• gurugeorge
    517
    I'm not saying anything particularly controversial. I'm saying that most people don't find a significant other or at least in some satisfactory manner.schopenhauer1

    Actually that seems like quite a controversial statement. Do you have a source for it or is it just your sense of things?
  • schopenhauer1
    2.2k
    Actually that seems like quite a controversial statement. Do you have a source for it or is it just your sense of things?gurugeorge

    So love is easy to find, eh? News to me. All those forlorn love songs, stories and such, must have been from the "unusual" cases. Divorce rates hover over 50% I believe.. People unhappy with their love life are pretty numerous. Though if you need one cursory glance at some study done by searching on the internets, here is one: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4757816/Mathematicians-reveal-odds-finding-love.html

    But to reverse the somewhat obnoxious question, do you have proof that most people have a healthy flourishing love life? Is this important thing easy for most people? Is it reliable? Now you may scoff at the notion that basic forms of happiness should be so easy but that’s just because you’ve adjusted your exlectations to lowered circumstances that reality offers. Philosopher David Bentar writes at length regarding this psychological technique of adjustment. Doesn’t make the reality better just your relative position to it..like psychological armor..the beserker, the stoic, the man of equanimity. Constantly honing, adjusting, lived experience of trial and error, and of course fortune has its part. This is reality and we must deal.

    When things go well for people, it’s even easier to scoff.
  • gurugeorge
    517
    All those forlorn love songs, stories and such, must have been from the "unusual" cases.schopenhauer1

    Cognitive bias: you are forgetting all the joyous music about love found.

    Divorce rates hover over 50% I believe.schopenhauer1

    A comparatively recent phenomenon, as is the general unhappiness we see around us, the suicide rate in the midst of plenty, etc. We may hypothesize the cause (I think it's the baneful influence of Cultural Marxism, Feminism and Postmodernism, as filtered down to the populace in "pop" form since roughly the 1940s, but what do I know :) ), but it is at least notably a relatively recent thing. I agree that social media is highly problematic - again, a lot of these things are analogous to sugar craving or various other kinds of addiction, like porn addiction. We're built to crave things that were rare but good for us in our ancestral environment, so when we have an abundance of them some of us are really thrown off kilter.

    Now you may scoff at the notion that basic forms of happiness should be so easyschopenhauer1

    I wouldn't scoff at that at all, but I think the difficulty in modern times is artificially created by ideology, as aforesaid. Careful improvements on traditionalism, rather than throwing the baby out with the afterbirth, would likely have been the ideal path, but instead the "intelligentsia" from the mid to the late 20th century got it into their heads that the whole thing had to be torn down, "revolutionized," reformed, etc., etc. Result: greater unhappiness, greater difficulty for ordinary people to find ordinary happiness.

    When things go well for people, it’s even easier to scoff.schopenhauer1

    Yeah, sometimes, although for most people for whom "things are going well," it's because they worked at it; they often came from some set of circumstances that offered a contrast to "things going well," which motivated them to get out of it.

    In all seriousness, I'm not immune to bouts of pessimism myself, but I do think the mood is parochial and comes from a diminished, somewhat myopic overview.
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.4k
    Hmmmm. In relation to a HUMAN EXISTENCE, wouldn't an experience of something 'unadulturated' by language and expression, which strips the individual authenticity of what is down into the simple and general, absolutely have an authority regarding how things are? If I say "My significant-other committed suicide and 'that' made me feel extraordinarily sad" wouldn't that communicate a universal authority about how 'that thing', namely the happening of a member of a relationship committing suicide resulting in the sadness of the other member of the relationship, is?Blue Lux

    Sure, but I was talking about someone speaking with absolute authority about Reality itself, Ultimate Reality.

    But yes, of course it's true that experiences and feelings such as you describe, direct feelings and impressions, as opposed to narratives, descriptions, or evaluations, are what's more real. ...genuine experience.

    Michael Ossipoff
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.4k
    But I haven't seen anyone else reporting on any universal particularism either.gurugeorge

    Is that supposed to have something to do with what I said?

    All I spoke about was assertions.

    No one here would say that you should believe what you don't know of reason to believe.

    ...reason such as "reports on any universal particularism".

