• Luke
    1.6k


    Unless I’ve misunderstood, I think your comments would be better directed at Meta than myself.

    I agree with you that tokens, or unique individual instances of a type, are numerically distinct. And I agree with you that one cannot have a unique individual instance of a type twice.

    But I therefore think that there is a logical barrier to having the same unique individual instance of an experience or a sensation twice, for that is what makes them unique individual instances (i.e. tokens). You can only have the same type of experience or sensation twice.

    I’m afraid I don’t understand your question regarding the return of the loaned book.
  • Srap Tasmaner
    3.1k
    My point was only that we seem to assume all of our inner experiences are numerically distinct, unique instances of types, and that the words we use to refer to them must refer to the types. Thus "I have the same feeling I had when we were about to lose the playoff game" is presumed to be literally false; it's not literally the same feeling, but a numerically distinct instance of the same type of feeling. (Or not -- I'm not getting into whether we're right.) I was just wondering where this assumption comes from. I think it's a perfectly good assumption, but it's not just logic. Is it empirical? What is it?
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    9.1k
    This is one token of a chair: “the very same chair”. You are not distinguishing two instances of chair here.Luke

    I'm not talking about two instances of chair, I can't even understand what that might mean. I am talking about two instances of seeing the very same chair. Likewise, a person might have two instances of sensing the very same sensation, or two instance of remembering the same memory, or two instances of using the very same idea of "two", and "four". How is this so difficult for you to understand?

    We cannot have different instances of the very same token, by definition. A token is an instance of a type, not an instance of seeing or encountering something.Luke

    I didn't say we can have two different instances of the same token, that doesn't even make sense to me. I said we can have two different instances of encountering, or sensing the same token, like when I see the same chair today, that I saw yesterday..

    It is very clear that we can have two different instances of sensing the same token, as exemplified by the token of chair. Why do you think that we cannot have two different instances of sensing the same token of pain?

    But when people talk about their inner experiences, we tend to assume they are all numerically distinct, that having "the same feeling" at one time that you had at another means only that you have had two quite similar feelings. Why is that? Is it because we are physical beings, subject to time and chance?

    There seems to be no logical barrier to having the same experience or the same sensation twice. But it strikes us as wrong. We believe "I have the exact same feeling I had when ..." is always literally false. What would have to be different for us to consider such a statement, like the unintentional return of the loaned book, literally true?
    Srap Tasmaner

    The problem is that there is a double standard here with respect to "inner experiences". We commonly believe, due to some sort of intuition, that it is impossible to have the same sensation twice, a sensation being an inner experience. So we are inclined toward believing that inner experiences are merely similar, or of the same type. But when it comes to other inner experiences like memories. we always talk about having the same memory twice. And then there is the logic of mathematics, where a significant logical structure is dependent on the assumption that the idea (another sort of inner experience) is always the same idea. So there is an inconsistency between this notion, that we cannot have the same inner experience twice, and the fundamental axioms of mathematics, which assume that we consistently work with the same mathematical objects.

    What Wittgenstein seems to get backward, is that he portrays the private, inner language as naming particulars, and the public as naming types, showing an incompatibility between the two. In reality the private language is inclined toward naming types, as intuition tells us that two distinct sensations cannot be the same. But to make the private types intelligible to the public in general, we must refer to particulars. So the public language inclines us to name particulars while the private language inclines us toward naming types, and there is still the incompatibility between the two, which Wittgenstein demonstrates.
  • Luke
    1.6k
    we can have different instances of the very same token. PERIOD. Why is this so difficult to you?Metaphysician Undercover

    I didn't say we can have two different instances of the same token, that doesn't even make sense to me.Metaphysician Undercover
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    9.1k

    You know what I meant. Your pretense continues to baffle me.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    9.1k

    So I'll repeat what I said before. The ambiguity inherent in your preferred type/token distinction produces the confusion required for your mode of argumentation.
  • Luke
    1.6k
    You know what I meant. Your pretense continues to baffle me.Metaphysician Undercover

    I don’t know what you meant by your glaring contradiction.
  • Luke
    1.6k
    So I'll repeat what I said before. The ambiguity inherent in your preferred type/token distinction produces the confusion required for your mode of argumentation.Metaphysician Undercover

