• Janus
    5.9k
    There is no consciousness and then the world... There is only consciousness-world.Blue Lux

    So, the world both is and is not consciousness...depending on how you look at it?
  • Blue Lux
    587
    Well obviously I could be wrong.

    It seems to me that the world and consciousness are essentially one. Consciousness belongs to the world and the world belongs to consciousness, because consciousness is always consciousness of something it is not...

    But I have my own problem. Can consciousness can be consciousness of itself? I think this is true, but consciousness of being conscious would be consciousness of consciousness (of) something it is not... So consciousness of consciousness would be consciousness (of) being... And consciousness is fundamentally being-in-the-world... Correct?
    Being is thus not consciousness but is the condition of a consciousness... But consciousness has been said to be the condition of all revelation... And so the revelation of being would be of consciousness...
    It is a puzzle.
  • Janus
    5.9k
    Correct?Blue Lux

    I think we can experience objects, feelings or whatever and also experience our experience itself. Also, what is a different thing again, we can be conscious ( in the further sense of being reflexively self-aware) of our experience of objects, etc. and also be conscious of our experience of experience itself.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.4k
    Have I denied that the intentionality of the laws can be traced to God, or that God wills freely?Dfpolis

    Yes, you have denied this, not explicitly but implicitly. That's what I've been trying to explain to you, the implications of what you stated, that the laws of nature are inherent within matter and operative from this position as causal in the actions of matter. As such, these laws are explicitly material, and since God is understood to be immaterial, as the cause of matter and material existence in general, it is implied that the laws cannot be traced to God. If they had an immaterial source, then they would be independent from matter, and not inherent within matter.

    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.Dfpolis

    So how can you make sense of this proposition? You are saying that it is incorrect to associate invariance with the laws of nature. How are they even "laws" then, if they're subject to change?

    see no real distinction between "participating in" the laws and "perturbing" the otherwise universal laws. I've never said we "overrule" the laws.Dfpolis

    Quite clearly, if you "perturb" a law you change that law. And to change a law is to replace the old law with a new version. This is to overrule the existing law. This is completely different from "participating" in the law, which is to accept the law and act accordingly.

    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.Dfpolis

    It was your suggestion that the human being is a unity of intentional and physical. If these were not stated as distinct parts, then what do you mean by this?

    I think you and I have completely different notions of "intentionality". I associate intentionality with the will, the intellectual appetite. So "the good", as that which is recognized by the intellect as desirable, is at the root of intentionality.

    Because doing so would mean that the laws of physics are entirely inapplicable to us.Dfpolis

    This is nonsense. Human beings have physical bodies. They also have intention. To give priority to intention does not necessitate that the laws of physics are not applicable to the human body. It just means that the laws of physics are not applicable to intention.

    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.
    Dfpolis

    I see problems with 2, and 3, here.

    In #2, I see that you use "intentional" in a way completely different than I would. I would say that "intentional" means to act with purpose. You see "well-defined order", and you conclude "intentionality". But you are missing a premise necessary to draw this conclusion. That premise would be that where there is order, there is intention. You haven't provided that premise, or supported it with argumentation, so your conclusion that where there is well-defined order there is intentionality is not yet sound.

    Furthermore, you clearly divide the physical here into material and intentional. You assign "the laws of nature" to the intentional. But the proposition you made in the op, which I objected to, was that the laws of nature inhere within matter. So now you have contradictory positions

    Now, in #3 you claim that we can understand the human mind's "material structure" by following the "laws of nature". This is problematic in two ways. First, in #2 you have assigned the laws of nature to the intentional, rather than the material. So how could we understand the material through the laws of nature, when the laws of nature are an aspect of the intentional?. Second, we cannot follow the laws of nature in the application of natural science even if we wanted to, because the closest thing we have is the laws of physics, but these are distinct.

    If you merely mean "immaterial," yes the laws of nature are immaterial in the well defined sense of not having material constituents.Dfpolis

    How can you say that the laws of nature inhere within matter, yet they are immaterial? Doesn't this seem contradictory?

    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.
    Dfpolis

    What I would like to know is how you conceive of the laws of nature operating "in" matter without reducing the laws to being matter itself. To be within, is a spatial concept, so you've already negated your claim that the laws are not spatio-temporal. But let me try to proceed, removing the spatial necessity, to understand "in". We would need to remove all space from within matter, so that matter cannot consist of parts in relation to each other. Therefore there is no parts, and matter is indivisible. The only relations we can talk about are the relations between one "particle" of matter and another. There are no such relations inside matter, as there is no space here, these relations are extrinsic to matter. But the non-spatial laws are here, inside matter, while the spatial relations are outside matter.

    First, how are these non-spatial laws, which are inherent within matter, anything other than matter itself? If this is non-spatial, and it is the entire "inside" of matter, how is it not "matter"? Second, how could these laws act? We describe motions and activities as relations between material bodies, according to the space between them. If for instance, a law wants to put some matter in motion, from within, it could move that matter in any direction. However, other matter exists in the environment, and this restricts the possible motion. Aren't these restrictions to motion, what ought to be properly called "the laws of nature", not the cause of motion? And the restrictions are proper to the relations between matter, just like the laws of physics which describe motions are proper to the relations between physical bodies. So the laws of nature are not property of matter, or inhering within matter, but are properties of the relations between matter. And, they are not the cause of motion of matter, they are restrictions to the motion of matter. For the cause of motion, we have to look further, to intentionality.

