• Cartesian trigger-puppets

    I can not say I like it, but that's where the logic seems to lead.Pop

    It is these types of conclusions which I am most attracted to and philosophically motivated towards. Such conclusions that provoke so many philosophers into engaging in desperate; emotional, and motivated reasonings in order to try and escape from such a philosophical thesis (e.g., solipsism), thereby raising such vacuous objections that are analogous to, 'It just can't be,' to which they hurl towards them because they are so hard to accept or because they threaten our total disillusionment. For these objections are meaningless and well know to be meaningless by the philosophers who make them, which I find to be both ominous and enthralling.

    I think we come closer to truth when we seek out such things that others steer clear of, if we instead of deliberately overlook, then decide to peer through the depths.
  • Pop
    I think we come closer to truth when we seek out such things that others steer clear of, if we instead of deliberately overlook, then decide to peer through the depths.Cartesian trigger-puppets

    The allure of these depths is hard to resist. It is what makes philosophy exciting, as there is an element of risk to it. :naughty: I don't think its ultimately solipsistic. Solipsism suggests a singularity, whereas the universe is fundamentally relational. Self organization tends toward a singularity, but never manages to achieve it - always remaining an evolving process. I would say the nucleus of self organization is empty - there is no enduring self. The self evolves and emerges. A self is created entirely of non self. The relationship of self and other ( externalities ) is the gap they both emerge into - the relationship being the basis of emergence and evolution. So, this would exclude solipsism for me, but of course it is highly idealistic.

    My broad impression is of a stuff that differentiates for a time ( our lifetime ) and then recombines only to differentiate as something else at a future time. Something like a whirlpool that forms for a time in a fast flowing stream, or a fluctuation created from fluctuations. What are your thoughts?
  • Constance
    If you are going to relativize to individual historical agencies then the hedonism
    As you can see, this is a translation of a descriptive declarative sentence structure that is describing the way reality is in an objective way, into a descriptive declarative sentence structure that is describing the way reality is perceived and evaluated in a subjective way. It is nonetheless a factual statement about the psychological states of the individual subject the statement is indexed to.Cartesian trigger-puppets

    But is this not merely dismissive of the evaluative dimension? As if it presented no qualitatively distinct feature?
    The problem is whether or not the grammatical subject of the statement accurately represents the philosophical subject that is indexed to grammatical predicate.Cartesian trigger-puppets

    Isn't the same true for "the grass is green"? The moment you lift a predicative finger you are already "misrepresenting" the actuality for predication is not "out there" in the grass nor in the moral agent. But once you think like this, you "relativize" all predication to a language event, and the philosophical subject is always already (to borrow a term) a grammatical subject.
    This is why I claim the only way to deal with metaethics is phenomenologically. Then the grammatical or, eidetic subject (putting aside transcendental egos and the like), is deemed part of the existential actuality of the philosophical subject.

    This is because the philosophical subject does not maintain fixed physiological or psychological states between phenomenological frames of reference which means that the identity of the philosophical subject must necessarily change between phenomenological frames of reference over the philosophical subjects composite history.Cartesian trigger-puppets

    Of course. This is Heraclitus' world, not Parmenides'. Phenomenological frames of reference are dynamic temporal unities, but then, this makes drawing boundaries arbitrary: what is the measure of a unity in a moral regard for something? I already alluded to this earlier in my calling the world unpinnable. But it seems to be a real problem: You hold that metaethical actualities are found in the determinate moment of thought, feeling, attitude, this is not sustainable in any definite way. Right now in my occurrent frame of dispositions to make moral judgments, I don't think I should return an ax I borrowed to its owner because he is having a mental collapse. But this occurrent state is conflicted, unresolved, and my judgment is fluctuating. This is a metaethical foundation of the ethical good?

