• creativesoul
    3.5k
    All things created and/or invented by us are existentially dependent upon us... necessarily so. When something is discovered, it exists in it's entirety prior to it's discovery. So, one may easily conclude that nothing discovered by humans could be existentially dependent upon humans, for we discover it in it's entirety. One would be dead wrong about some of those things.

    Let me explain...

    Some things are invented/created by humans and these sorts of things are - most certainly - existentially dependent upon us. Houses, books, cars, computers, descriptions, definitions, explanations, accounts, the rules of correct inference, common language, imaginary things, fiction, and codes of conduct are all fine examples of things created/invented by us. These are not the sort of things that I'm interested in here.

    Some things are not created/invented by us, but are - most certainly - existentially dependent upon us. However, these things are also discovered by us. They also exist, in their entirety prior to our discovery of them. Rudimentary level human thought, belief, emotion, wants, and needs are all fine examples of these sorts of things. These are the sorts of things I'm interested in.

    Some things are neither created/invented by us, nor are existentially dependent upon our existence in any way whatsoever. In this group we have things like quantities, the sun, moon, earth, causality, spatial relationships, events, and other physical interactions. In addition, we also have things like physiological sensory perception, spatiotemporal distinction, the attribution and/or recognition of both causality and meaning. All of these things exist and/or are happening prior to our discovery.

    One ought note the overlap between the last two groups above. By virtue of considering our own rudimentary thought and belief, we can establish that our discovery of something doesn't necessarily require the existential independency of that something from humans. We can further establish that not all things existentially dependent upon humans are invented/created by us. While rudimentary human thought and belief is existentially dependent upon humans, what it consists in/of is not.

    There is a group of things that exist in their entirety prior to our discovery and/or awareness of them. Some of these are existentially independent of us altogether. Others are existentially dependent upon us, but not upon our discovery/awareness. None of the basic individual elemental constituents comprising any of the things in this discovery group are actually determined by anything we say.

    We can get these things wrong...
  • creativesoul
    3.5k
    Rudimentary human thought and belief is already happening long before we are able to carefully consider it by virtue of identifying it and then isolating it for the purposes of further consideration. To do this, we use language and the terms "thought", "belief", and what have you. I'm talking about all rudimentary level mental ongoings. Call them what you wish, as long as they meet the criterion I'm setting out. The point I'm raising here is that thinking about one's own mental ongoings(metacognition) requires a creature with a common and rather complex written language.

    Thinking about one's own mental ongoings is required in order to acquire knowledge of them. Thus, language is required in order to acquire knowledge of our own rudimentary thought and belief. It is not required for the existence thereof. Whatever rudimentary thought and belief consists of, it is not language. It is existentially dependent upon neither our awareness of it, nor our means for becoming so. We can know that much for certain.
  • creativesoul
    3.5k
    We have arrived at a point where a bit of summarizing seems needed. There is no argument that humans have rather complex thought and belief systems. There is also no argument than rudimentary thought and belief cannot possibly meet a complex criterion. So, it seems necessary for a couple of reasons to be able to parse out all complex thought and belief in the same terms that successfully parses the simple.

    The first reason would be to maintain consistency/coherency while avoiding equivocation. It would be rather unintelligible if not all thought and belief had the same basic elemental constituents, and yet I insisted upon calling them all by the same namesake. I mean, all thought and belief must have something or other in common in order to qualify as more than just a language game akin to Witt's notion of game where the only thing all games have in common is that we call them such. Thought and belief are no such thing.

    Games are inventions of humans. Thought and belief are not. The only commonality relevant here is that they are both existentially dependent upon humans. The remarkable difference is that games are created/invented by us, whereas human thought and belief is discovered. Games are existentially dependent upon both, our awareness of them and our existence, whereas rudimentary thought and belief is only existentially dependent upon our existence.

    I also do not want to posit a bunch of what has been historically referred to as 'mental furniture'. Rather, if this is to have any bite, it must be able to effectively exhaust all those archaic notions. It must be able to provide a very basic level, upon which everything ever thought, believed, written, and/or spoken could arise from. It ought be amenable to many a conventional viewpoint, and even those which disagree with it ought be able to be effectively explained and thus exhausted by virtue of employing it. These are tremendous justificatory burdens. The method and language is crucial.

