• Metaphysician Undercover
    3.7k
    Is not he "recognition of things" entirely relational .. An aware subject in relation to phenomenal objects?snowleopard

    No, I don't agree. You are simply assigning to the "recognition of things", a relational existence. You are simply assuming, falsely concluding, or something along those lines, that a recognition of things is necessarily a subject in relation to objects, but this need not be the case. The recognition of oneself, as a thing, is not a relation. If you posit the recognition of oneself as a relation, then oneself is not an identified thing, but a relation between two distinct things. But that's contradictory to say oneself is two distinct things And if oneself is one identified thing, then it is one and the same thing, and this is not a relation, it is the simple recognition of a thing.

    Yes, I feel it does support it. But then the argument falls apart by not solving the problem. It just adds one more turtle under the current unexplained turtle pile, and violates the spirit of the argument by asserting that no more turtles are needed. If that is a valid option, no new turtle is needed. You just declare the bottom one not to need anything to stand on just like you did with the God turtle.noAxioms

    I don't see what you mean by "not solving the problem". Nor do I get the turtle reference. The assumption is "that there is something". The cosmological argument demonstrates that from this assumption it is impossible that there ever was nothing. Therefore the question, why is there something rather than nothing, is solved, it is because it is impossible that there is nothing. But this raises the question of why is it not "possible" that there is nothing

    So we can proceed, and replace "nothing" with "the potential for something", or the simple possibility for something. This appears to be a more rational question because we observe that prior to the existence of anything there is the potential, or possibility, for that thing. So to avoid an infinite regress (perhaps this is the turtle reference), we might assume a time when there was the potential for things, but no actual things. This is what the cosmological argument denies. If at one time, there was the potential for things, with no actual things, no actual things could ever come into existence from that potential because any potential requires something actual to actualize it. This is what is referred to as the necessary actuality which is prior to all contingent things.
  • snowleopard
    128
    And if oneself is one identified thing, then it is one and the same thing, and this is not a relation, it is the simple recognition of a thing.Metaphysician Undercover

    No, what I am is not a thing at all. There's awareness ... There's the contents of awareness ... but there's no actual boundary and no 'out there.' So it does seem that any relation is dependent upon an apparent duality. Could this be what the mystics refer to as the spell of maya, for the sake of the compelling dream of relational experience? The One is the many ... The many are the One ... Quite amazing!
  • noAxioms
    508
    <These:> Wat?Sapientia
    I am going to fall back to my square again. I seem to be on my own. The view must be faulty if nobody seems to grasp what I'm trying to describe.

    I think a relation requires things that are related, and the recognition of the things is prior to the recognition of the relations. — Metaphysician Undercover
    The sides of a square are parallel, a relation. That relation does not make the square exist. I'm not claiming relation prior to existence. But one side of a square exists (existential quantification, not a designation of ontology) in relation to the other sides and to the angles. This doesn't mean any of it has objective existence.

    Assuming that you must exist in order to argue, is not 'begging anything' and is not 'bias'. It's a simple statement of fact and not a matter for debate. — Wayfarer
    A different premise, not fact.

    If things need other things to exist and those things are defined by their relationships with other things, why would relationships themselves be excempt from this rule? Wouldn't relationships need the existence of non-relationships to exist as relationships?
    — Harry Hindu
    They don't need other things to exist since they don't exist. The structure simply has these relations, and those relations are independent of the existence of the structure. — noAxioms

    Well, the wording there wasn't my best effort. I'm not claiming ontological existence of anything, or of the relations. The opposite sides of a square have a relation of being parallel. That doesn't make the square exist or the relation exist. It means that squares have that property. If only existent squares have that property, then either platonic existence is necessarily true, or the opposite sides of squares are not parallel because there are no actual squares, only abstractions/concepts, and concepts don't have sides that can be said to be parallel.

    Similar, the moon and I stand in relation to each other, and so I say it exists in relation to me, but that is not a declaration of absolute ontology. Yes, the view is a form of ontological nihilism, but I've read up on nihilism, and it is something else.
  • noAxioms
    508
    Similar, the moon and I stand in relation to each other, and so I say it exists in relation to me, but that is not a declaration of absolute ontology. Yes, the view is a form of ontological nihilism, but I've read up on nihilism, and it is something else.noAxioms

    I think I'm also saying that existence of things is not necessary for the experience of those things. Only a relationship between the experiencer and the experienced.
    — noAxioms

    This is confusing. Are you sure you mean what you just said? How can the experience be of those things, if those things don't exist? If a unicorn doesn't exist, then I can't experience it. I can experience something resembling a unicorn, but I can't experience a unicorn.
    Sapientia
    I just quoted what I just posted above. I am not being careful with my wording. I say the moon exists, but formally I say it exists only in relation to me. We're part of the same structure.

