• 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
    16.1k
    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
    12.4k
    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
    16.1k
    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
    16.1k
    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
    12.4k
    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
    12.4k
    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
    12.4k
    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
    16.1k
    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
    3.3k
    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
    12.4k
    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
    10k
    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
    3.3k
    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
    10k
    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
    3.3k
    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.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    10k
    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.Mww

    But space and time are conceptual. They are concepts created to help us understand the appearance of objects. We really have no thorough understanding of what it is which is independent of us.

    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”.Mww

    Well, what is in the conscious mind then, if it isn't the appearances? When I look around with my eyes, and I have images in my mind, of objects, aren't these images "in my mind"? If not, what is it which is in my mind? Is anything "in" my mind? The sub-conscious system creates these images (objects), but aren't they given to the conscious, so that they are "in" the conscious mind.

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

    I wouldn't say "rendered obsolete" unless every aspect of it is conclusively refuted. That's the thing about philosophy, any individual philosophers will have their good parts and bad parts, so we can go through and pick and choose, without accepting anything as a whole, each person accepting what is consistent with what that individual believes, as well as changing one's beliefs when deemed necessary.

    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.Mww

    I don't get this. If there is a loss, then the output cannot accurately represent the input. If it is a representation, it necessarily represents something other than the input, as a value less than the input. What does it represent then? It must represent the input minus the loss. But the loss is an unknown, so there is something unknown which is part of what is represented, if it is supposed be a representation.

    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.Mww

    Ok, but what does the percept consist of, if it is not some type of symbol? I'm looking at my computer screen, so I have an image (in my mind?). This image, which I would like to say is in my mind, I would assume is a symbol which represents what is outside of my mind, what you call the independent object. If this image is not a symbol of some sort, then what is it? And isn't it the case that only a symbol can represent something, so how could we even talk about it as a representation if it is not a symbol of some sort?

    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?Mww

    I don't believe this is the case. We name things without understanding them. I believe that the use of language for a memory aid, and the use of language for communicating have two completely different histories, roots and foundations, as written language and oral language. In communicating we simply name things so that we can identify and talk about the aspect of the external world which has been identified. But when I name something, this requires no understanding on my part, just memory. Then if I tell you the name, and try to get you to understand the aspect of the world which bears this name, understanding is requires on you part.

    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?Mww

    The sensory system doesn't distinguish this, the conscious mind does. I maintain a sort of separation between these two to allow for the real possibility of hallucinations. My distinction is between the conscious and the subconscious, rather than between the imaginative and the perceptive (real and fictitious).

    But I think we are "always being deceived" anyway. It is deception because we believe that the sensing system is giving to our conscious minds accurate representations, images, or facsimiles, which are what the world is really like, when the sensing system really is not giving us this. It's just giving us meaningful symbols of representation, not a true facsimile of what is there. Chemistry and physics have shown us, that what is really there is something far different from what the sensory system is presenting to the conscious mind. But the conscious mind has another more powerful tool, logic, and this is how it tries and tests what the sensory system is giving to it.

    See, in modern scientism we get things backward. The scientific method, which uses the sensory system to test what speculation gives us, is seen as the end all to knowledge. But the scientific method is really just the beginning, because philosophy shows us that we then have to use logic to test what the scientific method gives us. This is due to our propensity toward being deceived by the bodily senses. Empirical confirmation is extremely fallible.

    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.
    Mww

    I think you need to go one step further here, and respect the power of logic. It is by the means of logic that the conscious system regulates, and synthesizes conceptions. But logic is also restricted by the premises it employs. This is why analysis of premises is very important. Aristotle wrongly said that logic leads us from the more certain towards the less certain. But this is actually backward. The logical process itself is what gives us great certainty, so the conclusions have a high degree of certainty. The uncertainty is always within the premises, and it's the mistaken premises which lead to faulty conclusions.

    “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.
    Mww

    So this is the big question here, which one of us is actually the one putting the cart before the horse. There's two subjects here in this passage, to consider, "self-contained causality", and "pure reason". And the question is, can pure reason qualify as a self-contained causality.

    The self-contained causality is unlimited by anything other than itself. We could say it is the pure source of free will, intentionality. I say "source" because we haven't yet determined whether the free will is the very same thing as the self-contained causality, or if the free will is a sort of manifestation of the deeper self-contained causality. My position would support the latter.

    But how would you describe "pure reason"? Doesn't logic necessarily require some sort of premises which are derived from outside the logical system? These would be like the "building blocks" you referred to earlier (which you placed within the sensing system), what I call "content". Mathematical formalists attempt to remove all content from logic, arguing that this will provide a greater degree of certainty. But all they do is disguise the content so that it inheres within the rules they employ, and this makes it extremely difficult to determine the fallible aspects, as the content is not isolated to specific premises, but is spread out throughout the system.

    You refer to "the synthetic a priori manifestations". But if they are synthetic, there must be some fundamental building blocks, and we may ask where does the proposed "pure reason" get these fundamental building blocks from? It must get them from some other system, like the sensory system, or an internal system of feelings or emotions. Being dependent on these building blocks of content, the reasoning system cannot be absolutely pure, therefore it cannot be the self-contained causality. Aristotle pointed to this, saying that thinking requires sense images.

