• 180 Proof
    14.7k
    :100: :up:

    :roll: :snicker:

    fyi Natural sciences are both "reductive" and "holistic" – by fallibilistic abduction, each defeasibly explains various levels (e.g. hierarchies) of 'self-organizing wholes' mereologically. On the other hand, sir, "metaphysics" is a synoptic (not "holistic") interpretation – categorical idealization – of, among other things, the presuppositions necessary for natural sciences and their findings to rationally make sense.
  • Treatid
    35


    I think you are each asserting that it is possible to do something that is impossible.

    I'm not saying you, specifically, are making a mistake. I'm saying that (almost) everyone is incorporating a mistaken assumption into their sense of what knowledge is.

    Possible/impossible

    You can do possible things. You cannot do impossible things.

    You cannot point to something that is outside the universe.

    You are part of the universe. Your thoughts are part of the universe. Language is part of the universe.

    You cannot reference not-universe in any way. It is flat out, unequivocally, impossible.

    "Outside the universe"

    The concept of "outside the universe" is null. It doesn't mean anything.

    Your concept of "outside the universe" is part of the universe. It is inside the universe.

    Your concept of "outside" has been formed from experiences that are wholly contained within the universe.

    There is a baked in component of "outside" that can be almost universally omitted:

    "Outside of x (inside the Universe)"

    "outside the universe" should be read as "outside the universe (inside the universe)".

    Post illustration

    I would bet dollars to donuts that even now you feel that you are conceptualising something in response to the phrase "outside the universe".

    Before the universe

    What came before the universe? Philosophers have already explored the fact that our sense of time is a product of the universe we inhabit. "Before Time" is a non-sequitur.

    Feel

    Take note of how compelling the notion of "outside the universe" feels. You know what 'outside' means. You know (roughly) what 'universe' means. Of course you understand what "outside the universe" signifies...

    Physics doesn't explain squat

    We can compare the differences and similarities between one piece of universe and another piece of universe.

    That is what is possible. This is what knowledge is. This is everything.

    Explanations in physics are equivalent to "before time", "outside space"; they contain no information.

    Why is this bit of universe similar to that bit of space? Because it is.

    The universe is the way it is because we observe it to be that way.

    We can measure the similarities and differences. We can make note of common patterns. Any attempt to justify stuff always boils down to "because".

    Comparing the universe to itself

    The only thing we have available is the universe. Our thoughts and actions are intrinsic parts of the universe. The universe is our starting point - our given.

    Every statement fundamentally assumes the existence of the universe.

    Anything and everything we say about the universe is the universe referencing itself.

    This isn't a problem or a limitation. This is simply what is.

    We can, in fact, describe what is. We can observe the universe and describe what we see. This is possible.

    Doing possible things is easy.

    We cannot explain the universe independently of the universe. Doing so would be impossible.

    Doing impossible things is futile. A waste of time and effort.

    Other end of the scale



    I've read a few of your recent posts. You are clearly understanding concepts with the depth and clarity that I initially perceived.

    I have deep respect for the arguments you have made and the insight that they represent.

    The following smack down is only possible because you are most of the way there already.



    As with the Count above, My deepest respects. Think of the following as an argument made with vigour. I am arguing against a position.

    Smack Down

    My personal worldview is ultimately Holistic and Monistic.Gnomon

    Well Whoop dee doo! Look at Mr. Holistic. He thinks the universe is a thing.

    Of course it is a whole f&^%*$g thing. It isn't an option. It's the law.

    Of course you can't step outside your existence. Of course you can't step outside the universe.

    What is even the alternative? That bits of the universe are disconnected but connected at the same time?

    But

    But when we begin to "describe" the world, in language or math, it is necessary to make "distinctions".Gnomon

    No. Stop it. No Buts.

    You have the truth right there in your hands and you are turning away from it.

    The universe exists and everything (EVERYTHING) is part of that existence.

    Everything you think, feel, imagine, do and communicate is indivisibly an aspect of the single whole.

    "Ah, but - what if it wasn't?" It is. You and every mathematician, philosopher and physicist who ever lived cannot describe anything that is not inextricably a facet of the universe.

    Your words are part of the universe. Your thoughts are part of the universe. Your existence is part of the universe.

    Everything that we are capable of understanding, is expressed with reference to the universe.

    Context

    You know that context matters. Your personal, direct experience shows you that context matters. Of all the certain truths in the universe, you can see context mattering.

    And then you turn around and suggest that if we remove enough context from essential mathematical concepts we'll arrive at truth!?

    In a universe where the only comparison we have for one piece of universe is another piece of universe you want to remove our only reference point in the hopes of understanding concepts in isolation!?

    Connected

    The universe is a connected whole. This is the foundation of knowledge/understanding/meaning/significance/...

    In order to understand the universe, a good place to start is with the universe. The pieces of the universe are not disconnected (distinct).

    Trying to understand the universe by assuming not-universe is silly.

    99.9%

    In a certain sense, I think the "entire context" matters for fully defining constituent "parts" role in any universe, and this might preclude things' being "building blocks" at all in the normal sense.Count Timothy von Icarus

    Here Count Icarus looks the universe square in the face and then just stops.

