• Hillary
    1.9k
    Logically, if there are two electrons. then they are not the same. Perhaps you mean that there is only one electron that appears as two electrons in superposition. You can't have it both ways.Janus

    There are two electrons in a superposition. That's the object used in quantum computing. There have been made superpositions of 100 of them even. The electron's identities get mixed up totally. There is no logic applicable. Love and hate are completely crazy and illogical. Not to mention irrational.
  • Wayfarer
    15.8k
    So, is the claim that we have that idea from the moment of birth?Janus

    Epistemic priority is not necessarily temporal priority. It's not as if human infants are born with the ability to reason, but they clearly born with the capacity to acquire that ability very quickly. Meaning it is an innate ability, which torpedoes the basic dogma of empiricists. You can see that the slave-boy of the Meno prefigures this idea, even if by a rather blunt polemical example.

    The whole point of the synthetic a priori is to show that 'there are indeed objects of cognition whose form arises from the a priori llaws of the mind and the forms of intuition, independently of all empirical experience' (Ian Hunter). It is the only possible route to knowledge of the unconditioned as all experiential knowledge must by definition be contingent (contingent on experience, which is itself contingent).

    What Kant seeks is a literal cognitive shift, a different way of seeing, understanding and being.

    Kant was on the cusp of modernity. He correctly diagnosed the plight of modernity, which culminates in the "illusion of otherness" and the Cartesian anxiety:

    Cartesian anxiety refers to the notion that, since René Descartes posited his influential form of body-mind dualism, Western civilization has suffered from a longing for ontological certainty, or feeling that scientific methods, and especially the study of the world as a thing separate from ourselves, should be able to lead us to a firm and unchanging knowledge of ourselves and the world around us. The term is named after Descartes because of his well-known emphasis on "mind" as different from "body", "self" as different from "other". — Richard Bernstein

    The associated form of mentality is ego consciousness, the separated self in a society of others, each in their own private world of feelings and thoughts. It is the default for liberal individualism, the way any of us here are inclined to be. Meaning and purpose is subjective, in an objective realm devoid of inherent meaning or intentionality. But overcoming that anxiety requires more than just thinking, it takes a cognitive shift, a different way of being. This is what Kant's philosophy is intended to impart:

    The decisive distinguishing feature of Western philosophical spirituality is that it does not regard the truth as something to which the subject has access by right, universally, simply by virtue of the kind of cognitive being that the human subject is. Rather, it views the truth as something to which the subject may accede only through some act of inner self-transformation, some act of attending to the self with a view to determining its present incapacity, thence to transform it into the kind of self that is spiritually qualified to accede to a truth that is by definition not open to the unqualified subject.Ian Hunter, Philosophy and Spirituality in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason
  • Janus
    12.2k
    Meaning it is an innate ability,Wayfarer

    It's not an innate ability, but an innate potential if anything. And only experience of the required kind will actuate and develop that potential.
  • Wayfarer
    15.8k
    If you mean, a human infant kept in an isolation tank will never learn English, then, sure. But that's not really the point. Expose any sentient being other than a human to experience, and they're not going to learn to speak, notwithstanding your 'logical dog'. :-)
  • Wayfarer
    15.8k
    That which is (A) is not and cannot be that which it is not (not-A). This being a more long-winded way of saying that “each given is identical with itself”, or “A = A”. Which is what the law of identity stipulates to be an innate and determinate aspect of our awareness and, derivatively, of how we think. Hence being deemed "a law of thought" - since it is deemed to govern all thought without exception.javra

    For Spir the principle of identity is not only the fundamental law of knowledge, it is also an ontological principle, expression of the unconditioned essence of reality (Realität=Identität mit sich), which is opposed to the empirical reality (Wirklichkeit), which in turn is evolution (Geschehen). The principle of identity displays the essence of reality: only that which is identical to itself is real, the empirical world is ever-changing, therefore it is not real. Thus the empirical world has an illusory character, because phenomena are ever-changing, and empirical reality is unknowable.Afrikan Spir, Ontology

    (I've found a well-formatted translation of his major work, which I'm going to try and get around to studying.)
  • Janus
    12.2k
    There are two electrons in a superposition. That's the object used in quantum computing. There have been made superpositions of 100 of them even. The electron's identities get mixed up totally. There is no logic applicable. Love and hate are completely crazy and illogical. Not to mention irrational.Hillary

    If there are two electrons then they're are not one thing; now it may be the case that there only appear to be two or a hundred or whatever electrons, but there is really only one, and that would not contradict anything I've said. I'm getting tired of repeating the same point.
  • Janus
    12.2k
    If you mean, a human infant kept in an isolation tank will never learn English, then, sure. But that's not really the point. Expose any sentient being other than a human to experience, and they're not going to learn to speak, notwithstanding your 'logical dog'. :-)Wayfarer

    My point all along has been that so-called synthetic a priori judgements come after experience, as a result of "grasping" the general character of experiences, and that is why they do not depend on any particular experience to justify them.

