• Possibility
    2.4k
    You need to abide by what Kierkegaard says. His descritption is contra Hegel and he is not a rationalist, but insists this rationalality we witness in our affairs, far from being some adumbration of the God's full realization, is altogether other than God. K does not hold that all is foundationally rational and partially grasped by reason in our own zeitgeist. This zietgeist is quantitatively "sinfull" (not int he typical Lutheran sense at all; he flat out rejects this)Constance

    So Kierkegaard is excluding this possibility of complete rationality as other than God and beyond our relation to God - even though he says:

    Inasmuch as for God all things are possible, it may be said that this is what God is: one for whom all things are possible … God is that all things are possible, and that all things are possible is the existence of God. — Kierkegaard, ‘Sickness Unto Death’

    In describing his philosophy contra Hegel, Kierkegaard has limited this existence of God, the possibility of rationality left behind in Hegel’s embodied motivation. All things are NOT possible, then - not if complete rationality is not. And so the God of Kierkegaard is in doubt.

    But there is analysis prior to this "inner/outer" opposition. Remember for Witt there is no "outer" talk is this talk is intended to be outside of logic. Like many phenomenologists, he has this prohibition against making sense out of a world that is not a fact, a "state of affairs". Such things are not in the great book of facts (LEcture on Ethics). Inner and outer are confined to language, whether it be language games or logical constraint. One cannot "talk" outside of a language game.Constance

    Analytical philosophy is not looking to construct a ToE, but to analyse the accuracy of particular methodologies and demonstrate their limitations. It’s why Kierkegaard’s criticism of Hegel is so appealing. Kierkegaard qualifies the world we can experience by excluding rationality and eternity, and then demonstrates that by this exclusion we isolate ourselves from the very possibility of God. But is this isolation to be attributed to Kierkegaard’s exclusion of possible rationality, or to Hegel’s exclusion of possible eternity?

    Wittgenstein, too, qualifies the world he can talk about by language and by logic, and then demonstrates that what can be talked about exceeds the capacity of logic, just as Russell demonstrated that logic exceeds the capacity of language. Therefore, pursuing a ‘logical language’ is an exercise in ignorance. But is this ignorance to be attributed to the limitations of language or of logic?

    The answer we give in both cases illustrates how we are embodied in relation to how we describe the world, and hence what is missing from that description. But recognising with Heidegger that we are ‘thrown’ is just the beginning, as you say. I use the term ‘embodied’ because in my view we do not so much ‘break free’ as restructure, incorporating physics with metaphysics (hence my appeal to Rovelli).

    There is something IN the world that is primordial and profound. Heidegger thought this, but detested metaphysics. He did not see what I want him to see, that I am pushing here: Metaphysics is the radical other of the world, beyond its totalities (of course, Levinas at the bottom of this. See his Totality and Infinity, if you dare).Constance

    I am unfamiliar with Levinas, but at first glance I’m intrigued by his approach, particularly with respect to time - I wonder how Rovelli’s description of reality not as objects in time but as ‘interrelated events’, or his approach in ‘Helgoland’ that “facts relative to one observer are not facts relative to another”, might inform it. I would need to explore further... when I have more time.

    Open ended progress of time and energy? You use the term energy, but it makes what they say sound like something they didn't say. Heidegger doesn't talk like this. Of course, YOU can talk like this, obviously, and if you want to say that Heidegger really says this, you have to tell me explicitly: You know, Heidegger says this, but consider this using another term. Energy is a science term, and Heidegger would never go there. Regarding Time, his is a phenomenological ontology that deals with the structure of experience (another word he never uses).Constance

    Well, I’m not claiming that Heidegger really says this, but that in describing it the way he does, he assumes or embodies a fundamental aspect of existence, which is missing from his description, yet exists in others. I have no academic background in philosophy, so my approach to this is unorthodox. If I were to use Kierkegaard’s or Hegel’s own terms to describe what I’m referring to here, then it would defeat the purpose, which is to describe the structure and properties of these systems in relation to what I see as a broader perspective. I do see your point about being explicit, though.

    When I use the terms energy, quality and logic, I’m not using them in a technical way, or even as ill-defined concepts, but referring to profound ideas. So the words themselves are placeholders: for want of a better term, so to speak, which is arguably how these three words are used in everyday language: as placeholders for a more profound idea. Energy refers to a ‘primordial’ idea prior to change - the possibility/impossibility of an absolute source of potential. Quality refers to a ‘profound’ notion underlying difference - of an absolute distinction or binary. Logic refers to a ‘perfect’ notion fundamental to relation, of absolute interconnectedness.

    There is no existence, no system, no reality without the unaffected, unformed possibility/impossibility of these three ideas. For me, this is where it all begins, and where we ultimately draw from, whenever we embody a system from which to describe a system. So it stands to reason that reality equals any description of a system plus the embodied system from which it is described, and necessarily includes the possibility/impossibility of energy, quality and logic as profound ideas. If you look carefully, you will see that any idea takes form by the correlation of two of these in relation to the third - even a description of these ideas themselves.
  • Zugzwang
    131
    [L]anguage is structurally not capable of foundational truth.But then: we live deep in meaning and caring and all the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. What can this be, to live on these terms of engagement, yet to acknowledge the emptiness of understanding. I think a Buddhist might have a clue or two...but she couldn't tell you; or could she? Another issue.Constance

    :up:

    This bolded part is more of that good 'nonsense.' It can't be proved as a theorem, IMV, but it's a gesture, a poem, an aphorism...that tries to get at something. Language is fog with claws. Humans are amusingly sure that their barks are stuffed with mining. Chalk is cheep.
  • Zugzwang
    131
    As to the isolated interior: Isolated from what?Constance

    Isolated from the world, from others. The basic myth of modern philosophy, one might say, is a version of the picture-box soul. Then one can ask whether we can be sure of anything, whether one is 'really' a brain in vat. One also assumes that words have their meanings inside, within this box where they 'really' live, infinitely intimate. 'I know what I mean, even if I can't say it.' That goes with this myth. Words are vessels for isolated self-stuff (meaning). But this picture of the picture-box is itself taken for granted by skeptics who misunderstand themselves as radical. That's there's only and exactly one of 'me' in here....that the ego is singular. Why? Because we count one body? Because the 'fiction'/artifice of 'self' is used to control this single body? Blame and praise and train this single body?

