• Janus
    5.6k


    If you are asking whether there are any conditions that give rise to human perceptions and understandings, but do not themselves exhaustively appear in those perceptions and understandings, then, yes.
  • Janus
    5.6k


    If we don't exhaustively know what the conditions are then we can't say (exhaustively) what they are, can we? The point is that it is universally accepted that there are such conditions, whatever different thinkers might think those conditions are, and so to say that there are no conditions that give rise to the world of phenomena would seem to be about the most absurd thing we could possibly say.
  • Blue Lux
    286
    That is said atop premise of a supposed necessity, namely that there must have been something that has given rise to the 'world of phenomena,' which... I might say frankly... Is all there is...
    Why must 'the world of phenomena' (the only world) have been given its being as if... it were created?
  • Andrew M
    450
    he one fine point here, made by Aristotle in his definition of "quantity" in Metaphysics Delta, is that there are no actual numbers independent of counting and measuring operations. — Dfpolis

    I can't find this - could you quote the specific text you're thinking of there?
    — Andrew M

    1020a "'Quantity' means that which is divisible into constituent parts, each or every one of which is by nature some one individual thing. Thus plurality, if it is numerically calculable, is a kind of quantity; and so is magnitude, if it is measurable."
    Dfpolis

    Thanks. So to clarify, my claim is that there are three atoms in a water molecule independent of anyone counting them or even conceptualizing numbers at all (e.g., prior to sentient life emerging on Earth). That would seem to be a premise of moderate realism about universals.

    Is that your view as well? Or is it your view that there are potentially three atoms in a water molecule when no-one is thinking about or counting them? That is, that sentient life is required for there to actually be three atoms in a water molecule.
  • Dfpolis
    156
    OK, but the usage in the analogy is other than your usage, so it doesn't actually explain your claimed convention. In the analogy there is a God who imposes law and order on nature, through His free will choices, but in your usage there are laws inherent in matter, with no free will act involved.Metaphysician Undercover

    Have I denied that the intentionality of the laws can be traced to God, or that God wills freely?

    You are saying that Newtonian laws of physics were broken down by human intentions,Metaphysician Undercover

    No, I am saying that applying the laws of physics outside their verified range of application was and is unjustified. I am also saying that until well into the 20th century, we had no adequate data on whether human intentions modify the laws of nature. So asserting their invariance when human commitments are involved was unjustified.

    That's why I insist that "laws of nature" ought not be used. It fosters deception through equivocation.Metaphysician Undercover

    There is no equivocation if we define and apply terms with care.

    But we do not need to perturb the "laws of nature" to have free will, if we properly expose, and represent "laws of nature".Metaphysician Undercover

    Yes, if you use a different definitions, your expression of the same reality may well be different. We need only recognize the reality. Our different express of that reality is of minor import.

    But if there are no such laws inherent in matter, as the concept of "matter" is normally understood, then matter is free to be moved according to infinite possibilities.Metaphysician Undercover

    Yes, and the success of physics is a stroke of completely unjustified good luck.

    participating in the laws which move matter, rather than by overruling, or perturbing the laws.Metaphysician Undercover

    Your objection is purely linguistic. I see no real distinction between "participating in" the laws and "perturbing" the otherwise universal laws. I've never said we "overrule" the laws.

    If you describe a human being as a unity of "physical" and "intentional" aspects, then you have distinguished these two parts as distinct.Metaphysician Undercover

    Not "parts" which can be physically separated, but aspects that can give rise to independent concepts.

    If the "principle of action" inheres within, then we must identify which distinct part it inheres within, the physical or the intentional.Metaphysician Undercover

    I have already said that both our willed commitments and the laws of nature are intentional. The consequent motions are physical. So, there is no need to confine it to one "part" or another. Again, there are no "parts" -- only a whole that can be conceived in various abstract ways.

    If it inheres within the physical part, as you claimMetaphysician Undercover

    I made no such claim.