    I'm not sure that it is possible to do so on this logic. I am afraid that such is not a requisite capability and that the truth may be that we cannot.Cartesian trigger-puppets

    Pain? So morality is reducible to a hedonistic unit representing negative utility? But, pain is also subjective. Some people associate the same stimuli that others report as pain, but as pleasure. Think of the masochist. Pain seems to be just as arbitrary and mind-dependent as any other psychological state.Cartesian trigger-puppets

    You have arrived at what I would call the radically qualified locus of ethical, or any, judgment. But where is the "ought" in this account? I mean, talk about attitudes and beliefs obviously does not simply bear upon but constitute ethical judgment, granted, but this is not foundational for it lacks the elusive ethical oughts and shoulds, apparently assuming that these have no reality to consider, and that a person's dispositions to have a moral regard for some possibility exhausts the ontology of ethics.

    But what of value? That is, in an occurrent ethical disposition toward X, how is this a distinctly ethical affair? A passionate regard for doing or not doing something needs its counterpart in the object of what is being decided, and this goes to the thousand natural shocks the flesh and the mind is heir to, as well as its various and sundry blisses, interests, fascinations and so forth. The "real time" ouches and thrills, from the searing pains to the glorious love affairs: without these, no ethics, without that-which-is-the-object-of-my-desire, no desire, no caring. Not hedonics, but meta-hedonics, as once an affair is stripped of its incidentals, there remains the (awkwardly put) ethical "badness" of a finger exposed to flame; a non natural quality unaccounted for once the mereological parts you underscore are suspended, analytically set aside, that is.
  • Cartesian trigger-puppets

    I don't think its ultimately solipsistic.Pop

    You don't think what is ultimately solipsistic? Reality?

    I think of solipsism as a Cartesian assumption about reality. I think that the most reasonable epistemic stance would be to, not so much deny the existence of other minds, but to acknowledge them as metaphysical postulations. I think the skeptical principle thereof should be extended beyond the uncertainty of Descartes; that "cogito, ergo sum," also contains fundamental presuppositions. Namely, that this stream of conscious experience unfolding must belong to us. The famous Cartesian statement, "I think, therefore I am," thus begs the existential question with the use of the pronoun 'I'. It seems I'm drifting off-topic, but I presume that you also accept epistemological solipsism? That we can only be certain of our own minds existence (I would say, "A minds existence"), and that we cannot be certain of the existence of the external world or of the existence of other minds. I think epistemic certainty here would be the radical position since I'm representing the strongest most easily defensible solipsistic position; that of epistemic uncertainty rather than a negative claim.

    Solipsism suggests a singularity, whereas the universe is fundamentally relational.Pop

    Yes, solipsism is necessarily monistic. Are you using the term 'singularity in scientific terms (e.g., gravitational singularity, space-time singularity)? As in, a singularity described by general relativity as a space-time event that occurs whenever a celestial body's density and gravitational field takes on an infinite value? It doesn't seem to be what you are saying, but I can't make sense of this objection unless you are referring to the initial singularity. Such a singularity simply means a point in which a property such as density becomes infinite as a result of infinite mass being compressed to a volume of zero. This seems to be the case with respect to the current state of the universe. But, not if you are using the term colloquially as, "The state, fact, quality, or condition of being singular,"

    The universe is a singularity—that is, if we ignore the theoretical multiverse. Under these terms, the universe is a singularity which is surrounded by a cosmological horizon. A cosmological horizon is analogous to the event horizon of a black hole. The event horizon of a black hole is a surface of which we cannot see into, whereas the cosmological horizon of the universe is a surface of which we cannot see outside of. If this is your objection, then I am completely lost.

    Self-organization tends toward a singularity but never manages to achieve it - always remaining an evolving process.Pop

    Is this from, "The Self-Organizing Universe: Scientific and Human Implications," by Erich Jantsch?

    The evolution of the universe presupposes an emergence of the universe itself before evolutionary processes expanded outward with increasing complexity. First, an initial singularity, followed by (the big bang, presumably) the emergence of space-time, then followed subsequently by large-scale cosmological evolution, with self-organized patterns, symmetry, and regularity. The properties of physics began. Then, through processes of physical evolution, such physical entities developed with increasing complexity, which then gave rise to chemistry. With the emergence of chemistry came processes of chemical evolution, which developed into chemical entities which continued to increase in complexity. The complexity of these evolving chemical entities continued to increase and thereby rendered the emergence of biology. Biological entities gave rise to systems with even greater levels of entropy, which then gave rise to processes of biological evolution, followed subsequently by sociocultural evolution.

