• Isaac
    8k
    Now you're contradicting yourself.creativesoul

    It's an analogy. I thought it might help. Clearly not.

    what's below does not follow from what's above...


    There's not a thing in the world which is not brought into being, from the heterogeneous soup of hidden states, by our conceptualizing, and constant reconstruction of it.


    So much for discovery huh?
    creativesoul

    Whether 'discovery' is the act of finding a new pre-existing object, rather than the act of christening a new otherwise non-existent grouping, is the question at hand. Just claiming 'discovery!' is begging that question.

    Besides which, there's not even any need to resolve this in this thread because we're talking about human experience and what it consists of. If you agree that some things are 'groupings' christened by the act of grouping, then it is on you to show that 'human experience' is not such a grouping (like 'cell') so as to support your claim that it's contents (both internal and external) is a fact of the world and not a fact of our language use.

    Even if we were to accept your argument that there are macro-scale objects as simples, you've yet to show that human experience is one of them.
  • creativesoul
    10.6k
    it is on you to show that 'human experience' is not such a grouping (like 'cell') so as to support your claim that it's contents (both internal and external) is a fact of the world and not a fact of our language use.Isaac

    It's always peculiar to me when one handwaves away and downright neglects several different arguments, examples, and lines of reasoning while gratuitously asserting the opposite only to later act as if no justification has been given...

    Perhaps you may want to re-read the exchange I had with Janus.
  • Isaac
    8k
    It's always peculiar to me when one handwaves away and downright neglects several different arguments, examples, and lines of reasoning while gratuitously asserting the opposite only to later act as if no justification has been given...creativesoul

    Perhaps you may want to re-read the exchange I had with Janus.creativesoul

    Where? I just checked back over the last few pages and can't find any such exchange. I don't always read the whole thread, if there's points you've made relevant to the argument, you can just cut and paste them into your response to me, or link them.
  • Pie
    555
    And what I envied most about him was that he managed to reach the end of his life without the slightest conscience of being burdened with a special individuality or sense of individual mission like mine. This sense of individuality robbed my life of its symbolism, that is to say, or its power to serve, like Tsurukawa’s, as a metaphor for something outside itself; accordingly it deprived me of the feelings of life’s extensity and solidarity, and it became the source of that sense of solitude which pursued me indefinitely. It was strange. I did not even have any feeling of solidarity with nothingness.javi2541997

    I can't be sure, but perhaps this quote is aimed against finding so much of metaphysics to be a mere debate about usage....because it's such a gray and sad approach ? But I think to myself : I love poetry and novels and even certain spiritual texts. So maybe it's a matter of timing ? Or trying to keep my roles separate ? With philosophy being annoyingly serious about clarifying concepts effectively, and unquenchingly dry?

    Arguably the project is driven by a desire for one's words to have weight and utility for others, to be doing more than merely expressing insignificant preferences, and so to know the difference, which is not always easy...
  • javi2541997
    1.7k
    I knew that Mishima's quote would affect you. But do not worry. It always happens after reading his works. It is not about to keep the roles separate but a clever use of culture/philosophy (art) and exercise (sword). The perfect equilibrium.
    But I do not want to go in an off topic debate because it would be disrespectful for the OP. Nevertheless if you are interested about how Mishima's works can lead our minds to a state of euphoria and ecstasy, you can follow these ones: On beautiful and sublime.
    Why does religion condemn suicide?
  • Joshs
    3.7k
    When it comes to these kinds of issues, about which no empirical confirmation can be found, I remember something Nietzsche said: there are no truths, only perspectivesJanus

    He meant that also with regard to issues about which empirical confirmation can be found. And in the case of the relation between affect and abstract conceptualization, a wide range of contemporary approaches in psychology and other social sciences has arrived at a model which they have confirmed empirically.
    In a previous post you said that “verbal reasoning would be impossible without the affective underpinning of pre-verbal reasoning; and that the latter is more basic and more important; abstract reasoning would be vacuous without it.”

    In recognizing that affectivity is the necessary underpinning for abstract cognition, you are in agreement with these new approaches. But you go on to characterize feeling as concrete and verbalization as abstract. By concrete , do you have in mind bodily sensations? According to embodied approaches to affect, feeling isnt just directed toward the body, it is directed toward the world. It is the situation that feels bad, not our bodily sensations that are triggered by it. Feeling is world-directed and intentional. It involves appraisal and judgement concerning the relevance of situations to our goals. This is because feeling isnt simply an underpinning of verbal thought, it is so inseparably intertwined with it at all levels of abstraction that it makes no sense to try and tease out what aspect of our experience is felt and what is conceptualized.