    To find the proposed self-contained causality we must analyze deeper into the living systems. I suggested the sensing system, but I think if we analyze this we will find a need to go even deeper, to the source of life itself, the soul. I think that all living forms display some sort of purposeful, intentional, activity, and this will demonstrate that the self-contained causality is really at the source of living being.

    So you place the self-contained causality as the highest aspect of living existence, "pure reason", the faculty which evolved from all the prior ones, layered on top, to appear as the sovereign of all. I place it at the very bottom, as the cause of existence of all the other faculties, and therefore inherent within each of them. Who really has the cart before the horse? As a form of "causality", the self-contained causality must be prior in time, therefore its existence must be prior to any faculty which it is found to reside within, or else that faculty would be dependent on something else for its capacity to function. The "something else" then would be its cause, and it would not be a self-contained causality.

    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.
    Mww

    I don't really agree with this. In logic we are able to employ counterfactuals, and they prove to be very useful. We just need to be very careful as to how they are employed, because their use can be deceptive. So it's not true to say "what we have is all we’re logically permitted to discuss", because there is a variety of ways in which "possibility" is dealt with by logic. The problem though is that there are a number of different forms of "possibility", each requiring different rules of logic to properly represent. Allowing "possibility" into the structure of the logical system, I believe, is the way that formalism allows the fallibility of content to inhere within the formal system.

    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.Mww

    No, I really mean arbitrary, so I think you misunderstand. Suppose we assume an object which is completely unknown. Now, we want to set up a sensing system to develop some knowledge about that object. Since we know absolutely nothing about that object, anything we set up would be completely arbitrary. We'd have to set up some sort of trial and error system without any knowledge of where to start.

    This is what I say about the sensing systems of living creatures. Prior to evolving any sensing systems, living beings would have had no knowledge of the world to be sensed. When these sensing systems came into existence, the creatures knew nothing about the objects they wanted to learn about. So whatever sensing systems came into existence, they had this feature of trial and error arbitrariness. Now the creatures have learned a lot, and we as human beings sit at the top of the ladder, but at the base of our sensing systems is this sort of trial and error arbitrariness. And this gives us a fundamental fallibility. It's at the very foundation of the living systems. We cannot go into our very being and try to remove this fallibility, because it inheres within every aspect of our being. All we can do is use logic to try and exclude it as much as possible. However, we have to recognize that since logic is itself such a system, there is fallibility which inheres within logic itself. So we need to try to and isolate it (I assign fallibility to the content), as the fallible part, instead of incorporating it into the system, so that we know where the possibility of mistake lies. Of course the possibility of mistake inheres within this process itself. So the system of learning involves repeating what is basically the same thing, but in as many different ways as possible, because of this trial and error feature which is essential to it.

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

    That's right, because real metaphysics involves looking at the same thing, over and over again, in as many slightly different ways as possible. It is not a matter of stating assumptions. Good philosophy demonstrates this to us. We cannot remove the fact that we are stuck in a sort of arbitrary trial and error mode of learning. This is very evident in the scientific method.
  • Mww
    3.3k
    Outbound on our first post-covid seasonal road trip. We got to where we were going, so assuming you’re still interested.....

    I hold that objects are material substance with extension in space and duration in time....
    — Mww

    But space and time are conceptual. They are concepts created to help us understand the appearance of objects. We really have no thorough understanding of what it is which is independent of us.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    Yes we do have a way of thoroughly understanding: we declare what each and every single thing that is existentially independent of us, how it is to be known by us, in direct accordance to the rules by which understanding works. We may fail in our thorough knowledge of what the object actually is, but we do not fail to understand the existential independence of them.

    And while space and time are conceptions, they have nothing to do with the ontology of objects themselves, but only with the human method of granting their possibility.
    ————-

    technically I wouldn’t say here appearances are in the mind....
    — Mww

    Well, what is in the conscious mind then, if it isn't the appearances?
    Metaphysician Undercover

    Ahhh....conscious mind is your reasoning process. Appearances are merely informative impressions, affects on physiology, hence not yet part of the reasoning process. Appearances tell us that; the reasoning process tells us of. It is not the case I know what a thing is, merely because I perceive it; that thing still has to run the entire gamut of the human reasoning system. Just because we aren’t as aware of it from repetition, as we were from its first occurrence, doesn’t mean it isn’t still the same process. How else to ensure epistemic consistency, then to repeat epistemic methodology?

    When I look around with my eyes, and I have images in my mind, of objects, aren't these images "in my mind"? If not, what is it which is in my mind? Is anything "in" my mind?Metaphysician Undercover

    Yes, the images are in your conscious mind, but they are representations, which are not given by looking around with your eyes. All looking does, and perception in general, is give material to form the representations. Technically, images are the schema of the concepts which understanding synthesizes with the representations called phenomena, which are given antecedently from looking around. We can have images without immediate perception of an existing object (dark side of the moon), and we can have images of a merely logically possible object without any perception whatsoever of that which the image represents (a line consisting of only two points).
    ———-

    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?
    — Mww

    I don't believe this is the case. We name things without understanding them.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    Actually, this is quite impossible. A name is assigned to a thing at a time strictly in accordance to how it is understood at that time. That is not to say such named things are understood correctly, but that has nothing to do with the naming of them.

