• Enrique
    615
    Thanks.Tom Storm

    Simple, isn't it!
  • TheMadFool
    12.6k
    There’s is mystical union, theosis, which is said to be non inferential.Wayfarer

    :up:
    Hey Wayfarer, you say a lot of important stuff. I just hope other people are paying attention.
  • TheMadFool
    12.6k
    Simple, isn't it!Enrique

    No :cry:
  • Janus
    11k
    There’s is mystical union, theosis, which is said to be non inferential.Wayfarer

    The inference is not involved in the experience, which, sans inference is just affect, but in what we call the experience, and what we take its significance to be..
  • Tom Storm
    2.2k
    The inference is not involved in the experience, which, sans inference is just affect, but in what we call the experience, and what we take its significance to be..Janus

    I don't follow.
  • Janus
    11k
    When it is said that the experience is mystical, and that it is a union or it is called "theosis" which brings in the further idea of union with God, then inferences are involved, no?
  • Tom Storm
    2.2k
    As someone who doesn't understand religious language, the only inference I see is that people imagine all kinds of things but it doesn't make those things real.
  • Janus
    11k
    Exactly! It is inferred, or imagined if you prefer, that the experience is given by, or is a union with, God, for example. On the other hand there may be a naturalistic explanation, since certain drugs bring about those kinds of experiences too. Of course the naturalistic explanation is an inference too and could also be wrong.
  • Wayfarer
    13.8k
    Signing out for a few days got a bunch of other stuff to do.
  • Enrique
    615


    What, too simple for you? I guess I should have translated the essence of consciousness and rationality into differential equations or something. Or too complex? Maybe I should write a children's book on quantum neuroscience! I'm amenable to suggestion...
  • TheMadFool
    12.6k
    What, too simple for you? I guess I should have translated the essence of consciousness and rationality into differential equations or something. Or too complex? Maybe I should write a children's book on quantum neuroscience! I'm amenable to suggestion...Enrique

    My comment was more general than specific but you seem to have got the message.
  • Enrique
    615
    My comment was more general than specific but you seem to have got the message.TheMadFool

    An individual neuron in my brain can receive thousands of messages at once! Even so everyone seems to think their message is special, strange isn't it?
  • TheMadFool
    12.6k
    An individual neuron in my brain can receive thousands of messages at once! Even so everyone seems to think their message is special, strange isn't it?Enrique

    No. That's natural and happens to everybody.
  • Enrique
    615


    I guess the philosophical issue is evading me. I suppose substance is my specialty while being is not. You'd think I'd have more intuition about being since I'm alive and got through school, but it didn't work out that way lol
  • baker
    2.9k
    We know God through His effects, the reality of physical existence, but we cannot see Him directly as the cause, His existence is inferred.Metaphysician Undercover

    No. Every self-respecting Christian has a personal relationship with God.

    Since our premises are derived from the observational, empirical knowledge,

    Again, no, not in the case of God and people who believe in God (and whose knowledge of themselves proceeds from their knowledge of God).
    Because these people's knowledge is not derived from the observational, empirical knowledge, but is a (directly) received revelation from God.


    It's immaterial whether you agree with this epistemic method. The point is that it avoids all the usual problems related to knowledge that is derived from observation, empiry.

    Also, I'm not saying this to advertise theism. But if we are going to dismiss the one epistemic method that has been the primary epistemic method for what is probably the vast majority of the human population, then we're going to need some really good reasons for doing so.

    - - -

    I'm not saying you and some philosophers are wrong

    (we ultimately do not know)
    Tom Storm
    How can you say that?? Based on what??
  • baker
    2.9k
    Illusions can only be experienced by a subject, which points back to cogito ergo sum.Wayfarer

    How ironic.
    In some schools of Hinduism, Maya is a servant of God and she's in charge of the illusion according to which humans think that they are separate from God, believing that "they are because they think".
  • baker
    2.9k
    There's "know thyself" and then there's "know thyself better".Janus

    No, there's "know thyself" and then there's "know thyself according to someone else's idea of who you are".
  • Tom Storm
    2.2k
    (we ultimately do not know)
    — Tom Storm
    How can you say that?? Based on what??
    baker

    Based on the fact that philosophers hold different views on the subject. And there is no accepted definition of what consciousness is. But hey, I may well be wrong - it is common sense that humans have consciousness - that's kind of why I am curious.
  • Tom Storm
    2.2k
    Also, I'm not saying this to advertise theism. But if we are going to dismiss the one epistemic method that has been the primary epistemic method for what is probably the vast majority of the human population, then we're going to need some really good reasons for doing so.baker

    Is this epistemic or imaginative? Who can really say they know God? Well, I know they can say it, but it's hardly plausible. A figure of speech. Even my local Priest says the moment he hears a member of his Parish say they have a personal relationship with Jesus he expects either insanity or a narcissist.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    9.1k
    There’s is mystical union, theosis, which is said to be non inferential.Wayfarer

    This "cause" which I spoke of, is a part of the person, so the union is there, clearly it is logically as necessary.