    The terms used to parse out all thought and belief(simple through the most complex) must be talking about that which is not existentially dependent our awareness, but is adequate for providing a basic outline capable of exhausting the complex as well as the simple. In the OP the second group of things that exist in their entirety, things that we discover, includes this basic outline of what all thought and belief have in common. At their fundamental core level of irreducibility, everything ever thought, believed, spoken, and/or written consists of and is therefore existentially dependent upon physiological sensory perception, spatiotemporal distinction, and the attribution/recognition of both, causality and meaning.

    I want to be perfectly clear here.

    Those three things are not existentially dependent upon humans in any way whatsoever. That is, all human thought and belief consists of these. We can establish these things are happening with other creatures too. Given that we already know that we were not the first creatures on the planet with the biological make-up required to accomodate these things, it only follows that they are not existentially dependent upon us in any way whatsoever. Our own thought and belief is most certainly existentially dependent upon us. The mechanisms for how it arises within us are not. Those are the basic mechanisms of all thought and belief. All thought and belief consists in/of these things. The differences arise in levels of complexity. The basics remain unchanged.
  • creativesoul
    3.5k
    I've boldly asserted that everything ever thought, believed, spoken, and/or written consists of and is therefore existentially dependent upon physiological sensory perception, spatiotemporal distinction, and the attribution/recognition of both - causality and meaning. I've further asserted that none of these are existentially dependent upon humans. There's a burden that deserves to be carried here. These things need argued for.

    The first is rather uncontentious, but I want to to be clear here. Do not confuse physiological sensory perception with complex historical notions of 'perception' that include a complex thought and belief system replete with language that it is informed by. I'm not talking about that. It is rather, that which includes any and all biological structures replete with basic physiological sensory apparati. We would all agree that things like venus flytraps have some basic kind of physiological sensory perception, as do bacteria and viruses. Plants have even been shown to detect sunlight and water, and have measurably different growth responses to different auditory stimuli despite not having an auditory faculty. This is basic physiological sensory perception, and it is common to all thinking/believing creatures. Humans are commonly said to possess vision, hearing, tactile, olfactory, and taste. A means of detection/perception seems to be necessary - but insufficient - for thought and belief. All obvious and known examples are of creatures replete with this capability, albeit on various and differing levels of complexity.

    Spatiotemporal distinction is a bit more complex. However, it is actually exhausted by the attribution/recognition of causality and meaning for the latter necessarily presupposes the former. All thought and belief must be meaningful to the thinking/believing creature. All meaning is attributed. Current convention places all theories of meaning into two groups, both of which presuppose symbolism. Working from that, we can say that all meaning is attributed by virtue of a creature capable of drawing a mental correlation, association, and/or connection between different 'objects' of physiological sensory perception and/or itself. Any and all creatures that successfully 'perform' this mental task have actively formed rudimentary thought and belief.

    These mental ongoings require neither, the creature's own awareness that they themselves are forming/remembering meaningful thought and belief, nor that we become aware of them. They only require the ability to attribute/recognize causality and/or meaning.
  • creativesoul
    3.5k
    Rudimentary thought and belief are formed by virtue of the attribution/recognition of both causality and meaning. All attribution/recognition of causality is sufficient for simple thought and belief formation. All meaningful attribution involves something to become symbol and something to be become symbolized. Any mental correlation between 'objects' of physiological sensory perception and/or the creature itself will do here.

    When mental correlations are drawn between different things; when creatures associate between different things; when physiological sensory perception autonomously fuses innate feelings with ongoing events, it does so by virtue of drawing correlations between all or some of the particular external 'objects' within the events themselves and the emotional state of mind of that creature at that time. When creatures are drawing such simple mental correlations and you are watching it all happen, you're witnessing rudimentary thought and belief formation in process.
  • Posty McPostface
    5.1k
    So, I read it all; but, no question was posited. I can't but help as though the grand conclusion is that whereof one cannot speak thereof one must be silent?