    Evidently it's necessary to repeat, for you, the post that you're "replying" to:

    I'd emphasized:

    No one's saying what you should or shouldn't go with, given what you've seen or haven't seen.

    I was just commenting about assertion. ...and a presumption that your own perceptions, experiences, feelings and impressions, and your emotional conclusions from, and reaction to, them, have universal authority about how things are.

    No one is questioning the validity, for you, of your perceptions, experiences, feelings and impressions.
    Michael Ossipoff

    Michael Ossipoff
  • Blue Lux
    583
    But if our emotions, feelings and experiences are authentic, then do they not have absolute authority over what reality is?

    By 'reality' I mean... Anything that can be experienced.
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.4k
    But if our emotions, feelings and experiences are authentic, then do they not have absolute authority over what reality is?

    By 'reality' I mean... Anything that can be experienced.
    Blue Lux

    They do.

    And that includes impressions and feelings (until they're the subject of narrative, concept, commentary, assertion, argument or evaluation).

    That's why I was telling Gurugeorge that his impressions and feelings are valid for him, but that his assertions about Reality aren't valid.

    Michael Ossipoff
  • Blue Lux
    583
    but an assertion based on these feelings or experiences ?
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.4k
    but an assertion based on these feelings or experiences ?Blue Lux

    Then it's a whole other ballgame. It's no longer the feelings and experiences, it's words about them. Words and description aren't direct experience. Feelings, impressions, and direct experience aren't for assertion.

    Sure, you can say that you experienced the presence of a bakery on a certain street, and that's a conceptual and verbally-describable matter, and so of course it can be usefully and validly asserted.

    But we're talking about assertions about the whole of Reality itself.

    One can express one's feelings and impressions. I've done so, on matters of Reality and religion.

    But i don't assert my feelings and impressions, and I don't assert, about Reality or religion, or other non-describable, non-explainable matters.

    However strong, intense and heartfelt is Gurugeorge's feeling that Reality is indifferent, he was right to express it as a feeling and impression, but it's just not the kind of thing to make an objective assertion about.

    Michael Ossipoff.
  • gurugeorge
    517
    Is that supposed to have something to do with what I said?Michael Ossipoff

    Uh yeah, it's a direct response to your:-

    a presumption that your own perceptions, experiences, feelings and impressions, and your emotional conclusions from, and reaction to, them, have universal authority about how things areMichael Ossipoff

    Clearly, if I'm ready and willing to take into account others' perceptions, experiences, feelings and impressions, I don't think my own have universal authority ;)
  • Blue Lux
    583
    Clearly, if I'm ready and willing to take into account others' perceptions, experiences, feelings and impressions, I don't think my own have universal authoritygurugeorge

    This presupposes that others perceptions, experiences, feelings and impressions say something contradictory to what mine do, and also that others perceptions, feelings, experiences, etc. relate to the exactly the same things...
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.4k


    Uh yeah, it's a direct response to your:-
    .
    a presumption that your own perceptions, experiences, feelings and impressions, and your emotional conclusions from, and reaction to, them, have universal authority about how things are — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    Clearly, if I'm ready and willing to take into account others' perceptions, experiences, feelings and impressions, I don't think my own have universal authority
    .
    How very fair of you to evaluate the validity of other people’s perceptions, experiences, feelings and impressions before making your assertion about how it definitely is. :D
    .
    I don’t know or care what other perceptions, experiences, feelings and impressions you listened to or heard about, or why you found them unconvincing. That’s your business only.
    .
    It’s about assertion. Here’s what you said:
    .
    It's really more that the universe is indifferent - you can go with the grain or against the grain, the universe doesn't care one way or the other.
    .
    That’s an assertion. About the character or nature of the whole of Reality, an assertion is presumptuous.
    .
    Michael Ossipoff
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.4k


