• Wayfarer
    4.9k
    Soberly considering available evidence uniquely suggests an indifferent universe.jorndoe

    ‘Hence’, says the Christian, ‘the need for salvation’.

    I think I know what you mean, but can you elaborate?Marty

    The basic argument of Descartes’ Cogito is apodictic - cannot plausibly be denied - and indeed had been anticipated by Augustine millenia previously:

    I am not at all afraid of the arguments of the Academicians [i.e., skeptic philosophers], who say, “What if you are deceived?” For if I am deceived, I am. For he who is not, cannot be deceived; and if I am deceived, by this same token, I am. And since I am if I am deceived, how am I deceived in believing that I am? for it is certain that I am if I am deceived. Since, therefore, I, the person deceived, should be, even if I were deceived, certainly I am not deceived in this knowledge that I am. — “St Augustine”

    (From City of God, although it is repeated in various forms elsewhere.)

    However, the notion of ‘res cogitans’ as a ‘thinking substance’ is another matter. There are two complications here: the first is the use of the word ‘substance’. That is the term that was used to translate the Greek ‘ouisia’ in Aristotle’s metaphysics. It means something like ‘the bearer of predicates’ - so in some ways, is more akin to a ‘subject’ than a ‘substance’. But at any rate, in the 17th Century, ‘substance’ was still used in the Aristotelian way, and philosophers knew what it meant. In the intervening centuries, the philosophical meaning, which to begin with might have been a mis-translation anyway, has been lost, and ‘substance’ has now assumed the meaning you and I know - some kind of stuff, be it plastic or liquid or ethereal.

    There’s a very perceptive critique of Deacartes in Husserl’s last book, which is called The Crisis of the European Sciences. In it, he recognises Descartes’ genius (and Descartes was a genius), but observes a great flaw in his dualism. This is depicting ‘res cogitans’, the ‘thinking substance’, In a naturalistic manner, as something that could potentially be known in an objective way. It’s an elaborate argument which I haven’t paraphrased very well here, but that is the upshot. And the resulting idea of a ‘thinking substance’ is an absurdity.

    It’s a shame that Descartes didn’t have any real succcessors to elaborate and defend his ideas (I have heard someone called Malebranche mentioned in that respect, but he has fallen into obscurity.) But in any case, the consequences of Cartesian dualism have been generally pernicious in my opinion, as the idea of the ‘thinking substance’ has rightfully been utterly rejected - but then, it is based on a misunderstanding in the first place.

    That’s my interpretation. (Incidentally, when I studied philosophy as an undergrad, Descartes was the first course in the curriculum as ‘the first modern’.)
  • Marty
    122
    Ah, I was recently reading Schelling on this issue with the productive intuition. Thought you meant something more along over with German Idealism, but phenomenology and Augustine might tackle the issue other ways. Never read Augustine, though.

    Right on, though. (Y)
  • creativesoul
    1.8k
    ...so there’s no correlation between correlation and correspondence? Because it sure seems that way.Wayfarer

    I said that they're related on my view. However, I wouldn't say that "there's a correlation between correlation and correspondence", because it would be an equivocation of the term correlation. On my view, mental correlation(s) are what all thought/belief consist in/of. With that in mind what you're asking me, if employing my framework, would translate as...

    ...so there's no thought/belief between thought/belief and correspondence?

    Surely you can understand how that would be problematic...
  • Wayfarer
    4.9k
    Well, I really have no idea what you're talking about with this 'correlation' between 'objects' and 'agents', if it doesn't amount to 'correspondence'. But, do carry on.
  • creativesoul
    1.8k
    Would you agree that when a sincere speaker states "X", that s/he thinks/believes that "X" is true; that "X" is the case at hand; that "X" is the way things are/were and/or will be; etc.?
  • creativesoul
    1.8k
    1. All thought/belief consists of mental correlation(s) drawn between 'objects' of physiological sensory perception and/or the agent itself(it's own state of 'mind' when applicable).
    2. Correlation presupposes the existence of it's own content.
    3. Thought/belief presupposes the existence of it's own content.(from1,2)
    4. 'Objects' of physiological sensory perception are external to thought/belief.
    5. All thought/belief presupposes the existence of an external world.(from3,4)
    6. All meaning is attributed by virtue of drawing mental correlation(s) between that which becomes symbol/sign and that which becomes symbolized/signified.
    7. The attribution of meaning happens entirely within thought/belief formation.(from1,6)
    8. All meaning is existentially contingent upon presupposing the existence of an external world.(from5,7)
    9. All philosophical positions consist entirely of meaningful thought/belief.
    10. All philosophical positions presuppose the existence of an external world.(from8,9)

    Is that a bit more convincing?

    X-)

    It effectively refutes solipsism as well, and not merely 'by definition' mind you. The 'definition' of thought/belief contained in 1. is not arbitrarily chosen. To quite the contrary, it is arrived at by virtue of looking at all meaningful use of the terms "thought" and "belief". All thought/belief consists of mental correlations. All mental correlation counts as thought/belief. All predication is correlation. Not all correlation is predication. Thought/belief is not existentially contingent upon language. To quite the contrary, it's the other way around.

