• Dfpolis
    Creation ex nihilo means a creation out of nothing or from nothing. This is absurd.

    Existence making something, namely that which is beyond itself (objectivity) is absolutely impossible for such a subjectivity could not even have the representation of an objectivity, much less be affected with the will to create it.
    Blue Lux

    You will have to do better. The claim of absurdity is not showing logical impossibility.

    If existence is a subject, it can only be such in relationship to itself as object -- thus knowing objectivity. In understanding its own capabilities, it understands its power to share existence.
  • Blue Lux
    Yes, this is what Descartes has provided. However. Existence is not a subject. It doesn't seem to me that it is.

    The only subject of Descartes would be consciousness. But consciousness is not existence. Existence is being and being preceeds essence. Consciousness is always consciousness of something it is not. Consciousness of consciousness is simply consciousness. There need not be an idea ideae of this. This is due to the illusion of the primacy of knowledge
  • Dfpolis
    If you go to a university library, you can look at the journals and see which ones have similar articles. Then look up the submission and format guidelines for the ones that interest you. If one rejects your article, make the improvements they suggest, and resubmit it, or submit it to another.
  • Dfpolis
    Existence is not a subject. It doesn't seem to me that it is.Blue Lux

    i took the following as granting subjectivity:
    Existence making something, namely that which is beyond itself (objectivity) is absolutely impossible for such a subjectivity could not even have the representation of an objectivity,Blue Lux

    If Existence is not limited by essence, it can do any logically possible thing, including knowing itself -- which means it is a subject.
  • Blue Lux
    This is something I struggle with philosophically; the primacy of knowledge in terms of existence and consciousness. Sartre basically wrote a huge book about this called Being and Nothingness. But anyway... I still have my own questions and I am not the type to just regurgitate or resort to dogma.

    What existentialism has delimited so far for an understanding of human existence is that consciousness is a type of being, but is separate from just any type of being, like that of the phone I am typing on. There is a difference between the being that has being as a question and the being that being would question. It seems the two are tied together intrinsically, but this connection or entanglement is not transparent.

    Philosophical thought up until now, I think, takes for granted the conclusions made by Descartes about the subject, and furthermore about objectivity. There is this contention that consciousness is a subject and the world is outside of consciousness as object. This seems obvious. It seems that when I say something, for instance, "I am," 'I' am the subject that is predicated, determined by an existence, as if existence is a predicate. Kant has shown this is illusory. Being is not a predicate: being is the foundation of such a statement and is not a quality that one can have or lack. Existence is the base upon which we found knowledge of anything. Knowledge itself is not prior, and knowledge cannot speak in terms of being as a quality or predicate.

    Consciousness is a sort of being, but it is not phenomenal. It is transphenomenal (Sartre). This is to say that consciousness is what it is not and is not what it is. Consciousness is what it is conscious of; however, it always escapes itself. It is not exhausted in the contemplation of an object so to be absorbed into that object to become a thing in itself. Consciousness is not a thing. The objects of consciousness, furthermore, are 'things,' but what makes a thing a thing? How is there something finite and singular that one can be aware of instead of simply everything? "Nothing is finite without an infinite reference point." This infinite reference point is consciousness.

    Consciousness is 'founded' upon nothingness, and only upon this foundation can anything be. This is why we ask the question of why anything exists when it doesn't seem to have to exist, because consciousness, this transphenomenal being of 'the subject', is not unless it is (of) something it is not.

    This is why Husserl's Intentionality is so significant. Because this prior problem of Descartes, this irreconcilable dualism of subject and object is at base an illusion. The two are one. However, another problem materializes--another dualism... That of the finite and the infinite.

    Knowledge of something is inevitably infinite. One can not absolutely know an object so to be that object. This is why the primacy of knowledge is an illusion. All that we know is nothing (Socrates). This is not to say that we do not know anything, but that we know the Nothingness that is the foundation of our being so to have a conception of what we are not. This is the interpretation.

