• Terrapin Station
    4.4k
    Ok. This is going nowhere.ChrisH

    Because you're saying something crazy/something that makes no sense. I don't know if you're trolling or if you're really that confused.
  • ChrisH
    58
    I don't know if you're trolling or if you're really that confused.Terrapin Station
    If you genuinely don't understand that "I like X" is not the same claim as " X is likeable", then I'm afraid it's you that's confused.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.4k
    If you genuinely don't understand that "I like X" is not the same claim as " X is likeable", then I'm afraid it's you that's confused.ChrisH

    As if anyone wrote anything resembling "Those are the same claim."
  • ChrisH
    58
    As if anyone wrote anything resembling "Those are the same claim."Terrapin Station

    It seemed to be implied by this:
    So if liking something isn't a judgment about it in your view, I have to wonder what the heck definition you're using of "judgment," and re something like "Anchovies are delicious," it's not a fact that the person who stated that thinks that anchovies are delicious?Terrapin Station

    "I like anchovies" isn't a judgment any more than "I am 6 feet tall" is a judgment. They're both straightforward factual claims which are (in principle) objectively verifiable.
  • Wayfarer
    6.8k
    You could feed me anchovies, and I could say ‘yum’, hundreds of times, whilst actually hating them. Whereas there’s no way I could lie about being 6” tall.
  • ChrisH
    58
    You could feed me anchovies, and I could say ‘yum’, hundreds of times, whilst actually hating them. Whereas there’s no way I could lie about being 6” tall.Wayfarer

    This is a red herring. As I said, the veracity could (in principle) be determined (given a sufficiently advanced method of brain scanning).

    The point being that both claims are about objective features of the universe. The fact that one may, to all intents and purposes, be practically impossible to verify is irrelevant.
  • Wayfarer
    6.8k
    As I said, the veracity could (in principle) be determined (given a sufficiently advanced method of brain scanning).ChrisH

    Right. Then you get a 'sufficiently advanced method of brain scanning' - but some experts cast doubt on their veracity. In the end, the experts are deadlocked. So you have a dispute between brain-scanning experts about whether the subject is lying about his dislike for anchovies. What is 'objectively the case' then?
  • Terrapin Station
    4.4k
    "I like anchovies" isn't a judgment any more than "I am 6 feet tall" is a judgment. They're both straightforward factual claims which are (in principle) objectively verifiable.ChrisH

    "I like anchovies" is a judgment because it is the person's verdict, assessment or evaluation of anchovies; they're telling us how they feel about anchovies. It tells us, after consideration/deliberation, what their mental disposition is towards anchovies. And yes, as long as they're being truthful, it's a fact that they like anchovies.

    "I am 6 feet tall" isn't a judgment because it's not a verdict, assessment or evaluation of anything. It's not telling us how they feel about anything. It requires no consideration or deliberation. We don't know if the person likes or dislikes being six feet tall. We have no idea what their mental disposition is towards it. Nevertheless, it's also a fact.

    "Anchovies are delicious" is a judgment because it is the person's verdict, assessment or evaluation of anchovies; they're telling us how they feel about anchovies. It tells us, after consideration/deliberation, what their mental disposition is towards anchovies. And again with this, as long as they're being truthful, it's a fact that they feel that anchovies are delicious.

    With all judgements, the veracity could (in principle) be determined (given a sufficiently advanced method of brain scanning). That is, the fact that the person in question really does feel the way that they reported in their judgment.

    All judgments are features of the universe.

    They're not objective features in the standard definition of objective, because judgments are something that we do mentally, and conventionally, "objective" denotes "mind-independent." Things that we do mentally are not mind-independent .

    Liking anchovies, finding them delicious, are mental events.

    It's a fact that individuals have the mental events that they do. Those mental events are features of the universe.
  • ChrisH
    58
    You continue to miss the point.

    "I like X" is a claim about the speaker. It is not a claim about 'X'. The speaker's attitudes are a feature of the universe and can (in principle) be verified.

    "X is delicious" is a claim about X. No examination of 'X' will ever reveal the truth or otherwise of the claim.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.4k


    It's a claim about how the speaker feels about x. That is indeed telling us something about the speaker. But it's a judgment--how one feels about something is a judgment. I spelled this out above.

    "Anchovies are delicious," likewise, is a claim about the speaker. It just as much tells us how they feel about anchovies as "I like anchovies." In fact, in this case, it's basically the same thing as "I like anchovies," just in different words (and possibly it's a stronger version of it).
  • TWI
    96
    Anchovies :vomit:
  • ChrisH
    58
    It's a claim about how the speaker feels about x. That is indeed telling us something about the speaker. But it's a judgment--how one feels about something is a judgment. I spelled this out above.Terrapin Station
    Quite honestly I don't care if you want to call it a judgment. The fact remains that it is objectively verifiable (in principle) and is therefore not subjective.

    "Anchovies are delicious," likewise, is a claim about the speaker.Terrapin Station
    No it isn't.

