• Ludwig V
    1.1k
    The statement on the left is about language. The statement on the right is about how things are. T-sentences show that truth concerns how language links to how things are.Banno
    I'm not sure whether you are saying that the T-sentences resolve the problem or not. I'm reminded of Wittgenstein asking himself how he can possibly use language to get beyond language. Isn't that where he starts talking about saying and showing?

    If your statement belongs to a certain language game, then the game is always already in play the moment recognition of the state of affairs comes about. And what are facts if not IN the game? Or ON the grid of language possibilities? None of these establishes a knowledge that can allow the world to be posited in this stand alone way.Astrophel
    So perhaps the project of positing the world in a stand-alone way is a mistake?

    Heidegger’s concept of being-in-the -world determines that language and world are precisely not at a distance from each other. On the contrary, language discloses self and world together, as our always already being thrown into worldly possibilities. Merleau-Ponty and Wittgenstein make related points. The distance is not between language and the world, it is between our self and our self, due to the fact that, through language, we always come to ourselves from the world.Joshs
    So there is a concept that resolves the problem how to establish a world without concepts?

    A good paradox tempts us to find a resolution, but ensures that no solution can be found. This is a good paradox. The paradox is formulated in language. So it is itself included in the problem. So "language in itself" transcends our concept of language, the "world in itself" transcends our concept of the world and the relationship or link between the two will always transcend anything we can articulate in language.

    Unless that link shows itself in our embodied existence in the world, that is, in human life and practices.
  • Banno
    23.6k
    Well, an agent judging a proposition is an agent of a propositional nature "it" self.Astrophel

    An agent is you or I, not a proposition. A judgement might be put in propositional terms, if that is what you mean.

    Agency conceived apart from propositional possibilities is metaphysics.Astrophel
    I do not follow what this says. In so far as agency produces an effect, of course it can be put into propositional terms. I went to the fridge to get a beer. I gather that we agree that actions can be put into statements. That's not metaphysics.

    So it is really that beliefs are between beliefs and beliefs.Astrophel
    Are you claiming not to have any beliefs about the way things are? About chairs and cups and trees and so on? Folk believe in chairs and cups and trees, and have beliefs about them, but have enough sense to realise that chairs and cups and trees are different to beliefs. If you think that somehow all there are, are beliefs about beliefs, then enjoy your solipsism, and I'll leave you to it.

    I judge the cup to have a handle, but what makes for such a judgment if not the body of implicit propositional beliefs that are at the ready every time I encounter cups, handles and their possibilities.Astrophel
    Simply the cup's having a handle. Sure, that the cup has a handle is a human expression, but that does not imply that the cup is a belief, or that the cup has no handle.

    You sometimes misjudge, perhaps believing the cup has a handle when it does not. But if all there are, are your beliefs, then such a situation could not even be framed.

    I am doxastically predisposed in any occurrent doxastic event.Astrophel
    The world does not much care what you believe, and will continue to inflict novelty and surprise on your beliefs.

    The world is what is the case, not what you believe to be the case.

    Which is the point at which I entered the this thread.

    So truth is a monadic predicate? But this just assumes truth to be some stand alone singularity in the world. Such a thing has never been, nor can it be, witnessed apart from belief.Astrophel
    A monadic predicate like "the cup has a handle". Which is a very different proposition to "Astrophel does not believe that the cup has a handle". You've segregated yourself from the world by poor logic.
  • Joshs
    5.4k

    The world does not much care what you believe, and will continue to inflict novelty and surprise on your beliefs.Banno

    That’s right, but because novelty is not a neutral in-itself, the world will inflict novelty within the boundaries of specifically organized discursive structures of intelligibility.

    “…absent meaning-objects, reality cannot be called on to substanti­ate our claims independently of our practices of gathering and evaluating evidence. “Correspondence to reality” is merely a way of saying that some­thing is true, a compliment we pay to our best beliefs, as Rorty liked to say, but one that never gets outside our practices.

    “Well, if everything speaks for an hypothesis and nothing against it—is it then certainly true? One may designate it as such.—But does it certainly agree with reality, with the facts?—With this question you are already going round in a circle.” (PI)

    Nor can mental contents do the trick since practices of knowing trump any internal feelings or ideas.John McDowell captures this idea beautifully:

    “now if we are simply and normally immersed in our practices, we do not wonder how their relation to the world would look from outside them, and feel the need for a solid foundation discernible from an external point of view. So we would be protected against the vertigo if we could stop supposing that the relation to reality of some area of our thought and language needs to be contemplated from a standpoint independent of that anchoring in our human life that makes the thoughts what they are for us. . . . This realism chafes at the fallibility and inconclusiveness of all our ways of finding out how things are, and purports to confer a sense on “But is it really so?” in which the question does not call for a maximally careful assessment by our lights, but is asked from a perspective transcending the limitations of our cognitive powers.”

    We can appeal to nothing beyond these practices because any such appeal thereby incorporates the evidence into our language-games, thus compromising its desired independence from our practices. For the pos­sibility of making mistakes to operate, we need a way of comparing our beliefs to a reality that is, at least in principle, accessible to comparisons.