    In simple terms, self-organization began from a singularly and has continued as a self-contained singular entity both expanding in volume and complexity. From a bottom-up perspective, quantum states combine to form subatomic particles. Subatomic particles then undergo nuclear fusion to combine and form atoms. Atoms combine as chemical or covalent bonds which forms them into molecules. Molecules may then interact to form organic compounds such as amino acids which can form into self-replicating DNA\RNA systems that make up cellular organelles. Cellular organelles are the composite parts of cells, which have the ability to self-organize into the tissues and organs comprising the human body. Humans then continue to self-organize by exhibiting self-organizing behaviors as we develop cultures, societies, civilization, language, economics, politics, etc.

    Such a view is consistent with those of the sciences and thus is a reflection in terms of a unifying paradigm of self-organization. Everything from physical self-organization to cybernetic self-organization begins first from its emergence from a system of lower level of complexity.

    I apologize if this was over-exhaustive.

    There may be some unintended equivocation going on with your argument regarding a self-organizing universe and your segway into the self, as in the individual subject who is the object of its own reflective consciousness. That is a concept of the self or of self-hood in terms of such fields as philosophy, psychology, phenomenology, etc. When discussing the universe, we are generally talking about a physical system wherein a process is forming an overall order to the system which emerges from the interactions of the systems internal constituents which initially disordered the system.

    Anyway, such are my thoughts.
  • Cartesian trigger-puppets

    If you are going to relativize to individual historical agencies then the hedonismConstance

    I'm not sure what this is in reply to. It seems as if what you are trying to say here is: if I'm going to relativize to individual historical agencies then hedonism [follows]. Then you refer to my statements regarding the syntactic restructuring of evaluative statements. This seems detached and perhaps is simply an unfinished thought on your end. If not, then I must be too thick to make a connection.

    But is this not merely dismissive of the evaluative dimension? As if it presented no qualitatively distinct feature?Constance

    It doesn't appear to dismiss the evaluative dimension to me. It simply is an observation and subsequent conjecture regarding the syntactic arrangement of moral language. In the example of Andrew's moral statement, "Stealing is wrong," the syntactic arrangement of words are such that the moral predicate gives the appearance of having similar linguistic functionality as other non-evaluative descriptive predicates. The statement, "Stealing is wrong," has a descriptive declarative sentence structure that is describing the way reality is in an objective way. The moral predicate, "...is wrong," is used seemingly without any incoherence the same way as ordinary predicates such as, "...is a sphere," within the the descriptive declarative sentence: "The earth is a sphere," or within an interrogative sentence, "Is the earth a sphere?" as well as the antecedent of a conditional, "If the earth is a sphere, then...". The problem seems to be that moral predicates may be grammatically different and perhaps not logically be predicates at all. This is where the correspondence theory of truth seems to get in the way of what can be considered 'moral facts'.

    You see, the statement, "The earth is a sphere," contains a predicate that is properly grammatical and logical because it is a fact of the world that the earth is a sphere. It is empirically verifiable that the earth is a sphere, and in addition, we have, and for many centuries, defined the earth as having the property of being a sphere, thus it is analytically the case as well. So the predicate is logically deductive, both synthetically and analytically, to be factual. This is because it meets the requisite criteria for truth under the framework of the correspondence theory. It corresponds with reality in an objective sense, and therefore meets the demands of the robust realists metaphysical thesis. The earth has a corresponding ontology with which to logically ground it to the descriptive predicate "...is a sphere," in a way in which we have epistemic access to both analytical and empirical evidence for justification.