    A name being tacitly understood as a representation of a conception, presupposes the conception. It follows that a guy can represent in speech a conception by any damn word he wants, but it is always the case he has thought the word long before he spoke it.

    Now, I suppose I could just throw out a word representing the thing I don’t understand, but doing that is not representing a conception, because I don’t have one, which contradicts the notion of what a name is meant to do.

    In the case of extreme abstraction, e.g, quantum mechanics or such like, even if not understood in its entirety, names can still be assigned for conditions necessary for possible understanding. Even for feelings, we discover it is the reasons for the feelings that we don’t understand, while understanding perfectly well that some particular feeling is present in us, and can certainly be named.
    ————

    As a form of "causality", the self-contained causality must be prior in time, therefore its existence must be prior to any faculty which it is found to reside within, or else that faculty would be dependent on something else for its capacity to function. The "something else" then would be its cause, and it would not be a self-contained causality.Metaphysician Undercover

    There are two major necessary characteristics imbued in the human being, such that he can be so called: morality and reason. In keeping with the topic, reason the condition, is antecedent in time to all that for which it is the condition. Hence, the notion of self-contained causality is logically justified.

    It is confusing, though, insofar as reason the human condition is a descriptive noun, but reason the procedural verb is a inferential method. To make matters worse, reason is also the end in a tripartite logical system, and as such, performs the function of conclusion in a syllogistic relation. And it is here that your......

    The uncertainty is always within the premises, and it's the mistaken premises which lead to faulty conclusions.Metaphysician Undercover

    ......shows up, in that, where reason is the conclusion, understanding is the major and judgement is the minor premises respectively. It is common knowledge our judgements are quite apt to be erroneous, hence the conclusions will be as well. Understanding, on the other hand, the faculty from which all our conceptions arise, cannot be in error, with respect to that part of a synthesis for which it alone is responsible. This requires some exposition which I won’t go into here.

    free will is a sort of manifestation of the deeper self-contained causality. My position would support the latter.Metaphysician Undercover

    Mine as well. Causality for a will operating freely, is the transcendental conception of “freedom”. Freedom has nothing to do with pure reason in matters of a priori propositions regarding empirical matters. The former describes what is, the latter describes what should be. The former legislated by Nature, the latter legislated by us alone.
    ————

    Suppose we assume an object which is completely unknown. Now, we want to set up a sensing system to develop some knowledge about that object.Metaphysician Undercover

    Nahhhh....that ain’t gonna work. Any developed sensing system still needs to go through the one we have, in order to obtain knowledge. Telescopes were such a system, but we still need to look through the eyepiece, or look at the the display which obtains its information directly.

    When these sensing systems came into existence, the creatures knew nothing about the objects they wanted to learn about.Metaphysician Undercover

    Before sensing systems, what sense does it make to say creatures wanted to learn?

    So it's not true to say "what we have is all we’re logically permitted to discuss", because there is a variety of ways in which "possibility" is dealt with by logic.Metaphysician Undercover

    Yes, dealt with logically, by us. What we have.....

    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.Mww

    .....should have been understood as the creative power we have. The number of possibilities is not the same as the variety of ways possibility is dealt with. Possibility is dealt with in one way only, in affirmation or negation, one or the other, not both simultaneously for the same thing.

    Anyway, Momma says it’s time to do what we came here for, so, more later.
  • Mww
    3.3k
    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.
    Mww

    You say arbitrary, I say undetermined.....
    — Mww

    No, I really mean arbitrary, so I think you misunderstand. Suppose we assume an object which is completely unknown. Now, we want to set up a sensing system to develop some knowledge about that object. Since we know absolutely nothing about that object, anything we set up would be completely arbitrary. We'd have to set up some sort of trial and error system without any knowledge of where to start.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    I understand we can’t remove what’s already there deep within the sensing system. I understand all objects are completely unknown with respect to the sensing system we have, which is that very system we cannot remove. Again.....the senses do not give knowledge; they merely set the stage for the possibility of it.

    I don’t understand why the fundamentals of basic sensation are very arbitrary. I guess I’d have to ask.....what are the fundamentals of sensation, such that any sensation can be of any thing? I mean...I cannot see an odor and I cannot hear a twisted ankle. I cannot smell a color, and I cannot taste H2O. It follows that any sensation is only given from the physiology that permits it, which hardly seems arbitrary. I certainly know which sense is being impressed, while at the same time I may not know to what the sensation relates, therefore I am justified in saying the object is undetermined rather than the sensing system being arbitrary.

    I agree we would use trial and error to invent a sensing system for that which we know nothing about, but I disagree we have no knowledge of where to start. First, whatever sensing system we set up must possible, which is the same as we won’t set up a system we don’t know how to design. Second, whatever sensing system we set up must be capable of sensing something that will be intelligible to us, for to set up for sensing that which we would never understand, is quite impossible. To get technical, the categories always tell us the absolute bare necessities of anything we sense, but we’ll leave that alone for now.

