• Tobias
    1k
    I think he meant there is no fact regarding the existence of X. X does not show up in any way in the world. If something belongs to the set of all things that exist in our world, one expects there to be facts associated with this existence. This is not about knowledge. It's about the state of the world.frank

    But there is such a fact, namely my assertion that I am married. I attest to it, vouch for it, plead with my audience. I am simply not believed because others cannot corroborate my assertion and there are no records of it.

    With regard to a promise of which there is absolutely no evidence, you might think your memory of the making of the promise would stand as a fact. Surely your mental states are facts of the world. But let's look more closely (with Kripke's help). How would you, yourself determine if your memory was correct? How would you answer that?frank

    I cannot know if my memory was correct. All I can do is remember something. I also know my memory is mostly correct. Of course, I might well be wrong and there are good reasons for the audience not to believe me. However, if I indeed made that promise, I have said "I will return the book to you", there simply is a promise whether it is recorded or not. I just cannot convince anybody else of it, and for good reason. Rules of evidence are important, but not to establish the ontological status of X, but merely whether I should or should not believe X to be the case.

    In everyday practice we constantly end up in such situations. Let's say you told your friend you'd return him some money you owe, what do you do? I think you will return the money. Or will you think: "Well there is no written record of me owing the money and hey my memory may be wrong and so might his, so there is no need to return the money, the promise does not exist". No, of course not.
  • frank
    14.9k

    Exactly. What exists in the world is you behaving as if there are certain rules you ought to follow.
  • AmadeusD
    2k
    And on what metaphysical theory are you basing that assertion?Tobias

    Its not a metaphysical assertion. The explains a huge amount about hte dullardry you're putting forward.

    I did not promise my brother to return the book when there is no record of it?Tobias
    No. Because I didn't intimate this was the case. You are an extremely confused interlocutor.

    Best not to take your word for anything then.Tobias

    Given the utter ridiculousness of your responses, I still do not care.

    You should care because you are violating rules of civil conduct. Last time I checked they were taken seriously on this website.Tobias

    Tobias, you sweet summer child - I take part in the real world. This forum is not significant, and 'civil' discourse requires I be honest in my reactions to your responses. And I have been. If you're offended, that's up to you. I simply don't care.

    However, if there really was such a manTobias

    Begging the question. Also explains a lot. "If there were such a..." is not what we're talking about. A marriage is literally a legal instrument. For whatever reason you don't believe this is the case - which amkes everythign you say about it honestly tooth-grittingly stupid.

    But there is such a fact, namely my assertion that I am married.Tobias

    This isn't a fact about your marriage. It is a fact about you. The marriage doesn't obtain because you claim it does. You're in the exact same position as someone who was never married yet made the claim. There is zero difference. Zilch. Nada. None. You can claim whatever you want, and in this case at least you'd be right that you believe you are married. That has nothing to do with whether you are married.

    I am simply not believed because others cannot corroborate my assertion and there are no records of it.Tobias

    I take it you are not seeing the inanity coming to the fore here?

    It's very basic stuff.Banno

    Banno, you don't even understand straight-forward sentences half the time.

    "literally no evidence."frank

    I meant exactly what the quoted line means. There exists zero (none) evidence for proposition X. If that X is something which requires specific evidence such as the legal instrument of a marriage, then the rest of this is dull side-points that aren't relevant. If you're talking conceptual existence, which it seems Tobias is, that has nothing to do with what we're actually talking about and i've clarified this multiple times. I should be clear - I'm bored - not being 'uncivil'. This is tedious. Its like trying to explain something to my six year old:

    See this? Its a marriage license. It's required to be married to someone in law

    See this? "No" Exactly. That's the promises your mother and I made.


    Two complete different things that exist in different arenas in the world, in the mind and in practice. If Tobias wanted to discuss the merits of claiming the existence of a promise, we'd have a lot more to say to each other. However, it seems he's trying to have kind of a debate between legal concepts that literally don't exist.