    Why not just place the principle of action in the intentional part, such that it can exercise freedom over the indeterminate physical part, thus allowing for freedom of will?Metaphysician Undercover

    Because doing so would mean that the laws of physics are entirely inapplicable to us. In point of fact, they provide reasonably accurate descriptions of our motions.

    Let's be clear, because I think you are confused as to my position.
    1. Our intellect and will both belong to the intentional order.
    2. "The physical," as I conceive it is not reducible to a material state. It is what we study in the natural sciences. The physical world is both material (specified by state descriptions) and intentional (having a well-defined order I am calling "the laws of nature."
    3. When we apply the methods of natural science to the human mind, we can grasp its physicality (its material structure and its operations insofar as we follow the so-called "universal" laws of nature). It cannot grasp (because of the fundamental abstraction) our subjectivity (our awareness and will). Thus it misses the dynamics that allow us to exercise freedom.

    Do you recognize that a law is a form?Metaphysician Undercover

    It depends on how you define "a form." If you man a Platonic form, there are no such things. If you man a Scholastic Substantial Form, they are species specific, and do not grasp the "universality" of the laws of nature. If you merely mean "immaterial," yes the laws of nature are immaterial in the well defined sense of not having material constituents.

    how can you say that all forms are immaterial, yet also reject the notion that there are laws extrinsic to matter.Metaphysician Undercover

    The laws of nature, not being spatio-temporal objects, have no intrinsic location. Instead, they "are" where they operate -- and they operate on and in matter. So they are "in" matter in an operational sense. So, if "by matter"nyou mean the empirical stuff that we can observe and experiment on, then the laws are intrinsic because they are revealed by such observations and experiments.

    If you mean by "matter" an abstract principle, coordinate with form, we have had that argument and come to an impasse.

    the law describes either what is or what ought to beMetaphysician Undercover

    A law of nature does not determine what is, the material state does that. it determines what will come to pass -- what potency will be actualized. That is the point of its being a logical propagator.

    To say that God, as the creator of physical existence is not temporally prior to physical existence, is simply false.Metaphysician Undercover

    If God is perfect, he cannot change for every change would add or remove a perfection. Since time is the measure of change according to before and after, God is timeless. So we cannot predicate before and after of God.

    Also the laws of nature necessarily act concurrently. If the law of conservation of mass-energy is not operative here and now, mass-energy is not conserved here and now.

    Placing laws (Forms) as inherent within matter is clearly materialist.Metaphysician Undercover

    No it is not. Denying the existence of immaterial reality is materialist. I am not doing that.

    How do you support an immaterial aspect of reality when you have already stipulated that the part of reality which some assert to be immaterial, i.e. laws and Forms, inhere within matter?Metaphysician Undercover

    I have not said that they are the only immaterial realities. They are not even essentially immaterial, as neither forms of matter nor laws of nature can exist independently of matter.
  • Dfpolis
    156
    Yes, there are three atoms independently of anyone counting them, but there is no actual number independently of an agent thinking it.
  • Blue Lux
    286
    What would be immaterial? What is an immaterial reality? And how is denying immaterial reality matrialism? I can deny the existence of immaterial realities and still not accept the notion that consciousness or being is the result of interactions of matter or the material.
  • Janus
    5.6k


    If we understood the world we experience to be merely perceptual phenomena the question remains as to what it could be perceptions of. What determines the fact that we all perceive the same things in the same places at the same times? It seems far less obvious that we are really all one mind. since we don't experience each other's experience, than that we are inhabiting a world whose existence is independent of our perceptions of it, and that the commonality of our perceptions is due to that and the constitutional characteristics we all share.
  • Blue Lux
    286
    I disagree with your epistemology. I do not see the necessity of that dualism, namely of subject and object, of being and appearance.
    ...we are inhabiting a world whose existence is independent of our perceptions of it, and that the commonality of our perceptions is due to that and the constitutional characteristics we all share.Janus

    The world IS our consciousness. It is obviously not that we are the world but that consciousness would not be without the world. This is not to say, again, and resort to that dualism assuming that consciousness and the world are fundamentally separated. The Cartesian dualism has plagued philosophy for too long.

