• Treatid
    7
    Weak Solipsism

    The underlying observation of Solipsism is that we only ever experience Sensory Data.

    The weak interpretation of Solipsism is that we cannot prove that our interpretation of indirect observations through Sensory Data accurately reflect what is being indirectly observed.

    You - Sensory Data - Objective Universe (as interpreted from Sensory Data)

    We never have direct experience of an Objective Universe. The existence of an Objective Universe is inferred from our direct experience of Sensory Data. The indirectness of this inference introduces an element of doubt that can never be completely eliminated.

    Strong Solipsism

    We only ever experience Sensory Data. We cannot experience anything that is not Sensory Data.

    Given that an Objective Universe is not Sensory Data we cannot experience an Objective Universe by any means (including indirect inference from Sensory Data).

    Mistaken Assumption

    The existence of an Objective Universe is a mistaken assumption that leads to the above solipsistic interpretations.

    A more accurate assumption would be:

    You - Sensory Data - (currently indirect) Sensory Data.

    Here we are still able to infer things about the wider world from immediate Sensory Data but the wider world is composed of Sensory Data that we aren't directly sensing at this moment.

    {There is an implied distinction between "Objective Universe" and "Sensory Data Universe" that makes this argument significant.}

    Summary

    If we accept the observation that we only ever experience Sensory Data; then any reference to interpretations that include non-Sensory-Data must, in fact, be to Sensory Data.

    non-Sensory-Data is a non-sequitur. We never experience non-Sensory-Data.

    If we experience something then is must have been Sensory Data.

    This isn't the result of word games. The observations that underlie solipsism are not a matter of semantics. We observe that we do not experience anything that isn't Sensory Data.

    This observation isn't conditional. 'indirect' isn't a sufficient modifier to turn non-Sensory-Data into Sensory Data. It is either Sensory Data or it isn't.
  • unenlightened
    8.9k
    If we accept the observation that we only ever experience Sensory Data;Treatid

    I never experience sensory data. It is a mere abstraction that imagines the smell of coffee to be "the same" as birdsong and "the same" as a bunch of words including "Sensory Data".
  • jkop
    711


    Noone observes solipsism, there's no available sensory data of solipsism to encounter, because a solipsist doesn't publish.

    The assumption that we never experience objects and states of affairs, only our own sensory data, is based on a long tradition of bad philosophy of perception refuted by more recent philosophers, e.g. Searle.
  • SophistiCat
    2.2k
    This isn't the result of word games. The observations that underlie solipsism are not a matter of semantics. We observe that we do not experience anything that isn't Sensory Data.Treatid

    Of course these are word games. An experience is an experience of something "in the world" - of being warm or cold, of sitting or standing, of conversing or looking out the window. This is just what the word 'experience' means. We do not experience any such thing as "sensory data" - that is a distortion, poor word games.
  • Philosophim
    2.4k
    I'm not quite sure you understand what solipsism is. Solipsism is the idea that the self is the only thing which can be known to exist. Lets take your idea and say, "Everything is sensory data." Well that includes the self. Meaning we wouldn't know if the self-exists "apart from sensory data" as well. There would be no reason then to say, "I only know I exist."
  • T Clark
    13.1k

    I'm with @Philosophim, I don't think what you are talking about is properly called solipsism. I think it's more a kind of idealism.

    The existence of an Objective Universe is a mistaken assumption that leads to the above solipsistic interpretations.Treatid

    I don't think it's correct to describe the idea of an objective universe as mistaken. What it really is is metaphysical, what R.G. Collingwood calls an "absolute presupposition" or assumption. Collingwood goes on to say that metaphysical positions aren't true or false, right or wrong. In my words, they are points of view, ways of thinking about things, that are more or less useful at particular times in particular situations. That being said, I think the idea that there is no objective reality can be a very useful way of thinking about the world and our experience of it. I say that as someone who came from science, engineering, and materialism.
  • Fire Ologist
    349
    Strong Solipsism

    We only ever experience Sensory Data. We cannot experience anything that is not Sensory Data.
    Treatid

    How can we call it “sensory” then? It’s unsourced data that we call “sensory, but not by any causal connection to anything in particular).

    Sense incorporates a sense and a separate object being sensed. Granted the experience of sensation (the conscious representation) may be particular and unique to the sense (the eyeball attached to a brain) and distinct from any object being sensed, but for strong solipsism to be coherent, we have to ignore the eyeball and the light that hits it, in which case why call this sensation? We are all just somehow fabricating everything we experience from some function of ourselves. Like a Berkleyan idealist.

    Weak solipsism it seems to me is the observation that our senses color and manipulate the separately existing world as it might be in itself, so we are cut off in a solipsistic experience, but this experience still provides some data that relies on the separately existing world exists (ie, there is a separate thing being sensed).

    There is no logical way around this that I have discovered (have to revisit Searle).
  • BC
    13.3k
    The underlying observation of Solipsism is that we only ever experience Sensory Data.Treatid

    You are underestimating sensory data.

    If you are relaxing at the beach, eyes closed, listening to the waves, day dreaming... and somebody dumps a bucket of ice water on you, that's a very compelling wash of sensory data. Or, if you wade out into the water and a shark bites your leg off, that's another compelling experience of sensory data. If you have enough pennies to dine at a really fine restaurant, you will have one course after another of splendid sensory data.

    Your senses have evolved over 600 million years of contact with the harsh sensory data of the world. In the case of ice water, shark bite, and fine food, it seems like you are in pretty direct contact with objective reality.

    Your mind isn't in direct contact, but your body is.
  • Treatid
    7
    Thank you for the feedback.

    @jkop, Thank you for the link to Searle. An intertesting read. While I agree with his qualms regarding perception I don't think his argument rises to the status of 'refutation'. It is a rebuttal but it isn't sufficiently definitive to be considered the undisputed status quo. And, as it happens, I think he is mistaken.

    {Searle presents the concept of perceiving a tree and hallucinating a tree. He argues that these two perceptions must be distinct - one 'sees' a tree the other 'not-sees' a tree. According to Searle, these two perceptions are distinct whereas previous philosophers conflated them into a single definition of 'see'.

    He admits that the perception for both real tree and hallucinatory tree are identical but then distinguishes between them. He declares one an hallucination and the other real without any basis upon which to make that distinction. He just 'magically' knows that one is a real perception and the other isn't.

    It is like arguing that two empty sets are distinct.

    {All empty sets in mathematics are indistinguishable. As such, by convention, there is just one empty set.}

    Searle is arguing that two indistinguishable perceptions are distinct becuase... he says so?}

    Clarification

    I think that objects do not exist.

    I think that Sensory Data does exist.

    I think that Objects and Sensory Data are distinct i.e. Object != Sensory Data.

    These statements can be taken as a statement of axioms or as a definition of terms. (More on definitions in just a moment).

