• Terrapin Station
    2.7k
    No matter how many times you say it, it will always be incoherent to me. If time is defined strictly as the change from F to not-F or vice-versa, then the points that represent these changes cannot be contiguous, they must be discrete. Time (no pun intended) to call it an impasse, I suspect.aletheist

    "Contiguous" means "sharing a common border; touching" or "neighboring; adjacent." or "next in time or sequence." So one change to another is necessarily continguous temporally. There's nothing between them so that those two changes are not adjacent to each other, next in sequence, etc.

    "That it's there" is a judgment; "that it looks like it does" is a judgment;aletheist

    If that's a judgment in aletheist-speak, I have no idea what "judgment" refers to in aletheist-speak.
  • aletheist
    528
    So one change to another is necessarily continguous temporally.Terrapin Station

    Okay, I am thinking of contiguous in the sense of melding into one another so as to be indistinct. In that sense, two discrete things cannot be contiguous.

    If that's a judgment in aletheist-speak, I have no idea what "judgment" refers to in aletheist-speak.Terrapin Station

    I see no need for us to go down this road right now. Like I said, it probably would only lead to another impasse anyway.
  • Terrapin Station
    2.7k
    Okay, I am thinking of contiguous in the sense of melding into one another so as to be indistinct. In that sense, two discrete things cannot be contiguous.aletheist

    Well, in that case, you simply can't have any two contiguous things no matter what. You could only have one contiguous thing . . . although I don't think that makes any sense at all with respect to the word "contiguous." Contiguity is a relation. And while I wouldn't say that we can't have a relation of a thing to itself, I'm not sure if I'd agree that you can have any relation of a thing to itself other than identity, and even that's really just a way of speaking/thinking insofar as it being a relation goes.
  • aletheist
    528
    Well, in that case, you simply can't have any two contiguous things no matter what.Terrapin Station

    You can in a true continuum, since every part of it is also a true continuum; e.g., the parts of a truly continuous line are also truly continuous lines, not points. I agree that your view precludes there being such a thing as a real continuum of this kind.
  • Rich
    288
    Contiguous things

    pondwaves-noleaves.jpg
  • Terrapin Station
    2.7k
    You can in a true continuum, since every part of it is also a true continuum;aletheist

    Then a continuum can't be something with no distinguishable parts. The concept as you're expressing it is incoherent.
  • aletheist
    528
    Then a continuum can't be something with no distinguishable parts.Terrapin Station

    Actually indistinct, but potentially distinguishable - like the drops of water in the picture that @Rich posted, except that the number of drops is finite, rather than inexhaustible.
  • Terrapin Station
    2.7k


    It could only potentially have distinguishable parts. It couldn't have potentially distinguishable parts.

    The former is saying that there are no parts, but there could be, at which point we wouldn't be talking about a continuum.

    The latter is saying that there are parts, which have the property of being potentially distinguishable. You couldn't have that.

    However, you said, "You can in a true continuum, since every part of it is also a true continuum." That's incoherent. A continuum, per the definition you gave, can not have parts. It could only potentially have parts, at which point--the point where it does have parts of some sort, it would no longer be a continuum.

    Re the picture, either it has water droplets in it or it doesn't (I'd say it doesn't--what it actually has is pixels for example). It doesn't potentially have water droplets.

    I don't know if you're maybe thinking of something like "If we were there in person, we'd not immediately be able to distinguish whether there are individual water droplets, but upon investigation with a microscope for example, wed be able to tell that there are individual water droplets." But that would be about how we interact with something, not what it is ontologically.

    By the way, we haven't even started to analyze potential/possible--what those things really refer to ontologically. But that's going to just be another big mess.
  • aletheist
    528
    It could only potentially have distinguishable parts. It couldn't have potentially distinguishable parts.Terrapin Station

    Sure it could; as potential individuals, they are not distinct within the continuum, but they are capable of being distinguished by being actualized.

    A continuum, per the definition you gave, can not have parts.Terrapin Station

    Sure it can; they just are also continua, not discrete singulars.

    It doesn't potentially have water droplets.Terrapin Station

    In a body of water - a glass, a bowl, a pond, a lake, an ocean, whatever - there are no distinct drops, but they are (in principle) capable of being distinguished. That is all I was saying.