    It seems, then, that either moral statements are not logical, thus not predicates at all—but utterances with emotive and rhetorical functions that express the speakers emotion and persuasive influence (a form of non-cognitivism) which does not and can not correspond with the world, thus is not factual or capable of being factual because it has no ontological basis. Alternatively, moral statements could be predicates that are capable of being represented as a moral fact that corresponds with some aspect of reality (be it natural or unnatural), but no such aspect exists, thus no moral facts exist. Therefore, all moral statements are capable of being true by virtue of being represented by some aspect of the world, as a moral fact, but since there are no such aspects all moral statements are false (error theory). Or, maybe, just maybe, moral statements are logical, and thus are predicates, so long as we subscribe to a different theory of truth (e.g., pragmatic theory of truth) and rearrange the syntax of moral statements so that their grammatical errors can be elucidated with a proper interpretation of individual subjectivist metaethical semantics.

    As I said in the example, it seems that in order for moral statements to be truth-apt they must be describing the psychological states of the individual subject who is a) expressing a belief, or b) performing an act that is free of cognitive dissonance, such as the the one being described in the moral statement the individual subject is indexed to. In order to do this one must change the grammatical structure of the moral statement so that the moral predicate is embedded in the moral statement as a propositional attitude ("Andrew believes that stealing is wrong").

    As I said in the same example, if Andrew makes that moral statement, "Stealing is wrong," then we could simply rearrange the moral predicate so that the sentence translate into, "Andrew has a preference against stealing" or "Andrew has a negative attitude when it comes to stealing". Therefore, the statement would have a descriptive declarative sentence structure, be truth-apt as a description of Andrews psychological states and attitudes toward the act of stealing, and possibly even be true with our subscription to a pragmatic theory, or a coherence theory of truth. It would then make the example statement a true statement insofar as it is consistent with the psychological fact, or that, by considering more practical dimensions, shift away from the correspondence theory's standards for truth and fact. Remove the requisite for truth away from empirical verification and the requisite for being a fact away from this presupposed contingency for ontological representation and epistemic justification. Instead, let what makes a statement factual and true be based upon peoples intentions and meanings when describing a statement as true.

    It is true that you hold your beliefs and that stands as a grounds for ethics. It may be subjective, arbitrary, unpinnable, indeterminate, etc, however it nonetheless becomes structurally established and socially malleable. If Andrew disapproves of stealing, then he can articulate whatever normative reasons for the utility of abstaining from such an act. This may or may not strike others as to render the most desirable consequence, but it has thus far and with many. There may be fundamentally irreconcilable value judgements wherein such conflicts we cannot objectively determine who is ultimately right or wrong, but we can exercise democracy and render the totality of our collective experiences maximally 'Good' insofar as the vast majority of people are able to satisfy a substantial sum of their individual subjective preferences. It will not change what morality is if it simply is based on individual dispositions undergoing phenomenological fluctuations over an evolutionary ancestry of fleeting temporal frames which are met with influential forces such as historical background information, cultural constructs, punctuated equilibrium of social norms, societal structures, etc, emergent at the lower levels of the individual who is heavily influenced by structures at higher levels, such as government and culture, which are influenced by the individual, though in relative disparity, but influenced nonetheless.

    I've barely scratched the surface of my reply to you here, but hopefully I have at least made my position more clear to you, since your position, though brilliant and eloquent, is yet unclear to me.
  • Pop

    I came upon self organization in my own quirky way ( long story ). Jantsch is the originator, I haven’t read the book, but it is a well established concept in systems, and complexity theory. Currently Neil Theise is the loudest exponent. It caught my eye in abiogenesis theory, they all posit self organization as the cause of life, even God would have to self organize / self create to come into existence. :smile: You have done an excellent job of describing it. As you can see it is fundamental and thus ubiquitous. And it seems to fit as the cause and function of consciousness: “ I think therefore I am”, reduces down to” I am consciousness”. Consciousness is tricky to define as it is endlessly variable and open ended, but it can be defined in terms of its cause and function. So I am consciousness, with a little qualification becomes “I am an evolving process of self organization”.