    “‘But I can still imagine someone making all these connexions, and none of them corresponding with reality. Why shouldn’t I be in a similar case?’ If I imagine such a person I also imagine a reality, a world that surrounds
    him; and I imagine him as thinking (and speaking) in contradiction to this world.”(PI)

    The sense of wonder created by philosophy is merely the giddy dizziness one gets from being spun around to the point of disorientation; thankfully, it fades as we regain our bearings. (Lee Braver)
  • wonderer1
    1.8k
    This kind of thinking in no way at all undoes or second guesses our general knowledge claims. It simply says that when you look closely, you find this absurdity that knowledge claims REALLY are pragmatic functions dealing with the world.Astrophel

    I don't see it as absurd myself. To me it seems awfully sensible, to see knowledge claims as pragmatic functions dealing with the world.
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    And on that note, Reason is constructed by Mind through its "membership" over time.ENOAH

    In any case, since we are here, if reason is built by mind, what is the mind? Meaning, what is it made of?
  • Banno
    23.6k
    I'm not sure whether you are saying that the T-sentences resolve the problem or not.Ludwig V
    More that it sets the issue out clearly. Yep, saying and showing and so on. It's not a complete answer, but not a denial

    So perhaps the project of positing the world in a stand-alone way is a mistake?Ludwig V
    Yep. It's as if their argument were "we only say how things are using language, therefore we cannot say how things are".
  • ENOAH
    653


    The following is a simplified reply owing to present time constraints and a reluctance to provide more info than you are after.

    Mind is structured by images stored in memory, the "organic" function of which is to facilitate expedited responses to organic needs etc. Hearing roar, triggers flight for expedition. For humans, uniquely, these images evolved over time into a System of Signifiers operating autonomously and in accordance with its own Laws etc etc etc.

    Out of these Signifiers, empty, fleeting, ontologically Fictional, every "thing" under the umbrella "human experience," is constructed, and such constructions trigger real organic response (see Clasdical conditioning) Not to say there are not Real human sensations, feelings and activities. But these constructions out of Signifiers, autonomously displace the human organism's Real "consciousness;" sensation with perception; feeling with emotion; inner feeling/image-ing with idea; drives and their corresponding actions with deliberation, choice, and so on, and so on.

    To oversimplify some more: Language is not a mirror of our world. Rather the world (as we "see" it) is a mirror of our Language.
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    2.1k


    The trouble as I see it lies exactly in the unfolding itself, as if unfolding were a cognitive discovery.

    I am not sure if I get your meaning. In Hegel's view at least, this unfolding isn't the cognitive discovery of some agent. It's the movement of all of being, which occurs because of what being is. The dialectical is ontological. Collective, emergent Spirit, is the key element of "mind" involved, not individuals.

    At least this is according to Hegel scholars who tend to gravitate more to the Logic and take Hegel's invocations of Jacob Boheme and Miester Eckhart more seriously. Others disagree about the extent to which logic becomes ontology in the "objective logic," that sits prior to the (more familiar) subjective logic.

    Which it certainly is, and I have to affirm this because agency requires this, meaning I can't imagine any account of ontology or epistemology without a structured self, which is what a science based metaphysics is

    Right. It'd be impossible to know anything without some sort of memory and something in perception linking moments together. If things are totally discrete then there is nothing to say, each moment is sui generis. This is why Hume's bundle of perceptions can't be just that. Something has to link the moments together for there to be anything at all, which Kant recognized.

    Although, returning to Hegel, it is the movement of Spirit, not individual selves, in which concepts develop, which makes perfect sense from a historical perspective since. I think Hegel has a bit of a problem when it comes to his political philosophy in this regard. The universal comes to overwhelm the particular. Plato has a similar problem. I have yet to find a thinker who really balances this well, who can take the intuition that institutions are substance in political life, individuals mere accidents, but then not lose sight of the importance of the person. Urs von Balthasar's theodrama concept is the best I've seen.




    But knowledge certainly is not what is sought in all this. It is value. All of these endless ruminations in philosophy end here, in the pursuit of what can be generally called value. Any utterance made by a human dasein (or a fish, cat or cow dasein) has its telos in value, and value is the ONLY, I claim, no reducible phenomenological dimension of the world's presence. The only absolute.

    I don't think I followed this. What sort of value? Survival value? Good versus bad? Aesthetic value?

    This is all arguable to the death. Heidegger was right calling it a feast for thought, this endless inquiry.

    Each type of value seems to have an open-ended character. Moore talks about the open-ended question of goodness. We can always ask if something is "truly good." Even if a divine command theory frame, we can ask if what God wants is "actually good."

    But this is true for truth as well. This is why radical skepticism is always possible. "Is this really true?" And it seems true for aesthetic judgements as well. Which is perhaps why the Good, the Beautiful, and the True end up as the transcendentals, because they can always be pushed farther.



    Do you really think God, soul, monad are Real I.e., not constructed by Minds over

    A God constructed by minds wouldn't qualify as a God for many people. God, as fully transcendent and without limit, would exist over all minds and anything else, "within everything but contained in nothing," as St. Augustine puts it. This would entail that direct, knowledge of God by finite beings is impossible, leading to apophatic theology. But, as Jesus says "with men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."
  • ENOAH
    653
    A God constructed by minds wouldn't qualify as a God for many people. God, as fully transcendent and without limit, would exist over all minds and anything else, "within everything but contained in nothing," as St. Augustine puts itCount Timothy von Icarus

    While I am not prepared to state that my Truth is devoid of any relationship/connection/source to/with/from a Universal or Transcendant Truth, call that "God", I think, the nanosecond I define that in/to Consciousness (mine/other) I have brought such "Thing" out of "Its" "Transcendance" and into Human Mind, by constructing "It" with such definition. So even that definition quoted above, is a God constructed by minds.

