• Don Wade
    185
    When we visualize an apple on an apple tree, do the seeds inside the apple exist? This may seem like a simple question, but there are many different ways of visualizing (the question).

    Some people believe the seeds cannot exist in the same place as the apple (at the same time) - so the seeds cannot exist as "seeds" - only as a part of the apple. Why do we believe the seeds, and the apple, cannot co-exist at the same time? This question has many implications in our life - such as a mother and a child. Can the parts be considered as wholes if they are being visualized by someone else as a part, and does it reflect on "does it exist?"
  • Manuel
    1.4k
    I don't follow very well. We may have different intuitions as people.

    When I think of an apple, I thinking about the exterior: the (usually) red skin and the shape. If someone were to say "think of the inside of an apple", then I might visualize the apple cut in two and I see the white flesh and the seeds.

    But the same thing happens with a house. When someone says I have a house near the mountains, you usually have in mind the outside of the house, not the interior space. Likewise with a mountain or a tree or many other objects. Why this is so is hard to say.

    But I don't see how this has implications for a mother and a child. Nor do I see why thinking about these concepts in this manner should have implications on what does and does not exist,
  • Don Wade
    185
    When I think of an apple, I thinking about the exterior: the (usually) red skin and the shape. If someone were to say "think of the inside of an apple", then I might visualize the apple cut in two and I see the white flesh and the seeds.Manuel

    Thanks for your response, and your indulgence. Hopefully, I will be able to explain "why" levels makes a difference. Your response indicated you perceive the apple much the same way as most people, by seeing it. (The red skin, size, ect...). Most people do not perceive the seeds - unless, as you also mention, you cut the apple open. One of the points I'm trying to make is: the seeds "exist" whether we cut the apple, or not. We should not declare the seeds do not exist - just because we didn't cut the apple open to actually see the seeds. The problem seems to be: while the seeds are in the apple we "choose" to identify them as only part of the apple - not as apple seeds.

    Babies, in a mother's womb, is the same analogy. The baby still exists even though it is not "born" yet. It is also a "part of the mother" - but not just a part of the mother. The seed, as mentioned above, is a part of the apple - but also exists as a distinct part (a seed). The concept of levels allows objects to be in a hierarchy as described, and to exist as a part of different objects at the same time. Example: The atoms that form the baby in the womb, could also be considered as part of a leg - not just a part of the baby. Hopefully, this will shed some light on the subject. Thanks again for your time.
  • fishfry
    2.6k
    When we visualize an apple on an apple tree, do the seeds inside the apple exist? This may seem like a simple question, but there are many different ways of visualizing (the question).

    Some people believe the seeds cannot exist in the same place as the apple (at the same time)
    Don Wade

    It's unclear if you're talking about visualizations or reality. I can visualize an apple with a small unicorn in it. I have no problem doing that, I'm doing it right now. Visualizing being very careful taking a bite, lest the horn stab me in my mouth. Ouch!

    But when I buy an apple at the grocery store, it's perfectly clear that there are some seeds in it.

    Can you clarify if you are talking about visualizations, which are unconstrained by the laws of physics and biology, or the real world, which is?

    I wonder if you're asking about mereology -- the philosophy of containment.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mereology
  • Manuel
    1.4k
    Babies, in a mother's womb, is the same analogy. The baby still exists even though it is not "born" yet. It is also a "part of the mother" - but not just a part of the mother.Don Wade

    Depends on the stage of development the embryo is in. Is this related to an abortion argument?

    In the case of apples, we tend to throw them away once we eat them. We don't use the seeds. So the analogy between apples and babies can be misleading in this respect.
  • Don Wade
    185
    Depends on the stage of development the embryo is in. Is this related to an abortion argument?Manuel

    No, it is not an abortion argument. We are speaking of: "when does something exist". Some people don't believe the baby exists - "until it is born" (no matter what stage of development it is in). It is a perspective. One can make the argument that the baby exist after conception, and they would be correct. One can also make the argument that as long as the baby is inside the mother it does not exist - it is still just a part of the mother until it is born - which is also correct. Levels states: both conditions are correct, and can exist at the same time. It does not have to be one-or-the-other (which is the way most people see it.) It is all in how someone "perceives" the baby.

