• AmadeusD
    2k
    I read the whole post, and chose the bit that was most ridiculous.Banno

    No. You took something out of context to make it seem ridiculous. This is called strawmanning among other things. IN the real world, this sort of underhanded nonsense is ignored. Perhaps why you're here?

    Your claim is that there are no promises.Banno

    Hahaha. And then you go on to impugn my comprehension. Cannot make up this level of irony. Sniff away!!

    Your repeated vindictive and lack of substanceBanno

    If you think clearly, precisely rebutting a clearly erroneous argument repeatedly is "lack of substance" this is explains you quite well. And again, why you're here.
    I would recommend how you could overcome yourself but I don't think you want to gain any insights. Just sniff.
  • Janus
    15.9k
    This kind of response leaves me only with the hope that you might grow up. Your argumentation, and what seems to motivate it, is of such a low quality that I am amazed that you haven't been banned.
  • Banno
    23.7k
    Meh. Your last dozen posts have had no philosophical content whatsoever. Mere invective.

    Here again is what I have argued: People make promises. Therefore there are promises. Therefore promises exist.

    I'll offer you now the opportunity to agree with this.
  • Banno
    23.7k
    So we ought only post arguments that make people feel good?
  • AmadeusD
    2k
    I am amazed that you haven't been banned.Janus

    All I can say is lets hope you aren't quite this fragile in the real world. As with Tobias, I don't care, and nor should you.

    Thanks for this. I can tell you see something in it, regardless of your protestations.
    No. People 'make promises' in the same sense people 'make friends' or 'make sense' or 'make out' an image in the distance. There is nothing that exists beyond the act. There are no promises out there waiting for you to fulfill them. There are no free-floating 'friends' that you've made out there waiting for you to call. You don't 'make sense' of a sentence, and then the 'sense' sits there to be observed. Exists in the sentence. It is nothing, of itself.

    There are other people with particular brain states in both accounts, as result of your behaviour. Those brain states obtain, exist, affect and all the rest(with the addition of being, while extant, related). And while we disagree, there's nothing wrong with noting these can be considered moral aspects of having caused those brain states i.e to disappoint one to whom you've agreed to idk, provide food, is 'bad' because you said you would. Not just because you didn't do it.
    However, the promise was a singular act and quite clearly doesn't exist as 'an' anything. It is the person's brain state that exists. But as noted earlier, if both parties to a 'promise' forget that it was made, the there aren't even these brain states and te claim that the 'promise' still exists becomes risible to the point of perhaps being an indicator of sillygooseness.

    I would be hard to imagine a funnier response than Banno's above.
  • Banno
    23.7k
    There is nothing that exists beyond the act.AmadeusD

    Well, seems to me that the obligation exists beyond the act of making the promise. That is, to make a promise is to place oneself under an obligation.

    Now that obligation is not physical. It is not "floating around". But it does exist.

    But it is a mistake to think of the promise or obligation as "nothing, of itself." It is a promise, it is an obligation. So "...the promise was a singular act and quite clearly doesn't exist as 'an' anything" Isn't right, either - the promise exists as a promise; as the undertaking of an obligation.

    So to this:
    if both parties to a 'promise' forget that it was made, the there aren't even these brain states and te claim that the 'promise' still exists becomes risible to the point of perhaps being an indicator of sillygooseness.AmadeusD
    If both parties forget about the promise, what is it that they have forgotten about? Not nothing. They have forgotten about the promise. Hence, there is a promise to be forgotten about, and again the promise exists.

    ...brain states...AmadeusD
    I gather that you would like to argue that promises are brain states? What would that look like? Is the promise the brain state in the head of the promiser, or the promisee? Or both? What about those who hears about the promise - is the promise the sum of all the brain states of everyone who has heard of it?

    Or is the promise a similar structure that each and every person that has heard of the promise has in their brain? Could that be made coherent?

    And what ab out written promises, or audio recordings - are these also promises? And how does the promise move from one page to another? If it is a physical state, then the nature of that state is quite irresolute.

    The promise seems to be something quite apart from any such physical state. Isn't it more a construction, put together by people using language to get things done? Isn't it a way of undertaking an obligation in a social and linguistic context?

