• Janus
    6.1k
    What do you mean by "perceptual differences"?Metaphysician Undercover

    Differences that are perceived, obviously. My idea of matter is not unconventional. Matter is what is perceived. It is not precisely the same idea as 'the physical'. Are you claiming that there is formless matter or matterless form?

    How do you deal with colour differences when they are not differences of form?
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.8k
    Differences that are perceived, obviously.Janus

    So if individual differences are perceived, doesn't this require a mind to perceive them? Aren't you just confirming what I've been arguing? The mind individuates these differences in the act of perception.

    My idea of matter is not unconventional. Matter is what is perceived.Janus

    No, matter is not what is perceived. We perceive the form that the matter has, shape, size, colour, etc.. These are properties, qualities. We assume matter as an ontological principle to support the notion that what we perceive is based in something real. To give our perceptions substance, we assume that there is matter underlying, supporting the things we perceive.. So matter is assumed, it is not perceived. If matter were perceived, you would be able to say what it looks like, tastes like, smells like, sounds like, or feels like. But we cannot say this about matter, because we do not perceive its existence, we just assume its existence.

    Are you claiming that there is formless matter or matterless form?Janus

    No, I'm not saying that.

    How do you deal with colour differences when they are not differences of form?Janus

    What do you mean? Colour is a property, therefore it is formal. We see colour differences, just like we see differences of shape, and even distances, size. The eyes are very useful, having many capacities, and capable of distinguishing different aspects of the form. Colour is just one aspect of the form of a thing. I think that if anyone tried to deny that differences of colour are differences of form, then that person would have a problem dealing with colour, not vise versa.
  • Janus
    6.1k


    Colour is dependent on the nature of a material (and the ambient light), not on the form it has. But then of course you could say the nature of the material is its form. And then we will just go around and around the boring circle of ambiguous definitions again.

    Form and material are inseparable, so we must perceive both material and form. The important point is that we recognize individual differences, and if we didn't we would not be able to tell one thing from another. Those differences or individual things that we are all recognizing all the time are not dependent on your mind or my mind, otherwise there would be no shared world unless our minds were connected in some telepathic way.

    If you can't see this, then we will have to agree to disagree because I have said as much as I am going to say on it.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.8k
    Colour is dependent on the nature of a material (and the ambient light), not on the form it has. But then of course you could say the nature of the material is its form. And then we will just go around and around the boring circle of ambiguous definitions again.Janus

    That's right, the nature of the material is it's form. That's why there is a difference between different molecules, and different molecules are responsible for different colours. It may appear like a case of going around and around in a boring circle, but really we're just getting to the bottom of this, and that appears to be necessary to rid you of your false beliefs.

    Form and material are inseparable, so we must perceive both material and form.Janus

    No, you're wrong here. Matter cannot exist without form, but the logic allows that form can exist without matter. So we cannot say that matter and form are inseparable, because it is quite possible, and the logic supports this, that independent form is prior to matter. When matter comes into existence, it must have a form, but this does not preclude the possibility that the form pre-exists the matter.

    When we perceive, what we perceive is the form of the thing. The matter stays with the thing, so we do not perceive it. We perceive a form. Consider seeing an object. We receive a form of the object within our minds, but the matter of the object stays with the object. We perceive a form, but we do not perceive the matter at all.

    The important point is that we recognize individual differences, and if we didn't we would not be able to tell one thing from another.Janus

    No, the important point, which you are completely missing, is that the "individual differences", are produced within the mind, they are creations of the perceiving mind. The senses are picking up information, data, or whatever you want to call it, they are sensing, and the mind is producing the "individual differences" which you claim are within the thing itself. That there are individual differences is a matter of interpretation.

    Those differences or individual things that we are all recognizing all the time are not dependent on your mind or my mind, otherwise there would be no shared world unless our minds were connected in some telepathic way.Janus

    I've explained to you already, numerous times, why this is an unsound argument. All that is required is that the mind has reason for individuating things in the way that it does, there is no need that the things of the world are actually individuated in this way. The mind often works with symbols, and the symbols represent, but the things represented do not have to be similar to the symbols. The mind understands what the word "water" means without the word being anywhere near like what water is. So the mind can individuate things in perception, and use these individuated things to understand reality, without these individuated things which are perceived (representations, images), being anything like the reality which they represent.

    If you can't see this, then we will have to agree to disagree because I have said as much as I am going to say on it.Janus

    Well I can't see it because it's an extremely unsound argument. You are arguing that if real things aren't exactly like the mind represents them, then we could not communicate. But it's very obvious that we communicate by representing things with symbols which are nothing like the things which are represented.

    So quite clearly we could very well represent the world as differences, and individuals, communicate with each other, and understand each other, and proceed toward a limited understanding of reality, when reality does not even consist of differences and individuals at all. This is evident from the fact that we can represent the world with words, communicate and understand each other, and proceed toward a limited understanding of reality, when the reality which we are describing doesn't even consist of words or anything like words at all. The thing being represented (the world) doesn't have to be anything like the representation (the symbol). So the fact that we represent the world as individual differences and we develop an understanding of the world in this way, does not necessitate that the world consists of individual differences. Otherwise you might as well argue that the world consists of words.
  • Janus
    6.1k
    All that is required is that the mind has reason for individuating things in the way that it does,Metaphysician Undercover

    How could the mind have "reasons for individuating things in the way it does" if there were no differences independent of the mind?

    So the fact that we represent the world as individual differences and we develop an understanding of the world in this way, does not necessitate that the world consists of individual differences. Otherwise you might as well argue that the world consists of words.Metaphysician Undercover

    This is nonsensical to me; perceptual differences do not consist in words. Anyway I really think this conversation has run its course. Feel free to have the last word, though. :wink:
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.8k
    How could the mind have "reasons for individuating things in the way it does" if there were no differences independent of the mind?Janus

    We went through this already. The reason is not necessarily difference. There is no difference between here and there, yet we individuate these as different.
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