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Alan McDougall
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 05:12 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;169446 wrote:
Metaphysicians are notorious for asserting sincerely what they believe to be false. E.g. "time is unreal", "we never see objects but only our own sensations", "no one every acts of his own free will", etc., etc.. So, that's not much of an argument.


How can you make a statement like the above about Metaphsician as if it were the truth; are you one?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 09:58 pm
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall;169761 wrote:
How can you make a statement like the above about Metaphsician as if it were the truth; are you one?


Why would I have to be one to make that statement? Suppose I said, all politicians are liars. Would I have to be a politician to make that statement?
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 01:16 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;169815 wrote:
Why would I have to be one to make that statement? Suppose I said, all politicians are liars. Would I have to be a politician to make that statement?


One Half of politicians tell the truth
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 03:01 am
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall;169852 wrote:
Half of politicians of tell the truth
This makes no sense.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 06:31 am
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall;169852 wrote:
Half of politicians of tell the truth


Would I have to be a politician to say that half of all politicians tell the truth?
 
prothero
 
Reply Sat 29 May, 2010 12:36 pm
@Alan McDougall,
Of course Heraclitus is merely pointing out the tension between becoming (change, flux, process) and being (objects and properties).
It may be the same river but the river is not the "same" for the river is ever flowing, the banks are ever eroding and the river once was not and in the future will not be again.

Heraclitus IMO rather cleverly picks the river to make his point. He is not wrong but some are too fixed in viewing the world as stable objects with fixed properties to see his point.
For the river in many ways is constantly changing and in other ways remains the same.
Heraclitus wishes us to question whether primary reality is being (stable objects with fixed properties) or becoming (flux, change, transition, flow).

This same tension is to be found in the most basic differences between western and eastern philosophies and religions. I favor the view that change flux (process) is more fundamental to reality than stable objects with fixed properties. It is only incorporation of elements of the past into the present that gives the illusion of "objects" and "properties". At its most fundamental level the world is composed of events not particles, and every object and every property (except change itself) is impermanent and perishable.

We break the world up into stable objects with fixed properties with our minds and our language what Heraclitus wishes us to see is that only change is permanent. Stable objects with fixed properties are "maya" or "anica".

I have said this before in this thread and so I repeat myself, but the point that Heraclitus wishes to make is an important and fundamental one. One that is especially important for Western thought to grasp even if you do not agree. Much of the discussion seems to be focused on word games rather than the important concept which Heraclitus brings to our attention. Cosmology, Evolution, Mind and Reality itself are all fundamentally better viewed as processes not objects.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 29 May, 2010 02:43 pm
@prothero,
prothero;170431 wrote:

It may be the same river but the river is not the "same" for the river is ever flowing, the banks are ever eroding and the river once was not and in the future will not be again.



Well, as long as it is the same river, then, even if the river is not the "same" what Heraclitus said was false. As Wittgenstein said, we should not confuse the notions of identical with same. Necessarily, X is self-identical, even if X changes. This is true for all X. By the way, that something ceases to exist, or that something begins to exist, is not a change in that something. "What a change in Bill, he vanished!". "What a change in Bill, he was born!".

Yes, I know, word games. That is, trying to say clearly what is true, rather than saying nothing idiotically.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 29 May, 2010 02:52 pm
@Alan McDougall,
It's a great issue really. What is a river? A river is an organizing abstraction. We see running water in a shape that's relatively constant. Our minds automatically cut the word into objects, and these objects are imposed on flux. Of course this flux I speak of is another object. One can abstract the concept of flux from the river, as Heraclitus was probably trying to do. I think the relation between concept and sensation is crucial.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 29 May, 2010 03:02 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;170485 wrote:
It's a great issue really. What is a river? A river is an organizing abstraction. We see running water in a shape that's relatively constant. Our minds automatically cut the word into objects, and these objects are imposed on flux. Of course this flux I speak of is another object. One can abstract the concept of flux from the river, as Heraclitus was probably trying to do. I think the relation between concept and sensation is crucial.


The wide Missouri is an organizing abstraction? Jim and Huck would have been astonished to hear about that. Maybe, though, just maybe, you mean that the concept of a river is an "organizing abstraction". That might just begin to make sense, and even, be true. The concept of X is one thing. X is another thing. And you are the one who goes on about how we should not confuse abstractions like concepts with what they are the concepts of. Physician, heal thyself,
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 29 May, 2010 03:27 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;170490 wrote:
The wide Missouri is an organizing abstraction?

Yes! How have you sensually experienced it? Did you a little piece of some flowing water from a bridge? Have you seen the whole thing? Like I say, man, all of our objects have an abstract element. We organize sensation in to particular objects. We see the chair as a chair, as an individual thing, by seeing everything around it as not-chair. We perceive reality conceptually in terms of the discrete. We see a room full of objects, independent unities, and not just an abstract painting, a mess of color.
 
prothero
 
Reply Sat 29 May, 2010 03:47 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;170479 wrote:
Yes, I know, word games. That is, trying to say clearly what is true, rather than saying nothing idiotically.
Well as least to me, what Heraclitus was trying to say is "clearer" and more "true" than whatever it is you are trying to say.
For flux, change and flow are as surely properties of a river as any other property of the river and flux, change and process are as surely properties of reality as any notion of "objects" or "matter".

Quote:

Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by the means of language- Ludwig Wittgenstein
 
 

 
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