• Janus
    6.1k


    No, the ability to memorize a formula may have been acquired in the past, but it does not follow from that that the memory of the formula is about the past. From the past, not about the past: see the difference?
  • Terrapin Station
    5.2k


    It's a contradiction because that's the standard definition of contradiction:

    See
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contradiction
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_noncontradiction

    And yeah, incoherent--it doesn't make sense, it's unintelligible
  • Janus
    6.1k


    I wasn't asking for the standard dictionary definition of contradiction, but asking you to consider why you believe that contradictions cannot obtain. Isn't it because you cannot imagine a contradiction obtaining, and isn't that same as to say that a contradiction obtaining doesn't make sense. Isn't 'making sense' about the senses (the visual in particular) and what can be visualized? You say the cat both on and not on the mat makes no sense, is a contradiction and is incoherent because you cannot visualize such a state of affairs, wouldn't you agree?
  • Terrapin Station
    5.2k


    Okay--you had said, "Do you acknowledge that 'contradictory' means 'doesn't make sense'?" and then you asked, "Why is it a contradiction."

    I answered, no, contradiction in the connotation I'm talking about doesn't mean "doesn't make sense," and then I gave you the definition I'm using, since you asked "Why is it a contradiction" after I gave you an example. (It's a contradiction because that's the definition of contradiction--"p & ~p")

    And yeah, I believe that contradictions can't obtain for the same reason that I believe that nonphysical existents and God and the like can't obtain. They're incoherent/don't make sense/are unintelligible/etc.

    And sure, that has to do with "visualizing" if we're using that term broadly/figuratively (in addition to literally).
  • Janus
    6.1k
    And sure, that has to do with "visualizing" if we're using that term broadly/figuratively (in addition to literally).Terrapin Station

    Yes, that's what it comes down to. So do you believe people when they tell you they can visualize contradictories obtaining? Would you believe me if i told you I could visualize a square circle, or the cat both on and not on the mat? It's not merely a difference of opinion at all, is it?
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.7k
    No, the ability to memorize a formula may have been acquired in the past, but it does not follow from that that the memory of the formula is about the past. From the past, not about the past: see the difference?Janus

    If it's from the past, then it relates to the past, and is therefore "about", meaning "concerning" the past. Consider that at that time in the past, you may have memorized the correct formula, or you may have memorized the incorrect formula. So whether the formula you remember is correct or incorrect is related to that past activity. And, whether the formula you remember is correct or incorrect is something "about" that memory.
  • Terrapin Station
    5.2k
    So do you believe people when they tell you they can visualize contradictories obtaining?Janus

    No. And likewise, I don't believe people when they tell me that they can visualize nonphysical existents, either.
  • Valentinus
    146

    But that's what I was saying. In other words someone could parse "intellect" as "mind"Terrapin Station

    I was responding to the discussion of whether the Cartesian duality of mind/body was the same or not as the Aristotelian distinction between form and matter. So, yes "intellect" can be parsed as "mind" but the difference between usages is important regarding how perception is said to happen. I quoted from Aristotle in response to the wiki article to make the difference sharper.

    Aristotle is closer to your statement that physical things are "directly" perceived than Descartes in that the difference between the one who perceives and the object perceived are not presented as fundamentally different kinds of beings. While it is noted that "it is not the stone which is in the soul, but its form", the stone is not less real as a consequence.

    In regards to your position of "direct perception", I don't see it framed as a difference between ideas and matter but conflicting models of causality. The model for the mind and the model for the rocks have to converge in this direct perception that you refer to. How does that work now that you have thrown out previous attempts at the question? I am not asking a rhetorical question. It is what I cannot understand when you present your position to be a physicalist and a nominalist.
  • Wayfarer
    6.9k
    The idea of ‘non-material existents’ is in a way self-contradictory, because ‘to exist’ is to assume a material form – even if that is in the form of energy or of a field. (Kinetic and potential energy exists, as it can be measured, and electrical fields also exist, as they exert force which is how they are detected.)

    But I think the question is much more interesting when you ask whether such things as numbers, logical laws, and scientific principles exist. In one sense, they obviously do – anyone who can count knows what numerical symbols stand for, and also what scientific principles such as the laws of motion, f=ma, for example, mean.