    Nahhhh....I suggest we might very well set up an arbitrary sensing system for objects we know nothing about, but that system must be conditioned by what we already know. Case in point, we really knew nothing about celestial manifestations, and the telescope sensing system for far-away big stuff we set up to find out about, was designed specifically with respect to the sensing system we already have. Going the other direction, we knew absolutely nothing about germs until we set up a sensing system that magnifies close-in little stuff, which also respects our own sensing system.

    Yes? No? Maybe?
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    10k
    Yes we do have a way of thoroughly understanding: we declare what each and every single thing that is existentially independent of us, how it is to be known by us, in direct accordance to the rules by which understanding works. We may fail in our thorough knowledge of what the object actually is, but we do not fail to understand the existential independence of them.Mww

    But we do not have a thorough knowledge of the rules by which understanding works, therefore we cannot come up with the thorough understanding of the independence of things. These are the issues debated in epistemology. If we had a thorough understanding of such rules (if understanding is even based in rules), there would be no need for epistemology and we wouldn't be having this discussion

    And while space and time are conceptions, they have nothing to do with the ontology of objects themselves, but only with the human method of granting their possibility.Mww

    Yes, but that comment I made was in regards to something else you said about space and time. You said objects had extension in space and time, and existed independently from us. Here:

    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.Mww

    You were using space and time to support independent existence of objects. Independent existence of objects is what I disputed.

    Appearances are merely informative impressions, affects on physiology, hence not yet part of the reasoning process.Mww

    But the issue is, how can you distinguish between an "appearance" (I'll call it an 'image' maybe) which is a direct percept, derived through sensation, and an image which is a creation of the mind, like a dream, or a memory.

    I ask this, because I do not know how you can separate out "the reasoning process" as you do. In a dream, my mind will somehow create images, without the requirement of sense input, but I cannot say that this is part of "the reasoning processes". I think that because of this reality of the mind creating such things, and it's not the conscious mind doing the creating, nor the sensing process, we must allow that there is creative activity of "the mind" which is neither sensing nor reasoning. I place this creative activity as intermediate between reasoning and sensing because it can create principles (or rules if you like) for reasoning to follow, but it does not necessarily derive the things that it creates directly from the senses.

    So this is how I propose that the mind creates the objects which we believe that we are sensing. It takes some information received through sensation, and creates within this subconscious process, which is not a reasoning process, the appearance of objects (objects being the apparent static aspect of existence in the external ). When the conscious mind has static "objects" to deal with, it can then make up rules, identity etc., for a reasoning process to proceed.

    Yes, the images are in your conscious mind, but they are representations, which are not given by looking around with your eyes. All looking does, and perception in general, is give material to form the representations.Mww

    Let's assume that this is true, that the images in your conscious mind are representations which are not given by the senses, they are somehow created by the subconscious mind, or maybe "brain" or "nervous system" would be more appropriate here. The point I made earlier, with the nature of a "representation" is that the thing which "represents", I'll call it the symbol, need not be a similitude of the thing represented. Therefore the images within your conscious mind, which are representations of the independent "objects", may not even be similar to what the supposed independent existence is really like. We see that symbols always have some degree of arbitrariness.

    Now I need to address the capacity of this subconscious process, which is not a conscious reasoning process, to maintain consistency within its imaging. And here, I mean consistency between the various senses. So when I see something as a solid object, I can touch it, and pick it up as a solid object, so there is consistency between the way that the different senses image things. However, water for example, looks solid, but my hand will plunge right into it. So the consistency my not be as thorough as we might think. We just learn to compensate with the conscious mind, to account for the inconsistency. We learn to distinguish things like water which look to be solid, but really are not.

    Actually, this is quite impossible. A name is assigned to a thing at a time strictly in accordance to how it is understood at that time. That is not to say such named things are understood correctly, but that has nothing to do with the naming of them.Mww

    I think you go by a different definition of "understand", or "understood" than I do here. I would say that "understand" implies the use of the conscious reasoning process to derive some sort of meaning. The meaning may be correct or incorrect, according to a separate standard of criteria, as you say. However, "understanding" is a product of the reasoning process.

    Now, we have to consider the "objects" given by the subconscious system, which is is not a part of the conscious system, not a part of the the reasoning process. These are the representations. In order for the conscious system to work with them in a reasoning process, a logical process, they must be given names. So we have two layers of representation. The images or representations, received into the conscious mind, and the names, words, which the conscious mind assigns to these representations, to represent them, in order to understand them. From this perspective then, the naming is necessarily prior to the understanding, as a prerequisite for understanding.

    We could say that there is some sort of "understanding" inherent within the images that the subconscious gives to the conscious, but I think we ought to maintain this separation, and not call this "understanding". Otherwise we might go to deeper and deeper levels within the living being, by which the being discerns "meaning", and we'd be using words like "understanding" which are really only proper to the conscious discernment of meaning. Then we'd get all sorts of ambiguity and equivocation. We see this in panpsychism for example.