    I arrived at this about a year ago, and have been testing it ever since. It seems to work? My interest is phenomenology, psychology, belief systems etc, this big picture stuff is a little out of my league, but self organization is a concept I cant seem to let go of and want to see through in my own way. It is an extremely powerful concept in many ways, but most of all in that it seems to be a link between consciousness and a fundamental attribute of our universe, and this impression leads me to a panpsychic understanding.

    It is a concept normally used in systems and complexity theory , as you have outlined. I use it out of that context, to test it. We can define consciousness as self organization, but we cannot define self organization ( due to it being fundamental ). The best I can do is state that organization creates a self. It hasn’t been applied to phenomenology or psychology, as far as I am aware, so I am keen to see how it might fit. I think the above expression works? A self is self organizing.

    It is still a work in progress. Once I have integrated it, I will compare my notes with that of others, including Jantz, but in the meantime I don’t in the hope that my personal understanding might result in something novel.

    I mean singularity in a colloquial sense. Solipsism implies a mind in a vat type of situation : “solipsism holds that knowledge of anything outside one's own mind is unsure; the external world and other minds cannot be known and might not exist outside the mind” - WIKI. As you say, this is a Cartesian dualist concern. I can relate to the fear of solipsism as I grew up in such a setting. These days, as a monist, I see things as systems and evolving relational processes, so such impressions are no longer relevant. As above – I am an evolving process of self organization – I can not be certain of anything! :lol: But seriously, I think this is closer to the truth.

    ** In short yes , I think everything is mind dependent, but consciousness is a mental modeling of an external world ( composed almost entirely of external information ), so Solipsism in its extreme ( mind in a vat ) doesn't make sense to me. A highly idealistic reality sounds more apt.
  • Cartesian trigger-puppets

    The problem is whether or not the grammatical subject of the statement accurately represents the philosophical subject that is indexed to grammatical predicate.
    — Cartesian trigger-puppets

    Isn't the same true for "the grass is green"? The moment you lift a predicative finger you are already "misrepresenting" the actuality for predication is not "out there" in the grass nor in the moral agent. But once you think like this, you "relativize" all predication to a language event, and the philosophical subject is always already (to borrow a term) a grammatical subject.
    This is why I claim the only way to deal with metaethics is phenomenologically. Then the grammatical or, eidetic subject (putting aside transcendental egos and the like), is deemed part of the existential actuality of the philosophical subject.

    When a speaker says, "The grass is green," they are making a statement in the form of a simple declarative sentence. A simple declarative sentence has a simple sentence structure consisting of both a grammatical subject, "The grass...," and a grammatical predicate, "...is green,". This sentence structure expresses a descriptive statement conveying qualitative information about the grammatical subject by the grammatical predicate without indicating approval or disapproval. The predicate, "...is green," is the logical affirmation of the chromatic quality of the subject, "The grass...," because the quality that is being predicated about the subject satisfies a correspondence form of epistemic justification by virtue of empirical evidence. This means that the predicate is both a synthetic and analytic truth because not only is it true by virtue of its meaning, but it is also true by virtue of the way the world is.

    In simple terms, if we want to be certain about our beliefs, then we should seek justification for our beliefs. Even out simplest, most obvious beliefs such as, "The grass is green,". One way to justify our beliefs is to have good reasons for holding our beliefs. Your example is a good way to illustrate such a basic starting point:

    1. I see that the grass is green.

    2. Seeing that X implies that X.

    Together, these beliefs seem to give us good reason to believe the proposition:

    3. The grass is green.

    There is, of course, a deep epistemic problem with our justification. Even if it seems that we have justified our belief (represented by proposition 3) through the combination of our supporting beliefs (represented by propositions 1 and 2), the justification of our belief that proposition 3 is justified is contingent upon the truth that our supporting beliefs (represented by propositions 1 and 2) are true, and thus they too must be justified. If in order for a belief to be justified, we are epistemically required to provide reasons in the form of additional supporting beliefs, and if these supporting beliefs likewise require subsequent justification from additional supporting beliefs, and this continues ad infinitum, then we are met with a problem known as infinite regress. This I fully appreciate and concede to. But, this problem does not render reason to be useless, nor does it mean that by utilizing reason as much as is possible and practicable that we cannot progress our understandings of the world. This is admittedly an appeal to possibility, but not in argument for truth, but rather for hope.