    Solipsism is an interpretation based on observation and assumption.

    The observation (that we only experience Sensory Data) is not, itself, solipsism.

    Certainty

    "Cogito Ergo Sum" - René Descartes ("I think, therefore I am").

    This statement signifies that the only thing we can know with certainty is our own existence. The existence of everything else cannot be proven beyond all doubt.

    Solipsism takes this to an extreme and proposes that everything else is a figment of the imagination (or some equivalent).

    Existence

    You know that you exist. What does it mean to exist? What is the definition of existence? Why do you exist?

    If we haven't fully defined existence how can we be sure that we do, actually, exist?

    All standard philosophical fare that has been discussed on these forums with each person coming to their own conclusions that may or may not overlap significantly with anyone else's.

    At this point we can throw our hands up in disgust, declare ourselves nihilists, and give up on everything...

    Or we can work with what we have.

    What we have

    You exist.

    Your existence encompasses your entire existence. Everything you think, dream, feel and otherwise experience is part of your existence.

    Sensory Data exists.

    We haven't defined what Sensory Data is in any definitive sense. We experience something that we label Sensory Data. Just like we experience existence and label it Existence.

    We haven't shown that Sensory Data isn't just another name for Existence.

    This is what we have

    There are no exceptions. There are no loopholes. This is the nature of existence.

    LOOK! There! Did you see it?

    This is the nature of existence. We have a property of existence. We label parts of our existence without knowing for certain that these parts are distinct from the other components of our existence.

    If you were hoping for absolute, definitive, definitions then you are disapponted. But knowing what isn't is a piece of knowledge we can work with.

    Tie back

    Philosophers, mathematicans and physicists have been looking for definitive, absolute truths to build upon. Objective truths. An Objective Universe.

    Our (your) direct experience tells us that this isn't possible.

    When you tell me that I can't definitevely define Sensory Data you are right. I can't.

    This applies to every word and concept you can imagine.

    Look at the responses in this thread and see how much people are depending on particular definitions that they can't quite state in a definitive fashion... or simply saying such definitions are not possible.

    This is something you are already familiar with as philosophers. You already know that objective definitions are a hard problem.

    Don't fight this result. Lean into it. Accept it. Then work forward from there.

    Once you accept that there can be no definitive, objective, definitions philosophy (and mathematics and physics) become orders of magnitudes easier.

    "Once you stop trying to do the impossible, everything else (the possible) is trivial in comparison" - Misquoting Arthur Conan Doyle through Sherlock Holmes.

    Conclusion

    I have some sense of how this might come across but this is, at heart, a very simple argument:

    No-one has ever figured out how to definitevely define existence (or anything else). This is positive information about the nature of the universe we inhabit.

    Accept this insight. Work with it rather than against it.

    {granted - it may not immediately be clear how to use this information.

    It isn't as difficult as it might seem at first. We already don't have any definitive, absolute, definitions. Everything we have achieved thus far has been done in the absence of any single global definition.}
  • Kizzy
    94
    Consider this intel gathered from video attached below:

    Assuming a sensation always affects our emotional state. What is the difference between influence of emotional states created from exposure to direct sensations (reality) or illusion of it (indirect augmented sensations)?

    we assume a SENSATION ALWAYS affects our EMOTIONAL STATE....when we create a sensation *(see- "A simplified Model for Augmented Sensation: Defocus, Experience and Insperience") in our consciousness it has affect on emotional state, and now exposed to devices with screens and making experience without screens....we can see 2 sensations of 2 different structures.

    BOTH situations from pov of our conscious are seemingly like SENSATIONS, BUT CLEARLY HAVE DIFFERENT STRUCTURE WITH DIFF UNDERLYING PROCESS for creation of sensations involving ONLY external for high sense & external and internal sources for illusion of high sense....CONFUSION between experiences occur because the illusion of high dimensional sensation is created. Could be dangerous -- this implies different states of emotion, from knowing or not knowing about the process. (creation of augmented sensations- the illusion is the source of emotions from indirect external stimuli happening in the mind as the body is defocusing during this low dim sense created from just partial stimuli while direct external sources (outside world) full stimulation of senses occur (eyes ears nose taste touch) naturally as high dim senses are created through experiences faced in day to day life)

    A simplified Model for Augmented Sesations: Defocus, Experience, and Insperience
  • Treatid
    7
    @Kizzy,

    I've watched the video. I was tickled by the portmanteau of 'experience' and 'internal' to give 'insperience'.

    It isn't clear to me what problem you are seeing and what solution you are presenting. As such, I'm going to do some creative interpretation of what I think your point is while using the opportunity to expand on my own views.

    You seem to be covering similiar ground to the article by Searle that jkop linked earlier in the thread.

    I will assert that there is a common dogma in modern thinking that assumes the existence of a definite reality that exists separately from our subjective perception of it.

    You express this idea as a distinction between the emotional experience of real nature versus a different pseudo experience when seeing a movie or screen. Searle presents hallucinations as his version of psedo reality.

    You both believe/assume an objective reality that is distinct from our subjective experience of that reality and this informs your interpretations.

    While the belief in an objective reality distinct from our subjective perceptions is widespread - it is a belief without evidence.

    Integers

    Integers are whole numbers: 1, 2, 4, -6,...

    Except those examples aren't integers. '1' is a reference to an integer. A label for the concept of an integer. Integers themselves do not have physical form.

    Note: this isn't new. c.f. Platonic Ideals.

    So, Integers cannot be sensed as physical objects but they are still real. Aren't they?

    Integers are as real as God. "There is no way to measure them but they determine how things work."

    I am not saying anything about God. I am saying that the arguments used regarding the presence of God apply directly to Integers.

    Belief in Integers is equivalent to belief in God. You can believe in them if you wish but they are defined to be free from evidence.

    Note: Absolute faith without proof is a relativiely modern interpretation of Christian belief. It isn't, as I understand it, a requirement for belief. I am only interested in the related arguments for the existence of an invisible, undetecable, unmeasurable entity and applying those arguments to Integers.

    Definition of an Integer

    Definitions are hard. Mathematicians have invested a huge effort into defining basic concepts and the end result is that even their very best definitions contain a disturbing amount of handwaving

    Fortunately we don't have to get to complex.

    The Laws of Thought are: The Law of Identity, The Law of the Excluded Middle and The Law of non-Contradiction.

    These are the explicit axioms (assumptions) of Axiomatic Mathematics which is the branch of mathematics that contains all the Proofs (including Formal Logic).

    The integer '1' obeys the first Law of Thought (Identity). 1 is always itself. It doesn't change. 1=1.

    All well and fine.

    Now... do something constructive with that integer.

    You could.... change it into... itself.

    And that is it. That is everything you can do with the integer by itself. You can imagine it sitting there doing nothing.

    The problem with static, unchanging objects is that they are static. They don't do anything.

