• Fire Ologist
    493


    The point is, the whole of the empirical world in space and time is the creation of our understanding, — Bryan Magee Schopenhauer's Philosophy, Pp 106-107

    I agree with this. We can replace “in space and time” with the “as we understand it” from your description above.

    Because the OP asked about “physical world”, I am trying focus more on the thing-in-itself part of the equation, which as empirical, is the world mediated by senses.

    To paraphrase, the below three say basically the same thing:

    1. The point is, the whole of the empirical world in space and time is the creation of our understanding,

    2. The point is, the whole of the empirical world as we understand it is the creation of our understanding,

    3. The point is, the whole of the empirical world that we take as representation is the creation of our understanding,

    The first puts the separate thing in it self in context of extension and temporality which are features of the understanding. The second focuses on the operation of the understanding upon the thing in itself (really saying the same thing more generally and not just in context of space and time). The third focuses on the operation of the thing in itself upon the senses that build the representation.

    But they build the representation out of two sources - the understanding AND the thing in itself.

    There is a tendency to ignore the thing in itself in the equation. Just because our understanding can only be comprised of phenomena, this doesn’t mean phenomena are only comprised of our understanding. There still is (or can be I should say) an empirical world absent perspective and sensation. Such a world-in-itself is wholly inaccessible, like each thing we would intuit about the objects created by sensation, but nevertheless must exist to build up all of this apparatus called subjective experience.
  • Fire Ologist
    493
    An objective world, by definition, would not require a subject or its ideals at all.noAxioms

    Are you utterly isolated, perhaps the sole being there is, fabricating each of the impressions or ideals in your experience?

    Or are you utterly isolated, fabricating each of the impressions or ideals in your experience using incomplete and vague data from outside of you like a sort of mental clay? So you are not the only thing in the universe, you just cannot communicate with any of the other things, and instead translate and transform those things into nice packages for your own isolated world?

    Or are you one of many physical things that occasionally has to avoid being hit when crossing the street to pick out a unique and distinct sandwich to be placed in a distinct belly to relieve a distinct and localized feeling of hunger, and you just can’t explain all of that clearly because of the second option?

    The only way to save any knowledge of the thing in itself is to understand that we couldn’t have this conversation without something separate from both of us to mediate it. We aren’t using telepathy. We are using material objects between us. They exist with no need to declare their distinctions. Through things physical objects, we can demonstrate mental ideals that only other minds can take up. We make our own idealistic declarations out of those separate objects like when Intake the alphabet of shapely things in themselves and make the phenomena known as “alphabet”. But we who can translate sounds and colors into “objects” know something in itself is also declared when some other mind returns with a rebuttal that is not gibberish.
  • JuanZu
    120
    My attempts to find a non-fictional example of an object not being an ideal has failed. This is strong evidence for the conclusion reached.noAxioms

    Think about the embodied-mind. There would be a relation between our ability to grasp objects and the appearance of things as objects in our perception.

    I think what you expect to find is an object unmediated by our categories, for example. But that is like saying we are going to perceive something without perceiving. Every perception involves an adaptation, an interpretation. There is no access to reality that is not mediated, but we can ask why our means are embedded in reality, and above all, we can ask why they work and what the link is between the world we are in and our categories, our language, our ideas, etc. Therefore, the world would have something ideal-ish that allows our thinking and our perception to maintain a certain continuity with the world.
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    2.3k


    In a search for an objective object, yes, I want that. Seems completely impossible, so the conclusion is that all these things are but ideals.

    I would agree to that, with the large caveat that "ideals," (inclusive of the accidental properties of particulars) are generated by the physical properties of objects, which include (perhaps irreducible) relations to minds. So, I think that is the right conclusion, just not in the sense that objects exist "only in the mind." Objects exist in as a function of the relationships between minds and the things that lie outside them.

