• Noble Dust
    1.6k
    *Feuerbach pays quite a bit of attention to this issue. The Incarnation is a symbol confession for him that (the hu-)man is the God or supreme value for (the hu-)man.ff0

    I don't know Feuerbach; "the incarnation" as in the incarnation described in the Bible, or something else?
  • numberjohnny5
    80
    What happened to your response to my question: "What would "exactly accurate" refer to? What does it mean to have an "exactly accurate" image to a thing itself?" In other words, what would need to be possible for this obtain?

    People have a problem with Kant because they don't understand him.tim wood

    Some people have a problem with his views because they aren't reasonable.

    They suppose he's saying you cannot know anything about the world because of the idea of noumena, and how can he then talk about knowing the world if he's already argued that it cannot be known.tim wood

    Btw, I understand that Kant is not saying externals don't exist because we can't access them without our mental faculties. For Kant, the whole of idea of "noumena" presumes that objects exist ("things that appear"); and the whole idea of "phenomena" ("the appearance of things") is that those objects appear to the mind in particular ways (due to the "rules" or structure of the mind). So you cannot know "ultimate reality", but you can know a mental construct (in the form of sense data and mental faculties) regarding noumena that are perceived as phenomena.

    The other kind is practical knowledge, which is not so constrained. Never for a moment does he doubt that - or argue against - the tree is a tree, or that it is as it appears. From the standpoint of science, Gewissenschaft, he requires that science give a scientific account of the tree as tree, not as a pratical matter, but as a scientific matter. And he finds that science, because it works from perception/appearances, cannot.tim wood

    This distinction doesn't change the view that both practical and scientific knowledge occur via indirect realism. If we only have indirect access to externals, it follows that both practical (or common-sense) knowledge and scientific knowledge (or any knowledge at all!) are unable to access externals directly. So as practical knowledge, "the tree is a tree" is still just sense data in the same way that "the tree is a tree" is sense data via scientific means. In other words, we can only attain knowledge via perception/appearances, whether that's practical or scientific knowledge. But in that way, we can only know the appearance of noumena, and not as they "really" are. Here Kant is assuming that the appearance of things IS distinct from how things really are. I don't think he has any good reasons to support that view though.

    Maybe here I can open the clam. I can observe/perceive - see - the tree only in so far as I can see it. If it has an ultraviolet or infrared "signature," I won't see it.tim wood

    Yes.

    And to be sure, what I do see is just my seeing of it.tim wood

    I just want to clarify what you mean by this because I'm not sure what you're saying here. I read that as "I am perceiving myself perceiving some x". If that's the case, it doesn't make sense as one can't actually perceive oneself perceiving something unless one is using a mirror. You can be aware that you're perceiving some x though.

    It seems to me an unwarranted assumption that my seeing somehow is the same as the thing itself.tim wood

    Again, just to clarify: seeing something is not identical to the object being seen. The former occurs in the mind, the latter is what the mind is perceiving.

    As a scientific matter, concerning the tree as it really is in itself, then I don't.tim wood

    Again, I don't really see how this distinction makes a difference if you're an indirect realist, as I argued above.

    Kant presumes that we perceive reality via appearances in the form of sense data (indirect realism). Plus, Kant believes that our minds make reality conform to its structure. So again, we can't begin to verify how externals are "really" like since our minds impose and construct major features of reality that are not identical to reality.

    This means that we can only make sense out of the appearances of things and not the actual things that appear. We can access the phenomena as phenomena, but not without our mental faculties, which impose "rules" onto noumena and cause them to appear as phenomena.

    If you buy sense data, then you cannot check to verify whether your sense data matches externals. The whole enterprise of science and empirical observation is obstructed/prevented from this position. The best you could do is make guesses about what externals are like, with no method or possibility of experiencing them directly to check whether they match your guesses.

    But is the tree really green?tim wood

    Bear in mind that I don't agree with indirect realism, and I don't think noumena is different than phenomena (with the proviso that the phenomena isn't illusory and thus is the noumena).