    Change

    Previously we considered that your existence is self-evident; and includes your entire existence.

    An aspect of your existence is your awareness of the existence of change. Whatever the exact nature of change, you are as certain of its existence as you are your own existence.

    Mathematics is the discipline of describing a changing universe based on the assumption that things don't change.

    Note: This applies to Axiomatic Mathematics which is not all mathematics.

    An electron

    Electrons are just like Integers.

    No-one has ever seen an electron. It is impossible to measure the properties of an electron.

    Again, this is not a new revelation. Electrons are a hypothetical particle invented to explain the observations we make. This is what a theory is.

    Except that electrons don't change. The same axioms for Axiomatic Mathematics are part of the mathematics of Quantum Mechanics (The Standard Model of Physics).

    Note: Quantum Mechanics is an incredibly successful theory that predicts observations to incredible levels of accuracy and precision. However, there is no way to start with the assumption of Identity (non-changing) and arrive at a changing universe.

    This is a straightforward contradiction which, in mathematics, is devestating for the theory.


    Quantum Mechanics does work - but it cannot possibly work according the the stated mechanisms.

    Sensory Data

    Sensory Data (whatever it actually is) changes.

    Sensory Data isn't a window into the Real Objective Universe. Sensory Data is that universe.

    Our experiences aren't a translation of an objective universe into subjective experience. Our experiences are the universe. Not in a solipsistic "we make the universe sense".

    In a - What We Experience Is What Is There (WWEIWIT) way.

    We don't need to infer reality from our Sensory Experience. Our Sensory Experience is our direct experience of reality.

    Objects in Mathematics are defined as unchanging.

    Sensory Data changes.

    You know this. You can see this.

    This isn't complicated. Do you experience change?

    If yes: you do not live in an objective universe.

    The idea of a fixed, objective universe is attractive. It makes arguments easier when the target isn't moving around all over the place. But it isn't true. It is obviously not true.

    You can try describing unchanging objects until you are blue in the face - but it will get you precisely nowhere in understanding a changing universe.
  • Thales
    18
    "Cogito Ergo Sum" - René Descartes ("I think, therefore I am").

    This statement signifies that the only thing we can know with certainty is our own existence. The existence of everything else cannot be proven beyond all doubt.
    Treatid

    Actually, whereas Descartes may have proven “thinking” exists, his leap to proving his own existence is less certain. He argued:

    “I will doubt everything I see, hear, smell, touch, taste and think until I come to a place where doubt is not possible. As it turns out, the only thing I can’t doubt in this list is ‘thinking’ because ‘doubt’ is, itself, a form of thinking.”

    But just because it was proven that “thinking” exists, it doesn’t necessarily follow that he (Descartes) exists. Thinking does not (logically) imply personal identity.
  • Philosophim
    2.4k
    Philosophers, mathematicans and physicists have been looking for definitive, absolute truths to build upon. Objective truths. An Objective Universe.Treatid

    This is something you are already familiar with as philosophers. You already know that objective definitions are a hard problem.

    Don't fight this result. Lean into it. Accept it. Then work forward from there.
    Treatid

    Not at all. Being intellectually lazy and giving up to pat ourselves on the back is what the general populace does. Don't ever fall for that intellectual trap. Your mind, like your muscles, wants to be lazy, sit on a couch and get fat. Don't let that happen. If you're interested in epistemology, I have at least one objective definition here. There's a good summary in the following post if that helps.
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/14044/knowledge-and-induction-within-your-self-context/p1
  • Treatid
    7
    Actually, whereas Descartes may have proven “thinking” exists, his leap to proving his own existence is less certain. He argued:Thales

    I don't think 'proof' is relevent here. Or at least not as the result of a chain of Logical Deduction.

    Your existence is evident to you. Not as a matter of argument but as a matter of experience.

    If we get into the weeds - we don't know what 'thinking', 'existing', 'experience' or 'self' mean in a definite manner.

    Descartes' statement is more along the lines of: "There is definitely something/I have a sense of self".

    The 'Ergo' (therefore) part of Descartes' statement seems to me to be a mistake. He doesn't exist because he thinks. His thoughts are an aspect of his existence.

    This may feel a little nihilistic if we interpret this as "we know something but we can't define what that something is".

    I think people expect to be able to define things in definitive terms and give up when it turns out that isn't possible.

    My argument is that this is a piece of knowledge that we can work with. It isn't possible to define anything in absolute terms. What systems can function in the absence of concrete definitions? It is evident we inhabit a system that works without having absolute, fixed definitions.


    People are good at Categorising things. It is a powerful tool and has almost certainly been instrumental in our success as a species.

    I like the style/rigour of what you are doing. But I think what you are trying to do is impossible.

    No matter where you start - it is impossible to create definite, unambiguous definitions.

    Yes, it would make communication clearer and faster if we had rigorous definitions that everyone understood and agreed with. That isn't reality. People have been trying to create a solid, unimpeachable foundation to build on since forever. They haven't succeeded because it is an impossible task.

    For example, I think you cannot justify the distinction you make between thought and experience.

    Thought and experience are aspects of a single whole. You can't have thought without experience and vice versa.

    Wordlviews

    1. There are objects with properties that give rise to relationships between objects.

    2. There are relationships.

    Both these worldviews agree on the existence of relationships. Adherents of the first worldview attempt to explain observed relationships through the properties of objects.

    The second worldview describes the nature of relationships by describing relationships.

    Relationships are a fundamentally distinct concept from objects.

    An object is a static singleton. An object has properties. These properties are also static. These static properties give rise to dynamic relationships... somehow?

    A relationship, in contrast, changes. A relationship connects. A relationship presents difference.

    It is not possible to build a relationship using only objects.

    Fundamental Unit

    The fundamental unit of the universe is a relationship.

    The universe is a network of relationships that changes.

    Why? Because we can see that is what it is.

    The universe changes, so it must be composed of stuff that can change. The universe is connected so it must be composed of things that connect. The universe is diverse so it must be composed of differences.

    Objects do not have these properties. The universe is not composed of objects.

    We label the things Relationships.

    Language

    Language builds networks of relationships.

    Why? Because language is part of the universe. The basic ingredients of the universe are the basic ingredients of everything in the universe.

    It is these networks of relationships that convey meaning.

    Individual words are placeholders for other networks of relationships. We can connect existing networks of relationships together to build new networks.

    Any given statement is a network of relationships.

    A network of relationships, by itself, is just a shape. Words on the page are just shapes. Shapes don't intend anything.

    When you read you incorporate the shape of the language into your own shape (you, also, are a network of relationships). The way you incorporate new shapes into yourself depends on your existing state and the way it interacts with the new shape.

    Corollory

    Static objects cannot describe a dynamic universe.

    At the same time, Relationships cannot describe static objects.

    Descriptions work by describing unknown objects using altered descriptions of known objects.