    Eugene Gendlin writes:

    “Before speaking we do not usually think all the words or concepts which we are about to say. What we mean exists in us as a subjective feeling. When we speak,
    we refer directly to this feeling and the proper concepts or words come to us. If the words or concepts that come are not the right ones, we say, "now let's see, what did I
    mean?" again referring directly to our subjectively felt sense of what we meant.
    This observation can be formulated by the following assertion: intellectual meanings are experienced as aspects of a subjectively felt referent. If we refer to this referent, we can differentiate and conceptualize meanings. Thus intellectual meanings are in their very
    nature aspects of subjective feelings. Any moment's subjective feeling implicitly contains many possible meanings which could be differentiated and symbolized.
    Everything we learn, think or read enriches the implicit meanings contained in our subjective felt referent. For example, after reading a theoretical paper, my "feeling"
    about it will implicitly contain many intellectual perceptions and meanings which I have, because I have spent years of reading and thinking. When I write a commentary on the paper I symbolize explicitly the meanings which were implicit in my "feelings" after I
    read the paper.
    Clearly, such "feelings" contain not only emotions, but attitudes, past experiences, and complex intellectual differentiations. Thus the "feeling" which guides the adjusted person implicitly contains all the intellectual meanings of all his experience. As his "feeling"
    functions, it is a modified interaction of these implicit meanings. When an individual is said to "act on his feelings," this complex total functions as the basis of action. It includes implicit intellectual meanings; it is not mere emotion.”
  • Joshs
    3.7k
    the notion of a tree is not the tree. We actually see the tree, not our notion. My notion of trees is not out in my front yard. The Kukui nut tree is though. What we believe about the tree is our notion. The tree is not equivalent to our belief about it. We can be wrong about the tree. The same is true of all that exists in its entirety prior to our picking it out to the exclusion of all else.creativesoul

    We actually see an idealization or abstraction. Without our ‘notion’ filling in for what is not actually presented to us , in the form of memories and expectations, what we would ‘actually’ see is a disunified flow of perceptual
    phenomena, not the idealized object we define as a ‘tree’.
    What you are doing is taking the constructed idealization we create ( the ‘tree’) , ignoring the fact that it is a combination of actual appearance, recollection and expectation, and then treating the derived idealization (the object we call ‘tree’) as if it were the true and actual basis of the name ‘tree’, and our job as perceiver is merely to accurately represent it as it is in itself.
  • creativesoul
    10.6k
    No object simply exists for us as what it is outside of changing contextual relationships of sense.

    Key words being "for us"... Does that include the toddler in the crib under the tree?
    — creativesoul

    If the toddler is young enough, they will not yet have attained the level of object permanence. To recognize an object as something which remains when we are no longer looking at it , or when it is covered up , requires a constructive process.
    Joshs

    I should have asked a better question. I wanted to see you set out the changing contextual relationships of sense that are rightfully and sensibly applied to the toddler. I wanted to see you use that framework. If no object exists for us as what it is outside of changing contextual relationships of sense, then either a toddler has what it takes, and objects exist for them, or they do not, and no object does.

    Does the tree exist for the toddler in the same way it does for us(as what it is within changing contextual relationships of sense)?
  • creativesoul
    10.6k
    The implication that seeing a tree requires a "constructive process" is an interesting line leading to very different places in thought, depending upon whether or not we're talking about 1.)an intentional deliberate consciously chosen process such as what we're doing now, 2.)a total and completely autonomous toddler sized version, or 3.)one of the linguistically informed ones in the middle that bridge the two extremes. The autonomous version comes first, learning how to talk about trees comes next, and learning how to think about our own 'mental ongoings' as subject matters in and of themselves comes last. That's a basic, albeit rough, outline that makes good scientifically and philosophically respectable sense if put to good use.

    If we're talking about an intentionally and deliberate constructive process, we must first remember that toddlers cannot possibly conceive of anything so steeped in language as any given one of us can. They cannot join us in conversation here, nor have they been influenced by language use. When it comes to those things we've long since called "trees", each of our individual notions of "tree" is as exactly different from one anothers' as the difference between the respective individual correlations drawn between the term and other things unique to each of us. That's how all things become meaningful to us. Where correlations are shared(where we draw the same ones), we have shared meaning... use of "tree" notwithstanding. Each and every time we've endeavored to use the term, each and every time we've entered into a discussion about using the term, each and every time we've silently pondered the term, we were steeped in the circumstances and/or situations required for adding just a bit more meaning to our terminological tea(pardon the flowery language).