    The issue is the arising of a vicious circle, if not an infinite regress. If we say that naming, representing, or using symbols requires understanding, then we have to analyze "understanding". We will find that all sorts of understanding require some kind of symbols or representations. But now you've stipulated that we can't name or use symbols without some sort of prior 'understanding'. The way of Pythagorean idealism, or Platonism, is to give eternal existence to some kind of "understanding", as ideas or forms. But this doesn't solve the problem if we understand knowledge and understanding as things which come into being, or emerge.

    So I suggest limiting the definition of "understanding" such that it is a product of the reasoning process. And, naming, symbols, and representations are required as necessary for the reasoning process. Therefore we can conclude that naming must occur without understanding, as a primary step toward understanding. This allows that knowledge and understanding can be emergent. Then we don't have to deal with odd theories like the one referred to as Plato's theory of recollection, in which the knowledge, or understanding of a thing always pre-exists any given instance of that knowledge or understanding.

    There are two major necessary characteristics imbued in the human being, such that he can be so called: morality and reason. In keeping with the topic, reason the condition, is antecedent in time to all that for which it is the condition. Hence, the notion of self-contained causality is logically justified.Mww

    What I am trying to get you to consider is the conditions which are antecedent to reason. As explained above, we can start with the requirement for images, representations, or symbols. Reasoning cannot proceed without some such things. The reasoning mind manipulates these "things" (objects which have associated meaning), so these things (images, symbols, or representations) are prerequisite to reasoning. This means that reasoning cannot be a "self-contained causality".

    .....shows up, in that, where reason is the conclusion, understanding is the major and judgement is the minor premises respectively. It is common knowledge our judgements are quite apt to be erroneous, hence the conclusions will be as well. Understanding, on the other hand, the faculty from which all our conceptions arise, cannot be in error, with respect to that part of a synthesis for which it alone is responsible. This requires some exposition which I won’t go into here.Mww

    I surely do not understand this at all.

    Nahhhh....that ain’t gonna work. Any developed sensing system still needs to go through the one we have, in order to obtain knowledge. Telescopes were such a system, but we still need to look through the eyepiece, or look at the the display which obtains its information directly.Mww

    No no, you misunderstand. The proposed sensing system would be completely independent, sort of like an AI. It is not proposed as a way for us to gain knowledge, but as a way for the system itself to gain knowledge. This was intended as an analogy of how living beings could evolve to produce sensing systems. Prior to being able to sense, the beings could have no knowledge of the things which were to be sensed. So at the fundamental level, the sensing system is created without any knowledge of the thing to be sensed.

    Before sensing systems, what sense does it make to say creatures wanted to learn?Mww

    Right, this is where that problem with terminology rears its ugly head. However, I think that "wanted to learn" makes more sense then saying that the creature already had some type of "understanding". But this is the question, 'what is prior to understanding and knowledge?'. We cannot say that it is a type of understanding, or knowledge. But, it's something similar to understanding and knowledge, which provides the capacity for learning. What provides the capacity for knowledge and understanding other than the desire to learn?

    Possibility is dealt with in one way only, in affirmation or negation, one or the other, not both simultaneously for the same thing.Mww

    This is not true, possibility is most successfully dealt with through modal logic and probabilities.

    I understand we can’t remove what’s already there deep within the sensing system. I understand all objects are completely unknown with respect to the sensing system we have, which is that very system we cannot remove. Again.....the senses do not give knowledge; they merely set the stage for the possibility of it.Mww

    I don't think you are grasping the necessity for an intermediary between the sensing system, and the conscious mind which is the knower. The intermediary (for simplicity I'll call it the brain) produces the images or representations which the conscious mind works with. These representations are not produced by the sensing system (evidenced by the reality of dreams), nor are they produced by the conscious mind. So we must assume something intermediary.

    I don’t understand why the fundamentals of basic sensation are very arbitrary. I guess I’d have to ask.....what are the fundamentals of sensation, such that any sensation can be of any thing? I mean...I cannot see an odor and I cannot hear a twisted ankle.Mww

    So it's not the sensing system whose assignments are arbitrary, it's the assignments made by the intermediary, the brain, which are arbitrary. So the brain gives to the conscious mind, a representation of something sensed. The representation is just like a symbol, or a word, which 'names' the sensation as representing it. The arbitrariness is the same sort of arbitrariness that exists when we assign a word to an object, as a name for the object. We can make up any sort of word to attach to an object as its name. Likewise, the brain can make up any sort of an image or representation, and give this to the conscious mind as a representation of the sensation. Each sensation gets a different image, like each object gets a different name. Two different instances of sugar both get the same representation (sweet), because the brain cannot distinguish between them (tell them apart).

    I agree we would use trial and error to invent a sensing system for that which we know nothing about, but I disagree we have no knowledge of where to start. First, whatever sensing system we set up must possible, which is the same as we won’t set up a system we don’t know how to design. Second, whatever sensing system we set up must be capable of sensing something that will be intelligible to us, for to set up for sensing that which we would never understand, is quite impossible. To get technical, the categories always tell us the absolute bare necessities of anything we sense, but we’ll leave that alone for now.