    “I want it all! I want cushy paradise on Earth! I want and [believe that I] need constant entertainment!” — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    You are being purposefully provocative now to the point of distorting my position. Entertainment is not used [by Schopenhauer1] in the sense that senses need tantalizing (i.e. games/electronics/etc).. it is ANYTHING not directly related to survival and maintaining comfort. ANY goal related to things other than the two aforesaid things can look like many things.. religious goals, meditation, charity work, reading, learning, taking a class, staring at a tv, playing a video game, etc. etc.
    .
    Then that’s what you mean by “entertainment”, when you decry your need for entertainment, and to constantly keep yourself entertained.
    .
    You say that the world is broken. Don’t you see that you’re describing yourself and a personal problem that is specifically yours? If others don’t share your problem, then everyone else must be wrong?
    .
    Just out of curiosity: It’s fairly certain that, by “the world”, you aren’t referring to the societal world. You’re referring to something on a larger scale, bigger than human organizational or societal structure. On what scale are you saying that the world is broken. What “world” are you referring to?
    .
    Who is making it necessary for you to constantly entertain yourself and, in general, engage in deferred-satisfaction “instrumentality”? Who is withholding happiness from you?
    .
    If anything, a universe where everything is satisfied looks more like dreamless sleep.
    .
    Agreed. Deep, timeless, identity-less, care-free, incompletion-less dreamless sleep. …nightly, and also, with finality, at the end-of-lives.
    .
    But you’re overlooking the question of why you’re in life now. You just regard it as something to complain about. …some wrong (“broken”) state of affairs that for some reason has befallen you.
    .
    You’re in life because you wanted &/or (felt that you) needed it.
    .
    But, whether you agree with that or not, the question comes to: Then what to make of the situation? Spend this life railing against it? ….and then expect final rest afterwards? If you’re in a mess, it’s one of your own making. Why expect your mess and your decidedly inimical, unaccepting, entertainment-needing, hard-to-please, and un-satisfiable attitude to disappear at the end of this life? What you live is what you are, and what you are is what you’re consistent with. Are you consistent with final rest?
    .
    We can agree to disagree about reincarnation, but I suggest that, in particular, you’re in a societal world like this one because you’ve, in some way, been botching life, and are now in a world that is consistent with the person you were. But I’m not singling you out. I’d say the same about any one of us here.
    .
    I don’t believe in ad-hominem critical attack-style, but what answer to you leave for me, other than to say that your non-acceptance of life as it is, is unreaslistic? — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    I've never claimed that reality is other than the state it is.
    .
    Come again??
    .
    No one would deny that Reality is as it is.
    .
    Your perception of how it is, is different from mine. I’ll say to you what I said to Gurugeorge: You can express your feelings and impressions about it, but it’s presumptuous to assert about the nature and character of the Whole of Reality.
    .
    But your rejection of your situation—the situation of being in a life—is unrealistic. Instead of talking about it being wrong, or “broken”, it would make more sense to just make the best of it. What other course is there?
    .
    I merely made observations about how that state is. You have yet to address the issue that indeed, this is how the state is.
    .
    Like many others who comment to your various threads, I don’t know what you’re talking about, with your “instrumentality”. I mean, I know what you’re saying, but I just don’t know of anything that corresponds to your words. “Instrumentality” would indeed by a miserable way to live. So why do it?
    .
    I’ve admitted that life has survival demands. I and others have admitted that life has a natural ebb-&-flow of demands and requirements, and things that you like. (…things that you like that are already there, or that come without striving for them, even when you’re concentrating your efforts and planning on matters of getting-by, or being considerate or helpful to others.)
    .
    To the extent that life is as you say it is, then making the best of it won’t cause you as much unhappiness as continually rejecting, railing-against, rebelling against, and resenting it.
    .
    But don’t be so sure that you’re right about how it is. "Instrumentality" is an unnecessary lifestyle-choice of yours.
    .
    Michael Ossipoff
  • gurugeorge
    517
    That’s an assertion. About the character or nature of the whole of RealityMichael Ossipoff

    I get to do that, everyone gets to do that, including the people who's assertions about reality I'm taking into account in formulating my own.

    And my statement, their statements, your statements, are either true or false. You pays your money and you takes your choice.

    You're manufacturing a problem where there is none.
  • gurugeorge
    517
    This presupposes that others perceptions, experiences, feelings and impressions say something contradictory to what mine doBlue Lux

    Eh? Not at all, they might agree with me. But they may not, and because I may be wrong, I am morally obliged to to look at other points of view, to cross-check.
  • Blue Lux
    583
    But these other points of view will inevitably be your point of view.
  • gurugeorge
    517
    But these other points of view will inevitably be your point of view.Blue Lux

    You mean if we agree?
  • Blue Lux
    583
    No... I mean...