    So what are we if there is no absolute subject? Are we nothing? Then what of the personality? What of this reference of knowledge in that 'I know something' or "Know thyself?"

    Is, aside, the result of this a faith in monism? I do not believe so, because there is again the dualism of the finite and the infinite. In knowing thyself or knowing anything it seems that an ascertaining of infinity is essential. But this infinity is not the noumena. The essence of something is ascertained. The appearance of something does not hide the reality of that thing. It shows the series of its appearances: it is in itself an infinite series of appearances, contained finitely within an appearance. One can ascertain something, and thus apprehend its essence, which is its existence. The essence of existence is existence.

    We are indeed 'something,' but this something is not a subject that is active or passive. It is beyond this activity or passivity, for the active and the passive is fundamentally athropomorphic. Our being is not something active or passive, the result of something or its own cause. It is uncreated, to be established in our own experience and with our own experience, aside from some sort of ideal of what we are that could possibly be proven with a statement... Which is precisely what Descartes wished to do... Found being upon the primacy of knowledge. The opposite is the case.

    There is a facticity of human existence. Existence does not mean anthropomorphic existence. It is the existence of being, which is clearly not limited to what is human or 'consciousness.' The essence of consciousness is existence and it is in a sense capable of being anything it is (of). We cannot do any possible thing because of our facticity. But existence, that is, the existence of everything can do any possible thing, but only if it can. For is it not true that what can happen will happen?
  • Blue Lux

    There is a facticity of human existence. Existence does not mean anthropomorphic existence. It is the existence of being, which is clearly not limited to what is human or 'consciousness.' The essence of consciousness is existence and it is in a sense capable of being anything it is (of). We cannot do any possible thing because of our facticity. But existence, that is, the existence of everything can do any possible thing, but only if it can. For is it not true that what can happen will happen?Blue Lux

    But is being limited to human consciousness? How can we know that there is a being of anything other than consciousness, for is that not the 'method' by which anything supposedly 'other' materializes at all? Has this principle of Intentionality really provided a solution to the differences between idealism and realism? Is it true that there is any being outside of consciousness? Have the words merely changed? Is the dualism of the finite and infinite just a mutation? Intellectual subterfuge?

    I don't think so. I think it is true that consciousness is consciousness only (of) something it is not and furthermore that human being is not being in relation to the world but being-IN-the-world. And this is Heidegger.
  • Dfpolis
    So, realities independent of matter are realities that can act without depending on any material object. — Dfpolis

    You are claiming that there are realities which are independent of matter here.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    Actually, I am only defining what I mean by "independent of matter" -- not making an existence claim. Examples could be Platonic Ideas, the "intelligences" Aristotle proposed to explain circular motion, angels, God as Aristotle's self-thinking thought or Ibn Sina's Necessary being. None of these require matter to exist, though many interact with matter.

    Classically these realities would be understood as independent Forms.Metaphysician Undercover

    Of the ones I enumerated, I would only call Platonic Ideas "independent forms," and, as you know, I have no reason to think Platonic Ideas exist.

    So what type of existence are you giving to these "realities which can act without depending on any material object?Metaphysician Undercover

    Aristotle's Self-Thinking Thought is a good example. Its sole activity is complete self-awareness. (I do not conceive of God as so isolated, but Aristotle did.) So, I would classify them as intentional, not material beings. Lacking matter, they have no potential to be other than what they are and so are immutable.

    If it ever ceased to be in the vase, it would cease to be the form of the vase. — Dfpolis

    This is not true though. It is how we have conceptions, blue prints, plans, these are forms of things which are not in the material thing which they are the form of.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    Our idea of a vase is a projection both the matter and form of a vase. We know that a vase shape is not a vase. Only that form in the right kind of matter is a vase. For example, forcing a gas or liquid into that shape would not make a vase. At the same time, the concept of a vase does not specify the kind of solid a vase is made of.

    Also, it is an abstraction, not the actual shape of any one vase. The form of a Ming dynasty vase is not the form of an Art Deco vase, still both evoke the concept <vase>.

