• DingoJones
    170
    "(More or less) wrong" is a category error when it comes to opinions. So if we realize that, we're neither saying that "no one's opinion is more or less wrong" or "no one's opinion is NOT more or less wrong." "More or less wrong" has nothing to do, either way, with opinions.Terrapin Station

    Ok, well it depends on what counts as opinion. If an opinion is ill informed, I would say its a degree more wring than an informed one.
  • DingoJones
    170
    Not opinions re preferences, etc. There is another sense of "opinion" where we just use it to refer to someone's view--"Professor Smith's opinion of the chemical composition of Jupiter's atmosphere." That's not the sense of "opinion" we were talking about.Terrapin Station

    Well, what you are talking about anyway but I understand.
  • macrosoft
    381
    The problem is that things like "objective knowledge," so that the knowledge itself has as one of its properties that it is objective, are really category errors (knowledge, by definition, can't have the property of being objective), so you can't have a "kind-of objectivity" when it comes to something like knowledge.Terrapin Station

    Perhaps you are right under a particular interpretation of the terms involved. I was admittedly using a rougher language. But I'm aiming at a more charitable holistic reading of the issue. I think we should understand the discussion more globally, with a sense of personalities involved.

    I think what is often meant by 'objective' is certain and authoritative. The relativistic nihilist is trying (often awkwardly) to communicate a sense that perfectly certain and perfectly authoritative knowledge is impossible. Unfortunately they tend to imply that this perspective itself is a kind of perfectly certain and authoritative knowledge. The problem is the unperceived uselessness of this 'perfectly.' Another problem is the failure to subject their own position to its own kind of criticism. How did they end up with their essentially atheistic and pragmatic view? How do they intend to convince others that nothing is 'really' convincing? While attacking the weaknesses in their language is potentially useful, it's a little too local for my taste. Our more or less developed sense of the forest largely controls our perspective on the trees. I like examining approaches at their fundamental grasp of the situation.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.3k
    Ok, well it depends on what counts as opinion. If an opinion is ill informed, I would say its a degree more wring than an informed one.DingoJones

    How could an opinion itself, in the relevant sense, be "ill-informed"? We're not talking about information that's not itself an opinion, we're talking about the opinion.
  • DingoJones
    170
    I just wanted you to say where you thought it was located, wherever it happens to be. "In its attributes"--"x is better than y" IS an attribute, right? So it's located in the object's shape in your view? You're saying that the overall shape has a property of "x is better than y"? Would that be a property that we could detect via a machine somehow? Like say that an alien civilzation found a hammer, and could put it in a machine that reads all of the hammer's properties. So in addition to its chemical composition, its tensile strength, etc., the machine would report its "x is better than y" properties somehow?Terrapin Station

    Yes, the machine would be telling you, via the properties of the hammer, what the hammer is good for. Thats besides mt point thiugh, as I started with it depends on the goal. The correct way to lay it out is to find properties that match your needs to a goal. It doesnt matter if you agree that a hammer is the best tool for nails, it just matters that the hammer is better than the dead fish. Once you admit that, then the rest of what im saying follows.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.3k
    I think what is often meant by 'objective' is certain and authoritative.macrosoft

    The way I use the terms is simply that "subjective" is mind-dependent, or in other words, we're talking about mental phenomena when we talk about the subjective, and "objective" is mind-independent--we're talking about something that isn't mental phenomena.

    "Certain and authoritative" I'd have to clarify. For example, there's psychological certainty (which anyone could have about any arbitrary thing potentially--someone might be psychologically certain that they're Santa Claus in octopus form or something like that), and there's a sense of certainty that's basically the same as whether something is a logical truth--a tautology, or where a negation is a logical contradiction, although of course that hinges on particular species of logic.