    With that in mind, any object that is perceived is perceived from a particular perspective/frame of reference, and with a particular mental apparatus. There are no privileged perspectives (which is how I interpret the claim that to know the noumena, one has to perceive it from a view-from-nowhere...a privileged perspective--as the subjective, mental faculties won't do). So for instance, the tree is "really" green from Person A's perspective; and "really" a similar "kind" of green from Person B's perspective; and "really" a lighter shade of green from Person B's perspective; and "really" blue from Person C's perspective (e.g. from that perspective, maybe the lighting is different); and "really" greyish from a particular dog's perspective, and so on.
  • ff0
    120

    Right. What does it mean symbolically when a God becomes man?

    The consciousness of the divine love, or what is the same thing, the contemplation of God as human, is the mystery of the Incarnation. The Incarnation is nothing else than the practical, material manifestation of the human nature of God. God did not become man for his own sake; the need, the want of man – a want which still exists in the religious sentiment – was the cause of the Incarnation. God became man out of mercy: thus he was in himself already a human God before he became an actual man; for human want, human misery, went to his heart. The Incarnation was a tear of the divine compassion, and hence it was only the visible advent of a Being having human feelings, and therefore essentially human.

    If in the Incarnation we stop short at the fact of God becoming man, it certainly appears a surprising inexplicable, marvellous event. But the incarnate God is only the apparent manifestation of deified man; for the descent of God to man is necessarily preceded by the exaltation of man to God. Man was already in God, was already God himself, before God became man, i.e., showed himself as man.
    ...
    That which is mysterious and incomprehensible, i.e., contradictory, in the proposition, “God is or becomes a man,” arises only from the mingling or confusion of the idea or definitions of the universal, unlimited, metaphysical being with the idea of the religious God, i.e., the conditions of the understanding, with the conditions of the heart, the emotive nature; a confusion which is the greatest hindrance to the correct knowledge of religion.
    — Feuerbach

    https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/feuerbach/works/essence/ec04.htm
  • tom
    1.1k
    As I suggested to ND I think it might be in their tweet.Cavacava

    How do you think the knowledge that the other bird is happy gets into the bird's brain? Do you think it requires concepts of the self, other and happiness?
  • Cavacava
    1.8k
    I am not sure how you got that out of what I said. I think that we can hear the joy in the song of birds, they are not reflectively aware, they simply are. Shelley kinda nailed it.

    Hail to thee, blithe Spirit!
    Bird thou never wert,
    That from Heaven, or near it,
    Pourest thy full heart
    In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.
  • tom
    1.1k
    I am not sure how you got that out of what I said. I think that we can hear the joy in the song of birds, they are not reflectively aware, they simply are. Shelley kinda nailed it.Cavacava

    Quite! There is no reason to attribute qualia to birds. My argument was that birds (and all non-human animals) don't create knowledge and thus don't create qualia.
  • tim wood
    295
    "What would "exactly accurate" refer to? What does it mean to have an "exactly accurate" image to a thing itself?" In other words, what would need to be possible for this obtain?numberjohnny5
    I don't know, but that won't stop me! We're using seeing as a metaphor for all perceiving. I see the tree. Clearly there are parts of the tree I cannot see, and for a variety of reasons. Some aren't visible from where I am. Some parts, like the inside of the tree, are never visible while the tree is standing. The roots. It's appearance under light I cannot see. It's acoustic structure. It's cellular structure. In this season I cannot see how it is in another season. And so on. In sum, perception is always deficient with respect to what is there.

    Here Kant is assuming that the appearance of things IS distinct from how things really are. I don't think he has any good reasons to support that view though.numberjohnny5
    Are you arguing that the appearance of things is how they really are? Can you think of anything at all that you're willing to say is identical to your perception of it? Two problems: 1) perception is always deficient, never complete (that it may be complete with respect to some criteria is not to the point, here), and 2) perception is always through a set of filters, that you call our mental apparatus: therefore and thereby, the perception is filtered.

    More to the point, we can all agree the tree is green, and a scientist can give an account for how green works. But at its core this is just a consensus and a naming. But there is never anything that says that your experience of green just is, or is like, my experience of green. This surfaces where people disagree about their likes and dislikes.

    Your argument that both practical and scientific knowledge are equal as products of indirect realism is challenging, until one recognizes that the language is off. Nothing is a product of indirect realism. Knowledge, such as it is, is the product of various kind of activities. And it comes in degrees, its quality depending on the activities that have produced it.