    Baring some sort of solipsism, ontological differences have to underpin phenomenal differences. This would be true even for Berkeley. And "physical" seems to be a good concept for denoting how these differences exist.
  • Fire Ologist
    493


    I think what you expect to find is an object unmediated by our categories, for example. But that is like saying we are going to perceive something without perceiving. Every perception involves an adaptation, an interpretation. There is no access to reality that is not mediated, but we can ask why our means are embedded in reality, and above all, we can ask why they work and what the link is between the world we are in and our categories, our language, our ideas, etc. Therefore, the world would have something ideal-ish that allows our thinking and our perception to maintain a certain continuity with the world.JuanZu

    This is exactly what I’m trying to say.

    There is a reason we can speak meaningfully to each other, that we can carry ideals to other minds; there is some basis in a world separate from both of us, something ideal-ish or objective.

    Just because we can’t be realists, doesn’t mean realism is not there. It’s cloaked.
  • noAxioms
    1.5k
    Are you utterly isolated, perhaps the sole being there is, fabricating each of the impressions or ideals in your experience?

    Or are you utterly isolated, fabricating each of the impressions or ideals in your experience using incomplete and vague data from outside of you like a sort of mental clay? So you are not the only thing in the universe, you just cannot communicate with any of the other things, and instead translate and transform those things into nice packages for your own isolated world?

    Or are you one of many physical things that occasionally has to avoid being hit when crossing the street to pick out a unique and distinct sandwich to be placed in a distinct belly to relieve a distinct and localized feeling of hunger, and you just can’t explain all of that clearly because of the second option?
    Fire Ologist
    None of the above. Third option looks like an argument either for or against free will. I do admit the use of ideals in my interactions with the world 'out there'.

    to understand that we couldn’t have this conversation without something separate from both of us to mediate it.
    Agree with this. The separate mediation is apparently not a 'thing'. It is just physics, motion of material and such, having no meaning until reinterpreted back into ideals by something that isn't me.

    We are using material objects between us.
    Material yes. Objects, not so much. Their being objects is only an ideal, per pretty much unanimous consensus of the posters in this topic. Physics works and does its thing all without human designations of where the boundaries of 'separate systems' are. The need to declare their distinctions is only a need of the communicating intellects.


    Thank you for your continued input. It seems we're mostly hacking out the same ideas with different language surrounding it. I'm not in the habit of articulating this sort of interaction since it's sort of a different way of looking at things for me.


    I think what you expect to find is an object unmediated by our categories, for example. But that is like saying we are going to perceive something without perceiving. Every perception involves an adaptation, an interpretation. There is no access to reality that is not mediated, but we can ask why our means are embedded in reality, and above all, we can ask why they work and what the link is between the world we are in and our categories, our language, our ideas, etc. Therefore, the world would have something ideal-ish that allows our thinking and our perception to maintain a certain continuity with the world.JuanZu
    Agree with all this. Some comments. We have little access to reality that is not mediated. Reality itself has such unmediated access, but that doesn't qualify as perception.


    I would agree to that, with the large caveat that "ideals," (inclusive of the accidental properties of particulars) are generated by the physical properties of objects, which include (perhaps irreducible) relations to minds.Count Timothy von Icarus
    Some examples would help here. Are you only talking about relations to minds?
    Not otherwise sure of what you're saying. In particular, what sort of properties (other than a relation to a mind) would an object have that a mere subset of material doesn't? What would distinguish the two cases? There is 'kind' for instance. Here is a relatively contiguous region of state X or material M, such as what a human would designate as a cloud. The atmospheric conditions external to the cloud are different than the conditions within it, and that simple change of kind from one region to the next defines a fairly natural boundary for a physical object. It isn't 'connected' (one of the attempted but failed definitions), but at least it is (more or less) contiguous. The more-or-less part comes into play when it gets less defined if there is one cloud or two smaller ones that are merely nearby. Physics obviously cares not about this distinction.
  • Fire Ologist
    493
    Agree with this. The separate mediation is apparently not a 'thing'. It is just physics, motion of material and such, having no meaning until reinterpreted back into ideals by something that isn't me.noAxioms

    So if you would admit there are two distinct people in the universe, but don’t see any distinct physical objects apart from your own idealizations, is the distinction you make between you and me only ideal, or do I have to have some sort of physics to me that you can let speak for itself?
  • Wayfarer
    21.4k
    I don't much know the teachings of the famous guysnoAxioms

    Bernardo Kastrup is worth becoming acquainted with if you want to know something about current philosophical idealism. Interview here. (His organisation has just published the second book by Federico Faggin, who developed the first microprocessor before having a major epiphany and turning his attention to "consciousness studies". I read his "Silicon" last year.)