    :yum:

    Toddlers most certainly do not 'see' the tree like that!

    I'm willing to whole-heartedly agree that we see the tree as a tree. Seeing the tree as a tree is to be able to pick it out as a result of knowing it by name. Toddlers cannot do that. Neither can any other creature incapable of naming and descriptive practices.

    So, to circle back around to the re-examine the assumption/logical implication that seeing trees requires changing contextual relationships of sense along with a constructive process...

    If we are talking about a constructive process like naming and descriptive practices, then the answer is "no", trees do not exist 'for' one-year-old toddlers in the same way they do for us, because the do not have that capability... yet. Trees most certainly exist for toddlers, it's just they must exist in a way that is much different than that way. They definitely see trees. They just do not think about them the way we do, nor can they. The trees have very little to no meaning at all to/for the toddler.









    In fact , everything to do with the concept of a spatial object requires a sequential process of construction. We don’t originally directly see objects as solid unities..Joshs

    I agree. Seeing objects as solid unities requires understanding what sorts of things count as such. That's irrelevant. It's not necessary for a toddler to be able to see a tree as a solid unity in order to watch a butterfly slowly exercising its wings upon one. It need not see the butterfly as a solid unity in order to ever so curiously watch one.







    We concoct the idea of a unitary object like ‘tree’ from concatenations of memory, expectations and the meager data that we actually see in front of us. The notion of a tree as this thing in front of me is thus a complex synthesis of what we actually see...Joshs

    Unless you're claiming that we actually see concatenations of memory, expectations and the meager data, you've just contradicted yourself.






    ...what we remember and what we predict we will see...Joshs

    I cannot do this anymore. The above is nonsense on its face.




    Most of the ‘tree’ is filled in this way. And the most important element is that we have to interact with the ‘object’ in order for it to exist for us. Animals deprived of the ability to move and interact with their surroundings do not learn to see objects. When we passively see a thing, we are understanding what it is in terms of how we can interact with it, how it will change in response to our movements. This is the standard model from developmental perceptual psychology.Joshs

    I see no room for the toddler.




    the notion of a tree is not the tree. We actually see the tree, not our notion. My notion of trees is not out in my front yard. The Kukui nut tree is though. What we believe about the tree is our notion. The tree is not equivalent to our belief about it. We can be wrong about the tree. The same is true of all that exists in its entirety prior to our picking it out to the exclusion of all else.
    — creativesoul

    We actually see an idealization or abstraction. Without our ‘notion’ filling in for what is not actually presented to us , in the form of memories and expectations, what we would ‘actually’ see is a disunified flow of perceptual phenomena, not the idealized object we define as a ‘tree’.
    Joshs

    Ah, there we go! So, is it safe to say that toddlers see "a disunified flow of perceptual phenomena" when they are watching the butterfly on the tree? Or is it possible for a toddler to see a butterfly land close by and then watch it closely as it slowly opens and closes its wings?




    What you are doing is taking the constructed idealization we create ( the ‘tree’) , ignoring the fact that it is a combination of actual appearance, recollection and expectation, and then treating the derived idealization (the object we call ‘tree’) as if it were the true and actual basis of the name ‘tree’, and our job as perceiver is merely to accurately represent it as it is in itself.Joshs

    I think there's much overlap between our views, despite the remarkably different frameworks and the horrible misunderstanding you've expressed above regarding what I'm doing when claiming that toddlers can see trees.
  • creativesoul
    10.6k
    What you are doing is taking the constructed idealization we create ( the ‘tree’) , ignoring the fact that it is a combination of actual appearance, recollection and expectation, and then treating the derived idealization (the object we call ‘tree’) as if it were the true and actual basis of the name ‘tree’, and our job as perceiver is merely to accurately represent it as it is in itself.
    — Joshs
    creativesoul

    Yeah, that's weird coming from someone who has been describing how trees become meaningful to complex language users like us, and doing so by setting out conditions that require very long periods of time. I do not even agree with the description that you've given for how we see trees. Toddlers do not have that kind of time. It does not make any sense at all to say that I'm attributing your description to toddlers.