    If I say, "This tea tastes like grass," and then you taste the same tea and say, "I agree," even though we both agree on this we can both not be sure that we both mean the same thing. We, objectively, mean the same thing... But this objective same is merely a faith.

    Furthermore, if you cross check other points of view to determine some objectivity about something, you will be, regardless, imposing upon these 'other points of view' your point of view, your interpretation of these other points of view, the supposed objectivity.
  • gurugeorge
    517
    merely a faith.Blue Lux

    No, not merely a faith, it's corroborated, such that the world would have to be very different from how we both think it is, for our estimates to be not, in fact, objective like we think they are. We are justified in being sure of our opinion, so long as we always leave room for doubt.

    But doubt has to be on the basis of some anomaly. Just the mere possibility that things might be different, is not in itself reason to doubt our settled model.

    IOW, so much would have to be revised, so many settled facts and theories looked at again, that the evidence that would make all the effort we'd have to make to revise our settled model justified, would have to be very "big" and unusual (Hume's point).

    This is why people think of extreme examples (like bullets turning into soap bubbles) to illustrate the kind of evidence we'd need to have to even begin to really seriously doubt the settled, generally accepted model.
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.4k


    ”That’s an assertion. About the character or nature of the whole of Reality” — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    I get to do that, everyone gets to do that, including the people who's assertions about reality I'm taking into account in formulating my own.
    .
    Of course. Anyone gets to assert anything. It used to be commonly asserted that the Earth is flat.
    .
    Didn’t someone say that, in the evolution vs anti-evolution debate, it was proved that there’s no such thing as un-utterable nonsense?
    .
    If you think that words can describe or validly, provably assert about the Whole of Reality, then that’s where we must just agree to disagree.
    .
    And my statement, their statements, your statements, are either true or false.
    .
    But your statement is definitely true, right? No? But isn’t that the nature of an assertion? …certainty or claimed certainty of truth and accuracy?
    .
    Statements aren’t necessarily provably true or false. Even in mathematics there are true but unprovable statements. But you claim to make a reliably true statement about the character or nature of the whole of Reality?
    .
    Maybe you’re thinking of logic, but if you think that logic applies to the whole of Reality, then we must agree to disagree.
    .
    As for the notion that words describe and cover everything, including the whole of Reality, remember that, for one thing, no finite dictionary can noncircularly define any of its words.
    .
    You're manufacturing a problem where there is none.
    .
    …manufacturing what problem? I’m merely pointing out an instance of presumptuousness.
    .
    Michael Ossipoff
  • gurugeorge
    517
    But isn’t that the nature of an assertion? …certainty or claimed certainty of truth and accuracy?Michael Ossipoff

    No, an assertion just presents how one thinks things are, and if questioned one gives one's reasons. If something crops up that shows one was wrong, so be it. There's no "presumption" about it - what a strange concept to use in this context!

    but if you think that logic applies to the whole of Reality, then we must agree to disagree.Michael Ossipoff

    By your own lights, how do you know that it doesn't, o "presumptuous" one? ;)
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.4k
    "But isn’t that the nature of an assertion? …certainty or claimed certainty of truth and accuracy?"— Michael Ossipoff

    No, an assertion just presents how one thinks things are
    gurugeorge

    Now that's funny, because, according to Merriam-Webster and Houghton-Mifflin, to assert is to state or declare positively.

    In any case, in the statement of yours that I was referring to, you weren't just "present[ing] how [you] think things are." You were saying how things are.


    "but if you think that logic applies to the whole of Reality, then we must agree to disagree". — Michael Ossipoff
    By your own lights, how do you know that it doesn't, o "presumptuous" one?

    All I said there was that we must agree to disagree. That was only about differing opinions.

    But, in any case, even if we merely don't know whether an assertion can be validly made about the character or nature of the whole of Reality......if we don't know if such an assertion can be true, then any assertion that logic can apply to the whole of Reality would be questionable.