    If it were, it would make no sense for anyone to disagree with a claim of "X is delicious". According to you, they'd be denying that the speaker actually did find X to be delicious!
  • Terrapin Station
    4.4k
    Quite honestly I don't care if you want to call it a judgment. The fact remains that it is objectively verifiable (in principle) and is therefore not subjective.ChrisH

    All I'm doing with the terms is picking out whether something is a mental phenomenon or not. If it's something that one's brain is doing via the subset of brain activity that's mentality, then it's a mental phenomenon. I'm applying one term to that.

    If it's a phenomenon that occurs outside of the subset of brain activity that's mentality, then it's not a mental phenomenon. I'm applying another term to that.

    Maybe you don't agree with that distinction, or maybe you don't agree that "I like anchovies" is a mental phenomenon, but that's the ONLY thing I'm doing with the terms in question. If you're doing something else with the terms, that's fine, but then it's just a matter of us doing different things with the same terms.

    No it isn't.

    If it were, it would make no sense for anyone to disagree with a claim of "X is delicious". According to you, they'd be denying that the speaker actually did find X to be delicious!
    ChrisH

    Yes it is. There are two things that people are doing when they disagree.

    One, they're merely telling the other person that they do not feel the same way. That's one sort of disagreement over comments like this.

    Two, they have a mistaken belief that any sort of evaluation, aesthetic value, gustatory value, etc. can occur in the world outside of individual minds (indlviduals having specific brain activity). And then based on that mistaken belief, they might believe that they're disagreeing about the properties in the non-mental things in question. But it's a mistaken belief. Those sorts of properties are NOT in non-mental items. Those sorts of qualities are a report of how one feels about the item in question, and that's all they are. Just as "like/dislike" is a report of how one feels about the item in question.
  • ChrisH
    58
    If you accept that the veracity of a claim such as "I like X" can be verified objectively in principle, then you must accept that it is an objective claim.

    If you insist that claims such as "X is delicious" are synonymous with "I like X" then you have to accept that such statements are objective.

    The problem is that you've defined 'subjective' (in this context) out of existence.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.4k
    If you accept that the veracity of a claim such as "I like X" can be verified objectively in principle, then you must accept that it is an objective claim.ChrisH

    So, can "I like x" be verified non-mentally?

    It would depend on just what we're referring to by verifying it, right?

    Re this:

    If you insist that claims such as "X is delicious" are synonymous with "I like X" then you have to accept that such statements are objective.ChrisH

    There are senses in which those statements are not something mental, but that's pretty limited. An example is if we're talking about me writing "I like x" on a board like this. The marks on the screen that you see are not mental--they're pixels that have been activated on a monitor, etc., and that's not a mental phenomenon.

    Or, "I like x" might be me saying something on a recording. In that case, if we were talking about a cassette or reel (for a reel-to-reel machine), we'd be talking about magnetic patterns on the tape. And those magnetic patterns are not mental phenomena.

    Or we could just be talking about the sounds I'm making with my mouth, the soundwaves in the air, etc. if I'm telling you in person. Again, the sounds I'm making with my mouth and the soundwaves in the air are not mental phenomena.

    But once we start talking about them as something with any meaning--which is sometimes a crietion in some folks' minds to qualify as a "statement,", we're talking strictly about mental phenomena.

    So again, it depends on just how we're referring to it being a statement. When we say that "statements are sentences with meanings . . ." (that wouldn't be the whole definition, but it could be the start), then statements are necessarily mental-only, because meaning is something that only occurs in minds (that is, via brains functioning in particular ways).
  • ChrisH
    58
    If mental states correlate with physical brain-states then they are,in principle, objectively verifiable.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.4k


    It's an identity, not (just) a correlation. Mental states are identical to brain states. I don't believe that the idea of nonphysical existents is even coherent. I'm a physicalist.

    Again, re verifiability, it just depends on exactly what we're referring to as a verification of something whether verifications are necessarily mental or not. I'd say that verifications would be mental, because I don't think that "verification" makes much sense, or resembles the common usage of that term, if we're not talking about something with meaning attached.

    But maybe you just have in mind machines processing information and being in particular subsequent states, and you'd count that as a verification. Insofar as you might, that would be non-mental, sure.
  • ChrisH
    58
    Again, re verifiability, it just depends on exactly what we're referring to as a verification of something whether verifications are necessarily mental or not. I'd say that verifications would be mental, because I don't think that "verification" makes much sense, or resembles the common usage of that term, if we're not talking about something with meaning attached.Terrapin Station

    I'm afraid you lose me here.

    All I'm saying is that "I like X" is true or false independent of anyone else's opinion or feelings. This is what it means to be objective. Whether or not the veracity of the claim is actually verifiable in practice is irrelevant.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.4k
    All I'm saying is that "I like X" is true or false independent of anyone else's opinion or feelings. This is what it means to be objective. Whether or not the veracity of the claim is actually verifiable in practice is irrelevant.ChrisH

    If that's how you're using the term "objective" okay, but that's not how I'm using it, and it's not a standard way to use that term. But you can use the term in an unusual way.

    The standard way to use the term is to refer to things that are independent of anyone's mind (and not just their opinions or feelings, but their minds period). The standard usage is not things that are dependent on one person's mind, but independent of other persons' minds.