    Of course, real vases, the concept of vases and blueprints for vases are all related, but they are not the same. The form of any actual vase has detail abstracted away in the concept <vase>. Blueprints are two dimensional while vases are three dimensional. So, again, while related, the form embodied in the blueprint is different from the form of any actual vase.

    So, there is no single entity, no reified form, that passes from plan to physical vase to concept.

    So the "form of the vase", without the accidents of the material vase, exists independently of the material vase.Metaphysician Undercover

    Look at this in a different way. Food, people and a urine sample can al be said to be healthy, but they are said so in different, but related senses -- by an analogy of attribution. Food is healthy, not because it is alive and well, but because it contributes to the health of those who eat it. A urine sample is not not alive and well either, but it can be a sign of good health. The meaning of "health" in these three cases is not the same (not univocal), but it is not entirely unrelated either.

    In the same way, the "form" in a plan is not the same as the form of a real vase, but, as food contributes to health, the plan contributes to the making of a vase. In the same way, the "form" in the concept is not the same as the form in the vase, but it is a sign of the form of the vase. Thus, we are not dealing with one form moving from plan to implementation to cognition, but with three, dynamically related, analogically predicated, kinds of form

    Something immaterial can be completely inseparable from matter... — Dfpolis

    You keep insisting on this, and I've asked you to justify this assertion, which you have not.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    Yes, I do insist on this because being mentally distinguished is not being physically separated. I have also explained it to the best of my ability, but you insist that I fit my explanation to your Platonic preconceptions. As with our discussion of hyle, my view is never going to fit your Platonism. All I can do is ask you to put aside your commitment to Platonism and consider the facts of the matter without preconception. If you cannot do that, we had best agree to disagree.

    If something is completely inseparable from something else, then it cannot be identified as a distinct thing.Metaphysician Undercover

    Hurray! That is why I am not a Platonist or a Cartesian dualist. Distinct concepts need not imply distinct "things" -- only different notes of intelligibility in the same thing -- like rubber and sphericity in a ball.

    If B is material, then by the law of non-contradiction, it is impossible that A is immaterial because this would indicate that the same thing is both material and immaterial.Metaphysician Undercover

    No. Even formally, your argument makes no sense. As long as A and B are not identical, there is no reason they can't have contrary attributes. Being rubber is not being spherical, but a ball can be both. Rubber is material, but it is a category error to ask what sphericity is made of. Still, there is no contradiction in the ball being both spherical and rubber.

    The reason this works is because logical atomism is nonsense. There is not a one-to-one correspondence between independent concepts and the things that instantiate them. One thing can instantiate many logically distinct concepts.

    In order to provide that the immaterial is united with the material, you must allow that they are separable, and identifiable as distinct and separable parts, to avoid violation of the law of non-contradiction.Metaphysician Undercover

    They need to be logically distinct. They need not be separable in reality.

    it can exist apart from matter, it is called "spiritual." — Dfpolis

    Should I assume that for you, immaterial realities which are independent of matter, are "spirits" then? How is a spirit not a form? Why do you assume that a spirit, which is immaterial, can exist independently of matter, but a form, which is immaterial cannot exist independently of matter Do you think that a form is a type of spirit, or that a spirit is a type of form, since you class them both as immaterial?
    Metaphysician Undercover

    Again, I am defining a term, not making an existence claim.

    So, I am not "assuming" anything here. I am saying if something can exist independently of matter, then I'm going to call it "spiritual."

    Forms, like the form of a vase or a mouse, have one defining characteristic: to inform the matter of the vase or the mouse. If there is not matter to be informed, then they cannot be what they are.

    For some aspect of reality to be independent of matter (for me to call it "spiritual"), it must have at least one function that it can perform without matter. For example, if humans can know something independently of matter, they have a spiritual aspect. If everything we can do depends on matter, we have no spiritual aspect.