    That was in reaction to your Magee quote, and it seems to presume a more fundamental (proper) idealism than the one described by your paper or Pinter.noAxioms

    Oh, I don't know. True, Pinter's books doesn't mention 'idealism' but there are 27 references to Kant. And there's a strong (if contested) relationship between Kant and modern cognitive science. It's actually very hard to get clear on what idealism actually means, but it certainly doesn't mean what a lot of people take it for, 'spooky ethereal mind-stuff'.

    That we put words to sets of material that we find useful does not imply that the material behind it is challenged.noAxioms

    That there is 'material behind it' is precisely the belief in question!
  • ucarr
    1.2k


    When we look at the premise: What constitutes an 'object' is entirely a matter of language/convention. There's no physical basis for it., we see that the interface connecting language with physical parts of the natural world is denied.ucarr

    Is ‘object’ the antecedent of ‘it.’?

    Well for one, the suggestion is that convention is very much the interface between the physical world and 'object'. Convention comes from language and/or utility. So the interface is not denied, but instead enabled by these things.noAxioms

    Does “convention” equal “A way in which something is usually done in accordance with an established pattern.”?

    Are “convention” and “utility” the antecedents for “things.”?

    Are you saying ‘object’ is a non-physical construction of the mind?

    Are you saying the mind constructs an interpretation of the physical world, and that that construction is radically different in form from its source?

    Does the mind_physical world interface come before the interpretation?

    If the mind_physical world interface is contemporary with the interpretation, must we conclude the mind never perceives the physical world directly?
  • javi2541997
    5.3k
    I know those questions are for @noAxioms, but they are so interesting that I want to dive into them as well.

    Does “convention” equal “A way in which something is usually done in accordance with an established pattern.”?ucarr

    I think it does. But the point here is to know to what extent things exist or not due to universal convention. I would like to use the example of a few pages before: a twig is followed by a tree and then the combination of these two makes the forest. This set is interesting. I personally believe a set of different things are dependent on universal convention, for instance. Furthermore, if we are focused on non-material “things” like time, justice, property or democracy.

    Are “convention” and “utility” the antecedents for “things.”?ucarr

    ucarr, what do you mean by “antecedents” here? I think convention and utility are attachments to physical objects.

    Are you saying ‘object’ is a non-physical construction of the mind?ucarr

    This is a great question. I would like to know the answer of @noAxioms. When I exchanged some thoughts with him, he claimed everything object is connected to something. I guess he was referring to the construction of the mind.

    Is ‘object’ the antecedent of ‘it.’?ucarr

    Ahh, which came first? The classic golden question. I think an object is a representation of reality which holds both primary and secondary qualities. I mean, we call the “object” the thing that can be measured, seen, colored, compared, etc. and other types of properties which make the object an “it”. So, even if I might be wrong, I would say “object” came first than “it.”
  • noAxioms
    1.5k
    Apologies to all for slow reply. It's gets busy on some days.


    So if you would admit there are two distinct people in the universe, but don’t see any distinct physical objects apart from your own idealizations, is the distinction you make between you and me only ideal, or do I have to have some sort of physics to me that you can let speak for itself?Fire Ologist
    I'll try to clarify. There are multiple fields, and a given description must be consistent with one of the fields. This xkcd comic illustrates what I mean: purity.png

    The fields as I see relevant here are ideals, mind, biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics. One can use any of them, but the two in bold are frequently referenced. In the mental field, there are ideals, which are say people, forum posts, letters, sounds, etc. In the physics field, there are none of these things. Objects are at best particles interacting with each other according to physical law.
    So yes, I am a being with a mind, and that lets me identify/name my ideals: of multiple people existing for instance, including myself (just another ideal). The mind is not fundamental at all since each field supervenes on the field to the right of it. Hard idealism stops the list there, making mind fundamental. I don't know which philosophers suggests that sort of hard idealism. I don't much care.