    A unicorn is a horse with a horn. You know what a horse is, you know what a horn is. By combing the two we convey what a unicorn would look like.

    If you were to experience something without any precedent you wouldn't be able to convey your experience.

    "It was like nothing you have ever seen before."

    Challenge Time

    If you can describe a static object you will have shown that I'm wrong and that I don't know what I'm talking about.

    The two main arguments I'm going to fall back on will be:

    A. You haven't actually described anything. "Objects are not relationships" is not a description of an Object.

    B. What you have actually described is relationships. My default position is that if you manage to describe something it must have actually been a (set of) relationsips in the first place.


    This is, of course, a blatant attempt to get you to engage with the ideas of what language is capable of and what it isn't capable of.

    Can you describe something that has no similarities to any of your previous experiences?
  • Joshs
    5.3k


    The fundamental unit of the universe is a relationship.

    The universe is a network of relationships that changes.

    Why? Because we can see that is what it is.

    The universe changes, so it must be composed of stuff that can change. The universe is connected so it must be composed of things that connect. The universe is diverse so it must be composed of differences.

    Objects do not have these properties. The universe is not composed of objects.

    We label the things Relationships.
    Treatid

    Kind of like this from physicist Karen Barad?

    “In an agential realist account, matter does not refer to a fixed substance; rather, matter is substance in its intra-active becoming—not a thing but a doing, a congealing of agency. Matter is a stabilizing and destabilizing process of iterative intra-activity. Phenomena—the smallest material units (relational “atoms”)—come to matter through this process of ongoing intra-activity. “Matter” does not refer to an inherent, fixed property of abstract, independently existing objects; rather, “matter” refers to phenomena in their ongoing materialization. On my agential realist elaboration, phenomena do not merely mark the epistemological inseparability of “observer” and “observed”; rather, phenomena are the ontological inseparability of agentially intra-acting “components.” That is, phenomena are ontologically primitive relations—relations without preexisting relata. The notion of intraaction (in contrast to the usual “interaction,” which presumes the prior existence of independent entities/relata) represents a profound conceptual shift. It is through specific agential intra-actions that the boundaries and properties of the “components” of phenomena become determinate and that particular embodied concepts become meaningful.”

    “In my agential realist account, scientific practices do not reveal what is already there; rather, what is ‘‘disclosed’’ is the effect of the intra-active engagements of our participation with/in and as part of the world’s differential becoming. Which is not to say that humans are the condition of possibility for the existence of phenomena. Phenomena do not require cognizing minds for their existence; on the contrary, ‘‘minds’’ are themselves material phenomena that emerge through specific intra-actions. Phenomena are real material beings. What is made manifest through technoscientific practices is an expression of the objective existence of particularmaterial phenomena. This is, after all, a realist conception of scientific practices. But unlike in traditional conceptions of realism, ‘‘objectivity’’ is not preexistence (in the ontological sense) or the preexistent made manifest to the cognitive mind (in the epistemological sense).

    Or this from Deleuze and Heidegger?

    In accordance with Heidegger's ontological intuition, difference must be articulation and connection in itself; it must relate different to different without any mediation whatsoever by the identical, the similar, the analogous or the opposed. There must be a differenciation of difference, an in-itself which is like a differenciator, by virtue of which the different is gathered all at once rather than represented on condition of a prior resemblance, identity, analogy or opposition.

    Or Deleuze’s summary of Nietzsche’s Eternal Return?

    When the identity of things dissolves, being be­gins to revolve around the different. That which is or returns has no prior constituted identity: things are reduced to the difference which fragments them, and to all the differences which are implicated in it and through
    which they pass
  • Philosophim
    2.4k
    I like the style/rigour of what you are doing. But I think what you are trying to do is impossible.Treatid

    I appreciate it, but we're on the philosophy boards. We can claim things are possible or impossible, but its all about proving it. Can you prove its impossible? What you're doing otherwise is taking the weak position of trying to have everyone else prove something which you haven't clearly spelled out yourself. You're committing the very flaw you're accusing others of.

    Yes, it would make communication clearer and faster if we had rigorous definitions that everyone understood and agreed with. That isn't reality.Treatid

    So if you read the paper, you'll find that I both form foundations and standards upon which we can have definitive knowledge. Yet I also note there are plenty of times (in fact, the majority) in which much of our claims, language, etc, are based on induction. This is necessary for efficient communication, as creating a solidly known definition takes time and effort that is generally not required in day to day conversation. That does not mean it is impossible to create objective knowledge or terms.

    So yes, most of our communication is filled with inductive premises, but that's a far cry from stating it is impossible to create or think on something objective. Again, you need to prove this yourself, not take the weak stance of making everyone else do the work to counter a claim you haven't fully tested yourself.

    For example, I think you cannot justify the distinction you make between thought and experience.

    Thought and experience are aspects of a single whole. You can't have thought without experience and vice versa.
    Treatid

    Then you misunderstood the definitions. Thoughts are an experience. I never say otherwise. "All tigers are cats, but not all cats are tigers." for example.

    If we get into the weeds - we don't know what 'thinking', 'existing', 'experience' or 'self' mean in a definite manner.Treatid

    Yes, you do. You do within your own experience. Words are tools we use to categorize discrete experiences and concepts. They can be loosely defined, or very tightly defined. That's your call. If you wish to define something to the point it can be objective, you can, it just takes a lot of effort. To communicate with others, there must be a certain level of rigid definition to the term that both of you share, or else communication would be impossible. If I say 'dog' but my personal definition of dog is 'monkey', then we're at a loss with each other.

    But if I'm a botanist who studies tree species, I'm going to have very rigorous definitions and standards that I share among my co-workers. These are objective terms used to identify plant species. Without this, science would be worthless.

    While you get that definitions and communication are contextual, the contextual does not mean we can't have objective definitions. The contextual decides how objective our definitions are required or expected to be in that particular context. Just because you choose to remain in a context that you decide not to use objective definitions, does not mean its impossible for there to be a context in which there are tight objective definitions and conclusions.

    If you can describe a static object you will have shown that I'm wrong and that I don't know what I'm talking about.Treatid

    Certainly, a 1X1X1 inch cube of solid iron with a density that weighs 10 grams.

    A. You haven't actually described anything. "Objects are not relationships" is not a description of an Object.Treatid

    Its iron, its in the shape of a cube with 1X1X1 dimensions, and it weighs 10 grams. This can be tested and confirmed objectively.

    B. What you have actually described is relationships. My default position is that if you manage to describe something it must have actually been a (set of) relationships in the first place.Treatid

    The universe changes, so it must be composed of stuff that can change. The universe is connected so it must be composed of things that connect. The universe is diverse so it must be composed of differences.

    Objects do not have these properties. The universe is not composed of objects.