    And then "authoritative"--there, we're probably just talking about a social phenomenon. People who are considered, due to social conventions, biases, and all sorts of things, to be experts more or less.
  • DingoJones
    170
    How could an opinion itself, in the relevant sense, be "ill-informed"? We're not talking about information that's not itself an opinion, we're talking about the opinion.Terrapin Station

    I addressed this, but things are getting confusing with our rapid responses. Ill try and do a single post response from now on to avoid this.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.3k
    Yes, the machine would be telling you, via the properties of the hammer, what the hammer is good for. Thats besides mt point thiugh, as I started with it depends on the goal. The correct way to lay it out is to find properties that match your needs to a goal. It doesnt matter if you agree that a hammer is the best tool for nails, it just matters that the hammer is better than the dead fish. Once you admit that, then the rest of what im saying follows.DingoJones

    You're saying that the hammer is objectively better than the dead fish for nails. In order for it to be objectively better for that, the better determination has to be in the object itself, and not in any of your thinking about the object. So that's why I'm asking you where that determination is, in the object itself (or whatever it's in, some relation or whatever), what it's a property of mind-independently, etc.

    See, I don't at all agree that a hammer, or anything, is objectively better, than anything else at anything. I think the very idea of that is incoherent. And to me it's pretty obvious that it's incoherent..

    For example, with a hammer, you can put the nails in faster, the hammer won't fall apart as quickly, etc.

    BUT, objectively, what amounts to it being better to put the nails in faster, what amounts to it being better to not have the object fall apart as you're using it, etc.

    You'd say that something in the object itself (or relations or whatever) amounts to that. Well, what? What you've suggested so far is that it's in the shape somehow. So how would that be the case that it's in the shape that it's better to put nails in faster, for the object not to fall apart, etc.?
  • macrosoft
    381
    The way I use the terms is simply that "subjective" is mind-dependent, or in other words, we're talking about mental phenomena when we talk about the subjective, and "objective" is mind-independent--we're talking about something that isn't mental phenomena.Terrapin Station

    I generally agree, except that I find that mind-independence and intersubjectivity sort of blur together. Why? For the usual reasons. We can't compare our cognition of the object to the object itself, so we largely edit our understanding of the 'real' versus the 'merely imaginary' by the consequences of our actions (what happens to us physically and socially.) IMV, this is issue is difficult if not impossible to 'clean up,' given 'meaning holism.' We can't hold the meanings of the words we need to use sufficiently fixed. Even if we could, the results of our reasoning are therefore results about stipulated and limited interpretations of words/concepts. As soon as we present our 'results,' they are understood in terms of the usual blurrier use-meanings of the terms.

    And then "authoritative"--there, we're probably just talking about a social phenomenon. People who are considered, due to social conventions, biases, and all sorts of things, to be experts more or less.Terrapin Station

    I agree, and I think our nihilistic relativist would agree. Truths are as mortal and untrustworthy as these experts. Some are less mortal and less dubious than others. IMO, this is actually a common view, so that a weak version of nihilistic relativism is the norm. The strong version strikes me as indulgent rhetoric for expressing the weak version. For me this is very common in philosophy: nothing that exciting or revolutionary is being said (or sincerely meant), and yet the expression is spiced up. In some ways this is defensible as good marketing. Exaggeration focuses the attention on what is at stake and urges conversation. But one can become desensitized and impatient for something truly revolutionary (which gets harder and harder to find as one is more and more exposed.)
  • Terrapin Station
    4.3k
    I generally agree, except that I find that mind-independence and intersubjectivity sort of blur together. Why? For the usual reasons. We can't compare our cognition of the object to the object itself, so we largely edit our understanding of the 'real' versus the 'merely imaginary' by the consequences of our actions (what happens to us physically and socially.) IMV, this is issue is difficult if not impossible to 'clean up,' given 'meaning holism.' We can't hold the meanings of the words we need to use sufficiently fixed. Even if we could, the results of our reasoning are therefore results about stipulated and limited interpretations of words/concepts. As soon as we present our 'results,' they are understood in terms of the usual blurrier use-meanings of the terms.macrosoft