    This is not to say that we 'really' have 20 'souls' or no 'soul.' The point is to point out that which is ontologically farthest as it pretends to peep from the mirror.
  • Zugzwang
    131
    One thing one has to do is drop common tongue of interpretation, the endless talk about everything in our everyday lives as the basis for understanding the world. That is isolating, for the more one does this in earnest, the less the world's common interests have a hold, and then, instead of alienation being on the outside of these affairs, these affairs becomes the alienating cause. Eventually culture will come to this, after it is done with pragmatic technology infatuations.Constance

    I'm not sure we can escape this 'prison.' To me it seems the high and free and awake self is built from the usual junkyard parts. To me, the meaning system is grounded in practical life. To escape this would require something like freeing us all, in the real world, from practical concerns. Perhaps in some high-tech utopia where AI tends to our non-spiritual needs, we'd reinvent the ground of meaning. But I suspect (might be temperamental) that we are primarily pragmatic-technological primates.
  • Constance
    532
    To me it's more about being aware of how much clarity is possible or appropriate in a given context. The naive metaphysician does a pseudo-math with words without realizing that s/he does not and cannot sufficiently fix/govern the so-called meaning of those signs (hence 'pseudo-math'). From this perspective, one can grok deconstructive/Wittgensteinian critical gestures without losing the ability to write poetry, talk with Mom about God, etc. What does become difficult is to ask blurry questions naively, as if the signs had a clear enough sense for a relatively objective answer. The difference is basically something knowing when one is being a poet and when one is being a mathematician/scientist --which is not to say that this distinction can ever be perfect (this distinction is more of that illuminating nonsense that puts itself in question without erasing itself completely.)Zugzwang

    But then, does this toss the earnest quest for truth at a foundational level into the mix of meaning indeterminacy? I mean, as long as one knows a context well and can move through its language game, does this language play exhaust the content of its possibilities? Or, is there something in the world that is not a language game that issues forth and beckons, something impossibly profound, but the impossibility of it is a measure of the deficit of one's totality of understanding.
    This is where some think postmodern thought goes, for in the undoing of confidence in language to seize meaning, there steps forward a resignation that opens up meaning in ways not assimilated by language.
    Getting into very interesting thinking: apophatic philosophy.
  • Constance
    532
    Sorry for the delay. I am a bit behind on things these days.


    Meaning, value, actuality, etc is then attributed as we are embodied in the system.Possibility

    But then: System? An inherently rational concept. Any system you can conceive is structured by the terms and thinking you already possess. The matter here is to take the affairs of philosophy to their threshold, and then not impose more thinking, more metaphysics, but to embrace the indeterminacy. This is liberating.
    The only system that services this end is phenomenology and the Husserlian epoche. See his Ideas I.
    Wittgenstein explored the dynamic between thinking and logic within a language system, and recognised that just as there is more to the structure or logic of reality than language, there is also more to the quality of ideas (aesthetics) than thinking (within language). What’s missing from his system description is also energy - much like the Tao Te Ching - rendering it only pragmatically meaningful. It’s not just language and its logic, but an embodied, practical awareness of their limitations, that realise meaningfulness in interaction with the world.Possibility
    I would need an example of the Tao to make this clear, that is, this correlation between energy and the Tao. Energy is a science term, connotatively packed, so I don't see how it works well here. Word choice matters a lot. This is why Heidegger had to construct his own, to be free of a long history of bad thinking. I don't think empirical science's "history" clarifies the Tao.

    Also on Witt: Logic structures all thought (speaking of the Tractatus here), but it itself cannot be put in this structure to understand what logic is. One would need a third analytical perspective, which would need another to analyze it. There is no way "out" of this, for even the term"out" is nonsense in this context. From whence does logic "come"? What is its generative base? A terrific read along these lines is Eugene Fink's Sixth Meditation. Anyway, it is here philosophy reaches it end. I find the new post Heideggarian theories the right direction. The French I mention above. they don't systematize, but follow the simple logic of the basic principles of phenomenology to their logical conclusions. The result is an encounter with the impossible, which is where we really are.

    Not that Kierkegaard thinks like this, but that his system description is rendered complete only in relation to an embodied existence of eternal rationality, a position he necessarily assumes by omitting it from his description.Possibility

    But you sound like Hegel. Read the First chapter of K's Concept of Anxiety. See he is not with this at all. He argues explicitly against it.

    The aim of philosophy is to ultimately embody the logical methodology or ideal relation between inner and outer system. If we are to accurately describe this using language and logic, then we need to include in our description, as Wittgenstein and the TTC have done, a purely practical method for embodying an inner/outer relation to the ‘impossible unutterable noumena’ assumed by the description. Without this practice, any understanding of the methodology is incomplete.

    From Kierkegaard’s perspective, the assumption is that God already occupies this non-alienated, original condition, and that we merely dance around it. Any embodied relation we may have to this ‘impossible, unutterable noumena’ is subjective, affected and illogical. He relies on Hegel’s description, with its assumption of the open-ended progress of time/energy (a device Heidegger also relies on in his own way), to demonstrate the anxiety of our condition. Without this temporal relation, Kierkegaard’s description lacks directional attention and effort, rendering our condition eternally absurd.
    Possibility

    How does Witt provide a practical method for embodying inner and outer?? what is inner and what is outer? Time /energy in Heidegger? He doesn't talk like this. As to the embodied relationship, what do you mean by embodied? K is very aware that one has to think and reason to conceive anything at all, but he does not think like a post modern: in the discussion about actuality and reason, actuality is not conceived as a rational noumenon. Love is not rational, nor is suffering, hate, bliss, ecstacy and so on. Reason encounters these, reduces them to its terms, and this is K's objection, developed later by Levinas and others: We conceive of God out of our Totality of reduced world, and in his analysis it is faith that is the leap out of this totality, out of e.g., the principles of ethics, into something entirely irrational.

