• Wayfarer
    14.6k
    I noticed the scare quotes around 'rational'.

    Maritain analyses this in depth.

    As a philosophical conception, Empiricism means a theory according to which there is no distinction of nature, but only of degree, between the senses and the intellect. As a result, human knowledge is simply sense-knowledge (or animal knowledge) more evolved and elaborated than in other mammals. And not only is human knowledge entirely encompassed in, and limited to, sense-experience... but to produce its achievements in the sphere of sense-experience human knowledge uses no other specific forces and means than the forces and means which are at play in sense-knowledge.

    Now if it is true that reason differs specifically from senses, the paradox with which we are confronted is that Empiricism, in actual fact, uses reason while denying the power of reason, on the basis of a theory that reduces reason's knowledge and life, which are characteristic of man, to sense knowledge and life, which are characteristic of animals.

    Hence, first, an inevitable confusion and inconsistency between what an Empiricist does -- he thinks as a man, he uses reason, a power superior in nature to senses -- and what he says -- he denies this very specificity of reason.

    And second, an inevitable confusion and inconsistency even in what he says: for what the Empiricist speaks of and describes as sense-knowledge is not exactly sense-knowledge, but sense-knowledge plus unconsciously introduced intellective ingredients — sense-knowledge in which he has made room for reason without recognizing it. A confusion which comes about all the more easily as, on the one hand, the senses are, in actual fact, more or less permeated with reason in man, and, on the other, the merely sensory psychology of animals, especially of the higher vertebrates, goes very far in its own realm and imitates intellectual knowledge to a considerable extent.
    Jacques Maritain, The Cultural Impact of Empiricism
  • RogueAI
    872
    Thanks, I just bought his book: Philosophy of Mind, a Beginner's Guide.
  • Wayfarer
    14.6k
    Hope you find it useful. I've followed his blog for a while.
  • TiredThinker
    314
    Damn. This thing is still going?
  • Paine
    145

    You only tapped into centuries of people talking past each other.
    Settle in.
  • Janus
    11.7k
    Rationality is nothing more than valid deduction and plausible (as we are wont to believe) induction. You might think that rationality can also create ad hoc conjectures, which cannot be tested, to explain the nature of things as it is understood, but no: it is imagination which creates such "theories" in its unfettered way.

    Rationality holds no sway over our basic presuppositions, since any theoretical inductive support for presuppositions involves deploying other presuppositions, which in turn depend on further presuppositions, and so on. The only support for science, apart from its overall cohesiveness, is the fact that it works. Presuppositions cannot be tested for workability.
  • RussellA
    287
    To me the killer argument against materialism is simply that there is no physical equivalent for the fundamental terms of logic, such as ‘is’, ‘is not’ and so on.Wayfarer

    A computer can deal with the logic of 'is', 'is not' and so on without the need of a mind.

    A computer is an example of what a physical brain can achieve.
  • Wayfarer
    14.6k
    A computer can deal with the logic of 'is', 'is not' and so on without the need of a mind.RussellA

    Computers are instruments of the mind. Nothing they do is meaningful in the absence of a mind. But we don't see it, so fixated are we on our own creations.
  • RussellA
    287
    To me the killer argument against materialism is simply that there is no physical equivalent for the fundamental terms of logic, such as ‘is’, ‘is not’ and so onWayfarer

    Computers are instruments of the mind. Nothing they do is meaningful in the absence of a mindWayfarer

    Logic is not an invention of the mind but a discovery in the world

    Independent of the mind, logic exists in the world. The world is a logical place, in that we don't observe the world doing anything illogical.

    In the world, an apple "is" an apple, an apple "is not" an orange, an apple falls from the tree "because" of gravity, an apple "is the same as" an apple, an apple "is different from" an orange, etc.

    We use the logic we use because it corresponds with the logic we observe in the world. If we discovered that the logic we were using was different to the logic in the world then we would stop using it. For example, if an engineer designing a bridge decided in their calculations that one plus one equals three, they would quickly discover that their constructions would start to fall down.

