• Mww
    4.7k
    I don't think the syllogism is "just a hot mess."Leontiskos

    What do we wish, by means of proper reason, to extract from a syllogism? If it is truth, the syllogism at hand contains a true conclusion, but that conclusion is not possible from the premises constructed to obtain it. Hence…the hot mess.

    As to equivocation, I was thinking more regarding mediate/non-mediate, rather than distortions of the singular conception, knowledge. If it is the case no knowledge is at all possible that is not mediated, the term non-mediate cannot serve as ground for a judgement concerning knowledge.

    It follows that while the major is true in its use of “mediately”, the minor remains equivocal insofar as “non-mediately” has a different relation to knowledge than the relation in the major, hence is a fallacious sophisma figurae dictionis, especially if “non-mediately” doesn’t relate to knowledge at all.

    As to demonstration, if we exchange “non-mediate” for “immediate”, as one might reasonably expect, the minor transforms to, “an individual knows his acts immediately”, in which case the error….errors, there are two…..becomes quite clear.

    Having said all that, what do you think “non-mediately” means, and do you think knowledge is possible by it?
  • Leontiskos
    1.7k
    What do we wish, by means of proper reason, to extract from a syllogism?Mww

    Knowledge, and knowledge is not univocal.

    If it is the case no knowledge is at all possible that is not mediated...Mww

    If this were the case then the minor would simply be false. But it is not false, because we do have knowledge of our own actions in a non-mediated manner. I don't think anyone in the thread has claimed that the minor is false.

    It follows that while the major is true in its use of “mediately”, the minor remains equivocal insofar as “non-mediately” has a different relation to knowledge than the relation in the major, hence is a fallacious sophisma figurae dictionis, especially if “non-mediately” doesn’t relate to knowledge at all.Mww

    This is the metabasis that I referred to. Because "non-mediately" does relate to knowledge—as everyone in the thread concedes—the conclusion manages to convey a form of knowledge, albeit not demonstrative knowledge. The relationship between the subject and the predicate of the major is not identical to the relationship between the subject and the predicate of the minor, but neither is it equivocal. A pros hen relationship obtains (between mediated knowledge and non-mediated knowledge).

    Having said all that, what do you think “non-mediately” means, and do you think knowledge is possible by it?Mww

    I think the reason no one has challenged the minor is because we all believe that we possess a knowledge of our acts which is not mediated. This is different from our knowledge of the acts of others.

    Note: I have in mind the formalized version of the syllogism ().
  • Janus
    15.8k
    I think the reason no one has challenged the minor is because we all believe that we possess a knowledge of our acts which is not mediated. This is different from our knowledge of the acts of others.Leontiskos

    If all knowledge of action is mediated by neural processes, then we may well all be mistaken in thinking that we possess non-mediated knowledge of our own actions. We "feel" our own actions "from the inside" it seems, and we see, or hear the actions of others, but if feeling as well as seeing and hearing is mediated by prior neuronal activity, the immediacy may be merely phenomenological, which then just be to say that knowledge of our actions seems immediate, which is of course true.
  • Leontiskos
    1.7k
    We "feel" our own actions "from the inside" it seems, and we see, or hear the actions of others, but if feeling as well as seeing and hearing is mediated by prior neuronal activity, the immediacy may be merely phenomenological, which then just be to say that knowledge of our actions seems immediate, which is of course true.Janus

    I do not think it is a question of feeling. Feeling is a passion, not an action, and therefore to feel is not to act. Acting goes beyond feeling, and when one acts they know they have done so. The mediacy of perception pertains to the major premise, not the minor.
  • L'éléphant
    1.4k
    It's valid because "action is mediated" is not our argument.Count Timothy von Icarus
    It's valid because of the form of the argument.

    Although, I am aware that mathematicians generally prefer direct proofs over the reductio, because a reductio lacks fecundity, it cannot be used to set up new proofs as easily.Count Timothy von Icarus
    Proof by contradiction works in math -- and it was built as a mathematical argument.
    We can't use the argument by contradiction here because.....