    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.Dfpolis

    I'm not talking about potential signs, I'm talking about actual signs. What I am saying is that to actually signify, all that is required is to actualize meaning, to be significant. But meaning is often vague and indefinite, so the sign does not need to be formal or instrumental. This is the case with many emotions. Something triggers an emotion, that thing is a sign because it actualizes meaning. But what it signifies is unknown. So many things like art, and music, actualize meaning, they signify, and are signs, but there is nothing specific which the sign "represents".

    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.Dfpolis

    No, the point is, that to be a sign, all that is required is to actualize meaning. We are not discussing what is required for "well-formed operational signs". Those are a particular type of sign.
  • Andrew M
    472
    Yes, there are three atoms independently of anyone counting them, but there is no actual number independently of an agent thinking it.Dfpolis

    I would agree that there is no idea of number independent of an agent's thoughts.

    Yet there would still be three atoms in a water molecule even if there were no intelligent agents in the universe. For that sentence to be true, none of the referents can depend on an agent's thoughts. So at least some universals such as three (and more generally number) are independent of mind (though not of the particulars that give them meaning).
  • Blue Lux
    587
    can you prove that there are still there atoms in a water molecule regardless of an intelligent agent?
  • Dfpolis
    433
    there would still be three atoms in a water molecule even if there were no intelligent agents in the universe. For that sentence to be true, none of the referents can depend on an agent's thoughts.Andrew M

    I don't think your realistic interpretation of three is necessary to make the sentence true. The referents in the sentence are the molecule and its atoms, which, if counted, will number three.
  • Dfpolis
    433
    consciousness does seem to be contingent on the material, although it is itself immaterial.Blue Lux

    If we can be aware of realities essentially independent of matter, then awareness need not be contingent on matter. I think mystical experience shows that we can, If you are interested, I suggest you start with W. T. Stace, Mysticism and Philosophy -- which is phenomenological, not religious, in perspective.

    Stace makes the point that some types of mystical experience are completely free of sensory content -- and therefore of the need for neural processing.

    Your own authentic position can only be understood by an assimilation, which loses meaning in the process.Blue Lux

    This need not be so. I try to communicate by getting others to stand beside me and see what I see. If I succeed, they see what I see, but from their own perspective, and as relevant to their own experience. So they may actually see more than i see -- increasing, rather than diminishing, meaning.

    Consciousness is an objective, transpersonal entity in terms of the theyBlue Lux

    I have no idea why you would say this. Consciousness is not a thing, not an entity, but a power that intelligent beings have. It is also ultimately personal -- it is what makes me the knowing subject in subject-object relations. If it were transpersonal, I would be directly aware of what others experienced. I am not.

    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.Blue Lux

    Again, I don't know what this could mean. Yes, sometimes, even often, we fail to communicate but when you say "these meaningless structures of 'knowledge' or reference ... constitutes the herd constitution of consciousness," I'm at a loss. There is no awareness, no consciousness, without some object of awareness. If we communicate nothing, there is nothing to be aware of.

    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 allBlue Lux

    I've read Maslow's paper. He does not mention Nietzsche. I've never read Nietzsche, but I had no problem understanding Maslow. So, it hardly seems necessary to know Nietzsche to understand Maslow.

    The problem is not necessarily authenticity itself but alienation as well, which is not synonymous with authenticity.Blue Lux

    OK.

    "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.
    Blue Lux

    It seems to me that to be authentic is to act in conformity with your self-understanding -- not twisting yourself to conform to the expectations of others. If so, then doesn't "having to be intelligible to others" cut across the core of authenticity?

    I'm not saying that we should ignore others, or even their efforts to understand us. I'm saying that if they refuse to understand us, or even if they try and fail to understand, that is their problem, not ours.

    If there really were a single consciousness, everyone would value and devalue the same things — Dfpolis

    This is not analytically true.
    Blue Lux

    I mean if there were a single consciousness, there would be a single mind. We would all know and see things the same way, and so value the same things.

    If love is a mystical experience by your definitionBlue Lux

    That is not what i said.
  • Galuchat
    475
    I found John of St. Thomas and Henry Veatch very useful.Dfpolis

    Much has been considered and written in the field of semiotics since John Poinsot's Tractatus de Signis.

    Why have you recommended this work over those of modern semioticians (e.g., Saussure, Peirce, vonUexkull, Morris, Sebeok, Lotman, Eco, Deely, etc.)?
  • Dfpolis
    433
    Yes, you have denied this, not explicitly but implicitly.Metaphysician Undercover

    No, I have not. I'm not responsible for you extrapolating beyond what i have said.

    As such, these laws are explicitly materialMetaphysician Undercover

    You are confusing being material with the laws being dependent on matter for their expression. For example, the form of a vase is immaterial (not made of matter), but it is inseparable from the matter of the vase. I have made it quite clear that the laws are immaterial -- it is a category error to ask what they are made of.

    since God is understood to be immaterial, as the cause of matter and material existence in general, it is implied that the laws cannot be traced to God.Metaphysician Undercover

    This makes no sense. On the one hand you say that "God is ... the cause of matter." On the other that because the laws are material (which they are not), they cannot be traced to God.