    The logic of the world is such that one apple plus one apple "equals" two apples. For example, if on the table was one apple, and I placed another apple alongside it, and discovered that I had ended up with three apples, I would either doubt my sanity or try the same thing with kruggerands.

    IE, as logic exists in the physical world independently of any human mind, logic cannot be used as an argument to show that materialism is not true.
  • EnPassant
    600
    ↪Wayfarer I like that quote of Ed Feser a lot.RogueAI

    Yes. Reductive science takes things apart and studies the parts but in doing so it has broken all connections. But connections between parts are as important as the parts themselves. It is these connections that make the whole and meaning is in the whole, not the parts.
  • Alkis Piskas
    649

    The article subtitle - legend says "Either science is right or there is a spiritual realm. They can't both be true." This is so irrational that I needn't go on (although I had a glimpse).

    Science is science and spirituality world is spirituality. One refers to the material world and the other to the spiritual world. Exploration in other is consequently done basically with difference means, although in spirituality some limited scientific means may be used. Not the other way around though.

    Descartes and his Dualism moved us from the comfortable situation that the world around us can be explained and described in pencil and paper, which is a huge illusion. There are a lot things that science cannot explain, although it tries hard for centuries. And the worst thing is that it can't give up in matters that do not belong to its jurisdiction. For instance, they insist that consciousness is created and located in the brain, although they don't have a real evidence. It ridiculizes itself by claiming that spiritual and mental phenomena --awareness, thought, feelings, etc.,-- are created and processes in neurons! This happens, because they cannot admit that there is any other world that the material one.

    So, I don't see how can dualism make science wrong. Except maybe if the latter tries to enter foreign territories.
  • Wayfarer
    14.6k
    In the world, an apple "is" an apple, an apple "is not" an orange, an apple falls from the tree "because" of gravity, an apple "is the same as" an apple, an apple "is different from" an orange, etc.RussellA

    You're simply repeating some basic logical relations, such as the law of identity and the rules of valid inference.

    as logic exists in the physical world independently of any human mind, logic cannot be used as an argument to show that materialism is not true.RussellA

    That doesn't follow. For clarity: 'materialism in philosophy is the view that all facts (including facts about the human mind and will and the course of human history) are causally dependent upon physical processes, or reducible to them.' But the fact that logic is effective doesn't validate that belief. You need to show how the principles of logic can be derived from materialist principles.
  • Janus
    11.7k
    In the world, an apple "is" an apple, an apple "is not" an orange, an apple falls from the tree "because" of gravity, an apple "is the same as" an apple, an apple "is different from" an orange, etc. — RussellA


    You're simply repeating some basic logical relations, such as the law of identity and the rules of valid inference.
    Wayfarer

    I take @RussellA to be talking about perceptible actualities like we don't see apples turning into oranges, we see differences between them on which identification, and hence the abstracted notion of identity, is based and so on; he's not merely "repeating basic logical relations".

    He may correct me, but I think he is pointing out that logical relations are abstracted from, derived from perceptible actualities. This seems obvious to me, and it seems that you just refuse to believe what is obvious because it doesn't suit you.
  • javra
    1.5k


    If you were to have no conception of what a house is, and you where to see what others know to be a house, would you perceive a house when looking at the raw image(s)? Same can be asked of an apple or orange.

    My inclination is to conclude that without holding acquaintance of the idea (eidos: form / concept / abstraction ... and also the (epistemic) essence of that addressed) of X, one cannot perceive the X in the raw percepts.

    How we gain various concepts from percepts converged with thoughts together with cultural transmission (I’ll personally add, together with some degree of biological inheritance … far more applicable to lesser animals than to us) is a very complex thing regardless how it’s addressed. But it doesn’t seem to diminish what I’ve just proposed. We identify by forms, and this speaks to the law of identity in that it can only be a form that is self-identical relative to us - be the form an entity, a specific/identified process (the process of running), or something else. And without any identification of anything, we cannot establish any relations between ... well, again, forms/eidoi.
  • Janus
    11.7k
    I agree that you need to have the general concept; house, apple or whatever in order to recognize something as a house, apple or whatever. Animals recognize steps as 'to go up or down', doors as 'to go through' and so on, but they presumably don't think; this is a door and so on, because that requires symbolic langaugae. So, I think you would need language and the reflexivity it enables to be able to recognize that you are seeing something as a house, apple, stairs, door or whatever, but you need familiarity with those things in order to develop the abstract concept.in the first place.