    Basically, what I'm referring to are the spatial locations of things. In terms of spatial locations, "intersubjective" is just gobbledygook.
  • DingoJones
    170
    You'd say that something in the object itself (or relations or whatever) amounts to that. Well, what? What you've suggested so far is that it's in the shape somehow. So how would that be the case that it's in the shape that it's better to put nails in faster, for the object not to fall apart, etc.?Terrapin Station

    The hard steel, the shape of the hammer head (flat on the hitting part), thin so you can see what your hitting, the wooden handle thats lighter thsn the hammer head to use leverage and increase striking power...”the shape somehow”? Why are you acting as though you do not understand why a hammer is good for hitting nails as opposed to a dead fish?
    The properties of the hammer are better suited than the properties of a dead fish fir hitting nails into wood. Whats the problem? If a person thinks the dead fish is better, they are wrong. Thier subjectivity doesnt effect that, therefore the hammers better suited properties and the dead fishes lesser suited properties are mind independent. Objective.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.3k
    Why are you acting as though you do not understand why a hammer is good for hitting nails as opposed to a dead fish?DingoJones

    I'm not "acting that way." It's not objectively good. It's not objectively better to see what you're hitting than to not see it, for example. That's rather a preference that people have

    LIkewise, it's not objectively better to have more striking power, etc..

    Having more striking power is only a preference that people have.
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.5k
    Quick definition: The belief that an objective value/knowledge/morality is non existentkhaled

    I don't claim that anything describable is objectively existent. In fact, I don't think that "objective existence" is even metaphysically-defined.

    Is there, at all, that for which "objectively existent"means something and can be said? Is there what is objectively existent? You're sure that there isn't. That means you're sure about Reality as a whole.
    can be known and described by humans.

    How can you be sure of that?

    And if Reality even might not be knowable and describable by humans, that means that it definitely can't be reliably known and described by humans.

    So you can't know for certain what you say that you're sure of.

    Michael Ossipoff
  • DingoJones
    170
    I'm not "acting that way." It's not objectively good. It's not objectively better to see what you're hitting than to not see it, for example. That's rather a preference that people have

    LIkewise, it's not objectively better to have more striking power, etc..

    Having more striking power is only a preference that people have.
    Terrapin Station

    It can be both a preference and objectively better, people trying to accomplish a goal (remember that was my initial posit) tends to create a preference for objectively better tools to do so.
    It is certainly better to have better striking power if you need something with striking power. If you are not “acting that way” (I was assuming you were doing so to make a point) then...well I find it hard to accept you do not understand the mind independent utility of a hammer for hitting nails.
    I mean, which is better for hammering in nails, the hammer or the dead fish? Obviously the hammer...so answer me this: why is the hammer better than the dead fish for hammering nails?
  • Terrapin Station
    4.3k
    well I find it hard to accept you do not understand the mind independent utility of a hammer for hitting nails.DingoJones

    It's not that I don't understand it. It's that you're wrong. And I'll keep trying to explain to you why you're wrong until you understand it.

    It is certainly better to have better striking power if you need something with striking power.DingoJones

    It's not objectively better to have what you desire. "It's better to have what you desire" is a subjective preference.

    I mean, which is better for hammering in nails, the hammer or the dead fish?DingoJones

    The hammer and the dead fish themselves do not answer this. Again, objectively, it's not better to have one set of properties than another, for any properties. Objectively, it's not better to have what you desire rather than what you do not desire.

    The reason one thing is better than another is because of your preferences, what you desire. The judgment is always subjective. The idea of it being objective is incoherent.
  • DingoJones
    170
    The hammer and the dead fish themselves do not answer this. Again, objectively, it's not better to have one set of properties than another, for any properties. Objectively, it's not better to have what you desire rather than what you do not desire.

    The reason one thing is better than another is because of your preferences, what you desire. The judgment is always subjective. The idea of it being objective is incoherent.
    Terrapin Station

    You mean to tell me that you cannot determine which thing is better at hammering nails, a hammer or a dead fish? Not without conceding my points you can’t...so you are refusing.
    Again you rephrased what I said to create a straw man. If you argued honestly you would find it less incoherent.