    But why shouldn't we talk of such things as existing? Along with money, property, friendship, and so much more. We live in a complex of social constructs.
  • Janus
    15.9k
    All I can say is lets hope you aren't quite this fragile in the real world. As with Tobias, I don't care, and nor should you.AmadeusD

    Fragile? :rofl: What an idiotic inference; what makes you think I care about some random ad hominem projections beyond making the effort to call them out for what they are? I'm not interested in participating in your silly game of one-upmanship.
  • Tobias
    1k
    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.AmadeusD

    Of course you are free to point out that you think my posts are crap. I disagree with that assessment but that is to be expected. What is uncalled for is your incessant stream of arguments ad hominem and your condescending tone. Those are not needed and uncivil. I have every reason to take offense when I am talked to with disrespect. Of course probably in your world there is no such thing as rules of civil discourse as rules altogether lack the quality of existence, but in the real world they are certainly there. So, may I ask you kindly to please leave me be and go away?

    ↪Tobias 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.frank

    Fair enough. I would like to know where I misunderstood you, because indeed that does happen. But if I do not get to find out, alas. I honestly tried to address the points you made, that is all I can say. Philosophy, in my view, is the examination of one's propositions. In that vein my posts were written. If you find them unhelpful, you are free to disregard them of course.
  • Michael
    14.8k
    It is a promise, it is an obligation.Banno

    This is an ambiguous claim.

    Are you suggesting that "I promise to do this" means "I am obliged to do this"?
    Are you suggesting that "I promise to do this" entails "I am obliged to do this"?

    Is "I promise to do this but I am not obliged to do this" in some sense a contradiction?

    People make promises. Therefore there are promises. Therefore promises exist.Banno

    This is also an ambiguous claim.

    To say that people make promises is to say that people promise to do something, and to say that people promise to do something is to say that they say something like "I promise to do this".

    Does "promises exist" mean the same thing as "people say something like 'I promise to do this'"?

    Because at least prima facie the former would suggest some sort of platonism/realism regarding the existence of abstract objects whereas the latter wouldn't.
  • frank
    14.9k
    I would like to know where I misunderstood you, because indeed that does happen.Tobias

    Sure. Oaths, covenants, verbal contracts, and promises are ideas that come to us as parts of a religious heritage. For our ancestors, a marriage was a holy sacrament, and oaths were made using Bibles. God was involved.

    For us, all the divine trappings have fallen away. There's nothing but people talking, people behaving in a certain way. People don't usually talk about whether promises exist somehow, but if we had to make sense of that, we'd say the proposition involved in the promise exists as an abstract object. This means it's an element of intellectual life. So yes, they exist. In another sense, they don't.

    It's like when Margaret Thatcher said, "There's no such thing as Society." If you really don't understand what she was saying, that's your choice. Most of us understand it perfectly.
  • Banno
    23.7k
    Are you suggesting that "I promise to do this" means "I am obliged to do this"?
    Are you suggesting that "I promise to do this" entails "I am obliged to do this"?
    Michael
    Well, yes. Except that your rendering misses the direction of fit. That is, "I promise to answer you" places me under an obligation to answer you, and "I promised to answer you" entails that I am obliged to answer you.

    Is "I promise to do this but I am not obliged to do this" in some sense a contradiction?Michael
    Yes. In promising you place yourself under an obligation. It's much the same as "I promise to answer you but I will not answer you".


    See Searle, "How to promise, a complicated way"

    Does "promises exist" mean the same thing as "people say something like 'I promise to do this'"?Michael
    More than that. "Promises exist" means that there is an illocutionary act that involves placing oneself under an obligation. Such an act occurs in the world, not in some other domain.

    Not seeing any ambiguity.
  • Lionino
    2.1k
    I would be hard to imagine a funnier response than Banno's aboveAmadeusD

    Kinky.
  • Michael
    14.8k
    More than that. "Promises exist" means that there is an illocutionary act that involves placing oneself under an obligation. Such an act occurs in the world, not in some other domain.

    Not seeing any ambiguity.
    Banno

    The ambiguity is in making sense of the distinction between a) communicating the proposition "I promise to do this" and b) placing oneself under an obligation.

    Do (a) and (b) mean the same thing?

    If so then what is gained in asserting (b) rather than just (a)?

    If not then how do I make sense of (b), especially if I am a nominalist? Is (b) even possible if nominalism is correct? And does (a) necessarily entail (b)? How would such a claim be justified?

    If "promises exist" only means that (a) occurs then I can agree, but if it means that (b) occurs then the issue is unclear.
  • Banno
    23.7k
    Do (a) and (b) mean the same thing?Michael

    The linked paper sets out an account that shows how sometimes uttering "I promise to do this" is placing oneself under an obligation. They are not the same thing.
  • Banno
    23.7k
    I don't want to know.
  • Lionino
    2.1k
    The lack of T for a man can have undesirable consequences.
  • Michael
    14.8k
    The linked paper sets out an account that hows how sometimes uttering "I promise to do this" is placing oneself under an obligation.Banno

    Where?