    So as to what I said in the bit you quote there, I'm saying the absolute (objective) existence of things is not necessary for the experience of those things. But my experience depends on there being a relation between me and the thing, meaning both need to be part of the same structure. So one side of a square could experience its neighbor if it was the sort of thing with enough complexity to experience something, which it isn't. A square isn't even a temporal structure, and I cannot imagine experience in a structure without process.

    So I relate to a horse because we're both parts of the structure, with sufficient interaction for there to be experience. The unicorn is an imagination, and that imagination is part of the physical process that is part of the same structure as me. So I relate to my imaginations. The imaginations exist to me, and the unicorn is one of them. Different relation than the one I have with the horse where the interaction is through external senses. Yes, you said it. You experience something resembling a unicorn, but it is an imagination, not a physical object like the horse.
    I can speak of a horse or unicorn interchangeably. You can interpret that as speaking of the concept of either of these things, or of an actual horse or unicorn, despite the lack of relation of "empirically observable" between people and the unicorn.
  • Syednoorhussain
    1
    "why is there something instead of nothing"
    What an amazing question. I really used to ponder over it. The great presocratic Parminedes answers it. There can be no such thing as nothingness. There's only beingness. Once we realize 'why something exists instead of something' .next step is to analyze is the nature of nothingness and existence. Nothingness cannot be. Because what is not IS . That is a contradiction. Neither can nothingness can be a predicate. Unicorn don't exist. Is a contradiction. Because even by uttering the word 'unicorn' we ascribe a certain ontological status to it .even if it is in our minds. It has certain properties . A certain form. So when we say unicorns don't exist.So logically what we are saying is. "a unicorn(a horse with wings) is not a horse with wings." Because it is not. Whole Eleatic philosophy is based on rejection of nothingness. Which results in a logical necessity for things to just exist.
  • noAxioms
    508
    That can be better put logically, as folows: if there exists a square, then it is such that its opposite sides are parallel.Sapientia
    It not worded that way in the relational view, and I've never seen in worded that way anywhere. It seems weak, since there are no actual squares (since there are no actual line segments or planar objects for that matter. There can be no truth to the statement above, lacking anything real to give any weight to the right side of the statement. I might have well said that if there exists a square, then it is round. That isn't false since there are no squares outside of platonism. Hence my comment that platonism would be necessarily true, but nobody uses this line of reasoning to prove platonism.

    For purposes of this discussion, the relational stance says that opposite sides of squares are parallel, an ontology-independent property of parallelograms, and squares are parallelograms.
  • Harry Hindu
    1.1k
    Well, the wording there wasn't my best effort. I'm not claiming ontological existence of anything, or of the relations. The opposite sides of a square have a relation of being parallel. That doesn't make the square exist or the relation exist. It means that squares have that property. If only existent squares have that property, then either platonic existence is necessarily true, or the opposite sides of squares are not parallel because there are no actual squares, only abstractions/concepts, and concepts don't have sides that can be said to be parallel.

    Similar, the moon and I stand in relation to each other, and so I say it exists in relation to me, but that is not a declaration of absolute ontology. Yes, the view is a form of ontological nihilism, but I've read up on nihilism, and it is something else.
    noAxioms
    If you are not claiming the ontological existence of anything, then what are you actually saying? You are not saying anything interesting or meaningful.
    Are you describing a state-of-affairs that exists, or no? Are we actually having this conversation or no?
  • snowleopard
    128
    Similar, the moon and I stand in relation to each other, and so I say it exists in relation to menoAxioms

    Really, when it comes down to it, all of these conscious machinations are doing nothing to address the 'hard problem' -- i.e. what is consciousness? What is the aware 'I'-ness which is aware of the moon, whatever the moon may be in essence, Platonic forms, mathematical structures, or otherwise? Absent any explanation, why should one adopt this metaphysical stance over physicalism? Physicalism at least has a theory of consciousness, however incomplete or inadequate it may currently be.
  • Michael
    6k
    How can the experience be of those things, if those things don't exist? If no unicorns exist, then I can't have an experience of a unicorn. I can experience something resembling a unicorn, but I can't experience a unicorn. How could I ever encounter one?Sapientia

    I see a white and gold dress. You see a black and blue dress. But we're both looking at the same thing. One can say that the object of perception is determined by the quality of the experience and not by the external stimulus.

    Just as a painting is of a unicorn, even though there isn't a unicorn, the experience is of a unicorn, even though there isn't a unicorn.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    3.7k
    No, what I am is not a thing at all. There's awareness ... There's the contents of awareness ... but there's no actual boundary and no 'out there.' So it does seem that any relation is dependent upon an apparent duality.snowleopard

    So you have relations without boundaries, how?