    And therefore, building from as you pointed out, that a constructed God cannot be God, is it not suggested:
    1. The God we can speak about is not God,
    Or
    2. If we can speak about God, we cannot speak accurately (or know It) because it transcends us and is without limitation (how can something without limitation be defined...therefore, including, even as a "thing without limitation")
    Or
    3 Anything we (think we can) say and or know regarding God, is a human construction (which basically was implied in my question, "Do you really think God...is Real I.e., not constructed by Minds?)

    My point, to reiterate, my Organic so called being, may or may not have a relationship to/with a Universal Reality. But any consideration of that, even the one encapsulated in the immediately preceding statement, is already not that relationship.



    1.
  • Ludwig V
    1.1k
    That’s right, but because novelty is not a neutral in-itself, the world will inflict novelty within the boundaries of specifically organized discursive structures of intelligibility.Joshs
    I'm not sure exactly what you mean. If it is within those boundaries, it is new in an old sense, already catered for. The points where the boundaries break down or are transcended is where the world might be said to show itself. There is another, surprising, possibility. The rules of language may themselves lead to incomprehensible conclusions; irrational numbers, imaginary numbers, calculus &c. These are places when we don't know what to say. We may be driven to develop new ways to speak, or stretch the boundaries by means of metaphors or poetry or pictures - even, possibly, music and dancing.
  • ENOAH
    653
    places when we don't know what to say. We may be driven to develop new ways to speak,Ludwig V

    Yes. Exactly. Isn't that exactly what eventually but (almost?) inevitably happens when there are gaps in the Language structures. Not, these "silent places" must present cracks where unspeakable Truth breaks through. Rather, these unspeakables are moments where what will be spoken has yet to be written; "places" where History is approaching a change (which didn't emerge in a vacuum, nor as a revelation or uncovering of Truth, but rather evolved out of all previous speech) in the Narrative and so the conventional structure (ie., that which is readily speakable) is not yet conventional. Novelty is built-in to the whole system/process of History; change, like Time, is a necessary mechanism for the Narrative(s) of Mind(s) to be "written" and correspondingly spoken.

    Then if one accepts that there is such a thing as a moment which is unspeakable because it is Reality or Truth, rather than a shift in the Narrative, which is inexpressible, what is that like? Saying so will immediately rob it of that Truth. But, a fellow slave to speech, I'd say it is any so called moment or place where you, not the thinker/speaker, but the human organism are being. So, always, throughout your life. But that being--not must be, but--is silent. Truth is not unspeakable; Truth does not speak.
  • Astrophel
    479
    How would you differentiate his notion of the pure encounter with that of Merleau-Ponty or Husserl? Merleau-Ponty’s notion of the flesh as corporeal intersubjectivity has been incorporated into the reciprocally causal models of embodied, enactivist approaches. Husserl, however, considers causality to be a product of the natural attitude. We have to bracket empirical causality to arrive at its primordial basis in intentional motivation.Joshs

    The matter goes as far as the reduction can take it. Husserl said the natural attitude pov understood the world and its objects as transcendental, and he meant that there was nothing in this thinking that made the essential connection and the object remained remote and inaccessible. But he never denied this about the phenomenon, that it was true that there was something beyond the "noematic sense" So there is an object "inherent to the sense" as well as the transcendent world that is put in parentheses. Husserl excludes "the real relation between perceiving and perceived." When he talks like this, he proves himself not to be an idealist, acknowledging what is there and actual, just suspended, and he does present the basis for following through on the promise of the reduction which is to establish the ultimate marriage between what is known, liked, disliked, approved, rejected, accepted and so forth, and what is "there," for the status of the noematic world is not to be deemed simply derivative or representational. This, to me, is the strength of Husserl, the perceiving AS perceived, the remembered AS remembered has no diminished ontological status, and is thereby admitted into evidence for a foundational thesis in philosophy. Now, as Henry tells us, we can give the affectivity discovered in our existence its due place, without the traditional prohibitions, what was called the "irrational" parts of our nature. Affectivity is now ontologically front and center, delivering us from, among other things, ethical nihilism (not that I've Husserl going on like this. HIs "spirit" talk in the European Crisis sounds like Heidegger nationalistic turn towards the nazis in the thirties).

    Enactivism begs the very question at issue, which is, how do objects (of any kind) acquire their status as objects in the world? To speak at all of organisms interfacing with the environment, one has to first affirm that organisms would survive the reduction. They don't.
  • Astrophel
    479
    So, this means that when we talk about propositions and their targets, their truth-makers, and related facts, we aren't actually stepping into some external frame outside of mind. "The cat is on the mat just in case the cat is actually on the mat," is just a statement of our own confusion. What does it mean to be a cat or a mat? We'll never get outside belief asking what it is these propositions actually mean and what their truth-makers would actually be.Count Timothy von Icarus

    Yes, there is no outside. The idea is patently absurd, as if, as Rorty put it, the perceptual apparatus were a mirror of nature. But then, it is clear as a bell that the world is there, and it is not a representation at all, but is stand alone there, and by this I simply mean its existence as thereness possesses something that is, as Kierkegaard put it, its own presupposition. When we observe an object, the object becomes what it is in the observation, making it both a transcendental object, as the distance is never bridged, as well as an object of finitude, and this latter is what Heidegger holds. See how he talks about the art work:

    The artist is the origin of the work. The work
    is the origin of the artist. Neither is without the other. Nevertheless, neither is the sole
    support of the other. In themselves and in their interrelations artist and work are
    each of them by virtue of a third thing which is prior to both, namely that which
    also gives artist and work of art their names – art.

