• Janus
    5.7k


    Nah, you're not serious about being unprejudiced, and making a genuine effort to explain and critique your own positions, so it just aint worth the effort.
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    If a non-linguistic agent draws a meaningful correlation(the attribution/recognition of causality) between some event or other and what happens afterwards, it could very well be a fallacy of thought(post hoc ergo prompter hoc), but there's no justificatory ground for denying that the agent believed.

    My cat, the sound of certain kinds of plastic, and her getting treats. My chickens, the sound of certain kinds of plastic, and their getting fed. My chickens, the sound of the slider doors out back, and their getting fed. One particular rooster, a particular motion that I make, and rocks suddenly coming towards him in the air. My cats, a certain rumbling noise outside, and another cat about to come through the kitty door in the window.

    The cats believe that they're about to be fed, or that another cat is about to come through the kitty door. The chickens believe that they're about to be fed. The rooster believes that I'm throwing a rock towards him.

    The behaviour verifies this. The issue, of course, to return to it... is that the only plausible explanation for their behaviour? Or better perhaps...

    By what standard do we determine which report of non-linguistic belief is best?
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    Nah, you're not serious about being unprejudiced, and making a genuine effort to explain and critique your own positions, so it just aint worth the effort.Janus

    Suit yourself. My position survives the same critique(s) I've levied towards others. What more could you ask for?

    :-|

    Stick to the rhetoric. Most people are moved more by it anyway...

    ;)
  • Janus
    5.7k


    My criticism has been that your account, or something like it, could be more adequate, more comprehensive, if it allowed for more distinctions, as I have already explained. I haven't said it is fundamentally wrong. In any case I'm not interested in going over it all again.
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    We agree there.

    The nuance isn't simple. Basic understanding comes first. The nuance is had in the consequences of the basics.
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    By what standard do we determine which report of non-linguistic belief is best?creativesoul

    What does linguistic belief consist of?
    What does non linguistic belief consist of?

    Those two questions need to be correctly answered. If both kinds are to be sensibly called the same thing... "belief"... then it must be the case that they consist of the same basic elemental constituents. The same 'ingredients' as it were. Since belief is accrued, and at conception we're completely void of any and all belief, it must begin simply. Thus, whatever rudimentary belief consists of, so too must the more complex, but not the other way around, which is precisely what classic epistemology has done by virtue of conflating a report of one's belief with one's belief, and holding that the content of belief is propositional.

    My reports about cat and chicken belief a few posts back were in propositional form. It quite simply does not follow that the content of the cat and chicken belief is propositional. The content was correlation and the formation thereof(the act of drawing the correlations) is existentially dependent upon an agent capable of drawing correlations between different things and/or itself.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.3k
    If a non-linguistic agent draws a meaningful correlation(the attribution/recognition of causality) between some event or other and what happens afterwards, it could very well be a fallacy of thought(post hoc ergo prompter hoc), but there's no justificatory ground for denying that the agent believed.creativesoul

    Right, and as I explained, there is no justificatory grounds for denying that an agent believes everything which is happening in one's dreams. It's just a matter of how one uses the word "believe".

    I think that for the sake of an epistemological investigation we need to place some restrictions on how we use the word "believe", we need to find a definition to agree on.

    We're not even close. You think that belief consists of making mental correlations. I think that belief consists in maintaining the same thought for an extended period of time. Banno thinks that belief is something completely different. There are chasms between each of our opinions.
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    If a non-linguistic agent draws a meaningful correlation(the attribution/recognition of causality) between some event or other and what happens afterwards, it could very well be a fallacy of thought(post hoc ergo prompter hoc), but there's no justificatory ground for denying that the agent believed.
    — creativesoul

    Right...
    Metaphysician Undercover

    Then any objection you levy against that claim that you just agreed to renders your position incoherent.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.3k

    All I agreed to, is that you have been using the word "believe" in a way which is different from what I would like. I see your usage as ambiguous and counter-productive. So it's completely consistent and coherent for me to object to the way that you use the word. And of course, you have objected to my requests to restrict your usage. Therefore no progress has been made.
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    No.

    What I am at pains to point out is that neither you nor I make the rules governing all mental ongoings. Seeing how both thought and belief are - in part at least - made up of mental ongoings, it only follows that neither you nor I make up the rules governing either thought or belief...

    Now, off with your semantic twaddle.
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    Both thought and belief consist - in part at least - of mental ongoings... that's how meaning is attributed. We think about stuff and how it effects/affects us. This happens long before language acquisition begins. Those mental ongoings consist of things that exist exactly as they are prior to our becoming aware of them.