    The same is true with the apple seed - even though they may be thrown away. (Throwing them away does not make them non-existing.) The seeds "exist" inside the apple (as seeds), and at the same time, as part of the apple. Again, it is how people perceive them. "Perception rules".
  • Manuel
    1.4k
    One can also make the argument that as long as the baby is inside the mother it does not exist - it is still just a part of the mother until it is born - which is also correct. Levels states: both conditions are correct, and can exist at the same time. It does not have to be one-or-the-other (which is the way most people see it.) It is all in how someone "perceives" the baby.Don Wade

    I mean sure, that's one way to analyze it. A lot of people's intuitions and many laws in different countries, as far as I'm aware, consider it a gradual affair. Moral problems don't usually arise after, say, 3 days after conception. But the moral issue in this case is not too strong. If you speak of something like, after 6 months, then yes, it gets more complicated. But religious believers disagree, which is fine.

    As for apple seeds, yeah they are part of the apple. But these gain much more importance is you're going to plant an apple tree or use the seeds.
  • Don Wade
    185
    But when I buy an apple at the grocery store, it's perfectly clear that there are some seeds in it.fishfry

    Do you "visualize" there are seeds in the apple - or, do you physically take the apple apart to examine it? First, I believe, you visualize the seeds. Yes, you can also visualize a unicorn in the apple. Actually, so can I. Visualizing an item doesn't take away from the reality of the item. (Even though some philosophers would debate that statement.)

    When you buy an apple at the store, and you realize it has seeds in it, do you perceive the seeds as part of the apple - or, do you perceive the seeds have their own existence as seeds? To me, both conditions are correct. The seeds have their own existence, and they are also part of the apple. Conventional science does not see it that way. Many people believe that two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time - (the seeds and the apple). It is how we view our "perception" that creates the problem - not what is actually real.
  • Don Wade
    185
    I mean sure, that's one way to analyze it. A lot of people's intuitions and many laws in different countries, as far as I'm aware, consider it a gradual affair. Moral problems don't usually arise after, say, 3 days after conception. But the moral issue in this case is not too strong. If you speak of something like, after 6 months, then yes, it gets more complicated. But religious believers disagree, which is fine.

    As for apple seeds, yeah they are part of the apple. But these gain much more importance is you're going to plant an apple tree or use the seeds.
    Manuel

    The question is: "Can two objects occupy the same space at the same time?" - not how long does a mother carry a baby, or planting apple seeds. Somehow we got off-track.
  • Manuel
    1.4k


    In the case of an apple and its seeds, when we visualize and apple, we have to assume the seeds are inside. Otherwise we probably have in mind a piece of wax resembling an apple.

    The apple and the seeds thus considered are part of the same object, not two distinct things. We are the one's who individuate in nature, not the things themselves.

    In any case, speaking of apples and seeds as occupying the same space at the same time would be redundant in this example.
  • Don Wade
    185
    The apple and the seeds thus considered are part of the same object, not two distinct things. We are the one's who individuate in nature, not the things themselves.Manuel

    That is the question. Seeing the apple and seeds together (as an apple) is "one" way of perceiving the system, and probably the way most people would view it. However, what I'm trying to demonstrate is; we recognize the apple has seeds, but we don't always view the seeds as distinct entities (even though we recognize they exist in the apple). If the seeds exist in the apple, then they exist in space. That is: they have mass and other requirements of existence. However, our perception may tell us they can only exist as part of the apple? That doesn't make sense. Either they exist, or they don't. It is our perception that leads us astray. Some people don't understand (yet) - our perception is fooled simply by the "location"f the seeds. Whether they are in the apple, in our hand, or in a package. They are still the same seeds. They exist.

    The apple also exists. Yes, the apple has seeds in it. Do the seeds exist with or without the apple? Yes. Therefore, it is my conclusion that the space inside the apple "that cotains the seeds" is still part of the apple. Because the space is still part of the apple the two objects (the seed, and the apple) are occupying that same space at the same time.
  • Manuel
    1.4k
    The apple also exists. Yes, the apple has seeds in it. Do the seeds exist with or without the apple? Yes. Therefore, it is my conclusion that the space inside the apple "that cotains the seeds" is still part of the apple. Because the space is still part of the apple the two objects (the seed, and the apple) are occupying that same space at the same time.Don Wade

    It's similar-ish to the whole chicken or egg debate.