    Do you believe we can talk about pain as an unconditioned term? Pain is a quality, as I described, but alternatively it’s a logical relation between attention and effort, or a motivation to alter relational structure. There’s no one way to interpret pain, but perhaps there is a correct methodology to align our condition with an ideal origin, and in doing so unconditionally understand pain.Possibility

    Yes, in fact I do.You have to look at this phenomenologically, as a metaethical issue. What is the Good? The Bad? Put a lighted match to your finger and wait. Ask then, what is the ontology of this phenomenon? What IS it? This begins the argument.
  • Constance
    532
    This bolded part is more of that good 'nonsense.' It can't be proved as a theorem, IMV, but it's a gesture, a poem, an aphorism...that tries to get at something. Language is fog with claws. Humans are amusingly sure that their barks are stuffed with mining. Chalk is cheep.Zugzwang

    Language CAN BE a fog with claws. It can also break through ambiguity and uncover essential things. There is a great deal of value in seeing what is NOT the "truth"; such an approach leads to apophatic realization. When a Buddhist sits quietly doing nothing, she is cancelling the world, but in this, the world steps forward that was previously obscured by "fog" of many stripes: family, work, entertainment, and so on. Claws are terrifying, for what is this in light of the discussion before us? It is an awakening to human suffering, but without redemption. Nothing imaginable is more terrifying, but one has to learn to see this.
  • Constance
    532
    Isolated from the world, from others. The basic myth of modern philosophy, one might say, is a version of the picture-box soul. Then one can ask whether we can be sure of anything, whether one is 'really' a brain in vat. One also assumes that words have their meanings inside, within this box where they 'really' live, infinitely intimate. 'I know what I mean, even if I can't say it.' That goes with this myth. Words are vessels for isolated self-stuff (meaning). But this picture of the picture-box is itself taken for granted by skeptics who misunderstand themselves as radical. That's there's only and exactly one of 'me' in here....that the ego is singular. Why? Because we count one body? Because the 'fiction'/artifice of 'self' is used to control this single body? Blame and praise and train this single body?

    This is not to say that we 'really' have 20 'souls' or no 'soul.' The point is to point out that which is ontologically farthest as it pretends to peep from the mirror.
    Zugzwang

    Sorry for not getting back sooner. I am behind and it will stay that way I'm afraid.

    Not sure which modern philosophy you are talking about. Brains in vats raises an epistemological issue, which is no myth. When you say "me" what do you have in mind? You seem to be saying the ego is not singular? Is the self a fiction? Words don't have meanings inside?
    There are many claims packed into this.
  • Possibility
    2.4k
    Meaning, value, actuality, etc is then attributed as we are embodied in the system.
    — Possibility

    But then: System? An inherently rational concept. Any system you can conceive is structured by the terms and thinking you already possess. The matter here is to take the affairs of philosophy to their threshold, and then not impose more thinking, more metaphysics, but to embrace the indeterminacy. This is liberating.
    The only system that services this end is phenomenology and the Husserlian epoche. See his Ideas I.
    Constance

    Not a concept - an idea. I’m with you on embracing the indeterminacy, but if we use language to describe anything at this level, we’re not referring to concepts but to the indeterminate ideas prior to conceptualisation. Don’t be so quick to dismiss a word based on inherent rationality. Language is useless without some qualitative rationality. Without language, we’re relating qualitatively to the world, regardless of any rationality. But we ‘name’ differences not to relate to them, but to relate them to each other. This is what the Tao Te Ching addresses, to recognise both our limited embodiment of, and possibility/impossibility of freedom from, desire/affect, and relate to the text, and thus the qualitative rationality of the world, from the ‘emptiness’ of this unity, to anticipate how chi flows effortlessly through reality.

    The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao
    The name that can be named is not the eternal name
    The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth
    The named is the mother of myriad things
    Thus, constantly free of desire
    One observes its wonders
    Constantly filled with desire
    One observes its manifestations
    These two emerge together but differ in name
    The unity is said to be the mystery
    Mystery of mysteries, the door to all wonders
    Tao Te Ching (Derek Lin translation)

    Symbols in the TTC consist of no more than a qualitative rationality. It is in their relational structure to each other that quality is further differentiated or ‘named’, but it is in embodying a potential that we energise or affect this description.

    I would need an example of the Tao to make this clear, that is, this correlation between energy and the Tao. Energy is a science term, connotatively packed, so I don't see how it works well here. Word choice matters a lot. This is why Heidegger had to construct his own, to be free of a long history of bad thinking. I don't think empirical science's "history" clarifies the Tao.Constance

    As I mentioned before, any use of the term ‘energy’ merely points to an idea, limited by the system in which it is used. The etymology of ‘energy’ shows that it names this vague idea of a source of work. Classical physics uses the term ‘energy’ to describe work, matter in motion, but this implies affirmation of an unlimited source of work, or potential energy. Quantum physics recognises that this potential energy source is limited by our perspective, and that matter is no more than our anticipated interaction with potentiality, implying affirmation (less certain, more affected by limitations) of an unlimited source of possible energy. Empirical science’s history may not clarify the Tao, but I would argue that science’s current understanding seems to be heading that way in some respects.