    The commonality of our perceptions could never suffice to substantiate the assertion that an objective world determines us. I refuse to accept that, because it is anti-freedom.

    But I understand your point, and perhaps my point is addressing something else. But I just don't see the world from that perspective. I don't see the world at all.
    I am, rather, the 'seeing' of the world.
  • Blue Lux
    286
    I can see your point... For instance... If I look at a tree, I see the tree. I say to myself that I know what that is... I also say to myself that my perception of IT is not the truth of whatever it is, for there is much that I do not see and there is much that I cannot ever understand about what I am abstractly defining as this tree. However, I am seeing IT. I am hinting at what would be the truth of it. And therefore it is apprehended. Obviously I cannot dissolve myself in it: I remain consciousness of it, and it remains an object of my consciousness. But the fact that it can be apprehended by consciousness means that it is not fundamentally and completely separate from my consciousness, and I am seeing a facet of what would be the whole gem. I am seeing an aspect of that totality. Its essence is not hidden from me. Its being is not hidden or concealed. It is rather by virtue of the fact that I CAN apprehend it that I can apprehend the essence of it, and it is not something existing separate from my own existence. It is as such for me. It is not, obviously, a construction of my own mind and obviously has a being of its own, but this being is very different than the being of consciousness, and therefore both are, though seemingly incommensurable, in a striking connection and relationality.
  • Dfpolis
    156
    It as absolutely absurd to think that without consciousness there still exists anything. Consciousness is uncreated.Blue Lux

    If you are talking about God, I agree that the cosmos is utterly dependent on Him. Still, I don't think that God's existence is so easy to see that atheists are missing the obvious.

    Rationality requires that everything have an adequate explanation, even if we don't know it, So, any ultimate explanation must be necessary and self-explaining. What is necessary cannot change, because any change shows that the aspect that changed was not necessary. So, it must be distinct from the changing universe -- not part of it.
  • Pattern-chaser
    208
    You think that a rock, which cannot act, therefore does not exist?Pattern-chaser

    No, rocks scatter light, gravitate, resist imposed forces, etc., so thy exist.Dfpolis

    But they don't act! Rock are passive; actions are, er, active. :wink: :chin:
  • Dfpolis
    156
    My idea, as you can see, is that consciousness does not really belong to the individual existence of man but to his community or herd nature;Blue Lux

    I have a problem with this, because if awareness were one and communal I would be aware of every other persons experience and they of mine. I am not. I am directly aware only of my interactions with the world -- of myself standing as a subject to the objects I encounter.

    our thoughts themselves are constantly overruled by the character of consciousness--by the genius of the species--dominating them--and translated back into herd perspective.Blue Lux

    I do not find my thoughts "constantly overruled by ... the genius of the species." I often find myself at odds with the thinking of others and with anything that could pass for a "herd mentality." Nor am I alone in thinking that, at times, I am "a voice crying in the wilderness."

    Rather than my thoughts being "overruled by the character of consciousness," I find them informed "by the character of consciousness" -- as I become aware of some aspect of reality apparently missed by others. And, again, I do not find myself alone in this. Each person has their own standpoint and subjectivity -- giving rise to their own, unique subject-object relationships.

    All our actions are at bottom incomparably personal, unique, endlessly individual, there is no doubt; but as soon as we translated them into consciousness, they no longer seem soBlue Lux

    I do not find this in my experience. Perhaps you can provide an example to help me see what you see.

    the nature of animal consciousness is such that the world we can be conscious of is only a world of surfaces and signsBlue Lux

    Mystical experience stands as a counter to this -- being the awareness of an underlying ineffable unity.