    I'm saying trees are detectable by toddler eyes, so they see trees. I mean, they see all sorts of things that are meaningless to them.
  • Janus
    12.6k
    He meant that also with regard to issues about which empirical confirmation can be found. And in the case of the relation between affect and abstract conceptualization, a wide range of contemporary approaches in psychology and other social sciences has arrived at a model which they have confirmed empirically.Joshs

    For me empirical confirmation consists in unequivocal observation. In those matters there are truths, not merely perspectives, but of course those truths are contextual and always to some degree approximations. For example, at sea level water boils at 100 degrees C, the Earth is (roughly) spherical (at scale more perfectly so than a billiard ball). There are countless such empirical truths; truths of bare observation and measurement. Scientific theories, though, are never confirmed to be true empirically, but merely proven to be or not to be predictively successful, and this applies to theories in the social sciences even more so (or should it be less so :wink: ),in my opinion.

    In recognizing that affectivity is the necessary underpinning for abstract cognition, you are in agreement with these new approaches. But you go on to characterize feeling as concrete and verbalization as abstract. By concrete , do you have in mind bodily sensations?Joshs

    By concrete I mean to refer to what appears immediate and tangible to us. Ideas are abstract, but they may embody concrete imagery; imagery of concrete things. I don't see music as abstract; although of course the underlying patterns of chord progression,. melodic line and rhythm are, as they can be symbolically represented and transposed into other keys and different instrumental mediums.

    Actual music, what we actually listen to being performed, for me evokes; it does not represent, it presents. In this it has some commonality with poetry, which is more symbolic, but also manifests concrete musical elements and concrete imagery. Reading poetry and hearing it "performed" are of course different experiences.

    But all of this is just "perspective" as Nietzsche would have it, and perspective depends very much on definition and context.

    By concrete , do you have in mind bodily sensations? According to embodied approaches to affect, feeling isn't just directed toward the body, it is directed toward the world. It is the situation that feels bad, not our bodily sensations that are triggered by it. Feeling is world-directed and intentional. It involves appraisal and judgement concerning the relevance of situations to our goals. This is because feeling isn't simply an underpinning of verbal thought, it is so inseparably intertwined with it at all levels of abstraction that it makes no sense to try and tease out what aspect of our experience is felt and what is conceptualized.Joshs

    By "concrete" I have in mind what is experienced by us as immediate and tangible. By "abstract" I have in mind what is lacking such immediacy and tangibility, but may of course have associations, more or less attenuated, with the immediate and tangible. Some feeling, as you say, "involves appraisal and judgement concerning the relevance of situations to our goals", but by no means all feeling does, in my view.

    I also agree that feeling is intertwined with verbal thought, but the point is that (coherent) verbal thoughts have determinate ranges of (literal) reference and meaning, whereas music and abstract art, for example do not. Why would we want to collapse everything into the same category of kind?

    I don't agree with Gendlin that there is a determinable subjectively felt sense of what we mean when we speak, that our speaking refers to. I do agree that speaking, and all our activities are accompanied by subjectively felt senses, but I don't agree that these are as determinate, as the (literal) ranges of possible reference and meaning of coherent verbal thoughts.
  • Joshs
    3.7k


    By "concrete" I have in mind what is experienced by us as immediate and tangible. By "abstract" I have in mind what is lacking such immediacy and tangibility, but may of course have associations, more or less attenuated, with the immediate and tangible. SomeJanus

    Immediate and tangible….Of course, when we read abstract philosophy, each concept is grasped immediately, but I don’t think you mean it in this sense. I’m picturing instead the concreteness of simple sensations of touch, visual imagery, sounds that physical objects make. We consider these more direct somehow than abstract concepts, as if the features of concepts like democracy were without shape , edges , sharpness.

    Autistics are predisposed to gravitate toward interactions with the world at such a concrete level, because they have difficultly processing the rapidly unfolding, highly abstract engagements typical of verbal social interaction. Intense immersion in concrete , repetitive visual, auditory and movement patterns are typical of many autistics. High functioning autistics and Asperger’s individuals learn to use language, but at a delay.

    Significantly, just as autistics have great difficulty with the dynamically changing nature of verbal social interaction, they have equal difficulty with identifying and understanding the meaning of social emotions.
    Why is this so? It is because social affect and feeling (sadness, anger, trepidation , love, angst) are nothing other than the vicissitudes , the consonances and dissonances , the acceleration and deceleration of the flow of abstract thought. All thinking , whether verbal or non-verbal, concrete or abstract, takes place as a textured flow, and feeling is this aspect of it. The textures of concrete perceptions of simple , direct , tangible things are felt as the attractiveness of colors , the harshness of bright light , the pleasant symmetry of moving visual patterns, the agony of physical pain or delight of a caress. This is concrete feeling, the analogue to concrete perception.