    Thus we are compelled to follow the circle. This is neither a makeshift nor a defect.
    To enter upon this path is the strength of thought, to continue on it is the feast of
    thought, assuming that thinking is a craft. Not only is the main step from work to art a
    circle like the step from art to work, but every separate step that we attempt circles in
    this circle.


    To me, this is rather mesmerizing. In it lies the key to understanding knowledge claims implcit in the perceptual encounter. He captures the dynamic of hermeneutics, suggesting a dialectics of meaning making, only with Hegel there is this unfolding of divinity, which Kierkegaard argues against because Hegel ignores the dialectical tension in one's own existence. Hegel is too impersonal for Kierkegaard, and I think there is a good point made here: this encounter with the world is my encounter, and the historical dialectic is discovered within me. Knowledge may be wrought out of the ages, but its existential core is within the singularity of agency. And this core is radically affectively intense, this human dramatic unfolding.

    Interesting the way Heidegger shows his Kierkegaardian influence. This talk about the "third thing" is derivative of Kierkegaard's Sickness unto Death. He writes

    A human being is a synthesis of the infinite and the finite,
    of the temporal and the eternal, of freedom and necessity,
    in short, a synthesis.2 A synthesis is a relation between two.
    Considered in this way, a human being is still not a self
    In the relation between two, the relation is the third as a
    negative unity,3 and the two relate to the relation and in the
    relation to the relation; thus under the qualification of the
    psychical the relation between the psychical and the physical
    is a relation. If, however, the relation relates itself to itself, this
    relation is the positive third, and this is the self.4


    He is likely mocking Hegel, but he is also serious, and you find this same idea in the Concept of Anxiety. This "third" thing that Heidegger is calling art is the synthesis in the dynamic interplay between artist and artwork. Art emerges in the tension, and I think this is the way to think about knowledge, which is that there is in the interface between perceiver and perceived a third thing, and this is meaning, tossed around casually and "reified by familiarity." I see a cow by the barn and if I am simply "going along" with normal affairs, there is created a matrix of meaning that is spontaneous, and this is, to keep with Heidegger, Rorty, others, essentially pragmatic, a forward looking event in time.

    Of course, this analysis goes way back to Augustine in his Confessions. I was trying to read paul riquer's Time and Narrative, but found out I had to read more Aristotle for this, and so I quit, but the point I will make is that a truly important concept to have in mind in trying to understand what happens when I see and recognize the cow is the concept of time. Brentano, Kierkegaard, Husserl and of course Heidegger are very enlightening.
  • Astrophel
    479
    Essentially, the whole truth of "the cat is on the mat," requires an elucidation of how the related concepts evolve and unfold globally, and how the subject comes to know these things as well as their own process of knowing.

    Truth then, knowledge of how it is that "the cat is on the mat," involves knowledge of how it is we have come to know that the cat is on the mat. The truth is the whole. Both mind and nature play a role in defining truth, and the attempt to abstract propositions into mindless statements of fact simply miss this.

    Hegel's argument is more convincing if you get into his arguments vis-á-vis ontology as logic (the Logics) and his theory of universals, but those are too much to elaborate here. I think Pinkhard's "Hegel's Naturalism," does a good job at outlining this reformulation of knowledge and truth in clear, concise terms, but at the cost of some major simplifications and deflations. Houlgate's commentary on the Greater Logic and Harris' "Hegel's Ladder," clarifies this better, at the cost of significantly longer and denser projects, and in Harris's case, significant use of Hegelese.
    Count Timothy von Icarus

    I'll read Pinkhard. Thanks. Unfold globally? You mean historically and throughout disparate cultures?
  • Wayfarer
    21.2k
    The truth is the whole. Both mind and nature play a role in defining truth, and the attempt to abstract propositions into mindless statements of fact simply miss this.Count Timothy von Icarus

    What is required is a perspective which transcends and therefore includes both subject and object, seer and seen, self and world - one of the fundamental themes of metaphysics since Parmenides. Hegel would probably be one who understands this better than most. But then as you point out there is a thread that connects the mystical tradition, and therefore neoplatonism, with the German idealists (Dermot Moran has written a book on that.)
  • Astrophel
    479
    Right. Lightwaves, brain chemistry etc set the causal conditions that satisfy seeing a lamp, which in turn is justification for the belief that there is a lamp.

    Perceptions are different from beliefs. I can't detach my conscious awareness of there being a lamp in front of me when I see it. The belief, however, that there is a lamp can be maintained or rejected regardless of the whereabouts of the lamp.
    jkop

    And no one is denying that you see a lamp when you see a lamp. This is never brought into question. The question is, how is knowledge that you see a lamp possible? For this one has to do some digging, that is, think about how a person is "wired" to the world, and THIS is as sticky a wicket as can be. Again, non one questions there being a lamp, your seeing it there on a table, and so on. Rather, given that this is the case, what must also be the case that makes this so?