    Confusion results if fields are mixed. For instance, there are those that assert that computers can't be conscious because their operation is nothing but transistors switching on and off, which is like saying that humans can't be conscious because they're nothing but neurons switching on and off. The comments are not even wrong because they mix fields (mind vs electronics say).
    Of course, the people that assert the lack of machine consciousness are often ones that also assert that human consciousness is not a function of neuron operation, so there's that.


    one Federico Faggin, who developed the first microprocessorWayfarer
    What, like the 4040 or something even older? Interesting read I bet.

    True, Pinter's books doesn't mention 'idealism'
    Well, what you quote from Pinter seems to make sense, and if he never mentions idealism, then there's your significant difference between idealism and what is becoming fairly clear to me.
    I never considered idealism to be spooky etherial mind stuff. It is actually fairly consistent, a version of realism (with the problems that come with that), and it simply uses an epistemological definition of what is real. There is nothing wrong or spooky with such a definition. I just don't choose to use it.

    That there is 'material behind it' is precisely the belief in question!
    I know. I didn't say otherwise.



    Does “convention” equal “A way in which something is usually done in accordance with an established pattern.”?ucarr
    Pretty much that, yes. If humans find sufficient utility in a given convention, a word might be assigned to it. So you have one word 'grape' that identifies an edible unit of food from this one species of vine, and 'cluster' as a different unit describing what is picked from the vine, as opposed to what is left behind. We find utility in both those units, so two words are coined to make this convention part of our language.

    Are you saying ‘object’ is a non-physical construction of the mind?
    An ideal, which yes, is a construct of the mind. As for it being non-physical, not so keen on that since mind seems to be as physical as anything else. Opinions on this vary of course.

    Are you saying the mind constructs an interpretation of the physical world, and that that construction is radically different in form from its source?
    I'll agree with that even if I didn't particularly say as much anywhere in this topic.

    Does the mind_physical world interface come before the interpretation?
    Don't know what you mean by ';comes before'. That the interface happens at an earlier time than the interpretation that forms from it? Much of interpretation is instinctive, meaning it evolved long before the birth of an individual and the interface to that individual.

    must we conclude the mind never perceives the physical world directly?
    People have different definitions of what it means to directly perceive something, what the boundaries are for instance. There's no one convention that everybody uses.


    But the point here is to know to what extent things exist or not due to universal convention.javi2541997
    This sounds like 'objective convention', and the lack of example seems to suggest the conventions are either human or that of some other cognitive entity. Many different things will find utility in the same conventions, so there is some aspect of universality to it.

    I would like to use the example of a few pages before: a twig is followed by a tree and then the combination of these two makes the forest. This set is interesting. I personally believe a set of different things are dependent on universal convention, for instance.
    That example was meant to demonstrate the opposite. If I reach out and touch the bark and ask how large 'this' is, am I talking about the twig, branch, tree, forest, or something else? If there was a physical convention, there'd be an answer to that. There seemingly isn't.

    When I exchanged some thoughts with him, he claimed everything object is connected to something.
    That was given a definition of 'connected' as 'the existence of forces between the two halves in question'. I didn't like that definition precisely because it rendered everything connected. There cannot be two things.
  • Fire Ologist
    493
    Objects are at best particles interacting with each other according to physical law.noAxioms

    Physical, not mental, basis?

    And I guess the distinctions between psychology and biology and physics are ideal only?

    My point is, you cannot speak, we cannot form an ideal, without some real distinctions apart from the mind on which we make any move, perform any act, posit any field, say anything like “particle”.