    Of course other animals who do not have either the intelligence or the structural potential to learn language cannot learn language, just as we cannot learn to navigate using the Earth's magnetic field.
  • Hillary
    1.9k
    Epistemic priority is not necessarily temporal priority. It's not as if human infants are born with the ability to reasonWayfarer

    A baby's cry sounds reasonable to me though.



    Janus, you think I dont get tired? Just face the facts. Two or 47 electrons are two or fortyseven electrons. With lost identitities while having identities. Love kills! I wont repeat it again!
  • Hillary
    1.9k
    My point all along has been that so-called synthetic a priori judgements come after experienceJanus

    A neonato is pooped into the world with a priori knowledge. Aquired in the womb but still.
  • Hillary
    1.9k
    I mean, you can try to make real video look fake, or a deep fake look real. But I always can tell the fake identity from the real. It is thought that in 5 years, 90% of visual information is deep fake. Neighbor girls projected in porn videos by the local computer nerd. What has the law of identity to say about this?
  • Hillary
    1.9k
    Expose any sentient being other than a human to experience, and they're not going to learn to speak,Wayfarer

    I don't agree. Rats in empty cages for long time have less evolved brains. Which I could have told without the actual experiment (which actually has been done! :scream: ). Maybe a growing child without other people acquires other modes of expression than language. The scream of loneliness or boredom. Language is a social phenomenon. But making sounds is not.
  • Janus
    12.2k
    Aquired in the womb but still.Hillary

    Yes, well in the womb is already in the world in some sense (not the shared sense, obviously), and I have no doubt that sentience begins in the womb at some point of development. Is there any sense of differentiation in the womb? Interesting question but hard to answer, I'd say.
  • Hillary
    1.9k
    Is there any sense of differentiation in the womb? Interesting question but hard to answer, I'd say.Janus

    Well, what I know , is that the visual cortex in the evolving brain is stimulated by the retina. There are moving concentric patterns, moving over the retina, sent to the brain. So formal structures are imparted. But not from the outside world. In preparation for it though. A priori?
  • javra
    1.7k
    For Spir the principle of identity is not only the fundamental law of knowledge, it is also an ontological principle, expression of the unconditioned essence of reality (Realität=Identität mit sich), which is opposed to the empirical reality (Wirklichkeit), which in turn is evolution (Geschehen). The principle of identity displays the essence of reality: only that which is identical to itself is real, the empirical world is ever-changing, therefore it is not real. Thus the empirical world has an illusory character, because phenomena are ever-changing, and empirical reality is unknowable. — Afrikan Spir, Ontology

    (I've found a well-formatted translation of his major work, which I'm going to try and get around to studying.)
    Wayfarer

    Interesting stuff. I do greatly like the boldfaced part of this quote from the same Wikipedia page:

    […] the principle of identity, which is the characteristic of the supreme being, of the absolute, of God. God is not the creator deity of the universe and mankind, but man's true nature and the norm of all things, in general. [...]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afrikan_Spir#Religion_and_morality

    While I don’t want to take away from the want to read him …

    I myself differ in what I take the quote to be saying (further reinforced by the Wikipedia page) in that I don’t find identity to entail absolute permanence but, instead, relative permanence. This to me touches upon an old conundrum: Flux of what is (akin to a wave or a process) vs. permanency of what is (akin to a particle or an entity) - and, to my mind, taking into account that we and our mental faculties are intrinsic aspects of nature, this imo results in a kind of flux/permanency duality intrinsic to nature at large. To me, somewhat like what I take to be the more traditional version of the Buddhism mantra that neither is there a self (hence, a fixed personal identity) nor is there not a self (hence, lack of personal identity over time). Even if one adopts the more extreme view of process philosophies wherein nothing is absolute, one would still be untruthful if one where to state that one does not immediately apprehend the world in terms of entities - which I’d again say are relatively permanent - and the processes these engage in (like an immediate perceptual observation that the cat (entity) is running up a tree (process)). The identity of the Absolute, to my mind, would be divinely simple/partless and limitless in all ways … hence in my view not being that which we commonly associate with identity (I'm hoping that makes sense). But as “the principle of identity” … I’d need to read the guy to better understand.