    What confusion? The only confusion here is yours, caused by your ignorance and misunderstanding of the type/token distinction, which for the umpteenth time has nothing to do with encountering. The definition of a token is not “encountering a token”, as you obviously think it is.
  • Luke
    1.6k
    My point was only that we seem to assume all of our inner experiences are numerically distinct, unique instances of types, and that the words we use to refer to them must refer to the types. Thus "I have the same feeling I had when we were about to lose the playoff game" is presumed to be literally false; it's not literally the same feeling, but a numerically distinct instance of the same type of feeling. (Or not -- I'm not getting into whether we're right.) I was just wondering where this assumption comes from. I think it's a perfectly good assumption, but it's not just logic. Is it empirical? What is it?Srap Tasmaner

    In relation to your book example, I think it is largely to do with "time and chance" and maybe also physiology. We typically only consider ourselves to experience one token of a "certain sensation", such as a headache, at a time. It seems odd to me to consider having two similar but unique headaches (i.e. of the same type) at the one time, in the same way that we might speak of having two similar but unique books (i.e. of the same type; such as having two copies of 1984) at the one time.

    Does that answer your question, or is that what you were asking?
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    9.1k
    What confusion?Luke

    Your mode of argumentation, as commonly displayed, is to pay no respect for what the other person is saying, and remove phrases from their context to create the appearance of contradiction.

    Here is your confusion. In one context I was speaking about instances of sensation of a token. In the other context I was replying to your talk about instances of existence of a token. You conflate these two, continuing to insist that an instance of sensation of a token is an instance of existence of a token, refusing to acknowledge the difference between these two, hence your confusion .

    The definition of a token is not “encountering a token”, as you obviously think it is.Luke

    When I've spent a number of days explaining to you, the difference between encountering a token, and the existence of a token, because you ceaselessly insist that a token of sensation can only exists if it is present to the conscious mind, for you to make a statement like this is a clear indication, that you are confused.

    I'm sorry if my use of words is confusing to you, but your attitude ("I'm not going to follow you in your metaphysical nonsense"), is the real reason for your confusion. We are discussing a metaphysical issue, so if you refuse to follow the metaphysics of the issue, it is impossible that you will ever understand.

    Here's a proposal for another way of looking at this issue, to perhaps iron out the confusion which Wittgenstein has created with his way of writing.

    Since we have no point of agreement between us as to whether "S" is supposed by Wittgenstein to stand for a token or a type, Let's start with what Wittgenstein says at 261: "that when he writes "S", he has something—and that is all that can be said". Do you agree that "S" as employed in Wittgenstein's example refers to neither a type nor a token? .Can we say that "S" refers to "something", and that's all that can be said? To say that it refers to a either a type, or a token of a type, is to jump to a conclusion, because the diarist's use of "S" has not yet been justified. What "S" is supposed to refer to is something completely private. Even to say that the diarist "has something" is a little misleading, as Wittgenstein describes at 261, because these words have meaning in our common language, "has" implying a sort of possession, and "something" implying a sort of thing.

    So we can remove all this type/token distinction as a distraction, and get right down to what Wittgenstein is actually saying with the example. S refers to something private and we really can't say whether it's a type or a token, because what S refers to is 'known' only to the diarist. Of course this is a special use of 'known', because it is explained that the diarist has no real criterion of identity.
  • Luke
    1.6k
    Your mode of argumentation, as commonly displayed, is to pay no respect for what the other person is sayingMetaphysician Undercover

    That's a bit bloody rich coming from you.

    In one context I was speaking about instances of sensation of a token. In the other context I was replying to your talk about instances of existence of a token.Metaphysician Undercover

    Hilarious. Here's a reminder of how the discussion transpired with no changes or omissions to the direct responses:

    Different tokens are different instances. PERIOD.
    — Luke

    You are refusing to acknowledge that despite the fact that "Different tokens are different instances. PERIOD", we can have different instances of the very same token. PERIOD. Why is this so difficult to you?
    — Metaphysician Undercover

    We cannot have different instances of the very same token, by definition. A token is an instance of a type, not an instance of seeing or encountering something.
    — Luke

    I didn't say we can have two different instances of the same token, that doesn't even make sense to me.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    But tell me again how your contradiction is a result of "different contexts". You're delusional.

    you ceaselessly insist that a token of sensation can only exists if it is present to the conscious mindMetaphysician Undercover

    This is easily solved. Provide an example of a token of sensation that is not present to the conscious mind.