    It's not objectively better to have what you desire. "It's better to have what you desire" is a subjective preference.Terrapin Station

    Thats not what I said. I believe thats called a straw man.

    It's not that I don't understand it. It's that you're wrong. And I'll keep trying to explain to you why you're wrong until you understand it.Terrapin Station

    Thats very generous of you, but I will pass.
  • DingoJones
    170


    I goofed with the quotes, ended up in reverse. I trust you can figure out the order.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.3k
    You mean to tell me that you cannot determine which thing is better at hammering nails, a hammer or a dead fish? Not without conceding my points you can’t...so you are refusing.DingoJones

    If it's objective, it's not something that I'm doing. It has to be something the object themselves are doing. It's a property of the objects themselves. So me determining something is talking about something subjective--me making a judgment about what I feel is better (because of various desires, preferences, etc., which are subjective.)

    There's no property in the objects themselves that amounts to "better than," the same way that there are properties in the objects themselves that amount to things like chemical composition, tensile strength, extension, mass, etc.

    Thats not what I said.DingoJones

    The quotation marks aren't a la "this is what you said" (just like those quotation marks were not)

    Thats very generous of you, but I will pass.DingoJones

    Okay, but I think it's worth me continuing.
  • DingoJones
    170
    Okay, but I think it's worth me continuing.Terrapin Station

    I don’t think it is, Unfortunately ive reached my limit on how much more I can break it down. (Not meant to be snide)
    I understand what you are saying, but I think my own points are not getting through. Wrong, incoherent...if I have failed so miserably at expressing my view here then Im happy to just move on. There is some semantics at play and clarity we could pursue but I feel like the effort to reward ratio is fairly low.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.3k
    I don’t think it is, Unfortunately ive reached my limit on how much more I can break it down. (Not meant to be snide)
    I understand what you are saying, but I think my own points are not getting through. Wrong, incoherent...if I have failed so miserably at expressing my view here then Im happy to just move on. There is some semantics at play and clarity we could pursue but I feel like the effort to reward ratio is fairly low.
    DingoJones

    Sure, it's a given that we disagree on whether it's worth continuing. I think it's worth teaching someone that there is no such thing as objective value judgments, objective "better" judgments, etc., no matter how long it takes to teach them that. But you don't have to keep paying attention obviously. ;-)
  • DingoJones
    170


    Lol, the lack of understanding is yours, entirely. I was just trying to politely withdraw because I despise wasting my time. If you can’t understand the simple point im making, only a tedious workload of explaining would suffice to enlighten you to what you would already know if you were actually listening, but you aren't. You are talking. Fair enough. Ill stop wasting my breath.
    (Any snideness you detect this time is likely intentional )
  • Terrapin Station
    4.3k
    Lol, the lack of understanding is yours, entirely. I was just trying to politely withdraw because I despise wasting my time. If you can’t understand the simple point im making, only a tedious workload of explaining would suffice to enlighten you to what you would already know if you were actually listening, but you aren't. You are talking. Fair enough. Ill stop wasting my breath.DingoJones

    That you think that is why you're having a difficult time learning something you need to learn. The lack of understanding is yours, not mine.
  • khaled
    294

    The belief that an objective value/knowledge/morality is non existent
    — khaled

    That there's no objective value, knowledge or morality (or many other things) seems as obvious to me as anything can seem obvious.
    Terrapin Station

    Trust me. You'd be surprised at how many people disagree

    Also: I got reinforcements, hurray!!!!!
  • khaled
    294
    But this forgets how and why we started using 'black' in the first place. Similarly, a 'true' or 'perfect' objectivity that doesn't actually exists has little to do with how and why people tend to use 'objective,' except as an exaggeration for a particular purpose, which might in retrospect seem to be a silly purpose.macrosoft

    I've seen many many confused people use objective in the absolute sense which is why I made the post.