    On a somewhat related note, as you’ve yourself expressed over the years if I remember right, there can be deemed to be different types and gradations of reality - with “the Real” as their pinnacle, this being the only absolutely permanent reality that there is. The dream I had last night was real (unless I’m lying about having had one); as is the intersubjective culture(s) I pertain to; as is the empirical reality of a solid earth beneath our feet; as is - or so some of us maintain - the Real, i.e. the singular Absolute state of being (of which “the One”, Brahman, Nirvana, and so forth might be different visages of, understandings of the exact same given that emerge through different human and cultural perspectives). And the Absolute might well be neither entity nor process, yet still be being per se. So even in granting that the empirical world is Maya, illusion, this in an ultimate sense when contrasted with “the Real”, I’ll say that it nevertheless constitutes an important type of reality of which we do know a plethora of things about (to be clear, this in non-infallible ways).

    I’ve probably rambled, and I get that all this might be overly opinionated. All the same.

    A worthwhile mention while I’m at it: Heraclitus, despite his philosophy of cosmic flux - and despite his fragments being open to interpretation - held a belief in a singular, absolute governing force that stands apart from all else - what we could nowadays label a belief in “the Real” or the Absolute.

    In the fragments, Heraclitus describes a single force that stands apart from all else and guides the universe according to a set purpose. Heraclitus calls this force 'the god', 'the wise', 'the one', Zeus, and the thunderbolt, and he explicitly connects these four words with each other in the fragments. Fragment 41 identifies this controlling force as 'the wise' and 'the one', showing that these two names stand for the same concept in Heraclitus' thought:https://www.swarthmore.edu/classics/heraclitus-and-divine
  • Hillary
    1.9k
    A worthwhile mention while I’m at it: Heraclitus, despite his philosophy of cosmic flux - and despite his fragments being open to interpretation - held a belief in a singular, absolute governing force that stands apart from all else - what we could nowadays label a belief in “the Real” or the Absolutejavra

    It is worth noticing that in it's contemporary incarnation this absolute governing force could be the omnipresent timeless quantum vacuum from which real particles emerged and which is used (by coupling to it) by these real particles to interact
  • javra
    1.7k
    That's one interpretation, sure. Do you see any relation between the quantum vacuum and wisdom? or virtue? or anything else that directly or indirectly governs all human behaviors? It is deemed to be an "absolute governing force" after all.
  • Wayfarer
    15.8k
    Flux of what is (akin to a wave or a process) vs. permanency of what is (akin to a particle or an entity) - and, to my mind, taking into account that we and our mental faculties are intrinsic aspects of nature, this imo results in a kind of flux/permanency duality intrinsic to nature at large.javra

    Pretty deep analysis! (I've just started reading Afrikan Spir's PDF, which I downloaded from archive.org, very well-formatted with bookmarks intact. Spir seemed to have been a beautiful person, born into minor nobility he gave all of his estate to his serfs and sadly died young, having not looked after his health. And I noticed his hometown was, very sadly, that Ukrainian city of Kharkiv which has been the site of numerous Russian atrocities in the media currently. His book actually reads quite easily, if you have a bit of background in Kant and the German idealists generally. I intend to persist with it.)

    I’ve probably rambled, and I get that all this might be overly opinionated.javra

    Not at all, I think you're on exactly the right track. Another idealist (actually, panpsychist) philosopher I've been reading is Federico Faggin, whose book Silicon is about his successful career - inventor of the first microprocessor - and his later in life awakening, which is very much concerned with the underlying substance (in the philosophical, not everyday, sense) as the source of reality.

    All of this 'age of aquarius' stuff really is happening, you know. :wink:
  • Mww
    3.2k
    So, is the claim that we have that idea from the moment of birth?Janus

    Perhaps, but not developed enough to be useful. covered it well enough, I think.
    ———

    The body has its inherent capacities, no doubt, and we are not born as "blank slates".Janus

    D’accord.
    ————

    Are we able to think of anything that is not something we have heard of, or at least a composite of things experienced and/ or heard of?Janus

    I would say yes, in a logical cognitive system, predicated necessarily on relations. Isn’t this the method of doing science?

    I’m a 20th century Swiss patent clerk. I took the train to Berlin a month or so ago, dropped my fork on the floor, obviously landing right at my feet. Went straight down. Bounced once or twice. Couple days later, I was standing on the platform, train went flying by, guy dropped his fork, and I’ll be damned if it didn’t occur to me that fork landed 10 feet further down the track from where it got dropped.