    By the way, we haven't even started to analyze potential/possible--what those things really refer to ontologically. But that's going to just be another big mess.Terrapin Station

    Yes, so let's not go there, at least not for a few days.
  • Rich
    288
    Two contiguous things:


    Waves are continuous within themselves.

    However, issues arise when one attempts to measure/identify a wave. Where does it begin and where does it end? Similarly one might think of memory (experiences) in duration as an undivided, ever changing whole, with no way to precisely define where a memory or experience begins or ends. It all flows and permeates each other. This flow of memory/experience is time. It is literally what we are feeling as we experience time.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    1.3k
    Well, in that case, you simply can't have any two contiguous things no matter what. You could only have one contiguous thing . . . although I don't think that makes any sense at all with respect to the word "contiguous." Contiguity is a relation. And while I wouldn't say that we can't have a relation of a thing to itself, I'm not sure if I'd agree that you can have any relation of a thing to itself other than identity, and even that's really just a way of speaking/thinking insofar as it being a relation goes.Terrapin Station

    There is an issue with contiguity and identity in relation to a thing's existence in time. We assume that the same identified thing exists through a period of time despite some minor changes to that thing. This is the principle of identity as presented by Aristotle, the identity of the thing is within the material thing itself, not the form of the thing, which may be changing. So the identified thing exists through a duration of time.

    Now if the thing is changing, we can say that at one moment it exist with that form, and at a later moment it has this, slightly different form. Aletheist has been arguing that these two distinct forms must be temporally contiguous, that at one moment the thing has one form, and at the very next moment it has the other form. However, this position is what creates the absurdity pointed out by Aristotle. It leaves no time for the change from the first form to the second form, to have actually occurred. Therefore under this perspective "activity" is impossible. So we must be prepared to accept that such moments in time are not contiguous. But this lack of contiguity threatens the integrity of the thing's identity which is based in the assumed continuity of existence of the thing.
  • Terrapin Station
    2.7k
    There is an issue with contiguity and identity in relation to a thing's existence in time. We assume that the same identified thing exists through a period of time despite some minor changes to that thing.Metaphysician Undercover

    You might remember from other discussions (although not with you) that I don't buy identity through time. In my view saying that the same thing persists through time is just a convenient abstraction--convenient because it's far easier to think and talk about things that way than as if we just have changing-but-developmentally-related things from moment to moment.

    This is the principle of identity as presented by Aristotle, the identity of the thing is within the material thing itself, not the form of the thing, which may be changing.Metaphysician Undercover

    Which is one of the many, many stances that I disagree with Aristotle on. In my view, there is no thing that's separate from form.

    Aletheist has been arguing that these two distinct forms must be temporally contiguous, tMetaphysician Undercover

    I thought he was actually arguing the opposite of that.

    However, this position is what creates the absurdity pointed out by Aristotle. It leaves no time for the change from the first form to the second form, to have actually occurred.Metaphysician Undercover

    On my view, time IS change, so it makes no sense to say that "there is no time for (a) change to have occurred."
  • aletheist
    528
    If something changes from not-Y to Y, then if we adhere to the law of excluded middle, there is no time in between, when the thing is changing, or "becoming" Y.Metaphysician Undercover

    Correct, but @Terrapin Station defines time as the series of changes itself, so of course he holds that there is no time in between. He explains this by claiming that the changes are contiguous, while I do not see how they can be anything but discrete (in his model).

    Aletheist has been arguing that these two distinct forms must be temporally contiguous, that at one moment the thing has one form, and at the very next moment it has the other form.Metaphysician Undercover

    That is not what I have been arguing at all, since I have not said anything whatsoever about "forms." We have been talking about gaining or losing a (non-essential) property. If we were using Aristotle's framework and terminology - which we are not - then this would be accidental change, rather than substantial change. Furthermore, if there really is a "very next moment," then I have been arguing that time is discrete rather than continuous.
  • John
    2.5k


    It would be nice if you would make the effort to identify and answer the actual questions being asked of you.

    Unfortunately this just muddies the waters, and muddles the whole question up, by introducing further unnecessary complexity. My question was about your claim that there is a present experience about which we cannot be mistaken. The problem is that experiences take time, which means that the past (retention) and the future (protention) are always integral parts of all experience. And since we can never be absolutely certain about something remembered (however recent) or something anticipated (however imminent) it seems obvious that we can certainly be mistaken about our experiences.

