• Janus
    13.2k
    True, our culture is characterized mostly by instrumental reason; thinking along the lines of maximization of personal advantage and the pleasure/ pain dichotomy.

    By the way, it's good to see you back here wasting your time with the rest of us. :grin:
  • T Clark
    10.7k
    I agree that reality/existence in day to day living can be taken at face value. This is the nature of culture, common ideation and the interpersonal utility of language.

    It's surface level - vague, imprecise, unquestioned, unassumed and therefore useful in a day to day context.

    However existence is not just surface level. It stems from the furthest/most distant origins. The most primitive, the beginning of all things. All encompassing.

    Trying to apply specificity to a macroscopic scale is much more difficult then applying vaguery to the everyday microscopic scale.
    Benj96

    I think this undervalues the importance of everyday reality. All the other ontologies only have meaning in the context of this way of seeing things. They all have to take it into account. The fact that so many don't is a sign of a lack of insight.

    It's also more than surface level. It encompasses everything that humans experience in all but the most extreme and exotic environments. It's also not in any way vague or imprecise. An apple is exactly an apple. I can measure it's location, motion, volume, mass, electric charge, sweetness, shape - all its properties, within precise tolerances. If it's unquestioned, that's because it works so well in so many situations.
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    :up:

    I completely forgot about the sixth sense - thanks for the reminder mon ami. Like dark energy - it has to be there says the mind (dark energy hasta exist), but we can't find it (our senses and instruments can't detect it).

    On April 30, 1897, English physicist Joseph John Thomson gave the first experimental proof of the electron, which had been already theoretically predicted by Johnstone Stoney.

    A reminder to us all that instead of dividing into mind (rational) and body (empirical), we should be uniting as mind-body (rational + empiriical) i.e. BothAnd.
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    What's the justification for a physicalist ontology? Why is it that when talking about material stuff, nobody goes "is the chair I'm sitting on real?" while quite the opposite happens when we discuss apparently nonphysical stuff like numbers. I see no logical reason for such a position.
  • Benj96
    1.5k
    haha that's quite a use if the word presumption. In truth I think there's a lot of Interplay between "fact", "belief" "hypothesis" and "presumption" over long times and changing degrees of knowledge and insight.

    They seem to be distinguished by a sort of "confidence interval" - as in how plausible or true they seem to be at that current time to the vast majority or whether they reflect consistencies we search for in our understanding of reality.

    Science has declared truths or facts in the past that have since been refined, ammened or totally discredited and replaced or became just a belief or outdated presumption. Eg. The Copernican revolution in astronomy.

    Beliefs are facts in the sense that beliefs exist. It is a fact that some beliefs appear more factual while others seem more unlikely.

    The entire truth/the true nature of reality has been proposed many times from many disciplines but never fully adopted or unanimously accepted, none have remained unchallenged for the entirety of human existence and discourse.

    It's a strange intermix.
  • 180 Proof
    10.9k
    What's the justification for a physicalist ontology?Agent Smith
    None. Physicalism, in practice, is an epistemology (re: a paradigm used in natural science).

    Why is it that when talking about material stuff, nobody goes "is the chair I'm sitting on real?"
    The question lacks grounds for raising it (Witty, Peirce).

    ... while quite the opposite happens when we discuss apparently nonphysical stuff like numbers.
    Nominalists & pragmatists, naturalists & existentialists don't ask 'whether or not numbers are real'. Platonists & rationalists, for example, promiscuously misplaced concreteness like that. By "nonphysical stuff", by the way, you do mean abstract objects, not "angels", right? :smirk:
  • Gnomon
    2.8k
    So when most people say 'reason' in effect they mean 'scientific reason' which operates within constraints that are rarely made the object of explicit awareness. Philosophers (or some philosophers) are well aware of this.Wayfarer
    Ironically, that Empirical, tangible-results-oriented, understanding of "Reason" is common even on The Philosophy Forum, where we don't do anything remotely empirical. Materialism, as a belief system, sometimes seems to be the un-official doctrine of TPF. :sad:

    PS__For the record, Enformationism does not deny the validity of Materialism, as a guide for empirical research. And it does not advocate Spiritualism, as a guide to heaven. It does however assume that philosophical reasoning is a valid approach to evaluating immaterial ideas & beliefs.


    Materialism, also called physicalism, in philosophy, the view that all facts (including facts about the human mind and will and the course of human history) are causally dependent upon physical processes, or even reducible to them.
    https://www.britannica.com/topic/materialism-philosophy

    Philosophical Materialism states that everything that truly exists is matter; everything is material, thus all phenomena we see are a result of material interactions.
    https://thedecisionlab.com/reference-guide/philosophy/materialism
  • Wayfarer
    16.7k
    Ironically, that Empirical, tangible-results-oriented, understanding of "Reason" is common even on The Philosophy Forum, where we don't do anything remotely empirical.Gnomon

    What's the justification for a physicalist ontology?Agent Smith

    It's not complicated. There's broad consensus that religion and metaphysics are archaic, they haven't moved with the times, and are no longer relevant to life as it's lived now. By default, the only yardsticks we have are those provided by science. Of course there is an enormous variety of attitudes and views, but that is broadly true in secular cosmopolitan culture. Materialism as a philosophy arises mainly from attempt to apply scientific methods to philosophical problems, or to deny that there are philosophical problems that are not in scope for scientific method.