    The textures of abstract verbal thought are what we call the social emotions. It is not that a feeling of anger or sadness or joy is devoid of verbal conceptualization. On the contrary, social feelings would be impossible without abstract conceptualization , because they are the very textured undulations of the progress of abstract thought. There cannot be social feeling in the absence of abstract conceptualization. And there cannot be abstract thinking going on unless that thinking unfolds in time. Its unfolding IS feeling.

    When we think of emotions and feelings, we tend to think of concrete sensations like the feeling of the tightening of the chest and rapidly beating heart in anxiety, flushed fact in embarrassment, clenched fist in anger. But these concrete sensations are merely the response of the body in support of the social feelings
    that trigger them and in preparation for action. The social feelings themselves are not these sensations. In most circumstances, social feelings are verbal. That is, they are the changing flow of verbal conceptualization. The intensity of social feeling is the rapidity of the flow of verbal conceptualization. It is this rapid sequential
    flow produced by abstract verbiage ( social feeling) that autistics have such difficulty processing. The progress of conceptualization in experiences of felt enlightenment and excited creativity is too fast for us to stop and identify each verbal symbol that contributes to the constructing of big and bigger ideas. In order to consolidate the gains made by the enlightened train of thought-feeling, we must slow down the rate of abstractive progress by further defining , clarifying and adding to the original verbiage.

    In sum, the relevant analogue to the distinction between concrete perception and abstract verbal conceptualization is not the difference between conceptual thought and feeling. It can’t be. This notion is incoherent once we realize that abstract as well as concrete experiencing is a flow, a progression, and feeling IS the vicissitudes, undulations, consonances and dissonances of the progress, not as a separate system intertwined with verbal meaning (this system is only the concrete bodily sensations that are the response to social feeling) but as as aspect of the essence of verbal meaning itself.

    So there is concrete perception and concrete feeling , abstract verbal thought and abstract social
    feeling. Instrumental music , dance and painting are slightly less definitive modes of abstract symbolizarion than verbal conceptualization, but considerably more abstract than concrete perception, given that they produce a wealth of social emotions.
  • Pie
    555

    ' Is there an external world? ' The challenge is making the absurdity of this question conspicuous.

    ' Is there something that we can be wrong or right about ? ' If not, the question is unintelligible. If so, the question answer itself, presumes its own answer, confusing with its strangeness, with its apparently valid grammar and what seems like a daring willingness to question everything....

    For more on this, I quote again:
    http://www.henryflynt.org/philosophy/flawbelief.html
    We begin with the question of whether there is a realm beyond my "immediate experience." Does the Empire State Building continue to exist even when I am not looking at it? If either of these questions can be asked, then there must indeed be a realm beyond my experience. If I can ask whether there is a realm beyond my experience, then the answer must be yes. The reason is that there has to be a realm beyond my experience in order for the phrase 'a realm beyond my experience' to have any meaning. Russell's theory of descriptions will not work here; it cannot jump the gap between my experience and the realm beyond my experience. The assertion 'There is realm beyond my experience' is true if it is meaningful, and that is precisely what is wrong with it. There are rules implicit in the natural language as to what is semantically legitimate. Without a rule that a statement and its negation cannot simultaneously be true, for example, the natural language would be in such chaos that nothing could be done with it. Aristotle's Organon was the first attempt to explicate this structure formally, and Supplement D of Carnap's Meaning and Necessity shows that hypotheses about the implicit rules of natural language are well-defined and testable. An example of implicit semantics is the aphorism that "saying a thing is so doesn't make it so." This aphorism has been carried over into the semantics of the physical sciences: its import is that there is no such thing as a substantive assertion which is true merely because it is meaningful. If a statement is true merely because it is meaningful, then it is too true. It must be some kind of definitional trick which doesn't say anything. And this is our conclusion about the assertion that there is a realm beyond my experience. Since it would be true if it were meaningful, it cannot be a substantive assertion.
  • creativesoul
    10.6k
    ' Is there an external world? ' The challenge is making the absurdity of this question conspicuous.Pie

    The absurdity of the question is readily apparent to anyone and everyone first hearing it.
  • Pie
    555
    The absurdity of the question is readily apparent to anyone and everyone first hearing it.creativesoul

    I grant that most people, even philosophers, see its practical nullity. But it really seems to be a big part of the tradition that we work from the ghost outward, with only the ghost truly, securely known, leaving all the rest a mere hypothesis, however likely.