    Also on Witt: Logic structures all thought (speaking of the Tractatus here), but it itself cannot be put in this structure to understand what logic is. One would need a third analytical perspective, which would need another to analyze it. There is no way "out" of this, for even the term"out" is nonsense in this context. From whence does logic "come"? What is its generative base? A terrific read along these lines is Eugene Fink's Sixth Meditation. Anyway, it is here philosophy reaches it end. I find the new post Heideggarian theories the right direction. The French I mention above. they don't systematize, but follow the simple logic of the basic principles of phenomenology to their logical conclusions. The result is an encounter with the impossible, which is where we really are.Constance

    Logic structures all thought within the limitations of language. But neither logic nor thought is limited by language. The way out of this is out of language as a limitation - as Witt says: “whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent”. Understanding reality isn’t in what we say but in what we don’t say - in how we relate, affected and limited as we are, to what is said.

    While I agree that following through to logical conclusions seems the ‘right direction’ within phenomenology, I don’t think phenomenology is the only way (or the best way) to describe the relation. Phenomenology approaches the relation from one first-person encounter among many. This approach reaches its end at the threshold of the impossible - the relation is limited by the ‘aboutness’ of experience.

    Witt approaches the relation from one speaker among many. This approach reaches its end at the threshold of nonsense - the relation is limited by the structure of language.

    The TTC approaches the relation from one source of chi among many. The approach reaches its end at the threshold of action - the relation is limited by affect/desire. Among these three, only the TTC’s approach enables us to continue using language in relation to experience, if that language is free from affect. Not an easy thing to do in English; we need to open up all concepts as you say.
  • Thunderballs
    204
    Quantum physics recognises that this potential energy source is limited by our perspective, and that matter is no more than our anticipated interaction with potentiality, implying affirmation (less certain, more affected by limitations) of an unlimited source of possible energy.Possibility

    I'm not sure here what it is that quantum physics "recognises. "Potential enetgy sources that are limited to our perspective"? What do you mean by this? QM or QFT both "recognise" potential energy derived from a classical view on energy. Particles can interact and this interaction determines kinetic and potential (the potential to become kinetic) energy.
  • Constance
    532
    With the above said, I return to agreeing that Kierkegaard understood what Banno referred to as "action as meaning" but I don't have a handle on how you are presenting this view of the human condition to bear as a matter of philosophy in the register of Heidegger and others.Valentinus

    Sorry, but I am having a hard time keeping up with responses.

    As to action as meaning, certainly K's analysis of Time and anxiety makes this central to his thought. Heidgger's ontology in Being and Time centers on this, and in doing so annihilates the present, for what is in the moment of apprehending an object or anything at all is the interpretative structures that we inherit in our culture. This is K, who called this our heritage, advancing a concept of sin that is twofold: there is this "brass band of loud enterprises" that is all culture presents in its distractions and indulgences; then there is Adam's sin, which is without heritage (for he was the first. Keep in mind, K only uses this biblical story to give an analysis of existential sin. He does not believe the literal take on this), which is, as I read him, the simple, primordial, and personal move away from freedom in the eternal present (presumably the existential counterpart to Eden). There is no sin at all unless one "posits" (a term K uses a lot) sin, that is, becomes aware of it by stepping OUT of the blind adherence to the world's preoccupations.
    This should sound very familiar: Read Heidegger on his "das man", "the other" which is part of dasein. It is our "throwness" into the world that constitutes what is good, bad, interesting, simply "there" as a distinct and finite world of possibilities in which we find ourselves prior to any greater apprehensions at a deeper level, ontology. Kierkegaard resonates throughout this. Of course, Husserl before him, then Hegel (see how Hegel, who I think started it all, talks about the "natural" consciousness; put Husserl's "naturalistic attitude" under this, and Kierkegaard's "qualitative leap" then you have traced a major feature of existential thought: this dramatic separation from the mundane into freedom which is not simply more of the same (as analytic philosphers would have it), but deeply important and ontologically significant. (But then how to understand this freedom? Kant, Hegel are rationalists, and freedom is a rational matter. Not so for Kierkkegaard, somewhat so for Heidegger, for, for him, language is the "house of Being" and concepts disclose the world, create meanings and intelligibility. But he would never say, the rational is the real, at all.

    So action as meaning: time is action, and all meaning is a temporal structured event. As I type, I recall how to type with every finger stroke, the meanings of terms in my head recalled;the past looms large in everything I can imagine, for imagining itself issues from t he past. To act is to recall. but (see Kierkegaard's Repetition) is there a way out of this, or am I condemned to be ventriloquized by history? Freedom is posited in the true present, and one is not in the sequence of events but standing apart from them, choosing. (Choosing ex nihilo? Another issue)
  • frank
    9.2k
    see how Hegel, who I think started it all,Constance

    The same basic idea is part of Christianity, and since that religion is made of ideas that came before it, I guess we'd say it's older than that?
  • Possibility
    2.4k
    How does Witt provide a practical method for embodying inner and outer?? what is inner and what is outer? Time /energy in Heidegger? He doesn't talk like this. As to the embodied relationship, what do you mean by embodied? K is very aware that one has to think and reason to conceive anything at all, but he does not think like a post modern: in the discussion about actuality and reason, actuality is not conceived as a rational noumenon. Love is not rational, nor is suffering, hate, bliss, ecstacy and so on. Reason encounters these, reduces them to its terms, and this is K's objection, developed later by Levinas and others: We conceive of God out of our Totality of reduced world, and in his analysis it is faith that is the leap out of this totality, out of e.g., the principles of ethics, into something entirely irrational.Constance

    Wittgenstein refers to what lies outside language, and to speaking nonsense, as ‘practice’. This is the outer. It’s not pointless to embody that ‘of which we cannot speak’ - to love or hate, to suffer or relate to God non-verbally - to interact with the world when words fail us. This is how we perceive the structure of language and its limitations.