    I'd only try to emphasize that seeds are parts of apples. We also consider seeds apart from apples when appropriate. But we'd still call them apple seeds, not seeds from space. But the same would be true of an avocado seed or a watermelon seed.
  • Don Wade
    185
    It's similar-ish to the whole chicken or egg debate.Manuel

    No! The question is: Can two objects occupy the same space at the same time. - Not which one came first.
  • Manuel
    1.4k
    Can two objects occupy the same space at the same time. - Not which one came first.Don Wade

    An apple includes its seeds. By saying that apples on the one hand and seeds on the other are different objects is just a way of speaking about things, which is convenient for talking.

    However, our perception may tell us they can only exist as part of the apple? That doesn't make sense.Don Wade

    It doesn't make sense? If we aren't talking about apple seeds, what are we talking about? Seeds of no fruit at all? We're no longer speaking about seeds if something like that is the case.

    But is it a fundamental ontological distinction? I don't think so. These are different levels of maturity of the same object: all apples begin as seeds.
  • Don Wade
    185
    It appears we are at an impasse? At least it shows me more of what I have to do to get people to accept the concept.
  • Manuel
    1.4k
    It appears we are at an impasse?Don Wade

    It's likely. Or as you said you'd need to come up with more examples or different wordings.

    Or we may simply have different intuitions about these things.
  • Don Wade
    185
    Back to the drawing board.
  • fishfry
    2.6k
    Do you "visualize" there are seeds in the apple - or, do you physically take the apple apart to examine it? ]/quote]

    At first the former, and eventually when I eat the apple, the latter.
    Don Wade
    First, I believe, you visualize the seeds.Don Wade

    Of course. But in truth I don't actually visualize the seeds in the apple, I don't even think about them. If I chose to I could. I think my mental process when buying apples is, "I'll have one of these as a snack later this week." But I don't give any thought to their internals.

    Yes, you can also visualize a unicorn in the apple. Actually, so can I. Visualizing an item doesn't take away from the reality of the item. (Even though some philosophers would debate that statement.)Don Wade

    Right. I think I must be missing your point since I don't see where this is going.

    When you buy an apple at the store, and you realize it has seeds in it, do you perceive the seeds as part of the apple - or, do you perceive the seeds have their own existence as seeds?Don Wade

    As I said, perhaps this is dealt with in mereology, "the study of parts and the wholes they form." as Wiki says. I've never thought about it before (at the grocery or anywhere else) but of course the seeds are part of the apple AND they have their own existence as seeds. Surely nobody would disagree.

    To me, both conditions are correct.Don Wade

    I agree. I'm still not seeing the point.

    The seeds have their own existence, and they are also part of the apple.Don Wade

    I can't imagine anyone disagreeing.

    Conventional science does not see it that way.Don Wade

    It doesn't? I don't know if I believe that.

    Many people believe that two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time - (the seeds and the apple).Don Wade

    That's just a semantic game. The part of the apple that's the seed occupies that particular space, and there is no part of the apple that is not that seed occupying that space. It's like saying that my garage and my car occupy the same space. It's low-end sophistry to say that violates the fact that no two objects can occupy the same space. I'm not buying your thesis.

    It is how we view our "perception" that creates the problem - not what is actually real.Don Wade

    As you've described it, it's just a word game of little import. It's true that the space within the garage counts as being the garage, and the car is in the garage. I suppose I'm now backed into the corner of saying that when I park my car, I push away the part of the garage that's not my car so I can put my car in it. And when I drive my car out of the garage, the space where the car was immediately fills with garage space.

    You can't possibly be trying to make something serious of this, can you? Am I missing your point?
  • Don Wade
    185
    You can't possibly be trying to make something serious of this, can you? Am I missing your point?fishfry

    Yes. For some reason you're still missing the point. You are quoting the facts, but missing the point.