    Solispism, Godel's incompleteness theorems, General Relativity, every philosophical and mathematical argument that has tried to find an essence independent of bias...

    We've already considered this from every angle and we are still banging our heads against the wall.

    "Context matters" is right there. It isn't hidden. There's no secret.

    The only possible mechanism of knowledge is with respect to the universe.

    It boggles my mind how a person can be looking right at the evidence in front of their nose and then turn around and say "But when we begin to "describe" the world, in language or math, it is necessary to make "distinctions"" as if somehow, magically, the rules don't apply to language or mathematics.

    We don't have the universe plus a backup universe.

    Language and mathematics don't have a secret backdoor access to an objective viewpoint independent of the universe.

    Possible/impossible

    This is not a debate between competing theories.

    It is impossible to reference something outside the universe.

    An argument that references "outside the universe" isn't even wrong. The idea of an objective viewpoint free from observer bias is meaningless.

    We can compare, contrast and interact with different aspects of the universe. And that is it. That is everything we can do.

    There isn't anything else we can examine. There isn't anything else we can interact with.

    All your thoughts, ideas, actions, experiences and dreams are aspects of a singular universe within which you exist.

    Not Nihilism

    Knowledge independent of your subjective experience has always been a null concept.

    Objective truth has always been meaningless.

    It is possible to describe one aspect of your experiences with respect to other aspects of your experience.

    Possible is so, so much easier than impossible.

    Everything humans have achieved is what is possible. Aligning our expectations with reality will be orders of magnitude more productive than the alternative.
  • Joshs
    5.4k

    You can do possible things. You cannot do impossible things.

    You cannot point to something that is outside the universe.

    You are part of the universe. Your thoughts are part of the universe. Language is part of the universe.

    You cannot reference not-universe in any way. It is flat out, unequivocally, impossible.
    Treatid

    The universe is not a box with furniture in it (whether understood as individual bits or relationally and linguistically) which it is our job as scientists to describe. It is a continually changing development, and we change along with it. Thanks to the unidirectional arrow of time, the universe is continually outside itself, continually overcoming its former states. Freedom is built into the real, and the past doesn’t determine the future, it only provides constraints and affordances.

    Everything humans have achieved is what is possible. Aligning our expectations with reality will be orders of magnitude more productive than the alternative.Treatid

    Reality is a moving target. Knowledge is praxis, a way of changing how we interact with our world in ways that are useful to us. The changes we make in our interactions with the world feed back into our understanding to further change our knowledge. There is no limit to the variety of ways we can scientifically construe our world. A multitude of competing accounts can all be ‘true’, that is, can work perfectly well for what we wish to do with them. Some ways will be found to be more useful others.
  • apokrisis
    6.9k
    The concept of "outside the universe" is null. It doesn't mean anything.

    Your concept of "outside the universe" is part of the universe. It is inside the universe.
    Treatid

    My position is formally an internalist epistemology. I'm a Peircean pragmatist. So problem dealt with. :smile:

    Language and mathematics don't have a secret backdoor access to an objective viewpoint independent of the universe.Treatid

    You seem to be arguing rather passionately employing what you consider to be "good logic". You talk as if this is giving you a secret backdoor access to truths others don't grasp. So a little contradictory right there.

    Pragmatism deals with the essential subjectivity of reasoning. Structuralism is then the ontology which emerges from applying that reasoning to the world at large. As Peirce argued, the "best logic" is the one with which we would both think and the one that itself organises the world.

    And it is that pragmatic logic – the holistic logic of Peircean semiosis – that would help you deal with the emergent and evolutionary nature of Being. In terms of mounting a physicalist inquiry into the nature of Nature, the structure of an expanding~cooling cosmos, it leads you to thermodynamics and dissipative structure theory.

    Particle physics, for example, is all about how the Big Bang fell into inevitable gauge symmetry structures as it expanded and cooled.

    Electrons don't exist. They are the irreducible residue of a process of "universal" constraint on possibility itself. In the beginning was everything. Then what survived were all the possibilities that didn't get cancelled away by their opposite possibilities. In quantum jargon, the wavefunction of the Universe is the sum over all its possibilities. It was so hot, everything was possible at the start. It will be so cold that almost nothing will become possible by the end.

    Peircean holism – as a fully internalist perspective – gives you a very different way of thinking about the questions of existence.
  • Treatid
    35
    Freedom is built into the real, and the past doesn’t determine the future, it only provides constraints and affordances.Joshs

    Whether the universe is deterministic and the possibility of free will in a deterministic universe are interesting and relevant questions.

    Unfortunately, your assertion doesn't appear to be falsifiable.

    Reality is a moving target. Knowledge is praxis, a way of changing how we interact with our world in ways that are useful to us. The changes we make in our interactions with the world feed back into our understanding to further change our knowledge.Joshs

    This seems reasonable to me.

    There is no limit to the variety of ways we can scientifically construe our worldJoshs

    No.

    All definitions within a system are circular.

    A description consists of one piece of universe describing another piece of universe.

    A --> B --> A

    We can describe what we observe (with respect to everything else we observe).

    Anything else is a figment of your imagination.