    I think identity has nothing really to do with this. Identification, as in recognition, which animals also do, yes, but identity is an after-the-fact abstraction in my view. So, for me identification is not identity; it is more primordial than the abstracted concept of identity, the idea of something being itself. What is primordial, in my view, is difference.

    The various forms, shapes or patterns, which I think must be presented to our senses "raw" is one of the, perhaps the main, characteristics of thongs which enable things to be recognized.
  • javra
    1.5k
    So, for me identification is not identity; it is more primordial than the abstracted concept of identity, the idea of something being itself.Janus

    Ok, but to me that's what the metaphysical law of identity, as with all other laws of thought, intends to capture: our inescapable, predetermined, "primordial" limitations / boundaries of thought.

    What is primordial, in my view, is difference.Janus

    I don't get how there can be difference discerned without there being discerned difference between identified givens. Could you elaborate?
  • Janus
    11.7k
    Ok, but to me that's what the metaphysical law of identity, as with all other laws of thought, intends to capture: our inescapable, predetermined, "primordial" limitations / boundaries of thought.javra

    I don't see identity as a metaphysical concept, but as a logical one.

    I don't get how there can be difference discerned without there being discerned difference between identified givens. Could you elaborate?javra

    I'd say it is the similarities between the perceptible characteristics that kinds of things have in common with each other which enable us to recognize them as particular kinds of things. As I said, animals can recognize kinds of things. It is the differences between the perceptible characteristics of kinds of things that allow for different kinds.
  • javra
    1.5k
    OK, thanks for the reply.

    As I said, animals can recognize kinds of things.Janus

    Again, my perspective accounts for this. But maybe this would be too far of topic.
  • Andrew M
    1.4k
    It's really not. It's a well-established issue. It's a matter of empirical fact that the brain - for that matter, the entire human organism - comprises thousands of semi-autonomous sub-systems, all of which are subsidiary to the unified experience of being. You can't simply philosophise it out of existence.Wayfarer

    Well-established or not, the 'binding problem' has dualist premises (as with the 'hard problem of consciousness'). It's not just me pointing it out. See Bennett and Hacker:

    For the neural correlates, the various cells firing in the various locations of the 'visual' striate cortex, cannot be 'recombined', and do not need to be. The thought that the features a perceiver perceives must be correctly synthesized 'to form a separate object', the so-called 'binding problem', is confused. (For critical discussion see pp. 32-8.) To perceive is not to form an image of what is perceived, either in one's brain or in one's mind. What is perceived is the tree in the quad, not a representation of a tree in the quad. The brain does not have to synthesize a representation of the tree out of representations of its size, shape, colour and orientation - it has to enable the perceiver to see the tree and its features clearly. — History of Cognitive Neuroscience, p55 - Bennett, M. R., Hacker, P. M. S.

    Also Dennett:

    [There is no single, definitive "stream of consciousness," because there is no central Headquarters, no Cartesian Theater where "it all comes together" for the perusal of a Central Meaner....]

    While everyone agrees that there is no such single point in the brain, reminiscent of Descartes's pineal gland, the implications of this have not been recognized, and are occasionally egregiously overlooked. For instance, incautious formulations of "the binding problem" in current neuroscientific research often presuppose that there must be some single representational space in the brain (smaller than the whole brain) where the results of all the various discriminations are put into registration with each other — marrying the sound track to the film, coloring in the shapes, filling in the blank parts. There are some careful formulations of the binding problem(s) that avoid this error, but the niceties often get overlooked.
    — Consciousness Explained, p257 - Daniel Dennett

    I've been studying hylomorphism, and it's called a dualism. Why? Because it comprises two separate aspects of the intelligence - the sensory and the intelligible. According to Aristotelian dualism, the senses perceive the sensable form of the object, but the intellect perceives it's nature or essence.Wayfarer

    Aristotle's hylomorphism is not dualist. See our previous discussion on this.