    You might say that you are just imposing your will with sophistry that knows itself to be sophistry, but that sacrifices the persuasive force that you need in the first placemacrosoft

    An argument does not need to be persuasive to be right

    While you may find a few 'metaphysical prigs' who also take the 'purely' objective seriouslymacrosoft

    It's like half the people I met here. And all the religious ones

    In my view, your position makes the most sense as an exaggeration that understands itself as an exaggeration, as an ultimately reasonable skepticism spiced with click-bait.macrosoft

    You said you had a retort but you seem to agree with me lol. I am aware it is clickbait but that was just to get people to start talking. It's the kind of clickbait where it's not REALLY a lie but kind of a half lie. I agree with everything you wrote except I think you are massively underestimating the number of people that are "Metaphysical prigs" as you put it. I'd even say most people ACT as metaphysical prigs at least.
  • khaled
    294
    Oh lol sorry, didn't see ya reply there.
    Second paragraph: When we accept that values are relative, good and evil become undefinable and thus morality becomes an empty conceptTzeentch

    Incorrect. Objective morality, as in, transcending subjectivity, becomes an empty concept but society specific good and evil, as well as individual specific good and evil, is still valid and that's all we ever use or should care about. What's the point of defending a metaphysical morality

    Third paragraph: I could just as easily point towards all the morals and values the world's religions have in common, and have had in common for thousands of yearsTzeentch

    They had at least 10 times more disagreements. How is burying your first born child under the foundations of your house (old testament) consistent with any other religion? The agreements you are referring to are only between the Abrahamic religions and that after they've been extremely domesticated by secular ideas. The Roman Catholic church admits of evolution. That should tell you something about why they agree. It's because they all have to be secular to be taken seriously

    First paragraph: My point was that you are making claims of something you (and I aswell) are completely ignorant and you are dismissing the claims of those who have dedicated their lives to the subject. This is unreasonable.Tzeentch

    I am making the least problematic assumption. It is much less problematic to assume that an objective reality is unachievable than to claim to have achieved it.

    Secondly, I am unsure which claims of mine you are referring to. I am not claiming the existence of objective value. I am questioning your position on the matter. If you must know, I believe there are good arguments for either side and given our ignorance on the matter I choose the only position reasonable: I don't know.Tzeentch

    I don't actually hold the position "I know it doesn't exist", I hold the position "It probably doesn't but you can all try to convince me otherwise". If I knew it didn't exist I wouldn't have needed to make this post

    Fourth paragraph: A theist who doubts the existence of a deity is not a theist, but an agnostic. So is an atheist who doubts the non-existence of deity, regardless of what they might label themselves as. Nihilism makes a claim, and it doesn't say anything about doubt.Tzeentch

    Nihilism tells one to doubt literally all values. That is the ONLY claim it makes. Nihilism is one of the few philosophies where doubting it is consistent with it. Just as Pyrenean skepticism. Ask a Pyrenean skeptic "Is knowledge possible" and he would say "I don't know". That doesn't make him "not a skeptic" it makes him a hardcore skeptic actually. But I'm fine with you calling me not a nihilist as long as you get what I'm saying. I don't hold "nihilist" as a badge I have to show off I don't really care. I just use it to get people to talk (clickbait).
  • macrosoft
    381
    You said you had a retort but you seem to agree with me lol. I am aware it is clickbait but that was just to get people to start talking. It's the kind of clickbait where it's not REALLY a lie but kind of a half lie. I agree with everything you wrote except I think you are massively underestimating the number of people that are "Metaphysical prigs" as you put it. I'd even say most people ACT as metaphysical prigs at least.khaled

    Yes, I think we largely overlap when it comes to some sense that things have to be understood from 'within' various perspectives.

    As far as 'metaphysical prigs,' I got that term from Rorty, a pretty great 'relativist' (or so he is interpreted.)
    On this forum, there are lots of fans of philosophers who are critical of metaphysics. It seems to me that 'anti'-philosophy largely became philosophy --or became a big part of mainstream philosophy. Nietzsche, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, etc.