    Even us common folk....ever used a butter knife for a screwdriver? Experience with the one has no relation whatsoever with the experience of the other, yet there resides in understanding the possibility of substitution. It must....otherwise, why would the cognition manifest at all? Similarly, while it may not be so conceptually far-fetched to use a butter knife to spread axle grease, it is quite another matter to use a twig.

    Furthermore, that someone else has combined red and blue on a paint palette and I have absolutely no knowledge of it, such antecedent experience has no relation to me. If I think of doing it, then I have met the criteria which affirms your query: yes, I can think something that is not an experience nor composite of them. That I should have experience of mixing this paint or that paint, doesn’t in itself give me the thought of mixing together different paints. But here you would be kinda right, in a second-step kinda way; experience tells me merely adding them to each other is not going to cut it, I need to mix them.

    I won’t state the theoretical justifications, unless you’re interested.

    But I get what you mean. In this day and age, with the world seemingly so small, so many damn people, so much information, so much new stuff all the time.....seems like it’s impossible not to be influenced by it all. Think about it, though......what gets lost in all that noise?
  • Engr Fida Ali
    1
    There is a famous proverb which says that necessity is the mother of invention. It implies that everything we invent is based on some requirements. Thus, the cause and consequence scenario go both forward and backward. In a previous frame of reference, the cause might have been a consequence and in the next one the consequence may become a cause. Taking steps towards some destinations with the hope that every step taken will bring the destinations nearer than before will certainly cause some consequences which may or may not be in favor of others who opt to wait and see.
  • Janus
    12.2k
    OK, thanks Mww, it doesn't seem to me that you understood and/or addressed my points and questions at all, which is evidenced most starkly by this:

    But I get what you mean. In this day and age, with the world seemingly so small, so many damn people, so much information, so much new stuff all the time.....seems like it’s impossible not to be influenced by it all. Think about it, though......what gets lost in all that noise?Mww

    which, unfortunately, has nothing at all to do with what I've even talking about. When the strawmen start marching I have a tendency to leave the vicinity.

    Anyway, I'm out of energy and/or enthusiasm for this topic so I'm happy to leave it there.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    9.9k
    Sorry for the delay. But your post does deserve a reply.

    I hold with materialism with respect to external objects of perception, yes. All external objects are substance, or, material, and the material of the object is that which affects my perceptive apparatus. In conjunction with that, I hold that these sense organs have no cognitive power, they merely relay the presence of material, upon which that part of the reasoning system having to do with sense impressions, functions.Mww

    The issue here is in what you call "cognitive power". I think that the power to create, i.e. to be a productive system which synthesizes, does not require cognition. So the lower powers of living beings, photosynthesis, self-movement, and even sensation, may be creative powers which are not cognitive powers. However, we see with sensation, that it comes in a multitude of types, and there is a sort of unity which holds the multiple senses together in coherency, and the cognitive power is closely related to this. That's why some ancient philosophers were seeking a sixth sense. Generally "cognitive power" is assigned to the consciousness. But the power which receives information from the senses and presents the sense impression to the conscious mind, in the form of sensation, is a creative power, creating the sensations presented to the consciousness, but it is not properly a "cognitive power".

    Do my eyes qualify as chemically imbalanced upon hallucination, or is it in the brain, where the impressions are received, that the chemical changes occur? If in the brain, and the philosophical equivalent of brain is a theory of cognition, in which comparable manifestations appear, then it is in the reasoning process where judgement is affected, that stands in for chemical changes in the brain.Mww

    "Cognition" I believe, is an ambiguous term. It can refer to what the conscious mind is doing in conception, and it can refer to what the subconscious is doing in creating sense perceptions to be presented to the conscious mind. If we conflate these two under one sense of "cognition", then we conflate the prior (impressions which are presented to the conscious mind, created by a system deeper in the psyche than consciousness) and the posterior, conceptions created by the conscious mind. We must respect the fact that the sense perception received into the conscious mind, has already been produced by a creative system. This is evident for example, in the way the visual image is made to appear right side up, when it is received upside down. And so it's very clear in the other senses, like tasting sweet, the sweetness which is the taste to the conscious mind, is something created by the deeper system. Hallucinations are a change to this deeper system. And some illnesses can cause things to taste differently.