    Nahhhh....I suggest we might very well set up an arbitrary sensing system for objects we know nothing about, but that system must be conditioned by what we already know. Case in point, we really knew nothing about celestial manifestations, and the telescope sensing system for far-away big stuff we set up to find out about, was designed specifically with respect to the sensing system we already have. Going the other direction, we knew absolutely nothing about germs until we set up a sensing system that magnifies close-in little stuff, which also respects our own sensing system.
    Mww

    The point is that when the sensing system which we as human beings have, first came into existence (that is to say that when living sensing systems first evolved), the living beings had no knowledge of the things to be sensed. So the system must be based in a trial and error set up. We might argue that plants already had some sort of "knowledge" of the external objects through nutrition etc., but again, we stretch the word "knowledge.

    The issue is the type of sensing system which we as human beings currently have. The proposal of inventing a sensing system was to be analogous to the situation in which living beings were in, prior to having developed a sensing system. We cannot say that they had any real knowledge of the things to be sensed, yet they developed a sensing system, which we currently employ, to gain knowledge about the things being sensed. The pivotal point is that the type of sensing system which we, as human beings have and use, was created prior to there being knowledge about the things to be sensed. This is fundamental to the nature of knowledge, as emergent, coming into being from not being, and the question of how is this possible.
  • Mww
    3.3k
    Page, the first:

    Yes we do have a way of thoroughly understanding: (...) in direct accordance to the rules by which understanding works.....
    — Mww

    But we do not have a thorough knowledge of the rules by which understanding works....
    Metaphysician Undercover

    True enough, hence speculative metaphysics. It doesn’t matter that the rules for how understanding works are known with certainty or not; all the rules have to do is set the ground for sufficient explanatory power. It follows that any set of rules must accord with how the understanding is thought to work. If it works this way, these rules; if it works that way, those rules, but rules nonetheless.

    Consider, as well, that the claim is not that understanding works according to law, which would be to say understanding could not work any other way than as grounded by apodeitically certain principles, which, of course, is impossible to prove. Rules, on the other hand, having less power than law, are merely regulating relations, rather than legislating principles, and therefore stand in no need of proof, when all that’s needed is logical consistency.

    So while I agree there is no thorough knowledge of these rules, or any other condition of human reason, I can say I know the rules for how the understanding works from the perspective of my speculative metaphysics.
    ————

    Independent existence of objects is what I disputed.Metaphysician Undercover

    Is it your position then, that objects do not have independent existence?

    But the issue is, how can you distinguish between an "appearance" (I'll call it an 'image' maybe) which is a direct percept, derived through sensation, and an image which is a creation of the mind, like a dream, or a memory.Metaphysician Undercover

    I hold “appearance”, not as what a thing may look like, which you’ll call its image....maybe..., but that a thing has initially presented itself, has made its appearance, a euphemism indicating something’s made itself available to sensibility. I don’t need to distinguish anything about appearances; they, in effect are the distinction, between having and not having sensations. As such, I rather think sensations are derived from appearances, not the other way around. Nothing is actually lost by deleting the term, going straight from perception to sensation.

    I ask this, because I do not know how you can separate out "the reasoning process" as you do.Metaphysician Undercover

    Reason the verb is a conscious activity, whereas perception the noun is physiological, hence passive with respect to reason. Remember the physical system in play here, too, with respect to the change in forms of energy between the reception of an object, and the electrochemical manifestations of them in the nerves between the sense organs and the brain. It shouldn’t be an issue as to whether or not there is any reasoning going on during that energy exchange.

    Furthermore, such exchange is a perfect iteration of that old stumbling-block, the thing-in-itself. The ding an sich is that which exists, the sensation is the thing that exists after we get ahold of it. Our knowledge of objects is given from the sensation alone, never by the thing. So we say, the sensation represents the appearance of an object. While it is true no knowledge is at all possible without the thing-in-itself, it is not the thing-in-itself that we know. And it is here the difficulty often arises, wherein the change-over between the external object and the internal representation occurs.
    ————

    Where was I...oh, yeah, separating out the reasoning process....

    I think that because of this reality of the mind creating such things, and it's not the conscious mind doing the creating, nor the sensing process, we must allow that there is creative activity of "the mind" which is neither sensing nor reasoning.Metaphysician Undercover

    Wasn’t it you that said he didn’t give much credence to the faculty of imagination? Odd, then, you should have just described exactly that very faculty. Only, such faculty needs a division, which I mentioned previously, as productive and reproductive. The sub-conscious productive variety synthesizes the matter of an object with its form, to give a phenomenon, an “object” of sensibility. You can say it is “the mind” doing all this, doesn’t hurt anything. Me, I just leave it as part, albeit a sub-conscious part, of the whole cognitive system. The conscious part, the one with which we are familiar, is the reproductive imagination, which fabricates that which will become the representation of the external object as it is actually cognized. Or, simply put....as we think it to be.

    I place this creative activity as intermediate between reasoning and sensing because it can create principles (or rules if you like) for reasoning to follow, but it does not necessarily derive the things that it creates directly from the senses.Metaphysician Undercover

    Yes, this creative activity is between sensing and reasoning, but it doesn’t create principles. And yes, it does derive the things it creates immediately from the senses and the act of synthesizing, is to intuit, and intuiting in general, is intuition. Don’t forget....we’re still sub-conscious here, insofar as we have not as yet thought about the object given to the senses; we’re still in the process of arranging the matter of the sensed object into a logical form....the job of imagination....such that it can become a phenomenon.