    The entire truth/the true nature of reality has been proposed many times from many disciplines but never fully adopted or unanimously accepted,Benj96

    It's not a democratic question! And the fragmentation of worldviews is inevitable in the kind of culture we're in, with instantaneous mass communications available to everyone around the world. In that sense, everyone has to find their own truth, which doesn't necessarily mean something of their own invention. (Isn't that what Kierkegaard said?) In some ways, it has never been easier due to the abundance of information, but also it's never been harder, because of the number of apparently conflicting views.

    Incidentally and apropros this thread, an excellent new article on Aeon.co on Karl Jaspers.
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k


    A tennis ball may be green, but it is also round.
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    It's not complicated. There's broad consensus that religion and metaphysics are archaic, they haven't moved with the times, and are no longer relevant to life as it's lived now. By default, the only yardsticks we have are those provided by science. Of course there is an enormous variety of attitudes and views, but that is broadly true in secular cosmopolitan culture. Materialism as a philosophy arises mainly from attempt to apply scientific methods to philosophical problems, or to deny that there are philosophical problems that are not in scope for scientific method.Wayfarer

    A knife may kill but it can also save. There's no reason to say a knife is a weapon. I,'m a bit bewildered why physical (stones, bodies) is more real than the nonphysical (ideas).
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    And your point?180 Proof

    Why should one aspect of the tennis ball be more real than the other? Like you said there's no justification for a physicalist ontology, oui?
  • litewave
    793
    What is your explanation for existence?Benj96

    At heart my ontology is trivial: every possible concrete thing either has no parts (and thus has the structure of the empty set) or has parts (and thus has the structure of a non-empty set). These concrete things make up all possible worlds and all possible worlds are real worlds because there is no difference between possible and real.
  • 180 Proof
    10.9k
    There's no "justification" because, to my mind, there is no such animal as a "physicalist ontology". As for your "tennis ball", I rely on an old school epistemic distinction (re: primary & secondary qualities): "green" is only a dependent-variable.

    At heart my ontology is trivial: every possible concrete thing either has no parts (and thus has the structure of the empty set) or has parts (and thus has the structure of a non-empty set). These concrete things make up all possible worlds and all possible worlds are real worlds because there is no difference between possible and real.litewave
    It's happy hour here (near Portland, Oregon) so I'll lustily drink to that! :yum: :up:
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k


    A physicalist ontology I define as either the physical is all that exists/is real or that the physical is more real than the nonphysical. From such a standpoint, unicorns and numbers don't exist/are not real or are less real than horses. This, as you can see, captures the materialist/physicalist position on ontology. It has no basis and if it has one I'm not aware of it.

    Ar you suggesting @litewave's sloshed and you would like to also get ... sloshed?
  • Janus
    13.2k
    haha that's quite a use if the word presumption. In truth I think there's a lot of Interplay between "fact", "belief" "hypothesis" and "presumption" over long timesBenj96

    I agree there is interplay, but I'd say that facts, beliefs and hypotheses are all dependent on presumptions and not, ultimately, the other way around.

    As to what seems most plausible, I don't think we have general consensus, and even if we did have majority consensus should we consider that a definitive guide to anything beyond the context of human understanding and knowledge?

    I also agree that changing scientific paradigms have rendered previously accepted presumptions outmoded.
  • 180 Proof
    10.9k
    You're taking issue with a strawman of your own making, much like theists do with "atheism" and idealists (antirealists) do with "naturalism". I'm not aware of any physicalist who actually uses the concept of physicalism the way you (wiki?) do define it.
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    You're taking issue with a strawman of your own making, much like theists do with "atheism" and idealists (antirealists) do with "naturalism". I'm not aware of any physicalist who actually uses the concept of physicalism the way you (wiki?) do define it.180 Proof

    But then that means physicalists are ok with dualism and mathematical platonism, but they're not are they? Something doesn't add up, oui?

    Gracias for identifying my fallacy. :up:
  • 180 Proof
    10.9k
    I guess that depends on the particular physicalist.
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    I guess that depends on the particular physicalist180 Proof

    :ok:
  • khaled
    3.5k
    Currently: Materialism with a splash of platonic realism. Learned from @180 Proof later that it's called hylomorphism. But my mind changes often.
  • 180 Proof
    10.9k
    Are you familiar with Alain Badiou's 'platonic materialism'? If not, check out The Concept of Model: An Introduction to the Materialist Epistemology of Mathematics ... anrd another short book In Praise of Mathematics.
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