    So the challenge is to make its absurdity apparent to philosophers locked deep in the idea that they are locked deep in a pineal gland which itself is a mere dream of a pineal gland which is itself ....
  • creativesoul
    10.6k
    The absurdity of the question is readily apparent to anyone and everyone first hearing it.
    — creativesoul

    I grant that most people, even philosophers, see its practical nullity. But it really seems to be a big part of the tradition that we work from the ghost outward, with only the ghost truly, securely known, leaving all the rest a mere hypothesis, however likely.

    So the challenge is to make its absurdity apparent to philosophers...
    Pie

    It already is. No philosopher believes there is no such thing as an external world. The confusion comes as a result of attempting to take account of our own meaningful experience and failing miserably at doing so, as a direct result of employing linguistic frameworks that are/were themselves inherently incapable of successfully performing that task.

    Such questions are absurd upon first hearing them because the answer is so obviously undeniable that it's impossible to take seriously by common language users that have yet to have begun using terms like "external world" according to traditional philosophical accounting practices. Common use comes first, and that's when, where, and how the terms "internal/external" first become meaningful to the community of language users.

    With just an inkling of mastery, one can say a number of meaningful things about specific kinds of spatial relationships by learning how to use those words. When we endeavor to use the terms "internal/external" to describe the spatial relationship between an orange's seeds and the fruit stand upon which the orange is being displayed, we may sensibly do so in relation to the orange. We would say that the seeds are internal(within the physical bounds of the orange), and that the stand is external(not within the physical bounds of the orange).

    It is when philosophers began attempting to take account of meaningful human experience that things went awry.

    All meaningful human experience involving oranges includes oranges and our biological machinery. If we consider what would be left if we remove either, then we realize that what remains is not enough. It takes both biological machinery and oranges in order for an individual to have a meaningful experience involving oranges. Biological machinery is internal. Oranges are external. Meaningful experience involving oranges consists of both, internal and external things.
  • Janus
    12.6k
    So there is concrete perception and concrete feeling , abstract verbal thought and abstract social feeling. Instrumental music , dance and painting are slightly less definitive modes of abstract symbolizarion than verbal conceptualization, but considerably more abstract than concrete perception, given that they produce a wealth of social emotions.Joshs

    I think we are coming from very different definitions of terms, so we are going to talk past one another. For me what is concrete is what has immediate affective impact phenomenologically speaking, what affects us predominately in terms of being a sight, a sound, a smell, a taste, a bodily sensation, regardless of whatever story we might tell about the underlying machinery. I agree it's not black and white; that there is a continuum from what might be thought to be purely abstract to what is concrete. And of course I'm not denying that abstract thinking includes affectivity; as embodied beings there are always nuances of feeling and association going on.
  • Pie
    555
    It is when philosophers began attempting to take account of meaningful human experience that things went awry.creativesoul
    :up:

    Some of them made serious mistakes. I'll grant you that readily.

    Biological machinery is internal. Oranges are external. Meaningful experience involving oranges consists of both, internal and external things.creativesoul

    Of course I agree, as a matter of common sense and ordinary language. But personally I wouldn't want all philosophers to have to take so much for granted...even if most of the time we get silly talk from this license.
  • bongo fury
    1.4k
    Let me just start by saying I don't deny private experiences.Pie

    Only if you admit you are admitting defeat.

    Haha, this comment is about ten days old. Posted accidentally now. Wrong thread, too. Forgive me. Been enjoying it, but... why cling to the mentalist talk in a "manner of speaking"? Why not be literal? And eliminativist?
  • Joshs
    3.7k
    what is concrete is what has immediate affective impact phenomenologically speaking, what affects us predominately in terms of being a sight, a sound, a smell, a taste, a bodily sensation, regardless of whatever story we might tell about the underlying machinery.Janus

    Right, this is what I’ve characterized as the concreteness of bodily felt sensation. I think we’re taking about the same thing. What I’m claiming is that, in addition to this bodily sensation there is another aspect of feeling which is not concrete, not bodily and not a sensation. This more fundamental aspect of social feeling or emotion is what makes bodily sensations coherently meaningful as emotions. The concrete body sensations act as symbols for the abstract feelings. We tend to treat the body sensations of emotions the same way we treat other sensations , as simple concrete immediate sensations , without recognizing the existence of the more fundamental aspect. We substitute the simple and concrete for the abstract because then abstract component of feeling is invisible to us. Fundamental social emotions do not need to be accompanied by any concrete body sensations whatsoever in order to produce their meaning for us, just as abstract word concepts can produce their meaning in the absence of any specific concrete imagery.