    You are saying that it is incorrect to associate invariance with the laws of nature. How are they even "laws" then, if they're subject to change?Metaphysician Undercover

    I am saying that over the widest field of their application the laws of nature are invariant and so rightly called "laws." Still a large range is not universality. Are American laws against speeding not laws because there is no speed limit on the autobahn?

    This is completely different from "participating" in the law, which is to accept the law and act accordingly.Metaphysician Undercover

    In the Thomistic context in which I am using the term, "participating" in Divine Providence means being a co-creator with God.

    It was your suggestion that the human being is a unity of intentional and physical. If these were not stated as distinct parts, then what do you mean by this?Metaphysician Undercover

    I mean that we can perform both physical and intentional operations, and that our intellect can discern the difference between these kinds of operations. In the same way, a rubber ball is not part sphere and part rubber. It is one thing with different aspects the mind can distinguish.

    I think you and I have completely different notions of "intentionality". I associate intentionality with the will, the intellectual appetite. So "the good", as that which is recognized by the intellect as desirable, is at the root of intentionality.Metaphysician Undercover

    It is not that we have different notions, it is that I am showing the intentionality of the laws by looking at their intrinsic character rather than their Source.

    Human beings have physical bodies. They also have intention. To give priority to intention does not necessitate that the laws of physics are not applicable to the human body. It just means that the laws of physics are not applicable to intention.Metaphysician Undercover

    Not so fast. If decide to walk to the store, each step is a physical process closely described by the laws of physics. It is also a product of my intention to arrive at the store by walking. So, there is no either-or here. It is a both-and situation. An adequate account has to incorporate both the physical and the intentional realities at work here.

    In #2, I see that you use "intentional" in a way completely different than I would. I would say that "intentional" means to act with purpose.Metaphysician Undercover

    Are you denying that God has a purpose in maintaining the laws of nature? I am not. I am just not bringing God into the conversation so as not to be drawn off on a theological tangent.

    That premise would be that where there is order, there is intention.Metaphysician Undercover

    There is more than one way to skin a cat. I offered less contentious arguments, viz. my logical propagator argument and that based on Brentano's analysis of intentionality.

    he proposition you made in the op, which I objected to, was that the laws of nature inhere within matter. So now you have contradictory positionsMetaphysician Undercover

    We've discussed this before. The form of a vase inheres in a material vase, still it is immaterial.

    in #3 you claim that we can understand the human mind's "material structure" by following the "laws of nature".Metaphysician Undercover

    That is not what i said. I was discussing the method of natural science and its self imposed limits, and pointing out the data excluded by this approach.

    So how could we understand the material through the laws of nature, when the laws of nature are an aspect of the intentional?Metaphysician Undercover

    In 3, I said we can study the physical structure of the mind (the brain), by applying the method of natural science. I did not say we were studying the mind's "matter." Let me say it yet again: "Physical" does not mean "material." Describing material states is only a small part of physics. A much greater part is studying the laws of nature, which are intentional.

    Second, we cannot follow the laws of nature in the application of natural science even if we wanted to, because the closest thing we have is the laws of physics, but these are distinct.Metaphysician Undercover

    Did I say we were following the laws of nature? I said we were applying the method of the natural sciences.

    What I would like to know is how you conceive of the laws of nature operating "in" matter without reducing the laws to being matter itself.Metaphysician Undercover

    In the same way that a vase's form inheres in the vase without being the matter of the vase.

    how are these non-spatial laws, which are inherent within matter, anything other than matter itself?Metaphysician Undercover

    Same answer.

    Second, how could these laws act?Metaphysician Undercover

    In the same way human committed intentions act -- by actualizing a specific potential motion.

    But meaning is often vague and indefinite, so the sign does not need to be formal or instrumental.Metaphysician Undercover

    Do you have an example of a sign that is neither formal nor instrumental?

    This is the case with many emotions. Something triggers an emotion, that thing is a sign because it actualizes meaning.Metaphysician Undercover

    An emotion is not a meaning, it is a state of being.

    there is nothing specific which the sign "represents".Metaphysician Undercover

    Then, it is not a "sign" in the standard sense of the term. As you say " to be a sign, all that is required is to actualize meaning." Of course, you can equivocate on "meaning." I am taking a meaning to be informative -- to represent something,
  • Dfpolis
    433
    Why have you recommended this work over those of modern semioticians (e.g., Saussure, Peirce, vonUexkull, Morris, Sebeok, Lotman, Eco, Deely, etc. )?Galuchat

    Because his distinction between formal and instrumental signs clears up a number of confusions found the philosophy of mind (e.g. in representational and cybernetic theories of mind), as well as theories involving "a language of thought." It also brings into question the primacy of language that undergirds analytic philosophy.

    More generally an intentional approach to logic allows one to dispose of a number of paradoxes such as the Liar and Jourdain's. Arguably, it makes Russell's theory of types unnecessary and gives a simple resolution to issues such as those raised by Quine in Word and Object.

    That said, I do not pretend to more than a smattering of Saussure, Peirce and Deely. If modern semioticians have resolved these issues, I would be happy to learn more of them.
  • Blue Lux
    587


    If we can be aware of realities essentially independent of matter, then awareness need not be contingent on matter.Dfpolis

    Matter is an abstraction. The material is an abstraction. Ergo realities independent of matter is an abstraction.