    We may always be wrong about the separate mind-independent object, except that it is there, otherwise we cannot speak. Speaking places the ideal back into a separate world of objects (letters, words, sentences, paragraphs), where, like the other objects, they can either float freely among, or butt up against, or connect with, the world. These words only express their meaning in other minds. But they are still particles, or in a distinct field that is there regardless of my idealistic abilities.
  • Fire Ologist
    493
    If I reach out and touch the bark and ask how large 'this' is, am I talking about the twig, branch, tree, forest, or something else?noAxioms

    Why did we ever conceive of the notion of “object” in the first place? Why did we not always know “when I reach out and touch, I am touching one giant dinstiction-free object?”

    Why would a “twig” or a “tree” confuse us when we touch “this”?

    Are we constructing the problem AND constructing the objects that purport to solve the problem?
  • javi2541997
    5.3k
    That example was meant to demonstrate the opposite. If I reach out and touch the bark and ask how large 'this' is, am I talking about the twig, branch, tree, forest, or something elsenoAxioms

    I think I understand you better, mate. But it surprised me when I read that, according to your view, the Midas example proves the opposite of what I say. Well, yes, if we talk about measurement, and you ask me how large the bark is, we are in different physical objects independent of each other then.
    Nonetheless, I think we should not dismiss the fact of the “set” of the physical object “tree” and the physical group “forest”. I still claim they are all a dependent set. If there is no twig, there is no bark either to measure.
    Imagine a building for a second. This structure encloses walls, roof, floors, columns, etc. If I talk about a “building” I also refer to all those elements, right?
    Well, the same happens to a tree and therefore the forest. Whatever part I am referring to, it includes the sum of the set.

    If there was a physical convention, there'd be an answer to that. There seemingly isn't.noAxioms

    Why does it appear like there are no answers?
  • ucarr
    1.2k


    Are you saying ‘object’ is a non-physical construction of the mind?ucarr

    An ideal, which yes, is a construct of the mind. As for it being non-physical, not so keen on that since mind seems to be as physical as anything else. Opinions on this vary of course.noAxioms

    Consider: a human individual navigates his way through the natural world. His perceiving mind processes the incoming data from his senses towards the construction of an interpretation. His interpretation is his mental picture. It resides within his cranium. As such, it is an internalized representation of something at least partially outside of and beyond the dimensions of his cranium.

    Do the material details of the natural world constrain to some measurable degree the material details of the human's constructed interpretation? For example, there's a tree that the man sees outside of his house. If we can understand that the tree, as an independent material detail of an independent reality beyond the dimensions of the man's cranium, has a height of ten feet, whereas the man's house has a height of fifteen feet, can we conclude that the constructed interpretation within the man's cranium will likewise depict a tree with a height shorter than the height of the house?

    If we arrive at this conclusion, do we know that the constructed interpretation has an analogical relationship with the independent and external world?

    Can we answer "yes," the independent and external world does indeed constrain to some measurable degree the material details of the human's constructed interpretation?
  • ucarr
    1.2k


    Are “convention” and “utility” the antecedents for “things.”?ucarr

    ucarr, what do you mean by “antecedents” here? I think convention and utility are attachments to physical objects.javi2541997

    Okay. Let's look at my dialog with noAxiom once again:



    When we look at the premise: What constitutes an 'object' is entirely a matter of language/convention. There's no physical basis for it., we see that the interface connecting language with physical parts of the natural world is denied.ucarr

    ...we see that the interface connecting cognitive language with physical parts of the natural world is denied.ucarr

    This denial raises the question: How does language internally bridge the gap separating it from the referents of the natural world that give it meaning?ucarr

    I don't see a denial of the indicated connection, so it's a question you must answer.noAxioms

    How is my understanding of your quote a mis-reading of it?ucarr

    Well for one, the suggestion is that convention is very much the interface between the physical world and 'object'. Convention comes from language and/or utility. So the interface is not denied, but instead enabled by these things.noAxioms

    Are “convention” and “utility” the antecedents for “things.”?ucarr

    If find it useful to begin an exam of the writer's post by asking grammatical questions. That's all I'm investigating here. I'm not yet examining philosophical content.

    If the answer is "yes," "convention," and "utility" are the antecedents for "things," then noAxioms is telling me the interface between physical world and object consists of established language patterns interwoven with sensory (visual, tactile etc.) data. Words are signs with material details of the natural world as referents.