    We are discussing a metaphysical issueMetaphysician Undercover

    We are discussing Wittgenstein who says in the same work: "What we do is to bring words back from their metaphysical to their everyday use."

    .
    So we can remove all this type/token distinction as a distraction, and get right down to what Wittgenstein is actually saying with the example.Metaphysician Undercover

    Rather than a distraction, I introduced the type/token distinction intending to help provide clarity for what could be meant by "the same sensation" or "the same chair". But we got bogged down in your continual misunderstanding and argumentation about what is a token. So you go ahead and give your metaphysical reading.
  • Srap Tasmaner
    3.1k
    Maybe I can make it simpler.

    I'm looking at my car right now. It is the same car, the same unique instance of a type, that I was looking at yesterday.

    I'm feeling confusion now, but it is a brand new unique instance of confusion; it is not numerically identical to the confusion I felt yesterday, not the same confusion.

    Why is feeling different from looking-at? That's what I'm wondering. I'm not suggesting it isn't; I'm just wondering why we assume that it is.
  • Daemon
    329
    I guess, if you were confused by the same thing today as you were yesterday, you could say "I'm feeling the same confusion as I felt yesterday".
  • Srap Tasmaner
    3.1k


    Sure. I might have been confused by a math problem yesterday and again by the same problem today; but my feelings of confusion are presumed to be two, one each day, not the same feeling experienced twice. Yes?
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    9.1k
    But tell me again how your contradiction is a result of "different contexts".Luke

    Why should I have to tell you again? Can't you read? Oh yeah, that's been central to this whole discussion, your inability to read what is written. I see now, that when it comes to metaphysics, you have an attitudinal blockage, which is most likely the cause of your misreading of Wittgenstein.

    We are discussing Wittgenstein who says in the same work: "What we do is to bring words back from their metaphysical to their everyday use."Luke

    Yes, what Wittgenstein suggests, is itself a form of metaphysics. But unless you take the time and effort required to understand the metaphysical usage of the words, you haven't the means to bring the words back.

    This is easily solved. Provide an example of a token of sensation that is not present to the conscious mind.Luke

    I've done this many times already, but you refuse to acknowledge. Any token of pain which is there when I fall asleep, and also there when I wake back up, like a tooth-ache, or the pain in my toe, were the examples already given. That very same "token" of pain exists while I am sleeping and it is not present to my conscious mind. It was there when I went to sleep, and it is there every time when I wake up in the night, just like the chair in the corner of the room, so I can conclude that it must be existing, though I am not sensing it, when I'm asleep. Why would you think that there is some type of magical "token" which magically disappears, and reappears every time I fall asleep and wake back up? Obviously it is the very same tooth-ache, which I have in the morning, as I had the night before, and not a different tooth-ache, so this "token" of pain must exist during the night while it is not present to my conscious mind.

    Rather than a distraction, I introduced the type/token distinction intending to help provide clarity for what could be meant by "the same sensation" or "the same chair". But we got bogged down in your continual misunderstanding and argumentation about what is a token. So you go ahead and give your metaphysical reading.Luke

    Obviously, the type/token distinction has only created confusion. We cannot even agree on what a token of a sensation might be. Wittgenstein clearly does not use that distinction, and at the quoted passage (261), he implies that we cannot make such a judgement concerning what is referred to by "S" ("that when he writes "S", he has something—and that is all that can be said").

    Do you accept this, that when he says "that is all that can be said", he is implying that we cannot apply the type/token distinction here?
  • Luke
    1.6k
    I'm looking at my car right now. It is the same car, the same unique instance of a type, that I was looking at yesterday.

    I'm feeling confusion now, but it is a brand new unique instance of confusion; it is not numerically identical to the confusion I felt yesterday, not the same confusion.