    I can see these closely related conditions:

    7) S intends that the utterance of T will place him under an obligation to do A, and
    8) S intends to produce in H the knowledge that the utterance of T is to count as placing S under an obligation to do A

    These conditions can be satisfied even if the utterance of T does not in fact place S under an obligation to do A, e.g. if obligations do not actually exist. We can intend whatever we like, but the facts do not always accord to our intentions.

    And how does one even justify the claim that (7) and (8) are necessary conditions of promises? Perhaps (1) - (6) are sufficient.

    Of course, this all depends on what being placed under an obligation actually means, as asked above in my previous comments, e.g. are obligations abstract objects of the kind that platonists believe in and nominalists don't? Until this is answered with any clarity it isn't clear what is even being said.
  • Banno
    23.7k
    I drink Darjeeling, or Russian Caravan, ordered from my man in Melbourne.
  • Banno
    23.7k
    Do you think that one can sincerely say "I promise to answer you but I intend not to answer you".

    I'll let you work through it.
  • Michael
    14.8k
    DO you thinkt hat one can sincerely say "I promise to answer you but I will not answer you".

    I'll let you work through it.
    Banno

    No. Where have you derived that conclusion? My issue is with the suggestion that promises entail obligations.

    These are two distinct propositions:

    1. I promise to do this but I won't
    2. I promise to do this but I have no obligation to

    I can't sincerely assert (1) but I can sincerely (especially if I'm a nominalist) assert (2).
  • Banno
    23.7k
    So this tells me only that you will not be held to your promises.

    OK. You are not a man of your word.
  • Michael
    14.8k
    So this tells me only that you will not be held to your promises.Banno

    I don't know what it means to be held to a promise. You don't seem to want to make sense of obligations, so maybe you can at least make sense of this?

    OK. You are not a man of your word.Banno

    Whether or not I'm a man of my words depends only on whether or not I actually do as I promise. The existence of some supposed "obligation" or "holding" (whatever they are) is utterly irrelevant, if even sensible.
  • Banno
    23.7k
    "I did indeed promise to answer your question, but I am under no obligation to do so".

    You don't see this as problematic? Then I need provide no answer.
  • Michael
    14.8k
    I did indeed promise to answer your question, but I am under no obligation to do so".

    You don't see this as problematic?
    Banno

    No, because it isn't clear to me what obligations are, or whether or not they exist, and you are yet to make sense of them.

    Then I need provide no answer.Banno

    So you will neither make sense of nor defend your claims? OK.
  • Banno
    23.7k
    So you will neither make sense of nor defend your claims? OK.Michael

    That's not what I said. If "...it isn't clear to (you) what obligations are" and you do not think there are such things as obligations, then you are not going to understand what is involved in making a promise.
  • Michael
    14.8k
    If "...it isn't clear to (you) what obligations are" and you do not think there are such things as obligations, then you are not going to understand what is involved in making a promise.Banno

    That's why I'm asking you to make sense of them (and then justify their existence).

    As it stands, I am content with accepting Searle's conditions (1) - (6) as being sufficient for promises.

    But also as previously mentioned, not even Searle's conditions (7) and (8) require one to actually be placed under an obligation; they only require that one intends to be. So even under Searle's account obligations are seemingly superfluous.
  • Banno
    23.7k
    But also as previously mentioned, not even Searle's conditions (7) and (8) require one to actually be placed under an obligation;Michael

    So you think that S can intend that the utterance T will place him under an obligation, and utter T, but not thereby consider themself under an obligation.

    How odd.
  • Michael
    14.8k
    So you think that S can intend that the utterance T will place him under an obligation, and utter T, but not thereby consider themself under an obligation.Banno

    I didn't say that.

    I'm saying that Searle's necessary and sufficient conditions (1)-(9) do not entail that if S promises to do A then S is obliged to do A.

    S can intend that the utterance T will place him under an obligation, and utter T, but not thereby be under an obligation.
  • Leontiskos
    2k
    ↪Michael Do you think that one can sincerely say "I promise to answer you but I intend not to answer you".

    I'll let you work through it.
    Banno

    No.Michael

    Why can't you? Why do you answer, "No"? Banno is right, you need to work through it. The problem with your position is found in those two little letters you would sweep aside unnoticed. They show that you are not as ignorant of promises as you pretend to be.

    ('s karmic law requires me to agree with Banno here for disagreeing with him elsewhere.)
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