    Some important details about how the interweave of physical world and object is configured is what I'm now examining.
  • noAxioms
    1.5k
    Physical, not mental, basis?Fire Ologist
    There is no mental anything at the physics level. I'm talking about territory here, not map. Map is our only interface from mental ideals to territory. A real particle in itself probably bears little resemblance to our typical mental model of it.

    And I guess the distinctions between psychology and biology and physics are ideal only?
    Those words all refer to ideals, so yes, distinctions between them seem ideal.

    My point is, you cannot speak, we cannot form an ideal, without some real distinctions apart from the mind on which we make any move, perform any act, posit any field, say anything like “particle”.
    Unclear on what you mean here. Examples perhaps? I think we're talking past each other since there's talk of both ideals (references) and the referents, of both map and territory.

    Why did we ever conceive of the notion of “object” in the first place?Fire Ologist
    It has utility, a general word to encompass a given subset of material without further classification into a more specific object kind.

    Why did we not always know “when I reach out and touch, I am touching one giant dinstiction-free object?”
    We don't know what is being referenced, but even in the act of reaching out and touching in a specific way, a convention is conveyed, and I would probably guess correctly on first try what was meant. Clue: Probably not the forest.


    But it surprised me when I read that, according to your view, the Midas example proves the opposite of what I say.javi2541997
    Remind me what the Midas example 'proves'...

    and you ask me how large the bark is
    That's a lot different than asking what 'this' is, and touching the twig bark. But even if the 'object' is partially demarked by the word 'bark', it still leaves the extent of it unspecified. Bark of just the twig? The whole tree? Something else?

    Imagine a building for a second. This structure encloses walls, roof, floors, columns, etc. If I talk about a “building” I also refer to all those elements, right?
    Probably, yes. The word invokes a convention, and the convention typically includes all those parts, but how about the piles or the utility hookups? Where does the building stop? Does it include the furniture and people? That question was asked in the OP where I explore the concept of what you weigh, and exactly when that weight changes.

    But in the absence of language, how does anything 'know' that 'building' is the object of interest?

    Why does it appear like there are no answers?
    Category error. There are answers, but not in the wrong category.


    His interpretation is his mental picture. It resides within his cranium. As such, it is an internalized representation of something at least partially outside of and beyond the dimensions of his cranium.ucarr
    Fine. That's a fairly concise summary of a physicalist view.

    Do the material details of the natural world constrain to some measurable degree the material details of the human's constructed interpretation?
    Yes. The mental model is built from perceived experiences. First tree, then he perceives the tree, and puts the short tree into his mental model of the local reality.

    If we arrive at this conclusion, do we know that the constructed interpretation has an analogical relationship with the independent and external world?
    We assume that. Saying 'know' presumes some details that cannot be known, per say Cartesian skepticism. I'm indeed assuming that my perception of the tree outside is not a lie.


    How is my understanding of your quote a mis-reading of it?ucarr
    Maybe I'm misreading your quotes. I don't know. Given a convention, an object can often be demarked. Language is one way to convey the desired convention.

    If find it useful to begin an exam of the writer's post by asking grammatical questions. That's all I'm investigating here. I'm not yet examining philosophical content.
    Convention in this context is the binding of an agreed upon demarking of a specific thing with a language construct, a word say, but not always a word. Utility is used like 'usefulness'. There is utility in assigning the word 'mug' to the collection of ceramic that holds my coffee. A mug is a fairly unambiguous 'object' to a typical human, although one can still indicate its parts in some contexts.
  • Fire Ologist
    493
    There is no mental anything at the physics level. I'm talking about territory here, not map. Map is our only interface from mental ideals to territory.noAxioms

    If you say there is any level where there is “no mental anything” aren’t you pointing out a non-ideal thing, an object in itself regardless of the mental? Haven’t you admitted there is a physical (non-mental) world where objects (particles) speak for themselves?
  • javi2541997
    5.3k
    The word invokes a convention, and the convention typically includes all those parts, but how about the piles or the utility hookups? Where does the building stop? Does it include the furniture and people? That question was asked in the OP where I explore the concept of what you weigh, and exactly when that weight changes.noAxioms