    It's a containment relationship that fails to obtain. Or we can define it through membership. Action is not in the set of "things known mediately," while "all appearances" are members of that set. Thus, on pain of contradiction, action cannot be a member of the set of appearances as this would entail that it is an element in the set of things that are know mediately (which is rejected in P2).Count Timothy von Icarus
    ...there's not a containment relationship that exists in the argument. "Setting a set of things" itself is part of theory of action, which is about critical judgment -- see Kant's theory of action. If you notice, the argument provided includes that critical judgment on judgment about appearances:
    If anything is an appearance it is known mediately,
    The individual knows that he (or she) acts non-mediately
    Thus, action cannot be an appearance.

    So, action is a universal set, which can also be a urelement, in ZF theory. (Now I'm matching your proof by contradiction for lack of a better communication alternative. If we're gonna be wayward, let us, at least, be consistently wayward).
  • Mww
    4.7k
    If it is the case no knowledge is at all possible that is not mediated...
    — Mww

    If this were the case then the minor would simply be false. But it is not false, because we do have knowledge of our own actions in a non-mediated manner.
    Leontiskos

    Which is the whole point, as far back as your metabasis eis allo genos in Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics, in which there is found in the minor a “change into some other genus” other than the major, which doesn’t affect the form of the syllogism itself, which remains unexceptional, but renders the argument invalid at the level of individual instances.

    Aristotle calls this an error in scientific reasoning, meaning it only shows up in demonstrations of the premises. Here, the major premise, that appearances are known mediately, is true as demonstrated by means of some theory, but the minor, an individual knows his actions non-mediately, is demonstrated as false by that same theory. Or, upon demonstration by a different theory, contradicts the major, which is like using geometry to prove arithmetic propositions. Or, the judgement relating the price of gas going up/down in the major, is judged in the minor as a function of butterfly migration. Either is an example of turning a legitimate syllogism into a mere sophism.
    (Ever listened to speeches on the floor of the U.S. House? Yikes, I tell ya; one instance of illegitimate reasoning right after another. The more serious the topic, potentially the more silly the logic)

    And perhaps this is why the OP references Kant via Allison, in that Kant posits that this kind of logical error is the fault of reason itself, and not the thinking subject, who is seldom conscious of his mistake.

    Bottom line….knowledge of any kind, is necessarily mediated by the system which makes knowledge possible. There is no such thing as immediate or non-mediate knowledge, or, that knowledge given to a subject without the intervention of his own systemic intellectual methodology. And if one wishes to sharpen to a finer point, even in the case of sheer accident or pure reflex, a subject’s knowledge, without methodological intervention, and thereby merely a harmless post hoc ergo propter hoc deduction, is still mediated by time.

    Again I’ll ask….how do you think it is possible to have knowledge of our own actions in a non-mediated manner?
  • Leontiskos
    1.7k
    (Ever listened to speeches on the floor of the U.S. House? Yikes, I tell ya; one instance of illegitimate reasoning right after another. The more serious the topic, potentially the more silly the logic)Mww

    Ha!

    Aristotle calls this an error in scientific reasoning, meaning it only shows up in demonstrations of the premises.Mww

    Well, it means that the error is fatal precisely to a demonstration. My point is that the OP is not a demonstration, and need not be a demonstration (in the Aristotelian sense).

    Here, the major premise, that appearances are known mediately, is true as demonstrated by means of some theory, but the minor, an individual knows his actions non-mediately, is demonstrated as false by that same theory.Mww

    A Kantian theory? I would say that if Kant thinks that one's own actions are known by the same mediation that others' actions are known, so much the worse for Kant.

    Again I’ll ask….how do you think it is possible to have knowledge of our own actions in a non-mediated manner?Mww

    My point in indicating that everyone in the thread accepts it is to say that this burden is on you. To everyone in the thread it is accepted that we know our own actions in a more immediate way than we know others' actions, and if you disagree then you will have to provide an argument.

