• Jamal
    9k
    Unperceived existence.....ask about this.... clear as mud??Mark Nyquist

    I suggest you take a break from this particular thread, Mark. Maybe it’s just not for you, you know?

    More off-topic responses will be deleted.
  • Mark Nyquist
    729

    Okay, I get it.
    I tried an email to you for guidance.
    Maybe it didn't send.
  • Jamal
    9k


    If you need to contact me privately, use private messages here on the website, not email. Go to my profile and click “send a message”.
  • Mark Nyquist
    729

    Okay, not sure what I did.
    First time I used it so was following the menu best i could.

    No problems though now.
    Okay I see send a message so both were listed.
    Problem solved.
  • JamalAccepted Answer
    9k
    Do we infer the unperceived existence of what we perceive from the nature of our experience? If so, how? If not, why not?OwenB

    On second thoughts, I don’t think it is worded very well. At least, it’s not precise enough. It might be asking a general question about perception: does it work by inference? (Russell, following Hume, seemed to think so) Or, more precisely, is inference the way that we know things via perception?

    If the answer to that is yes, then the questioner may also want to know if we thereby (by inference) know of the existence of things when we’re not perceiving them—but this isn’t explicit in the question, as @bert1 pointed out (it’s “do we infer,” not “do we correctly infer”). Personally I’d assume the question does have this meaning even though it’s ambiguous.

    If the answer to the first question is no, then either we know of the continued existence of things unperceived by some other means than inference, or, agreeing with Hume, we don’t have any such knowledge at all.

    Also, there is a major interpretative choice to be made in dealing with the question. Does “the unperceived existence of what we perceive” refer to the continued existence of things while we’re not perceiving them, or does it refer to the thing as it is in itself, roughly speaking the aspect of a thing that is not subject to the structures of human perception and cognition. I think it’s the former (how do you know the cup is still there when you close the cupboard door), because the wording used is similar to that found in Hume. (EDIT: it should also be noted that these are close to being merely two descriptions of the same thing, i.e., the thing as it is in itself is, from a certain point of view, synonymous with the thing as it is when you’re not perceiving it)
  • Joshs
    5.1k


    Do we infer the unperceived existence of what we perceive from the nature of our experience? If so, how? If not, why not?

    Can anyone point me in the right direction as I have no idea how to help her?
    OwenB

    Check out Husserl’s analysis of the constitution of spatial objects in Cartesian Investigations and other works . In particular , see his distinction between perception and apperception , where he explains how we draw from memory aspects of an object which are not actually perceived ( the backside of a chair), and use that memory to anticipate further details of the object which we also don’t directly perceive ( how the object will change when we walk around it).

    … there belongs to every external perception its reference from the "genuinely perceived" sides of the object of perception to the sides "also meant" not yet perceived, but only anticipated and, at first, with a non-intuitional emptiness (as the sides that are "coming" now perceptually): a continuous protention, which, with each phase of the perception, has a new sense. Furthermore, the perception has horizons made up of other possibilities of perception, as perceptions that we could have, if we actively directed the course of perception otherwise: if, for example, we turned our eyes that way instead of this, or if we were to step forward or to one side, and so forth. In the corresponding memory this recurs in modified form, perhaps in the consciousness that, instead of the sides then visible in fact, I could have seen others naturally, if I had directed my perceptual activity in a suitably different manner.

    Moreover, as might have been said earlier, to every perception there always belongs a horizon of the past, as a potentiality of awakenable recollections; and to every recollection there belongs, as a horizon, the continuous intervening intentionality of possible recollections (to be actualize on my initiative, actively), up to the actual Now of perception. Everywhere in this connexion an "I can and do, but I can also do otherwise than I am doing" plays its part without detriment to the fact that this "freedom", like every other, is always open to possible hindrances. The horizons are "predelineated" potentialities…. the die leaves open a great variety of things pertaining to the unseen faces; yet it is already "construed" in advance as a die, in particular as colored, rough, and the like, though each of these determinations always leaves further particulars open.” (Cartesian Meditations)
  • Lionino
    849
    The question is split into two: "Why is it because of the nature of our experience that we believe things remain there even when we are no longer seeing/hearing/feeling them?" and "Why is it not because of the nature of our experience that we believe things remain there even when we are no longer seeing/hearing/feeling them?"

    I think you are supposed to argue from two different points of view, perhaps one rationalist and the other empiricist, or one from naïve realism and the other from indirect realism, or more likely one from an inductionist perspective and the other from a skeptic perspective (the question is about the problem of induction after all). But until OP comes back to clarify, we can't really know.

    As an observation, like other users I noticed the question is ambiguous in its syntax; there are two possible readings:
    • Do we infer the unperceived existence | of what we perceive from the nature of our experience?
    • Do we infer the unperceived existence of what we perceive | from the nature of our experience?