    The sides of a square are parallel, a relation. That relation does not make the square exist. I'm not claiming relation prior to existence. But one side of a square exists (existential quantification, not a designation of ontology) in relation to the other sides and to the angles. This doesn't mean any of it has objective existence.noAxioms

    OK, I'll see if I can make sense of this. You are assuming "a square", that is your premise. Now you are talking about the sides of that square. It is all in your mind, the square and the sides, so you say that it has no objective existence. How do you get to the point of talking about things outside of the mind?

    Similar, the moon and I stand in relation to each other, and so I say it exists in relation to me, but that is not a declaration of absolute ontology. Yes, the view is a form of ontological nihilism, but I've read up on nihilism, and it is something else.noAxioms

    Now you are talking about the moon. Aren't you assuming that the moon has some sort of existence, before you can talk about a relation between you and the moon?

    just quoted what I just posted above. I am not being careful with my wording. I say the moon exists, but formally I say it exists only in relation to me. We're part of the same structure.noAxioms

    Aren't you assuming the existence of this thing, the "structure", in order to make this claim of relations? I still don't see how you get to the point of saying that any of this is outside your mind. The "structure", the "relations", the "moon", they are all just in your mind. How would you give reality to this "structure" if you do not assume that it is a thing outside your mind?
  • snowleopard
    128
    So you have relations without boundaries, how?Metaphysician Undercover

    You seem to have overlooked the word 'apparent' -- which I did italicize for a reason, but perhaps the 'bold' will help too -- or I should have said 'seeming.' You also seem to have overlooked the part about "the compelling dream of relational experience." ... In other words an apparency.
  • Harry Hindu
    1.1k
    I see a white and gold dress. You see a black and blue dress. But we're both looking at the same thing. One can say that the object of perception is determined by the quality of the experience and not by the external stimulus.Michael
    One could also say that the state of the sensory organs and the brain, along with the state of the object being perceived by said sensory organs, help determine what is experienced.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    3.7k

    I don't get you. You said "there's no actual boundary". You're clearly not talking about apparent boundaries, you're talking about actual boundaries.
  • noAxioms
    508
    If you are not claiming the ontological existence of anything, then what are you actually saying? You are not saying anything interesting or meaningful.
    Are you describing a state-of-affairs that exists, or no? Are we actually having this conversation or no?
    Harry Hindu
    We are having this conversation since we stand in relation to each other, through this forum as well as other means. That is what ontology is in the relational view. The question is not "does A exist?", but rather "does A exist to B". You among others are reaching for non-relational assumptions. So the universe exists to me and you, and that means we can have this conversation.
  • noAxioms
    508
    Really, when it comes down to it, all of these conscious machinations are doing nothing to address the 'hard problem' -- i.e. what is consciousness?snowleopard
    Not a consciousness thing. The moon stands in relation to my mailbox, so each exists to the other, despite neither having awareness of each other.
  • snowleopard
    128
    Well actually I referred to an apparent or seeming duality. In any case, how is saying 'there is no actual boundary' different from saying that any boundary is an apparency, or a seeming boundary? In other words it is not what it appears to be. Perhaps we're running into some issue of semantics here.
  • noAxioms
    508
    OK, I'll see if I can make sense of this. You are assuming "a square", that is your premise. Now you are talking about the sides of that square. It is all in your mind, the square and the sides, so you say that it has no objective existenceMetaphysician Undercover
    Not talking about a square in my mind. Talking about any square, the mathematical form itself, and not merely the concept of it, which would require a relation with a conceiver.
  • snowleopard
    128
    The moon stands in relation to my mailbox, so each exists to the other, despite neither having awareness of each other.noAxioms

    Again, this offers no explanation or theory of conscious awareness/experience whatsoever, so isn't of much interest to me -- and indeed does feel quite nihilistic. But since it is of interest to you, then carry on. :)
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    3.7k
    Perhaps we're running into some issue of semantics here.snowleopard

    No we're going around in circles. You claimed that the recognition of things is entirely relational. I claimed that the recognition of myself as a thing is not relational. You said boundaries are unreal, so I asked how do you have relations without boundaries. Now you seem to be claiming that both of these, things, and relations, are unreal. Is that your point?

    Not talking about a square in my mind. Talking about any square, the mathematical form itself, and not merely the concept of it, which would require a relation with a conceiver.noAxioms

    Wait a minute, what are you talking about, "a square" or "any square". The former is a particular square, the latter is a general idea allowing for the possibility of a particular. Am I correct that you are assuming a Platonic Form, "the mathematical form itself"? Doesn't this mathematical form exist as an eternal object?
  • Harry Hindu
    1.1k
    But each of us existed prior to our conversation. In order for our relationship to exist, we must exist prior to our conversation. Our conversation is a relationship, but not one that is necessary for each of our existence.

    The universe existed prior to any relationship. If not then, it needs a relationship with a non-universe to exist. Again what keeps you from falling into the bottomless pit of an infinite regress? Why does the universe not need something else in relation to it to say that it exists?
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