    As the subject who is a conscious being and observer, you are an entity that can form relationships with other entities that exists outside yourself. These other entities are the objects, or the things observed by you. You are the observing subject and the grass is the object which is being observed. As you observe this object, your brain captures a high-resolution image of the object in the retina as sensory sheets of photo-sensitive neurons 'light up' in excited states responding to the external visual-stimulus event as you encounter waves of propagating electromagnetic energy emissions from the environment.

    You experience this entity as the 3-dimensional stimuli map on a high-resolution image onto the optics of your eye. Then geometric and chromatic transformation maps neighboring points of the object to neighboring photoreceptors in the retina. Neuronal projections from the retina to the visual cortical areas preserve the neighborhood relations between the interacting points, lines, contours, etc, of the object and retinal photoreceptors to map a receptive field to interpret the local interactions and create a 2-dimensional image with green color sensation and sensory perception.

    This geometric and chromatic transformation of the three-dimensional object into a two-dimensional representational image is produced as our visual nervous system processes the energy carried by photons of electromagnetic radiation. The nervous system is triggered by the physical stimulus and responds by transmitting electric and chemical messages to the brain through a series of operations in the occipital lobe of the cerebral cortex which processes the stimulus into information. The information derived from the external stimuli is used to form a representation of the object and then transform this representation into a visual percept that reflects the physical characteristics of the objects points, lines, angles, surfaces and shapes against the background of the environment. This is an explanation of what is happening from an internal perspective.

    From an external perspective, what is happening is that the grass, which is an opaque physical object, has come into contact with electromagnetic radiation. The grass absorbs the blue (ultraviolet), long-wavelengths and the red (infrared), short-wavelengths and reflects the green medium-wavelengths. These reflected medium-wavelengths are an external stimulus which stimulates the photo receptors cells located on the retina of our eyes which enter an excited state in response to the external stimulus. The electromagnetic radiation of certain wavelengths produce chromatic signals which transmits information by the eye to the visual cortex where these messages are then processes within the brain which produces the sensation of green as it is converted into a symbolic representation.

    The three primary colors of visible light come in wavelengths of blue, green and red. If these three wavelengths of light are beamed onto the same spot the blue, green and red light will combine into white light. Grass looks green because as white light containing all three primary colors from the visible spectrum makes contact with the opaque surface of the grass the red and blue wavelengths are absorbed into the chloroplasts of the grass for photosynthesis and the green wavelengths of light that remain are then reflected back.

    There may not be a way for me to justify the proposition, "The grass is green," with complete epistemic certainty (and this is an important thing to remember when considering between theories of truth), however, as you can see, robust models with ample explanatory power and predictive capabilities can and are constructed and reconstructed through paradigmatic shifts with the progression of our knowledge over time. This, I argue, is why reason is useful for us. And, one reason why a pragmatic theory of truth may better guide us at this level. A correspondence theory of truth laid the groundwork for our reason and evaluation of the world as we can experience it, but technology has extended the scope in which our experience can apprehend reality and it is clear that it can no longer reliably report the true nature of the world at scales in which our intuition and sensory apparatus have not been adapted or equipped to observe or understand. For example, we see our hand as a solid object that is part of us, but the actual physical composition of this object is 99.99+ percent empty space that consists of only quantum fields surrounding the nucleus of every constituent atom. What is more, these atomic constituents are in constant exchange with the entire universe and originally emerged within unimaginably large nuclear reactors called stars, and a proportion of the atoms of you right hand likely came from stars of different galaxies than the atoms of your left hand. Galaxies that we can see in our night sky, without the aid of technology, as they were billions of years ago. The models that offer this insight into reality are produce the most accurate and dependable predictions ever made. We would be foolish to not appreciate what it is they are trying to tell us and equally foolish to think we can accurately interpret the totality of what they mean.
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