    But per "ChrisH 'objective'," and ignoring my theory of truth, because that would be a huge other tangent, then sure, "I like x" is "ChrisH 'objective'."
  • ChrisH
    58
    and it's not a standard way to use that term.Terrapin Station

    I disagree. It's perfectly standard.
    The standard way to use the term is to refer to things that are independent of anyone's mind (and not just their opinions or feelings, but their minds period).Terrapin Station

    The standard way is to say that the truth of a claim is independent of anyone's opinions/beliefs/feelings. This is sometimes interpreted, mistakenly in my view, that any claim relating to minds/attitudes must be 'subjective'. When it's quite clear that there are objective facts about minds/attitudes.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.4k


    Here's a definition from Merriam-Webster, for example:

    "of, relating to, or being an object, phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers : having reality independent of the mind"

    That doesn't say "independent of individual thought/the mind but for one person."

    It also doesn't at all specify truth-value or claims--because it's an ontological term, not an epistemic term.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.4k
    There's a common colloquial misunderstanding of subjective/objective that the terms have something to do with, or are at least very strongly correlated with agreement. So maybe you're using a shade of that colloquial idea in "there are objective facts about minds/attitudes"? In other words, if Joe likes anchovies, then everyone can know/we can all agree that it's a fact that Joe likes anchovies. So on the misunderstanding that objectivity has something to do with agreement, that would suggest that the fact that Joe likes anchovies is objective.

    But subjective/objective don't actually have anything to do with agreement, or at least there's no strong correlation there. We can all disagree about something objective--we could all have different views about just what's really going on when it comes to quantum physics phenomena, for example. And we can all agree about something subjective--it would be possible for there to be some food, or musical artist, or whatever that every single person likes (at least among the many who experience it).
  • ChrisH
    58
    You've selected the entry which deals with an "object, phenomenon, or condition" when in fact we're discussing claims. Entry 3 is the one appropriate to this context:

    expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations — Merriam-Webster
  • Terrapin Station
    4.4k


    That's not the standard sense relevant to philosophy, but we can ignore that for a moment and pretend that it is.

    So let's go with that definition for a moment. What does it have to do with "I like anchovies" or the idea of something being mind-dependent for one person but no one else? You're not claiming that "I like anchovies" has anything to do with perception or that it's not about personal feelings, etc., are you?
  • ChrisH
    58
    So maybe you're using a shade of that colloquial idea in "there are objective facts about minds/attitudes"? In other words, if Joe likes anchovies, then everyone can know/we can all agree that it's a fact that Joe likes anchovies.Terrapin Station
    No this has nothing to do with agreement. The point is that there is a fact of the matter regardless of what anyone can know or agree upon.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.4k


    Well, there isn't a fact regardless of what the person who likes anchovies can know, is there?

    Aside from that, though, sure. It's a fact that people think, feel, etc. whatever they do. "Fact" isn't mutually exclusive from "subjective." A subjective fact is a fact of someone's mental content--that they think, feel, etc. whatever they do. ("Subjective" there describes what sort of fact it is/where it occurs--it's a fact of a mind or minds.)
  • ChrisH
    58
    Well, there isn't a fact regardless of what the person who likes anchovies can know, is there?Terrapin Station
    You're making the mistake I mentioned earlier.

    If you take this view then you disqualify the posibility of making any objective claim about the existence of mental states/attitudes.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.4k
    If you take this view then you disqualify the posibility of making any objective claim about the existence of mental states/attitudes.ChrisH

    What's the mistake you mentioned earlier?

    And I would say that no claims are objective, by the way. And that's the case even if you're using this definition: "expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations." It's not possible to make a claim, or to think anything, that's not subject to personal interpretations, a fortiori because you can't make (or read, or understand) a claim with no meaning associated with it, and meaning is a type of personal interpretation.

    I often say that people can't be objective.

    Re my comments above, it's important to understand the distinction between making a claim about something objective and whether the claim itself has the property of being objective. That's like this distinction: I could make a claim like, "Holy cow--that was the loudest band I've ever seen in concert!" But when I make that claim--let's say I'm making it in person--I could whisper it. It's a claim about loudness, but it's not itself a loud claim. The claim doesn't have the property of being loud (not unless I shout it), but it's about something loud.

    Conventionally, <adjective> <noun> denotes the adjective describing properties of the noun in question. So it's not a loud claim unless the claim has the property of being loud. And it's not an objective claim unless the claim has the property of being objective. But claims aren't claims sans meaning, and meaning doesn't have the property of being objective.
  • ChrisH
    58
    And I would say that no claims are objective, by the way. And that's the case even if you're using this definition: "expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations." It's not possible to make a claim, or to think anything, that's not subject to personal interpretations, a fortiori because you can't make (or read, or understand) a claim with no meaning associated with it, and meaning is a type of personal interpretation.Terrapin Station
    If you'd said this earlier then you could have saved us both a lot of time.

    Cheers.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.4k


    What intrigued me was the very weird way you were using the terms, so that "I like anchovies" is objective in your view, it's an objective fact, and its not a judgment, but "anchovies are delicious" is not objective in your view, it's subjective, and it is a judgment.
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