    By ‘embody’ I mean wholly assume a position from which to relate. As I mentioned before, we embody logic in order to accurately describe a world without logic. We embody an ultimate source of energy in order to describe eternity (a world without change). In phenomenology we embody qualitative experience or consciousness in order to describe what is objective. But we cannot wholly extricate logic either from language or from consciousness, so we cannot use language to describe what logic IS in its entirety. We have Witt’s perspective of logic from within language use, and we have Heidegger’s view of logic from within our experience of being. And we have quantum physics, which demonstrates the existence of rationality beyond both, informing phenomenology that it’s still missing something.

    Phenomenology outlines the problem in a different way, but can do little more than point out the limitations of consciousness and language, while attacking the strawmen of classical ‘Reason’ or scientism for presuppositions that physics can no longer afford to presuppose.

    To leap into something ‘entirely irrational’ is not necessarily to abandon all possibility of relation. A leap of faith draws from one’s own affected experience to construct qualitative rationality (sufficient relation to determine action) by attributing attention and effort (affect) to distinguish between possible/impossible relations. Our faith is misguided when we draw from someone else’s description of affected experience. We will always lose accuracy here.

    I’m not trying to argue that physics needs to be incorporated into phenomenology. I’m saying that without it, phenomenology is prone to inaccuracy and limitations it cannot correct by itself.

    According to Wittgenstein, philosophy should be written like poetry, not in a scientific way. One might assume he only meant the content, another might assume he only meant the structure. I’m inclined to think he meant both. Poetry in the classical sense adheres to a strict logical structure of qualitative ideas in describing our affected experience to be understood more universally. If we follow this advice, then the aim of philosophy is to arrange inner and outer along these lines: embody an eternal, qualitatively rational and unaffected system that enables us to objectively describe the distribution of affect in consciousness.

    Then any connotation or affect is not considered inherent in terms such as ‘system’ or ‘energy’, but is a current limitation of the consciousness they describe. What is inherent is a qualitatively variable rationality. ‘System’ refers to more or less logical or relationally structured, while ‘energy’ refers to more or less variable, regardless of logic. ‘Entropy’ refers to less logical as well as more or less variable regardless of logic. So when you relate to the text, you interpret my use of ‘system’ as implying that what I’m describing is logical, but I’m only referring to the possibility of relational structure, which I’m not inclined to exclude at this level of ‘openness’ simply because my limited subjective experience renders me currently unaware of any structure. How else do we relate to the impossible, except to embody its possibility?
  • Possibility
    2.4k
    Quantum physics recognises that this potential energy source is limited by our perspective, and that matter is no more than our anticipated interaction with potentiality, implying affirmation (less certain, more affected by limitations) of an unlimited source of possible energy.
    — Possibility

    I'm not sure here what it is that quantum physics "recognises. "Potential enetgy sources that are limited to our perspective"? What do you mean by this? QM or QFT both "recognise" potential energy derived from a classical view on energy. Particles can interact and this interaction determines kinetic and potential (the potential to become kinetic) energy.
    Thunderballs

    QM and QFT often describe potential energy in terms of the classical view on energy, which is why certain aspects come across as incongruous, spooky, etc. But the calculations and applications of it defy classical descriptions. When you talk about an interaction of particles determining the potential to become kinetic energy, this potential doesn’t come from the particles, but from the relative variability of those particles in relation to each other. So it isn’t the particles that interact, but their relative potentiality, which is calculable as a wave prediction of attention and effort. The particles themselves are irrelevant to QM or QFT - they’re heuristic devices that give us something to talk about.

    So, any potential interaction with a possible energy source in quantum physics is calculated in relation to the potential for interaction of a possible energy source. If an unlimited source of potential energy exists (and I think we are less inclined to assume this than we were in classical physics), then our perception of it as such is limited by our perceived potential for interaction. This is what QM recognises in its calculations, even if some physicists won’t acknowledge it.
  • Valentinus
    1.6k

    I don't think Kierkegaard meant to distance himself from the problem of "inherited" sin and its relationship to the sins of a person might commit during a life. He strove to verify the language of revelation with his view of the human condition. His approach is similar to how Pascal argued that the Incarnation was scandalous to reason while also being the most accurate description of the problem of being human.

    There is an obvious conflict between arguing on the basis of experience anybody could have and recognizing an element that sets people apart. In the Philosophical Fragments, Kierkegaard distinguishes what can be known as truth on the basis of our nature {and the recollection of it} with a truth that we would have to be conditioned to apprehend.

    He goes on to graft the whole of the Christian story upon this distinction. It is mostly interesting to myself as something heard without anything following. But it is clear that was not Kierkegaard's intention. He was a Christian who had no qualms pissing off other Christians. His Works of Love is a smack in the face to anyone who thought it could be easy.
  • TheMadFool
    13.6k
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. — John 1:1

    Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe. — Galelio Galelei

    The first word must've been a number. Ergo,

    In the beginning was the Number, and the Number was with God, and the Number was God. — TheMadFool

    What could be that number?
  • punos
    6
    What, exactly, was there in the beginning such that to utter the words makes beginnings possible at all? In the beginning there was the word? Take this quite literally: How are such things that are "begun" to be conceived prior to their beginning; or, what is presupposed by a beginning? An absolute beginning makes no sense at all, for to begin would have to be ex nihilo and this is a violation of a foundation level intuition, a causeless cause, spontaneously erupting into existence simply is impossible, just as space cannot be conceived to "end".Constance

    In the beginning i believe there was pure Energy (can not be created nor destroyed), chaotic with no stable pattern or information (quantum foam). Energy is the primal and fundamental "substance" in which information (pattern or structure) can be expressed. Within this chaotic energy at the lowest level of the universe, random patterns are constantly emerging and immediately descending back into Chaos (creation and destruction). Sometimes a pattern emerges that is potent enough not only to resist the dissolving influence of the surrounding chaos but can also nucleate and impart it's own pattern or form to the surrounding energy like a growing and expanding crystal (Big Bang and Inflation). This new and potent pattern becomes the template for an entire universe, with a specific logic that is internally self-consistent and specific to it's own structure (The Word or Logos of the Bible).

