• NOS4A2
    6k


    What the latter shows is that direct connection is necessary to experience a thing. It does not then follow that all things we experience are external world objects, nor that we experience all external world objects.

    For your argument to hold it is necessary to show that the causes of our sensations match the objects we experience since the 'direct connection' you theorise is between an external world and a sensory receptor. But I do not experience 200,000 firing neurons when I lift my tea cup. I experience the lifting of my teacup. So the object of my experience is the teacup. You've yet to show that this teacup is also the thing in contact with my nerve endings.

    The direct connection I theorize, and can observe, is the skin touching the tea cup, the hand grasping it, the arm lifting the hand, the light hitting the eye, and so on.

    For me, the object we experience and the cause of our sensations is the same thing. This can be observed. So I think it is you who needs to show that there are in fact two different objects, because it isn’t immediately apparent that this is so.
  • Harry Hindu
    4.9k
    I take the question of how things are to be subservient to the question of what to do. We only need to know how things are so far as it helps working out what to do.

    Meaning as use and all that. It's what one does.
    Banno
    Here you are only explaining how things are - that how things are is subservient to the question of what to do. Meaning as use and all that and it's what one does is explaining how things are.

    It seems that it's the other way around - that what one does is subservient to how things are. How things are can place limits on what you can do or say. Try "flying" out of a 10 story window.

    It also seems to me that there was a how things are for billions of years before there was anyone that did anything, unless you're arguing for the existence of God.

    You can only explain how things are - that is what one does (with language). And that is how things are. What we are all doing here is trying to explain how things are. Even in saying, "it's what one does" is explaining how things are. What is "It's" in the sentence, "It's what one does" if not "How things are is" what one does.
  • Harry Hindu
    4.9k
    I find myself in the unnaccustomed position of agreeing with you. :yikes:Wayfarer
    I think most of our disagreements were the result of talking past each other.

    (Also note the distinction I made earlier about the difference between the philosophical and everyday use of the term 'substance' i.e. it means something very different in philosophy than in ordinary language.)Wayfarer
    We can use both meanings without any contradiction. We just have to make sure we're not talking past each other when using the term. So we can dispense with the term, "substance" and simply talk about subjects, being and material with uniform properties. Does a subject or being have uniform properties?
  • Michael
    11.3k
    And what if I'm seeing the rock in a mirror because it's behind me?
  • Michael
    11.3k
    For me, the object we experience and the cause of our sensations is the same thing. This can be observed. So I think it is you who needs to show that there are in fact two different objects, because it isn’t immediately apparent that this is so.NOS4A2

    To interject, imagine that you have tetrachromacy and 40/20 vision and I don't have tetrachromacy and have 20/40 vision. If you and I look at the same external world object (e.g. an apple) then in one sense you and I are seeing the same thing (the apple) but in another sense you and I aren't seeing the same thing (you see different colours and more detail for example). The what we see in the second sense is different to the external world object. It is this second sense of what we see that the indirect realist will say is a "representation" of the apple.

    And regarding the epistemological problem that gave rise to the disagreement between the direct and indirect realists, does the what we see in the second sense show us the mind-independent nature of the external world? Does that apple have the colour we see it to have even when we don't see it? And if so, is it the colour that you see it to have or the colour that I see it to have, as we each see the colour differently?

    Given that direct realists argued that external world objects are as we see them to be (in the second sense) if perception is "direct" (and that perception is "direct") then it follows that whatever they meant by "direct", if external world objects aren't as we see them to be (in the second sense) then perception isn't direct. And I think that the modern scientific understanding of the world and perception shows that external world objects aren't as we seem to be (in the second sense), and so direct realism fails, regardless of the grammar we use to describe the object of perception.
  • Joshs
    3.7k
    From my side, Banno's main influences are Wittgenstein, Davidson, Austin et al, who are influential in analytical philosophy. You could say they're the mainstream. My influences are more counter-cultural and (I think) more existential. IWayfarer