    But the question can be asked, in what sense do numbers, principles, and the like exist? I mean, you can’t really point to a number – if you point to ‘7’, what you’re pointing at is a symbol, not a number per se, which could just as easily be represented by another symbol, such as VII or ‘seven’. And while the symbol is physical, the actual number is an idea, that can only be grasped by a mind capable of counting. Or in the case of a scientific principle, it can only be demonstrated by measurement and observation, but again relying on reasoned inference and language in order to either demonstrate or understand.

    And the same can be said of all manner of logical and syntactical relationships which thought continually employs to ‘make sense’ of the environment. What is the nature of those types of things? In what sense do they exist? Are they physically existent in the same way that phenomena are?

    I think the case can be made that they’re not; that they inhere wholly and solely in the form of the relationships of ideas. You might say that they’re therefore dependent on the physical brain, but that relationship between idea and brain is analogous to that between numbers and their symbolic representation. We will say that ideas are ‘in here’, pointing to our head, but that is surely metaphorical, as you don’t literally find ideas in brains; they belong to a different order to the neurological.

    The sophisticated hominid forebrain is certainly necessary to grasp abstract ideas, but it’s another matter to say that this implies a relationship of ontological dependence of ideas on neurons. After all, if the brain is injured, it will sometimes reconfigure itself so as to compensate for the injury by re-purposing other areas of the brain to process language or perform some other task than what is usually associated with that region. And that is suggestive of a ‘top-down’ relationship between mind and brain (rather than the ‘bottom up’ causal chain that is implied by the strictly physicalist account).

    My view is that the way that we think about what is physical, what is real, and what exists, has become confused in modern philosophy, mainly as a result of the aftermath of Cartesian philosophy married to physical reductionism. It forces us to think through particular kinds of metaphors or tropes which only encompass certain kinds of sensibility. As a consequence, many will believe that only physical things are real, but quite what ‘physical’ means is still an open question. It is the expression of a cultural mind-set. (This is one of the themes of Jacques Maritain’s essay, The Cultural Impact of Empiricism, an Aristotelian critique of empiricism.)
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.7k
    I was responding to the discussion of whether the Cartesian duality of mind/body was the same or not as the Aristotelian distinction between form and matter.Valentinus

    The Aristotelian position is that all physical things, animate and inanimate, consist of the dual aspects, matter and form. So unless you equate form with mind, and get into some type of panpsychism, Cartesian duality and Aristotelian duality are quite distinct.
  • Valentinus
    146

    Yes, that is what I am trying to argue.
    But I had not thought of panpsychism as something that could further muddy the waters.
    What a tangled web we weave.
  • Wayfarer
    6.9k
    I believe the view I advocated above is compatible with hylomorphism.
  • Harry Hindu
    1.4k
    No, these things are not "composed" of sensory representations. In fact, my anticipation is more like a void of such, a nothingness, where I feel there should be something. It's this feeling that something is going to occur, but not knowing exactly how to picture it which causes anxiety. When I have anxiety, and no idea why, it's like a hole, a void within, which leads to this nagging feeling that something bad is about to happen.Metaphysician Undercover
    I don't understand what you mean by "void". There is a void when you're unconscious. You only anticipate when you are unconscious?

    The fact that you can even describe what it is like to anticipate means that your anticipation takes some form. You say that you have anxiety, which is a feeling - a form. Can you ever anticipate something good? What would it feel like to anticipate something good? How would you be able to distinguish between anticipating something bad and something good?

    Furthermore, with respect to reasoning, it is impossible to reduce the act of reasoning to the things reasoned about. One is the activity, the other, the things which are active. Consider shuffling a deck of cards. You cannot describe the act of shuffling, as "composed" of the cards themselves. This would be a complete misunderstand of the act of shuffling, which is carried out by the hands which shuffle, rather than the cards themselves. The cards are what is shuffled.Metaphysician Undercover
    MU, can you shuffle with just your hands? You would be shuffling your hands, and in that case, would it be your arms doing the shuffling of your hands? Your hands are doing the action to the object. It just so happens that your hands are an object to. Your mind is processing the information. No information - no processing. How would you describe the process of reasoning without reasoning taking some form? How do you know that you are reasoning?

    This is completely wrong. Memory is restricted to being about the past, that's what the word means, it relates to things remembered. If you are using "memory" in some other way, then it's a foreign word to us. When a computer makes a prediction, it is not the memory which is making the prediction. This paragraph is all wrong.Metaphysician Undercover
    Now you are just speaking from total ignorance. You need to educate yourself on all the different types of memory. Here's a start:
    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/working%20memory
    Working memory: memory that involves storing, focusing attention on, and manipulating information for a relatively short period of time (such as a few seconds).