    Ordo ab Chao --> The God of order is Chaos itself for Chaos is the alpha and the omega of all order or possible orders (Logos). Chaos is the full potentiality of infinite possibilities, the true source of creation with no need of any prerequisite. It is unbounded, unlike order which can only express a finite set of possibilities.
    Meaning emerges out of the interaction and relationships between the ordered parts of an emergent universe. An atom or a molecule in our universe for example means nothing outside our universe because the underlying fundamental pattern of each universe would be different and incompatible. Think of the difference in pattern for example of Legos and Lincoln Logs construction sets, The Lego universe has it's own structure and logic which is different than the Lincoln Logs universe. Both are viable and meaningful but only in their respective universes.
  • god must be atheist
    3.5k
    ince all things in the universe are contingent, it is necessary to posit a necessary being as their cause; even if such a being is not imaginable to us since we have never perceived such a thing.Samuel Lacrampe

    The original question, as I understood it, what being created things before there were beings. Your answer, Samuel Lacrampe, includes a being that we can't probably imagine; but you called it a being. Now what was creating that being before it existed? if in the beginning there were no beings.

    Remember only one thing, and keep it in mind when you answer or add to this topic: WHAT WAS THERE BEFORE THE BEING THAT CREATED THE BEING. You MUST assume there were no beings at first.
  • TheMadFool
    13.6k
    Our story begins In Media Res. Record of the past is incomplete and fragmentary, the future is an opaque fog, visibility down to a few minutes.
  • TheMadFool
    13.6k
    Our story begins In Media Res. Record of the past is incomplete and fragmentary, the future is an opaque fog, visibility down to a few minutes.TheMadFool

    This gives me an idea. The usual manner in which aircraft pilots report on visibility is in terms of distance but I feel a more helpful way would be in terms of time for the simple reason that when moving at speeds aircrafts do reaction time is more important.
  • Constance
    532
    In the beginning i believe there was pure Energy (can not be created nor destroyed), chaotic with no stable pattern or information (quantum foam). Energy is the primal and fundamental "substance" in which information (pattern or structure) can be expressed. Within this chaotic energy at the lowest level of the universe, random patterns are constantly emerging and immediately descending back into Chaos (creation and destruction). Sometimes a pattern emerges that is potent enough not only to resist the dissolving influence of the surrounding chaos but can also nucleate and impart it's own pattern or form to the surrounding energy like a growing and expanding crystal (Big Bang and Inflation). This new and potent pattern becomes the template for an entire universe, with a specific logic that is internally self-consistent and specific to it's own structure (The Word or Logos of the Bible).

    Ordo ab Chao --> The God of order is Chaos itself for Chaos is the alpha and the omega of all order or possible orders (Logos). Chaos is the full potentiality of infinite possibilities, the true source of creation with no need of any prerequisite. It is unbounded, unlike order which can only express a finite set of possibilities.
    Meaning emerges out of the interaction and relationships between the ordered parts of an emergent universe. An atom or a molecule in our universe for example means nothing outside our universe because the underlying fundamental pattern of each universe would be different and incompatible. Think of the difference in pattern for example of Legos and Lincoln Logs construction sets, The Lego universe has it's own structure and logic which is different than the Lincoln Logs universe. Both are viable and meaningful but only in their respective universes.
    punos

    Typical, really. If you want to take the matter to the level where questions become philosophical, then, and I don't think this is a debatable point, You must go the source of all terms such as "quantum foam" or "chaos" before things are even taken up and talked about. You have to ask, what is it that a term has meaning at all? Why is language going unexamined with all this language being put forth to make sense of things?
    So the question to you is not what is chaos? but, what is the relation between a term and the world? After all, you wrote paragraphs filled with language and logic. How is it that this needs no analysis to determine if there is not something PRIOR the manifest meanings of empirical science?
  • punos
    6

    [
    You have to ask, why is it that a term has meaning at all?Constance

    A word or term has meaning when it signifies or points to a thing or idea such as when a finger that points to the moon means the moon and not the finger.

    Why is language going unexamined with all this language being put forth to make sense of things?Constance

    If the language is unclear then one should just simply ask for clarification of the specific terms or phrases in question. The main goal in this respect is for all parties involved in a discussion to have the same definitions for all the terms being used. The real point is the meanings and not the words... words are merely vessels for moving meaning from one mind to another (communication), for it is meaning and not mere words that bring insight and understanding to the mind. Two heads are not better than one head if the two heads can not communicate.

    Richard Feynman - Names Don't Constitute Knowledge
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFIYKmos3-s

    So the question to you is not what is chaos? but, what is the relation between a term and the world?Constance

    A term or word is just a tool that refers the mind of the listener or receiver to an object in the world or a concept in the mind.

    How is it that this needs no analysis to determine if there is not something PRIOR the manifest meanings of empirical science?Constance

    Not sure what you're asking here... perhaps you can rephrase the question.
  • Constance
    532
    A word or term has meaning when it signifies or points to a thing or idea such as when a finger that points to the moon means the moon and not the finger.punos

    But you have to ask the Derridean question: When one says words, how do these stand alone as a reference to something? Does the term 'moon' really refer exclusively, epistemically, to that object in the sky? Or is the matter more complex such that reference itself is called into question? Keep in mind what philosophy's mission is: To address the world at the level of the most basic questions. Prior to this, you are doing no more than speculative science.