    It is the cognition of the object given from the reasoning process, not the impression the object gives me, that tells me I’m stoned.Mww

    What I am saying is that we need to account for the system which gives the object to the cognitive (conscious) system. This system is intermediate between the object itself, and what appears in the mind as the sense image of the object. This is the sensing system. So it's somewhat inaccurate to say "the impression the object gives me", I have to say that it is 'the impression that the sense system gives me'. Then with the conscious mind, cognition, I can remember the drugs I took, apprehend incoherencies in the sense perceptions, and recognize that I am hallucinating.

    Then I can understand that the sense impression in my mind is not "given" by the object sensed, it is given by that deeper system, and it is faults within the system which are causing me to hallucinate.

    Agreed, in that the body (actually, the sub-conscious process you favor, which I call intuition) creates a phenomenon that determines how the impression should be represented. In this respect, then, causes are always and only internal, but only regarding the reasoning process itself, having nothing whatsoever to do with causes of objects, or that which objects cause.

    We might agree, on the other hand, that objects cause, are the raw unprocessed material for, perceptions, but then, perceptions (raw material) alone are not impressions, which are the purview of sensation (representation of raw material). Again....minutia.
    Mww

    The problem is that we cannot go to this level of saying "how the impression should be represented". All we have is how the object is represented, how it is given to the conscious by the subconscious. We can see when something is outside of the norm (hallucination caused by drugs, or a sudden onset of illness), but we really cannot say that the norm is "real", or even how things "should be represented".

    Consider that the representation could be extremely arbitrary, like the way we use symbols and words to represent. The word, or symbol, has no necessity to bear any resemblance to the thing represented, it may be a completely arbitrary assignment, for memory purposes or simple facility. If the conscious mind uses symbols in this arbitrary way, (no real reason why this symbol represents that object), then the subconscious could behave in a very similar way. So, the image presented from the subconscious sensing system, to the conscious mind, might be created in a similar way. Aspects of the object which have been proven to have evolutionary significance are represented in some symbolic way, to the conscious mind, facilitating memory of these significant aspects, but they don't really have any similarity to the object. The sensation of sweet has no similarity to sugar molecules for example.
  • Mww
    3.2k
    I hold that these sense organs have no cognitive power....
    — Mww

    ....But the power which receives information from the senses (...) is not properly a "cognitive power".
    Metaphysician Undercover

    So we end up in the same place. Good enough for me.
    ———-

    What I am saying is that we need to account for the system which gives the object to the cognitive (conscious) system.Metaphysician Undercover

    Except the object is never given to the cognitive system, that being merely a representation of it. So yes, we need a sub-system that accounts for the creation of representations.

    This system is intermediate between the object itself, and what appears in the mind as the sense image of the object. This is the sensing system.Metaphysician Undercover

    Yes....sorta just like that. In my language, that is sensibility, and subsumed under it, is the faculty for the reception of impressions, better known as intuition, the purview of which is the creation of phenomena, which are the intermediate representations between the object itself, which is only perceived, and the conscious system, which only thinks.

    So it's somewhat inaccurate to say "the impression the object gives me", I have to say that it is 'the impression that the sense system gives me'.Metaphysician Undercover

    To say the impression the sense system gives me, says nothing about the object that caused the sense system to create the impression. Which leaves us with.....impressions of what? At best, an impression given by the sense system merely says which sense, or combination of them, made the impression possible.

    Then I can understand that the sense impression in my mind is not "given" by the object sensed, it is given by that deeper system, and it is faults within the system which are causing me to hallucinate.Metaphysician Undercover

    Except the sense system has no cognitive power, only creative, the object itself determining the limits of such creative power. It isn’t my eyes that are deceived by hallucinogens or mirage or delusions in general, it is that fault within the conscious system, that is. Sense system does this job but not that; the conscious system does that job, but not this.

    The representation in my mind is certainly given by the object, but I understand that representation only by a deeper system. Understanding is the deeper, cognitive, system. Hallucination resides right there, merely a misunderstanding of that which the sense system gives to it. One word: imagination.