    And in some sense most 'great' philosophers are anti-philosophers. They are always trying to clean up the mess of those who came before them (like Kant destroying the older version of metaphysics to make room for his own.) One age's destroyers are the builders of the next age, themselves sure to become targets or a mess to be cleaned up.

    It seems to me that promoting / defending nihilistic relativism is (when its intentions are friendliest) something like promoting / defending open-mindedness. When I first got into pragmatism / instrumentalism (call it what you will), I experienced it as liberating and enjoyed trying to find better and better words for it. These days I'm working on finding the right words for the value I find in holism.
  • macrosoft
    381
    Nihilism tells one to doubt literally all values.khaled

    What about the value of doubting? Nihilism (as you use it there) implies that doubting is of value, does it not? Or why take doubt as a fundamental approach? Why ought we doubt?

    And is there a limit to genuine doubt? I say yes, there is. And that's why a certain kind of exaggerated nihilism is no less metaphysical than what it opposes itself to. If basic intelligbility depends on things that can't be doubted, then nihilism sets an impossible goal just as metaphysicians do when they understand 'objective' in absolute terms. To even try to communicate or defend 'nihilism' already assumes the possibility and value of communication, so that it is nakedly absurd in its absolute form.

    So what it really comes down to (seems to me) is the doubting of particular 'settled' opinions which aren't 'necessary opinions' which can't sincerely be doubted -- motivated by a sense that settled opinions are suspicious and that being free from settled opinions is (within reasonable limits) virtuous. What dominates is perhaps an image of a particular kind of detached wise man.
  • macrosoft
    381
    Ask a Pyrenean skeptic "Is knowledge possible" and he would say "I don't know". That doesn't make him "not a skeptic" it makes him a hardcore skeptic actually.khaled

    I like this, and I think it's an important point. That's why I'd say that nihilism 'has' to be expressed as self-conscious 'sophistry.' If it presents itself as a kind of truth about knowledge, then it trips over its own claims. What it can get away with (and this is something Rorty uses to avoid 'really' being a relativist) is understanding itself in terms of suggesting experiments. 'Let's try to doubt our fundamental assumptions. Let's try thinking of things this way.' The whole style of just presenting truths about truth as truths (its impossibility, for instance) is inappropriate if one is really trying to get loose from a dogmatic tendency.
  • khaled
    294
    I don't get why everyone keeps saying I defend nihilism. I am literally trying to get people to CHANGE my mind. I do not hold the belief "I know morality/value/knowledge is impossible" because that's obviously contradictory it's more like "I don't think morality/value/knowledge is possible but you're welcome to change my mind". I am a nihilist to the point that I do not see value in defending or attacking nihilism and so that is not what I do. I am not trying to establish a metaphysical truth that metaphysical truths are impossible here, I am simply asking those who hold the metaphysical truth that metaphysical truths are possible to come and defend themselves purely for the fun of it

    What about the value of doubting?macrosoft

    Doubting the value of doubting is nihilistic. It's the same as the Pyrenean skeptics and knowledge.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.3k
    If it presents itself as a kind of truth about knowledge, then it trips over its own claims.macrosoft

    That's only the case if one assumes that the person making the knowledge (or truth) claim in that case is saying that a knowledge or truth claims they're making, insofar as they're making one, are objective.

    What I'd say is that it's an objective fact that knowledge and truth are not objective, but that I'm obviously not suggesting an objective knowledge or truth claim to that effect.

    Objective facts in no way hinge on our existence to obtain. But if we don't exist, no truth or knowledge exists. Truth and knowledge are things that we do. not things that the universe does apart from us.

    What I usually explain, because it's not understood if someone doesn't have a background in analytic philosophy (and even then it's sometimes not understood) is that I'm using "truth" in a rather technical way that's characteristic (and non-controversial) in analytic philosophy, wherein truth is a "property of propositions." The controversial part is simply what I believe is the case ontologically with propositions and their properties.
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