    If the language is unclear then one should just simply ask for clarification of the specific terms or phrases in question. The main goal in this respect is for all parties involved in a discussion to have the same definitions for all the terms being used. The real point is the meanings and not the words... words are merely vessels for moving meaning from one mind to another (communication), for it is meaning and not mere words that bring insight and understanding to the mind. Two heads are not better than one head if the two heads can not communicate.punos

    No, that's not it. It is not that certain language is unclear. It is that language itself is problematic, and it is philosophy's job to give this problematic analysis. For the matter is about the presuppositions of science, not science.

    A term or word is just a tool that refers the mind of the listener or receiver to an object in the world or a concept in the mind.punos

    A tool? Quite right. But how does a tool's instrumentality possess relationship possibilities 0f the kind you assume? I use pencil, but in that use do I "know' what a pencil is? Does a cow know its teeth are chewing tools? Of course not.
    The interesting question this presents is pragmatism's, and Heidegger's: Is use engagement something that constitutes knowledge? Is language itself just pragmatic tools? Or do we grasp things in an existential "presence"? What can this mean? If I use the hammer, do I know what a hammer is? If language is all vocabulary and rules, how does vocabulary link up with moons and stars so that we can talk about them and only them?

    Not sure what you're asking here... perhaps you can rephrase the question.punos
    Science is not some clean and pure reflection on the world of objects. It is think with analytical possibilities that look to what is presupposed by utterances..
  • Constance
    532
    Remember only one thing, and keep it in mind when you answer or add to this topic: WHAT WAS THERE BEFORE THE BEING THAT CREATED THE BEING. You MUST assume there were no beings at first.god must be atheist

    Sorry, but....BEFORE??? In what sense do you mean this?
  • god must be atheist
    3.5k
    Sorry, but....BEFORE??? In what sense do you mean this?Constance

    In the sense of the OP. It started with "in the beginning there was the word."
  • punos
    6
    But you have to ask the Derridean question: When one says words, how do these stand alone as a reference to something? Does the term 'moon' really refer exclusively, epistemically, to that object in the sky? Or is the matter more complex such that reference itself is called into question? Keep in mind what philosophy's mission is: To address the world at the level of the most basic questions. Prior to this, you are doing no more than speculative science.Constance

    Most words elicit a myriad of associated concepts that will vary in quantity and quality in different people and at different times. The more complex a word is the more it lends itself to varied associations and interpretations (not a fundamental problem of the universe but of human psychology). There is a hierarchy of meaning which of course arbitrary words can be assigned to... but the idea for me is to grasp the most fundamental meanings or patterns which all the other patterns or meanings are made up of (similar to prime numbers).
    It's like physics and chemistry in the sense that quarks form subatomic particles, these particles form atoms, molecules, etc.. One can maybe even imagine the possibility of something like a "periodic table" of meaning or pattern. Everything works this way even text. Notice how letters make words, words make sentences, and sentences make paragraphs, etc.. (a fundamental pattern in itself) Once one gets to the most fundamental and simplest patterns or meanings then they become less likely to be interpreted or misinterpreted in many and various ways.

    No, that's not it. It is not that certain language is unclear. It is that language itself is problematic, and it is philosophy's job to give this problematic analysis. For the matter is about the presuppositions of science, not science.Constance

    The problem with language is that it is not perfect, but that is not a reason to not use it. Look at what we have accomplished because of language (cars, planes, computers, the internet, philosophy, art, etc..). It may not be perfect but it evidently works and it is still evolving. Whatever the presuppositions in science are at any moment in time is only a temporary and dynamic position until a new paradigm shift occurs.

    "The name that can be named is not the eternal name. The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth. The named is the mother of ten thousand things." The I Ching

    Even the Taoists knew that language was imperfect, but they still wrote their books anyway to at least try to explain the Tao. I think they did a good job considering.

    A tool? Quite right. But how does a tool's instrumentality possess relationship possibilities 0f the kind you assume? I use pencil, but in that use do I "know' what a pencil is? Does a cow know its teeth are chewing tools? Of course not.Constance

    A word's instrumentality possesses relationship possibilities because it's how the mind works. The mind records sense impressions and compares and contrasts with other prior impressions, making associations and relationships between impressions. The relationships are not in the words, they are in the mind, and words are just used as an attempt to express and reconstruct the relationship in another mind.
    I find it better to think of what a thing does rather than what a thing is. I don't need to know what a pencil is, i just need to know what a pencil does or can do. If i need to write something on a piece of paper then i know i can use a pencil. There are different levels and dimensions of knowing a thing such as knowing how to drive a car compared to knowing how to fix a car.
  • Constance
    532
    Most words elicit a myriad of associated concepts that will vary in quantity and quality in different people and at different times. The more complex a word is the more it lends itself to varied associations and interpretations (not a fundamental problem of the universe but of human psychology). There is a hierarchy of meaning which of course arbitrary words can be assigned to... but the idea for me is to grasp the most fundamental meanings or patterns which all the other patterns or meanings are made up of (similar to prime numbers).
    It's like physics and chemistry in the sense that quarks form subatomic particles, these particles form atoms, molecules, etc.. One can maybe even imagine the possibility of something like a "periodic table" of meaning or pattern. Everything works this way even text. Notice how letters make words, words make sentences, and sentences make paragraphs, etc.. (a fundamental pattern in itself) Once one gets to the most fundamental and simplest patterns or meanings then they become less likely to be interpreted or misinterpreted in many and various ways.
    punos

    And so, this kind of reflection tells you what about the essential encounter of things in the world? It is not that language is to be discarded, for our thoughts that lead us to this impasse are, if you will, the only wheel that rolls. The point is: look at the way my question to you gives rise to your newly stated explanatory context that looks entirely to language and simply recasts the problem. And if there were this periodic table in place? Would this be some kind of mirror of the world in language? You see, it is this mirror concept, that words are telling us about what is not "wordly" in nature, that makes the issue. What good is talk about subatomic particles when there is a meaning chasm that separates words from "the world"? The real question that haunts philosophy must look to more basic structures that are inplace logically prior to discussions about the world.