    The prediction happens in memory. Information has to be stored in working memory to be worked with. A computer or a human being can't work with long-term memory. Information is recalled from long-term memory to work on in working memory. This is how you can recall the past and think (process information) about the past in the present moment. This isn't much different than loading a video from your hard drive into RAM so that you can watch it. If you don't know much about computers, it seems like you are watching the video from your hard drive, but the hard drive is just another type of memory - long-term. Everything that happens on your computer screen is happening in working memory (RAM).

    If you don't have a basic understanding of how a computer works, then you aren't going to understand. The computer is the best metaphor for the mind that we've had since we've started thinking about what the mind is.
  • Terrapin Station
    5.2k
    I agree with you all the way up to this:

    I think the case can be made that they’re not; that they inhere wholly and solely in the form of the relationships of ideas. You might say that they’re therefore dependent on the physical brain, but that relationship between idea and brain is analogous to that between numbers and their symbolic representation. We will say that ideas are ‘in here’, pointing to our head, but that is surely metaphorical, as you don’t literally find ideas in brains; they belong to a different order to the neurological.Wayfarer

    I'm an identity theorist. I don't think it's that ideas are just dependent on the brain. I think they're identical to (subsets of processes of) it. That's not metaphorical. It's an identity.

    The divide is a perspectival or reference frame divide. It's the difference of being x versus being y and observing x (or being y and having a unique set of particular relations with x due to differences in how x and y are spatiotemporally located).

    That divide is not at all unique to mind, by the way--it occurs with everything. What makes the difference there is that the divide with respect to mind is the only one in which we are in the reference frame of being x. When we're talking about bicycles and rivers and so on, we are only in the reference frame of being y and observing x. It needs to be stressed that this is an individual thing and a spatiotemporal thing. "Being x" is being a particular item, in a particular location, at a particular time.

    In my view, nothing about this is at all mysterious. We don't have a blueprint of all of it, but that's not unusual. I don't know if we have a blueprint of "all of" anything, but noncontroversially, we also don't have a blueprint of all of how earthquakes work, for example--hence why it's so difficult to predict them. Not having a blueprint of all of how earthquakes work doesn't suggest to anyone that there must be something metaphysically mysterious about earthquakes, that maybe there's something nonphysical to them, whatever that would amount to. The only reason people think that sort of stuff about mind is that it's so different being x versus being y and observing x.

    Physicalism implies nothing at all about "top down" or "bottom up" by the way. I'm not at all convinced that that distinction even makes any sense in this context.

    As a consequence, many will believe that only physical things are real, but quite what ‘physical’ means is still an open question.Wayfarer

    Not an open question on my view: it's simply referring to matter/material stuff, plus processes and relations of material stuff.

    Re Aristotle, he got anything right about as often as a broken clock, and he was a horrible writer to boot.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.7k
    I don't understand what you mean by "void". There is a void when you're unconscious. You only anticipate when you are unconscious?Harry Hindu

    I mean an emptiness within, a hole. Have you never experienced anxiety?

    The fact that you can even describe what it is like to anticipate means that your anticipation takes some form. You say that you have anxiety, which is a feeling - a form. Can you ever anticipate something good? What would it feel like to anticipate something good? How would you be able to distinguish between anticipating something bad and something good?Harry Hindu

    Sure, anticipation takes a form, but there are physical forms and non-physical forms, that's where dualism comes into play. A future thing, anticipated, has a form, but it's not a physical form, it's a form in the mind. The problem is that the form of the thing future is incomplete. I do not know exactly how the thing will come to be in the future, there are unknown factors, and the unknowns are the holes, the emptiness which is the root of the anxiety. Sure I anticipate many good things, and that is the root of my anticipation, looking forward to something good, but the good thing is not ensured until it actually happens. There are always imperfections in the plan, the formula, to bring it about, and these are the unknowns, the holes of anxiety. So the formula which is meant to ensure that the good thing actually happens according to plan is imperfect, it has holes, circumstances beyond my control, and this is the root of anxiety.