    That's natural and happens to everybody.TheMadFool

    Every self-respecting Christian has a personal relationship with God.baker

    The question is how is this, what I described as a "cause", and "the fundamental capacity to anticipate the future", known to us. As explained, it cannot be observed in any way. We can call it a "mystical union" like Wayfarer did, but that does not validate it as a form of knowledge. All it is is a statement of fact, what is common to us all.

    This is probably the same issue which Wittgenstein grapples with in the private language argument. What is known directly to a person, through the inner source, might actually be the highest form of knowledge; Aristotle classed intuition as the highest form of knowledge; but when it comes to validating this form of knowledge to others, through public language (justification), it does not even class as "knowledge".

    Again, no, not in the case of God and people who believe in God (and whose knowledge of themselves proceeds from their knowledge of God).
    Because these people's knowledge is not derived from the observational, empirical knowledge, but is a (directly) received revelation from God.
    baker

    The problem is, that even this sort of "knowledge" (I'll call it that, though it does not qualify as knowledge by epistemological standards) which one obtains from within, "intuition", or "mystical union", must be expressed in some sort of words, if one is to proceed in a logical manner from principles derived here. So. if this "knowledge" is to form the basis for premises by which one might proceed toward understanding one's inner self, it must be expressed in language which is suited to, or conformed around observational knowledge. That is the reality of our language. So there is an inherent problem in describing inner experience with language shaped toward describing external observations.

    Therefore, a person can proceed toward a "knowledge of themselves" which is completely based in their "knowledge of God", as you say, but they cannot get anywhere in this procedure. It's a dead end right off the bat because that sort of "knowledge" is not at all consistent with the language that we use to make premises for a logical proceeding. So the very first step, must be to justify , through the use of words, that inner experience. Otherwise, any sense that the person has, and is claiming, that their "knowledge of themselves proceeds from their knowledge of God", is just imaginary, an illusion. It's not real knowledge because the person is incapable of making any statements concerning what is pretended to be known. It's simply pretense.

    It's immaterial whether you agree with this epistemic method. The point is that it avoids all the usual problems related to knowledge that is derived from observation, empiry.baker

    Sure, it avoids all the epistemological problems, but that's just because it isn't real knowledge, it's pretense. The epistemological problems are involved with real knowledge, not pretend knowledge.
  • TheMadFool
    12.6k
    The question is how is this, what I described as a "cause", and "the fundamental capacity to anticipate the future", known to us. As explained, it cannot be observed in any way. We can call it a "mystical union" like Wayfarer did, but that does not validate it as a form of knowledge. All it is is a statement of fact, what is common to us all.

    This is probably the same issue which Wittgenstein grapples with in the private language argument. What is known directly to a person, through the inner source, might actually be the highest form of knowledge; Aristotle classed intuition as the highest form of knowledge; but when it comes to validating this form of knowledge to others, through public language (justification), it does not even class as "knowledge".
    Metaphysician Undercover

    What's vicarious suffering to Wittgenstein and his private language argument?
  • Janus
    11k
    No, there's "know thyself" and then there's "know thyself according to someone else's idea of who you are".baker

    Is there anything you know about yourself that is not couched in cultural terms? Or represented in a public language? Are these not ultimately "someone else's ideas"?

    Beyond that, sure, we can know, in the sense of simply feel, our own inner feelings. Are they ineffable, though? If not, then how much of what we say we know in expressing these feelings comes from the actual experience and how much from the medium in which that experience is conveyed? If the expression or description of those feelings to others is possible, then would you not suspect that those feelings may be always already interpreted in culturally acquired terms?

    If there are ineffable feelings, then by definition we can say nothing about them, and they are not knowledge, or at least not knowledge that can be shared. Eugene Gendlin has some interesting ideas about this; I know @Joshs is well into Gendlin, so he might have something to say on this problem of private knowledge.
  • Joshs
    2k
    Hi there. Here’s a bunch of Gendlin quotes pertinent to the topic:

    “ The higher animals live quite complex lives without culture. Culture does not create; it elaborates. Then we live creatively much further with and after culture. To think that we are the creation of culture is not a view one can maintain if one senses ongoing bodily experiencing
    directly. Culture is crude and inhuman in comparison with what we find directly. The intricacy you are now living vastly exceeds what cultural forms have contributed to you. With focusing we discover that we are much more organized from the inside out.”