    According to Aristotle, both humans and lower animals perceive things, but humans have the further ability to abstract and reason about those things (hence the rational animal). That's an identification of a living being's capabilities, not an expression of dualism. Also your phrasing above is what Bennett and Hacker term the "mereological fallacy":

    A form of this error was pointed out around 350 BC by Aristotle, who remarked that "to say that the soul [psuche] is angry is as if one were to say that the soul weaves or builds. For it is surely better not to say that the soul pities, learns or thinks, but that a man does these with his soul" (De Anima 408 12-15) - doing something with one's soul being like doing something with one's talents. It is mistaken to ascribe to the soul of an animal attributes that are properly ascribable only to the animal as a whole. We might call this "Aristotle's principle". — Neuroscience and Philosophy: Brain, Mind, and Language, pp131-2 - Bennett and Hacker

    We're investigating what we perceive (i.e., can point at), and what we perceive is the object "as it is in itself", so to speak.
    — Andrew M

    This is what I'm saying is naive realism - the contention that we perceive objects as they are 'in themselves'. The distinction I'm making is not a distinction between seeing an image, and seeing a real thing. What I'm pointing out is that when you say that 'you see the tree as it is in itself' then you're speaking from a naive realist point of view.
    Wayfarer

    However it is the distinction I am making. I reject that we see only images (of unknown things), hence the allusion to Kant:

    And we indeed, rightly considering objects of sense as mere appearances, confess thereby that they are based upon a thing in itself, though we know not this thing as it is in itself, but only know its appearances, viz., the way in which our senses are affected by this unknown something.Prolegomena, § 32
  • Andrew M
    1.4k
    So saying, your system only works for extant knowledge, but is hopelessly futile for that of which we have no experience. Yet, there are multiple instances of perceiving information to which we can relate no object at all.Mww

    My view is that knowledge comes from experience. What instances did you have in mind?

    One must already have the experience of red flowers in vases, before he can say an instance of perception, is that.Mww

    Indeed. A nice point of agreement to end with!
  • Manuel
    2.1k
    I should say, when dualism was seriously proposed - and taken seriously - it was done as a scientific move on Descartes part.

    He thought he could account for res-extensa - matter - based on mechanistic materialism. However, materialism could not account for the creative properties of language use, nor for the mind more abstractly considered.

    Out of other intelligible options, he did the sensible thing, he postulated a res cogitans, which would work with different principles than matter. But the goal was to provide a intelligible picture of the world, even if it was dualist in nature.

    Now we know, due to Newton and others, than we do not know matter anywhere nearly as well as was thought, so (substance) dualism collapsed.

    Which is only to say, that if dualism can coherently be re-articulated, in should be done so with the goal of explaining or providing a framework for phenomena which cannot be explained using the current methods we have.

    But it shouldn't be done, in my opinion, as a move away from understanding, but as means of integrating knowledge.
  • Wayfarer
    14.6k
    I reject that we see only images (of unknown things),Andrew M

    It's easy to make that claim in respect of the hypothetical 'tree' or 'apple' which is the subject of a rhetorical exercise in philosophy. Everyone knows what a tree is, so the thought goes. But what about the nature of reality? Do we see the nature of reality, just as it is? I contend not, and I say that is more germane to the question at hand than the text-book parlance of 'trees' or 'apples'. I say that we humans do not see things 'as they truly are', and that philosophy from the outset was an examination of why we do not. But as 'philosophy' has now been brought down to the level of successful adaptation, then the original sense of that question has been generally lost.

    So I dispute that as a general matter that we do see what 'things really are', even if we know enough to know a tree or an apple when we see one.