    Why is feeling different from looking-at? That's what I'm wondering. I'm not suggesting it isn't; I'm just wondering why we assume that it is.
    Srap Tasmaner

    You started out comparing a token of a feeling to a token of a car. But you then asked why a feeling is different from looking-at, instead of why a feeling is different from a car.

    I'd say the reason for this difference is that cars typically last for about 10 or 15 years, while feelings typically don't last as long. However, feelings can last for more than a day, as I noted earlier. You might tell the doctor that you've had the same pain for weeks, months or years.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    9.1k
    I'd say the reason for this difference is that cars typically last for about 10 or 15 years, while feelings typically don't last as long. However, feelings can last for more than a day, as I noted earlier. You might tell the doctor that you've had the same pain for weeks, months or years.Luke

    What Wittgenstein is saying at 258 is that the person has no criterion by which to judge the pain as the same from one moment of occurrence to the next, therefore there is no such thing as correctness in this situation.

    However, I believe we ought to consider this principle much more closely. This is derived from Wittgenstein's definition of what it means to follow a rule, and the assertion that to think that I am following a rule does not necessarily mean I am following a rule. This results in the problem above, that the person has no criterion by which to assign the symbol "S", and there is no correctness.

    But there's a principle pointed out by Plato, which is that a person can knowingly act contrarily to a rule. This is to knowingly break a rule. And this is a strong argument which Socrates used against the sophists who claimed that virtue is knowledge. Knowing what is good and correct, virtuous, does not ensure that one will act in this way. A person can knowingly break a rule. So if there is some truth to "I know that I am acting in a way which is contrary to the rule, therefore I am breaking the rule, there must also be some truth to "I know the rule, and I am obeying it, therefore I am following the rule".

    Applied in this case, we can see that a person might continuously have a tooth-ache, and refer to it as one thing, the same thing. This might be for the sake of convenience in the public communication. But in the privacy of one's own mind, the person would see that it is not the same pain from one moment to the next, it goes through many different phases of intensity, etc.. So the person would know that it is incorrect to call it by the same name, "S". Yet in Wittgenstein's example, the person proceeds to do what is known to be incorrect.

    This demonstrates a peculiar use of words by Wittgenstein. He says "whatever is going to seem right
    to me is right. And that only means that here we can't talk about 'right'." What is really the case, is that there is no such thing as "right" here, and we cannot talk about 'right', because the person always knows oneself to be wrong. So the only reason why we cannot talk about "right" here, is because the person has excluded the possibility of being right, by knowing oneself to be wrong.

    This implies that a person can know oneself to be wrong, without reference to any rules.
  • Luke
    1.6k
    This demonstrates a peculiar use of words by Wittgenstein. He says "whatever is going to seem right to me is right. And that only means that here we can't talk about 'right'." What is really the case, is that there is no such thing as "right" here, and we cannot talk about 'right', because the person always knows oneself to be wrong. So the only reason why we cannot talk about "right" here, is because the person has excluded the possibility of being right, by knowing oneself to be wrong.

    This implies that a person can know oneself to be wrong, without reference to any rules.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    Here we can’t talk about ‘wrong’, either.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    9.1k
    Here we can’t talk about ‘wrong’, either.Luke

    Yes we can, that's the point. In fact, "wrong" is necessary, and that's why we cannot talk about "right". The only reason we cannot talk about "right" here, is because the person knows oneself to be wrong. If we so much as allow the possibility of being right, then we can talk about "right". And one can only exclude the possibility of being right if the person knows oneself to be wrong. Therefore the only reason we cannot talk about "right" , is because "wrong" is necessary.

    So, we can apply this to Wittgenstein's example, the sensation of pain. Every moment that I have pain, I know that it is different, and not the same as the moment before. So every time I mark "S" to name the pain as the same pain as before, I know that I am wrong, it is not really the same pain. Since this knowing that it is not the same (because there is no criterion by which it could be the same), necessitates that I am wrong in naming it as the same, therefore there is no possibility of me being right, we cannot talk about being "right" in this context.
  • Luke
    1.6k
    The only reason we cannot talk about "right" here, is because the person knows oneself to be wrong.Metaphysician Undercover