    This need not be so. I try to communicate by getting others to stand beside me and see what I see. If I succeed, they see what I see, but from their own perspective, and as relevant to their own experience. So they may actually see more than i see -- increasing, rather than diminishing, meaningDfpolis

    Communicating has nothing to do with getting others to see what you see, for that assimilation of theirs is going to label what you see as an abstraction, which will only reconfigure their own experience. No meaning is exchanged. And it can not be proven that there is actually an increasing meaning... Such an increasing would have to be objective... Transpersonal and devoid of meaningful meaning.

    Again, I don't know what this could mean. Yes, sometimes, even often, we fail to communicate but when you say "these meaningless structures of 'knowledge' or reference ... constitutes the herd constitution of consciousness," I'm at a loss. There is no awareness, no consciousness, without some object of awareness. If we communicate nothing, there is nothing to be aware of.Dfpolis

    We communicate an objective abstraction of meaning. It isn't that nothing is communicated. Actually... It is precisely that nothing is communicated. Nothing, in this sense, has a being.

    I've read Maslow's paper. He does not mention Nietzsche. I've never read Nietzsche, but I had no problem understanding Maslow. So, it hardly seems necessary to know Nietzsche to understand MaslowDfpolis

    Nietzsche -> Freud -> Adler -> Maslow

    It seems to me that to be authentic is to act in conformity with your self-understanding -- not twisting yourself to conform to the expectations of others. If so, then doesn't "having to be intelligible to others" cut across the core of authenticity?Dfpolis

    Consciousness is inevitably consciousness of others, and so it is not a conscious twisting of conformity... The de facto configuration of being intelligible by others is the source of in authenticity, namely of the they.

    I have no idea why you would say this. Consciousness is not a thing, not an entity, but a power that intelligent beings have. It is also ultimately personal -- it is what makes me the knowing subject in subject-object relations. If it were transpersonal, I would be directly aware of what others experienced. I am not.Dfpolis

    What is said was. Consciousness is a transpersonal entity-in-terms-of-the-they. Consciousness is very much so an entity in terms of the they... It is something supposedly to have... And you are right... Consciousness is not a thing. It is this understanding that allows for the separation between an authentic consciousness and an inauthentic consciousness. The reconciliation is in empathy perhaps. Maybe... MDMA.
    Consciousness attaining the label as transpersonal does not mean that you would be directly aware of others experiences. The transpersonal label is what establishes the point of reference known as objectivity, which is metaphorically the source of all inauthenticity.

    I mean if there were a single consciousness, there would be a single mind. We would all know and see things the same way, and so value the same things.Dfpolis

    The single consciousness is the consciousness of objectivity, which does not define consciousness as a whole but is consciousness in a very real degree.
  • Blue Lux
    587
    There is no creation of existence. Existence preceeds essence.
  • Andrew M
    472
    can you prove that there are still there atoms in a water molecule regardless of an intelligent agent?Blue Lux

    No, it assumes realism.

    I don't think your realistic interpretation of three is necessary to make the sentence true. The referents in the sentence are the molecule and its atoms, which, if counted, will number three.Dfpolis

    It seems to me that you could say the same thing about the particulars. That is, the referent of the sentence is the world which, if observed in a specific way, would present as a water molecule and its atoms.

    Whereas on a realist premise, three atoms in a water molecule is understood to be a consequence of natural circumstances independent of humans, not of our looking or counting.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.4k
    You are confusing being material with the laws being dependent on matter for their expression. For example, the form of a vase is immaterial (not made of matter), but it is inseparable from the matter of the vase. I have made it quite clear that the laws are immaterial -- it is a category error to ask what they are made of.Dfpolis

    But the form is separable from the matter, that's how we know things through abstraction, the form of the vase is brought into the mind. If the form of a vase were inseparable from the matter of a vase, you could not say that the form is immaterial because it would be of necessity united with matter, impossible to be otherwise, and therefore material. To say that it is both immaterial, and inseparable from matter is contradiction. You are handing "form" the contradictory properties of "inseparable from matter" and "immaterial".

    It is not that we have different notions, it is that I am showing the intentionality of the laws by looking at their intrinsic character rather than their Source.Dfpolis

    Actually, what you are doing, as I said, is jumping to a conclusion. The existence of order does not necessitate the conclusion of intentionality, the existence of purpose does. So when something is seen to have order we cannot conclude intentionality until it is demonstrated that the order is for a purpose. Then we can conclude intentionality.

    Here are some examples. We see that birds build nests, the material is ordered in a specific way so as to make the nest. If we satisfactorily demonstrate that the order is put to that material for a purpose, for instance so that the bird can hatch eggs and raise young, then we can conclude intentionality. Likewise, we can look at the ordering of material in a beaver dam, and if we are satisfactorily convinced that the beaver builds the dam for a purpose, then we conclude intentionality. So we could look at the photosynthesis of plants, and ask if there is purpose to this activity, to see whether or not there is intentionality there as well. How about the activity of the earth orbiting the sun, or of things moving from gravity? These are orderly activities, described by laws, but unless we can determine a purpose for these activities we cannot conclude that there is intentionality.

    Not so fast. If decide to walk to the store, each step is a physical process closely described by the laws of physics. It is also a product of my intention to arrive at the store by walking. So, there is no either-or here. It is a both-and situation. An adequate account has to incorporate both the physical and the intentional realities at work here.Dfpolis

    Yes, that's exactly what I said, it appears we agree on this point.