    MU, can you shuffle with just your hands? You would be shuffling your hands, and in that case, would it be your arms doing the shuffling of your hands? Your hands are doing the action to the object. It just so happens that your hands are an object to. Your mind is processing the information. No information - no processing. How would you describe the process of reasoning without reasoning taking some form? How do you know that you are reasoning?Harry Hindu

    I don't see how this is relevant. The mind reasons, what you call "processing". Reasoning is not composed of "the information", as you have suggested, it simply uses information, as a tool. The information is incidental. It is even possible that the mind creates the information through observation, as is the case with AI. So information is not necessary for the existence of a mind, a mind can create its own information to reason with.

    Working memory: memory that involves storing, focusing attention on, and manipulating information for a relatively short period of time (such as a few seconds).Harry Hindu

    Past by "a few seconds", is past. As it is clearly the case that things sensed are in the past by the time they are acted on by the mind, even "working memory" is involved with things past. Things sensed are things past.
  • Harry Hindu
    1.4k
    I mean an emptiness within, a hole. Have you never experienced anxiety?Metaphysician Undercover
    Yes, but I wouldn't describe it as a hole. It is something, not nothing. I would describe it as a warm feeling all around (because I start to sweat), with some tingling in the extremities and a heavy weight in my gut.

    Sure, anticipation takes a form, but there are physical forms and non-physical forms, that's where dualism comes into play.Metaphysician Undercover
    No, no, no. Let's not go there with that physical vs. non-physical stuff. There is just a form your memories, beliefs, knowledge, language, and the way you see the world, takes. Let's just go with that.

    A future thing, anticipated, has a form, but it's not a physical form, it's a form in the mind. The problem is that the form of the thing future is incomplete. I do not know exactly how the thing will come to be in the future, there are unknown factors, and the unknowns are the holes, the emptiness which is the root of the anxiety. Sure I anticipate many good things, and that is the root of my anticipation, looking forward to something good, but the good thing is not ensured until it actually happens. There are always imperfections in the plan, the formula, to bring it about, and these are the unknowns, the holes of anxiety. So the formula which is meant to ensure that the good thing actually happens according to plan is imperfect, it has holes, circumstances beyond my control, and this is the root of anxiety.Metaphysician Undercover
    But the future can be indifferent, or neutral - neither bad or good. Anxiety occurs as a result of what future you are presently predicting. To just say, "I am anxious about bad things that can happen" is to say that you are anxious about a category. "Bad" and "good" are categories of events with each category containing specific events that are bad or good. If you are anxious about a category, then it is just a matter of changing your thinking. Put other things in your mind, like what is happening now. Be aware that good things happen as well, and that that is life - a roller coaster. Enjoy the ride of anxiety and exhilaration.

    I don't see how this is relevant. The mind reasons, what you call "processing". Reasoning is not composed of "the information", as you have suggested, it simply uses information, as a tool. The information is incidental. It is even possible that the mind creates the information through observation, as is the case with AI. So information is not necessary for the existence of a mind, a mind can create its own information to reason with.Metaphysician Undercover
    Of course reasoning is composed of the information. Again, what would you be reasoning about?

    You have it backwards. Reasoning, just as logic, is the tool for thinking (processing information). We don't always reason. Sometimes, we are unreasonable.

    How does AI "create" information? From nothing? Of course not. It doesn't create information. It processes it. "Process" is another word for "change". AI processes sensory information in order to complete some goal.

    So information is not necessary for the existence of a mind, a mind can create its own information to reason with.Metaphysician Undercover
    In other words, the mind needs information to reason with.
  • Harry Hindu
    1.4k
    The simplest possible workable metaphysics is triadic - the kind in which substantial being, or actuality, is emergent from a developmental process of becoming.apokrisis
    An actuality that is constantly becoming never becomes and actuality. More word salad. There would just be a process of becoming. Everything collapses into monism - the simplest - naturally.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.7k
    No, no, no. Let's not go there with that physical vs. non-physical stuff. There is just a form your memories, beliefs, knowledge, language, and the way you see the world, takes. Let's just go with that.Harry Hindu

    isn't that what this thread is about, that physical vs. non-physical stuff. The point is, that when I consider a form which I remember, I believe that that form had a real physical existence, in the past. But when I consider a form which I anticipate in the future, I believe that this form does not have any real physical existence. So I need a separation in my mind, a distinction between these two types of forms, the ones that I believe are directly related to physical existence, as having actual existence, and the ones that I believe are not directly related to physical existence, as having possible existence. The former are forms of actual things, and the latter are forms of possible things.