    I think when you speak of arbitrary, you might be hinting that it is reasonable to suppose the synthesis of matter with form by imagination could be arbitrary, if there were no regulatory methods, and you’d be correct. Because this is all sub-conscious, there couldn’t be any regulatory methods, and the aforementioned logical form, has not yet been judged to be that. Another chapter in the saga of human knowledge.
    —————

    So this is how I propose that the mind creates the objects which we believe that we are sensing......Metaphysician Undercover

    All that’s well said, but I would change believe to think, which transposes to, the objects we think we are sensing...which is exactly what is happening, from my perspective. We don’t immediately have knowledge of the things we sense, but is that the same as saying we believe something about them? Dunno, maybe.

    ....they are somehow created by the subconscious mind, or maybe "brain" or "nervous system" would be more appropriate here.Metaphysician Undercover

    No, because brain and nervous system are physical realities, but the sub-conscious mind is only metaphysical, and speculative at that. No empirical proofs possible kinda thing.

    I think you go by a different definition of "understand", or "understood" than I do here. (...) However, "understanding" is a product of the reasoning process.Metaphysician Undercover

    From my armchair, human cognition is a tripartite system: understanding, judgement and reason. Understanding provides the representations it thinks belong to the object by means of conceptions (the major); judgement relates the manifold of conceptions thought to make up the object to each other (the minor or minors), reason arbitrates the logic of the relation (the conclusion). Then and only then, is there cognition, the end of the reasoning process. Herein, then, understanding isn’t the result of the conscious reasoning process, but a participant in it.

    I would say that "understand" implies the use of the conscious reasoning process to derive some sort of meaning.Metaphysician Undercover

    Isn’t this what modern analytic philosophy posits? Nevertheless, before there is meaning, there is relation. Or, perhaps the meaning is the relation. To say a representation means something, it must relate to that something. Simplest rendition of this notion, is the dictionary. For any given word (representation), the meaning given for that word relates to only that word. In other words, before the meaning, there is the word which possess it. It follows that understanding is a faculty of relations, those being the relation of phenomena to conceptions. Herein, then, yes, understanding implies the use of the reasoning process, but to foster logically consistent relations rather than to derive meaning.

    You know.....maybe we’re looking at the same thing from opposite ends. Everything I’m saying has to do with how knowledge is possible. It almost seems as though you’re operating from a perspective where knowledge is already given, and you’re going backwards to find out how it came about. Could that be the case?
    ——————

    Now, we have to consider the "objects" given by the subconscious system, which is is not a part of the conscious system, not a part of the the reasoning process. These are the representations. In order for the conscious system to work with them in a reasoning process, a logical process, they must be given names.Metaphysician Undercover

    As far as the reasoning process in and of itself is concerned, why do representations need to be given names? What the reasoning process is actually doing as a reasoning process, doesn’t use names. The reasoning process assigns names post hoc for no other reason than to describe itself. The use of words in your consciousness is mere rehearsal, the method by which what is thought is then going to be objectified in some form of physical action.
    ———-

    So we have two layers of representation. The images or representations, received into the conscious mind, and the names, words, which the conscious mind assigns to these representations, to represent them, in order to understand them. From this perspective then, the naming is necessarily prior to the understanding, as a prerequisite for understanding.Metaphysician Undercover

    Close enough. I offer that there are two kinds of representation, not levels, and, names are assigned to indicate how a thing has been understood because of the logical synthesis of representations. Which puts understanding before the naming, not after. When a word is a foreign language is heard by a person, he will not understand the meaning of it. Or, say, an action indicating a meaning is given to a person who doesn’t understand the act, like....putting a finger orthogonal to the lips to indicate being quiet....if a guy doesn’t know that sign, he won’t understand what is expected of him when he perceives it. Only from experience, then, does meaning antecede understanding.

    If you’d said....in order to judge them.....close enough would have become exactly right. From my perspective.
    ————-

    Therefore we can conclude that naming must occur without understanding, as a primary step toward understanding.Metaphysician Undercover

    This works for a two-party communication. You naming something must occur before my understanding of what you mean by that name, yes. We see that right here in this dialectic, wherein each of us uses words with their inherent meaning derived by our individual cognitive systems, and that use is not thoroughly understood by the other. “Appearance” is a good example, insofar as a word common to each of our vocabularies carries different understandings with it pursuant to what it is meant to indicate. As we can see, we each misjudged the understanding of the other in his use of a common word. The prime indicator of all that is...we each refrain from calling out the other as wrong in what is said, but rather, we say we do not agree (do not concur from similar judgement) with what was said, or we say we do not understand what was said (cannot afford a judgement at all).
    ————-

    This allows that knowledge and understanding can be emergent.Metaphysician Undercover

    Half and half. Yes, knowledge is always emergent: in me because of me, or, in me because of you. Understanding is only emergent in me because of you but is intrinsic in me because of me. Understanding here indicates the specific function of a faculty in a systemic whole, not that on which the faculty operates as means to an end.