    As you've described it, it's just a word game of little import. It's true that the space within the garage counts as being the garage, and the car is in the garage. I suppose I'm now backed into the corner of saying that when I park my car, I push away the part of the garage that's not my car so I can put my car in it. And when I drive my car out of the garage, the space where the car was immediately fills with garage space.fishfry

    The point I'm trying to make "when the car is in the garage" the space occupied by the car (while in the garage) - that space is still part of the garage (even though it has a car also in that same space). To me, that means, at that time, both the car and the garage are (in fact) occupying the same space - Not all of the space - just the space where the car is parked. I can't understand why that is hard to see. Two objects, the garage, and the car, at some time both occupy the same space. Note: You don't push away the space in the garage just to park your car. You use the same space. There is also air in the garage - and probably other items - but they can also occupy that same space, at the same time. I think it is incorrect to believe only one object can occupy a given space at any given time.
  • fishfry
    2.6k
    Yes. For some reason you're still missing the point. You are quoting the facts, but missing the point.Don Wade

    Not for the first time I'm sure. I tend to be a bit literal-minded, too much so for my own good.

    The point I'm trying to make "when the car is in the garage" the space occupied by the car (while in the garage) - that space is still part of the garage (even though it has a car also in that same space).Don Wade

    I can concede that, without necessarily agreeing that two things have occupied the same space. Rather, it's a word game. "The garage" is the space enclosed by the four walls, floor, and ceiling of the garage. So the space in the garage where the car is parked is indeed both the car and the garage. But you don't actually have two things occupying the same space. You have tricky semantics in search of an actual point.

    I suppose you'd say I'm being too literal again.

    Or as George Carlin said, Why do we drive on the parkway and park in the driveway?


    To me, that means, at that time, both the car and the garage are (in fact) occupying the same space - Not all of the space - just the space where the car is parked.Don Wade

    Yes I understand this is your point. I disagree that you have proven that two things can occupy the same space, except semantically by virtue of the inherent ambiguity of language.

    I would say that you have made a cute semantic point, but not a point of physics.

    I can't understand why that is hard to see.Don Wade

    It's perfectly easy to see, and I do in fact see it. I disagree with you about the significance. I see that you have made a cute semantic point but nothing more. Like the guy in charge of the outdoors being called the Secretary of the Interior. Another Carlinism.

    Two objects, the garage, and the car, at some time both occupy the same space.Don Wade

    You need not belabor this point, I have already acknowledge your point, which is closer to being a pun than a substantive observation about the world. You're exploiting the semantic ambiguity of "garage," which casually means all the space enclosed by the boundaries of the garage, but that CLEARLY can't be taken so literally, else to risk falling in to the semantic trap in which you've entangled yourself.

    Note: You don't push away the space in the garage just to park your car.Don Wade

    Well, you do push away the air molecules. At a physical level, consider that.

    You use the same space.Don Wade

    "Garageness" is not something that can be measured physically. "Garage space" is a conceptual label given to the interior space bounded by the walls and floor and ceiling, but it's not a physical thing that is subject to being in the same place as some other thing.

    There is also air in the garage - and probably other items - but they can also occupy that same space, at the same time.Don Wade

    Oh no, that is quite false. The air molecules must be displaced by the car. Surely you understand that. You can't possibly think that the metal molecules of the car occupy the same space as the air molecules bounded by the car's boundary. Surely you can't be claiming that. You've brought me up short. I'd been thinking we're arguing semantic games, but now you're violating the laws of physics.

    But of course if the car windows are open, some of the garage air will enter the car. And if you SEMANTICALLY regard "the car" as including everything within the boundaries of the car, you will claim that the car and the air within the car occupy the same space. But then you're playing the same word game. The car, the air within the car, and the garage all occupy the same space -- but only semantically, not in any physical sense and not in any meaningful sense.

