• snowleopard
    128
    Well no, if you were to recall accurately I asked: "Is not the 'recognition of things' entirely relational?" -- rather than making a claim -- to which you answered ''no', and which I actually found to be a useful answer. So I'm not sure there is really much conflict here.

    Anyway, I'll try to clarify some more. I don't deduce any actual duality, or boundaries, or relational experience, but nonetheless experience the seeming appearance of such, however ostensible that experience may be. So, for example, I experience a boundary between the edge of the black text on this screen, in contrast to the whiteness of the screen, while still knowing that there is no actual boundary, which allows for some meaning to be read into that text, according to some agreed upon rules of language, without which the seeming relational experience of this exchange of information would not be possible. And however much I can philosophically deny that relational experience, it is nonetheless a 'real' experience, insofar as it manifests as this meaningful expression of words we're apparently sharing. Likewise, when I experience a nightmare, however unreal it may be, it is still 'really' meaningful, and scares the crap out of me. As such, even any seeming boundary between 'real' and 'unreal' can be dispelled.
  • Michael
    6.8k
    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.Harry Hindu

    I think we're using "determine" in two different ways. You mean it in the causal sense, whereas I meant it in the empirical sense.
  • Harry Hindu
    1.2k
    What's the difference? Try having an experience without eyes and a brain.
  • Michael
    6.8k
    What's the difference?Harry Hindu

    It's the difference between saying that the painting is of a unicorn because of the artist and the pattern of paint (causal) and saying that the painting is of a unicorn because of the way it looks (empirical).

    Try having an experience without eyes and a brain.

    I don't understand how this relates to my point, which is that we can see things that aren't really there and that we can look at the same thing but see different things (e.g. with the dress example).
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4k
    So, for example, I experience a boundary between the edge of the black text on this screen, in contrast to the whiteness of the screen, while still knowing that there is no actual boundary...snowleopard

    So the question is, what do you base this knowledge on, this "knowing that there is no actual boundary"? You perceive a boundary through sensation, but you claim that you cannot deduce a boundary. So your deductions are incapable of justifying your perceptions. But just because you cannot deduce a boundary, this does not justify the claim that you know that there is no boundary.

    One assumption is that there is boundaries, and this is firmly supported by sensation. The other assumption is that there are no boundaries, and this is only supported by your inability to deduce their existence. However, if we start with appropriate premises we can easily deduce the existence of boundaries. We can premise that there are differences, and that difference requires a separation between one and the other, and that separation requires a boundary. It is not hard to deduce the existence of boundaries. So what could possibly support this "knowing that there is no actual boundary"?
  • snowleopard
    128
    You perceive a boundary through sensation, but you claim that you cannot deduce a boundary.Metaphysician Undercover

    Once again there is some misconstruing, and a misquotation. I'm pointing out the difference between logical deduction and felt experience. I said that 'I don't deduce that there is any actual boundary.' In other words, I don't arrive at by reason, or draw as a logical conclusion that there is a 'real' actual boundary. Rather that is my felt experience, however ostensible that experience may be. Just as I don't arrive at by reason, or draw as a logical conclusion that the sun really descends beyond the horizon, but nonetheless that is my felt experience, despite knowing full well that it is an optical illusion based of the relativity of motion, since I understand that I am moving away from the sun on a rotating planet into the darkness of its shadow. Likewise, it is my felt experience that there seems to be boundaries and dualities, despite knowing that they are only an apparency.
  • fdrake
    1.1k
    A lot less words than previously, but essentially the same meaning.

    Is so surprising that whether stuff exists is arbitrary when existence is embedded in the abstract concept of relation and relativised to it? Nah. Existence being arbitrary isn't really a feature of reality, it's a feature of how you've set up the avenues for questioning about it.

    Consider when ontology is characterised solely by answering 'what is there' questions; and when it doesn't matter if there is anything in terms of our understanding of things. Of course ontology becomes a hollow discipline and 'true inquiry'; whatever is left of accounting for how things are in the general sense after the OP's levelling of ontology to a catalogue of existents; is concerned with what is stipulated to be of interest and independent of 'what is there' questions.

    And this is a bit funny, because an ontology is usually concerned precisely with the relations between things. Man and being, substance and God, substance and mode, difference and trace, primary and secondary qualities, individual and community, history and idea...

    It's like you've said 'assume studying language is only about studying when red is red, therefore linguistics is meaningless'. Reading nothing but your questioning framework off of the world it has provided the logical syntax for!
  • noAxioms
    581
    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?Metaphysician Undercover
    Going to need more time with this one. I think the question is important, but most of Platonic views are ones of realism, not relativism. Nothing exists as an external object, so no 'is real', but only 'is real to...'.