    Michael Ossipoff
  • gurugeorge
    517
    you weren't just "present[ing] how [you] think things are." You were saying how things are.Michael Ossipoff

    I really fail to see the difference, one's opinion about how things are is one's opinion about how things are, and that is an assertion. Nobody expects (or would accept) that some one particular person has a backchannel to reality such that their utterances are guaranteed to be true, so the lack of such a thing is no problem.

    I think the nub of our disagreement is probably that you think that a statement about the Whole would have to have ascertainable logical/evidentiary links to the Whole (which would then justify or guarantee the truth of the statement), which would be impossible for a mere mortal.

    I don't think knowledge is like that, I don't think logical/evidentiary links guarantee the truth of anything. Something can be as justified, as supported by evidence, as topped and tailed as you like, but still be wrong, whether it's about the whole or a part.

    (IOW knowledge is not JTB, it actually never leaves the fundamental logical status of conjecture, a la Popper. All we ever do is make informed guesses.)
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.4k


    First, thank you for clarifying that…
    .
    “It's really more that the universe is indifferent - you can go with the grain or against the grain, the universe doesn't care one way or the other.”
    .
    …was meant as an expression of your opinion, rather than as a claim about how things are.
    .
    ”you weren't just "present[ing] how [you] think things are." You were saying how things are.” — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    I really fail to see the difference, one's opinion about how things are is one's opinion about how things are, and that is an assertion.
    .
    No, that isn’t necessarily an assertion. An assertion isn’t just an expression of opinion. To assert is “to declare or state positively” (as I already quoted two dictionaries).
    .
    Yes, every assertions reveals an opinion. But an assertion also expresses a claim about how things are. Do you see the difference now?
    .
    An opinion is different from a claim.
    .
    Here’s what you said:
    .
    It's really more that the universe is indifferent - you can go with the grain or against the grain, the universe doesn't care one way or the other.
    .
    Yes, that statement shows what your opinion is. But it also expresses a claim about how things are.
    .
    Nobody expects (or would accept) that some one particular person has a backchannel to reality such that their utterances are guaranteed to be true, so the lack of such a thing is no problem.
    .
    No one’s utterances are all guaranteed to be true.

    ***********************
    .
    True statements aren’t false, and false statements aren’t true,
    .
    If there were Slitheytoves, Jaberwockeys and brilligness, and if all Slitheytoves were brillig, and all Jaberwockeys were Slitheytoves, then all Jaberwockeys would be brillig.
    .
    Dogs aren’t turtles.
    .
    The Earth’s volume is greater than that of the building across the street from you.

    The volume of a sphere is less than the volume of a cube whose edge-length is equal to the diameter of that sphere.
    .
    2 + 2 = 4 if the additive associative axiom and the multiplicative identity axiom are true (by the definition of the positive integers by repeated addition of the multiplicative identity).
    .
    There are abstract implications in the sense that we can speak of them or refer to them.
    ****************************
    Each of the above statements between the rows of asterisks expresses a claim, not just an opinion. I claim that they’re true (not just that they express my opinion).
    .
    I think the nub of our disagreement is probably that you think that a statement about the Whole would have to have ascertainable logical/evidentiary links to the Whole (which would then justify or guarantee the truth of the statement), which would be impossible for a mere mortal.
    .
    A claim has to be supportable.
    .
    I don't think knowledge is like that, I don't think logical/evidentiary links guarantee the truth of anything. Something can be as justified, as supported by evidence, as topped and tailed as you like, but still be wrong, whether it's about the whole or a part.

    (IOW knowledge is not JTB, it actually never leaves the fundamental logical status of conjecture, a la Popper. All we ever do is make informed guesses.)
    .
    Yes, theories, or supposed “laws” about the physical world, can be, and have been, later determined to be wrong. And so, statements about how the physical world works are conjectural, to varying degrees.
    .
    But that isn’t true of all statements.
    .
    Michael Ossipoff
  • gurugeorge
    517
    No one’s utterances are all guaranteed to be true.Michael Ossipoff

    But then in that case, there's nothing special about a "claim" as opposed to an "opinion." The most you could say is that a claim is an opinion with some attempt at support, or an opinion is a claim with less or no attempt at support.