    We simply have no organ for knowing, for truth, we know (or believe or imagine) just as much may be useful in the interests of the human herd,Blue Lux

    Again, mystical experience stands as a counter to this -- it does not "inform" us -- does not limit what is possible, but expands it. So, we have an intellect that can and does know what is.
  • Dfpolis
    156
    For something to be a sign, for it to signify, all that is required is that it has meaning.Metaphysician Undercover

    I am sorry, but no. To actually signify a sign must actualize meaning in a mind. If it does not do this, it is only a potential sign.

    we can recognize that a thing is a sign, without having any idea of what it signifiesMetaphysician Undercover

    We can recognize it's potential to be a sign. If it does not actualize a meaning in a mind (and meanings exist only in minds), it is not an actual sign.

    For example, when I hear people speaking a foreign language I recognize the sound as meaningful without having any idea of the meaning.Metaphysician Undercover

    This is a different case. The language is actually signifying to those using it, just not to you.

    And, I can say things without clearly knowing what I am saying. So there is no need that the sign be either formal or instrumental in order to be a sign. especially when that which is signified is vague and unclear. Hence ambiguity is very real.Metaphysician Undercover

    If you are speaking, the sign is instrumental. Your audience must first recognize your words for them to convey your meaning..

    Of course communication can be defective. Your utterance may be malformed. It may not be correctly understood. That has nothing to do with the question of what constitutes a well-formed, operational signs.
  • Blue Lux
    286
    I don't see anything dependent on a deity. Consciousness does not need a deity, nor does anything.
  • Blue Lux
    286
    I have a problem with this, because if awareness were one and communal I would be aware of every other persons experience and they of mine. I am not. I am directly aware only of my interactions with the world -- of myself standing as a subject to the objects I encounter.Dfpolis

    This is a misinterpretation of Nietzsche. What he is saying is quite akin to Heidegger's Das Man or the they, an inauthentic display.
    In communication experiences are translated into what he calls the herd mentality. With regard to religion, Carl Jung adopted this idea and elucidated upon archetypes or archetypal structures in which people adopt certain explanations of their own personal, unique meaning, replacing it for what can be assimilated by others, instead of resorting to a de facto alienation from a society they wish to gain fulfillment from.

    I do not find my thoughts "constantly overruled by ... the genius of the species." I often find myself at odds with the thinking of others and with anything that could pass for a "herd mentality." Nor am I alone in thinking that, at times, I am "a voice crying in the wilderness."

    Rather than my thoughts being "overruled by the character of consciousness," I find them informed "by the character of consciousness" -- as I become aware of some aspect of reality apparently missed by others. And, again, I do not find myself alone in this. Each person has their own standpoint and subjectivity -- giving rise to their own, unique subject-object relationships.
    Dfpolis

    Thinking in relation to others changes the authenticity of your own meaning into its herd analogue. You speak so to to be understood. People adopt values and absolute truths so to dismiss the inherent ambiguity of life, which is paradoxically the precursor of art. This will to a lack of ambiguity and a demonstration of human life that attains the value of absolute or normal or conventional is that which boxes the human into a construction of their own lives as not with reference to their own subjective feelings and meanings but with regard to everything they are not, which is all that is communicable.
    For instance. I am gay. My thoughts about my life, if this was fifty years ago, would be overruled by the genius of the species, that herd mentality, that overruling aspect of the they which would have labeled me as deviant or inauthentic, according to transpersonal absolutist constructions.

    I do not find this in my experience. Perhaps you can provide an example to help me see what you seeDfpolis

    Okay... I love someone. When I communicate this... This love that is 'mine' becomes just another relationship. When I create something significant to me, I communicate it to the world, consciousness delivers me over to the herd mentality where I have to be intelligible by others, which is not guaranteed, and thus what I have created loses in a very real sense its meaning, because its meaning can not be apprehended by everyone.

