• John
    2.4k


    There is experience and then there is thought about experience.
  • javra
    81
    [...] but it just demonstrates that dualism is necessary in order to properly understand the existence of individual entities.Metaphysician Undercover

    To be clear about my personal stance, the duality I uphold is other than Cartesian. It’s not easy to adequately define in a few words, but it is akin to a view of self holding within it a holistic substance that is not the self of information, be this information of the mind or of the physical. Both of the latter to me are different aspects, or manifestations, of the same substance. This holistic substance—that of a form which holds potential to be, to exist, devoid of the information by which it gains its manifest-form within time and space—I in some ways liken to the selfless being which Buddhists term Nirvana. Hence, while I personally don’t disagree with dualism, my view is not that of substance dualism in terms of a duality of information. (This, of course, is not to deny different aspects of this same substance of information.) All this to be upfront about my own dualist stance.

    That stated, in the modern sense of substance, even if one were a substance dualist, there would via material identity alone be found no means of discerning between different givens of each of the two substances. One idea would be indiscernible from another due to both being of the same material identity. One physical object would be indiscernible from another physical object. Etc.

    Material identity to me only makes sense due to the functionality of the individual materials addressed. For example, a wooden X is different from a metal X only in so far at the wood holds different properties of functionality from the metal.

    I have to admit that I didn't understand your argument for identity from purpose.Metaphysician Undercover

    Hopefully this won’t further confuse matters: Functionality as I interpret/intend it can be readdressed as the context-specific role of the given. This context-specific role of the given is one of kinetic and potential interactions with other(s). I’m very aware that such metaphysical approach can become confusing devoid of an entire metaphysics to support it. Nevertheless, to me it’s intuitive that one rock is, in part, different from another due to its context-specific interactions, both kinetic and potential—in short, due to is context-specific role or, else stated, its functionality relative to its surroundings. One rock’s presence (even if it is statically placed) will be different from any others, for example, in terms of what its removal from the given environment would causally signify. This perspective, then, takes into account causal relations between givens, locally and globally. Still … this isn’t the place to attempt to properly justify this perspective. I’ll address more particular examples below.

    I don't see this as an argument for identity, I see it as a way of defining a term. You say that an object must fulfill certain conditions before it can be called a flower, so this is to define what it means to be a flower. But I understand the act of identifying to be the inverse of this. Rather than saying what it means to be a flower (that is defining rather than identifying), we take a particular object and say what the object is, that is identifying.Metaphysician Undercover

    I’m thinking of identity in terms of discernibility: If we can discern X than we do so only with the backdrop of not-X. Any discerned X then, for me, holds identity to us which discern; i.e., we identify X the instant we discern there being X--though we many not necessarily fully understand that which we've identified/discerned. This approach doesn’t rely upon narrative; rather it relies upon perceptions, sensations, and understandings. Hence, lesser animals can discern X from not-X as well—say, predator from not-predator, etc.—though they do not use narrative (words) to do so.

    Being of this perspective, I’m not having an easy time interpreting you’re position. For instance, I can discern a broad quantity of givens at any particular moment thought I don’t use narrative to so discern all the givens that I do. Rather, I use narrative to convey that which I discern—either to myself during reasoning/thinking or, else, to others. To me then, discernibility is primary; narrative about that discerned secondary.

    So from my perspective, why do you think that your definition of "flower" is more "real", or states more precisely what a flower really is than another definition? If objects don't have a real identity which is proper to themselves, how is our naming of them anything more than arbitrary?Metaphysician Undercover

    I interpret you as enquiring into the objective identity of things. My best resolution so far is to rely upon universals of psyche. This approach doesn’t create crisp thresholds between all things. For example, between when a flower bud is a flower bud and when it is a flower (a temporal distinction); or between when a heap is a heap and when it is not (a spatial distinction). What it does do is solidify X and not-X for all members of a populace … this in manners that do not always mandate an excluded middle (such as in the two examples just given).

    As to what makes that discerned as flower—by us humans, by hummingbirds, by bees, etc.—more real than merely an arbitrary concept by all concerned: I would again largely found my arguments on the flower’s causal role/purpose/functionality relative to its context, as previously addressed. Hence, as I currently construe things, the role of a flower will remain more fixed than its shape or material content. To address one of Heraclitus’s better known analogies via the just stated: one cannot step twice into the same shape or material content of a given river; yet the river as context-dependent role will nevertheless remain the same (identical over time). Clearly there’s more to the river than just context-relative purpose-form, and its context-relative purpose-form too is in flux, yet this context-relative purpose-form is what remains stable relative to ourselves as separate process-bundles. The context-relative purpose-form is the gestalt which is “the river” and not any of its parts. Though not the only element involved, it plays an integral aspect in our discerning the given river to hold an objective identity. Devoid of this, there no longer is discerned “a river” but, maybe, any number of the river’s parts—each with its own context-relative purpose-form. These context-relative purpose-form, to me, are then ontic—as ontic as any river, flower, etc. is.