    Squares are not just that. There is pure mathematical square, which has fewer properties than unit-square, or square in a coordinate system. There is the square cross section of a tetrahedron. All these make the square a part of a larger structure, and thus not the structure itself.
    I don't think a square is necessarily a particular, but the cross section is is a particular cross section of the tetrahedron. So 'particular' itself seem to be a relation. The overall structure seems not to be a particular since there is nothing with which it has that relationship.
  • noAxioms
    581
    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.Harry Hindu
    Not following this. Are you talking about temporal existence? For that, the conversation requires sufficient proximity and simultaneous overlap of existence in spacetime to allow interaction. The square isn't a temporal structure, so I don't think this is what you mean.
    But the relational view has no un-relational existence, so nothing can depend on that in order for there to be relations within the structure.
  • Sapientia
    5.6k
    It's not worded that way in the relational view, and I've never seen it 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.
    noAxioms

    The wording ("there exists", "such that") is associated with first-order logic, but I don't think I got it quite right. I'm a novice with respect to formal logic. I'm not sure whether propositional logic can handle existence, or whether it's the best language for handling it, and likewise with regard to predicates, otherwise maybe it could be made into something like a simple conditional statement:

    A⇒B

    If A, then B

    If there's a square, then it's opposite sides are parallel.


    I wasn't quite sure how best to say something like that in first-order logic, but I suppose one could say something like:

    ∃x ∈ A(x) ∧ B(x)⇒C(x)

    There exists an x, such that if x is A, and x is B, then x is C.

    There exists a thing, such that if it's a shape, and it's a square, then it has parallel opposite sides.


    Anyway, I think that wording it that way is better, if one wanted to, say, form an argument that squares don't actually exist, or that squares don't actually exist as such.
  • Sapientia
    5.6k
    I see a white and gold dress. You see a black and blue dress.Michael

    Ah, but do we, though? That is the question! :grin:

    But we're both looking at the same thing.Michael

    Yes.

    One can say that the object of perception is determined by the quality of the experience and not by the external stimulus.Michael

    Yes, one can say that. Whether or not one should do so is another question.

    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.Michael

    Hmm... seems to make sense... on the face of it... to some extent...

    But I'm wary that it might cause problems or not withstand examination/scrutiny.

    As the great Admiral said, "It's a trap!". :wink:
  • noAxioms
    581
    The wording ("there exists", "such that") is associated with first-order logicSapientia
    That is exactly what 'existential quantification' means. It is not an assertion of the realism of the thing in question. But in the relational view, perhaps that is all there is.

    Anyway, I want to explore this point about objects needing to be real for them to have properties and relations. Take the mandelbrot set. That set cannot be instantiated by any means known. We can sample it a bit and print pretty pictures of the result of that, but it is just a sampling, not the set itself. So how can it be said that it has properties like being everywhere connected?
  • Sapientia
    5.6k
    Anyway, I want to explore this point about objects needing to be real for them to have properties and relations. Take the mandelbrot set. That set cannot be instantiated by any means known. We can sample it a bit and print pretty pictures of the result of that, but it is just a sampling, not the set itself. So how can it be said that it has properties like being everywhere connected?noAxioms

    Well, it seems to me that it would make sense to start by questioning what kind of thing the Mandelbrot set is. You seem to suggest above that it's an object. But is it? What makes it an object, rather than anything else?
  • noAxioms
    581
    Well, it seems to me that it would make sense to start by questioning what kind of thing the mandelbrot set is. You seem to suggest above that it's an object. But is it? What makes it an object, rather than anything else?Sapientia
    Not a physical object. I didn't use the word. It is a mathematical structure, one that can be referenced but not really instantiated. Again, I'm not talking about our awareness of the structure (it's concept), but about the structure. Only the latter has that property of being connected. The concept only has an awareness of that property.

    I can draw a crude depiction of the set the same way I can draw a crude square. Neither of them has the properties we've been discussing, but it's all the instantiation either is likely to have.
  • Sapientia
    5.6k
    Not a physical object. I didn't use the word. It is a mathematical structure, one that can be referenced but not really instantiated. Again, I'm not talking about our awareness of the structure (it's concept), but about the structure. Only the latter has that property of being connected. The concept only has an awareness of that property.

    I can draw a crude depiction of the set the same way I can draw a crude square. Neither of them has the properties we've been discussing, but it's all the instantiation either is likely to have.
    noAxioms

    I used the word, "object", as you did. I said nothing of physical objects. You said that you want to explore this point about objects needing to be real for them to have properties and relations, and, in relation to this, you seemed to be taking the Mandelbrot set as an example of an object. You called it a mathematical structure. But, is that what you're saying it is more specifically, or is that what you're saying it is instead of an object?

    Anyway, what I'm interested in, is what the consequences of committing to the alternative stance would be. That is, if objects don't need to be real to have properties and relations, then what does that entail? Anything of significance? On the face of it, it seems to be right to say, for example, that a property of a unicorn is that it has a horn, or that a property of the Mandelbrot set is that it is complex or contains numbers. But you ask how it is that things like unicorns, which are not real, can have properties. That's a good question. There does seem to be something counterintuitive about that. I'm going to give this encyclopaedia entry on nonexistent objects a read, as I think that it relates.