    Or that existentially independent entities entail noumenal features and that those noumenal features are justified through the incompleteness of our sensory apparatuses.
  • creativesoul
    3.5k


    I've been actively editing it Posty. If you're interested, I'd be more than happy to discuss this in as much or little depth as you like. This is pretty much a summary of a decade worth of my own critical thinking. It's basically about thought and belief. That said, I'm not clear if I'm happy with it yet.

    How does that particular Witt phrase apply?
  • Posty McPostface
    5.1k
    How does that particular Witt phrase apply?creativesoul

    Well, I feel as though the limits of what can be said, via sensory information or input, is what you seem to be talking about. Or to pose the question otherwise if a tree falls down and no sensory apparatuses are around to percieve it falling, then nothing can be said about the tree.

    Dunno if that helped or was detrimental...
  • Posty McPostface
    5.1k
    Some things are not created/invented by us, but are - most certainly - existentially dependent upon us. However, these things are also discovered by us. They also exist, in their entirety prior to our discovery of them. Rudimentary level human thought, belief, emotion, wants, and needs are all fine examples of these sorts of things. These are the sorts of things I'm interested in.creativesoul

    Can you expand on this?
  • creativesoul
    3.5k
    So, I read it all; but, no question was posited. I can't but help as though the grand conclusion is that whereof one cannot speak thereof one must be silent?Posty McPostface

    Witt poses no problem for that which has no precisely measurable spatiotemporal location. Nor is there any reason to believe that we cannot know about such things.
  • creativesoul
    3.5k
    Some things are not created/invented by us, but are - most certainly - existentially dependent upon us. However, these things are also discovered by us. They also exist, in their entirety prior to our discovery of them. Rudimentary level human thought, belief, emotion, wants, and needs are all fine examples of these sorts of things. These are the sorts of things I'm interested in.
    — creativesoul

    Can you expand on this?
    Posty McPostface

    What part would you like to see elaborated upon? The rest of the thread has been slowly and steadily elaborating upon exactly those things...

    I'm unsure where you are with regards to understanding.
  • creativesoul
    3.5k
    ...if a tree falls down and no sensory apparatuses are around to percieve it falling, then nothing can be said about the tree.Posty McPostface

    And yet... you just did.
  • Posty McPostface
    5.1k
    What part would like to see elaborated upon? The rest of the thread has been slowly and steadily elaborating upon exactly those things...creativesoul

    I'm uncertain about what kinds of things are those which are so rudimentary even need discovering. They just are given. Anyhow, I don't want to bug you down with my uncertainties, so I'll just re-read this sometime again and things might click then. Sorry for bothering.
  • creativesoul
    3.5k
    It's no bother Posty...

    :smile:
  • creativesoul
    3.5k
    It doesn't follow from the fact that some sounds find no ear that we cannot talk about such things.
  • creativesoul
    3.5k
    I'm uncertain about what kinds of things are those which are so rudimentary even need discovering. They just are given.Posty McPostface

    Rudimentary as in - is not existentially dependent upon our awareness that they exist.

    Nothing at the baseline of all thought and belief is a given, on my view. Unless by "given" you mean something like pre-dating human existence.

    I'm working from an unspoken premise. At conception, there is no thought and belief. Belief must begin. There is no reason to suppose that complex thought and belief can be formed by a creature prior to more simple, given what we know about our own knowledge base. Therefore, thought and belief begin simply and grow in complexity.

    Does that help orient you?
  • Posty McPostface
    5.1k
    Rudimentary as in - is not existentially dependent upon our awareness that they exist.creativesoul

    But they're a sine qua non, they just are.

    Nothing at the baseline of all thought and belief is a given, on my view. Unless by "given" you mean something like pre-dating human existence.creativesoul

    But thought and belief are just given, one cannot doubt that one is doubting.