    Thanks to the unidirectional arrow of time, the universe is continually outside itself, continually overcoming its former states.Joshs

    If you want to conceptualise each new moment as being a brand new universe that's fine.

    This argument doesn't depend on a specific definition of 'inside', 'outside' or 'universe'. It depends on us being part of the process - lacking the omniscient god like view as an entity that can observe the universe without interacting with the universe.

    My position is formally an internalist epistemology. I'm a Peircean pragmatist. So problem dealt with.apokrisis

    Is that 'Pragmatist' in the same way that The Democratic Republic of North Korea is Democratic?

    All definitions inside a system are circular

    A defines B. B defines A.

    Your quantum jargon == The universe is like the universe.

    In what way is observing that the universe has similarities to itself pragmatic?

    I mean - you're not wrong. But neither are you advancing knowledge.

    Apology

    I'm sorry (rubs nipples).

    I know the intent behind theories. I know I'm denigrating the scientific method. I know I'm committing heresy of the highest order.

    But all definitions within a system are circular.

    There has never been a single, objective, universal, unambiguous definition of anything. Ever.

    For all your ability to reference distance, you cannot define distance free of circularity.

    A pragmatist would deal with reality.

    Post Script

    I am most gratified that I am, at least, able to communicate my enthusiasm.

    Piercian Pragmatism seems nice. Personally I'm a fan of describing the universe as it is.

    And a really, truly do not mean to offend anyone. I simply wish to convey that:

    All definitions within a system are circular.
  • apokrisis
    6.9k
    But all definitions within a system are circular.Treatid

    Incorrect. They are dichotomies. They are reciprocally connected by the constraint of being mutually exclusive yet jointly exhaustive.

    So take a basic definition to any vague notion of "a system". It is hierarchically divided between its local and global scales of being. It is bounded in measurable fashion in that the local is defined as that which is the least global, and the global is that which is the least local. Or local = 1/global and global = 1/local.

    What you call going around in a meaningless circle – a rotational symmetry adding no information – is always in serious metaphysics an effort to split possibility towards its mutually complementary aspects. And this is the basis of science as it is the basis of measurability. We place reality between limiting bounds that are then each the proper measure of the other ... even when the reciprocality is between the infinite and the infinitesimal.

    So circularity can be a problem for some folk. But dichotomies have been going strong since ancient Greece and now stand as the metaphysical foundation for our scientific descriptions of nature.
  • PoeticUniverse
    1.3k
    There is no space in which particles move. Like frames of a film, a series of interactions can give the impression of continuous movement in space.Treatid

    OK if the mode of time is not Presentism but Eternalism; however, we don't yet know the mode of time. If Presentism, the 'particles' roll along their fields, like a kink in a rope moves.
  • Treatid
    35
    Incorrect.apokrisis

    What I read is "yes, and..."

    All definitions are circular, AND your description of dichotomies.

    I agree that dichotomies have been around forever. How could it be otherwise - they are the nature of the universe.

    and now stand as the metaphysical foundation for our scientific descriptions of nature.apokrisis

    Yeah... I'm not sure that everyone received that memo. Specifically, Axiomatic Mathematics and Quantum Mechanics are predicated on the idea that it is possible to have non-circular definitions.

    I'm delighted that there is any acknowledgement of the nature of knowledge with respect to dichotomies. I agree that it should be foundational to scientific descriptions. I'm just noting that as it stands, your assertion of standing is more aspirational than actual.

    It is in this light that I question your consistency.

    Empirical evidence

    You are absolutely right that knowledge of the significance of context is ancient.

    And yet throughout that history science has tried to deny that evidence in favour of impossible definitions and explanations.

    From solipsism it is crystal clear that it is impossible to prove anything beyond personal existence; yet mathematics pretends that proofs are possible.

    Understanding with respect to dichotomies is not the same as 'objective definitions'.

    They are not compatible world views.

    The relationship is much the same as that between Newtonian Mechanics and General Relativity. There is no iterative path from Newtonian Mechanics to General Relativity. General Relativity does not make sense given the assumptions of Newtonian Mechanics.

    Incompatible World Views

    You can't have logic and dichotomies at the same time.

    A relational universe is incompatible with an objective universe.

    It isn't possible to comprehend one in terms of the other.

    Recognising the dichotomous nature of the universe is fine (its right there). Trying to bend that evidence to fit objectivist assumptions is madness.

    Prejudices should yield to the evidence, not the other way around.

    Logic

    A specific example of why objectivist is incompatible with relativist:

    One of the assumptions of logic is that the original premise is a constant.

    This seems to be a reasonable constraint. Imagine how much more complicated arguments would be if the meaning of the premise changed during the course of the argument.

    Except, of course, it isn't possible to specify an initial set of premises in a fixed and unambiguous fashion. Before we can wonder if the premise is static we have to deal with never knowing exactly what the premises are in the first place.

    It gets worse. In a relativistic system, the act of observing is a process. Both the observed and the observer are changed during this process (The process of observation is a change of relationships). There is no omniscient observation that leaves the target unchanged.

    As a kicker we can round off with General Relativity, wherein the notion of objective truth can get bent.

    The alternative: If not Logic - then what?

    A consistent, relativistic (context matters, dichotomous) universe doesn't contain objective contradictions. A consistent system cannot illustrate what a contradiction is.