    By the way, is the present king of France bald?
  • noAxioms
    581
    I used the word, "object", as you did. I said nothing of physical objects.Sapientia
    Ah yes, so I did. And we're not using the word to mean physical objects.

    You said that you want to explore this point about objects needing to be real for them to have properties and relations, and, in relation to this, you seemed to be taking the Mandelbrot set as an example of an object. You are also calling it a mathematical structure. But, is the latter what you're saying it is specifically, or is it what you're saying it is instead of an object?
    I admit that the word has connotations of being a member of something bigger. Earth is an object, but the universe isn't really thought of that way, unless in context of something larger like a god and his creation-object that he puts on the shelf next to his five other ones. So I suppose it was careless language use since those connotations are not intended. A side of a square is an object of sorts more than is the structure that is the square that is not in a larger context like a coordinate system.

    Anyway, what I'm interested in, is what the consequences of committing to the alternative stance would be. That is, if objects don't need to be real to have properties and relations, then what does that entail? Anything of significance?
    Well the OP mentioned that it removes the perplexing question of how existence comes to exist. I can't say how it was created since that puts existence inside the larger context of time, reducing it to an 'object'. Objects in our universe get created. The concept is confined to the rules here.

    So committing to the alternative stance eliminates the designation of 'is real', which only serves its own purpose. If the universe is real, the stuff in it is also real, but if it doesn't need to be real, then we don't either. It's like presentism's assertion of a real slice of spacetime (events not on that slice are not real) that changes position over a different sort of time than what clocks and other physical processes measure. While intuitive, it is completely undetectable and explains nothing, and there is no way to measure the pace of it. Seems superfluous. So around a century ago when all this was realized, they proposed that it could be eliminated without empirical difference, and eternalism was the result. I'm trying to see if that can be done with 'is real' in general since it seems to serve only its own purpose but doesn't really add anything.

    On the face of it, it seems to be right to say, for example, that a property of a unicorn is that it has a horn, or that a property of the Mandelbrot set is that it is complex or contains numbers. But you ask how it is that things like unicorns, which are not real, can have properties. That's a good question. There does seem to be something counterintuitive about that. I'm going to give this encyclopaedia entry on nonexistent objects a read, as I think that it relates.
    Well thank you for giving it fair consideration. Most of the responses have been knee-jerk protests based on assumptions of realist views. And hey, I identified as a realist for some time, but I'm learning not to identify as anything, because that just closes you off to further exploration. There are few stances I've not given fair consideration. I don't think idealism is incompatible with physicalism. Both are relational views, but relative to different things. Mine is sort of a generalization, but minus a fundamental core of reality.
    So it is a bit nihilist I guess, but not the usual sort. I don't think there are no morals or that life is meaningless, but those are what pops up under nihilism.

    Surely I'm not the first to consider all this. It must have a name and maybe an article somewhere.
  • Mr Bee
    164
    Anyway, what I'm interested in, is what the consequences of committing to the alternative stance would be. That is, if objects don't need to be real to have properties and relations, then what does that entail? Anything of significance?Sapientia

    I think a more specific question relevant to this thread is what significance such a view would have on arguments such as the Cogito. Would the strength of that argument be affected if one does not take relations to be existence-entailing? @noAxioms apparently seems to be suggesting that it does (at least from what I've read so far). As for myself, I'm not sure I see how they are related, but I just started to look into it so I'll have to think about it some more.
  • Harry Hindu
    1.2k
    Your example is inappropriate. The color of the dress isn't equivalent to seeing a unicorn in a blotch of paint. Apples and oranges. I'm talking about color, you are talking about subjective interpretations after the fact of the colors presenting themselves in a certain way. You can choose to see a blotch of paint or see a unicorn. You cannot control the colors you see on the dress because it is already determined by the fabric of the dress and the structure of your eye and its cones and rods.
  • Harry Hindu
    1.2k
    Is your existence dependent upon the existence of our conversation?

    What is the difference between the relationship of the Moon and a mailbox and the moon and yourself? Doesn't the differences lie in the attributes that make up the objects of those relationships?

    And you keep cherry-picking my post, ignoring the point I keep making about the universal structure itself needing a relationship with something else in order for it to exist. How do you prevent yourself from falling into an infinite regress?
  • Harry Hindu
    1.2k
    I admit that the word has connotations of being a member of something bigger. Earth is an object, but the universe isn't really thought of that way, unless in context of something larger like a god and his creation-object that he puts on the shelf next to his five other ones.noAxioms
    ..or a multiverse.

    Surely I'm not the first to consider all this. It must have a name and maybe an article somewhere.noAxioms

    Process philosophy?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q6cDp0C-I8

    "The universe is a set of relationships between relationships, between relationships - all of which change over time. None of these relationships is ever static."
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.