    Yes, I follow you and the sense of your OP. I remember when we talked about chopping the twig off, for instance. I know that it would sound silly to say that without a twig, the tree no longer exists, and therefore, the forest either. But this is exactly the trace I want to keep up! I think the example of the house is better.
    You asked me: Where does the building stop? Does it include the furniture and people?
    Of course, it includes furniture and people. :smile:
    What would be the point of constructing a building, then? The building, as an object, precisely stops when it lacks everything above. The combination of the walls, furniture, ceiling, roof, and people makes the 'building', and when an element of the set is left, the building as an object is senseless. I wish I could go deeper regarding the example of the twig and the forest because I still see symmetry in both cases. 


    But in the absence of language, how does anything 'know' that 'building' is the object of interest?noAxioms

    The object of interest is inherent in the building. The remaining 'things' are attached to it. They ‘know’ that the building is of interest to them.
  • noAxioms
    1.5k
    x
    If you say there is any level where there is “no mental anything” aren’t you pointing out a non-ideal thing, an object in itself regardless of the mental? Haven’t you admitted there is a physical (non-mental) world where objects (particles) speak for themselves?Fire Ologist
    Yes to all, except maybe the 'speak' part. Not sure how you meant that choice of word.
    'Level' is a better word than the 'field' that xkcd used, which was meant more as a field of study.


    Yes, I follow you and the sense of your OP. I remember when we talked about chopping the twig off, for instance. I know that it would sound silly to say that without a twig, the tree no longer existsjavi2541997
    If I point to a severed twig, I'm probably not indicating the tree, although severed twigs and such are very much still part of a forest, so barring a convention, what is being indicated is still questionable.

    You asked me: Where does the building stop?
    No, I asked where 'this' stops. I never said 'building'. Using a word like that invokes the convention, however inexact.

    Of course, it includes furniture and people. :smile:
    I'm part of a building if in one. Not sure if that's standard convention. Most would say the humans occupy it, but are not themselves part of the building. But my early example of a human typically includes anything that occupies or is even carried by the human. They're all part of the human. Not so much with the building. Different convention.

    What would be the point of constructing a building, then?
    Is it relevant? It could be. An object is demarked by its purpose, but that doesn't help. I point to 'this', and am I talking about the brick (purpose to support and seal a wall), the wall (similar purposes), the suite, or the building (different purposes), or something else (to generate rent income)
    Still, purpose is defined by the humans that find utility in the 'object'. The topic is about an object in absence of such ideals such as purpose.

    They ‘know’ that the building is of interest to them.
    I don't think a beam of energy say 'knows' anything about human purpose.
  • javi2541997
    5.3k
    No, I asked where 'this' stops. I never said 'building'.noAxioms

    Are you really sure? ...

    Where does the building stop?noAxioms

    Still, purpose is defined by the humans that find utility in the 'object'. The topic is about an object in absence of such ideals such as purpose.noAxioms

    I agree. Human convention defines 'purpose,' and the building exemplifies this. What I don't understand is why you wish to eliminate such principles. As far as I can tell from this thread, most objects and things are defined by human conventions or other categories that make them 'interesting.' Are you arguing that there could be an intriguing object that lacks human ideals?

    I don't think a beam of energy say 'knows' anything about human purpose.noAxioms

    Obviously, and I don't think it is necessary to go too far. What I tried to argue is that there are objects which are dependent upon others just for need. The furniture, walls, ceilings, etc. are attached objects to the principal which is the building. Otherwise, where would you put furniture? In middle of the forest? That would be senseless. You claim this is due to human purpose, but I think those 'objects' know the destination of its utility.
  • noAxioms
    1.5k
    Are you really sure? ...javi2541997
    Yes. The whole point ot the topic is about when human demarcation is absent.

    Where does the building stop? — noAxioms
    This was a different context, meant to illustrate that even when a human convention is invoked, the demarcation is still never precisely defined.