    It depends on how Wittgenstein and Austin are read. Banno shies away from more ‘countercultural’ interpretations of these authors. Compare his readings, for instance , to that of Anthony Nickles. I would say that your existentialism is of a conservative religious variety , as opposed to the later Wittgenstein’s or Sartre’s
    existentialism.
  • Joshs
    3.7k
    You can only explain how things are - that is what one does (with language). And that is how things are. What we are all doing here is trying to explain how things are. Even in saying, "it's what one does" is explaining how things are. What is "It's" in the sentence, "It's what one does" if not "How things are is" what one does.Harry Hindu

    One can think of how things are in terms of dead physicalistic nature independent our interaction with it and interpretation of it , or how things are in terms of the way that we interpret things in relation to current context, the particular pragmatic sense and relevance a meaning has for us in relation to our present goals and circumstances. This second, pragmatic notion of how things are is dependent on what we do with things. How things are is a human constructive , productive, creative process, an activity , a doing, an interaction. Science from this vantage is forward looking production via discursive practice rather than backward looking knowledge and epistemology, a becoming rather than a mirroring and representation of pre-existing nature.
  • Jackson
    1.8k
    t's a social justice issue. Hence how we treat others. Here in Australia, we put people into detention centers for seeking asylum. Hence Banno is correct around why this matters.Tom Storm

    don't care what banno says about anything. later.
  • bongo fury
    1.4k
    the what we see in the second senseMichael

    is the myth, the internal picture that doesn't happen.

    What happens is a readiness to order and classify and predict, along any number of respects or dimensions.

    Does that apple have the colour we see it to haveMichael

    Does it belong where we are inclined to place it in our colour scheme?

    Sure, that's not a reasonable (direct) question, but neither is (the indirect one), does that apple belong on the same rung of our colour scheme as our sensation of the apple?
  • Michael
    11.3k
    is the myth, the internal picture that doesn't happen.bongo fury

    Are you saying that we don't have qualitative experiences? That brain activity doesn't produce sensations?
  • Hello Human
    174
    As I said, philosophy wants to go to the roots, to the universal, but in this research philosophy cannot avoid to see that actually it is limited, because it is made by humans. This means that the very concept of universal is stupid: how can we, little microscopic, biased creatures of this universe pretend to get in our mind such a pretentious concept as “universal”? Whenever we think of the concept of universal, we are conditioned by our DNA, time, body, culture, epoch, geography, so, how can we think that what we are thinking is really universal? We humans are ridiculous in this pretence.Angelo Cannata

    Fair enough. But perhaps then that the universal is not really some objective world. Perhaps it is the shared patterns in human experience then.
  • Joshs
    3.7k
    I just find it odd that rather then being seen as a resolution of a potential error (seeing the ship's length as a feature of the observer), Einstein's work is so often held up as proof that this is the case.Isaac

    Einstein’s work should neither be held up as the resolution of an error nor as proof of an error. Rather, it should be seen as an invitation to participate in a certain linguistic convention and set of shared practices.
  • bongo fury
    1.4k
    Are you saying that we don't have qualitative experiences?Michael

    Yes if that means having pictures (or qualities) inside as well as outside.

    No if it means experiencing changes in perceptual readiness, i.e. learning.

    That brain activity doesn't produce sensations?Michael

    Yes. What's wrong with: brain activity is sensations?
  • Michael
    11.3k
    Yes. What's wrong with: brain activity is sensations?bongo fury

    Nothing. Whether you want to say that brain activity is sensations or that sensations are some emergent phenomena from brain activity, it is the case that sensations are not directly connected to external world objects, and that they are, in a sense, "representations" of external world objects, with the qualities of those sensations (e.g colour), not being properties of external world objects.
  • bongo fury
    1.4k


    Ah but then your usage of "sensations" implies picture-type qualities inside. Mine didn't.

    I meant, brain activity is acts of perception.