    Whatever is going to seem wrong to me is wrong. And that only means that here we can’t talk about ‘wrong’.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    9.1k
    Are you going to address the point or not? Clearly Wittgenstein is not talking about what seems to be wrong, rather, what seems to be right. And "right" cannot simply be exchanged with "wrong", because the two are completely different, so you have made no point.
  • Luke
    1.6k
    Applied in this case, we can see that a person might continuously have a tooth-ache, and refer to it as one thing, the same thing. This might be for the sake of convenience in the public communication. But in the privacy of one's own mind, the person would see that it is not the same pain from one moment to the next, it goes through many different phases of intensity, etc.. So the person would know that it is incorrect to call it by the same name, "S". Yet in Wittgenstein's example, the person proceeds to do what is known to be incorrect.Metaphysician Undercover

    It entirely depends on the diarist to write "S" in their diary for each recurrence of the sensation, so "the convenience of public communication" is irrelevant. "S" is supposed to have a private use only, which is the point. Why would the diarist mark "S" if they thought it was incorrect to do so?

    Since this knowing that it is not the same (because there is no criterion by which it could be the same), necessitates that I am wrong in naming it as the same, therefore there is no possibility of me being right, we cannot talk about being "right" in this context.Metaphysician Undercover

    What criterion is there by which the sensation could be different? And what constitutes a single instance/token of the sensation?
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    9.1k
    Why would the diarist mark "S" if they thought it was incorrect to do so?Luke

    I think that the diarist would do that, because I see that people do that all the time. The sensation isn't exactly like the other one, but it's close enough, so I'll mark it as S. The person knows it is not the same, but marks it as the same anyway. I think that this type of behaviour is very common.

    What criterion is there by which the sensation could be different?Luke

    Change is the criterion of difference. A person senses change and concludes difference. Change is sensible.
  • Luke
    1.6k
    I think that the diarist would do that, because I see that people do that all the time. The sensation isn't exactly like the other one, but it's close enough, so I'll mark it as S.Metaphysician Undercover

    Where have you seen this use of a private language before? How does the diarist know the sensation is not “exactly like the other one”?
  • Banno
    14.5k
    There's a call for a re-write of the Wikipedia article on the private language argument.

    Call for rewrite

    If you know this stuff, have a go.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    9.1k

    As I said, change occurs between time 1 and time 2. If change occurs then there is difference. That's what sensation is, the perception of change.

    And what constitutes a single instance/token of the sensation?Luke

    There is no such thing as a "token of sensation". That's why I objected to your application of the type/token distinction here. And it's the point Banno was making weeks ago. We ought not talk about inner experiences as if they consist of things. That way of speaking is the illness which Wittgenstein referred to, requiring philosophical treatment (254-255). The reply I made to Banno though, was that we can equally apply the same principles to external "things", as process philosophy does, and Heraclitus, did; there are no things, internal nor external, all is flux.

    You refuse to consider metaphysics as relevant though..

    If you know this stuff, have a go.Banno

    If I wrote anything it wouldn't even last an hour.
  • Banno
    14.5k
    If I wrote anything it wouldn't even last an hour.Metaphysician Undercover

    True. There's a reason for that. Wiki uses verified sources.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    9.1k

    Well, the way the world is going today, it won't be long before there's a wiki for vilified sources, (if it's not already out there). The alternative wiki, for those who don't accept the mainstream "facts".
  • Luke
    1.6k
    There is no such thing as a "token of sensation".Metaphysician Undercover

    Pain is a sensation. Surely you’ve had an instance (token) of pain before. And more than one separate instances of pain. No?
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    9.1k

    No, because a token is an object which serves as an instantiation of a type. Pain is not an object, so if we use the type/token distinction it can never be other than a type. Think about it, all descriptions of pain are descriptions of a type, tooth-ache, sore toe, etc.. Even if I think about the pain I have right now in my..., it's always a type.

    The very same is also true of physical objects, we describe them in words which typify them. The only reason why a physical object can be a token is because we can point to it, without describing it in words in which case the words describe a type. Then, when it's pointed to, we can see it as an example of a type. The internal sensation we cannot see, nor point to, so it cannot serve as a token of a type. Therefore if we class it by type/token distinction, it must be a type.
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