    We label the things Relationships.
    Treatid

    I'm going to fire back here and note that your definition of "Relationship" needs to be tighter. If you're going to dismiss normal use of commonly accepted words and introduce your own meaning, you need to be very clear for it to be accepted. Objects do not have relationships like people do. Objects are described and known by experience and properties. If this simple language does not work, you need to detail why.
  • Treatid
    7
    Kind of like this from physicist Karen Barad?Joshs

    It certainly seems like it at first glance. I will look into her in more detail.

    Thank you very much for this reference.

    I appreciate it, but we're on the philosophy boards.Philosophim

    I'm about to come in hot. I can do this because you are making clear statements of position that I can engage with.

    Thank you for that.

    We can claim things are possible or impossible, but its all about proving it.Philosophim

    No. It isn't.

    Remember solipsism?

    It is impossible to prove anything beyond all doubt (except, perhaps, your own existence is self-evident to you).

    To the best of my knowledge there is no accepted counter argument.

    I'm sure many people think solipsism is silly, bordering on nihilism. That doesn't mean the underlying observations are wrong.

    There are no (logical or mathematical) proofs.

    One may not like this observation. This observation doesn't care.

    It is the nature of the universe that you cannot have definite proofs (as defined by formal logic and axiomatic mathematics).

    If you genuinely want to understand the nature of the universe then, sooner or later, you are going to have to come to grip with the fact that this is the nature of the universe.

    Rant

    I want to rant longer and harder because this is such an important point.

    I suspect that solipsism is a deliberately obtuse interpretation of the observations in order to make it appear less relevant. But it isn't wrong.

    Solispsism destroys Axiomatic Mathematics. Even in the absence of an alternative, solipsism is a clear statement that we must go back to the drawing board.

    It isn't even subtle.

    The mental gymnastics required to adhere to Axiomatic Mathematics in the face of (the observations leading to) solipsism is truly world leading. And this is from (rational) mathmaticians.

    This (Proofs/Axiomatic Mathematics) goes beyond "Absolute belief without proof". It is "asbolute belief despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary).

    Belief in the existence of proofs is religious in nature.

    I've no doubt there was a time when it seemed to be a rational approach to knowledge. Then Descartes happened.

    {Actually, the principles of solipsism were recorded over two thousand years ago. Descartes was more of a brush up than a genesis of the ideas. We've had two millenia to get our house in order. It is, perhaps, time we started facing upo to the truth no matter how uncomfortable that may be.

    (It really isn't that uncomfortable. Once you stop trying to do impossible things and go with the flow (possible things); it is astonishing how quickly all the pieces fit together).}


    In conclusion

    Do you have a specific reason why we should disregard solipsism and the observations that lead to it?
  • Joshs
    5.3k
    Do you have a specific reason why we should disregard solipsism and the observations that lead to it?Treatid

    I can think of reasons to disregard the following definition of solipsism from Enclyclopedia Brittanica:

    In philosophy, solipsism is an extreme form of subjective idealism that denies that the human mind has any valid ground for believing in the existence of anything but itself. The British idealist F.H. Bradley, in Appearance and Reality (1893), characterized the solipsistic view as follows

    “I cannot transcend experience, and experience must be my experience. From this it follows that nothing beyond my self exists; for what is experience is its [the self’s] states.”

    My critique centers on the Idealist conception of self expressed in the definition. If we must remain skeptical about the existence of everything but the sense data we experience, what kinds of presuppositions are invoked in talk of an ‘I’, a self that has these experiences, and where do these presuppositions come from? Do they come from experience or do they force a certain account onto experience, a certain interpretation of sense data wherein a self remains absolutely fixed as the subject of experience, reflecting back on itself as self-identical over time?

    If all sense data are fundamentally in a state of changeable, interrelational becoming, then isnt this also true of the self, subject, ego, I? Does any notion of self make any sense outside of its inextricable relations with others? Plenty of philosophical positions deconstruct this notion of the absolute unchanging self in favor of a self which is constructed though social interaction. For them the self is a continually changing product of these interactions rather than an unchanging substance. You can also check out this ongoing thread:
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/15267/concept-of-no-self-in-buddhism
  • Philosophim
    2.4k
    I'm about to come in hot. I can do this because you are making clear statements of position that I can engage with.

    Thank you for that.
    Treatid

    No problem! This is the place where you can. Please enjoy thinking and challenging to your hearts content.

    It is impossible to prove anything beyond all doubt (except, perhaps, your own existence is self-evident to you).Treatid

    I doubt that. And if doubt had any weight on its own, your statement would crumble. Doubt alone means nothing. I can doubt anything I want. What matters is "Reasonable doubt". If I say, "I doubt that unicorn's aren't real," someone can ask me, "What's your evidence for such a doubt?" If I say, "Because I want there to be unicorns," my doubt is just a feeling and can be dismissed.

    Doubt is never the standard by which objectivity is determined. After all, people doubt that the world is a sphere. Doubts which can be tested, are falsifiable, and have good reasoning behind them can be considered as viable challenges to established claims. Anything else can easily be discarded.

    There are no (logical or mathematical) proofs.Treatid

    Can you prove this? You're running into a classic conundrum of, "There is no reality/certainty etc." Your own statements fall into your own accusation. In which case, why should your statements hold any weight?

    Look at it this way.

    Option 1: There is not objectivity, so anything goes.
    Option 2: There is objectivity, so not everything goes.

    If you pick option 1 and I pick option 2, I don't have to accept your premises, while you have to accept that its fine for me to hold option 2. If you insist that I'm wrong, then you've countered your own argument. You're claiming, "Option 1 is objectively true, while option 2 is objectively false." Or better/relative comparative value that is more than an opinion. Option 1 is rationally worthless.

    So while I could demonstrate a logical or mathematical proof, I'm instead putting the onus on you. You do the work of proving why option 1 doesn't collapse into pointlessness. And by doing so, option 1 crumbles. If you don't prove it, then I get to ignore it. If you do prove it, then you counter your own argument.

    It is the nature of the universe that you cannot have definite proofs (as defined by formal logic and axiomatic mathematics).Treatid

    Again, feel free to prove this. Once again, doing so will defeat the statement.

    Solispsism destroys Axiomatic Mathematics.Treatid

    Once again, the onus is on you to prove this statement.

    Do you have a specific reason why we should disregard solipsism and the observations that lead to it?Treatid

    I have plenty, but first you must demonstrate why there is any reason we should accept solipsism and the observations that lead to it. Why should I, a person who isn't you, accept that you are able to prove that the only thing I can know exists is me?
  • Treatid
    7
    My argument centers on the Idealist conception of self expressed in the definition.Joshs

    I... agree with what you are saying.

    I'm confused as to why you think this is an argument against solipsism or its' underlying observations.

    You point out that the definition of 'I' or 'self' is unclear. I agree with this.