    But still yes: brain activity isn't and doesn't produce sensations in your sense.
  • Joshs
    3.7k
    What's wrong with: brain activity is sensations?bongo fury

    The ‘is’ seems a little problematic to me, as if we were talking about absolutely equivalent senses of meaning. How do we know we are dealing with a brain? Brain implies a biological substance that we can experience together as a third person entity, and activity furthers specifies a functional, as opposed to anatomical, study of it though third peso. techniques of measurement. Sensation, on the other hand , is a first person experience of consciousness. We could try and correlate the third and first personal such as to come up with some sort of monism, but that ends up eliminating aspects of one or the other of the two vantages. If we were to say that the brain is a third personal concept that is generated within first person experience we could arrive at a way of keeping what is implied both by sensation and biological brain. Going in Dennett’s direction, on the other hand, and reducing sensation to third person brain process leaves out the situated perspectival basis of third person concepts like ‘brain’.
  • Tate
    954
    If we were to say that the brain is a third personal concept that is generated within first person experience we could arrive at a way of keeping what is implied both by sensation and biological brain.Joshs

    How about:

    Sensation, physiologically, involves nervous system function.

    Sensation, as the content of awareness, has properties that are absent from the physiological description.
  • Joshs
    3.7k

    How bout:

    Sensation, physiologically, involves nervous system function.

    Sensation, as the content of awareness, has properties that are absent from the physiological description.
    Tate

    Or:

    Via intersubjective discourse, we construct concepts like physiological, biological, physical. Even though we treat them as though all traces of our conscious experience could be removed and they would remain as independent facts, they are inextricable from first personal experience.

    Meanwhile , we treat concepts like the consciousness of sensation as though they were purely inner and ineffable substances or properties, the purely inner and subjective complement to the purely outer and objective physiological facts, a special seasoning added to objects.
  • Janus
    12.6k
    Where I think the technical difference must be placed, on my present understanding, is in the point made earlier, that for me there are things that are true, yet not known, believed, or otherwise in some positive relation to our minds. I think idealism must deny this, since it insists that mind is somehow indispensable.Banno

    Since according to idealism the world is a product of Big MInd, not your mind or mine, then on that position there may indeed be truths that are not known. Have you read Berkeley at all, or are you at least familiar with his philosophy via secondary sources?
  • Tate
    954
    Via intersubjective discourse, we construct concepts like physiological, biological, physical. Even though we treat them as though all traces of our conscious experience could be removed and they would remain as independent facts, they are inextricable from first personal experience.

    Meanwhile , we treat concepts like the consciousness of sensation as though they were purely inner and ineffable substances or properties, the purely inner and subjective complement to the purely outer and objective physiological facts, a special seasoning added to objects.
    Joshs

    You're saying that in this, our Age of Mechanism, we give precedence to the physiological, and treat first person data like some sort of foam on top?

    When the two are actually bound by their relationship in the opposition?
  • Banno
    17.9k
    But until some single interpretation comes along that makes everybody happy... — Tom Siegfried

    Physicists agree that the calculations work. So they are happy.
    I don’t agree with that analysis. It’s an attempt to duck the genuine conundrum which really is metaphysicalWayfarer
    Yes, what you call the "genuine conundrum" is metaphysical, not physics.

    You article is called "Quantum mysteries dissolve if possibilities are realities".

    ...If...

    It's speculation. The calculations are not.
  • Tom Storm
    4.6k
    Since according to idealism the world is a product of Big MInd, not your mind or mine, then on that position there may indeed be truths that are not known. Have you read Berkeley at all, or are you at least familiar with his philosophy via secondary sources?Janus

    The idea of Will, mind-at-large and cosmic consciousness - whatever it is called, from Schopenhauer to Kastrup, seems to be central to many forms of idealism. From here it is argued we derive an objective world and regularities in what we call nature. It's why the moon doesn't vanish when you stop looking at it, etc. It interest me that in this discussion we get bogged down in parsing notions of realism and rarely explore the idea of mind-at-large, which seems to me to be unavoidable and a god surrogate. And when I say unavoidable, I am not referring to its reality but to it's explanatory power in idealism. Any thoughts on this?
  • Banno
    17.9k
    If it is true in an over-mind, it remains true in a mind. I don't see any accrued advantage in such speculation.

    Do you find it at all satisfactory, this rejection of an "external world" in favour of an "over mind" that does pretty much the very same thing?