    According to Aristotle, both humans and lower animals perceive things, but humans have the further ability to abstract and reason about those things (hence the rational animal). That's an identification of a living being's capabilities, not an expression of dualismAndrew M

    This has been the subject of discussion in various threads lately. There is the famous and contested passage in Aristotle which explains the role of the active intellect in a very terse formulation, culminating in the statement 'This does not mean that at one time it [i.e. the active intellect] thinks but at another time it does not think, but when separated it is just exactly what it is, and this alone is deathless and everlasting'.

    This was then taken to be support for the soul's immortality by later Christians, but it doesn't detract from the fact that he wrote it.

    Furthermore the rational faculty of the soul sees the essence, it understands what it sees in a way which a non-rational animal cannot, because it sees the why's and wherefores of what it is looking at. Recall that in Aristotle's aitia, there is an account of why things exist, and what their purpose is - the fourfold causal matrix that modernity has largely dispensed with (or forgotten about).

    Thomists and other critics of Ockham have tended to present traditional realism, with its forms or natures, as the solution to the modern problem of knowledge. It seems to me that it does not quite get to the heart of the matter. A genuine realist should see “forms” not merely as a solution to a distinctly modern problem of knowledge, but as part of an alternative conception of knowledge, a conception that is not so much desired and awaiting defense, as forgotten and so no longer desired. Characterized by forms, reality had an intrinsic intelligibility, not just in each of its parts but as a whole. With forms as causes, there are interconnections between different parts of an intelligible world, indeed there are overlapping matrices of intelligibility in the world, making possible an ascent from the more particular, posterior, and mundane to the more universal, primary, and noble.
    In short, the appeal to forms or natures does not just help account for the possibility of trustworthy access to facts, it makes possible a notion of wisdom, traditionally conceived as an ordering grasp of reality. Preoccupied with overcoming Cartesian skepticism, it often seems as if philosophy’s highest aspiration is merely to secure some veridical cognitive events. Rarely sought is a more robust goal: an authoritative and life-altering wisdom.
    — Joshua Hothschild, WHAT’S WRONG WITH OCKHAM? Reassessing the Role of Nominalism in the Dissolution of the West


    There are some careful formulations of the binding problem(s) that avoid this error. — Consciousness Explained, p257 - Daniel Dennett

    It's not an error. Dennett has to avoid anything that can't be accomodated in his Procrustean bed of eliminative materialism (such as being qua being).
  • RussellA
    287
    logical relations are abstracted from, derived from perceptible actualitiesJanus

    :up: :up: :up:
  • RussellA
    287
    You need to show how the principles of logic can be derived from materialist principles.Wayfarer

    Some scholars think that the passage "In the beginning was the word (logos) " is more accurately translated "In the beginning was logic"

    Logic is intrinsic to reality
    Logic is primordial, intrinsic to reality, requires no proof, is self-validating, requires no justification and needs no validation. Reality if the initiator of logic, reality produces the basic laws of logic and the nature of logic is reality itself. The basis law of logic exists independently of the mind. The fundamental laws of logic are intuitively obvious and self evident. The burden of proof will be on the sceptic to disprove them. The fundamental laws of logic are universal and have been discovered not invented. They applied when the Solar System formed and they apply today. They apply on Earth and they apply on Mars.

    The fundamental laws of logic
    As described by Aristotle, the foundation of logic is the proposition “It is impossible for the same thing to belong and not to belong at the same time to the same thing and in the same respect”

    There are three fundamental laws of logic:
    1) The law of identity, where every entity has an identity, an entity cannot possess two identities and an entity without an identity cannot exist because it would be nothing. IE, an apple is an apple.
    2) The law of non-contradiction, where a statement cannot be both true and false, such that A is B and A is not B are mutually exclusive. IE, The object is an apple and the object is not an apple are mutually exclusive.
    3) The law of the excluded middle, where a statement is either true or false, and there can be no middle ground. IE, "the apple is on the table" is either true or false, in that the apple cannot be both on the table and not on the table.

    Knowledge starts with logic
    True knowledge starts with logic. We use logic to evaluate the truth, and we use our reason to manipulate the laws of logic in order to evaluate the truth using valid arguments.