    The commonsensical idea is that when I see someone else flip a coin my knowledge is mediated by sense data; but when I flip a coin my knowledge that I am acting is in no way limited to sense data. Because I am the one effecting the act, therefore I know that the act is being effected. The mediation of the former is not present in the latter.

    Bottom line….knowledge of any kind, is necessarily mediated by the system which makes knowledge possible.Mww

    I would not say that abstract systems mediate knowledge. "Systemic intellectual methodology" is an afterthought, an epistemic hanger-on that follows after knowledge is already had. It is an attempt to explain what has already occurred.

    There are two questions here: first, whether the mediation of the knowledge of appearances and the mediation of the knowledge of first-person acts are different kinds of mediation; and second, whether the knowledge of first-person acts are mediated.
  • Moliere
    4.2k
    My point in indicating that everyone in the tread accepts it is to say that this burden is on you. To everyone in the thread it is accepted that we know our own actions in a more immediate way than we know others' actions, and if you disagree then you will have to provide an argument. The commonsensical idea is that when I see someone else flip a coin my knowledge is mediated by sense data; but when I flip a coin my knowledge that I am acting is in no way limited to sense data. Because I am the one effecting the act, therefore I know that the act is being effected. The mediation of the former is not present in the latter.Leontiskos

    Hrm! I don't know that I'd accept "we know our own actions in a more immediate way than we know others' actions" as a true sentence, but it'd be for boring reasons: I simply wouldn't use the predicate "...immediate" with respect to knowledge in general.
  • Leontiskos
    1.7k
    Anything that is an appearance is known mediately,
    Action is known only non-mediately
    Therefore, action cannot be an appearance.

    This makes it clear that the question is whether action is known only non-mediately, and that would seem to be false, which makes the argument as reformulated valid, but unsound.
    Janus

    Using this approach, you can get true premises in the following way:

    Anything that is an appearance is known only mediately
    Action is known non-mediately
    Therefore, action cannot be an appearance


    (The point is not that action is known only non-mediately, but rather that action is known non-mediately (and mediately), whereas appearance is only known mediately.)
  • L'éléphant
    1.4k
    To everyone in the thread it is accepted that we know our own actions in a more immediate way than we know others' actions,Leontiskos
    We know our actions in a direct way -- no input from the outside world. If I walked over to the kitchen, I knew it without waiting for an object to hit my eyes. My action is within me. My being is within me. A ball is outside of me, I can perceive it. I can perceive its qualities. If I lay down and imagine aliens, only I could know I am imagining. The act of imagining is not something that I perceive like I am perceiving a tree. In fact, compared to the perception of a tree, my imagination can take many forms; whereas a tree is a tree is a tree. Seven billion people could confirm that a pine tree is a pine tree.
  • Mww
    4.7k
    ….we know our own actions in a more immediate way than we know others' actions, and if you disagree then you will have to provide an argument.Leontiskos

    That was never a contention simply from the fact it was never submitted as such, in the original syllogism, which doesn’t even suggest community as a determinant condition. The contention remains, that no one, as individual subject to whom the syllogism is properly addressed, knows anything at all that isn’t mediated by the system by which knowledge itself is possible. Give that system any name you wish, determine its methodology by whatever means…..whatever it is, if knowledge is impossible without it it is necessarily the case knowledge is mediated by it, and consequently, no knowledge is at all possible non-mediately.

    That’s my argument, and if it is true, the minor in the original syllogism is demonstrably false because of it, while there being nothing wrong with its form.

    So, yes, we know our own actions in a more immediate way that we know others’ actions, but that says nothing about the mediacy/non-mediacy of the our own knowledge of our own actions, which is the implication the syllogism carries.
    ————-

    There are two questions here: first, whether the mediation of the knowledge of appearances and the mediation of the knowledge of first-person acts are different kinds of mediation; and second, whether the knowledge of first-person acts are mediated.Leontiskos

    Absolutely, different kinds of mediation, and thereby, the second question is redundant.
    ————-

    It is an attempt to explain what has already occurred.Leontiskos

    Ever tied to explain what hasn’t occurred? That isn’t, instead, a prediction?