    You seem to be trying to obfuscate the issue in order to hang on to your precious, and yet obviously inconsistent, belief that we cannot be mistaken about a purely present experience, a purely present experience which, however, simply does not exist, according to your very own admissions.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    1.3k
    You might remember from other discussions (although not with you) that I don't buy identity through time. In my view saying that the same thing persists through time is just a convenient abstraction--convenient because it's far easier to think and talk about things that way than as if we just have changing-but-developmentally-related things from moment to moment.Terrapin Station

    So do you think that my chair is not the same chair that it was yesterday because it's gotten a bit worn from me sitting on it? Are you saying that there is no continuity of existence of this entity, the chair, it's just convenient for talking about things, but there's no real continuity of that entity, the chair? That seems rather absurd to me. Do you think that at every moment of passing time, when a molecule, or even an electron of the chair changes, the hand of God is actually replacing the chair which was there, with a completely new chair? Is this what you believe, entities are continuously being replaced with a new entity at each passing moment?

    On my view, time IS change, so it makes no sense to say that "there is no time for (a) change to have occurred."Terrapin Station

    Correct, but Terrapin Station defines time as the series of changes itself, so of course he holds that there is no time in between. He explains this by claiming that the changes are contiguous, while I do not see how they can be anything but discrete (in his model).aletheist

    I haven't been able to make any sense of Terrapin's notion of time. I've completely given up on that. I'm now trying to make sense of Terrapin's notion of the existence of an object, and so far it appears unintelligible as well.

    That is not what I have been arguing at all, since I have not said anything whatsoever about "forms." We have been talking about gaining or losing a (non-essential) property. If we were using Aristotle's framework and terminology - which we are not - then this would be accidental change, rather than substantial change. Furthermore, if there really is a "very next moment," then I have been arguing that time is discrete rather than continuous.aletheist

    It is in the last passage I quoted from you. Here, something like this:

    By the laws of non-contradiction and excluded middle, X is never both Y and not-Y at the same time, and X is always either Y or not-Y at any assignable time. Suppose that X is Y at time T1 and not-Y at time T2; i.e., X changes from Y to not-Y sometime between T1 and T2. There can be no particular instant of time between T1 and T2 when X is changing from Y to not-Y; it is always either one or the other, and never both. Hence if everything is particular, including time, then there is no "present" at which changes "are occurring," just discrete instants before and after each change.aletheist

    Do you deny that everything is always - i.e., at all times - either P or not-P, where P is some particular property?aletheist

    X is P before the change, and X is not-P after the change, but there is no time in between when X is changing from P to not-P.aletheist

    See, you are saying that X has one particular static form (state) at one moment (before the change), and another particular state at the next moment (after the change), but there is no time in between, during which the change occurs. So you have denied the possibility of real activity. All there is, is one particular state (static form), then the next particular state, and so on, each state being temporally contiguous, such that there is no time in between these states during which real activity could be occurring.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    1.3k
    Good luck on that John. If you read the earlier posts, I already went through that very issue with Terrapin Station. I do believe we'll be at the third time around the circle soon.
  • aletheist
    528
    See, you are saying that X has one particular static form (state) at one moment (before the change), and another particular state at the next moment (after the change), but there is no time in between, during which the change occurs. So you have denied the possibility of real activity. All there is, is one particular state (static form), then the next particular state, and so on, each state being temporally contiguous, such that there is no time in between these states during which real activity could be occurring.Metaphysician Undercover

    Please read the exchange more carefully. I was saying that this is what @Terrapin Station's view entails, not that it is my own view.
  • John
    2.5k


    Haha, surprise, surprise! Well, it's not really a surprise; I've seen it over and over with Terrapin. When the inconsistencies in his position are exposed by others, he doesn't acknowledge them, but withdraws his head into its protective shell and refuses to answer the salient questions straightforwardly. Terrapin indeed!
  • Terrapin Station
    2.7k


    How about we try something simpler: give me a hypothetical example of a present phenomenal experience qua that present phenomenal experience that one could be mistaken about.
  • John
    2.5k


    What do you mean by "present phenomenal experience qua present phenomenal experience"? How about you give an example of that, so that I know what kind of thing you are asking for?
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