    There is more than one way to skin a cat. I offered less contentious arguments, viz. my logical propagator argument and that based on Brentano's analysis of intentionality.Dfpolis

    As I said though, we have different notions of intentionality. The essential aspect of intention is purpose, that I believe is quite clear. But you want to change this definition such that order is the essence of intention. This is incorrect because intentionality is associated with the end, and order is the means to the end. The intentional being will use whatever appears to be efficient, as the means to the end, and this includes things which pre-existed the intentional being. This demonstrates that it is possible that the means may pre-exist the intentional being, and therefore pre-exist intentionality. Therefore the existence of the means, i.e. order, does not necessarily indicate intentionality.

    In 3, I said we can study the physical structure of the mind (the brain), by applying the method of natural science. I did not say we were studying the mind's "matter." Let me say it yet again: "Physical" does not mean "material." Describing material states is only a small part of physics. A much greater part is studying the laws of nature, which are intentional.Dfpolis

    Actually you said "physicality", and in brackets you had "material structure", so I assumed that you were explaining "physicality" as "material structure". If you now desire a separation between "physical" and "material", then that's another thing.

    See, you have put yourself in a bind because you refuse to allow a separation between matter and form which is necessary to provide for immaterial forms. You want to talk about the immaterial, forms, and intentionality as if these are true aspects of reality, but then you insist that these things don't have any real existence because they can't really be separated from matter.

    So you go on and on talking about forms, the immaterial, and intentionality, as if you think that these are real and you believe in them, when in reality you think that these are just the illusions of deluded minds. This is quite clear when you insist that form cannot exist independently from matter. All that other talk about the immaterial and intentionality is just a hoax, as if you're ashamed of, and trying to hide your materialism. If you're ashamed of it, then rather than trying to hide it, why don't you dismiss it?

    In the same way that a vase's form inheres in the vase without being the matter of the vase.Dfpolis

    But that's exactly the question I'm asking, how can you conceive of this. If the form inheres in the vase, as the matter of the vase does, and is inseparable from the matter of the vase, then how is it anything other than the matter of the vase? If it is something other than the matter of the vase, then it is separable from it, by that very fact that it is other than it.

    Do you have an example of a sign that is neither formal nor instrumental?Dfpolis

    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. Or are you are arguing that a thing can be meaningful without being a sign? How would that work?

    Then, it is not a "sign" in the standard sense of the term. As you say " to be a sign, all that is required is to actualize meaning." Of course, you can equivocate on "meaning." I am taking a meaning to be informative -- to represent something,Dfpolis

    I'm not equivocating, you are just trying to enforce an overly restrictive definition of "meaning" in order to support your position. Defining a word such that many things which are normally referred to by that word are excluded by your definition, in order to support an ontological position, is not good metaphysics. That part of reality excluded by your definition is also excluded from your ontology.
  • Dfpolis
    433
    Matter is an abstraction. The material is an abstraction. Ergo realities independent of matter is an abstraction.Blue Lux

    Matter is the foundation in reality for the concept <matter> (an abstraction), which is expressed by the word "matter." While the thought <matter> is an abstraction, its foundation in reality (the aspect of reality that elicits the concept <matter>) is not.

    Think of volley balls, baseballs, soccer balls, rubber balls, ping pong balls, etc. All are real balls. None are abstractions. Each is able to elicit the concept <ball>. <Ball> is an abstraction because it leaves behind the information that makes any individual ball unique or a specific kind of ball. Still, when I speak of balls, I'm not referring to an abstraction but to real, spherical objects.

    So, realities independent of matter are realities that can act without depending on any material object.

    Communicating has nothing to do with getting others to see what you see, for that assimilation of theirs is going to label what you see as an abstraction, which will only reconfigure their own experience. No meaning is exchanged. And it can not be proven that there is actually an increasing meaning... Such an increasing would have to be objective... Transpersonal and devoid of meaningful meaning.Blue Lux

    In communication, meaning is not "exchanged." It is recreated. Our signs do not actually "carry" meaning. When an instrumental sign is received and interpreted, an association is invoked in the interpreter. If the interpreter sees smoke, she associates it with fire and the associated concept <fire> becomes the meaning of the cloud of smoke, considered as a sign, When you see the word "ball," then, by a learned association, you think of concrete balls and the abstract concept <ball> -- recreating in yourself the meaning I expressed in typing "ball."

    So, yes, communicating is entirely about getting others to "see," intellectually, what I see. If my communication succeeds, the recipient's mind is not merely "reconfigured." She starts thinking of what I am thinking of. Her thought is not my thought, but each of us think of the same reality from a different perspective.

    Of course we can't "prove" that meaning is increased, because often it is not. Sometimes communication fails altogether. Still, we can see it. If I'm speaking of soccer balls, and she is a soccer fan, while I'm not, her associations, the meaning evoked in her mind, may far exceed mine. That's why good art can be so powerful: because it can evoke meanings in its audience which far exceed those in the artist. Thus Michelangelo's Pieta can evoke all of the feelings of sorrow and loss we have experienced -- feelings that are uniquely ours, not Michelangelo's. Still, we may feel as he felt.

    So, the meaning of the Pieta is transpersonal. It is not confined to any one person, but shared by many. Yet each shares it in their own personal way -- calling to mind their own sorrow and loss, not Michelangelo's.