    I'm working from an unspoken premise. At conception, there is no thought and belief. Belief must begin. There is no reason to suppose that complex thought and belief can be formed by a creature prior to more simple, given what we know about our own knowledge base. Therefore, thought and belief begin simply and grow in complexity.creativesoul

    But this is confusing. Belief and thought cannot be talked about before their existence. It would be as if one we're to talk about thinking without ever having a thought to begin with. Simply futile?
  • creativesoul
    3.5k
    I'm working from an unspoken premise. At conception, there is no thought and belief. Belief must begin. There is no reason to suppose that complex thought and belief can be formed by a creature prior to more simple, given what we know about our own knowledge base. Therefore, thought and belief begin simply and grow in complexity.
    — creativesoul

    But this is confusing. Belief and thought cannot be talked about before their existence. It would be as if one we're to talk about thinking without ever having a thought to begin with. Simply futile?
    Posty McPostface

    I'm not sure what's confusing. Nothing I've said is incommensurate with the objection. That tells me that perhaps there's a misunderstanding at work here.

    Talking about thinking requires complex written language. Thinking does not. One cannot talk about thinking without ever having had a thought to begin with. That is in agreement with all this.

    We talk about things we discover all the time. All of these things existed prior to discovery. Rudimentary thought and belief are no different.

    Talking about one's own thought and belief comes after having it.
  • StreetlightX
    3.1k
    Not to be too flippant but isn't this just a rehashing of the distinction between primary and secondary qualities?
  • creativesoul
    3.5k


    If it is it is by pure accident. I've not thought in such terms here.
  • creativesoul
    3.5k
    But thought and belief are just given, one cannot doubt that one is doubting.Posty McPostface

    How are these two claims applicable here? The first is a bald assertion. I've already argued for the negative of that claim. I've no reason to believe a bald assertion over the argument I've provided. The second is irrelevant to what's been written thus far.

    One need not doubt that one is doubting in order for anything I've said here to be true.
  • Posty McPostface
    5.1k


    I feel like I'm at an impasse here, creative. I don't know how to carry on this discussion with so much misunderstanding.
  • creativesoul
    3.5k
    May be best to have a better re-read later...

    Have I left any objection uncovered?

    If I'm missing a valid objection, by all means, please let me know. I do not like doing that.
  • Posty McPostface
    5.1k
    Re-read it, and have some simple questions if you will:

    Call them what you wish, as long as they meet the criterion I'm setting out. The point I'm raising here is that thinking about one's own mental ongoings(metacognition) requires a creature with a common and rather complex written language.creativesoul

    What do you mean by that?

    Whatever rudimentary thought and belief consists of, it is not language. It is existentially dependent upon neither our awareness of it, nor our means for becoming so. We can know that much for certain.creativesoul

    Ok, then what are they?

    I mean, all thought and belief must have something or other in common in order to qualify as more than just a language game akin to Witt's notion of game where the only thing all games have in common is that we call them such. Thought and belief are no such thing.creativesoul

    So, again what are they?

    Games are inventions of humans. Thought and belief are not. The only commonality relevant here is that they are both existentially dependent upon humans. The remarkable difference is that games are created/invented by us, whereas human thought and belief is discovered. Games are existentially dependent upon both, our awareness of them and our existence, whereas rudimentary thought and belief is only existentially dependent upon our existence.creativesoul

    I don't see how they are at the same time existentially dependent upon our existence and at the same time independent of being discovered. If you want to use the term, then they are emergent properties, while culminate within our existence.
  • creativesoul
    3.5k
    Re-read it, and have some simple questions if you will:Posty McPostface

    Notta problem Posty.



    Call them what you wish, as long as they meet the criterion I'm setting out.

    What do you mean by that?Posty McPostface

    I'm setting out a criterion which - when met - counts as being thought and belief. I am claiming that all thought and belief are existentially dependent upon physiological sensory perception, pre-existing spatiotemporal distinction and the attribution/recognition of meaning and/or causality.




    Games are inventions of humans. Thought and belief are not. The only commonality relevant here is that they are both existentially dependent upon humans. The remarkable difference is that games are created/invented by us, whereas human thought and belief is discovered. Games are existentially dependent upon both, our awareness of them and our existence, whereas rudimentary thought and belief is only existentially dependent upon our existence. — creativesoul

    I don't see how they are at the same time existentially dependent upon our existence and at the same time independent of being discovered.