    But the future can be indifferent, or neutral - neither bad or good.Harry Hindu

    I don't see how that's possible. I, as a being with choice, am capable of influencing what occurs in the future. Therefore to the extend of my powers I will make sure that what occurs is good. However, due to things beyond my control bad things will happen. Bad things and good things will happen, therefore it is impossible that the future is neutral.

    You have it backwards. Reasoning, just as logic, is the tool for thinking (processing information). We don't always reason. Sometimes, we are unreasonable.Harry Hindu

    This is wrong. Reasoning is thinking. Therefore it is you who has things backward, not me.

    How does AI "create" information? From nothing? Of course not. It doesn't create information. It processes it. "Process" is another word for "change". AI processes sensory information in order to complete some goal.Harry Hindu

    AI has no "senses", therefore it has no sensations, nor sensory information. Information is patterns and AI creates patterns, therefore it creates information. Changes to patterns are a creation or destruction of information.
  • Wayfarer
    6.9k
    I'm an identity theorist. I don't think it's that ideas are just dependent on the brain. I think they're identical to (subsets of processes of) it. That's not metaphorical. It's an identity.Terrapin Station

    The problem I see is that ‘identical to’ is itself a judgement. If it were not metaphorical, you could could actually find an idea in a brain, But you would never be able to do that. Likewise you couldn’t find an idea in a book. You will find combinations of symbols, which are interpreted to mean something. But until they’re interpreted, there’s nothing meaningful in it. It doesn’t mean anything to someone who can’t read it or doesn’t understand it.

    ‘Identity theory’ is an example of what Maritain describes: ‘what the Empiricist speaks of and describes as sense-knowledge is not exactly sense-knowledge, but sense-knowledge plus unconsciously introduced intellective ingredients -- sense-knowledge in which he has made room for reason without recognizing it.’ When you assert the identity of brain processes and ideas, that is what is being done - it asserts that two completely different categories of being are the same, which is a judgement, but that judgement cannot be validated with reference to anything physical.
  • apokrisis
    4.5k
    You said “constantly”, not me.
  • Janus
    6.1k
    If you want to say that everything we can visualize or imagine as "existent" is at the same time necessarily visualized as physical, you are going to have to define what you mean by 'physical'. There seems to be no contradiction in the idea of non-physical being, no matter how difficult or even impossible it might be to give account of what the attributes of such being could be.
  • Janus
    6.1k


    This is empty word play being used to deny a perfectly valid distinction between memories which are of or about past events, and memories which are of things such as, for example, formulae, artworks or poems which have nothing to do with the past other than that they were encountered, and the memory of them acquired, in the past (which is no distinction at all since it is trivially true that every presently held memeory was acquired in the past).
  • Terrapin Station
    5.2k
    If it were not metaphorical, you could could actually find an idea in a brain,Wayfarer

    I didn't say "You can't find an idea in a brain" though. You can find an idea in a brain, but from a third person perspective, it's not going to be the same as it is from a first-person perspective. Again, this isn't something special to brains/minds. It's a truism about every single thing there is. Everything in the world is different from a reference frame that's not identical to the reference frame of being the thing itself, and everything is different from every different spatiotemporal reference frame.

    you couldn’t find an idea in a book. You will find combinations of symbols, which are interpreted to mean something. But until they’re interpreted, there’s nothing meaningful in it. It doesn’t mean anything to someone who can’t read it or doesn’t understand it.Wayfarer

    That part we agree on.

    ‘what the Empiricist speaks of and describes as sense-knowledge is not exactly sense-knowledge, but sense-knowledge plus unconsciously introduced intellective ingredients -- sense-knowledge in which he has made room for reason without recognizing it.’Wayfarer

    Identity theory doesn't necessarily have anything to do with empiricism at all, so I'm not sure why you're bringing that up. It certainly doesn't have anything to do with any sort of "pure" empiricism, which is what that seems to be arguing against.

    When you assert the identity of brain processes and ideas, that is what is being done - it asserts that two completely different categories of being are the same,Wayfarer

    One can assert that they're different categories or that they're the same category. Obviously we're doing two different things there. Not sure why you're pointing that out.

    but that judgement cannot be validated with reference to anything physical.Wayfarer

    Re that comment, I have no idea what it's saying. I don't have any idea what "validating with reference to something physical" would even be referring to.
  • Terrapin Station
    5.2k
    If you want to say that everything we can visualize or imagine as "existent" is at the same time necessarily visualized as physical,Janus

    I wouldn't say that that way, actually. I wouldn't speak for everyone else like that. But I'd say that I don't believe that nonphysicals are coherent for anyone--I'd be rather agnostic about that--unless they can plausibly demonstrate to me how to make them coherent.

    Re "physical" I've defined it a number of times (and I thought I did that for you earlier, but my memory sucks sometimes). At any rate, "physical" is matter a la material stuff (not the Aristotelian sense of matter--the conventional scientific sense rather), processes of matter and relations of matter.

    There seems to be no contradiction in the idea of non-physical being,Janus

    I don't think there needs to be a logical contradiction for something to be incoherent. It can just be hopelessly vague, nonsensical, etc.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.7k
    This is empty word play being used to deny a perfectly valid distinction between memories which are of or about past events, and memories which are of things such as, for example, formulae, artworks or poems which have nothing to do with the past other than that they were encountered, and the memory of them acquired, in the past (which is no distinction at all since it is trivially true that every presently held memeory was acquired in the past).Janus

    Seeing as you have to qualify your claim that these memories have nothing to do with the past with "other than that...", and you actually recognize that it is "trivially true", that all memories were acquired in the past, your so-called "valid distinction" isn't valid at all.

    Here you go again with your usual tactic of dismissing the obvious as irrelevant because it is "trivial". Once you have dismissed the obvious as irrelevant, under the false assumption that "trivial" implies "irrelevant", you then claim a principle which is contrary to the obvious, as a "valid" principle. Shame on you!
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.7k
    Oh, sorry Janus, I thought I was speaking to TS. That's TS's usual tactic. Any way, shame on you for taking it up.
  • Janus
    6.1k
    I don't think there needs to be a logical contradiction for something to be incoherent. It can just be hopelessly vague, nonsensical, etc.Terrapin Station

    I think this is the nub. The idea of a non-physical entity is not contradictory, and impossible to visualize as a square circle is impossible to visualize; so if it is incoherent it is not incoherent in a like sense.

    You say it is incoherent because it is vague or nonsensical. I can accept the 'vague" but the "nonsensical" doesn't make sense to me. I can visualize a non-physical entity as a kind of pervasive invisible presence that cannot be detected by any of the senses. The air, the atmosphere, probably used to be imagined as something like this kind of presence prior to the modern scientific understanding of it as being composed of physical particles.
  • Janus
    6.1k

    Of course all present memories have been laid down in the past and future memories may be laid down in the present or in the future. The present very quickly becomes the past. All this is obvious.
    The distinction between a memory which is of the past and one which is not is a perfectly valid one, and you have provided no argument to convince me otherwise. (Crying "Shame on you" is not an argument).
  • Terrapin Station
    5.2k


    Well, some of that might be contradictory. You're giving just three descriptive terms there:

    "pervasive"--so it's located . . . everywhere? most places? just a really wide variety of places? but per the usual doctrine, it's also not located anywhere?

    "invisible"--presumably this is just saying that it's not detectable via any of the normal means, including literally visible, including our other senses, including various scientific instruments, etc.? If so, this is only a "negative" property--it's merely telling me something that nonphysical stuff is not--it's not really telling me something about what it is

    and the third term is "not detected by any of the senses"--so that's maybe the same as the above, which means you're just giving two terms with respect to your conception. A negative property, which doesn't say anything about what nonphysicals actually are, and a property that seems contradictory--it's both everywhere and nowhere.
  • Janus
    6.1k
    it's merely telling me something that nonphysical stuff is not--it's not really telling me something about what it isTerrapin Station

    What things are in a positive sense is always given in tangible terms; in terms of what the senses can grasp. So, it is no surprise that the idea of the non-physical cannot be given is such terms; if it could it would not be an idea of a non-physical thing.

    A negative property, which doesn't say anything about what nonphysicals actually are, and a property that seems contradictory--it's both everywhere and nowhere.Terrapin Station

    A non-physical thing might be everywhere or not, only not in a physical sense (i.e. interacting physically with physical things) which also means not in any determinate sense. But it could not be nowhere because then it could not be at all.

    I'm not saying I believe in non-physical things, by the way; I have no settled opinion on the matter, as I said before.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.