    We can both see the table. Do we both see the over mind? Which is a better explanation of our agreement?
  • Tom Storm
    4.6k
    Do you find it at all satisfactory, this rejection of an "external world" in favour of an "over mind" that does pretty much the very same thing?

    We can both see the table. Do we both se the over mind? Which is a better explanation of our agreement?
    Banno

    I hear you. To be perfectly honest, I don't look for explanations. I generally just get on with it and I have rarely been disappointed. My interest in metaphysical suppositions has come late in life.

    If all of reality is consciousness 'emanating' from some big cosmic mind and we are all dissociated alters of this mind, then that is kind of cool. However, I have no idea what that means, how it would be demonstrated to be true and if it makes any difference to us in practice.
  • Andrew M
    1.4k
    A facile dismissal of the entire issue, then. Isn't there more at stake? Doesn't it really count whether you're an aggregation of physical forces, or something more than that, or other than that?Wayfarer

    Certainly it does. Do you see that your questions assume the very antithesis at issue? To give a familiar example from Ryle, is a university "Nothing But" its buildings? Or is it "Something Else As Well"?

    The Reductionist ignores the context - the purpose of the buildings and their use. Whereas the Duplicationist supplements the context with an invisible extra thing.

    --

    A foreigner visiting Oxford or Cambridge for the first time is shown a number of colleges, libraries, playing fields, museums, scientific departments and administrative offices. He then asks ‘But where is the University? I have seen where the members of the Colleges live, where the Registrar works, where the scientists experiment and the rest. But I have not yet seen the University in which reside and work the members of your University.’ It has then to be explained to him that the University is not another collateral institution, some ulterior counterpart to the colleges, laboratories and offices which he has seen. The University is just the way in which all that he has already seen is organized. When they are seen and when their co-ordination is understood, the University has been seen. His mistake lay in his innocent assumption that it was correct to speak of Christ Church, the Bodleian Library, the Ashmolean Museum and the University, to speak, that is, as if ‘the University’ stood for an extra member of the class of which these other units are members. He was mistakenly allocating the University to the same category as that to which the other institutions belong. — Concept of Mind - Gilbert Ryle

    There have always existed in the breasts of philosophers, including our own breasts, two conflicting tempers. I nickname them the "Reductionist" and the "Duplicationist" tempers, or the "Deflationary" and the "Inflationary" tempers. The slogan of the first temper is "Nothing But ..."; that of the other "Something Else as Well ...Thinking and Saying - Gilbert Ryle
  • Banno
    17.9k
    Einstein’s work should neither be held up as the resolution of an error nor as proof of an error. Rather, it should be seen as an invitation to participate in a certain linguistic convention and set of shared practices.Joshs

    The GPS on my iPhone uses the equations of special relativity. Is that just a "linguistic convention and set of shared practices"?

    That is the conceit of idealism: that all there is are such conventions. It disengages our narratives from the world. But it is only in their engagement with the world that these narratives are true or false.
  • Banno
    17.9k
    I have no idea what that means, how it would be demonstrated to be true and if it makes any difference to us in practice.Tom Storm

    Then why bother with it?
  • Janus
    12.6k
    If it is true in an over-mind, it remains true in a mind. I don't see any accrued advantage in such speculation.Banno

    The point is that in either model, materialist or idealist. there is no problem that there should be truths unknown to us; which tells against your apparent claim that there could be no such truths under the idealist model, no? Or were you objecting because there could not be truths unknown to the Big Mind? :roll:

    And when I say unavoidable, I am not referring to its reality but to it's explanatory power in idealism. Any thoughts on this?Tom Storm

    I agree with you; the idea of idealist reality without a Big Mind or a completely unconscious linking of all minds, is incoherent. There would be no way to explain how it could be that we all see the same things.

    Although what I just said above may not be right, thinking further on that, if we imagined it to be the case that all minds are unconsciously linked, and no big conscious mind at all, then there could be truths unknown to all minds, some to be discovered and others not.
  • Banno
    17.9k
    It's about Fitch's paradox.
  • Janus
    12.6k
    It's about Fitch's paradox.Banno

    No, I'd say that here, in the context of this discussion, with you it's more about Red's Herring.
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