    This notion of affect is consonant with Heidegger’s Befindlichkeit, ways of being in the world.
  • Janus
    12.6k
    I think this is a difficult area to speak about and as I understand it I agree with everything as you've written it there, and right now I can't think of anything to add. :up:
  • creativesoul
    10.6k
    what is concrete is what has immediate affective impact phenomenologically speaking, what affects us predominately in terms of being a sight, a sound, a smell, a taste, a bodily sensation, regardless of whatever story we might tell about the underlying machinery.
    — Janus

    Right, this is what I’ve characterized as the concreteness of bodily felt sensation.
    Joshs



    I think we’re taking about the same thing. What I’m claiming is that, in addition to this bodily sensation there is another aspect of feeling which is not concrete, not bodily and not a sensation

    You're clearly not talking about the same thing.

    Janus set out a criterion that does not include the 'aspect of feeling' that you've set out.

    I'm curious what this other 'aspect of feeling' could possibly be if it's a bodily sensation that is not concrete, not bodily, and not a sensation. Looks like nonsense to me.
  • Darkneos
    234
    This topic always gives me a headache.
  • creativesoul
    10.6k
    Some of them made serious mistakes. I'll grant you that readily.Pie

    All of them have...

    ...gotten human thought and belief, meaning, and/or truth wrong. Not all positions are wrong in the exact same way. Just to be clear. Some are wrong about the origen/nature of meaning, some are wrong about the origen/nature of truth, others are wrong about human thought and belief. All of them have gotten meaningful human experience wrong as a result.

    There are all sorts of underlying problems stemming from overestimating the appropriate usefulness of dichotomous frameworks such as subject/object, subjective/objective, mind/body, internal/external, subject/world, individual/world, self/other, real/imaginary, real/fiction, etc. In addition to that, the very notion of proposition has led us even further astray.

    Epistemology(JTB) suffered blows that it has yet to have recovered from(Russell's clock, and Gettier's paper). The failure of recovery is as a result of treating propositions as though they are equivalent to belief to begin with. They are not. Those problems were fostered, were made possible, by virtue of working from an emaciated notion of thought and belief to begin with. They are easily dissolved within an adequate account of meaningful human thought and belief.

    Current discourse remains trapped by the sticky residue of those frameworks as well as other accounting malpractices. Postmodern thought works from the basic argument that truth is a property of true claims/propositions, and that propositions are language constructs, therefore truth is a construct of language, for example. It only follows that truth cannot exist prior to language. From that we arrive at saying that there can be no true thought and/or belief prior to language acquisition. If truth is a language construct, then a language less creature would be incapable of forming, having, and/or holding true belief. The problem, of course, is that some can and do and none of the conventional approaches are capable of making much sense of them. So, those who hold that truth is existentially dependent upon language(including but not limited to postmodern thought) must either deny language less true belief or be faced with defending how true belief could exist without truth.

    Conventional understanding regarding theories of meaning are also found wanting and/or sorely lacking as a result of not having gotten human thought and belief right to begin with. Current convention has two primary schools of thought when it comes to theories of meaning. Both of them presuppose, are based upon, and/or work from the hidden, undisclosed tenet that meaning is to be found in language and/or linguistic expressions. Again, this leads to saying that there is no meaning prior to language, that meaning is a language construct, that language is necessary for meaning, and/or that meaning is existentially dependent upon language.

    Some language less creatures are capable of forming, having, and/or holding belief that is meaningful as well as true or false. It's truth-apt in that they can be true or false. The difficulty is in attempting to set this out in a philosophically respectable manner, despite abandoning many and/or much of the historical frameworks.

    Language less true and false belief is easily explained, old problems are dissolved, and doors of understanding previously nailed shut with consistent inadequate language use are thrown open wide when and if we understand how human thought and belief works(how all things become meaningful to creatures capable of attributing meaning).

    Meaning and truth emerge as a result of thought and belief formation, and nary a one philosopher has ever gotten meaning and truth both right. All are wrong about meaningful human experience, because it consists entirely of meaningful human thought and/or belief, some of which exist in their entirety prior to language acquisition, and they are true.

    If a language less creature is capable of forming meaningful true belief, then meaning and truth are prior to language, and not all belief is equivalent to a propositional attitude.
  • Pie
    555
    Been enjoying it, but... why cling to the mentalist talk in a "manner of speaking"? Why not be literal? And eliminativist?bongo fury
    :up:

    Good questions, and I'm glad you're following. I'm not sure what words I'd reach for in a context where I could assume folks had read and assimilated some of the criticisms of the grand old ghost story.