    On a more psychological train of thought: This context-relative purpose-form of things is something I believe we all intuitively apprehend. And, as intuitions go, they’re more sub/unconsciously reasoned than consciously reasoned.

    No worries if there are disagreements. I mainly wanted to better clarify my position regarding functionality and identity.
  • Terrapin Station
    2.7k
    There is experience and then there is thought about experience.John

    Phenomenal experience is thought, though--well, or mental content if "thought" is narrower than mental content in your usage, and present phenomenal experience and present thought, if different would both be present mental content (so occurrent at the same time).
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    1.2k
    But that's what I'm answering! What makes it the same chair is simply whether we (individually) consider it the same chair per our concepts. In other words, in my view, that's all there is to this.Terrapin Station

    Oh, sorry, I was mislead by this:
    "it's a matter of how an individual partitions their concepts with respect to the necessary and sufficient criteria to call some x (some particular existent) an F (some type/universal name)."

    See, I'm not referring to some type, or universal name, I'm referring to the name of a particular. This is a particular entity which has been named "the chair". It makes no difference whether the entity fulfills any necessary conditions for being a chair, "the chair" is just the name that we've attached to this thing which appears to be an object because it appears to have temporal duration.

    When we assign a name to an object, something which appears to have been remaining the same for a period of time, why do you think that this is "per our concepts"? There is no conceptualizing here, we just notice something which appear to remain consistent, and we assign a name to it. And, as we've been discussing, we really know that it doesn't remain the same in an absolute sense, so we know that it is illogical to name it in this way, as if it is the same, so if anything, this is contrary to conceptualizing.
  • Terrapin Station
    2.7k


    It's the same thing for "that particular chair" at time T1 and T2. That functions as a type term in that situation. It's one term ranging over more than one particular from a logical identity perspective.

    It makes no difference whether the entity fulfills any necessary conditions for being a chair,Metaphysician Undercover

    It makes a difference whether it meets the necessary and sufficient conditions for counting as "that particular chair" to the individual in question. That's all this is about--whether it meets an individual's criteria for bestowal of the name "that chair."
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    1.2k
    It's the same thing for "that particular chair" at time T1 and T2. That functions as a type term in that situation. It's one term ranging over more than one particular from a logical identity perspective.Terrapin Station

    Well that's a different way of looking at it, but it's clearly wrong. And by wrong I mean it's not representative of what is really the case, it's false. When I see two different chairs, I recognize that they are two distinct objects, but "similar", and class them together, each one as a chair. But when I see the temporal continuity of a single chair, I claim that it exists as "the same" chair.

    So it is not the case that "that particular chair" at T1 and T2 functions as a type term, because this is not what is claimed in the use of that term. What is claimed, i.e. intended, and therefore meant, by this statement, is that it is the very same thing, not that there are two instances of the same type of thing. So you only misrepresent what is meant, by saying that it functions as a type term. It doesn't, the purpose is to indicate one and the same item, not two distinct but similar items.

    It makes a difference whether it meets the necessary and sufficient conditions for counting as "that particular chair" to the individual in question. That's all this is about--whether it meets an individual's criteria for bestowal of the name "that chair."Terrapin Station

    My claim is that it doesn't meet any criteria at all. I look at the chair, I stare at it, and after a few minutes I say that it is still the same chair. I am not counting its legs, memorizing its shape, or any such thing, I am only watching it exist in time. If it were the same chair by virtue of it meeting some necessary and sufficient conditions, then it would be the act of determining it as the same chair which makes it the same chair. But the claim here is that it is the same chair by virtue of its continued existence in time, not by virtue of this being recognized by me or any one else. This is how we claim an independent, objective reality, things exist as the things which they are, without needing a judgement as to whether or not they meet the necessary and sufficient conditions for being the things that they are. There is no need for the object to meet any necessary and sufficient conditions for it to exist as the object which it is. When I assume that the chair is the same chair, I do this without referring to necessary and sufficient conditions.
  • Terrapin Station
    2.7k
    What is claimed, i.e. intended, and therefore meant, by this statement, is that it is the very same thing, not that there are two instances of the same type of thing.Metaphysician Undercover

    You're saying that you don't think of it so that it functions like type terms do, right?
  • jkop
    319
    One's own experience of an object is the object that one experiences. There is no relation between the experience and the object. The computer screen that you see now, for instance, is not a mistaken version of itself; you see it exactly as it is.
  • John
    2.4k


    Surely the thought about an experience comes after the experience, though? And even if they were simultaneous, insofar as the one is about the other it might be wrong, no?

    So, if I am sitting at my desk and before me is a red bottle and I think "I am looking at a red bottle" I can be wrong that I am looking at a red bottle (however unlikely that might be!) but if my thought is " I am looking at what appears to be a red bottle" then that thought can't be wrong, because it is really a thought about thinking it is a red bottle, not about the fact that it is a red bottle. However a moment later I could be wrong that I had, a moment ago been looking at a red bottle, or even what appeared to be a red bottle, and I could even be wrong that I had had the thought " I am looking at what appears to be a red bottle".