    No, that isn’t necessarily an assertion. An assertion isn’t just an expression of opinion. To assert is “to declare or state positively” (as I already quoted two dictionaries).Michael Ossipoff

    But I can "declare or state positively," I can stamp my little feet as much as I like (so to speak), but for all that, I may yet be wrong.

    Each of the above statements between the rows of asterisks expresses a claim, not just an opinion. I claim that they’re true (not just that they express my opinion).Michael Ossipoff

    But your opinion, if isn't just you letting off wind, is also a claim that something is true.

    A statement isn't made more certain by it being couched in terms of "No guys, I REALLY REALLY think this (which is my opinion) is true, and here are my reasons ..." :)

    Yes, theories, or supposed “laws” about the physical world, can be, and have been, later determined to be wrong. And so, statements about how the physical world works are conjectural, to varying degrees.
    .
    But that isn’t true of all statements.
    Michael Ossipoff

    Well, no, not in that sense; but you'll notice that most of the things you laid out as claims are in the area of "analytic" or "true by definition" or "a corollary of the definition of x is that ..."

    But that's not what we're interested in, surely? We're interested in objective truth, truth about the world. Following the line of though that passes via Hume and many other philosophers through to the later Wittgenstein, I would say that an analytic/apriori truth is a truth about the world only indirectly, only insofar as it's (truly or falsely) outlining our own linguistic and conceptual habits, our definitions, our criteria for calling things "A" or thinking of them as A. But you may define a thing as you like, whether it exists or not (as so defined, or differently defined) is another question.

    Everything can in principle be challenged, everything is in principle open to doubt, including your claim examples, including even the deepest "synthetic apriori" axioms we use, including even the laws of logic. Where I part ways with the sceptic is in that I don't believe there's any reason to doubt until there's some anomaly that needs explaining. For doubt to bite, you need a reason to doubt, and the mere logical possibility of alternatives isn't a reason to doubt.

    BUT, that permanent status of conjecture that all our statements have (including this one) means that the presumed authority of "claims" vs. "opinons," or the supposed importance of the distinction that goes back to Plato, between "Justified True Belief" as against "mere opinion" is - well, not exactly bogus, but doesn't bear the weight it's traditionally been thought to bear (e.g. cf. also Gettier problems).

    Justification is really more a part of rhetoric/persuasion than it is of the actual knowledge-discovery process, which proceeds by PUNTING possible-ways-things-could-be and then SIFTING them, rejecting those theories whose corollaries and implications predict results that turn out to be false in experience. Claims that fail modus tollens cannot possibly be true (although even then, one can attempt to "save appearances" to some extent, by re-jigging the underlying definitions), but claims that survive testing may yet be true - and that kind of corroboration is (I think) the best we can do.

    (All of this actually leaves me more open and willing to try on religious and mystical claims, btw. I'm much more open to the classical - Aristotelian, Thomist - arguments for God's existence than I used to be, for example.)
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.4k


    ”No one’s utterances are all guaranteed to be true.” — Michael Ossipoff

    .
    But then in that case, there's nothing special about a "claim" as opposed to an "opinion."