    The universe is exactly what it appears to be. You don't need a theory to describe what you see. You just look and write down your observations.

    Every statement you make is a shape within the universe. You literally cannot shape the universe into an impossible shape.

    Humans are lying, hypocritical, scum bags that will behave inconsistently and contradict themselves for fun. And the Liar's paradox is just a squiggle in the universe.

    Your ability to look at some squiggles and perceive a paradox is a 'you' thing.

    Everything that is possible within the universe (including languages) is possible. Language works with the same mechanism as the rest of the universe. Just like the universe, everything that is possible is possible.

    You do, of course, make subjective evaluations of statements.

    Dichotomies

    I appreciate your description of dichotomies. As far as it goes, I'm in full agreement.

    However, your comment regarding the foundation of science makes me think your pragmatism is superficial. That you are holding onto old assumptions despite the evidence.

    Possible is easy

    I might be maligning you and you are already ten steps ahead of me... but a consistently dichotomous view works really well. Describing the universe on its own terms is productive. Like "Oh my god - it is so simple!"

    Existing mistaken assumptions have been blinding us to the truth: The universe is exactly what it appears to be.

    The trick is to see what is there - not what we think is there.

    Time
    OK if the mode of time is not Presentism but Eternalism; however, we don't yet know the mode of time. If Presentism, the 'particles' roll along their fields, like a kink in a rope moves.PoeticUniverse

    You are right - whether intermittent or continuous, Time is that which we perceive as time.

    My argument is that it is far more productive to describe what we see.

    We do not see particles. We do not see movement through space. We do not see Hilbert spaces or integers.

    We have entire industries devoted to describing our world in terms of perpetually invisible and undetectable qualities.

    Such practices should be the domain of religions - not science.

    Good science is empirical. Things we can see and measure.

    Quantum Mechanics runs around all the houses describing particles and fields and produces nothing better than we would get through statistical analysis of our observations.

    Indeed, a straightforward statistical analysis would avoid all that mucking around trying to define undefineable quantities.

    God is defined as all powerful and all knowing but super, duper invisible - you can only know him through faith. "yeah, yeah - whatever you say. Sure."

    Physicists do exactly the same and its "Wow - All hail the Quantum! Praise be to the waveform collapse! How sexy is that many worlds interpretation".

    The universe is exactly as it appears

    What you see is what you get "WYSIWYG".

    The universe is what we directly experience.

    Inventing new pantheons (of gods or particles) does nothing to elucidate.

    Indeed, persisting in false assumptions despite the evidence clouds our vision and hampers our perception of the reality that is right there.

    Trying to understand the universe in terms of invisible fields that can't be measured is the antithesis of science.
  • apokrisis
    6.9k
    The relationship is much the same as that between Newtonian Mechanics and General Relativity. There is no iterative path from Newtonian Mechanics to General Relativity. General Relativity does not make sense given the assumptions of Newtonian Mechanics.Treatid

    What? There is no path from mechanics with Galilean invariance to mechanics with Poincare and eventually de Sitter invariance? Tell me it ain't so. :cry:

    You can't have logic and dichotomies at the same time.

    A relational universe is incompatible with an objective universe.

    It isn't possible to comprehend one in terms of the other.
    Treatid

    More piffle. As came up in another discussion, Aristotle codified both. The Organon was followed by his hylomorphism.

    Of course folk can take them as incompatible or contradictory. But done properly, atomism can be shown as a subset of holism. They indeed form a dichotomy. A complementary pair. Both the same and yet also different as they are each the other's inverse operation.

    Except, of course, it isn't possible to specify an initial set of premises in a fixed and unambiguous fashion. Before we can wonder if the premise is static we have to deal with never knowing exactly what the premises are in the first place.Treatid

    All this is true but built into the structure of Peircean logic. He accepted chance as real – just as real as law or globalised constraints that then emerge as the "other" to the logical vagueness of an indeterminate (or yet to be contextually determined) potential.

    This is all perfectly familiar ground. We can move on.

    As a kicker we can round off with General Relativity, wherein the notion of objective truth can get bent.Treatid

    Or another way of looking at it is the triadic systems approach to causal structure. GR defines the coherence of the metric, QFT defines its incoherent content. Decoherence within a de Sitter spacetime metric is how you arrive at the critical balance that is the Cosmos in terms of its VeV – vacuum particle action – at some given temperature and pressure.

    So GR and QFT make the bounding dichotomy on what Peirce called synechism (global continuity) and and tychism (local chance). A flexi container and its flexing contents. Then these two opposites get mixed over all scales in a fractal or powerlaw statistical fashion. The thermal decoherence constraint that "collapses" the quantum wavefunction of the Universe itself.

    This then turns your epistemic dichotomy of objective~subjective into the more useful one of an internalist vs an externalist metaphysics. Peircean logic and Systems Science speak to an internalist view of nature in which "objectivity" is what a community of inquirers hopes to arrive at in the limit.

    The goal can't actually be achieved – that is assumed. But it can be approached asymptotically. And that is demonstrable as agreement becomes increasingly universalised among those doing the inquiring.

