prima materia.
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 02:59 pm
@longknowledge,
longknowledge;111301 wrote:
Now it can be seen with more clarity why we said that the "visual perspective," in the usual acceptation of that expression, is a pure abstraction , is nothing real. The truly real "is what destiny integrates. And the real is never species, aspect, spectacle". . . "All this precisely is the irreal, is our idea, not our being."
Thanks! A question that comes to mind is: if the truly real is what destiny integrates... how would we have ever known that, without the ruler and the clock? It would seem that we thought the ruler and clock were telling us the truth... but we used them to create a lie... a lie in the sense that it was purported to be true, and then we realized it wasn't.

The lie set the stage for realizing the truth. Does Ortega talk about that?
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 03:00 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;111314 wrote:
Fine. Then let me repeat: If I could see through the fog, as you say, then, of course, my view would be as good as one if there were no fog.


The fog is irrelevant. All it is, is a part of the landscape. The fog doesn't hinder your view, the fog is a part your view of scenery--thus it would be a part of the landscape you perceive.

This argument has nothing to do with good, bad, or whether a landscape viewed from a perspective is more correct or not. All it has to do with is the idea that there are an infinite number of points from which an object may be viewed. And each is just as true as another in itself, there is none that is more correct than another. Thus, the reason why it is called the "doctrine of the point of view." All it really means is that existence is perspective and that there is no fundamental truth outside of perspective.
 
Bones-O
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 03:44 pm
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus;111323 wrote:
The fog is irrelevant. All it is, is a part of the landscape. The fog doesn't hinder your view, the fog is a part your view of scenery--thus it would be a part of the landscape you perceive.

This argument has nothing to do with good, bad, or whether a landscape viewed from a perspective is more correct or not. All it has to do with is the idea that there are an infinite number of points from which an object may be viewed. And each is just as true as another in itself, there is none that is more correct than another. Thus, the reason why it is called the "doctrine of the point of view." All it really means is that existence is perspective and that there is no fundamental truth outside of perspective.


:bigsmile: The last sentence being probably the one thing Kenneth and I agree on disagreeing with.

Do you agree, then with Ortega that the truth and reality of each inidivudal point of view is enough to show that there is no objective, observer-independent existence/truth?

While any vista is, in itself, complete, I doubt most people would disagree with the statement that that complete view is of only a part of reality, i.e. it is a complete survey of an incomplete entity.

It seems to me that if you recognise this, then there is scope for an objective complete reality. e.g. I see one side of a cube, you see another, if we both agree there are at least as many facets as there perspectives of the object being viewed then we have to conclude there is an objective reality containing all facets of all possible perspectives.

Thanks The.

Bones

---------- Post added 12-14-2009 at 05:05 PM ----------

longknowledge;111301 wrote:

Now it can be seen with more clarity why we said that the "visual perspective," in the usual acceptation of that expression, is a pure abstraction , is nothing real. The truly real "is what destiny integrates. And the real is never species, aspect, spectacle". . . "All this precisely is the irreal, is our idea, not our being."

The notion of "visual perspective" has lead us to the distinction between "real perspective" and "abstract perspective," and has made patent that, if Ortega has served himself of that notion for constructing his own [notion] of perspective, it is not that, nevertheless, which translates the original reality that he thinks [of] under the term "perspective," but rather that it's only an abstract dimension of the much more complex- and concrete- fact with which with all propriety we could call perspective that is: the real perspective. But in addition to the visual, there are many other classes of abstract perspectives, for which it is convenient that we dedicate some space to complete these two notions.


Thanks LK, fascinating reading.

Insofar as this relates to the problem of an objective (for want of a better word) aspect, isn't this simply listing what makes a subjective experience subjective? Defining perspective thus (correct as it might be) might go so far as to prove that there is no objective perspective, but what does that tell us? Isn't that a truism?

Isn't there a part of this process that is observer-independent? Not a perspective as defined above, but nonetheless an objective aspect?

Thanks again,

Bones
 
pagan
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 04:26 pm
@Bones-O,
for me perspective and objective are different narratives that can be adopted/experienced by a person (as well as a plethora of other narratives.) Even within ortega's scheme, the objective perspective is useful. ie very useful in some ways and maybe very destructive in others. As such it is a narrative that aspires to describe reality as being outside of any one perspective. Or alternatively a narrative that aspires to describe reality from any perspective. Ortega appears to be saying that it is when that narrative gains too much prevalence within a person or a culture that so much is missed out. The power of objectivity in ortega's scheme being the power of a narrative that is nevertheless fundamentally incorrect.

There is no reason why an incorrect perspective cannot yield very powerful results for an individual or a competing culture for that matter. Even those who believe in objectivity could agree with that, and see for example the power of a theistic religion.