    “ In living, our bodies generate, imply, and enact language and culture; but with and after those, our bodies imply (project, experience, sense, practice, demand . . .) more. What they imply is inherently interactional and social, but it is more precise and implies what has never as yet
    formed and happened.” (Response to Hatab, Lieberman, etc)

    “We can speak freshly because our bodily situation is always different and much more intricate than the cultural generalities. A situation is a bodily happening, not just generalities. Language doesn't consist just of standard sayings. Language is part of the human body's
    implying of behavior possibilities. Our own situation always consists of more intricate implyings. Our situation implies much more than the cultural kinds. The usual view is mistaken, that the individual can do no more than choose among the cultural scenarios, or add mere
    nuances. The ‘nuances’ are not mere details. Since what is culturally appropriate has only a general meaning, it is the so-called ‘nuances’ that tell us what we really want to know. They indicate what the standard saying really means here, this time, from this person.

    Speech coming directly from implicit understanding is trans-cultural. Every individual incorporates but far transcends culture, as becomes evident from direct reference. Thinking is both individual and social. The current theory of a one-way determination by society is too simple. The relation is much more complex. Individuals do require channels of information,
    public discourses, instruments and machines, economic support, and associations for action. The individual must also find ways to relate to the public attitudes so as to be neither captured nor isolated. In all these ways the individual is highly controlled. Nevertheless, individual thinking constantly exceeds society.”
  • Janus
    11k
    Thanks Josh, I like and agree with what Gendlin seems to be saying in those quotes. Being a lover of poetry I agree that there is no end to the possibilities of experience and its expressions. But poetic expression is as much a cultural elaboration as it is an individual exploration.

    Should we call poetic expression knowledge, though? Not in the propositional sense I would say, but I think it can be knowledge in the sense I have spoken of before, of 'knowing with'; the knowledge of familiarity.

    This exchange arose when I suggested to Wayfarer that scientific knowledge is not irrelevant to self knowledge:

    Socrates, at the Temple of Delphi.

    Inside, he says, 'hey, I notice your neat slogan, gnōthi seauton, "know thyself". I like it, but there's a problem'.

    'Oh yes? What?' says the Goddess.

    'We don't have the technology yet. It's going to have to wait.'
    Wayfarer

    There's "know thyself" and then there's "know thyself better".Janus

    So I don't think there is any self-knowledge that is completely independent of culture, but I agree with what Gendlin seems to be saying that culture does not limit self-knowledge in the ways that it is often thought to.

    So it also doesn't follow that culture does not contribute to self-knowledge. What I'm trying to say is it's not either/or; either just my ideas or someone else's.
  • baker
    2.9k
    No, there's "know thyself" and then there's "know thyself according to someone else's idea of who you are".
    — baker

    Is there anything you know about yourself that is not couched in cultural terms? Or represented in a public language? Are these not ultimately "someone else's ideas"?
    Janus

    That we know things couched in cultural terms is a given.

    The issue is the dichotomy as proposed by you, namely, "know thyself" vs. "know thyself better".
    The latter is about someone else assuming authority over you.

    As in, I may know myself, but a psychologist claims to know me better; Christians, too, claim to know me better, and so on.
  • baker
    2.9k
    Is this epistemic or imaginative? Who can really say they know God? Well, I know they can say it, but it's hardly plausible.Tom Storm

    Your word against theirs.
  • baker
    2.9k
    Again, no, not in the case of God and people who believe in God (and whose knowledge of themselves proceeds from their knowledge of God).
    Because these people's knowledge is not derived from the observational, empirical knowledge, but is a (directly) received revelation from God.
    — baker

    The problem is, that even this sort of "knowledge" (I'll call it that, though it does not qualify as knowledge by epistemological standards) which one obtains from within, "intuition", or "mystical union", must be expressed in some sort of words, if one is to proceed in a logical manner from principles derived here.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    No, I'm talking about divine revelation, not that "which one obtains from within", "intuition", or "mystical union". Divine revelation as in, holy scriptures. The "inner" part of all this is just the personal affirmation one feels inside that the holy scriptures are in fact the word of God.

    Sure, it avoids all the epistemological problems, but that's just because it isn't real knowledge, it's pretense. The epistemological problems are involved with real knowledge, not pretend knowledge.
    How can you possibly know it's pretense?
  • baker
    2.9k
    (we ultimately do not know)
    — Tom Storm
    How can you say that?? Based on what??
    — baker

    Based on the fact that philosophers hold different views on the subject. And there is no accepted definition of what consciousness is.
    Tom Storm

    Multitude of opinions among philosophers is indicative only of there being a multitude of opinions among philosophers. Lack of consensus doesn't mean that nobody knows; but it can mean that only some know and others don't.
  • Tom Storm
    2.2k
    Lack of consensus doesn't mean that nobody knows; but it can mean that only some know and others don't.baker

    Maybe my language was sloppy. It doesn't mean nobody knows. But it also doesn't mean somebody does. How would we know?
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