    Mystical experiences are at base experiences. They are not different than ant other experience. They are just defined differently. There is absolutely no evidence in experience of the divine or the supernatural or the mystical... Only that which is not understood or cannot be adequately represented by 'knowledge,' which is also, at base, an illusion.
  • Dfpolis
    156
    What would be immaterial?Blue Lux

    Anything not composed of material constituents.

    I can deny the existence of immaterial realities and still not accept the notion that consciousness or being is the result of interactions of matter or the material.Blue Lux

    Either consciousness is made of matter or it is immaterial. If consciousness is made of matter, then it "is the result of interactions of matter." If you deny this, you are left with consciousness is immaterial.
  • Dfpolis
    156
    But they don't act! Rock are passive; actions are, er, active.Pattern-chaser

    Scattering light and attracting bodies gravitationally are actions.
  • Dfpolis
    156
    I accept that that is your faith position. Thanks for sharing.
  • Pattern-chaser
    208
    ...and yet it's difficult to discuss this when you think passive and active are more or less synonymous. :joke:
  • Dfpolis
    156
    Thinking in relation to others changes the authenticity of your own meaning into its herd analogue.Blue Lux

    "Thinking in relation to others" is the inescapable foundation of successful communication. If you have not already, you will find that I'm quite able to maintain my own, authentic position while communicating with others. I think you are capable of the same.

    This will to a lack of ambiguity and a demonstration of human life that attains the value of absolute or normal or conventional is that which boxes the human into a construction of their own lives as not with reference to their own subjective feelings and meanings but with regard to everything they are not, which is all that is communicableBlue Lux

    Yes, there are people who twist themselves into knots to "fit in," but they are rather low on the path to satisfy Maslow's heirarchy of needs or growth in Fowler's stages of faith. There is certainly nothing "universal" here.

    I am gay. My thoughts about my life, if this was fifty years ago, would be overruled by the genius of the species,Blue Lux

    Only if you let it. If you know history, you know that many have stood proud of their orientation. Of course there have been, and are, social pressures and even criminal penalties, but many found ways to work around these while continuing to be authentic to themselves.

    I love someone. When I communicate this... This love that is 'mine' becomes just another relationship. When I create something significant to me, I communicate it to the world, consciousness delivers me over to the herd mentality where I have to be intelligible by others, which is not guaranteed, and thus what I have created loses in a very real sense its meaning, because its meaning can not be apprehended by everyone.Blue Lux

    We all have thoughts and feelings that others do not or will not understand or accept. We feel cut-off and long for a union of souls that most of us never achieve in this life. (Perhaps mystics do.) There is no "having to be intelligible to others." It is rewarding when we are, but we create value by valuing. if you value your creation or your love, it is valuable. If you do not, it is valueless for you.

    So, your creations do not loose value when others fail to appreciate them, however disappointing that may be. You imbue them with value when you value them. If others also value them, they add new value, but if they don't, they can't take away the value you have imbued them with unless you allow it.

    If there really were a single consciousness, everyone would value and devalue the same things. It is your uniqueness that allows you to create value where none existed before.

    Mystical experiences are at base experiences. They are not different than ant other experience.Blue Lux

    Oh, but they are. Other experiences are defined by the information, the reduction of possibility they convey. Most mystical experiences convey no information. They do not reduce what is possible. They open us to new possibility. Mystical experience shows us that it is possible to achieve the unity that we long for in love.
  • Blue Lux
    286
    Consciousness is fundamentally tied to matter but is in itself immaterial... This does not mean that it is divorced from materiality... But consciousness does seem to be contingent on the material, although it is itself immaterial.
  • Blue Lux
    286
    I posted the same thing twice... Disregard this post.
  • Blue Lux
    286
    "Thinking in relation to others" is the inescapable foundation of successful communication. If you have not already, you will find that I'm quite able to maintain my own, authentic position while communicating with others. I think you are capable of the same.Dfpolis