    I don't think perceptions are different from beliefs. All perceptions are apperceptions. When you see a cup, you know what it is IN the seeing, that is, the cup is already known prior to the seeing, and seeing it is a confirmation about the conformity between what you see and the predelineated "cupness" that you come into the perceptual encounter with that allows you to spontaneously without question or analysis note that it is indeed a cup (See Kant's infamous transcendental deduction in his Critique of Pure Reason. He calls this the imagination, the way an event is constructed in a temporal unity, A tough read, though.)
  • Astrophel
    479
    For a physicalist, it is clear how it does. What is the problem exactly? Problem of consciousness? Rehash of the problems of mind-body dualism?Lionino

    If it's clear, please tell me, in a nut shell.

    Ok, so intentionality. There are several different alternatives for that, none is preferred over the other, possibly never will.Lionino

    No Lionino. None of these. The question posed here is presupposed by this physicalism, for it is more basic: prior to getting to the scientific perspective, one can inquire about the foundations of its perceptual knowledge claims. Consider something simple: your manifest cognitive abilities issue from a physical brain, but then, it is through these very cognitive abilities that one arrives at brains being there at all. All a brain can do to manufacture phenomenal experience, so the brain that is supposed to be responsible for this very experience is itself part and parcel of just this.

    This is question begging of the worst kind. You would need a third pov outside the brain to posit the brain being there apart from a mere construct within the brain. But then, this, too, would need a perspective guaranteeing that this third pov is not itself just a brain manifestation rather than a "real" brain, and so on.
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    If it's clear, please tell me, in a nut shell.Astrophel

    Light shines on a red cloth, the red cloth reflects it towards my eyes, my nerves capture the stimulus and my brain produces information.Lionino

    :meh:

    your manifest cognitive abilities issue from a physical brain, but then, it is through these very cognitive abilities that one arrives at brains being there at allAstrophel

    "How can I trust the brain to tell me I am a brain?" You can't trust the mind to tell you you are a brain either, that is the problem of solipsism and physicalism has nothing to do with it.

    You are jumping from topic to topic chaotically. First, JTB, then intentionality, now solipsism. This is my closing statement for this thread ヾ(¬ _ ¬)
  • jkop
    712
    how is knowledge that you see a lamp possible?Astrophel

    Your question 'how is knowledge that you see a lamp possible' follows from the assumption that you never see the lamp, only something prior to the seeing, in your own seeing.

    To ask how it is possible to know that you see the lamp under the assumption that you never see it is not only impossible to answer but confused. You can dig deeper than Kant, but the root problem arises from that assumption, which in turn is derived from a rejection of naive realism.

    Assuming naive realism, then you do in fact see the lamp, not something else in your own seeing. Seeing it, and the fact that it is there and visible, makes it possible to know that you're seeing it.
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    2.1k


    You mean historically and throughout disparate cultures?

    Yes, historically and throughout disparate cultures and eras, and through all different minds. Hegel lived before Darwin. I think his ideas could make significant use of natural selection, and might have spread to "all minds."

    If we were to one day meet ETs and exchange ideas with them, I think we'd be including them as well. Being coming to know itself as self happens everywhere there is subjectivity.

    I think selection-like processes at work in the cosmos more generally and the sort of fractal recurrence we see at different scales would have really interested Hegel. Astronomy was in its infancy in his day though, I don't even think our galaxy was known as a thing back then, although Kant had proposed the nebular theory of solar system development by then.



    Well, if you read Magee's book, Hegel's entire corpus is primarily an exploration of mystical/esoteric, Hermetic ideas. IMO, the book suffers from the tendency of scholars to present maximalist theses for a sort of novelty factor. I think there is a difference between saying that Hegel was deeply influenced by folks like Eckhart, Cusa, and Boheme, and saying his natural philosophy and logic is 'based-on' alchemy or kabbalah. In many ways, it is deeply opposed to anything that relies on picture thinking and pure noetic intuition or a sort of extra rational gnosis.

    But it's still a very interesting connection, especially since there is a dearth of scholarship on folks like Eckhart or Bonaventure as philosophers — generally they are treated primarily as mystics and some of their more philosophical material gets sidelined.
  • Joshs
    5.4k


    Assuming naive realism, then you do in fact see the lamp, not something else in your own seeing. Seeing it, and the fact that it is there and visible, makes it possible to know that you're seeing it.jkop

    Interesting. Phenomenology and poststructuraliam arrive at conclusions quite similar to this, except that they do it without assuming realism at all.

    It is phenomenologically absurd to speak of the phenomenon as if it were something behind which there would be something else of which it would be a phenomenon in the sense of the appearance which represents and expresses this something else. A phenomenon is nothing behind which there would be something else. More accurately stated, one cannot ask for something behind the phenomenon at all, since what the phenomenon gives is precisely that something in itself. (Heidegger)
  • Joshs
    5.4k


    So there is a concept that resolves the problem how to establish a world without concepts?

    A good paradox tempts us to find a resolution, but ensures that no solution can be found. This is a good paradox. The paradox is formulated in language. So it is itself included in the problem. So "language in itself" transcends our concept of language, the "world in itself" transcends our concept of the world and the relationship or link between the two will always transcend anything we can articulate in language
    Ludwig V

    We dont use a concept to establish a world without concepts, we find ourselves thrown into a world ( we ‘are’ a self by continually transcending toward the world) and speak from amidst the beings ( things, concepts, uses) that are actualized from out of that world which projects itself. We can speak that world inauthentically in terms of extant things , symbols and concepts, or we can speak it authentically as a self-transcending happening (which concepts imply but conceal) , an occurrence. Then language is itself the transcending rather than a concept of itself.
  • Joshs
    5.4k


    Yes, there is no outside. The idea is patently absurd, as if, as Rorty put it, the perceptual apparatus were a mirror of nature. But then, it is clear as a bell that the world is there, and it is not a representation at all, but is stand alone there, and by this I simply mean its existence as thereness possesses something that is, as Kierkegaard put it, its own presupposition. When we observe an object, the object becomes what it is in the observation, making it both a transcendental object, as the distance is never bridged, as well as an object of finitude, and this latter is what Heidegger holdsAstrophel

    For Heidegger, there is nothing but the outside, in the sense of the always already ahead of itself of temporalizing understanding.

    In directing itself toward ... and in grasping something, Da-sein does not first go outside of the inner sphere in which it is initially encap­sulated, but, rather, in its primary kind of being, it is always already "outside" together with some being encountered in the world already discovered. Nor is any inner sphere abandoned when Da-sein dwells
    together with a being to be known and determines its character. Rather, even in this "being outside" together with its object, Da-sein is "inside, " correctly understood; that is, it itself exists as the being-in-the-world which knows. Again, the perception of what is known does not take place as a return with one's booty to the "cabinet" of consciousness after one has gone out and grasped it. Rather, in perceiving, preserving, and retaining, the Da-sein that knows remains outside as Da-sein.

    Neither is the world ‘stand-alone’ there. The world is the unified totality of relevance relations, possibly ways for Dasein to be. Heidegger also calls world ‘beings as a whole’.

    “…in all comportment we become aware of comporting ourselves in each case from out of the 'as a whole', however everyday and restricted this comportment may be…However concerned we are to comport ourselves with respect to various issues and to speak in terms of individual things, we nevertheless already move directly and in advance within a tacit appeal to this 'as a whole‘...We are always called upon by something as a whole. This 'as a whole' is the world.

    The world temporalizes itself, which is to say, it continually projects itself anew as a whole. Dasein is continually thrown into a new world. The world worlds.

    The projection is...a casting ahead that is the forming of an 'as a whole' into whose realm there is spread out a quite specific dimension of possible actualization. Every projection raises us away into the possible, and in so doing brings us back into the expanded breadth of whatever has been made possible by it. The projection and projecting in themselves raise us away to possibilities of binding, and are binding and expansive in the sense of holding a whole before us within which this or that actual thing can actualize itself as what is actual in something possible that has been projected.
  • J
    225


    Your translations from Hegelese are excellent, thank you! And the bolded paragraph from the Encyc. Brit. does seem very close to the question at issue in the OP.

    The Hegelian position here is that “one can’t step outside belief altogether.” “Every search must end with some belief” about the results of the search. For Hegelians, this situation is an important and somewhat scandalous insight. For various versions of realism, it’s unsurprising and unproblematic.

    Why would we expect “stepping outside belief” to be the criterion for knowing something about reality? What about the distinction between belief and justified true belief? A modest realism only asks that there be this difference, and that our epistemological search can end with JTB, rather than mere opinion. (JTB is not certainty, except possibly for analytic propositions, and that’s why I call it a modest realism.) The opposing idea would seem to be that only an unmediated, “unbelieved” Reality with a capital R could be the proper goal of the search. Or perhaps the idea is that, unless we can make contact with such a reality, we’re in no position to judge whether a belief is a JTB.

    Would such contact be the same thing as contacting what is “given” to the mind, “direct apprehension,” “unmediated knowledge,” etc., on this view? I suppose so, since it can be plausibly argued that we never do achieve such contact. But I don’t see why the realist needs to concede this equivalence between “direct apprehension” and reality. They can say instead that a phrase like “the experience of reality is always mediated by beliefs” is either incoherent – there is nothing to be experienced – or that it’s perhaps true of “givens” or “raw feels” or some such, but that this is not what we mean by reality. The correspondence we’re looking for is not between propositions and “unmediated” reality, but rather between certain beliefs about states of affairs, and whether those beliefs are warranted.

    Having said all this, I think the issue may be a classic instance of a kind of “spade-turning” difference in intuition about metaphysics. I don’t expect a Hegelian to be swayed by what I’m saying, and they probably don’t expect me to be swayed either. Each of us thinks the other is arguing in a circle, in some important sense, or missing a basic insight about the possibilities of experience. Philosophy goes on, precisely because we don’t really know what to say about these bedrock differences . . .
  • Astrophel
    479
    Nietzsche certainly thought that the buck stops with value. To be more precise, with a value-positing will to power. So in truth , the irreducible is the endless self-overcoming of value. But I don’t think that’s the kind of value-thinking you have in mind.Joshs

    But Nietzsche had this weird love of the gladiatorial. Really? If one is going to make that "qualitative move" into making value-as-such (not that there is such a thing) the bottom line for providing the essence of ethics, then the question goes to the value of a value vis a vis other values. Bentham did something like this, but his hedonic calculator was, as I recall, a quantitative measure in order address practical choices. This is a hard issue to discuss, for how does one escape the cultural bias? Is a pig satisfied less than Socrates unsatisfied? Is a good mud fight less than a philosophical epiphany?

    But then, how about Emerson's walk in a "bare common" and is glad to the brink of fear? Or Wordsworth's intimations of immortality? These have a dimension that raises the matter out of the mundane and into something else, the "awe and wonder" as Rudolf Otto put it of the world. Heidegger leans this way in some of his later writing (Discourse, on Thinking comes to mind. Bringing Care into the essence of dasein as he did was eye opening for me. His call for yielding, using the term gelasenheit, puts him on the threshold ), but what I have in mind here is along the lines of pseudo Dionysius the Areopagite and Eckhart.

    It is not likely you take any of this seriously. Philosopher generally don't. But blood and guts Nietzsche? I don't think so.
  • Joshs
    5.4k


    It is not likely you take any of this seriously. Philosopher generally don't. But blood and guts Nietzsche? I don't think soAstrophel

    Actually, I prefer what Foucault and Deleuze have done with
    Nietzsche. They show what can be done with an ethics of contingent, relative becoming.
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    2.1k


    Your translations from Hegelese are excellent, thank you!

    Thanks. I have practiced quite a bit because it's hard to place Hegel in dialogue with other ideas without breaking it out of its own weird way of speaking about the world.

    Why would we expect “stepping outside belief” to be the criterion for knowing something about reality? What about the distinction between belief and justified true belief?

    It would seem to come down to the "true" in JTB. JTB is only JTB if the T is in play. In conventional correspondence theories, this is where we make the jump outside the realm of belief. "The cat is on the mat" is true just in case the cat is "actually" on the mat. "Actually" is generally taken to mean "out there," outside the realm of phenomenal experience, without reference to belief or perception. If we ask, "in virtue of what is the proposition true," the common correspondence answer will make reference to facts that obtain simpliciter, outside any reference to belief.

    A modest realism only asks that there be this difference.

    Right, but then what is this difference? What does it mean for "the cat to be on the mat," outside of the realm of mind? We can only answer this question with beliefs. Consider the critique of the mereological nihilists. Where is the evidence for the cat existing outside of mind? The target of the proposition might be said to be "processes of fundemental forces arranged cat-wise." What does "on" mean in the frame where the three dimensional nature of our universe is said to also be a product of mind, nature simpliciter being "holographic?" Given the "Problem of the Many," how many cats can be said to be on the mat, one or billions? i.e., one for each ensemble of particles that meets some minimum definition of "cat-wise arrangement?"

    It turns out that deciding what this truth would entail just leads us through circles of belief.

    The opposing idea would seem to be that only an unmediated, “unbelieved” Reality with a capital R could be the proper goal of the search. Or perhaps the idea is that, unless we can make contact with such a reality, we’re in no position to judge whether a belief is a JTB.

    Both views have been popular. I think there is a useful distinction here though.

    There is the claim that "we’re in no position to judge whether a belief is a JTB" because we can't view reality as it is "in-itself," and then there is the view that we can't judge whether a belief is JTB under the simple correspondence definition of truth because we can't actually define what correspondence is without references to more beliefs. IMO, the first is arguably confused, positing the existence of things that are, in principle, unobservable and can never make a difference to any observer, and then using that as the measuring stick of the real and true.

    The second view seems more damaging. "You say a belief is JTB just in case it is justified and true, but what do you mean by true?" Then "true" ends up being what "actually is, without reference to beliefs," but we then can only define the conditions under which this truth obtains in terms of beliefs.

    Would such contact be the same thing as contacting what is “given” to the mind, “direct apprehension,” “unmediated knowledge,” etc., on this view? I suppose so, since it can be plausibly argued that we never do achieve such contact. But I don’t see why the realist needs to concede this equivalence between “direct apprehension” and reality. They can say instead that a phrase like “the experience of reality is always mediated by beliefs” is either incoherent – there is nothing to be experienced – or that it’s perhaps true of “givens” or “raw feels” or some such, but that this is not what we mean by reality.

    This is pretty close to Hegel's view. St. Aquinas as well actually. Knowledge of how things are "in themselves," as they relate to nothing else, is not only unattainable, but useless, telling us nothing about the world. Things only make a difference to other things in the world to the extent that they interact with them, and these interactions are both what we care about and what we can know. Further, the preferencing of mindless interactions over ones involving phenomenal experience is arbitrary, and the rationale for it confused.

    The correspondence we’re looking for is not between propositions and “unmediated” reality, but rather between certain beliefs about states of affairs, and whether those beliefs are warranted.

    I'm not sure what you mean here. This doesn't sound like a correspondence theory of truth, i.e., "Theseus is standing" is true just in case Theseus is standing. Correspondence is between beliefs, statements, and propositions on the one hand, and the world on the other, not between beliefs and being warranted/unwarranted.

    I am not sure how the latter would work. In virtue of what is a belief warranted or unwarranted? If it's in virtue of evidence that it corresponds to the world, the "way things actually are," we're back to correspondence. If it's in virtue of a belief corresponding to other beliefs then that's a coherence theory of truth, of the sort that was developed in order to get around problems with correspondence.