    In everyday practice we constantly end up in such situations. Let's say you told your friend you'd return him some money you owe, what do you do? I think you will return the money. Or will you think: "Well there is no written record of me owing the money and hey my memory may be wrong and so might his, so there is no need to return the money, the promise does not exist". No, of course not.Tobias

    The an exquisite misunderstanding of what's being discussed. Ignoring that you have designed what amounts to a 'lie by omission' your scenario does not talk about what we're talking about. But, on it's face, I still disagree. The fact that you, in your head, note a 'chance' that you could be wrong does not intimate that you even could be wrong. So none of this goes anywhere.

    If you, and your friend have faulty memories and neither remembers the promise - it doesn't exist. That is the only source of it. And those sources no longer exist. There is no other way that a promise could obtain. Unless you're of hte position there is a secret cosmic repository of promises in the ether..

    Frank has the right idea. What exists is your beliefs. Not the things you believe (when those things are mental, like a promise).
  • frank
    14.9k
    If you're talking conceptual existence, which it seems Tobias is, that has nothing to do with what we're actually talking about and i've clarified this multiple times.AmadeusD

    Yea, I don't think he was being disingenuous. He just wasn't up for a discussion about ontology. He didn't seem to understand that his points were irrelevant.
  • Banno
    23.7k
    Folk hereabouts regularly confuse something's existing with something being known to exist.Banno
  • AmadeusD
    2k
    I agree hence boredom, rather than frustration.

    Still not understanding sentences it seems. Well done mate.
  • Janus
    15.9k
    Right, if I made a promise, I made a promise regardless of documentation. Even if I fail to remember making the promise, that doesn't change the fact that it was made.
  • Banno
    23.7k
    Yep. Basic stuff.

    Odd, the reactions it elicits.
  • jorndoe
    3.4k
    As far as I can tell...
    Are morals arbitrary, random, mere matter of whatever opinion? No.
    Are morals existentially mind-dependent? Yes.
    I'm not seeing a problem with that, though.
  • frank
    14.9k

    There are sentient beings behaving as if they have obligations. For a variety of reasons, the details of this are inscrutable. It's incredible!
  • Tobias
    1k
    Can someone stop @AmadeusD from trolling about? He seems unable to discuss matters without peppering his responses with invectives on his interlocutor's mental abilities. I have not bothered to read his last post because it annoys me to be insulted.

    Yea, I don't think he was being disingenuous. He just wasn't up for a discussion about ontology. He didn't seem to understand that his points were irrelevant.frank

    Maybe you can explain to me how they are irrelevant? I thought I was discussing ontology. The point I make and Banno agrees with is that in the posts of some people here the quality of being provable is mistakenly identified with the quality of existing or not. (Not sure if I have my analytic phil. terminology straight but you know what I mean.). That is an ontological point I would think.

    Exactly. What exists in the world is you behaving as if there are certain rules you ought to follow.frank

    I am having trouble unpacking this. Are you referring to the existence or non-existence of rules? I am not trying to misrepresent your point, but from this it seems that you feel a rule does not exist perse but what exist is 'me behaving 'as if' there are such rules'. Why though would you hold that these rules do not really exist?

    As far as I can tell...
    Are morals arbitrary, random, mere matter of whatever opinion? No.
    Are morals existentially mind-dependent? Yes.
    I'm not seeing a problem with that, though.
    jorndoe

    Agreed.
  • frank
    14.9k
    Maybe you can explain to me how they are irrelevant? I thought I was discussing ontology. The point I make and Banno agrees with is that in the posts of some people here the quality of being provable is mistakenly identified with the quality of existing or not. (Not sure if I have my analytic phil. terminology straight but you know what I mean.). That is an ontological point I would think.Tobias

    Your point seemed to be that a marriage (that is without any other kind of evidence) may be a feature of the world by virtue of your attitude:

    But there is such a fact, namely my assertion that I am married. I attest to it, vouch for it,Tobias

    Note that what actually exists here is you demonstrating the behavior of assertion making. Compare this to the value of a currency. Literally the only fact regarding this kind of value is the way people behave. Imagine this exchange:

    Ama: There is no fact regarding the value of currency other than people and the way they behave.
    Tobi: So you're saying the value doesn't exist? That's crazy! Of course it exists!