    I think you are then making an (unstated) assumption that if we cannot define the strict meaning of words then arguments involving those words are meaningless and we shall all just give up.

    Why can't we strictly define words?

    Imagine a closed system that you are part of. You are not outside the system looking in. You are inside the system. You are part of the closed system.

    You wish to talk about this system you inhabit.

    Anything you say is within the system. If you point at something, it is inside the system.

    If you try to describe the system as a whole, your description is inside the thing it is trying to describe.

    You would be using the universe to describe the universe.

    It is like trying to describe a sheep using only references to that sheep: "A sheep's head looks like... the sheep's head." "The Sheep's wool is soft like the sheep's wool and covers the body in the way that the sheep's wool covers its' body."

    You can get more creative: "The sheep's head is smaller than its body." "The tail is at the opposite end to the head."

    This is, of course, where we are. We are inside the universe.

    We can take one piece of the universe (a one metre ruler) and compare it to the circumference of the Earth through the poles. We can say this circumference is a little over 40,000km.

    This works.

    What is distance? What creates distance? Given nothing (a formless void) how would you create distance? How did distance come into being?

    An electron

    An electron has properties we describe as wavelike. What is a wave? A wave is something we observe elsewhere in the universe.

    An electron has properties that are like other parts of the universe.

    Okay. One piece of universe has similarities to other pieces of the universe.

    This isn't nothing. We can enumerate those similarities and differences. We can measure and compare similarities.

    However, sooner or later we need to admit that we have described a property of electrons using the result of those electrons. An ocean wave is composed of (among other things) electrons. We then describe properties of the electron using that macroscopic idea of waves.

    We are describing electrons using electrons.

    Definitions

    The above is true of all definitions. We can compare (measure) different distances. But if we try to define what distance is we end up saying that distance is like this other thing that we can't define.

    Assumption: definitions work by comparing and contrasting

    It is extremely obvious to me that all descriptions describe one thing in relation to other things. "A zebra is like a horse with stripes."

    If this doesn't seem obvious to you I would love to get some insight into how you think information is conveyed.

    Next

    There are no (logical or mathematical) proofs. — Treatid


    Can you prove this?
    Philosophim

    A: "There are no proofs."

    B: "You must prove to me that there are no proofs for me to accept your statement."

    Proof is the de facto standard of modern scientific argument. It is the accepted mechanism of ensuring that an argument is rigorous and actually justifies the claims made.

    Pushing for that rigour is justified.

    Cutting yourself off from any mechanism that would question 'proof' and 'logic' is anti-rational.

    You have defined a position that is unassailable. "If there are no proofs then it is impossible to prove there are no proofs. Therefore, obviously, the proposition that there are no proofs is wrong Q.E.D."

    A proof of the non-existence of proofs

    A contradiction in Logic disproves the axioms.

    Logic (and Axiomatic Mathematics) start with a set of premises (axioms) which define an initial condition and a set of rules for reaching new statements within that system. If a statement within the system is both true and false at the same time, then there is some fault with the initial axioms. The Premise is mistaken.

    The universe is a system. If a contradiction were to appear inside the universe then, logically, the universe must disappear in a puff of logic.

    According to Axiomatic Mathematics, there are many inconsistent systems. These systems exist within the universe. Why hasn't the universe poofed out of existence.

    Axiomatic Mathematics part 2: Separation

    Axiomatic Mathematics (and formal logic) are instantly dead if a single contradiction invalidates the entire system.

    So each Axiomatic System must be independent of every other Axiomatic System. An individual system may be invalidated but this has no impact on all the other independent systems.

    This works great.

    It is a Lie

    The separation between Axiomatic (or Logical) systems doesn't exist.

    There is no measurable quality that demonstrates the distinction between two systems.

    A mathematician has to tell you that two sets of statements are distinct. There is nothing you can see, feel, touch or hear that will tell where to draw the boundary between axiomatic systems.

    Axiomatic mathematics must have distinctions between systems in order to exist. But the boundaries can't be seen. There is nothing to measure. They are the poster child of belief without evidence.

    If everything is connected then Logic, Axiomatic Mathematics and the whole universe are inconsistent. By the rules of Axiomatic Mathematics inconsistent systems have no information content.

    Axiomatic Mathematics needs a distinction between systems to exist.

    Good luck trying to demonstrate one of these distinctions.

    Where we are going we don't need proof

    Logic is a theory of arguments. It (tries to) describe how a form of communication works.

    Before communication we have experience.

    Descartes didn't argue your self awareness into existence.

    Before you can argue about what it means to exist, what 'self' is or all the rest of it; you first need to exist (whatever that means).

    As far as certainty goes - your existence is the pièce de résistance. There is nothing better. It is all downhill from here.

    Caveat

    Your existence encompasses the whole of your existence. All your experiences are part and parcel of your existence. You are as certain of your direct experiences as you are of anything else.

    Logic never persuaded you that you feel pain and pleasure. You feel pain and pleasure because... you do.

    We can (indeed, must) use our personal experiences as the solid foundation upon which to build... everything.

    Solipsism says we cannot know anything with certainty except the self.

    This isn't wrong - but the self includes everything you ever experience. When you stub your toe on a table; that experience is certain. Definite.

    If we only talk about your experiences; we are limited to everything you can possibly experience.

    You have only ever been able to talk about your experiences.

    "The only certainty is your own existence." isn't a statement of limitation. Your existence is EVERYTHING of significance.

    P.S. The universe is consistent

    You can't cause bits of the universe to evaporate by making the wrong symbols.

    There are no statements that have to be wrapped in a little knot of pearl in order to prevent the death of the universe.

    A physical sentence isn't wrong. It isn't right either. These words don't have any meaning. They are just shapes in the universe.

    When you read these words you decide on their meaning and their significance.

    If you decide that a sentence is wrong - fine. It is still just a bit of universe shaped in a particular way.

    The universe doesn't think the liar's paradox is a paradox. It is just squiggles on (virtual) paper.

    Not all the squiggles on paper make sense to the people reading them. This isn't a squiggle problem. This is a people problem.

    You, personally, decide how you will respond to what you read.

    You have never been persuaded by Logical Argument. You have found squiggles that made sense according to your personal experience.

    That is the final arbiter of your understanding. Your experience determines what you find plausible and implausible.

    Right and wrong (truth and false) are entirely subjective opinions determined by each individual.

    The symbols on the page are just symbols on the page. A symbol isn't true or inconsistent.

    Your interpretation of a symbol is not the symbol.

    P.P.S.

    Once we get past the idea that symbols have any kind of inherent meaning; we can start to consider how similarities of experience between people enables the use of those 'meaningless' symbols to communicate meaning to other people.

    Which is to say - of course language works. Of course we are able to communicate.