    You probably mean you can get me to understand something, which seems to say understanding emerges, but it is still my understanding that does all the work, such that I may know what you mean. Which is to say, An understanding emerges. The understanding of something emerges.

    Please don’t consider this as mere quibbling, when in fact, it is the very reason why decent metaphysics tomes are of so gawd-awful-many pages. Getting things just so, no over-lap, no confusion in terminology.
  • Mww
    3.3k
    Page the second.....

    There are two major necessary characteristics imbued in the human being, such that he can be so called: morality and reason......
    — Mww

    What I am trying to get you to consider is the conditions which are antecedent to reason.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    Careful here, not to conflate reason the human condition, with reason the cognitive faculty. In the first sense, there is nothing antecedent to a necessary condition, but in the second sense....

    we can start with the requirement for images, representations, or symbols. Reasoning cannot proceed without some such things.Metaphysician Undercover

    ......it is true reason-ing, the action of the cognitive faculty, needs these things, but reason the distinguishing human condition is that which makes reason the faculty even possible. When I offer the two conditions for being human and you counter-offer something which seems to reference those conditions but doesn’t belong there, it is technically a categorical error. Nevertheless, you are correct if you mean these things are necessary for reason the cognitive faculty. But you didn’t stipulate it as such. So I did it for you.

    Reasoning cannot proceed without some such things.Metaphysician Undercover

    Agreed.

    This means that reasoning cannot be a "self-contained causality".Metaphysician Undercover

    Agreed. But again, you’re responding to my stipulation of reason the condition, which is not reasoning itself. Reason is a self-contained causality, reasoning is not.
    ————

    this is where that problem with terminology rears its ugly head. However, I think that "wanted to learn" makes more sense then saying that the creature already had some type of "understanding". But this is the question, 'what is prior to understanding and knowledge?'.Metaphysician Undercover

    This gets too close to anthropology and empirical psychology for me. I don’t care about wanting to learn, insofar as I’m perfectly capable of learning stuff even if I had no desire for it. And if I want to learn something,I must do it in the exact same way as if I didn’t care if I learned it or not. I’m interested in the how, not so much in the how come.
    ———-

    Possibility is dealt with in one way only, in affirmation or negation, one or the other, not both simultaneously for the same thing.
    — Mww

    This is not true, possibility is most successfully dealt with through modal logic and probabilities.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    Possibilities, the possibility of things, is dealt with the modal logic and probabilities. Possibility, in and of itself, as a singular pure category, having no object belonging to it, is not dealt with at all; it is what things are dealt with, by. A thing is possible, or it is not. We understand a thing to be possible or not, only because the conception “possibility” already resides within the system a priori. Logic and probability affirm or deny the validity of the object to which the pure conception “possibility” applies.

    Think about it: we can neither think nor perceive an impossible object. It follows that to think or perceive an object, the reality of that object must be possible. In addition, if this object only exists because of that object, that object must exist necessarily. Some conceptions belong to the faculty of understanding simply because it is that kind of understanding, the human kind. Hence....speculative metaphysics.
    ————-

    I don't think you are grasping the necessity for an intermediary between the sensing system, and the conscious mind which is the knower.Metaphysician Undercover

    Of course I do. My entire private transcendental metaphysics is predicated exclusively on it.

    The intermediary (for simplicity I'll call it the brain) produces the images or representations which the conscious mind works with.Metaphysician Undercover

    I guess you could use the brain. But the brain is physical, and the conscious mind is metaphysical, so you’re making it so the t’wain shall meet. While it is true the brain carries sole responsibility for whatever goes on between the ears, as soon as you bring abstractions into the picture, you’ve removed the brain from doing anything, insofar as the brain functions in concreto according with natural law. I agree the brain creates images, but how the images are made usable by the conscious mind has never been determined, and whether or not there is any conscious mind to make use of them, the physicalist will deny outright.

    These representations are not produced by the sensing system (evidenced by the reality of dreams), nor are they produced by the conscious mind. So we must assume something intermediary.Metaphysician Undercover

    I vote for consciousness. The conscious mind is a philosophical construct, therefore, to develop a sufficiently explanatory theory, any participant in that construct, must be philosophical as well. In fact, the brain does all that stuff, but we don’t know how, so we are free to hypothesize logically, in order to satisfy ourselves.
    ————-

    So it's not the sensing system whose assignments are arbitrary, it's the assignments made by the intermediary, the brain, which are arbitrary.Metaphysician Undercover

    Ok, I can see that. Truth be told, we’re both sailing first class on the ship of ignorance here: you can’t tell me exactly how the brain gives images to the conscious mind, and I can’t tell you how exactly intuition creates phenomena.

    The pivotal point is that the type of sensing system which we, as human beings have and use, was created prior to there being knowledge about the things to be sensed. This is fundamental to the nature of knowledge, as emergent, coming into being from not being, and the question of how is this possible.Metaphysician Undercover

    Yeah, I kinda figured that was where you were going. This makes it much clearer, and agreeable.
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