    We could say value exists as part of an explanation for certain kinds of behavior. As such, it's an abstract object because it's possible to be wrong about value. It's like numbers, sets, propositions, etc. It's a resident of complex intellectual activities that bear on interactions with one another and with the world. But that's their only domain: intellectual activities. They don't exist out there with dirt and dynamos. So we have two ways of talking about existence.

    Why though would you hold that these rules do not really exist?Tobias

    This would require a dive into Wittgenstein's private language argument with a little help from Saul Kripke. Is that something you're interested in?
  • Tobias
    1k
    Your point seemed to be that a marriage (that is without any other kind of evidence) may be a feature of the world by virtue of your attitude:frank

    Ohh no, that is not what I tried to convey. So maybe I did not formulate it aptly. A marriage is not constituted by my attitude, it is constituted by a certain procedure. It is an interesting procedure, it culminates in a 'speech act', as Austin called it. Me saying 'yes I do' has consequences for the state of affairs in the world, namely that I am no longer a bachelor, but a husband. The following of proper procedure causes a marriage to exist, not my attitude.

    Note that what actually exists here is you demonstrating the behavior of assertion making. Compare this to the value of a currency. Literally the only fact regarding this kind of value is the way people behave. Imagine this exchange:frank

    Well, what makes the marriage exist or not is whether this procedure has actually taken place. If it has taken place, I, with good cause, attest and vouch for the presence of my marriage. Whether I can prove it is a wholly different matter, as provability is, at least under Dutch law, not a precondition for marriage. However, of course, it had to be registered. It not being provable anymore has no impact on the actual existence of my marriage. The ritual has been followed, the speech act has been uttered. I am married and the marriage has not been dissolved also according to procedure. Think of it this way: is there for you a difference in my utterance that I am married in case that: A the proper ritual has indeed been followed and B. the proper has not been followed? My argument is that I am telling the truth in case A., whether or not I can prove it and I am not telling the truth in case B, irrespective of proof. Therein lays the crux of the matter.

    Compare this to the value of a currency. Literally the only fact regarding this kind of value is the way people behave. Imagine this exchange:frank

    Yes, but so what? Currency is a piece of paper to which we attach value, because it has been issued by a certain procedure. That is why currency which has been minted according to proper procedure has value and currency not minted according to proper procedure is actually valueless, the possession of which may actually cause legal trouble for you. Now of course, in a world that is blown to bits and is reduced to barter economy the value of that piece of paper might well become 0. No one wants to trade anything for it. But that does not mean that somehow its existence is of any less status than, say, a doorknob, which is also only a real doorknob because of the very existence of a door in which it has its proper place. It is also only a certain something within a network of all kinds of things. that is why I keep saying that at the core our disagreement is about metaphysics.

    We could say value exists as part of an explanation for certain kinds of behavior. As such, it's an abstract object because it's possible to be wrong about value. It's like numbers, sets, propositions, etc. It's a resident of complex intellectual activities that bear on interactions with one another and with the world. But that's their only domain: intellectual activities. They don't exist out there with dirt and dynamos. So we have two ways of talking about existence.frank

    We do have come to the heart of the matter. That is that you feel you need some kind of material substrate for something to really exist, 'dirt and dynamis'. If there is not some material thing, it cannot really be a certain something. I think that is actually a metaphysical assumption which is not needed. It does not matter whether something is made out of wood or stone or whether something is made out of numbers on a bank account. A certain phenomenon is always a certain something in virtue of the network within which it has a place. You want to restrict existence to something existing as stuff, something tangible, material. I do not see a good reason to speak about existence in such a way. It leads to confusion and the instability of institutions. When you are asked 'are you married?', you would have to answer with: "well really not, you see, because actually marriage is unreal, there is no dirt involved (though I hope for you there is, but I digress ;) ) but we behave as if we are married". I would answer the question much simpler: "yes". (Or in my case, "no", but that is again beside the point.