    I think it is incorrect to believe only one object can occupy a given space at any given time.Don Wade

    I think you're fooling yourself with word play.
  • jgill
    1.5k
    The point I'm trying to make "when the car is in the garage" the space occupied by the car (while in the garage) - that space is still part of the garage (even though it has a car also in that same space). To me, that means, at that time, both the car and the garage are (in fact) occupying the same space - Not all of the space - just the space where the car is parkedDon Wade

    The garage defines the space within it, that space is not part of the garage. The garage door is part of the garage, the cement floor is part of the garage, etc. ff is correct: you are playing a word game.
  • Don Wade
    185
    Is the space inside of anything part of the thing, or is only the surface of the thing, the thing. Is it a word game to believe a block of stone has stone outside, and inside, of it as well? Can a thing be hollow and still be a thing? These are not just word games. Too many times humans believe everything we see must be solid all the way through - and then make statements about what we believe to be true.
  • Don Wade
    185
    Oh no, that is quite false. The air molecules must be displaced by the car. Surely you understand that. You can't possibly think that the metal molecules of the car occupy the same space as the air molecules bounded by the car's boundary. Surely you can't be claiming that. You've brought me up short. I'd been thinking we're arguing semantic games, but now you're violating the laws of physics.fishfry

    No...There is no "law of physics" that states two objects cannot occupy the same place at the same time except "The Pauli exclusion Principle", and that only deals with certain types of sub-atomic particles - not real-world objects. Some may state it is an argument of logic - not physics, and becomes a philosophical question. That's why I'm asking the question on this forum.
  • god must be atheist
    3.3k
    I am sort of disappointed. I thought, Don Wade, that you are building up to and ontological argument: the seeds are there only if someone knows they are there.

    But you are talking set theory. If set is inside another set, than is the inside-set a unit distinct form the container-set, or is it part of it?

    We can't give you an example to show how we think about it, because you are quick to show examples we could show you, and you bring them up for us, and explain the example your way. So supplying an analogy is useless.

    I think I had better capitulate to your thinking. My mother's baby, I, was not formed until I left my mother's womb. Therefore I did not exist then. Bang, abortions are all of a sudden okay, because the fetus is fully an organ or some innard of the mother.

    So if you cut the mother in half, and you look at her red flesh, ... sorry, joke carried too far.

    But I stand by the abortion thing. Many anti-abortionists say they oppose it because it's murder. But it's not... it's not murder if you remove an organ from a living body and it does not cause the body to die. Baby inside womb is a part of the mother, removing it is not murder.
  • jgill
    1.5k
    Is it a word game to believe a block of stone has stone outside, and inside, of it as well? Can a thing be hollow and still be a thing?Don Wade

    What of the air inside the garage, inhabiting its space and therefore part of the garage? You open the garage door and the air dissipates as it flows outside the garage. Oh wait, that is part of the garage outside the garage now. As it dissipates further the neighborhood is a former part of your garage. What effect will this have on property values?

    These are not just word gamesDon Wade

    All philosophy arguments are word games. :grin:
  • Don Wade
    185
    All philosophy arguments are word games. :grin:jgill

    Yes! Now we're on the same page.
  • fishfry
    2.6k
    No...There is no "law of physics" that states two objects cannot occupy the same place at the same time except "The Pauli exclusion Principle", and that only deals with certain types of sub-atomic particles - not real-world objects. Some may state it is an argument of logic - not physics, and becomes a philosophical question. That's why I'm asking the question on this forum.Don Wade

    Yes agreed. At one point I was going to link the Pauli exclusion principle but thought better of it, since it's a specific technical condition. We're in agreement on this. I'm not arguing whether two objects in physics may or may not occupy the same space. I'm only arguing that the example of a car and a garage, or an apple and its seeds, are word games and are not actual examples or counterexamples to your own thesis.
  • Manuel
    1.4k
    Well, if by "word games" you also have in mind conceptual distinctions, which aren't only verbal, then I'd agree.

    I think there is content in philosophy, not just talk about words.
  • Don Wade
    185
    I'm only arguing that the example of a car and a garage, or an apple and its seeds, are word games and are not actual examples or counterexamples to your own thesis.fishfry

    I agree...and disagree. (If that makes sense?)
  • Don Wade
    185
    I think there is content in philosophy, not just talk about words.Manuel

    I agree. Philosophy can be a play on words (word games), and philosophy can have content. Too bad we can't quantitatively measure the "content".
  • fishfry
    2.6k
    I agree...and disagree. (If that makes sense?)Don Wade

    And you're doing it in the same place :-)
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