    The problem with language is that it is not perfect, but that is not a reason to not use it. Look at what we have accomplished because of language (cars, planes, computers, the internet, philosophy, art, etc..). It may not be perfect but it evidently works and it is still evolving. Whatever the presuppositions in science are at any moment in time is only a temporary and dynamic position until a new paradigm shift occurs.punos

    I hear this often about how successful language and logic are in making cell phones, but it entirely misses the point. If something "works" does it therefore impart meaning beyond the pragmatic? If you think my taking the moon AS 'moon' is simply a pragmatic affair, then you leave what is apart from this out of regard completely and the consequence is your pragmatic reduction becomes an abstraction. Bonafide reductions cannot have ad hoc dismissals of that which the world presents as not containable, and in your case, pragmatically uncontainable.
    Remember, speaking of paradigm shifts, Kuhn was a Kantian, an idealist. If this is your position as well, then you drop the scientific enterprise altogether as something that can ever hope to, well, "see truly" what is "really" going on, what the world is, for understanding is categorically bound to the mundane. Analytic philosophy goes this route. I do not.

    "The name that can be named is not the eternal name. The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth. The named is the mother of ten thousand things." The I Ching

    Even the Taoists knew that language was imperfect, but they still wrote their books anyway to at least try to explain the Tao. I think they did a good job considering.
    punos

    Take this position and you seem to move towards the analytic assumption that there is a wall, impenetrable, between us language users, language obstructionists, if you will, and the world itself, this latter, the thing itself, being removed from sensible discussion altogether. But there is a philosophical alternative: Look at language as a tool, a problem solving "event" as Heidegger did. But then, to see it as a tool is something that applies to the very ontological claim itself. One thereby must withdraw from language to observe language, which is impossible, clearly; but the matter needs to be recast. Language that talks about language opens mere engagement to inquiry, and inquiry is the question, and the question is annihilating in its nature, for it brings dialectic pressure, or even cancelation, on to a thesis, even the simplest, like "the moon is bright, tonight". In others words, possessed within the pragmatic totality of language there is the existential question that takes the inquirer beyond language. This, I claim, is philosophy's end, its purpose. This is where Taoists go, or desire to go. But then, all talk that carries that presumption of "knowing" has to be suspended. Scientific vocabulary is out the window, and one must sit quietly and let the world "speak".
    Certainly not that science has no use. But it does not inform this issue here.

    A word's instrumentality possesses relationship possibilities because it's how the mind works. The mind records sense impressions and compares and contrasts with other prior impressions, making associations and relationships between impressions. The relationships are not in the words, they are in the mind, and words are just used as an attempt to express and reconstruct the relationship in another mind.punos

    You will not be able to separate words from mind. To conceive of a mind, one must first conceive of that which conceives of mind, which turns the matter over to thought itself, and here we encounter language and logic.

    I find it better to think of what a thing does rather than what a thing is. I don't need to know what a pencil is, i just need to know what a pencil does or can do. If i need to write something on a piece of paper then i know i can use a pencil. There are different levels and dimensions of knowing a thing such as knowing how to drive a car compared to knowing how to fix a car.punos

    Of course, but once you define a pencil by what it does, you have to ask, what is there in the doing of things, pragmatics, that discovers the very structures of doing itself. If it is pragmatics all the way down, that addresses all that is encountered that demands analytic satisfaction, then you have a lot of exploaining to do, as in the ethical/aesthetic dimension of the world: this spear in my side is killing me, but is this really reducible to the pragmatics of the affair? No. The world is far more than just what is done as a quantitative concept.
    In other words, saying you are concerned only with wht a thing does, first, does not give analysis to the doing, which is, e.g., a temporal event, and there is a long history here from the Greeks, to Augustine, and so on. Second, says nothing about the existential dimension of the world
  • punos
    6


    To simplify this issue where do you think information or structure comes from? From where or how did the first element of information or structure manifest? What is the "thing" that comes before the first thing?
  • Constance
    532
    To simplify this issue where do you think information or structure comes from? From where or how did the first element of information or structure manifest? What is the "thing" that comes before the first thing?punos

    It like asking when the first words appeared. Language arrived as a pragmatic, social event, presumably on the heels of more primitive practices buried deep in history. The real question is, what is the relation between language and things in the world? How did language make understanding possible at the level of existential wonder, that is, inquiry that asks questions that target what is not pragmatic at all, like questions about one's existence, Being, like "why are we born to suffer and die?"
    It has to be understood that we are not merely "things that evolved and act". And this is not a physicist's line of inquiry. A physicist leaves off when basic questions appear; s/he does respond to, say, questions about temporality as a structure of experience that is presupposed by Einstein's theories, not presented in them.
    As to things, and one coming before the other, this has been discussed many times. Take Schopenhauer's claim that the principle of causality is contradictory given that eternity has no beginning. It only gets interesting when you realize that our finitude is embedded in infinity, but there is no line of actual separation, for it is impossible to to say where on ends and the other begins. Ask yourself, as I do almost daily, how is it that anything out there gets in here (the mind)? Never happen. Just impossible to conceive. The only conclusion: what is here before me, what is there, "ready to hand" stuff of the world is, in my localized mental space, utterly metaphysical. This pen, beyond the condition of my experience, is eternal, transcendental, and we are not outside this, but we are this.
    This is where question of beginnings leads.
  • Constance
    532
    In the sense of the OP. It started with "in the beginning there was the word."god must be atheist

    Ah, but the beginning of an utterance? It implies creation is a narrative. Is this true? (Put temporal beginnings off the table. After all, "time" is term, a particle of language. What are these? This is the question that haunts science and makes philosophy inevitable, for one cannot confidently, and familiarly, speak of time, if time is a term and one cannot tell you what terms are.)
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.