    Logic is more than a proposition
    Confusion may arise because people think of the basic law of logic as a proposition, but the basic law is not a proposition in this sense, it is simply a reality. In discussing logic we have to use language, with the inevitable confusion between the statement "an apple is an apple" and the fact in the world - an apple is an apple. The situation is further confused by the nature of the "apple" itself, whether one's position is that of Direct Realist or Indirect Realist. For the present purposes of discussing the nature of logic, I am simplifying the true nature of "apples" by assuming that they exist as facts in the world as apples.

    We have derived logic from materialistic principles, as logic is the nature of materialistic principles.
    Consider an object having a physical existence independent of any observer, such as an apple. Logic, as primordial and intrinsic to reality, dictates that the apple is an apple is true, and the apple is not an apple is not true.

    It is for those who don't believe that logic is intrinsic to reality to show a single instance whereby an object in the world exists at the same time as not existing.

    IE, we have derived logic from materialistic principles, as logic is the nature of materialistic principles.
  • Mww
    3k
    One must already have the experience of red flowers in vases, before he can say an instance of perception, is that.
    — Mww

    Indeed. A nice point of agreement to end with!
    Andrew M

    Apparently, we aren’t ending, and we certainly aren’t agreeing, insofar as your “indeed” here has missed the point, and is not supported by what you’ve already said. You’re treating red flowers in a vase as always given, when it isn’t. What is given is a thing containing things. I’ve already argued all this in the preceding pages, re: the mosquito bite, ‘57 DeSoto’s, and such. “Before he can say an instance of perception, is that” makes explicit time as a necessary condition for experience of objects, therefore empirical knowledge itself.

    I think it of no intellectual consequence here, to follow the chronology back to the beginning, when the tree we all claim to know, was just this thing poking out of the dirt, and the only reason we know it as such now, is because it was recorded as such then. As it is for every single known object ever. The metaphysical implications are enormous, which is probably why they’re forfeited to the nonsense of mere language on the one hand, and the restrictions to pure physicalism on the other.
    ————-

    I reject that we see only images (of unknown things), hence the allusion to Kant:Andrew M

    “...but only know its appearances, viz., the way in which our senses are affected by this unknown something....”

    You should reject that we see only images of unknown things, insofar as Kant’s “appearance” is not your “see only images”. In Kant, the unknown things we see are not images (they are phenomena, “the undetermined objects of intuition”), and images we have are not unknown things (they are called schema, and represent “the synthesis of the understanding into a possible cognition”.

    I’ve noticed you’ve never used that word....understanding. I suppose your thesis has no need of it, in that, in this discussion, we’ve never got past the transition from the physical external to the rational internal, and furthermore, that physicalist explanations for brain mechanics is both necessary and sufficient for human knowledge. Problem is, of course, that while physicalist predicates are certainly necessary, the sufficiency of them is not given by their mere necessity, and can never arise from it alone.

    Also, without the use of understanding as a rational condition, you’ve entitled yourself to say stuff like.....

    the object whiteness and the word "whiteness" are physical things in the world.RussellA

    ....and, my personal favorite, so far anyway.....

    Independent of the mind, logic exists in the world.RussellA

    .....which is fine, if that’s how you roll, but you’re gonna have a hellava job supporting either of those assertions, that eliminates the inconsistencies in them. I get it, honest, I do, I guess. You’re of the opinion that human thought is not anything to be taken seriously. You might grant that everybody thinks, but the how and why of it doesn’t matter. And if everything is in the world, from red flowers to logic to whiteness, and given to us as it is, we don’t need to think about the world becoming comprehensible to an intelligence such as humans possess.

    But humans are wrong about so much, and distinct from each other in so many ways, it might be best to figure out humans, rather than just give us all a world to hide behind.
    ————-

    Consider an object having a physical existence independent of any observer.......RussellA

    Duly considered. To consider is to think, and I can think an object having physical existence without observing it. Doesn’t mean I know there is such a thing that conforms to my thinking, but if I can think it without implicit contradiction, it must be a possible thing.

