• creativesoul
    3.7k
    One mind is not a plurality of things. Period.
    — creativesoul

    This is like saying that one universe is not a plurality of things.

    The mind isn't just some single, indivisible thing. My thoughts are distinct from the pain in my throat, from the ringing in my ears, from the microwave sense-data presented to me in the top-right of my vision.
    Michael

    No, it's not.

    Thoughts are not mind. Pains are not mind. Vision is not mind. Stars are not the universe. Etc...
  • Michael
    7.4k
    I would like one example of the attribution of meaning that does not consist of something to become sign/symbol, something to become significant/symbolized, and a creature capable of drawing correlations, associations, and/or otherwise 'connecting' the two.

    Just one will do.
    creativesoul

    Why? That has nothing to do with what I'm saying, which is that I can draw correlations and connections between a sign/symbol and something to become significant/symbolized without there being an external world.

    There's the word "cat" and there's the cat that I see. I connect the two. There is meaning. But neither is an external world object.

    Your conclusion that there is an external world is a non sequitur. You need to show that meaning requires an external world, but you don't do this just by using the term "plurality".
  • macrosoft
    674
    I'm thinking about branching off of this topic and beginning a new one that focuses upon what all is involved with language acquisition. Care to join me?creativesoul

    Sure, I'll join you. I'm only occasionally available at the moment though.

    However, Witt never seemed to properly account for that which exists in it's entirety prior to our account of it. Philosophy proper hasn't either so. Witt wrote, on more than one occasion, that much of his project involved whether or not there was such a thing as a priori knowledge and if so how we could attain/obtain it(how could we know). That starts off on the wrong foot to begin with, so to speak, by adopting an inherently inadequate framework.creativesoul

    I think I've found a phrase I like for my take on all of this: meaning holism.

    We speak from and listen with our entire soft network of interrelated concepts. And even the idea of an atomic or single concept is already a kind of useful but possibly misleading fiction. And it should be noted that 'meaning holism' applies to any description of meaning holism, so I can't analytically/atomically defend this approach. Pick on any particular word and pull and the tapestry unravels. But I think that's true for any position. In short, I think that any analytic approach (and I mean an approach that zooms on on individual words as if they were stand-ins for atomic concepts) is fundamentally misguided in a particular sense. On the other hand, analysis has its uses, so maybe I should just say that analysis has serious limitations, especially when trying to grasp the whole of reality.

    If something exists in it's entirety prior to our conception thereof, then we do not make it a foundation. We discover the foundation that is already there.creativesoul

    Yes, I agree that we find a foundation that was already there, the same foundation we used in the first place in our hunt for yet another foundation (a groundless ground.) In my quote above, I was describing what I'd call the wrong approach. Basically there is a soft meaning of 'ego' that we 'know' or can use in ordinary language. Then some philosophers in a quest for absolute certainty or a theory of knowledge try to sharpen this concept into a kind of device. But the concept is only living as part of a network, and this network is more like a goo than a spiderweb. Meaning is distributed, so plucking words out of context and trying to cash them out as entities largely leads to confusion, though things like dictionaries do have some value. Words do have 'some' relative independent meaning (roughly speaking, as if I had a choice.)
  • creativesoul
    3.7k
    There's the word "cat" and there's the cat that I see. I connect the two. There is meaning. But neither is an external world object.Michael

    The cat you see is not something external to you? Really now?
  • Michael
    7.4k
    The cat you see is not something external to you? Really now?creativesoul

    Not if there isn't an external world, which is what we were discussing. There's just the word and the experience.

    So, again, the existence of meaning isn't evidence of an external world. You need a better argument.
  • creativesoul
    3.7k
    ...the existence of meaning isn't evidence of an external world. You need a better argumentMichael

    Well no. The fact that meaning is existentially dependent upon an external world and meaning exists is all the argument that is necessary.
  • Michael
    7.4k
    The fact that meaning is existentially dependent upon an external worldcreativesoul

    You've yet to show that this is the case. All you've said is that meaning requires a signifier and a thing to be signified, but that can be satisfied by the existence of a word and an experience. We don't need for the experience to be of an external world thing.
  • creativesoul
    3.7k
    The fact that meaning is existentially dependent upon an external world
    — creativesoul

    You've yet to show that this is the case.
    Michael

    There is no evidence to the contrary. What more shewing could one ask for?
  • Michael
    7.4k
    There is no evidence to the contrary. What more shewing could one ask for?creativesoul

    Arguing for the existence of an external world by saying that there is no evidence that there isn't an external world is a terrible argument.
  • creativesoul
    3.7k
    Putting forth a criterion that has no examples to the contrary has the strongest justificatory ground possible...