    I don't see how a process could possibly have a determinate end.Metaphysician Undercover

    I said a determinate end at any point in time. That does not mean the process is over -- only that it is well-defined -- that it has a determine form in time -- and that that determinate form in time is its "end." Of course, if the process is part of a larger system, its end need not be the end of the whole. It can be a means to a higher-level purpose.

    You named several natural processes you see as exhibiting purpose. Those processes depend on the operation of the laws of nature. If those laws did not operate in a determinate fashion, spiders could not construct webs to catch food. So, the determinate operation of the laws is means to ends such as you enumerated.

    I don't remember your logical propagator approach, could you describe it again for me please.Metaphysician Undercover

    I gave it in my second post on this thread (the third post on page 1). "Logical Propagators" is printed in bold at the beginning of the section.

    But order without any indication of an end ought not be mistook for a sign of intentionalityMetaphysician Undercover

    We have many reasons to think nature is ordered to ends, but I can't talk about everything at once. I barely squeezed my discussion of evolution into 35 journal pages. ("Mind or Randomness in Evolution," Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies (2010) XXII, 1/2, pp. 32-66 -- https://www.academia.edu/27797943/Mind_or_Randomness_in_Evolution).

    Right, but the point is that to produce a separation in the mind, which is impossible to produce in reality, is to produce a piece of fiction.Metaphysician Undercover

    No, fictions are statements that do not reflect reality. Our understanding generally reflects reality, but always in an incomplete way. To be incomplete is not to be fictional. All abstractions are projections -- partial understandings, but they may still be adequate to our human needs.
  • Dfpolis
    Activity (and change) is a characteristic of particulars, not universals. The number of atoms is simply a function of the water molecule itself, independent of human ideas about it. It is not merely potential information, it is actual information, even if the agent doesn't count the atoms or have a concept of numbers at all.Andrew M

    I'd say that if something is not involved in actual operations, it is entirely potential. So, the fact that the threeness of H2O is not doing anything of its own is sufficient to deny it actuality until it actually informs a mind.

    Our discussion reminds me of a past thread entitled Is information physical. I'm curious whether or not you would agree that information is physical, in Rolf Landauer's sense.Andrew M

    I only read this far:

    I am questioning whether information, generally speaking, is physical. I do have an argument as to why it not be considered physical, but I have found there is an influential point of view, from a researcher by the name of Rolf Landauer, that information is physical. The reason he says that, is basically because:

    whenever we find information, we find it inscribed or encoded somehow in a physical medium of whatever kind.

    This seems to me to be confusing intelligibility with actual information. I follow Claude Shannon in defining information to be the reduction of possibility, and clarify by saying "logical possibility." Before we receive a bit in a message, the bit has been encoded and so in the real order it is actually a 1 or a 0, but to us, who have not yet received it, it is logically possible for it to be either. So, the kind of possibility that information reduces is logical, not physical.

    That being so, actual information belongs to the logical, not the real order.

    Of course, natural objects have the capacity to inform us. Encountering a horse elicits the idea <horse> not <rock>. But the capacity to inform is not actual informing, it is only intelligibility.

    The case for coded messages having intrinsic information is even weaker. For example id we are using FM, we may decide that a frequency lower than the carrier is a 0 and a frequency higher is a 1, or we may decide the reverse. The signal has no idea what convention is being used, and so does not know if it means yes or no. The same is true of computer states. where not only is bit encoding arbitrary, but the order of bits in a byte or word is as well (are we to read bits right to left or left to right?).

    So physical states can be intelligible, either intrinsically (as with horses) or conventionally (as with encoding). They are not, however, actual information until they act to reduce the logical possibilities open to some intellect.
  • Pattern-chaser
    I told you, a work of music, or art. It must be a sign because it has meaning, as is evident from the emotions which it arouses. — Metaphysician Undercover

    Emotions are not meanings in the intellectual sense...

    No, they aren't. But when humans encounter or consider meanings which they find to be significant, they become emotionally attached to them. So the presence of these emotions is evidence that the humans involved have recognised meaning. OK? :chin:
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