    You may be able to maintain your own meaning, and you always do, but this is irrelevant, for the act of translating your own authenticity into that which is accessible by others implies a stripping down of that authenticity in terms of the they, which refers to the everydayness of existence. Your own authentic position can only be understood by an assimilation, which loses meaning in the process.
    Furthermore, Nietzsche was not saying that meaning can never be communicated. It is that meaning is often not communicated at all, and it is precisely in these meaningless structures of 'knowledge' or reference that constitutes the herd constitution of consciousness. Consciousness is an objective, transpersonal entity in terms of the they. It is not with reference to anything authentic, which is at base incommunicable.
    Yes, there are people who twist themselves into knots to "fit in," but they are rather low on the path to satisfy Maslow's heirarchy of needs or growth in Fowler's stages of faith. There is certainly nothing "universal" here.Dfpolis

    Maslow's hierarchy came after Nietzsche, and it is precisely the understanding that Nietzsche tries to communicate which sets the tone for an understanding of such a hierarchy at all... The fact that consciousness needs to transcend this herd mentality... This is what Nietzsche was referring to.

    Only if you let it. If you know history, you know that many have stood proud of their orientation. Of course there have been, and are, social pressures and even criminal penalties, but many found ways to work around these while continuing to be authentic to themselves.Dfpolis

    The problem is not necessarily authenticity itself but alienation as well, which is not synonymous with authenticity.
    "There is no "having to be intelligible to others."Dfpolis

    This is not the case... It is that consciousness is often completely unintelligible in terms of the they. And an authentic consciousness would have as its object its being authentic.
    If there really were a single consciousness, everyone would value and devalue the same thingsDfpolis

    This is not analytically true. It would be synthetically true. Consciousness is consciousness of others, and valuations are either accepted or rejected by virtue of the herd consciousness that is not ones own. Nietzsche's solution to this meaninglessness or nihilism is the Ubermensch.
    Most mystical experiences convey no information. They do not reduce what is possible. They open us to new possibility. Mystical experience shows us that it is possible to achieve the unity that we long for in loveDfpolis

    If love is a mystical experience by your definition, then love is probably not a mystical experience, because love is most definitely a communication. Love is not mystical, but human, real, authentic in terms of the one defining it and experiencing it. An objective love makes absolutely no sense.
  • Janus
    5.6k
    But I just don't see the world from that perspective. I don't see the world at all.
    I am, rather, the 'seeing' of the world.
    Blue Lux

    But you are more than merely "the 'seeing' of the world", no? Are you not also the feeling of yourself?

    It is not, obviously, a construction of my own mind and obviously has a being of its own, but this being is very different than the being of consciousness, and therefore both are, though seemingly incommensurable, in a striking connection and relationality.Blue Lux

    I agree; the tree is something for my consciousness, but the salient question is whether my consciousness is something for the tree.
  • Blue Lux
    286
    That would be impossible because the tree is not consciousness.

    But you are more than merely "the 'seeing' of the world", no? Are you not also the feeling of yourself?Janus

    I am not the feeling of myself, because myself cannot be felt. But I am also feeling itself. I am transphenomenal experiencing.
  • Janus
    5.6k
    That would be impossible because the tree is not consciousness.Blue Lux

    And yet the tree can be something for my consciousness, despite that it is not itself consciousness. I had thought that earlier you were saying everything is consciousness; maybe i misunderstood you.

    I am not the feeling of myself, because myself cannot be felt. But I am also feeling itself. I am transphenomenal experiencing.Blue Lux

    The feeling of your body, your emotions and desires, and of your own existence is what would normally be termed 'the feeling of yourself'.
  • Blue Lux
    286
    In that case, yes. The tree is as it is in consciousness, but it is not itself consciousness. The world is in a sense consciousness, because the consciousness is consciousness (of) the world. The parenthesis are to show that it is rather Consciousness-the-world... There is no consciousness and then the world... There is only consciousness-world.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment