• Kranky
    71
    Hello,

    I'm confused regarding our thoughts.

    If I had a fight with Mike Tyson, I would anticipate that being punched in the face would hurt. Now, I wouldn't know this for certain, though.

    As Mike approached me would I:
    1) Think that his punch would hurt
    2) Think that I think his punch would hurt?

    If I cannot be certain that I am standing there thinking it would hurt, wouldn't I in fact be thinking that I think it would hurt? But then equally, I wouldn't be certain of that either.

    Sorry to be confusing. What I'm asking is:

    If I were to internally ask myself, for example, if the punch would hurt, would I be thinking it would or thinking that I think it would?
  • SophistiCat
    1.1k
    If I were to internally ask myself, for example, if the punch would hurt, would I be thinking it would or thinking that I think it would?Kranky

    If Mike Tyson is about to punch you in the face, the only thing you should be thinking is: "Run away!"

    And no, you wouldn't have time to think "I am thinking about running away." That requires self-reflection, which you are capable of, but it doesn't happen automatically. Most of the time you are not thinking about thinking.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    What is the distinction supposed to be between "think it would" and "think I think it would"?
  • Herg
    131
    This is why philosophers should not take up boxing.
  • BrianW
    964
    No matter the progression of thought, isn't the premise that, you think? Do you doubt that?
  • Sayon Liberty
    11
    If I were to internally ask myself, for example, if the punch would hurt, would I be thinking it would or thinking that I think it would?Kranky

    Hello Kranky,

    When you think the thought "Mike Tyson's punch to my face will (probably) hurt" whether or not you can be certain you are really thinking it, you are still just thinking it if you are/not thinking it if you aren't.

    So from your 2 options
    (1) Would I be thinking it or (2) Would I be thinking that I think it

    I would say that (1) is correct, because you would be thinking it.

    I would say (2) is incorrect because if you are thinking about thinking something you are contemplating your thoughts on the subject not just contemplating the subject.

    Further Explanation:

    When you posted this discussion you probably did both options (1) and then (2):

    (1) You thought about posting ["thinking it"]
    Example: I am confused, I should post on the Philosophy Forum.

    You are thinking "I should post on Philo Forum"

    (2) You might have thought about your thought to post ["thinking that I think it"]
    Example: I thought I should post on the Philosophy Forum.. or did I?

    You are thinking that you think/thought "I should post on Philo Forum"

    Disclaimer to answer !
    You can theoretically do (1) and (2) but I don't think it is physically possible to do them at the same time. If you can think about thoughts at the exact same time that you are thinking/generating those thoughts then your answer is actually both (1) and (2). If this is the case it should be noted that you are superhuman.

    Conclusion

    Unless you are superhuman Kranky (1) is the correct answer.

    I apologize if I misunderstood your inquiry and provided you a wall of irrelevance.
  • hks
    171
    Try fighting Mike Tyson and then the experience would remove all doubt about pain.
  • Sayon Liberty
    11
    Sorry to be confusing. What I'm asking isKranky

    If you would care to clear the confusion, knowing how you define: "I", "exist" and "think"/"thought" would enable a clear answer.

    Paraphrased: [If I' cant be certain I'm doing something (standing + thinking), wouldn't I just be thinking that I'm doing something?]

    It doesn't matter if you are certain [about you standing + thinking]

    If you are doing it, it is happening. (Even if You are uncertain, still happening)
    if you aren't doing it, it isn't happening. (Even if You are uncertain, still not happening)

    If it is certain that you are standing and thinking "will the punch hurt?"
    Then your option (1) "1) Think that his punch would hurt" is correct.

    If it is certain that you are not standing and thinking "will the punch hurt?"
    Then your option (2) "2) Think that I think his punch would hurt?" is correct.
  • hks
    171
    Your form of skepticism is somewhat extreme and has already been refuted by Descartes and also by the modern British Empiricists.
  • Sayon Liberty
    11
    My "form of skepticism" is not my view of reality nor am I asserting it to be true as such its refutations are a non issue.

    The example offered served as a basis for reasoning to allow one of OP's conclusions to be true. specifically Conclusion (2)
    thinking that I think it would?Kranky
    .

    Clarified Example
    If OP assumes he/she is being deceived into believing that he/she can think (have or generate an idea, belief or opinion) and believes that instead something else is happening rendering their "thinking" somehow "fake" then OP can consider their second conclusion "Thinking that I think it would?" correct. Again this example is not an assertion of truth value but an axiom which enables a logical path to the OP's second conclusion.

    Of course this is just a guess at what OP means when OP states
    1) "thinking that I think it would?"
    2) "Think that I think his punch would hurt?"
    3) "If I cannot be certain that I am standing therethinking it would hurt, wouldn't I in fact be thinking that I think it would hurt? But then equally, I wouldn't be certain of that either."

    As I am uncertain of the OP's reasoning I took a second guess based on the above statements.
    [If I can't be certain I am thinking wouldn't I be thinking that I think?] OP should be certain though unless OP believed they could be tricked, in which case OP could not determine thinking = real thinking via "Cogito, ergo sum" as if they did accept this proposition OP would be certain they are thinking by virtue of thinking and not wonder am I just "thinking that I think?"

    OP could simply be concerned with the discrepancy of "thinking" vs "thinking that I think".

    OP could be basing their confusion of whether a thought of potential punch induced pain is "thinking" or "thinking that I think" on something else entirely.

    In conclusion the example or "form of skepticism" as you put it serves as a basis for reasoning that results in OP's conclusion #(2) and logically connects OP's usage of "thinking that I think" and two implications drawn from OP's statements.
    A) Certainty of Existence= I am thinking
    &
    B)Uncertainty of Existence= I might be thinking or might be thinking that I'm thinking "but then equally, I wouldn't be certain of that either" (based on OP's uncertainty of the existence of their self/their thoughts)
  • TWI
    151
    If your consciousness is the sum total of of your brain then you just think, period. But if that consciousness is something other, or 'external', to your brain then you are capable of observing your thinking brain, in that case I suppose you are thinking about your thoughts.
  • Harry Hindu
    2.8k
    And no, you wouldn't have time to think "I am thinking about running away." That requires self-reflection, which you are capable of, but it doesn't happen automatically. Most of the time you are not thinking about thinking.SophistiCat

    Good point. Would you also say that most of the time we aren't self-aware, as that is, in essence, self-reflection? Would you also say that self-awareness and concsiousness are two separate things (one can have one without the other).
  • Jake
    1.4k
    No matter the progression of thought, isn't the premise that, you think? Do you doubt that?BrianW

    Is there a "you" that is separate from the "thinking"?

    The expression "I am thinking XYZ" certainly describes the experience, but does it describe what is really happening?
  • Kranky
    71


    Are 'you' and 'thinking' the same or different?
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k


    A better way to ask what I'd assume you're asking is if oneself is akin to a "transcendent 'I'," somehow removed from, aside from, above, behind--whatever metaphor one would want to use--one's conscious experiences, including thought. If that's what you're asking, the answer is "No" in my view.
  • BrianW
    964


    That is one of those metaphysical problems. Is there a 'self' who is the thinker? I don't know. As far as I can tell awareness and mind seem to be intrinsically connected. Can we be aware outside the mind? I don't know either.
    However, the statement,
    I am thinking,
    implies there's an identity,
    I
    and its activity expressed as,
    am thinking
    . Beyond that is a matter of endless speculation for me.
  • NotesOfAMan
    12
    Seems simple enough. The feeling of pain is objective. So you would think that you think it would hurt. As again, the feeling at the question, is objective. It is not definite for all witnessing or experiencing. So it is a thought of your own
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    The feeling of pain is objective.NotesOfAMan

    What definition of "objective" are you using?
  • SophistiCat
    1.1k
    Good point. Would you also say that most of the time we aren't self-aware, as that is, in essence, self-reflection? Would you also say that self-awareness and concsiousness are two separate things (one can have one without the other).Harry Hindu

    "Self-awareness" is a rather broad rubric, which includes awareness of one's location, for instance. We are talking more specifically about "thinking about thinking," which, it seems to me, we rarely actually do, and even then we would be registering something that happened in the past. It is hard to think of two things at once, let alone telescoping an infinite recursion of thought about thought about thought, etc. into one moment.
  • BrianW
    964
    In terms of thinking about thinking, can we say that the mind follows the path of intelligence and that simplicity is one of the aspects on such a path. Therefore, instead of thinking about thinking about something, perhaps, it is simpler to just think about that something.

    Or in some kind of abridged abstraction, 'thinking about thinking' is just thinking. Just like writing about writing is just writing.
  • NotesOfAMan
    12
    "What definition of "objective" are you using?"

    My apologies, I believe I was aiming for subjective. essentially, we can influence our reaction to it. I know to some extent, I can nearly turn off pain. While my case is minor, I can think of a whole lot more then 1 situation where an individual has the restraint to accept pain and continue on with it. Pain is a personal measure, its completely based on perspective. One persons "most painful" may be a walk in the park for another.
  • NotesOfAMan
    12
    And can anyone assist me with the knowledge in how to quote another on this page? Cancel that, figured it out
  • Harry Hindu
    2.8k
    "Self-awareness" is a rather broad rubric, which includes awareness of one's location, for instance. We are talking more specifically about "thinking about thinking," which, it seems to me, we rarely actually do, and even then we would be registering something that happened in the past. It is hard to think of two things at once, let alone telescoping an infinite recursion of thought about thought about thought, etc. into one moment.SophistiCat
    Well, being aware of thinking is being aware of your own thoughts, which would entail self-awareness. Thinking about thinking is like being aware of being aware. Its like creating a visual feedback loop by turning a camera back on its monitor and seeing the infinite corridor of monitor images within the monitor.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    My apologies, I believe I was aiming for subjective. essentially, we can influence our reaction to it. I know to some extent, I can nearly turn off pain. While my case is minor, I can think of a whole lot more then 1 situation where an individual has the restraint to accept pain and continue on with it. Pain is a personal measure, its completely based on perspective. One persons "most painful" may be a walk in the park for another.NotesOfAMan

    Agree with all of that.
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