    That doesn't mean the mechanism bears any similarity to the fairy tale we, as a society, have been telling ourselves for far too long.
  • Joshs
    5.3k


    I'm confused as to why you think this is an argument against solipsism or its' underlying observations.

    You point out that the definition of 'I' or 'self' is unclear. I agree with this.

    I think you are then making an (unstated) assumption that if we cannot define the strict meaning of words then arguments involving those words are meaningless and we shall all just give up.
    Treatid

    I was only introducing a commonly accepted definition of solipsism, which isn’t unclear at all, and wondering if it corresponds to your use of the word. And if it doesn’t, how does your use differ? You keep on referring to me my, I. Would you be amenable to getting rid of these terms and instead just describing a constantly changing center of activity that we mistakenly refer to as a ‘self’? What other things do you believe can be definitively said about this center of experiencing without having to dip into mathematics and logical axioms?

    Can we say this center has memory , consciousness of a past, present and future? If we throw out the language of propositional logic and math , aren’t we still able to keep a range of neuro-psychological descriptions of human experiencing? Is your purpose in this thread simply to critique the assumed pre-eminent role of math and logic in the ascertaining of truth ( in which case you have a lot of company, not only in philosophy but in the social sciences)? Or is your aim also to critique what you understand to be the cutting edge of ideas in philosophy and the sciences ( in which case you run the risk of reinventing the wheel)?
  • Philosophim
    2.4k
    If a contradiction were to appear inside the universe then, logically, the universe must disappear in a puff of logic.

    According to Axiomatic Mathematics, there are many inconsistent systems. These systems exist within the universe. Why hasn't the universe poofed out of existence.
    Treatid

    True. Do you have a specific example of when something both existed and did not exist at the same time in the universe? And I don't mean metaphysically, but in reality.

    Second, you'll need to point out a contradiction in math, and prove that it necessarily represents the universe accurately. A claim of 'inconsistent systems' is not enough.

    The separation between Axiomatic (or Logical) systems doesn't exist.Treatid

    Correct. Logical systems are built upon smaller proven parts.

    Axiomatic mathematics must have distinctions between systems in order to exist. But the boundaries can't be seen. There is nothing to measure. They are the poster child of belief without evidence.Treatid

    I don't understand what you're stating here. Could you give an example?

    If everything is connected then Logic, Axiomatic Mathematics and the whole universe are inconsistent. By the rules of Axiomatic Mathematics inconsistent systems have no information content.

    Axiomatic Mathematics needs a distinction between systems to exist.
    Treatid

    How is everything inconsistent? I also don't understand your claim that axiomatic mathematics needs a distinction between its 'systems'. (What's a system?)

    Logic is a theory of arguments. It (tries to) describe how a form of communication works.Treatid

    No, logic is a combination of proofs that have not been reasonably countered. Like I mentioned earlier, you cannot have an object 'A' both exist and not exist at the same time. A != A is proven to be wrong.

    Your existence encompasses the whole of your existence. All your experiences are part and parcel of your existence. You are as certain of your direct experiences as you are of anything else.Treatid

    No disagreement here.

    Logic never persuaded you that you feel pain and pleasure. You feel pain and pleasure because... you do.Treatid

    No, but logic can give something more reasonable to stand on then a feeling of certainty.

    We can (indeed, must) use our personal experiences as the solid foundation upon which to build... everything.Treatid

    We only need personal experiences if we only trust ourselves. If we trust proven systems, then no.

    Solipsism says we cannot know anything with certainty except the self.

    This isn't wrong - but the self includes everything you ever experience. When you stub your toe on a table; that experience is certain. Definite.
    Treatid

    Yes, the experience of existing is certain as you experience it. But whether that experience correctly interprets how you exist in relation to others is not. Descartes evil demon covers this. Or the brain in a vat argument. Just because you believe strongly that you've stubbed your toe is not a reason alone to conclude you stubbed your toe. That's just an emotional conviction.

    A physical sentence isn't wrong. It isn't right either. These words don't have any meaning. They are just shapes in the universe.Treatid

    No, they have meaning by the concepts they represent. And those concepts can be right or wrong depending on if they are in accordance with reality, or contradict reality.

    You, personally, decide how you will respond to what you read.Treatid

    Sure. But this doesn't prove that my belief of certainty matches reality. You're equating emotions and beliefs with logic. They are not the same.

    Right and wrong (truth and false) are entirely subjective opinions determined by each individual.Treatid

    It depends on the context. If I want to make up names for things I can. If I want to say that a rock hurtling through the air is about to hit me in the head, I am wrong.

    I highly encourage you to read the work I linked you in the last post. You're the kind of person who can think along those lines, and I think it would be very valuable to help you sort out the thoughts your currently going through.
  • Treatid
    7
    Is your purpose in this thread simply to critique the assumed pre-eminent role of math and logic in the ascertaining of truth ( in which case you have a lot of company, not only in philosophy but in the social sciences)? Or is your aim also to critique what you understand to be the cutting edge of ideas in philosophy and the sciences ( in which case you run the risk of reinventing the wheel)?Joshs

    Part 1

    Bear with me - this may not seem like I'm answering your question but I have a plan.

    The universe is exactly what we perceive. Alternatively, existence is what we experience.

    There are a bunch of (or one large) mistaken assumptions that are blocking our collective ability to see clearly.

    For example, it is impossible to describe non-Sensory-Data.

    All the time and effort expended on trying to do impossible things is wasted. Worse, our expectations for what the answers should look like are impossible. So, even when a correct answer is staring us in the face we reject it because it doesn't conform to our (impossible) prejudices.

    On the flip side, our direct experience is informed by being part of a functioning universe.

    We already know that our personal experience is subjective. The idea of subjectivity isn't new or surprising.

    Trying to understand the nature of subjectivity from an objective viewpoint is futile.

    The only way to accurately describe the universe is from a subjective perspective. Trying to force subjective experience into an objective framework just causes confusion.

    You keep on referring to me my, I. Would you be amenable to getting rid of these terms and instead just describing a constantly changing center of activity that we mistakenly refer to as a ‘self’?Joshs

    There is one existence and everything is an aspect of that existence.

    This isn't some New-Age metaphor about how we should all live in harmony.

    Every part of the universe is connected. There is no clear delineation where one part ends and another part begins.

    Again, this isn't an original idea. The difference is that we aren't just tossing off a neat idea and moving on. The connectedness of the universe is an essential, fundamental trait. The fundamental (smallest) component of the universe must include the concept of connectedness. Connectedness has to be baked into the very fabric of the universe, it isn't an emergent behaviour that can arise from not-connected things.

    A practical upshot of this is that our understanding of any single concept is determined by the sum total of all our other concepts.

    For All A and All B
    {
    A is the difference between A and B.
    B is the difference between B and A.
    }

    Note that things that are connected must also be different. Connections don't just connect, they also differentiate.

    Following from this we get a sense of what 'self' is that isn't that far from your intuition, I think.