    Thought/belief formation happens prior to language. Thought/belief is accrued. That which rudimentary thought/belief is existentially contingent upon and/or consists in/of, so too is/does the more complex. Thought/belief begins with drawing rudimentary correlations(think Pavlov's dog) and gains in complexity in direct accordance with/to the complexity of the correlations drawn between object(s) and/or self.
    creativesoul

    I bolded and underlined the bit above relevant to your query, I think...
  • Wayfarer
    4.9k
    Is that a bit more convincing?creativesoul

    It is basically still about correspondence, though. But that isn't to say that it is, therefore, a false argument. It's a very difficult philosophical problem, because you're trying to articulate the foundations of knowledge, the conditions for knowledge. But I think it is still subject to the criticisms that I quoted from those text books, the basic problem being that, if you're going to try and talk about both the agent, on the one side, and the object, on the other, then you're assuming a position above or outside them. You're trying to sketch how we know what we know, from some point where you can see both sides of the correlation - the agent, and the object of knowledge. But how can you get above or outside of that, in such a way that you can see both sides at once?

    In a day-to-day sense, of course it is perfectly sound to say 'that journalist's account of what happened corresponded to the facts'. Used in that way the notion of there being correspondence or correlation between an account of what happens, and what happens, is OK. But it doesn't come to grips with philosophical skepticism, idealism, realism, and the other kinds of fundamental philosophical conundrums that are at issue. I suspect you're trying to construct a common sense explanation of common sense.

    Read the Kant quote again:

    Truth, it is said, consists in the agreement of cognition with its object. In consequence of this mere nominal definition, my cognition, to count as true, is supposed to agree with its object. Now I can compare the object with my cognition, however, only by cognising it. Hence my cognition is supposed to confirm itself, which is far short of being sufficient for truth. For since the object is outside me, the cognition in me, all I can ever pass judgement on is whether my cognition of the object agrees with my cognition of the object.
  • creativesoul
    1.8k
    It is basically still about correspondence, though. But that isn't to say that it is, therefore, a false argument. It's a very difficult philosophical problem, because you're trying to articulate the foundations of knowledge, the conditions for knowledge.Wayfarer

    I'm articulating what thought/belief consists in/of. The scope of what I'm putting forth couldn't be broader, so it would rightfully apply to knowledge as well. However, I'm not talking about correspondence. If I were I would use the term and talk about it. I'm not trying to articulate the foundations for knowledge, the conditions for knowledge. If I were I would say so. It just so happens, that thought/belief is required for knowledge. That is, knowledge(both kinds) is existentially contingent upon thought/belief formation. So, here as well as earlier, knowledge is related to thought/belief just as correspondence is. However, I've not talked about either, aside from telling you that I'm not talking about them.

    ...But I think it is still subject to the criticisms that I quoted from those text books, the basic problem being that, if you're going to try and talk about both the agent, on the one side, and the object, on the other, then you're assuming a position above or outside them. You're trying to sketch how we know what we know, from some point where you can see both sides of the correlation - the agent, and the object of knowledge. But how can you get above or outside of that, in such a way that you can see both sides at once?

    I assume no such thing. Awareness of the content of thought/belief doesn't require getting outside of thought/belief. That doesn't even make sense to say, on my view. It requires the ability to think about thought/belief. Metacognition requires written language, for starters, in order to name and/or isolate our mental ongoings. We have that.

    The criticisms posted all work from and/or talk about a position other than the one I hold and argue for. By the way, Kant fails to draw the crucial distinction between cognition and metacognition. I'm also fairly certain that he inverts belief and judgment, in terms of existential contingency and/or temporal order. I like Kant. Think God got in his way...
  • charleton
    299

    Actually existence is ideal - you have no other reference but yourself. Idealism is thus true as the substrate of all understanding, even materialism and realism are ideal inventions.
  • creativesoul
    1.8k
    ↪Marchesk
    Actually existence is ideal - you have no other reference but yourself.
    charleton

    Are you Marchesk or are you referencing something other than yourself by virtue of using "Marchesk"?
  • Marchesk
    1.6k
    Are you Marchesk or are you referencing something other than yourself by virtue of using "Marchesk"?creativesoul

    Charleston's referencing of Marchesk is ideal*, but I'm real. I'm physically identical to myself, although not the label.

    * or perhaps not, shouldn't flatter myself
  • charleton
    299
    Both Marchesk and creative soul are data streams in my brain, as is the sensation from my fingers as I type.
  • charleton
    299
    I not saying that.
    I'm saying that you can only know X as an ideal. Existence is an ideal too. Everything is partially understood through the ground of our understanding and experience.; a mental construct.
    Realism is a mental construct too; a theory about the world.
    That is how it exists. You don't have to like it, but its unavoidable.
  • Marchesk
    1.6k
    Both Marchesk and creative soul are data streams in my brain, as is the sensation from my fingers as I type.charleton

    Is your brain also a data stream?
  • charleton
    299
    As i understand it yes.
  • Marchesk
    1.6k
    So are you a data stream within a data stream?
  • charleton
    299
    I don't know, and neither do you, but reality relies on it. The ideal prededes everything.
  • creativesoul
    1.8k
    Shoulda stopped at "I don't know"...
  • Marty
    122
    The brain, which produces data streams, is also a data stream itself. Ah,excellent. The experience of a brain produces itself.

    Looks as if Charleton finally took on the picture of a causa sui being possible.
  • Marchesk
    1.6k
    It's data streams all the way down, dreaming of being turtles.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.