    Call it "terrible" if you want...
  • Michael
    7.4k
    Putting forth a criterion that has no examples to the contrary...creativesoul

    You’re begging the question. If there isn’t an external world then the world we live in is an example to the contrary.

    If you just want to assert that there’s an external world then do that, but don’t try to pretend that it’s an argument.
  • creativesoul
    3.7k


    If... is begging the question(in the sense that you're using "begging the question"). Double standard. Your own argument cannot meet your own standard.

    The argument I've presented is if all examples of the attribution of meaning are existentially dependent upon an external world then solipsism is false. I offered a (universal)criterion for the attribution of meaning. There are no examples to the contrary. Thus, there is no stronger justificatory ground for assent. That is the case. Therefore... solipsism is false.
  • Michael
    7.4k
    I offered a (universal)criterion for the attribution of meaningcreativesoul

    What you've said is that meaning requires a sign and a thing to be signified and that this can only happen if there is an external world, which is false. If there is the word "cat" and if there is the experience of a cat then even if there isn't an external world then there is a sign and a thing to be signified.

    Even the external world realist can accept the example of the word "pain" and the experience of pain, or the word "ghost" and the fact that there are no external world ghosts (or ghosts of any kind). Meaning just doesn't require an external world.
  • Terrapin Station
    5.5k
    All thought/belief consists of mental correlation(s) drawn between 'objects' of physiological sensory perception and/or the agent itself(it's own state of 'mind' when applicable).creativesoul

    I don't buy the first premise. I neither agree that all thought consists of correlations, nor do I believe that all thought is correlations between this mental stuff and that mental stuff. For one, you seem to be implying some sort of representationalism, as if it's a given that representationalism is correct. I don't agree with that.

    I didn't get much past the first premise.
  • creativesoul
    3.7k
    What you've said is that meaning requires a sign and a thing to be signified and that this can only happen if there is an external world, which is false.Michael

    I haven't said that.

    If there is the word "cat" and if there is the experience of a cat then even if there isn't an external world then there is a sign and a thing to be signified.

    If... if... if...

    Sigh...


    Even the external world realist can accept the example of the word "pain" and the experience of pain, or the word "ghost" and the fact that there are no external world ghosts (or ghosts of any kind). Meaning just doesn't require an external world.

    The argument is more nuanced that this... if you cannot follow it, it's not my problem.

    You could always simply offer one example to the contrary.
  • creativesoul
    3.7k


    I'm always willing to consider an example to the contrary.

    Got one?
  • Terrapin Station
    5.5k


    Re not all thought being correlations, so for example I can think musically. I'm not correlating anything to anything else when I do that, but I am thinking. Rhythms, melodies or other sets of pitches, including chords, more abstract patterns, etc. might simply be "present-to-mind" for me when I'm thinking musically.
  • creativesoul
    3.7k
    :gasp:

    What's going on in your mind when you think musically?
  • creativesoul
    3.7k
    Can one think musically without language?

    I would argue that one cannot. All language consists of correlations.
  • creativesoul
    3.7k
    Is thinking musically meaningless?

    All attribution of meaning consists of something to become sign/symbol, something to become significant/symbolized, and a creature capable of drawing correlations between different things.

    All meaning consists of correlation. Thinking musically is meaningful. Therefore...

    Where there is no correlation there can be no thinking musically.

    One example of the attribution of meaning to the contrary will suffice.

    Got one?
  • DingoJones
    267
    Re not all thought being correlations, so for example I can think musically. I'm not correlating anything to anything else when I do that, but I am thinking. Rhythms, melodies or other sets of pitches, including chords, more abstract patterns, etc. might simply be "present-to-mind" for me when I'm thinking musically.Terrapin Station

    There is a correlation between the notes to create the rhythms, melodies etc. Is there not?
    Also, you use the word “might”, you have doubts?
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