    Still, I see what you’re getting at. If the sense system creates a faulty impression, and the mind works with that alone, you would be on firm ground. In which case, all you’d have to do is account for how a hallucinogen can change the impression of an object from it’s actually sense. Or, how a hallucinogen manipulates creative powers in the sense system, which requires an account of exactly what creative power entails, such that it can even be manipulated. Which is the advantage from my view, in that the sense system can’t be manipulated by that which is a consequence of it. (Remember...this does this, that does that) In other words, the system as a whole cannot work backwards.
    —————

    We can see when something is outside of the norm, (....) but we really cannot say that the norm is "real", or even how things "should be represented".Metaphysician Undercover

    Actually, we can, at least the norm with respect to “should be”, that being experience. Anything that appears as it should not be, contradicts experience. Besides, to see something outside the norm presupposes the norm, which is, again, experience. As for the “real” I suppose that’s more the purview of logic than experience proper. Maybe we can only say the real is so for us, which makes it true we cannot know the real otherwise than as we say it is.
    ————

    Consider that the representation could be extremely arbitrary, like the way we use symbols and words to represent.Metaphysician Undercover

    I agree the sense representation could be extremely arbitrary, but only when under the influence of an object completely unknown to us. In such case, we can say only what the object is not, but cannot say what it is. Otherwise, we’d know it, hence not arbitrary at all.

    The word, or symbol, has no necessity to bear any resemblance to the thing represented, it may be a completely arbitrary assignment, for memory purposes or simple facility.Metaphysician Undercover

    Again, not so much to the sense representation, but to the concept representation, the word stands for the conception, and while arbitrarily assigned, in your words, no necessity to bear, initially, Gel-Mann’s “quark” being a prime example, henceforth actually represents exactly how the concept should be represented. Your “simple facility”.

    If the conscious mind uses symbols in this arbitrary way, (no real reason why this symbol represents that object), then the subconscious could behave in a very similar way.Metaphysician Undercover

    If left to its own devices, possibly, sure. A very good reason why it isn’t; it is utterly dependent for its creative powers, on the object perception gives to it. Nevertheless, without the object, there is still imagination, which does not depend on perception, in which case, we can manufacture any damn thing we want. Even logically contradictory objects.....dogs with wings. But no matter what, we can’t seem to imagine impossible things. Impossible experiences, yes, but not things we cannot think, which is all that makes a thing impossible in the first place.

    Still, if the sub-conscious does all this....how would we be made aware of it?

    Good stuff. Fun to play with. No right or wrong here, just musings galore, right? Or...musing run completely amok. (Grin)
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    9.9k
    Except the object is never given to the cognitive system, that being merely a representation of it. So yes, we need a sub-system that accounts for the creation of representations.Mww

    This depends on how one understands "the object". From the perspective of what I've been arguing, objects are a creation of the sensing system. You call (what I call) the object, a representation, but what it represents you cannot really say, though you assign "object" to that. So there is an appearance in the mind, the appearance of an object, you say it is a representation, I say it's the object, but what it represents, we don't know. This is the Idealism described in Plato's Republic, and Berkeley's Dialogues, the reality of objects is within the mind.

    There is a further issue to consider. The object, (I'll call it a symbol), created by the living system, is not necessarily a representation. Symbols have meaning, and some are used as representations, while others are not. So when we look to the tactile senses like taste and touch, the object, (my example sweetness), doesn't really represent any particular thing, it's just a type of sensation. So we have to be careful when we say that the "image" created by sensation, is a representation. It doesn't seem like it really is. "Representation" I believe, is a way of using symbols which evolved from communication, when we assume an external object which we both may apprehend and talk about.

    Except the sense system has no cognitive power, only creative, the object itself determining the limits of such creative power. It isn’t my eyes that are deceived by hallucinogens or mirage or delusions in general, it is that fault within the conscious system, that is. Sense system does this job but not that; the conscious system does that job, but not this.Mww

    I don't agree with this. I think it is the sensing system itself which creates the hallucination. So it is a fault within the sensing system, and this in turn deceives the cognitive power. In severe visual hallucinations even the boundaries of objects may dissolve. We do not exactly know what the "creative power" is, and the extent of its creative capacity. So I do not think we can conclude logically that it is limited by what it is sensing. The creative power has evolved so that it is adapted to the world it is sensing, and the needs of the sensing being, but that doesn't mean it couldn't have developed a completely different sensing capacity.

    Hallucination resides right there, merely a misunderstanding of that which the sense system gives to it.Mww

    Hallucination is not a misunderstanding at the conscious level, it is a "misunderstanding" (if you could call it that) at a much deeper level. This is why people who suffer mental illness cannot learn to control their hallucinations through learning the proper understanding. The fault is at a deeper level, and the consciousness might not be able to understand it, but that is because whatever is given to the conscious mind is mixed up and confused, unfamiliar to it.