    Nietzsche -> Freud -> Adler -> MaslowBlue Lux

    I've read a fair amount of Freud. Again there is no mention of Nietzsche. Just because Dirrida mentions the two of them together with Heidegger as strong influences, does not mean that Freud's views were strongly influenced by Nietzsche. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy and online Britannica make no mention of Nietzsche in their articles \on Freud. Paul Vitz suggests that Freud's theories on the unconscious and libido reflect those of Aquinas, albeit unknowingly.

    The de facto configuration of being intelligible by others is the source of in authenticity, namely of the they.Blue Lux

    We will have to agree to disagree. I see authenticity as arising out of knowledge by connaturality -- knowing one's self by being attuned to what "resonates" with us. Did you decide you were gay because "they" told you so, or because of experiences that resonated with your being?

    The transpersonal label is what establishes the point of reference known as objectivity, which is metaphorically the source of all inauthenticity.Blue Lux

    I don't think that "the objective," what is intersubjectively available, is rightly called "consciousness." It is at the other pole of the subject-object relationship from awareness.

    Being at the other pole of the relationship, the objective is neither authentic nor inauthentic. Only our response can be authentic or inauthentic.

    The single consciousness is the consciousness of objectivity, which does not define consciousness as a whole but is consciousness in a very real degree.Blue Lux

    We may each be conscious of the same object, but our consciousness of that object is uniquely our own -- not only because we are different subjects, but because as different subjects we each have a different relation to the object (a different standpoint and a different set of associations).

    There is no creation of existence. Existence preceeds essence.Blue Lux

    Yes, existence is prior to essence, and no, existence as a whole cannot be created. Still, individual existents, even whole universes, can be created, ex nihillo.
  • Dfpolis
    433
    I don't think your realistic interpretation of three is necessary to make the sentence true. The referents in the sentence are the molecule and its atoms, which, if counted, will number three. — Dfpolis

    It seems to me that you could say the same thing about the particulars. That is, the referent of the sentence is the world which, if observed in a specific way, would present as a water molecule and its atoms.
    Andrew M

    We need to think about the potential being actualized by each operation. For any potential to be actualized, there needs to an actual being with that potential.

    Perhaps the actual being of a water molecule is smeared out in some quantum fashion that does not coalesce until it is observed. That is possible and if so, then the exact configuration we observe would not be actual until we interact with it -- observing it. Still, experience shows that every time we observe a water molecule, we find two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. So, whatever its unobserved state, that state is fully determined with respect to the kinds of atoms we will find. Since information is the reduction of possibility, and there is no possibility that we will find any other atoms, we can say it's atomic structure is fully informed.

    So, we know there is some reality, prior to our observation, that is determinately H2O. Further, that reality is doing things. For example, it is contributing to the gravitational field.

    Now, what about the "threeness" of the molecule? It is also a determinate potential, but it is not doing anything that the physicality of the molecule is not doing. It has no operations of its own. it is just a non-operational aspect of the molecule waiting for someone to come along and count it. Whe we do count it, we actualize its intelligibility, forming a subject-object relation with this aspect of the water molecule.

    The whole reality of the <three> comes from us actually thinking it. In other words, the only activity specifically associated with the "threeness" of the molecule is us thinking about it. Apart form us thinking it, there is no activity associated with "threeness" -- so it is potential, not actual, when not actually thought.
  • Dfpolis
    433
    But the form is separable from the matter, that's how we know things through abstraction, the form of the vase is brought into the mind.Metaphysician Undercover

    The form of a vase is not physically separated and brought into the mind, What we do in abstraction is mentally distinguish the form of the vase from its matter.

    How does the form enter our mind? Dynamically, not physically. The form acts on us via our senses, but all the while, it remains inseparable from the matter of the vase. If it ever ceased to be in the vase, it would cease to be the form of the vase.

    If the form of a vase were inseparable from the matter of a vase, you could not say that the form is immaterial because it would be of necessity united with matter, impossible to be otherwise, and therefore material.Metaphysician Undercover

    That is not the definition of "material" I am using. "Immaterial" only means not made of matter. Something immaterial can be completely inseparable from matter, or it can exist apart form matter. If it can exist apart from matter, it is called "spiritual." Forms of vases and laws of nature are immaterial but require matter to be what they are, and so they are not spiritual.

    As shown by mystical experience, human awareness can operate in ways not dependent on matter, and so is spiritual.

    The existence of order does not necessitate the conclusion of intentionality, the existence of purpose does.Metaphysician Undercover

    When a process is ordered, in the sense I an using the term, it acts in a determinate way. If it acts in a determinate way, it will have a determinate end at any point in time. To have a determinate end is to have a purpose.

    How about the activity of the earth orbiting the sun, or of things moving from gravity? These are orderly activities, described by laws, but unless we can determine a purpose for these activities we cannot conclude that there is intentionality.Metaphysician Undercover

    I disagree. We can determine their intentionality by applying Brentano's analysis or my logical propagator approach.

    Also, the human failure to discern purposes is not an argument that there are no purposes
    But you want to change this definition such that order is the essence of intentionMetaphysician Undercover

    Not at all. Order is one sign of intentionality. Purpose is another. The ordering of means to ends is also a sign, Aboutness is a forth. Being a logical propagator is another. Being a product of intellect or will are still others.