    The first question is asking whether we infer X of Y out of Z, the second about whether what we do infer comes from Z.
    Of course the supposed reading is the second one, but quaint still.
  • OwenB
    3
    Thank you for your help, I think she's got it now ..... told her to join this awesome group for future help
  • OwenB
    3
    thank you so much for taking the time to help, it really is appreciated
  • Number2018
    549
    Do we infer the unperceived existence of what we perceive from the nature of our experience? If so, how? If not, why not?

    Can anyone point me in the right direction as I have no idea how to help her?
    OwenB
    You can access a reality beyond a direct and immediate perception by looking at theories of a spectator’s or reader’s relation to a film, text, or artwork. Thus, Deleuze’s cinematic philosophy attempts to uncover the ‘unperceived’ in the perceived, to think that which is unthinkable. “The cinema does not have natural subjective perception as its model because the mobility of its centers and variability of its framings always lead to restoring vast a-centred and de-framed zones. One passes imperceptibly from perception to affective and re-active tendencies of actions” (Deleuze, Cinema 1, pg. 64). On the first level, we perceive isolated, separated things and objects. On the second, determinative one, there is an unfolding of a relational event. It takes up the pasts of different orders that include our habitual and acquired perceptions, inclinations, and desires and enacts the tendencies and potentials of the immediate future.
    Differently from phenomenological reduction, Deleuze does not refer to the subject-centered approach.
    For him, no pre-existing spectator watches a film, there are only matrices of the interactive fusion that formed during the act of watching.
  • Pantagruel
    3.2k
    Unlike others, I don’t see anything wrong with the wording of the question. It’s out of Hume.Jamal

    :up:

    Yes, I was going to say the same, but I feel like I'm always rocking the boat. The nuances and ambiguities only give scope for discussion. That's exactly what a good philosophical question should do.
  • Patterner
    391
    ...the unperceived existence of what we perceive...OwenB
    I just started reading, so maybe this is addressed. But it seems odd to say it's unperceived, but we perceive it.
  • Jamal
    9k


    Perceived sometimes, other times unperceived. The cup in the cupboard and all that. Hume discusses continued existence and concludes we can’t justifiably infer it from having perceived it previously.
  • Patterner
    391
    Perceived sometimes, other times unperceived. The cup in the cupboard and all that. Hume discusses continued existence and concludes we can’t justifiably infer it from having perceived it previously.Jamal
    Thanks. That's what I suspected, since i couldn't think of what else it might mean. But Hume and I will have to agree to disagree. Hehe
  • Jamal
    9k
    But Hume and I will have to agree to disagree. HehePatterner

    Me too. I just had a look in the cupboard and the cup was right there!
  • Fire Ologist
    65
    Perceived sometimes, other times unperceived. The cup in the cupboard and all that. Hume discusses continued existence and concludes we can’t justifiably infer it from having perceived it previously.Jamal

    Hume somehow managed to rip everything apart, tearing everything to shreds, while leaving everything untouched. We can't know the cup is there, so there can never be a sound truth derived a priori from the cup, yet I'm sure he would call anyone looking under the couch for the cup an idiot too.
  • Jamal
    9k


    Indeed. So Hume’s scepticism can be viewed in two ways: (a) we don’t know anything about the world around us, or (b) proof and absolute certainty are chimeras in epistemology; philosophers are looking in the wrong place or doing it wrong. I’m sympathetic to (b), although I think there is more to it than habit and sentiment.
  • Fire Ologist
    65

    I agree. We can't do philosophy without grappling with Hume. But at the same time, if we listen to Hume, we just can't do philosophy.
  • Jamal
    9k


    Or maybe we can’t do (non-dogmatic) philosophy without Hume.
  • J
    165
    Agreed. The skeptical position is almost always about the limits of knowledge, not a declaration about what does or doesn't exist. And it tends to equate knowledge with certainty, as you say -- a much easier target for doubt.

    One thing I'd add: You say we might agree with the skeptic that
    (b) proof and absolute certainty are chimeras in epistemologyJamal
    but aren't they only chimeras in reference to the external/empirical world? I think you can be a Humean skeptic while reserving a place for genuine analytic knowledge. For Hume, relations of ideas, which would include math and its proofs, are not problematic, because they can be known by reason alone, requiring no reliance on experience.
  • Jamal
    9k
    but aren't they only chimeras in reference to the external/empirical world? I think you can be a Humean skeptic while reserving a place for genuine analytic knowledge. For Hume, relations of ideas, which would include math and its proofs, are not problematic, because they can be known by reason alone, requiring no reliance on experience.J

    Agreed. My usage was imprecise. I was thinking of knowledge as knowledge about facts and what exists only. Synthetic knowledge.
  • J
    165
    I figured. Just wanted to make sure I understood you, thanks!
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