    So GR seems pretty robust on that score. QFT too. It is agreed by all who rely on GPS systems or semiconductors at least. And too bad if you hold some different metaphysics that would want to quarrel with that level of detailed reality modelling.

    A consistent system cannot illustrate what a contradiction is.Treatid

    Only consistency could be held up as the proper measure of what we might mean by inconsistency. Relativity is already built in by standing in opposition. The question then is only to what degree they are able to stand far apart.

    How much inconsistency does it take to undermine a claim of consistency, and vice versa?

    Everything that is possible within the universe (including languages) is possible. Language works with the same mechanism as the rest of the universe. Just like the universe, everything that is possible is possible.Treatid

    I think your theory of possibility needs more work. It presumes modal realism and so would need to be supported against other possibilities, like Peircean propensity for instance.

    There is a whole history of metaphysical case-making that you just glibly dismiss in your scattergun mini-rants.

    However, your comment regarding the foundation of science makes me think your pragmatism is superficial. That you are holding onto old assumptions despite the evidence.Treatid

    Of course you must find ways not to engage with actual arguments. Discussing is losing. Thinking is hard. Researching takes up too much time.
  • Treatid
    35
    Peircean logic and Systems Science speak to an internalist view of nature in which "objectivity" is what a community of inquirers hopes to arrive at in the limit.apokrisis

    For all A
    {
    A is NOT (Everything else)
    }

    Example:
    • Small is not Large
    • Small is not Metaphysics
    • Small is not a curtain rail
    • etc.

    This is just a re-statement dichotomies.

    The following are equivalent statements:
    • A is defined by its relationships to everything else.
    • A is defined by its differences from everything else.
    • A is the negative space of (Everything - A).

    A as an object independent of relationships is an irrelevant entity. Object A has no impact on our understanding of the relationships of A.

    Even if it was possible to describe object A - Our definitions are dichotomous. The relationships of A are the entirety of A. Object A is superfluous, redundant, unneeded.

    Relationships (whatever they are) are all that exists.

    Flip side

    Every description is a description of relationships. It is impossible to describe anything else.

    Objects aren't a limit to approach; they are nothing, less than an illusion. Trying to reach understanding by stripping away extraneous relationships is exactly the wrong direction. Those stripped relationships are knowledge.

    Relationships are existence.

    Circular definitions

    Circular definitions are an artefact of trying to define Object A.

    Describing the Relationships of A is an actual description. A network of relationships has a shape. We can describe that shape. Networks of relationships are possible.

    Object A (without relationships) is an impossible concept. As with non-circular definitions - they simply don't exist.

    Simple

    We observe context, therefore context.

    The world is exactly what it looks like. And it looks like relationships. It does not look like objects.
  • apokrisis
    6.9k
    Small is not LargeTreatid

    But small is not not-large. So small is the least possible large. Thus largeness and smallness are defined in terms of the excluded middle. But the LEM as applied to defining the contrasting limits of a potential rather than a pair of actualisable states.

    Circular definitions are an artefact of trying to define Object A.Treatid

    The way out of circularity is hierarchy. A feedback growth spiral. This is what is missing from your notion of logic. It is what Peirce's logic of semiosis (or logic of vagueness) was intended to remedy – after he had already sorted out regular logic before Frege got in on the act and won the credit.

    So you can go round the circle – the symmetry-breaking that is the dichotomy - and come out at a higher level. Ascend a hierarchy. You don't need to be bamboozled by circularity because going around in a circle – as a point – is what in fact creates a circle as now a new level of symmetry to be broken.

    The world is exactly what it looks like. And it looks like relationships. It does not look like objects.Treatid

    Well yes. But there is then the hierarchical story where the dyadicy of relations (Peircean secondness) becomes such a thickness of interacting that it takes on the solidity of a statistical equilibrium. It becomes the regularity or continuity of a Peircean thirdness.

    And that then becomes a state of form or matter which can now in turn have its symmetry broken.

    A quantum vacuum fluctuates freely and so expresses its zero point average. This then allows the production of actual particles when higher level constraints are placed on the vacuum. Those particles in turn can thermalise and form their own collective average. Fundamental particles can become a condensate that then develop their own new topological order – the phonons of the condensed matter view.

    You need a Peircean strength logic to talk about "relations" in terms of what the world is actually like from a cosmological and particle physics point of view.

    The world looks exactly like how you expect it to look – that is normal psychology. But even at the level of the logic, we have an upgrade available that makes much sense of what ought to be seen.
  • Treatid
    35
    The way out of circularity is hierarchy.apokrisis

    What I am reading is: "All definitions are circular, but..." or "Knowledge is dichotomous, except..."

    We have a solid observational foundation that you appear to feel the need to refute or minimise.

    But even at the level of the logic, we have an upgrade available that makes much sense of what ought to be seen.apokrisis

    I hope I'm misunderstanding your intention, but "ought to be seen"!?

    This reads as an outright rejection of reality in favour of mysticism. "only through special, super dooper peircean logic and a wholesale rejection of the evidence of our senses can we approach truth".

    The world looks exactly like how you expect it to look – that is normal psychology.apokrisis

    The world is exactly what it looks like. Your reading comprehension is lacking if you think these two statements are equivalent.