    Fun talkin’ to ya, but let’s not get too carried away, huh?
  • Leontiskos
    1.7k
    Hrm! I don't know that I'd accept "we know our own actions in a more immediate way than we know others' actions" as a true sentence, but it'd be for boring reasons: I simply wouldn't use the predicate "...immediate" with respect to knowledge in general.Moliere

    But what about "more immediate"? Are there different levels of mediation here? I think that question presents the first step.
  • Janus
    15.8k
    Anything that is an appearance is known mediately,
    Action is known only non-mediately
    Therefore, action cannot be an appearance.

    This makes it clear that the question is whether action is known only non-mediately, and that would seem to be false, which makes the argument as reformulated valid, but unsound.
    — Janus

    Using this approach, you can get true premises in the following way:

    Anything that is an appearance is known only mediately
    Action is known non-mediately
    Therefore, action cannot be an appearance

    (The point is not that action is known only non-mediately, but rather that action is known non-mediately (and mediately), whereas appearance is only known mediately.)
    Leontiskos

    I'm not convinced those premises are true. I mean I think it is fair to say, thinking about it one way, that nothing is known non-mediately, and from another way of thinking, that everything is known immediately. The first highlights the fact that there are always processes of awareness going on in all kinds of knowing, and the latter highlights that fact that knowing always feels immediate.
  • Leontiskos
    1.7k
    We know our actions in a direct way -- no input from the outside world. If I walked over to the kitchen, I knew it without waiting for an object to hit my eyes. My action is within me. My being is within me. A ball is outside of me, I can perceive it. I can perceive its qualities. If I lay down and imagine aliens, only I could know I am imagining. The act of imagining is not something that I perceive like I am perceiving a tree. In fact, compared to the perception of a tree, my imagination can take many forms; whereas a tree is a tree is a tree. Seven billion people could confirm that a pine tree is a pine tree.L'éléphant

    Yes, quite right. :up:

    ---

    That was never a contention...Mww

    We're taking baby steps here.

    So, yes, we know our own actions in a more immediate way that we know others’ actions...Mww

    Okay great, so we know our own actions in a more immediate way than we know others' actions. Now we can move to the question of the minor: whether we know our own acts immediately.

    Some questions: Do you act? When you act do you know you are acting, or are you not sure whether you are acting? Do you disagree with L'éléphant about his knowledge of walking over to the kitchen? Finally, if you think this knowledge is mediate, then what is it mediated by?

    ()

    Give that system any name you wish...Mww

    Do you think people without "systems" are also capable of knowledge?

    Ever tied to explain what hasn’t occurred?Mww

    Knowledge is not an act of explanation.
  • Janus
    15.8k
    Some questions: Do you act? When you act do you know you are acting, or are you not sure whether you are acting? Do you disagree with L'éléphant about his knowledge of walking over to the kitchen? Finally, if you think this knowledge is mediate, then what is it mediated by?Leontiskos

    I think the salient question is not whether you know you are acting, but whether the awareness that you are acting is immediate, or whether it is mediated by processes that give rise to that awareness. Of course, the awareness is, or at least seems to be, from the percipient's point of view, felt immediately. But this is also equally the case when it comes to extrasomatic perceptions.

    As I said in my previous post, I think there is an ambiguity in the notions of mediacy and immediacy; so perhaps we are merely arguing about different ways of thinking, ways which cannot meaningfully be opposed because they find their senses in different contexts.
  • Leontiskos
    1.7k
    - Are we agreed that there is a difference between acting and observing, even though it is also possible to observe one's own actions?
  • Janus
    15.8k
    Yes, I agree with that. We can act without being aware of acting and we can also act with awareness.
  • Leontiskos
    1.7k
    - Well, that might be slightly different than what I want to posit. It seems that if Ernie sees Bert flip a coin, then he has knowledge of Bert's action through observation. If Ernie flips a coin himself, then he has knowledge of his own act through observation, but he also has knowledge of his own act qua actor.