    What I don't understand is why you wish to eliminate such principles.
    I didn't want to eliminate them. I wanted to show where they stand in the hierarchy of levels.
    BTW, the heirarchy (ideal mind bio chem phys math) is kind of a human one. Different paths can lead to 'building' being meaningful, such as (ideal, cognitive entity, computation, electrical, physics, math) which means that our AI would probably be able to demark a building despite it not being a biological mind.

    Are you arguing that there could be an intriguing object that lacks human ideals?
    I meant to look for one in reality. Found plenty in fiction. The fact that they're only in fiction shows that such concepts have no actual physical basis, and 2) people readily accept/presume otherwise.

    I don't think a beam of energy say 'knows' anything about human purpose.
    — noAxioms
    Obviously
    Yes, obviously, except nobody complains when a beam of energy does exactly that in a fictional story.

    What I tried to argue is that there are objects which are dependent upon others just for need. The furniture, walls, ceilings, etc. are attached objects to the principal which is the building. Otherwise, where would you put furniture? In middle of the forest?
    But it isn't even furniture without humans to name them so. They serve purpose to humans. Your examples are of human made artifacts, which serve a specific purpose to a human.

    So at the biological level, there are objects of sorts. Not so much twig say, but maybe 'pollen', which is a natural unit of reproduction to many plants. The beam of light, not being biological, cannot demark one pollen bit, but a different plant (than the one that made it) can. It's not an ideal to the plant, so it serves a physical purpose as an object, and not just as an ideal of an object.

    Similarly, DNA constitutes information, perhaps below the biological level and reaching down to the chemical level. This is information (objects of a kind) without being ideals. So there are examples out there.

    I think those 'objects' know the destination of its utility.
    A sofa 'knows' it is a sofa, or at least where its boundaries are, or that it is useful to humans? in what way does that make sense?
  • javi2541997
    5.3k
    Yes. The whole point of the topic is about when human demarcation is absent.noAxioms

    :up:

    But it isn't even furniture without humans to name them so. They serve purpose to humans. Your examples are of human made artifacts, which serve a specific purpose to a human.noAxioms


    I agree. All of those objects serve a purpose for humans, but I think this is not the main point of my argument. Although they are dependent on human purposes, they are necessarily part of a house. I mean, you would not put a sofa or a fridge in the moon, just as a twig would not flourish randomly in a corridor. We can imagine in the abstract, but I think there should be a basic sense in order to attach things to others. You claim (if I am not mistaken) that their ‘attachment’ serves human purposes, but I still believe they have intrinsic value. I will not light up a candle in the sun. Would you? How will the latter satisfy my purpose? 


    A sofa 'knows' it is a sofa, or at least where its boundaries are, or that it is useful to humans? in what way does that make sense?noAxioms

    But why should everything be useful to us? Didn’t you ever think of the pure lonely existence of that sofa?
    Consider what happens if a nuclear bomb destroys all of human life and leaves only that sofa. Do you believe the sofa will lose its sense since it will no longer meet a human need?
  • noAxioms
    1.5k
    All of those objects serve a purpose for humans, but I think this is not the main point of my argument. Although they are dependent on human purposes, they are necessarily part of a house.javi2541997
    I don't get your point at all. Perhaps a summary is in order. Without people,there is no house at all, just a collection of material, not particularly a bounded one either. It's a house only because humans consider it to be one.

    You use the word 'flourish' in your post, which seems only something that reproduces does (not necessarily a life form). I don't see meaning of that word at lower levels.

    And yes,the last candle I lit up was in the sun, just a coincidence

    Didn’t you ever think of the pure lonely existence of that sofa?
    All I'm worried about is what demarks objects in the absence of a name. Calling something a sofa automatically invokes a convention. I am trying to find object in absence of human convention. What use humans have in one object doesn't seem to come into relevance in pursuit of that investigation.

    Consider what happens if a nuclear bomb destroys all of human life and leaves only that sofa. Do you believe the sofa will lose its sense since it will no longer meet a human need?
    No, I don't think a sofa has a sense of anything. There is still the narrator of the story about the bomb that is giving the object a name. But what if it isn't named at all?
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