    I agree the sense representation could be extremely arbitrary, but only when under the influence of an object completely unknown to us. In such case, we can say only what the object is not, but cannot say what it is. Otherwise, we’d know it, hence not arbitrary at all.Mww

    The problem I see here is that the sense system is something developed over time, evolved, and it seems to have been built up on earlier layers. So when the basics were laid down, when living beings began sensing, (what you call) the "object" actually was completely unknown. Then as it became more and more known, the sensing system evolved around this. But the living beings cannot remove what's already there deep within the sensing system, developed when the "object" was completely unknown. So this makes the fundamentals of basic sensation very arbitrary. We must bear in mind that knowing comes after not knowing, and senses are used in the process which leads to knowing. So sensing is fundamentally based in a not-knowing system.

    left to its own devices, possibly, sure. A very good reason why it isn’t; it is utterly dependent for its creative powers, on the object perception gives to it.Mww

    I don't agree with this obviously, having explained that I believe the sensing system creates the impression of an "object" itself. So I do not see these limitations of the creative power which you propose. And by extension of this principle, for example, this is why mathematics with its axioms freely creates mathematical objects, without any real limitations. The creative powers are not limited in this way, and the idea of infinite, or infinity, shows that this lack of limitation is inherent within the creative power.

    Nevertheless, without the object, there is still imagination, which does not depend on perception, in which case, we can manufacture any damn thing we want. Even logically contradictory objects.....dogs with wings.Mww

    See, I do not respect this proposed division between imagination and sense perception. I don't think it's real or true. Both of these are acts of the creative power, and each (if we tried to uphold this division) contains aspects of the other. So for me, they are all acts of imagination, and the difference is in the novelty of specific acts of this type, as I described earlier. Perception always adds novelty, and the creative system has to deal with the novelty through means already developed from past experience.

    But no matter what, we can’t seem to imagine impossible things. Impossible experiences, yes, but not things we cannot think, which is all that makes a thing impossible in the first place.Mww

    If "impossible things" is not defined by some form of "logically impossible", like contradictory, then what would constitute an impossible thing? I know you can't give me an example, but why would you think that there was such a limit? It seems to me, that logic would be the only possible limitation to thought, and if we can think of things which are logically impossible, we can think of anything, without limitation.

    Still, if the sub-conscious does all this....how would we be made aware of it?Mww

    It's what we are aware of, and all that we are aware of. You call it intuitions, I just describe it without giving it a name, because it has many different components. That's why I suggested a number of different types of intuition earlier.

    Good stuff. Fun to play with. No right or wrong here, just musings galore, right? Or...musing run completely amok. (Grin)Mww

    Yeah, speculating, I like to do that. When I come back later, on a different thread, and start talking about objects as if they are the independent external things, because this is customary, the norm, and required for communicative understanding, don't accuse me of contradicting what I said here.
  • Mww
    3.2k
    This depends on how one understands "the object". From the perspective of what I've been arguing, objects are a creation of the sensing system.....Metaphysician Undercover

    Ok, that’s fine, if you like. I hold that objects are material substance with extension in space and duration in time. With that, objects cannot be created by the sensing system, but exist as physical things independently from it.

    ......You call (what I call) the object, a representation, but what it represents you cannot really say, though you assign "object" to that......Metaphysician Undercover

    Actually, I assign “phenomenon” to that, but exactly what it represents I cannot say, is true enough, because there are no cognitive abilities in the sensory sub-system. This is classic Plato “knowledge that” (there is something present to my senses), as opposed to “knowledge of”, which informs as to what the presence is. Or, more accurately I suppose, informs as to how the presence is to be known.

    So there is an appearance in the mind, the appearance of an object, you say it is a representation, I say it's the object, but what it represents, we don't know.Metaphysician Undercover

    Ehhhh....technically I wouldn’t say here appearances are in the mind, insofar as we are not conscious of the creation of these representations as phenomena. This has support in the physical sciences as well, so....all is not hopeless metaphysical handwaving. It is here, also, I find agreement with your sub-conscious system that creates its “object”.

    This is the Idealism described in Plato's Republic, and Berkeley's Dialogues, the reality of objects is within the mind.Metaphysician Undercover

    Yes, exactly, but such idealism is rendered obsolete by late-Enlightenment transcendental idealism.

    "Representation" I believe, is a way of using symbols which evolved from communication, when we assume an external object which we both may apprehend and talk about.Metaphysician Undercover

    Representation is that, but much more than that. Think scientifically: for any exchange of energy dissimilar systems, there is a loss. If there is a loss, the output of the exchange cannot be equal to the input to it. As such, the output merely represents the input.