    So through observation Ernie has knowledge, but he also has a different kind of knowledge when he is the one doing the acting. When Ernie flips a coin he does not need to observe the coin flip—like when he is watching Bert—in order to know that he is flipping a coin. As an actor he is able to act, and when he puts this ability into play and acts he knows he is acting. This is a sort of knowledge that we only have of our own acts.

    This is what I mean by the difference between acting and observing. Are we agreed on that difference?
  • Janus
    15.8k
    Sure, when we are aware we feel our body acting, moving and we feel the ease or the effort. We can act and be completely unaware of it, though. When we feel it, it feels immediate, just as it seems immediate when we see others acting, so I'm still not seeing a real difference beyond the difference between feeling and seeing.
  • wonderer1
    1.8k
    I think the reason no one has challenged the minor is because we all believe that we possess a knowledge of our acts which is not mediated. This is different from our knowledge of the acts of others.
    — Leontiskos

    If all knowledge of action is mediated by neural processes, then we may well all be mistaken in thinking that we possess non-mediated knowledge of our own actions. We "feel" our own actions "from the inside" it seems, and we see, or hear the actions of others, but if feeling as well as seeing and hearing is mediated by prior neuronal activity, the immediacy may be merely phenomenological, which then just be to say that knowledge of our actions seems immediate, which is of course true.
    Janus

    :100:

    @Leontiskos

    The reason I haven't challenged the minor is because I am lazy. Not because there is not good reason to.
  • Mww
    4.7k
    Some questions:….Leontiskos

    Oh cool. Socratic dialectics. I’ll play along. Briefly.

    Do you act?Leontiskos

    Yes.

    When you act do you know you are acting….Leontiskos

    Not always.

    …..or are you not sure whether you are acting?Leontiskos

    Yes, I’m sure I’m acting, iff I’m in the act of doing something and aware of it.

    Do you disagree with L'éléphant about his knowledge of walking over to the kitchen?Leontiskos

    Yes.

    Finally, if you think this knowledge is mediate, then what is it mediated by?Leontiskos

    Why, the knowledge that I have walked to the kitchen, is mediated by my understanding of what a kitchen is. How else would it be determinable that I didn’t walk to the bathroom? If I say I did a particular thing, I must already know what that thing was before I did it. If that was not the case, all I’m justified in saying is that I walked into a different space.

    And yes, you actually do need a kitchen-type object to hit your eyes, or, possibly but not as definitively, some particular kitchen-like perception, in order to KNOW you’ve arrived in the kitchen. No stoves in the office, no toilets in the pantry.
    —————

    Do you think people without "systems" are also capable of knowledge?Leontiskos

    No. But still, if ALL people have a system, regardless of what kind of system it may be, then to ask about people without one, is unintelligible.

    .
  • L'éléphant
    1.4k
    When you act do you know you are acting, or are you not sure whether you are acting?Leontiskos
    So, if one is doubting whether they're acting, then the doubting itself is an act that they're not sure of. This has a funny consequence -- I'm not sure I'm walking, but I'm also not sure that I'm not sure I'm walking, and I really can't be sure at all of anything, which means there is one thing I know non-mediately: that I don't know anything. So, there IS ONE THING I know for sure!!
    :sweat:

    The continuation of this argument is -- so if there is one thing one knows non-mediately, surely there could other things one can know non-mediately. Why is there only one thing that occupies a special place of knowing non-mediately? Is it because one is trying to win an argument? Is it because one hasn't put a lot of thought into this argument and does not know how to end it?
  • Leontiskos
    1.7k
    So, if one is doubting whether they're acting, then the doubting itself is an act that they're not sure of. This has a funny consequence -- I'm not sure I'm walking, but I'm also not sure that I'm not sure I'm walking, and I really can't be sure at all of anything, which means there is one thing I know non-mediately: that I don't know anything. So, there IS ONE THING I know for sure!!
    :sweat:
    L'éléphant

    Quite right. :lol:

    ---

    Sure, when we are aware we feel our body acting, moving and we feel the ease or the effort.Janus

    When we are riding an ass we feel the ass acting, moving, and we feel the ease or the effort. But to act is not to be carried around by an ass. ...Not even St. Francis' "brother ass"!