    I didn't say that no utterance can be guaranteed to be true. I said only that no one's utterances can all be guaranteed to be true.
    .
    Of course, from the point of view of the hearer. From the hearer’s point of view, the only information conveyed by an assertion is that it’s an opinion that the asserter claims to be sure of.
    .
    For the equation 35x^2 - 34x - 21 = 0,
    .
    …the solutions are:
    .
    x = 7/5
    .
    and
    .
    x = -3/7
    .
    At this time, having just heard that assertion, and not having checked its accuracy, you currently have no way to know if that assertion is true.
    .
    To you, the hearer, the only information conveyed by that assertion is about my opinion, and my implied sureness of that opinion.
    .
    That’s how it for any assertion for which you don’t already have verification.
    .
    The most you could say is that a claim is an opinion with some attempt at support
    .
    As I said, from the point of view of the hearer, the only information given by a claim is about the asserter’s opinion, and his implied sureness about sit.
    .
    Mistaken clams and assertions, and intentionally-false claims and assertions, are routine in the news.
    .
    A claim or assertion needn’t have any attempt at support. But support would help if you want the claim or assertion to be believed.
    .
    , or an opinion is a claim with less or no attempt at support.
    .
    An opinion isn’t a claim. Even an expression of an opinion isn’t a claim.
    .
    You can reasonably argue that, for the purpose of communication, an assertion doesn’t contain information other than about the asserter’s opinion.
    .
    I don’t deny that. But the fact remains that an assertion or claim is statement of how thing are, rather than just a statement of opinion. That statement’s reliability is another matter.
    .
    It’s a simple and plain distinction.
    .
    …in spite of the fact that an assertion doesn’t convey any information other than an opinion and someone’s sureness about it.
    .
    ”No, that isn’t necessarily an assertion. An assertion isn’t just an expression of opinion. To assert is “to declare or state positively” (as I already quoted two dictionaries)”. — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    But I can "declare or state positively," I can stamp my little feet as much as I like (so to speak), but for all that, I may yet be wrong.
    .
    Of course. As I said, it’s quite common for assertions to be errors or lies.
    .
    ”Each of the above statements between the rows of asterisks expresses a claim, not just an opinion. I claim that they’re true (not just that they express my opinion).” — Michael Ossipoff
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    But your opinion, if isn't just you letting off wind, is also a claim that something is true.
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    Certainly not. I now express an opinion that you regard my above equation-solution statement as probably true. But that expression of opinion about how you regard that equation-solution statement isn’t a claim that you regard that equation-solution statement as probably true.
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    That opinion of mine about how you regard my equation solution-assertion is based on my opinion that you know that I wouldn’t post that assertion without first checking its accuracy (making it, from your point-of-view, unlikely, but not impossible, that it’s wrong.)
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    A statement isn't made more certain by it being couched in terms of "No guys, I REALLY REALLY think this (which is my opinion) is true, and here are my reasons ..." :)
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    An expression of sureness about one’s assertion doesn’t change the fact that the only information received by the hearer is information about your opinion and your sureness of it. Even without additional expression of sureness, any assertion implies sureness on the part of the speaker.
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    But of course you know that when someone emphasizes how sure they are about their assertion, that claim of sureness sometimes might increase the probability, from the hearer’s point of view, that the assertion is true.
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    ”Yes, theories, or supposed “laws” about the physical world, can be, and have been, later determined to be wrong. And so, statements about how the physical world works are conjectural, to varying degrees.
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    But that isn’t true of all statements.” — Michael Ossipoff

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    Well, no, not in that sense; but you'll notice that most of the things you laid out as claims are in the area of "analytic" or "true by definition" or "a corollary of the definition of x is that ..."