    Agreement

    I'm fairly confident that your subjective experience of 'self' is very similar to my experience of 'self'.

    If we were to discuss matters of existence and identity in purely subjective terms we could rapidly reach consensus and seek out new avenues of exploration.

    The trouble is that there is an expectation that valid conclusions must take the shape of 'objective statements' in a 'logical structure'. Subjective experience cannot be described in an objective framework.

    It is an impossible requirement.

    Language is, of course, already subjective.

    This leads to situations where people successfully discuss ideas (using languages that are already subjective) and then get stuck when trying to express those ideas in an objective/logical framework. They can feel that they are communicating and then get frustrated when they can't fit the round peg of subjective experiences into the square hole of objective definitions.

    I was only introducing a commonly accepted definition of solipsism, which isn’t unclear at all, and wondering if it corresponds to your use of the word. And if it doesn’t, how does your use differ?Joshs

    That is a fine definition of solipsism.

    Bear in mind that I've stated that the self encompasses your entire experience.

    This is, among other things, a question of knowledge. What do we know? What can we know?

    Solipsism represents the line in the sand. You can know yourself and the direct experiences that are part of yourself. You cannot know anything else.

    Attempting to know 'anything else' is a waste of time.

    So, what about the existence of other people?

    You have experiences that you associate with the concept of other people. Those experiences exist. There is no question about the existence of those experiences.

    The non-sequitur arises when you question whether those people exist beyond your perception of them.

    The closest I think I can parse this is: "Do the people that I experience exist outside the universe?"

    You don't have to prove that people exist outside of your experience. That is irrelevant. All the things that you cannot and do not experience have exactly zero impact on you.

    Note: I know you weren't arguing for or against solipsism. I am taking every opportunity to underline the point that subjective experiences are real. Subjective experiences are the bedrock of your existence. non-subjective-experiences are irrelevant. You will never experience objective experiences.

    Trying to fit your subjective knowledge into an objective framework is a waste of effort and time.

    Is your purpose in this thread simply to critique the assumed pre-eminent role of math and logic in the ascertaining of truth ( in which case you have a lot of company, not only in philosophy but in the social sciences)? Or is your aim also to critique what you understand to be the cutting edge of ideas in philosophy and the sciences ( in which case you run the risk of reinventing the wheel)?Joshs

    Part 2

    More ambitious.

    The critique is somewhat incidental albeit a necessary step.

    We have two world-views that are fundamentally incompatible with each other. There is no incremental (step-wise) path from one world-view to the other.

    Given objectivism it is impossible to fully grasp relativism (and vice versa).

    We've seen this before between Newtonian Mechanics and General Relativity. General Relativity is not an evolution of Newtonian Mechanics. They are incompatible systems.

    General Relativity is built up from first principles using only the observation that "the speed of light in vacuum is the same for all observers".

    By far the largest obstacle to understanding General Relativity is trying to interpret it from the perspective of (objective) Newtonian Mechanics.

    We are continuing the work of General Relativity except that our single observation is solipsism.

    As such, I have two purposes:

    1. Use the principles of solipsism to illustrate a relativistic system of thought.
    2. Undo the mistaken assumptions of objectivism which obscure the relativistic nature of the universe.

    Of these two tasks, the second is the most difficult by orders of magnitude.

    The universe is relativistic. Describing the universe (including things like existence, meaning and thought) in relativistic terms is trivial. For comparison, describing the universe in objective terms is impossible.

    Describing a relativistic system in relativistic terms is a joy. Everything fits together and just works.

    But if you are still holding onto objective assumptions nothing makes any sense. Proof is an artifact of objective assumptions. It isn't meaningful in a relativistic system.

    In a relativistic system, what you observe is the relativistic system. Your existence isn't proven by a chain of logical statements. Your existence is your observation of your existence (or more simply - you are).

    Next
    Axiomatic mathematics must have distinctions between systems in order to exist. But the boundaries can't be seen. There is nothing to measure. They are the poster child of belief without evidence. — Treatid


    I don't understand what you're stating here. Could you give an example?
    Philosophim

    The Principle of Explosion

    The Principle of Explosion is why inconsistency is a problem.

    Note: Here's a link to Wikipedia's description of the Principle of Explosion: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_explosion

    It is in plain English and doesn't require a mathematics background to understand. Anyone on these forums is likely to find it quite straightforward.

    Note 2: An inconsistency occurs when two statements contradict each other or a single statement contradicts itself (c.f. Liar's Paradox).


    The Principle of Explosion shows how a single contradiction in a system means that we can contradict every possible statement in that system.

    In Axiomatic Mathematics, statements within a consistent system are proven. Statements in an inconsistent system are garbage.

    For Axiomatic Mathematics to work there needs to be statements that are not inconsistent.

    The Principle of Explosion says it applies to any system that contains an inconsistency but does not otherwise explicitly define what a system is or what the scope of a system is.

    However, we can examine the mechanism of explosion.

    The Wikipedia example is written in English and uses contradiction phrased using English sentences.

    Can we apply the Principle of Explosion to other English sentences? Clearly we can.

    Can we apply it to all other English sentences? Yes.

    Can we apply it to German sentences? Well... yes...

    The explosion relies on the initial contradiction. The subsequent statements don't even have to be in a specific language or even meaningful.

    The mechanism of The Principle of Explosion means that given a single inconsistency, every single statement that could possibly be made can be shown to be inconsistent.

    Somebody forgot to include a stop function.

    Check for yourself

    The Principle of Explosion says that given a single contradiction every possible statement in every possible language is inconsistent.

    And you can see the process for yourself. Axiomatic Mathematics has gone bye bye and you don't need a mathematics degree to understand why.

    This... is significant. Axiomatic Mathematics is a Grand Illusion that never existed.

    Don't take my word for it. Examine The Principle of Explosion for yourself. Determine for yourself that the allusion to 'system' is a red herring. The Principle of Explosion necessarily applies to every conceivable statement.

    Try re-writing The Principle of Explosion so it can be constrained. See if you can save Axiomatic Mathematics.

    Hint: This isn't due to a typo or some quirk of an informal language. This is the result of mathematicians being so desperate to preserve Axiomatic Mathematics that they very carefully did not fully examine one of the principles they relied upon.

    Extraordinary Claims require extraordinary evidence

    I have made an extraordinary claim: "Axiomatic Mathematics doesn't exist".

    I have provided evidence: The Principle of Explosion isn't constrained.

    You don't need to take anyone else's word on this. This is within your ability to determine for yourself.

    I will tell you that I'm not misrepresenting anything but you really don't need to trust me. Just read The Principle of Explosion and understand how it works.
  • Philosophim
    2.4k
    The Principle of Explosion is why inconsistency is a problem.Treatid

    Sure, but you never pointed out the inconsistency that destroys Axiomatic math.
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