    Absolute knowledge

    I think you (and Peircean Logic) are clinging to the idea of absolute, objective knowledge.

    While you concede that it can't be achieved in and of itself - you still think it is something that can be approached in the limit.

    This is a mistaken belief.

    In an objectivist paradise where non-circular definitions exist and every point is fixed and immutable; then objective knowledge is a rational and attainable goal.

    Here, in reality, things are their relationships with everything else. Meaning, knowledge and significance change every time relationships change.

    Knowledge is relationships. Stripping away relationships to reach the essence of a thing is discarding the very knowledge that you are seeking.

    The objectivist perception of knowledge doesn't apply in a relational universe.

    Logic

    Dichotomies and Logic are incompatible.

    For those raised with the presumption of logic there might be some inertia in correcting this presumption.

    Peircean logic recognises that logic is constrained - but persists with the fallacy of fitting the round peg into the square hole.

    Knowledge (along with the rest of the universe) is fundamentally relational.

    Relativistic

    There is no amount of hoop jumping that can turn a relationship into a fixed point.

    Subjective experience cannot be converted into objective knowledge. The context of subjective experience is the knowledge you are seeking. To strip the context is to remove the very thing you are looking for.

    Solipsism told us we couldn't prove anything objectively. General Relativity told us the universe is relativistic. Context tells us the world is relativistic.

    It isn't like the evidence is hidden. The subjective nature of experience is front and centre of your existence.

    The ideas of absolute knowledge, absolute definitions and a fixed point are actively harmful in our pursuit of knowledge.

    Relationships aren't some second order consequence of an objective universe. Relationships are the universe.

    Logic doesn't work. Logic never worked. Absolute truth isn't a limit you can approach.

    Your conception of knowledge, understanding and meaning is the relationships you have built internally and externally.

    Summary

    You appear to be claiming that it is possible to approach (but not reach) absolute objective knowledge within a system that is relational.

    This seems to me to be a claim without any justification AND a flat out contradiction of the observed evidence.

    Information within a relational system exists entirely within relationships (observed, c.f. Dichotomies).

    In light of this, there is no way that Peirce, Frege or yourself have sorted out logic.

    You/they are making claims that are flatly refuted by the evidence.

    In a system where all definitions are relative to everything else, it is impossible to have definitions that are not relative to everything else.

    If somebody tries to sell me a perpetual motion machine - I know it is a scam without ever seeing the machine itself.

    If someone is arguing for even the tiniest scrap of objective knowledge within a relational universe, we can be certain that they are mistaken.
  • apokrisis
    6.9k
    You never engaged with anything I said. You just continue to parade your triumphant misunderstandings. I won’t waste your time any further.
  • bert1
    1.9k
    I won’t waste your time any further.apokrisis

    Can you waste mine instead? I'm up for it.
  • Treatid
    35
    Connected

    The universe is a single connected entity within which differences can be discerned.

    All definitions/descriptions are of the form: X is not (Everything else).

    Changing X changes (Everything else). And vice versa: changing (Everything else) changes X.

    There have been extensive efforts made to establish some fixed point. These efforts have not borne fruit.

    Where X is defined by its relationships to (Everything else); removing those relationships to find intrinsic properties, essence and identity is counter productive.

    Listening

    feels that I am not properly listening to him. For my part, I am addressing the core of my disagreement with his position: any claim (direct or indirect) to objective (fixed) knowledge is counter factual.

    As such - I rather think I am engaging directly with what apokrisis is saying.

    Pompous ass

    Yeah - I'm a smug git who thinks they knows what they are talking about.

    I'm practically begging to be knocked on my ass. I mean, I've declared Formal Logic and Axiomatic Mathematics to be so wrong that they barely qualify as illusions...

    Nothing new under the sun

    The limitations of objective knowledge aren't a closely guarded secret.

    All definitions are circular. The universe is a connected whole.

    These are simple observations.

    There are whole branches of philosophy dedicated to holism, and Axiomatic Mathematics really can't specify what axioms are without getting stuck in a closed loop of circular definitions.

    And yet, it seems, everyone still wants to find objective (fixed) truth!?

    Despite clearly(?) understanding the nature of dichotomies, Peircean Logic is still trying to approach objective truth. (picking on an illustration from this thread - the sentiment applies more widely).

    So annoying

    The observations of context mattering and the universe being a connected whole are just that: observations.

    There is no (rational) gainsaying.

    I become annoying when I insist that these observations apply. It is not possible to have or approach objective truth. Trying to apply the principles of objective truth cannot work in a holistic universe.

    It is annoying because it is just a reiteration of the observations: Given the observation of a relativistic universe; the universe is relativistic.

    Unless you can point to a single instance of a fixed point, independent of relationships, there is no counter-argument.

    Note: Peircean Logic accepts that the limit can't be reached but proposes it can be approached. A point is fixed, or it isn't. In terms of definitions - a definition is circular - or it isn't. There is no path for a circular definition to cease being circular.

    So...

    I can sit here and proclaim that words do not have intrinsic meaning; There are no absolute, unambiguous definitions; Mathematical proofs don't exist; The particles and fields of Quantum Mechanics are phantasms...