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    But that's not what we're interested in, surely? We're interested in objective truth, truth about the world.
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    The fact that the volume of the building across the street from you is less than the Earth’s volume, and that the volume of a sphere is less than that of the cube whose edge-length is equal to that sphere’s diameter are objective facts.
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    Besides, I claim that there’s no reason to believe that the physical world of our experience consists of other than a complex system of inter-referring abstract implications about hypothetical propositions about hypothetical things, with any one of the many mutually-consistent configurations of hypothetical truth-values for those hypothetical propositions.
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    If you believe that this physical world has “objective existence” that the above-described logical system doesn’t have, then I ask you what you mean by that “objective existence”.
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    But yes, reliably-true assertions of objective truth about the world (…where “the world” has the Western philosophers’ meaning as “the whole of what is”) are limited to a describable subset of the world. That’s why I started this discussion by questioning a statement that you‘d made about Reality.
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    When I made my list of reliably-true assertions, I just meant that there are matters about which reliably-true assertions can be made. Some are about things of this physical world. Some are about matters that we’d agree are abstract. Some are even tautologies.
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    Following the line of thought that passes via Hume and many other philosophers through to the later Wittgenstein, I would say that an analytic/a-priori truth is a truth about the world only indirectly, only insofar as it's (truly or falsely) outlining our own linguistic and conceptual habits, our definitions, our criteria for calling things "A" or thinking of them as A.
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    Words can describe certain physical facts about our physical experience, and about logical matters. It’s often pointed out that--aside from such exceptions--description, evaluation, narrative, concept, etc. have nothing to do with experience.
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    …and don’t (or at least can’t be reliably asserted to…) apply to Reality as a whole, or its nature or character.
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    That’s probably why Nisargadatta said that anything that can be said is a lie.
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    But you may define a thing as you like. Whether it exists or not (as so defined, or differently defined) is another question.
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    …especially without a definition for “exist”.
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    I don’t claim existence or reality for anything in the describable realm.
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    Everything can in principle be challenged, everything is in principle open to doubt
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    All assumptions are subject to question.
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    …, including your claim examples
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    Any claim can be challenged, and would then need to be supported. I try to avoid making un-supportable claims.
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    But regarding “There are abstract implications in the sense that we can speak of and refer to them.”
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    That’s just another way of saying, “We can speak of and refer to abstract implications.”
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    Do you challenge that claim? Haven’t I been speaking of and referring to abstract implications?
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    , including even the deepest "synthetic a-priori" axioms we use
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    Of course. They’re just part of an implicational system. The implicational systems that I speak of have no need for any of their implications’ antecedents to be true., and I make no claim that any of their antecedents are true.
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    , including even the laws of logic.
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    I don’t know all the laws of logic, and so I can’t speak to that, but the one requirement for the systems of inter-referring abstract implications that I speak of, including the life-experience possibility-stories that I speak of, is that any one such inter-referring system can’t be inconsistent, because there’s no such thing as mutually inconsistent or mutually contradictory facts.
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    There can’t be mutually-contradictory states of affairs. Things can’t be two mutually-contradictory ways.
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    (Of course there can be mutually contradictory propositions.)
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    BUT, that permanent status of conjecture that all our statements have (including this one) means that the presumed authority of "claims" vs. "opinions," or the supposed importance of the distinction that goes back to Plato, between "Justified True Belief" as against "mere opinion" is - well, not exactly bogus, but doesn't bear the weight it's traditionally been thought to bear
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    From the point of view of a hearer, a claim doesn’t count for more than an opinion. But, as for what’s being said, there’s a definite distinction between a claim or assertion, vs an expression of opinion.
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    You want to look at it only as communication of information, from the hearer’s point of view.
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    But there’s nothing conjectural about (for example) a tautology. And a verifiable claim doesn’t look conjectural after it’s been verified.
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    Some claims are in error. Some claims are intentional lies. But some claims can be supported. All of the claims that I stated, between those rows of asterisks in my previous post, and also the equation-solution assertion that I made above in this reply, can be supported. And the claims between the rows of asterisks in my previous post, are, additionally, things that we both already knew.
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    For example:
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    False statements aren’t true, and true statements aren’t false.
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    A reliably-true statement can be a tautology, or a statement of what a popular definition (or a personal definition) is.
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    Justification is really more a part of rhetoric/persuasion than it is of the actual knowledge-discovery process,
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    No, some claims, assertions, propositions, postulates, implications and theorems can be verified.
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    which proceeds by PUNTING possible-ways-things-could-be and then SIFTING them, rejecting those theories whose corollaries and implications predict results that turn out to be false in experience.
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    Yes, that’s a way of disproving a claim. …showing that it has a consequence which results in a contradiction, or a known falsity.
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    Claims that fail modus tollens cannot possibly be true (although even then, one can attempt to "save appearances" to some extent, by re-jigging the underlying definitions), but claims that survive testing may yet be true - and that kind of corroboration is (I think) the best we can do.
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    Some claims can be demonstrated to be true.
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    But yes, in physics, it could always be that new discoveries will replace current theories and (seeming) “laws” (…which, though replaced, might remain useful under special conditions, as does classical mechanics).
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    (All of this actually leaves me more open and willing to try on religious and mystical claims, btw. I'm much more open to the classical - Aristotelian, Thomist - arguments for God's existence than I used to be, for example.)
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    To me, it’s a matter of impressions and feelings, but not arguments, proof, or assertion. Of course people can tell of reasons for their impressions, but I wouldn’t call that argumentation if it doesn’t come with an assertion.
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    If Aristotle said that Reality is Benevolence itself, I agree.
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    Michael Ossipoff
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