    Therefore the existence of the means, i.e. order, does not necessarily indicate intentionality.Metaphysician Undercover

    There are no means without ends they are subordinate to.

    So you go on and on talking about forms, the immaterial, and intentionality, as if you think that these are real and you believe in them, when in reality you think that these are just the illusions of deluded minds.Metaphysician Undercover

    In a dialog, we should employ the principle of charity -- attributing intellectual integrity to our dialog partner, and looking for the interpretation of what is said that gives it the most sense and rationality. I've said nothing to indicate that I'm writing in bad faith, and I take offense that you have chosen to accuse me of bad faith simply because you don't grasp what I'm telling you.

    If the form inheres in the vase, as the matter of the vase does, and is inseparable from the matter of the vase, then how is it anything other than the matter of the vase? IMetaphysician Undercover

    Because neither the matter nor the form are the actual being we call a "vase." Each is an aspect of the vase that we can separate in our minds, but not in reality.

    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, just in an extended sense that does not apply to signs. Consider what you've said in relation to my original statement, which was that brain states are not signs of the contents they encode because they are neither formal nor instrumental signs. How does the fact that music and art can evoke emotions relate to my claim -- or support your objection?

    Defining a word such that many things which are normally referred to by that word are excluded by your definition, in order to support an ontological position, is not good metaphysics. That part of reality excluded by your definition is also excluded from your ontology.Metaphysician Undercover

    Not at all. The question being examined is how neurally encoded contents relate to the ideas they support. This is a question about information, not emotions. So, the only relevant kind of meaning is that relating to information.

    I am not denying the reality of emotions, nor the capacity of art to evoke them. I am only saying that is not what we are talking about now.
  • Blue Lux
    587
    Freud and Nietzsche are absolutely entwined! As well as Jung!
    If you know Nietzsche well... It is all in Freud! Totem and Taboo. The interpretation of dreams. And many more.
  • Blue Lux
    587
    I disagree with everything you said to me...

    What should I do now? Is it even worth replying?
  • Blue Lux
    587
    but do tell me... How a creation ex nihilo is possible and prove it
  • Blue Lux
    587
    The whole premise of psychoanalysis is Ubermensch. Jung's shadow? Hello?? No Nietzsche there? And Jung was Freud's "prince"?
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.4k
    Dfpolis, I'm finding it very hard to understand the logic behind the assertions you make. You make assertions which appear to be illogical, and when I ask you to explain how you understand these principles which you are asserting, in a logical way, you tend to just reassert the same thing without explaining it. Here's some examples.

    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. Classically these realities would be understood as independent Forms. However, you also argue that forms cannot exist independently of matter. So what type of existence are you giving to these "realities which can act without depending on any material object? If there are actual realities which are independent of all material objects, and they are not "Forms", how else would you classify these immaterial things?

    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. The form of the vase, can exist in places other than the vase itself. The difference between the essence of the vase as a form, and the form of the vase which includes all of its accidents, indicates that "the form of the vase" need not include all of the vase's accidents. So the "form of the vase", without the accidents of the material vase, exists independently of the material vase. It is only if you insist that "the form of the vase" must include all the accidents, that it becomes impossible for the form of the vase to exist independently from the material vase. But you have not justified this insistence.

    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. I've also explained why I think that this is logically impossible, and you haven't addressed my argument either. Let me explain again.

    If something is completely inseparable from something else, then it cannot be identified as a distinct thing. That very description, "A is inseparable from B" dictates that A and B are not distinct things. They are inseparable and are therefore one and the same thing. 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.

    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.

    If 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?

    When a process is ordered, in the sense I an using the term, it acts in a determinate way. If it acts in a determinate way, it will have a determinate end at any point in time. To have a determinate end is to have a purpose.Dfpolis

    I don't see how a process could possibly have a determinate end. By the law of conservation of energy, energy continues, and therefore activity continues with time. It would be impossible to say that process ends, unless activity ends. Any designated "end" is a judgement. so this argument fails for that reason.

    I disagree. We can determine their intentionality by applying Brentano's analysis or my logical propagator approach.

    Also, the human failure to discern purposes is not an argument that there are no purposes
    Dfpolis

    OK, we clearly have completely different notions of intentionality. But I don't remember your logical propagator approach, could you describe it again for me please.

    Not at all. Order is one sign of intentionality. Purpose is another. The ordering of means to ends is also a sign, Aboutness is a forth. Being a logical propagator is another. Being a product of intellect or will are still others.Dfpolis

    Yes, the ordering of means to an end is a sign of intentionality. But order without any indication of an end ought not be mistook for a sign of intentionality. I agree that a failure to determine the particular purpose of any particular action is not an argument that there is no purpose, but my argument is that unless you can determine a reason to believe that there is a purpose, it is unreasonable to assume that there is. The existence of order, in general, does not provide us with that reason. As I explained, intentional agents take already existing things and use them as means to ends. It is in relation to intention that the thing becomes a means, but they still exist as the things which they are, prior to becoming means. As you say, means require ends, but the things which become means exist prior to becoming means. And this includes order in general, it exists as order prior to becoming the means to an end. Unless you can demonstrate that order requires intention, i.e. that all order is purposeful order, your claim that whereever there is order there is intention, is unjustified.