    There is an ordinary, 'innocent' version of 'private mind' (journal entries) that gets confused with its evil twin, which is itself a confusion, a mystified Nothing. Show them a problem with the Nothing Ghost...and they fall back on the journal entries and wicked thoughts about wives' sisters, which was never challenged in the first place.
  • Pie
    555
    Again, this leads to saying that there is no meaning prior to language, that meaning is a language construct, that language is necessary for meaning, and/or that meaning is existentially dependent upon language.

    Some language less creatures are capable of forming, having, and/or holding belief that is meaningful as well as true or false.
    creativesoul

    Your view seems reasonable to me, but I prefer to use/understand some of your keywords differently. The philosophers who want to find truth and meaning in full-fledged language are reacting to problems in their context, naturally trying to make sense of claims that a play a role in inferences --- of what they themselves, already at a high level of development, are doing.

    I don't think philosophers must or even do insist that other understandings/uses of 'meaning' are invalid.
  • Pie
    555
    If a language less creature is capable of forming meaningful true belief, then meaning and truth are prior to language, and not all belief is equivalent to a propositional attitude.creativesoul

    Another implicit premise here seems to be that languageless creatures can't have propositional attitudes. To me the question arises...how could we tell ? Can we, locked in language, help but attributing such 'attitudes' in trying to understand such creatures ?
  • Pie
    555
    This topic always gives me a headache.Darkneos

    :up:
  • Joshs
    3.7k
    I'm curious what this other 'aspect of feeling' could possibly be if it's a bodily sensation that is not concrete, not bodily, and not a sensation. Looks like nonsense to me.creativesoul

    This other aspect of feeling is not a bodily sensation.


    Here’s more from an article I wrote:

    Social feeling is the very core of so-called conceptual and perceptual thought, merging narrative-thematic consistency and global self-transformation, the subjective and the objective, the felt and the understood, in the same gesture. The presumed partial independence of rationality and affect vanishes, and the distinction re-emerges as aspects inherent in each event. The inter-affecting of context and novelty which defines an event simultaneously produces a fresh, particular modulation of change (empirical aspect) and a unique momentum (hedonic component) of self-transformation. From this vantage, the valuative, hedonic (the perceived goodness or badness of things), aesthetic aspect of experience, underlying ‘non-emotional' appraisals as well as our sadnesses, fears and joys, simply IS our vicissitudes of momentum of sense-making through situations, rather than arising from causal feedback loops. Affective valences are contractions and expansions, coherences and incoherences, accelerations and regressions, consonances and dissonances, expressing how intimately and harmoniously we are able to anticipate and relate to, and thus how densely, richly, intensely we are able to move through, new experience. If we can believe that a unique qualitative moment of momentum, ranging from the confused paralysis of unintelligibility to the exhilaration of dense transformative movement, is intrinsic to ALL events, then perhaps there is no need to attribute the origin of aesthetic pleasures and pains to the functioning of a limited class of entities like bodily affects, even if it is understandable why this kind of assumption has survived for so long in psychology .

    From the standpoint of verbal expressivity, what has traditionally been called emotion often appears to be a minimalist art, because it is the situational momentum of experiencing slowing or accelerating so rapidly that feelings seem to distill meaning down to a bare inarticulate essence. When the momentum of our reflective thought shifts in such dramatic ways (acceleratively enriched in joyful comprehension, impoverished in grief, ambivalent in fear, alternately disappointed and confident in anger), such so-called emotional events may appear to be a species apart from conceptual reason, a blind intuitive force (surge, glow, twinge, sensation, arousal, energy) invading, conditioning and orienting perceptual and conceptual thought from without as a background field. It is said that such ‘raw' or primitive feeling is bodily-physiological, pre-reflective and non-conceptual, contentless hedonic valuation, innate, passive, something we are overcome by. At other times, situational change may be intermediate, just modulated and gradual enough that content seems to perpetuate itself in self-cohering narratives. Such situations have been called rational, voluntary, factual, reflective, stable, conceptual, propositional, rational, logical, theoretical, non-aesthetic. However, as I have said, these dichotomies: hedonic versus reflective, voluntary versus involuntary, conceptual versus pre-reflective bodily-affective, are not effectively understood as reciprocally causal innate or learned associations between perceptions and body states; they are relative variations in the momentum of a contextually unfolding process which is always, at the same time, within the same event, intentional and affective.
  • Bret Bernhoft
    81
    Hermetics implies that there is nothing outside us that isn't inside us; as there is nothing above us that isn't below us.

    Is there a physical world? Yes, but only in as much as there is a dream world.
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