    This would require a dive into Wittgenstein's private language argument with a little help from Saul Kripke. Is that something you're interested in?frank
    I might though my vocabulary may well be different stemming from a different tradition. I do not see the link to private language though because the very existence of such institutions displays that we have no private language. We actually share a public like mindedness which makes such institutions possible. They are not subjective, they are the product of interactions. That is why I think here you mistake the horse for the carriage:
    We could say value exists as part of an explanation for certain kinds of behavior.frank
    No, I think, value has come into existence because of certain kinds of behavior.
  • frank
    14.9k
    You misunderstood me. No offense, but I'm not interested in pointing out how you misunderstood me, only to have you respond with the same misunderstanding. I'll leave it there.
  • AmadeusD
    2k
    Right, if I made a promise, I made a promise regardless of documentation. Even if I fail to remember making the promise, that doesn't change the fact that it was made.Janus

    This isn't touching the problem that I'm seeing missed: "the promise" does not exist. The act of commitment happened, and that can't be changed retroactively(so, depending on position this could be said to 'exist'. But the 'promise existing' is just an incoherent statement. Where is it? What is it? Who arbitrates? The promise doesn't exist, per se. It obtains in two related mindstates which assumably exist. If those mindstates change, the 'promise' fails to obtain. There is no other way to explain what a promise is, again, unless you think there's a cosmic repository somewhere of all promises made.

    Banno's attitude here is simply the kind of non-engagement that Searle loves so much. Literal hand-waving.

    (y)

    Can someone stop AmadeusD from trolling about? He seems unable to discuss matters without peppering his responses with invectives on his interlocutor's mental abilities. I have not bothered to read his last post because it annoys me to be insulted.Tobias

    If you're not reading my posts, don't talk about htem - particularly using terms like 'trolling' which you are doing with that exact sentence. Tsk tsk. Civil discourse and all. But, in all honestly Tobias - your posts are crap. This has nothing to do with your mental abilities or you as a human. Your posts are crap. I'm allowed to say that. You taking personal offense is something you're going to need to work on.

    Odd, the reactions it elicits.Banno

    Haha - yeah, this happens a lot with you. They aren't odd to those of us paying attention, though.
  • Banno
    23.7k
    You misunderstood me.frank

    That happens a lot.
  • Banno
    23.7k
    says there are no promises.

    Laugh and walk away.
  • frank
    14.9k
    That happens a lot.Banno

    :: virtual hug::
  • AmadeusD
    2k
    If you can only read three words out of a post, please don't respond to it. You're only further evidencing your inabilities anyway, so I'm giving you a top tip here.
  • Banno
    23.7k
    If you can only read three words out of a post...AmadeusD
    You are really not very good at this. I read the whole post, and chose the bit that was most ridiculous. Your claim is that there are no promises. That speaks volumes for your comprehension of the discussion here. It shows us why we should not pay heed to you on this topic. Your repeated vindictive and lack of substance reinforce the opinions already expressed by .
  • frank
    14.9k
    Your claim is that there are no promises.Banno

    No, he didn't. Stop with the provocative crap.
  • Banno
    23.7k
    No, he didn't. Stop with the provocative crap.frank

    Frank, he said:
    "the promise" does not exist.AmadeusD

    Therefore he thinks there are no promises.
  • frank
    14.9k

    You know better than this. The promise is an abstract object. You yourself deny their existence as features of the world. Stop playing this game.
  • Banno
    23.7k
    Another half-statement from you,

    Your implication is that abstract objects do not exist. The backdrop here is presumably a belief that only physical objects exist. This is simply muddled.

    "There is an x such that x is a promise" is true. Therefore promises exist.

    Nothing in this says that promises are physical objects.

    Again, really, really basic stuff. Not everything is a physical object.
  • frank
    14.9k

    You finally allowed the existence of abstract objects. It only took you ten years to do it, but you made it! Congratulations professor!
  • Banno
    23.7k
    I've never denied the existence of "abstract objects" - although I would not use that term! You are very confused.

    See for example the thread on Searle where I present his discussion of the construction of social reality. Social reality consists in what you call abstract object.

    And the thread on Austin, in which the hegemony of the physical is overturned.

    Or the threads on Midgley, where talk of what you call abstract objects is central.

    :roll:
  • frank
    14.9k
    Ok. You get the last word. Carry on.
  • Banno
    23.7k
    The last word.
  • AmadeusD
    2k
    Christ. No wonder you do this on a forum.
  • Janus
    15.9k
    :roll: Weasel words!
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