    We form thought and belief prior to being able to talk about thought and belief. Thought and belief are mental ongoings. We discover things that existed - in their entirety - prior to our discovery. Our awareness of our own mental ongoings requires language. That is how it's able to be discovered and independent of discovery prior to it.

    Human thought and belief could not have ever existed if humans had not. That's how it is existentially dependent upon us.
  • creativesoul
    3.5k
    All thought and belief consists of the attribution/recognition of causality/meaning. We say this because all known examples do. There are no exceptions. If we are to remain sensible, any future discovery of thought and belief would be a novel candidate that includes the attribution/recognition of causality/meaning.

    This all happened prior to language. It had to have. Otherwise, there could be no rudimentary(pre-linguistic) thought and belief to be taken account of later. But we clearly think about our own thought and belief. It clearly existed prior to our taking account of it. We had best get it right.
  • creativesoul
    3.5k
    Our considerations increase in interesting ways when setting out what the attribution/recognition of causality and meaning consists in/of. Whatever it takes, rudimentary thought and belief includes it. Rudimentary thought and belief are prior to language acquisition. Whatever rudimentary thought and belief consist of, it is something that exists prior to language, but it also included in thought and belief during and after language acquisition.

    The creature is drawing correlations between different 'objects' of physiological sensory perception and itself, That is more than adequate for attributing meaning and causality. All correlation presupposes the exist of it's own content(regardless of subsequent qualifications). That's the presupposition of correspondence inherent to all thought and belief, including but not limited to statements thereof.
  • BrianW
    240


    I think dependence and independence are just ways to imply relationships. Fundamentally, everything in LIFE relates/interconnects to each other in one way or another. LIFE does not exclude. When two things are said to negate each other, it just means they have a particular kind of relationship (perhaps antagonistic; or, one in which the distance between them, from a certain perspective, seems to be greater than expected or on the increase). Even human inventions and creations just mean new 'configurations' of already existing material (and are only new, at least, from our perspective).

    There is nothing new under the sun and no man is an island.

    If the relationship between things is of current import or we are aware of it in real-time, we often use the word dependence; if the relationship is not of current import or we are not aware of it, we use the term independence.

    I think we have always been dependent on LIFE and everything in it. We just have a different outlook of it from our perspectives. For, example, we have always depended on tools - at one time they were fingers, hands, teeth, etc. At some other times, sticks, ropes, fire, wheels, pulleys, gears, machines... Nonetheless, tools.

    We may notice the distance/difference/distinction between the various aspects of LIFE, but they are not permanent, hence not real. Subjectivity is about limiting perspective or being aware of the relative aspects of LIFE; while objectivity is about unification into wholes, the ultimate being LIFE itself.

    Therefore, anything that seems to depend on another, is itself depended upon by that other.
  • creativesoul
    3.5k


    Are you objecting, agreeing, or both? It is unclear to me.

    Are you denying or agreeing that some things are existentially dependent upon humans and others are not?

    Are you denying or agreeing that some things are existentially dependent upon our awareness and others are not?

    Are you denying or agreeing that some things are existentially dependent upon both, our existence and our awareness, and others are not?

    Are you denying or agreeing that we can acquire knowledge of existential dependency?

    Is there some other relevancy within your post that I'm missing?
  • BrianW
    240


    Through the processes of creation, invention, dependence, etc., humans are neither the first nor last in that chain of cause and effect. I understand the term 'existentially dependent upon' to imply 'owing existence to'. My point is nothing owes its existence to humans. Life is the pattern we are a part of; it determines us, we do not determine it.
  • creativesoul
    3.5k
    Through the processes of creation, invention, dependence, etc., humans are neither the first nor last in that chain of cause and effect. I understand the term 'existentially dependent upon' to imply 'owing existence to'. My point is nothing owes its existence to humans. Life is the pattern we are a part of; it determines us, we do not determine it.BrianW

    This looks like an 'argument' for strict determinism.

    I'll take issue with the bit about "nothing owes it's existence to humans"...

    I hope the notion of "owes" isn't the issue here. That said...

    Books, type writers, computers, human thought and belief, social(human) constructs...

    Are you claiming that these things are not existentially dependent upon humans?
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