    Because neither the matter nor the form are the actual being we call a "vase." Each is an aspect of the vase that we can separate in our minds, but not in reality.Dfpolis

    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. This is why your endeavour violates the fundamental laws of logic, you are describing an impossibility, like a square circle. you can say that there's such a thing as a square circle but we know it's fiction. You can say that matter and form are separate aspect of the vase, but if in reality they are inseparable, then this is just fiction. So either matter and form are separable in reality or else the separating of them in our minds is nothing more than fiction.
  • Andrew M
    472
    So, whatever its unobserved state, that state is fully determined with respect to the kinds of atoms we will find. Since information is the reduction of possibility, and there is no possibility that we will find any other atoms, we can say it's atomic structure is fully informed.

    So, we know there is some reality, prior to our observation, that is determinately H2O. Further, that reality is doing things. For example, it is contributing to the gravitational field.
    Dfpolis

    Agreed. However if there is some reality that is determinately H2O then there is some reality that determinately has three atoms. The latter is simply a logical consequence of the former. If observation is not required for the former to be true, then it is not required for the latter to be true either.

    Now, what about the "threeness" of the molecule? It is also a determinate potential, but it is not doing anything that the physicality of the molecule is not doing. It has no operations of its own.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.

    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.
  • Dfpolis
    433
    Freud and Nietzsche are absolutely entwined! As well as Jung!
    If you know Nietzsche well... It is all in Freud! Totem and Taboo. The interpretation of dreams. And many more.
    Blue Lux

    Does that also mean that Freud is about Thomas Aqunias?

    How does Maslow's hierarchy of needs, which is empirical, come out of these speculations?

    I disagree with everything you said to me...

    What should I do now? Is it even worth replying?
    Blue Lux

    Dialog depends on shared ground. So, for me it starts with common experience, not our separate theories.

    How a creation ex nihilo is possible and prove iBlue Lux

    If, as you say, existence is prior to essence, then the power to act is prior to limitations on that power. That means that Existence, able to do any logically possible act, is most primary.

    While there is a contraction in non-being acting to create, there is no logical contradiction in Existence making something without prior matter (which is what creation ex nihillo means).

    As for Jung, he rejected Freud to found his own school.

    The bottom line is that Maslow's hierarchy of needs is an empirical finding that does not depend on the theories of his predecessors.
  • Blue Lux
    587
    Jung did not reject Freud. Freud rejected Jung. But Jung was always a Freudian! Freud taught him so much. The difference between them was that Freud was way more strict, not very interested in the things Jung was interested in, namely the collective unconscious, synchronicity, religious beliefs and mystical experience. Jung's idea was all about individuation. As well, Jung came up with an Electra complex, akin to Freud's Oedipus complex... Freud rejected this as well. But in the end Jung was still a proponent of Freud's, for instance, 3 essays on the theory of sexuality or his dream interpretation. Jung thought there was an aspect of the Psyche that was not contingent on experience, and that perhaps contained "a biological order from DNA" of beliefs, fantasies and configurations of thought and feeling. He called these the archetypes, and there are many. He substantiated this idea with different forms of evidence that Freud would have never used, because Freud only wanted to establish what could be strictly falsifiable. He wanted an explanation more than an exploration.

    Nietzsche's idea of accepting someone's own darkness and becoming "beyond good and evil" is a cornerstone of Freud and Jung. Freud did not adhere to the common conceptions of how things were. He went beyond in order to establish a psychology, which is precisely what Nietzsche says in Beyond Good and Evil.

    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.
  • schopenhauer1
    2.2k
    Contrary to de­terminists who give time-sequenced causality prior­ity over voli­tion, will is the prime analogue and causality deriva­­tive. Associ­ation plays a role, but, as Hume noted, asso­cia­­tion does not warrant necessity. The idea of causal con­nec­tion over time derives from our experience as agents.Dfpolis

    I just started reading this thread. Sorry for the late addition. This point to me seems to have connection to Schopenhauer’s main thesis regarding will as metaphysically primary. Just thought that was interesting. I would characterize your approach as a certain “flattening” which is not necessarily a bad approach. I would define a flattening approach as one where two unrelated phenomenon (human intention) and physical events connect in a deeper principle. The obvious criticism I can see is that your claim is making an unsubstantiated comparison. Just because there are two similar mechanisms that doesn’t mean they have the same metaphysical origin but are perhaps similar but convergent and parallel phenomenon.
  • Dfpolis
    433
    I've been thinking about your perceived connection between Freud and Nietzsche. If this is your personal discovery, and you can back it up with textual parallels and research, then I strongly encourage you to write an article for publication. Seriously.
  • Dfpolis
    433
    The obvious criticism I can see is that your claim is making an unsubstantiated comparison. Just because there are two similar mechanisms that doesn’t mean they have the same metaphysical origin but are perhaps similar but convergent and parallel phenomenon.schopenhauer1

    Thank you for your comment.

    I am not suggesting the primacy of will. We can't will eftectively unless we know the existential situation.

    I would suggest that my approach answers the question of how human intentions can have physical effects -- in the same way as the laws of nature do. It is also supported by observational data confirming that intentions have a measurable effect on physical processes.
  • Blue Lux
    587
    I have many textual parallels between them. I thought this was obvious.
    But I don't know how to publish. I have many things I would like to publish but I don't know where to start. I am naive in this regard.
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