    Symbols, then, are representations, but not of the kind given from sensibility, which merely determines something about the physical presence of some external object, but are representations given from the next stage, which is the reasoning system proper.

    Besides, if, as I maintain, the sense system has no cognitive abilities, it cannot assign symbols, insofar as, on the one hand, there is no faculty or repository from which to withdraw symbols, and on the other, there is no conscious logical system in sensibility which authorizes which symbol to draw in relation to a given perception.

    I submit, one must understand what he perceives long before he can talk about it. I mean, if one doesn’t understand.....what could he say about it?
    —————

    It isn’t my eyes that are deceived by hallucinogens or mirage or delusions in general.....
    — Mww

    I don't agree with this. I think it is the sensing system itself which creates the hallucination. So it is a fault within the sensing system, and this in turn deceives the cognitive power.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    Ok, fine. How does a system that receives sense data create something that falsifies what it receives? If this were the case, what prevents us from always being deceived? How does the sensing system distinguish a deception from a valid appearance?

    We do not exactly know what the "creative power" is, and the extent of its creative capacity.Metaphysician Undercover

    Correct, and a perfect reason to require the actual conscious system to ride herd on it, to regulate it, by synthesizing conceptions to the objects created by the sensing system, in order to make them understandable, and hence, to permit knowledge of them.

    But you are correct, in a truly metaphysically undercover way: we have no way of knowing exactly anything at all, except that by which the system itself informs. I am sufficiently informed that the thing I just tripped over was a tree root, but was it really? I have no good reason to ever think it wasn’t, and I do myself no favors by going through the motions of attempting to come up with one.

    So I do not think we can conclude logically that it is limited by what it is sensing.Metaphysician Undercover

    “It” understood as creative power of the sensing system, if what you say is the case, then it is possible the creative system can create its objects without anything being perceived. If not logically limited by what it is sensing, it follows it is limited by itself, or it has no limits at all. Which, in effect, if true, makes the creative system a self-contained causality.

    While I tacitly agree with the validity of a self-contained causality, I hold that it is not in the creative power of the sensing system, but in the synthetic a priori manifestations of pure reason. So...you are basically on the track, but you’ve got the cart before the horse.

    The creative power has evolved so that it is adapted to the world it is sensing, and the needs of the sensing being, but that doesn't mean it couldn't have developed a completely different sensing capacity.Metaphysician Undercover

    If by sensing capacity you mean the functionality of the sense organs, you’ve invoked a logical question-begging. We have THIS sensing capacity, which makes explicit the creative power couldn’t have developed any other kind, and doesn’t give sufficient ground for allowing that creative power, in and of itself, developed anything except itself, which excludes sensing capacities, which are strictly predicated on physiology. While it is true we would have a completely different experience base if the creative power evolved differently, but.....it didn’t, so what we have is all we’re logically permitted to discuss.

    Unless I misunderstand, you’re saying a different creative power could have developed our senses to sense differently, which is a function of natural evolution alone.
    ————

    But the living beings cannot remove what's already there deep within the sensing system, developed when the "object" was completely unknown. So this makes the fundamentals of basic sensation very arbitrary.Metaphysician Undercover

    You say arbitrary, I say undetermined. It is true humans....the only living beings I care about.....cannot remove what already there deep within the sensing system, such is just an admission that the use of it is inescapable. Extending that necessity, we find that, at this stage of the reasoning system as a whole, anything perceived is as yet undetermined, which is precisely how a thing is completely unknown.

    So sensing is fundamentally based in a not-knowing system.Metaphysician Undercover

    Exactly. Thing is, of course, we’re so used to repetitive perceptions, a.k.a., experience, we just grant we immediately know what we perceive, and don’t need to consider the operation of the whole system. It’s like it’s in automatic, but in fact, the system operates exactly the same way for each and every single thing we perceive. Just does it oh-so-much faster when the conscious system recalls from itself rather than constructs for itself.
    —————

    Nevertheless, without the object, there is still imagination....
    — Mww

    See, I do not respect this proposed division between imagination and sense perception. I don't think it's real or true.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    Well then, you’re reeeaaalllllyyyyy gonna have trouble accepting the notion of aesthetic as opposed to discursive judgement, with productive as opposed to reproductive imagination. Which is to say, there’s a lot more to this “deeper system” than we’ve encountered so far in this dialectical foray into the sublime.

    Real metaphysics is in books of hundreds of pages covering everything pertinent; modern metaphysics is in a few peer-reviewed pages covering minor incidentals.
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