    But knowledge as topic is a distraction, here. You claim direct - naive - realism is an accurate description of perception. I claim it isn't. I lean on Kant; you dismiss Kant as unreasonable. I dismiss your dismissal as unreasonable.

    We do agree on the practical aspect of things. Green is green. The tree is a tree. To me this just means that the world's work can get done, and that the work is done within and with respect to appropriate parameters. If that were it, the world would have become a matter of routine a long time ago. But it hasn't. Part of the reason is that often enough we find that how things appear, isn't really how they are.
  • numberjohnny5
    80
    We're using seeing as a metaphor for all perceiving.tim wood

    We were initially, but then it became important for me to make distinctions between other senses, for the sake of clarity.

    In sum, perception is always deficient with respect to what is there.tim wood

    This seems to presume that efficient or non-deficient perception would allow the perceiver to perceive all aspects of the tree (of an x) from all perspectives as well as all perspectives throughout the history of the tree--simultaneously. This is nonsensical though. That is the view-from-nowhere; the privileged perspective that I've been criticising. The reason it's nonsense (in my ontology) is that perspectives are neccesarily perspectival i.e. from particular frames of reference. There cannot be a perspective from everywhere in all those senses. That would imply that that privileged perspective is identical to all of the properties inherent in the tree simultaneously and throughout time. This is God's eye-view. You'd need to be all the facts of that tree. Plus, since things are constantly changing (in my ontology), the properties are never "complete", but always developing/changing. So you'd have to have that "God's eye-view" until the tree changed into another material structure to accommodate your claim.

    Are you arguing that the appearance of things is how they really are?tim wood

    I am saying that, barring illusionary phenomena that don't correspond with the (objective) phenomena we try to perceive, the phenomena is the noumena.

    Can you think of anything at all that you're willing to say is identical to your perception of it?tim wood

    Again, I'm not sure whether you're conflating the external-to-mind thing being perceived and the perception of it by the perceiver. What's possible is that my perception of an x is perpectival to that x (i.e. from a particular position relative to that x). It doesn't make sense to literally say that my perception of some x is identical to that x. It's a relational matter, not an identity matter.

    Two problems: 1) perception is always deficient, never complete (that it may be complete with respect to some criteria is not to the point, here), and 2) perception is always through a set of filters, that you call our mental apparatus: therefore and thereby, the perception is filtered.tim wood

    With regards to your two problems:

    (1) As I mentioned above, it's nonsensical to believe that perception can be complete. And that's not what I'm claiming.

    (2) It depends what you mean by "filtered" there; I wouldn't use "filtered" in the Kantian sense of mental faculties. I'd say our mental processing allows for particular experiences from a particular perspective relative to whatever x we're perceiving. That means that perception is necessarily biased and subjective.

    More to the point, we can all agree the tree is green, and a scientist can give an account for how green works. But at its core this is just a consensus and a naming. But there is never anything that says that your experience of green just is, or is like, my experience of green. This surfaces where people disagree about their likes and dislikes.tim wood

    Logically, it's possible that if humans' mental apparatus is structured and functions in similar ways, that our experience of some x under particular lighting will be perceived in similar ways.

    Your argument that both practical and scientific knowledge are equal as products of indirect realism is challenging, until one recognizes that the language is off.tim wood

    I'm claiming that if indirect realism is true, then practical and scientific knowledge (any knowledge whatsoever) is relegated only to speculation about externals. In other words, if indirect realism is true, then any information one obtains from the external world can only ever be speculative at best.

    I don't know what you mean by this sentence: "Nothing is a product of indirect realism." Indirect realism is just a theory of perception. If you believe in that theory, then you have to maintain that no knowledge/perception of externals is directly possible.

    We do agree on the practical aspect of things. Green is green. The tree is a tree. To me this just means that the world's work can get done, and that the work is done within and with respect to appropriate parameters.tim wood

    The problem with that view is that I believe the work that we can "get done" is based on more or less accurate information about the world, whereas you'd have to maintain that your information is only speculative at best.

    Part of the reason is that often enough we find that how things appear, isn't really how they are.tim wood

    That's too ambiguous a claim for me to be able to address.
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.