    If your notion of "belief" contradicts this, it's wrong.
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    All meaningful sense consists entirely of drawing mental correlations between things.

    Your notion of "belief" is a meaningful sense.

    Your notion of "belief" consists entirely of mental correlations between things.
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    Whatever pre and/or non-linguistic mental correlations require in order for them to be realized(formed, actualized, enter into existence, emerge, etc.) so too does your notion of "belief".

    If you claim that all belief consists of propositional content, then either you deny the existence of belief prior to language, or you claim that propositions are not existentially dependent upon language. You've already claimed the former. Admitting the latter, for you, would force you to admit changing your claims in mid argument.

    Neither of those necessary consequences are acceptable.

    So, I've shown that your position suffers a number of different reductio ad absurdum, and yet you remain tried and true, tied to an argument that not only suffers such a fate, but more importantly it just doesn't have what it takes to take account of pre and/or non-linguistic mental ongoings.

    You don't want to call pre and/or non-linguistic mental ongoings "belief"? Fine by me. You want to continue to believe these things. Fine by me.

    You want to provide an example of anything meaningful that does not consist entirely of an agent drawing mental correlations between things?

    All senses of both terms "thought" and "belief" consist entirely of mental correlations drawn between things. If you agree, I suggest you follow along and object to what you disagree upon. If you want me to continue to criticize your usage of the term "belief", then either you're not understanding the faults being shown, or your conviction outweighs overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    Jack's belief cannot contain the name we place upon toasters. Our report of Jack's belief can. Jack can be said to have belief about the toaster.

    Belief such as Jack's is formed each and every time an agent is chasing something which hides behind the toaster. An everyday occurrence. So, there are cases of non-linguistic agents' forming and/or having thought and belief about that which is existentially dependent upon language. No language, no toasters.

    But calculus... that is also existentially dependent upon language, and a non-linguistic agents' mental correlations cannot possibly contain and/or have any basis whatsoever in calculus.

    So, some things that are existentially dependent upon language can be an elemental constituent of non-linguistic mental ongoings. Other things, not so much. Here, we need a distinction of some sort in order to further discriminate.

    My report of Jack's belief is not equivalent to Jack's belief. My report needs only to draw the same or similar enough correlations to take proper account of Jack's correlations. If I accurately determine the content of the correlations being drawn in Jacks' mental faculty, I've offered a true report that is not attributing propositional content to Jack's mental ongoings.
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    What type of experiment would it take to verify this account?
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    I'm telling you that a properly nurtured and/or cultivated agent can and will draw mental correlations between things of our own choosing.
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    These things become significant to the agent via drawing correlations between those things and/or themselves.
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    Meaning is prior to language. Meaningful mental ongoings are prior to language. True mental ongoings are prior to language. It makes perfect sense to say neither meaning nor truth are existentially dependent upon language.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.3k
    What I am at pains to point out is that neither you nor I make the rules governing all mental ongoings.creativesoul

    I believe in free will. Therefore I assert that there is no such thing as the rules governing mental ongoings. Until you prove determinism, your pain is in vain. So go ahead, dismiss reality as semantic twaddle and suffer alone.

    The premise that belief consists of mental ongoings does not validate your conclusion that mental ongoings consist of belief.
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    All examples of "thought" and "belief" consist of an agent drawing mental correlations between things. All examples of meaning consist of an agent drawing correlations between things. All thought and belief is meaningful. All correlation presupposes the existence of it's own content, regardless of later qualification('real', 'imagined', or otherwise). That is the presupposition of truth(as correspondence to fact/reality) that is inherent to all belief.

    When an agent touches fire it learns that fire causes pain by virtue of drawing a causal connection between the touching and the pain that follows. That mental correlation is the agent thinking/believing that the fire cause the pain. The fire becomes meaningful to the agent as a result of this. The agent's thought/belief is true.

    In Witt's view, the agent's belief cannot be justified, nor need it be for the behaviour is the end of justificatory regress. I do not think that Witt would admit that the agent knows that touching fire causes pain, and rightly so, for such knowledge is empirical and as such it requires justification, and the agent is incapable of reporting upon it's own belief.

    On my view, that's all bound up in yet another flaw. A consequence borne of conflating a report of belief with belief. I think it's absurd to hold that knowing touching fire causes pain requires offering an account of it. All knowing that requires is an agent capable of touching fire, feeling pain, and connecting the two.

    While the justification requirement makes sense when it comes to knowledge claims, it is a fatal flaw in one's position if s/he holds that making a claim is necessary for having knowledge. JTB came as a means to discriminate between those who claim to know something and those who can provide the ground for such claims.

    The ground ends. The regress ends. It all begins at getting burned.
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