    And in the absence of any fixed point - all I'm doing is re-stating our observation that context matters. As such - there is no rebuttal. Words don't have intrinsic meaning, there are no non-circular definitions and mathematical proofs are sheerest fantasy.

    The thing is...

    The notion of objective (fixed) truth should be dead and buried millennia ago. Peircean Logic should not be trying to approach objective truth even as an unreachable limit. Quantum Mechanics shouldn't be trying to define particles when every definition is circular.

    Axiomatic Mathematics should have folded the moment it failed to definitively and unambiguously specify a set of axioms. Axiomatic Mathematics had one job - specify some axioms...

    At this point there is nothing rational behind the assumption of an objective (fixed) truth.

    Back to roots
    Simplest

    We can only describe (networks of) relationships.

    The simplest relationships is a directed edge.

    A directed edge isn't defined in any absolute sense.

    We can combine arbitrarily many directed edges into arbitrarily large and complex structures.

    The universe is an iterated network of relationships.

    We can't describe something that is not an iterated network of relationships.

    There are no options here. No-one has ever described a single intrinsic property. The essence of an object is permanently outside our experience.

    Quarks, leptons and fields are circular definitions. Our concept of a field is a direct consequence of the things we are trying to describe using fields. A describes B, B describes A.

    Any feeling of comprehension regarding Quantum Mechanics is an illusion.

    We can, however, describe networks of relationships. If we describe something it is (necessarily) a network of relationships.

    X=not(Everything else)

    This is the linchpin observation. If you can find an exception - my position collapses.
  • 180 Proof
    14.7k
    Pardon my intrusion but
    The notion of objective (fixed) truth should be dead and buried millennia ago.Treatid
    i.e. a truth claim such as ...
    The universe is an iterated network of relationships ... This is the linchpin observation. — Treatid
    therefore "should be dead and buried" as well, which is self-refuting and so there's no need for
    If you can find an exception - my position collapse(s). — Treatid
    :confused:
  • NotAristotle
    276
    I would object to the notion of a simplest "building block" to the universe. Anything with extension, that is, the sort of things that populate our universe, are infinitely divisible. I think Kant identifies this problem in one of his antinomies.
  • NotAristotle
    276
    Also, I am confused by some of the claims contending that everything is "part of" the universe. In a loose sense, this is true. But there is not some "thing" that is "the universe." And in that sense, the universe does not have any "parts" in the same way that a solar system does not have parts. Maybe the parts are structurally related, but there is not some existent "thing" there, it's more of a convention that helps us organize the world, thought, speech, writing. This is not true of everything. Living things, at least, are differentiate wholes.
  • NotAristotle
    276
    :ok: :up: I myself did not catch that.. good point.
  • Treatid
    35
    Pardon my intrusion180 Proof

    You are most welcome.

    therefore "should be dead and buried" as well, which is self-refuting and so there's no need for180 Proof

    You exist. This is self-evident to you.

    However, you cannot prove your existence to me beyond all possible doubt (as a definite and fixed truth). The reverse also holds, of course. I am aware of my existence but cannot objectively prove my existence to you.

    This is the whole Descartes thing: our senses are potentially fallible and thus nothing about the objective world can be proven.

    So - "your existence is self evident" is subjectively true. Your existence is evident to you. But your existence isn't an objective truth.

    This applies to every concept you can imagine. It is impossible to objectively prove anything. Your concepts and meanings are entirely subjective.

    Wider issue

    When faced with solipsism, people have tended to disregard it as being little better than nihilism.

    It isn't obvious how human society and communication can function based solely on subjective knowledge.

    However, no one has ever demonstrated objective knowledge. There isn't a single objective definition.

    Your understanding is irrevocably subjective. You can't understand for someone else.

    The world still works.

    objective interpretation

    You interpreted my declaration of the nature of the universe as an objective statement.

    In a world that doesn't contain a single objective fact - how can you perceive any statement to be objective?

    This isn't a rhetorical question. Why is an objective interpretation of language the default?

    Truth

    "The only certainty is your own existence. All else is un-provable."

    A naive reading of this might be that nothing is knowable beyond the self.

    For seekers of understanding this is unpalatable and appears to deny our own experience of knowledge.

    There is, however, a more nuanced interpretation.

    Your existence consists of everything you ever experience. Your existence encompasses everything you will ever think, dream, experience and every action you perform.

    You know that Sensory Data exists because you experience it.

    You know that differences exist because you experience them. There is no doubt. Differences are part of your existence, and exactly as certain as your existence (to you).

    The universe is a network of relationships because that is your (subjective) experience of the universe (when you stop trying to deny that experience in favour of a fictional objective reality).

    Subjective experience isn't the second class citizen of knowledge. Subjective experience is the only game in town.

    TL;DR

    Your perception of any statement as being an objective statement is faulty.

    "Cogito Ergo Sum et al" isn't a suggestion; it is the law.

    I can assert your existence because your experience demonstrates your experience to you. But your existence is not an objective fact.

    Communication relies upon common subjective experiences. Experiences are always subjective. There are no objective experiences; That would be a non sequitur.

    Anything with extension, that is, the sort of things that populate our universe, are infinitely divisibleNotAristotle

    I think this is wrong.