Where i get a very very slight unease with ortega is that he appears to be making a definitive statement about the fundamentally incorrect basis for objectivity and idealism. As someone who recognises that i move around different narratives with varying circumstances, i can't see the point of making such a definitive statement either one way or the other. But its a moot point i guess, since ortega's concept of "my life" would not only tolerate and forgive mistakes, it would expect us to have to learn from them, including objectivity and idealism themselves.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 06:12 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;111320 wrote:
The word 'propadeutic' comes to mind - Ortega is actually 'clearing the decks' so we can get out of our own complacent (and somewhat pompous) conviction that our sense of conventional normality is prima materia.


But the trouble is that he left a lot of trash to stumble over. What conventional normality have you (and Ortega) in mind?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 06:30 pm
@Bones-O,
Bones-O!;111329 wrote:

Isn't there a part of this process that is observer-independent? Not a perspective as defined above, but nonetheless an objective aspect?

Bones

Good question. A person could argue that even the concept of objectivity itself is part of the subjective landscape. In this sense, Korzybski would be wrong when he says "the map is not the territory." Perhaps the map is the territory, for concept of the territory apart from the map is still part of the map.

But in a practical sense we obviously do believe in a territory beyond the map (Kantian "noumena"), so the question is theoretical, something like a chess problem, something like art.
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 07:00 pm
@Reconstructo,
Perspective in art is a measure of realism. If an artists paints a house and gets the perspective wrong, we would say he failed to be true to what he saw.

We speak of "his point of view," and say we know what it looked like from that point, and apparently he didn't, because that's not what he painted.

Now we have objectivity as the reality-meter.

Then reflecting on how all that one ever sees is a complex of my position, what can be seen from there, and how I filter the visual data through who I am... obviously there's no all encompassing view: objectivity is a mind game. Now I've seen what's real from my point of view on points of view, which I posit as objectively true information.

Sorry, Reconstructo, I had to repeat what you said. Like a mirror reflecting another mirror.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 07:16 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;111372 wrote:
But the trouble is that he left a lot of trash to stumble over. What conventional normality have you (and Ortega) in mind?


The alternative to perspectivism is really some kind of latent absolutism. Because it is a very short step from asserting the 'observer-independent reality' of whatever you're looking at, to believing that there is 'one right view'. The notion of there being an 'independent' reality is really a wish for an absolute is it not? It is an attempt to secure our perceptions to 'what is really there', as distinct from what I might project or imagine? So your 'right-thinking person' will have a better grasp of 'what is really there'?

I think what Ortega is really drawing our attention to, is the importance of perspective in every situation. Of course, the danger of this, and I am quite conscious of it, is that it seems a short step to relativism, the idea that everything is a viewpoint, and all viewpoints are fundamentally equal. But the antidote is the realisation that if it is true that every perspective is, or might well be, a valid perspective, then I won't favour 'my' perspective over another. I will naturally take into account the fact that there are many perspectives, in any situation. Of course this presumes that every party to the situation is equally respectful. But nevertheless it is a very democratic outlook to have. It is naturally pluralistic. It does not presume that there is an ultimate right view.

So in some respects it is actually a rather 'conservative vs liberal' type of debate isn't it?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 07:29 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;111392 wrote:
The alternative to perspectivism is really some kind of latent absolutism. Because it is a very short step from asserting the 'observer-independent reality' of whatever you're looking at, to believing that there is 'one right view'. The notion of there being an 'independent' reality is really a wish for an absolute is it not? It is an attempt to secure our perceptions to 'what is really there', as distinct from what I might project or imagine? So your 'right-thinking person' will have a better grasp of 'what is really there'?

I think what Ortega is really drawing our attention to, is the importance of perspective in every situation. Of course, the danger of this, and I am quite conscious of it, is that it seems a short step to relativism, the idea that everything is a viewpoint, and all viewpoints are fundamentally equal. But the antidote is the realisation that if it is true that every perspective is, or might well be, a valid perspective, then I won't favour 'my' perspective over another. I will naturally take into account the fact that there are many perspectives, in any situation. Of course this presumes that every party to the situation is equally respectful. But nevertheless it is a very democratic outlook to have. It is naturally pluralistic. It does not presume that there is an ultimate right view.

So in some respects it is actually a rather 'conservative vs liberal' type of debate isn't it?


I don't know who the conservative, and who the liberal are supposed to be. But, drawing attention to things does not matter unless there are things to draw attention to. What I have done is to point out that Ortega's argument is no good. Maybe he is right. I don't think so, but , it is possible. But he needs a good argument for it. And the one he has produced is not a good argument. Impressionism is not philosophy.
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 08:03 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;111392 wrote:
So in some respects it is actually a rather 'conservative vs liberal' type of debate isn't it?
Objectively, it's true: the eye can't see itself. It can only see reflections of itself. You don't see yourself in time and space: your perspective shows you what you are not.

You take that information and form an image of yourself. Fundamentally, your self-image in an inversion of what you see.

Having formed this image, you can posit it as what the other sees. Now you're looking at yourself as if you're an object, like a rubber ducky. You can define the ducky in terms of form and purpose.

Are you not something other than an object, though? Your body is an object. Your experience of being, though... where does it start and where does it end?

You could call this perspectivism, or just say it's a matter of noticing it.

 
 

 
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