    Of course all of this really seems to be complete bullshit, though certainly not because of any logical or rational reason, but simply because we just dispositionally have absolutely no doubt about the verity of our memories, and the accuracy of our corroborative perceptual faculties and our intuitive introspective prowess.
  • Terrapin Station
    2.7k
    So, if I am sitting at my desk and before me is a red bottle and I think "I am looking at a red bottle" I can be wrong that I am looking at a red bottle (however unlikely that might be!)John

    If the latter is referring to what it really is that's there that's causing the "I'm looking at a red bottle" thought, then it's not phenomenal exoerience that we're referring to.

    but if my thought is " I am looking at what appears to be a red bottle" then that thought can't be wrong, because it is really a thought about thinking it is a red bottle, not about the fact that it is a red bottle.John

    Yes, that's the phenomenal experience as the phenomenal experience.

    However a moment later I could be wrong that I had, a moment ago been looking at a red bottle, or even what appeared to be a red bottle, and I could even be wrong that I had had the thought " I am looking at what appears to be a red bottle".John

    Correct, hence why present matters.

    but simply because we just dispositionally have absolutely no doubt about the verity of our memories, and the accuracy of our corroborative perceptual faculties and our intuitive introspective prowess.John

    Maybe you have no doubts about those things but I certainly do. My memory often sucks, my vision and hearing have problems, etc.
  • John
    2.4k
    Correct, hence why present matters.Terrapin Station

    Yes, but looked at logically everything we think about is no longer present. So it is distinctness, not presence that matters when it comes to whether we will doubt our experiences, as I explain more below.

    Maybe you have no doubts about those things but I certainly do. My memory often sucks, my vision and hearing have problems, etc.Terrapin Station

    Oh, I certainly have more doubts about my more distant memories. But that is only because I usually experience them as being more indistinct that closer memories. It's kind of like looking at distant figures moving on a mountain. You can't be sure exactly what they are; are they people, horses, dogs?.

    But, when I do distinctly remember a thought I had, something I or someone else said, something I was looking at, some music I heard, a few moments, or even an hour, a day, a couple days or a week ago, it really doesn't matter how long ago actually, I generally have no doubt at all about the memory if it is distinct.

    I think it pays to remember that doubt is mostly driven by intuitive feeling rather than by logical considerations; and that it is more often an active disposition than the passive acceptance of a logical deliberation.
  • Terrapin Station
    2.7k
    Yes, but looked at logically everything we think about is no longer presentJohn

    What you're thinking about there is perception and memory. What I'm talking about is thought itself, not what it's about re perception or memory. (I'm using "thought" very broadly.)

    By the way, and this has been going on for a long time, for some weird reason, most of the time when you reply to me (by literally clicking on reply or quote) I don't get a notification that you replied. That seems to mainly happen with you, not when other people reply to me.
  • John
    2.4k
    What you're thinking about there is perception and memory. What I'm talking about is thought itself, not what it's about re perception or memory. (I'm using "thought" very broadly.)Terrapin Station

    Yes, but I would say that the thought in question is present only in the thinking of it, not in the thinking about it. And just as with perception and memory, it is only about it that the question of being mistaken or being correct is at all relevant. For example when we are thinking, we are not simultaneously thinking about that thinking, and much less about whether that thinking is mistaken or not.

    So, even to say that we cannot be mistaken that what we are thinking is what we are thinking; is not relevant to the thinking itself, because there is no question of mistake until after the fact. So, it is a kind of 'back-projection' that says we cannot be mistaken that what we are thinking is what we are thinking, because the question itself cannot even arise in that context, but only after the fact, where we most certainly can be mistaken..

    By the way, and this has been going on for a long time, for some weird reason, most of the time when you reply to me (by literally clicking on reply or quote) I don't get a notification that you replied. That seems to mainly happen with you, not when other people reply to me.Terrapin Station

    I have no explanation for that.
  • Numi Who
    19


    ON ACCURATE EXPERIENCE
    This has been investigated by science many times over (in psychology) - and the verdict is in - little of what we experience is an actual reflection of the whole that is being experienced, so our personal experiences are nearly wholly mistaken. Further, our senses are far from perfect - they CAN fail to 'sense' what is right before us - because we often 'fill-in' what we are sensing with what we 'expect' to be there (based on experience), which may not reflect what is actually there, hence our 'misperception'.

    ON GOOD/BAD EXPERIENCE
    As for experiences being bad or good - that all depends on the perspective that you acquired. Example: If you grew up in a mansion, anything less than that will seem horrible to you, and you will probably commit suicide if you ended up in anything less. If you grew up in a shack, then anything better than that will seem like a mansion to you, and you happiness in life will be pretty much guaranteed, since everything you encounter will most likely be better than your shack.
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