    .....such as an apple.RussellA

    An apple is a determined object. A determined object cannot be independent of that which determines it. From a human point of view, the only one from which we are entitled to speak, apple is a human determination, which makes explicit a human observer of an object having physical existence.
  • RussellA
    287
    stuff like.....the object whiteness and the word "whiteness" are physical things in the world.Mww

    Bertrand Russell wrote "That which many different thoughts of whiteness have in common is their object, and this object is different from all of them". Perhaps I should have written "the object white light", where white light is a physical object, having the wavelength between the ranges of 400 and 700 nm. Though I am sure endless debates could be had as to whether light is an object as much as is an apple an object.

    The word "whiteness" exists as a physical object on the screen that you are currently reading.

    You’re of the opinion that human thought is not anything to be taken seriouslyMww

    I don't understand your logic in saying that because I believe that an object in the world cannot both exist and not exist at the same time then it follows that I also believe that human thought is not to be taken seriously.

    A determined object cannot be independent of that which determines it.Mww

    I agree. That is why I wrote "for the present purposes of discussing the nature of logic, I am simplifying the true nature of "apples" by assuming that they exist as facts in the world as apples"

    I could have based my post on "logical objects" rather than "physical objects", but this would have created more questions than it answered

    Perhaps one should think of the apple as a metaphor rather than something literal.
  • Banno
    15.7k
    An exact definition of nominalism.Wayfarer

    You gave it a name. Congratulations.
  • Mww
    3k
    The word "whiteness" exists as a physical object on the screen that you are currently reading.RussellA

    If I speak to you, say, “what do you think of “whiteness”, in which case the word appears in the world as a sound to your ears just as it appears to your vision as a word on the screen, what object am I referring to, per Russell’s comment? You shouldn’t bring any worldly object to consciousness at all, because I didn’t ask what you thought about white things, but only the relative quality of white in general. That which many thoughts of whiteness have in common is their object, and the object of all thoughts of whiteness, is.....white. And white is not an object in the world.
    ————-

    ......because I believe that an object in the world cannot both exist and not exist at the same time then it follows that I also believe that human thought is not to be taken seriously.RussellA

    That’s not what I said. I said......I think you don’t assign enough importance to human thought, as a consequence of reading you say logic exists in the world, and is not a human invention. What you did with the existence thing, is merely provide a proof for the logic already thought by a human. The world is the existence of things, so the simultaneous thing and no-thing cannot be a condition of the world, but only a condition of some intelligence that thinks about it in a logically self-contradictory way. I’m only rather emphatically contending that a typical human intelligence should already know all that, and a decent cognitive philosopher certainly would.
    ————

    Perhaps one should think of the apple as a metaphor rather than something literal.RussellA

    Metaphors are never sufficient for knowledge; only the literal will suffice. The irreducible, the unconditioned. The truth as far as we can tell.
  • Wayfarer
    14.6k
    Some scholars think that the passage "In the beginning was the word (logos) "is more accurately translated "In the beginning was logic"RussellA

    All well and good, but nothing you say has any bearing on the truth or falsehood of materialism. And that is a Biblical quotation.

    It is for those who don't believe that logic is intrinsic to reality to show a single instance whereby an object in the world exists at the same time as not existing.RussellA

    Many of the discoveries of modern quantum physics defy logic, for instance the 'wave-particle' nature of subatomic bodies.

    The word "whiteness" exists as a physical object on the screen that you are currently reading.RussellA

    The symbol is physical, but it can be represented by many different words or sounds, and still have the same meaning. Accordingly the meaning is separate from the physical form. That's a form of dualism which I am prepared to defend.

    I appreciate the effort you're making, but it's wide of the mark. You're not actually 'defending materialism' nor can I see why you would think it's worth defending. Perhaps you feel that it's better than some putative alternative.

    As to whether logic is 'intrinsic to reality', that is debatable. I would say it is intrinsic to the way the mind and language operate. Logic is after all often defined as 'the laws of thought'. Most of what you're saying refers to Aristotelian logic, not that there's anything the matter with that.
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