    But Hegel is generally taken as a realist, whereas definitions of truth that only make reference to other beliefs are generally the theories that are taken to be more anti-realist. For under those theories, there is no truth "out there" in the world, as with correspondence, and no truth transcending mind/nature as in Hegel, but truth rather exists strictly in mind, as a status that obtains between beliefs.

    IDK, at times moments of Hegel get closer to coherence. For what moves the progression of concept evolution? Contradiction. Beliefs, don't cohere; there is a contradiction of essence. But then truth doesn't begin and end here. The process of its development starts prior and carries on further than coherence, and it is global, historical coherence that is most important, not the coherence of an individual's beliefs.
  • Astrophel
    479
    The distance is not between language and the world, it is between our self and our self, due to the fact that, through language, we always come to ourselves from the world.Joshs

    But then, this divests the self of agency. What is the utmost me and mine becomes a public me and mine. I take Kierkegaard's side on this, modified: I exist, but certainly not in the present at hand mode of existence (res extensa for Descartes) but in the radical indeterminacy of actual encounter.
    There is this radical face to face with the world that discloses something alien that is not reducible to the totality of potentiality that issues from the repository of past experiences. Heidegger wrote pages on this in Being and Time, but as I see it, really didn't get it.

    Hence the WWII indifference to the holocaust that he is criticized for. I don't think he understood ethics.
  • Joshs
    5.4k


    he never denied this about the phenomenon, that it was true that there was something beyond the "noematic sense" So there is an object "inherent to the sense" as well as the transcendent world that is put in parentheses. Husserl excludes "the real relation between perceiving and perceived." When he talks like this, he proves himself not to be an idealist, acknowledging what is there and actual, just suspended, and he does present the basis for following through on the promise of the reduction which is to establish the ultimate marriage between what is known, liked, disliked, approved, rejected, accepted and so forth, and what is "there," for the status of the noematic world is not to be deemed simply derivative or representationalAstrophel

    You’re misreading the meaning of transcendence of the object for Husserl. What transcends the noematic appearance of the spatial object is not external to the subjective process. It is immanent to it. For instance , out of my objectivating constituting performances, a football is given to me as this object which maintains itself as a unity through all the changes in its appearance. But the football as a unified thing is transcendent to what I actually
    see. I strive to get closer and closer to the object as a unity via further adumbrations. But i can never achieve complete fulfillment. In this sense the idea of unitary object will always be transcendent to what I actually experience through constituted modes of givenness. But notice that the object’s transcendence is already defined in relation to the direction of my intending activity. The world can never transcend me except in relation to , and on the basis of, my already structured intentional sense. In this way what is beyond me always in some sense belongs to me. Husserl was not a realist. Husserl says the following is the incorrect ,Cartesian way of interpreting the Transcendental Ego:

    “In my ego there is formed, from out of the proper sources of transcendental passivity and activity, my “representation of the world, ” my “picture of the world, ” whereas outside of me, naturally enough, there is the world itself. But is this really a good way of putting it? Does this talk about outer and inner, if it makes any sense at all, receive its meaning from anywhere else than from my formation and my preservation of meaning?”(Phenomenology and Anthropology)

    “All that exists for the pure ego becomes constituted in him himself; furthermore, that every kind of being including every kind characterized as, in any sense, "transcendent” has its own particular constitution. Transcendence in every form is an immanent existential characteristic, constituted within the ego. Every imaginable sense, every imaginable being, whether the latter is called immanent or transcendent, falls within the domain of transcendental subjectivity, as the subjectivity that constitutes sense and being. The attempt to conceive the universe of true being as something lying outside the universe of possible consciousness, possible knowledge, possible evidence, the two being related to one another merely externally by a rigid law, is nonsensical. If transcendental subjectivity is the universe of possible sense, then an outside is precisely nonsense. But even nonsense is always a mode of sense and has its non-sensicalness within the sphere of possible insight.”
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    12.6k
    Of course, this analysis goes way back to Augustine in his Confessions. I was trying to read paul riquer's Time and Narrative, but found out I had to read more Aristotle for this, and so I quit, but the point I will make is that a truly important concept to have in mind in trying to understand what happens when I see and recognize the cow is the concept of time. Brentano, Kierkegaard, Husserl and of course Heidegger are very enlightening.Astrophel

    What you refer to as the "3" of Heidegger's description of artist, art, and relation between these, can be found in Aquinas' description of the Holy Trinity. His description refers to father, son, and the relation between these two, represented in the Holy Trinity as Holy Spirit. I believe this specific trinity, the Holy Trinity, was first described by Augustine, but the derivation of trinities in general may be traced back to Plato's tripartite soul. In Augustine the Holy Trinity is described by the analogy of memory, reason (or understanding), and will.

    An in depth understanding will reveal the temporal reference of Augustine's trinity, "memory" associated with past, "will" associated with future, and "reasoning or understanding" as what occurs at present. So the overarching trinity which all these different representations have in common, is the temporal trinity of past, future, and the present as that which relates the other two. Heidegger has a very unique way of dealing with this tripartite reality of time, and some modern phenomenologists, Derrida in particular, bring the temporal nature of being to the forefront. The representation of how we as humans experience being present in time becomes the most important principle toward understanding the other aspects of our being.
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