    Euclidean Geometry assumes/proposes infinitely divisible space - but we know it is not an accurate theory of physics.

    Quantum Mechanics assumes continuous space and time - but that is an assumption going into the theory - not a demonstrated conclusion.

    Fundamental particles are, currently, believed to be indivisible and I'd wager that most physicists believe that there is a bottom to physics even if we may not have reached it yet.

    The idea of quantised space-time isn't strictly part of Quantum Mechanics - but the relationships between planck length, planck time and the speed-of-light-in-vacuum appears to be a significant hint towards quantisation.

    So from a status quo perspective - I can see no compelling evidence to think that there are any infinitely divisible qualities to the universe. It is a possibility - but I see nothing that persuades me we should take that possibility as a given.

    Change or not-change

    I think that the universe must be quantised.

    Mathematics has run into issues with infinitesimals within real numbers.

    Along the lines of 0.999 recurring equalling 1; there is an issue deciding when a real number stops being itself and becomes the next real number.

    In a continuous, infinitely divisible space; there are always infinite points between two points. Two particles travelling through such a space each traverse an infinite number of points each time period.

    The trouble is, an infinite number of infinitesimal distances is... complicated...

    With regard to change, the question is at what point is change measurable?

    If a change is sufficiently infinitesimal, we cannot measure it. If we cannot measure a change - has a change actually occurred?

    As such - the question becomes: "What is the smallest measurable change?"

    Given there is a smallest measurable change - then for practical purposes, that is the quantum of change.

    Mathematicians have played with this - and the answer is basically: infinitesimals don't really make sense. It is somewhat like the singularity in a black hole - all the rules break down. Mathematicians have created (several) new rulesets to apply in these circumstances but generally the idea of infinitesimals is close neighbours with dividing by zero - best avoided if possible.

    Also, I am confused by some of the claims contending that everything is "part of" the universe. In a loose sense, this is true. But there is not some "thing" that is "the universe." And in that sense, the universe does not have any "parts" in the same way that a solar system does not have parts. Maybe the parts are structurally related, but there is not some existent "thing" there, it's more of a convention that helps us organize the world, thought, speech, writing. This is not true of everything. Living things, at least, are differentiate wholes.NotAristotle

    I do think there is a "thing" that is "the universe".

    Holism

    Holism:

    Holism is the idea that systems and their properties should be analyzed as wholes, not just as collections of parts. In this view, the whole is more than the sum of its parts.

    Interconnectedness:

    Everything in the universe is interconnected. The nature and existence of individual entities cannot be fully understood in isolation but must be seen in relation to the larger whole.

    Unity of Being:

    Reality is fundamentally one unified whole. Differences and distinctions within this whole are secondary to the underlying unity.
    — ChatGpt

    Holism isn't just an interesting approach to knowledge. It is the only possible approach.

    You exist

    As above, your existence is the only thing you know for certain. And everything you think, feel and do is part of that existence.

    Your existence is a single, connected whole. You, I think, recognise this.

    Everything you experience is an aspect of your existence.

    Your experience of stars and planets and the connecting space around them are aspects of your existence.

    This, right here, is the nature of the universe.

    Your ability to think and experience is an aspect of the universe.

    You cannot separate yourself from the universe. You cannot separate yourself from your experiences.

    You can communicate because you are an aspect of a universe that facilitates communication.

    The distinctions you perceive are measured in terms of your other experiences.

    Show that two points are not connected

    It is impossible to show that two points are not connected.

    Everything you are capable of experiencing is connected to everything else. Whether conceptual or physical your ability to reference two things demonstrates their connectedness.

    Every part of the universe is connected to every other part of the universe.

    You cannot shave off chunks of the universe.

    Each part of the universe is defined by every other part of the universe: X = not(Everything else).

    All this to say: You cannot show an absolute distinction between any two things. All things are connected.
  • 180 Proof
    14.7k
    You exist. This is self-evident to you.Treatid
    How do you know this if it is only "subjective"?

    However, you cannot prove your existence to me beyond all possible doubt ...
    Firstly, "proof" only pertains to logic and mathematics, not matters of fact.

    Secondly, "beyond all possible doubt" is neither a necessary condition nor sufficient condition for any claim to have a(n objective) truth-value.

    Thirdly, whether or not you/we believe "beyond all possible doubt" any X exists is neither a necessary condition nor sufficient condition that that X exists.

    Lastly, given that you/we/I lack compelling, reasonable grounds to doubt any X exists, believing that that X exists is reasonable until such grounds for doubt are evident. Thus, Descartes' "Cogito" fails due to the unwarranted premise of "doubting everything that can be doubted" since, though merely "possible", there are no grounds ever to do so. (Read Wittgenstein's On Certainty.)

    So - "your existence is self evident" is subjectively true. Your existence is evident to you.
    Again, how do you know my so-called "self-evident ... subjective truth"?

    [ ... ] isn't an objective truth. This applies to every concept you can imagine. It is impossible to objectively prove anything. 
    e.g. Such as this merely "subjective" statement. :roll:

    Like the logician Lewis Caroll's "Alice", Treatid, you've fallen down the ancient sophist Gorgias' self-refuting rabbit hole to "Jabberwocky"-land.
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