    ---

    Yes, I’m sure I’m acting, iff I’m in the act of doing something and aware of it.Mww

    Okay.

    Why, the knowledge that I have walked to the kitchen, is mediated by my understanding of what a kitchen is.Mww

    Of course to have knowledge of a proposition involves having knowledge of the terms of the proposition, but the knowledge of the proposition is not mediated by the terms. The proposition presupposes and is constituted by the terms, just as the knowledge that you are walking into a kitchen presupposes knowledge of the kitchen. I think it would be quite odd to call this mediation, particularly in the sense of the "appearances" of the OP.

    And yes, you actually do need a kitchen-type object to hit your eyes, or, possibly but not as definitively, some particular kitchen-like perception, in order to KNOW you’ve arrived in the kitchen.Mww

    But you've confused the topic. We are not talking about knowledge of arrival, we are talking about knowledge of acting. Transeunt acts will be easier (acts that have no exterior term). Kant thinks we should legislate for ourselves the categorical imperative, and it turns out that this legislating is an act. Well how do we know that we have so legislated? That we have so acted?

    For the sake of argument, if you know you are acting iff you are "in the act of doing something and aware of it," then when you are consciously walking you have knowledge that you are walking. And if you are consciously thinking then you have knowledge that you are thinking. This knowledge is immediate.
  • Janus
    15.8k
    When we are riding an ass we feel the ass acting, moving, and we feel the ease or the effort. But to act is not to be carried around by an ass. ...Not even St. Francis' "brother ass"!Leontiskos

    We don't feel the effort or the ease of the ass in the same way we feel our own, but that feeling of our own ease and effort in action or at rest is presumably made possible by neuronal activity that is prior to the feeling, just at when we see or hear things, that seeing or hearing is presumable made possible by antecedent neuronal activity.

    So, to reiterate, for me, seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling and tasting seem just as immediate as somatosensory or proprioceptive awareness, but they are all presumably mediated by neuronal activity.
  • Mww
    4.7k
    Quite rightLeontiskos

    So Descartes was wrong, re: when he said the one thing he couldn’t doubt was his doubting yet you affirm doubting is an act one can be uncertain about.
    ————

    Of course to have knowledge of a proposition involves having knowledge of the terms of the proposition, but the knowledge of the proposition is not mediated by the terms.Leontiskos

    Correct, but irrelevant and beside the point. When I’m walking to the kitchen I’m not concerned with the construction of propositions. To inform you of my activities it may be necessary to construct speech acts with words and in a fashion you can understand, but it is certainty not necessary to inform myself.

    …..the knowledge that you are walking into a kitchen presupposes knowledge of the kitchen. I think it would be quite odd to call this mediation, particularly in the sense of the "appearances" of the OP.Leontiskos

    The presupposition JUST IS the mediation, with respect to the major in the OP. All that’s required is an exposition of the origin of the presupposition in order to justify mediation as properly obtainable from it. Which is the bone of contention overall, insofar as mediation via presupposition cannot be justified in the minor without stipulation that the act the individual knows is itself an appearance, which is the condition met by walking into that which appears as “kitchen”. But, on the one hand, if he knows his act as appearance, the minor contradicts the major, and on the other, it is not necessary an individual knows his act by appearance, insofar as he can know what his act will be without it ever manifesting in the world, which makes explicit his act is necessarily mediated by something other than experience, in which case the minor contradicts itself.

    It’s really not that difficult, is it?
    ———-

    …..consciously thinking (….) consciously walking….Leontiskos

    Consider that for a second.

    An error in reason perfectly congruent with the syllogism in the OP.

    Now, while it is true Everydayman doesn’t give even half a hoot about such seemingly innocuous rationality, the philosopher should recognize it for what it is.

    I’ll leave you to it. Or not.
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