• aporiap
    155


    I disagree with the OP. That a defense of monism has to start with the reconciliation of some ontic plurality doesn't mean reality itself necessitates plurality, it just means it necessitates non-monistic metaphysical systems which stand in contrast to and give sense to the term 'monism'. But a metaphysical system is not identical to reality, it's just a set of beliefs. The fact of the matter about whether reality is composed of one substance or not shouldn't depend on conceptualizations.

    Also I am unsure why one can't simply 'fall' for pluralism by mistakenly raising a category or other distinction to the ontic level. An otherwise non-ontic distinction becomes a distinction between substances by face-value observation of difference. Why not it simply become apparent, upon analysis, that the face-value difference is not fundamental or ontic?
  • Wmhoerr2
    3
    Mind could come from body if the mind is a pattern of body. Here, for example, genes or mental ideas are patterns of chemicals that are more than the chemicals themselves. In one sense the pattern is material, in another sense the pattern is immaterial. If a person suffers concussion, the brain is the same matter as before, but the mind is different. The pattern has been corrupted. I suppose this is a type of substance monism.
  • Terrapin Station
    10.6k
    I don't think so? I'm not sure what that would mean exactly though.csalisbury

    In other words, for anything someone points to, literally or figuratively, directly or indirectly, it's part of everything. That shouldn't be difficult for you to identify.
  • csalisbury
    1.8k
    I'm not sure what you're trying to say.
  • Terrapin Station
    10.6k


    So, someone points to a piece of chalk, you can say that it's part of the set of "everything," right?

    And if someone points to the emotion of love, you can say that's a part of the set of "everything," too. And if they point to Brownian motion, and so on.

    You should be able to identify each thing as part of the set of "everything."
  • csalisbury
    1.8k
    If there is such a thing as the 'set of everything', then, yes, in identifying anything, you would be identifying an element of that set.
  • csalisbury
    1.8k
    But a metaphysical system is not identical to reality, it's just a set of beliefs. The fact of the matter about whether reality is composed of one substance or not shouldn't depend on conceptualizations.aporiap

    I agree with this. The 'fact of the matter' is surely independent of conceptualization. But to determine whether our metaphysical ideas correspond with reality (if such a thing is possible), we have to figure out what we're saying. What does 'reality is composed of one substance' mean?

    What I'm suggesting is that, if you break down the concept, you see that its not about the world at all. It's a conceptual operation that has overstepped its bounds. My interest in this topic corresponds exactly to my feeling 'the fact of the matter' shouldn't depend on conceptualization.

    (We could also say the fact of the matter about whether reality is large shouldn't depend on conceptualization. That's true, I think. But it's not really clear what it would mean. It seems to be mixing something up. )


    Also I am unsure why one can't simply 'fall' for pluralism by mistakenly raising a category or other distinction to the ontic level. An otherwise non-ontic distinction becomes a distinction between substances by face-value observation of difference. Why not it simply become apparent, upon analysis, that the face-value difference is not fundamental or ontic?aporiap

    What does 'fundamental' mean?
    Is face-value difference fundamental?
    Why or why not?
  • csalisbury
    1.8k
    "The statement "material reality is all there is" can be negated in two ways, in the form of "material reality is not all there is" and "material reality is non-all:' The first negation (of a predicate) leads to standard metaphysics: material reality is not everything, there is another, higher, spiritual reality. As such, this negation is, in accordance with Lacan's formulae of sexuation, inherent to the positive statement "material reality is all there is": as its constitutive exception, it grounds its universality. If, however, we assert a non-predicate and say "material reality is non-all;' this merely asserts the non-All of reality without implying any exception - paradoxically, one should thus claim that the axiom of true materialism is not "material reality is all there is;' but a double one: (1) there is nothing which is not material reality, (2) material reality is non-All.'" (Less Than Nothing)StreetlightX

    I'm somewhat familiar with this idea, but I think you drew out very well how it applies here.

    But still (and ofc, this is Zizek and not you, but -

    I don't really see what it means. Like, ok, there's no secondary 'spiritual' realm. No positive ontological reality that mirrors a positive ontological physical reality. Two positive orders. Not that. But what does this way of saying 'not that' really mean, effectively, other than that you can be a materialist, without having to ever say firmly what that means? And with the permission to add whatever kludges you want without having to forfeit your 'materialist' mantle?

    [a bit more provocatively. If you read much about Lacan, this historical guy, there's a lot about him doing really clearly abusive stuff, and his followers charitably interpreting these actions, building on his ideas. Jacked therapy prices, aborted meetings, hard put-downs, attacks on other prominent figures, consistent inconsistency etc etc. All happened, all were interpreted as intentional on Lacan's part.

    To do a conceptual 'short-circuit.' Let's say you have one guy who says he'll try to do his best to make sure everything he does is in service of building a 'healthy relationship.' Everything I do is 'healthy relationship stuff.' Then you have another guy who says 'Well, I can't say that. But I can say that nothing I do isn't in service of building a healthy relationship.' Cool, so there's no way to identify what's healthy. But there is the infinite interpretive space available to you to rework what seemed unhealthy in order to say how it actually is healthy 'if you only understood him.'

    Historically, that seems like exactly what happened with Lacan and his followers.

    Metaphysically ----I'm not sure? It's a pleasing conceptual difference, the masculine exception and the feminine not-all, but I don't see how it works out when you apply it.
  • StreetlightX
    3.8k
    But what does this way of saying 'not that' really mean, effectively, other than that you can be a materialist, without having to ever say firmly what that means? And with the permission to add whatever kludges you want without having to forfeit your 'materialist' mantle?csalisbury

    Two points to make I guess. First is that I invoked the 'not-all' Logic to diffuse the general question of monism asked in the OP, irrespective of the 'content' of that monism ('mind', 'matter', etc). I think you're cool with this. The second point bears on Zizek's more specific argument w/r/t materialism and the answer to this is that the fact that reality is not-all is the 'content' of Zizek's materialism: for Zizek, to be a materialist is to claim that reality is not-All ('ontologically incomplete', as he puts it sometimes as well), or in yet a third formulation, that there is no big Other.

    This answer is 'Zizek specific' btw, insofar as his particular brand of materialism is premised on 'short-circuiting' both form and content. A different brand of materialist would probably have to answer your charge of 'ok but where the positive content?'; Zizek, because he simply identifies the not-All with reality as such, isn't compelled to do so in the same way.
  • Joshs
    712
    Does that mean you disagree with Hilary Putnam?

    "Many thinkers have argued that the traditional dichotomy between
    the world "in itself" and the concepts we use to think and talk about
    it must be given up. To mention only the most recent examples,
    Davidson has argued that the distinction between "scheme" and
    "content" cannot be drawn, Goodman has argued that the distinction
    between "world" and "versions" is untenable, and Quine has
    defended "ontological relativity." Like the great pragmatists, these
    thinkers have urged us to reject the spectator point of view in metaphysics
    and epistemology. Quine has urged us to accept the existence
    of abstract entities on the ground that these are indispensable in
    mathematics, and of microparticles and spacetime points on the
    ground that these are indispensable in physics; and what better justification
    is there for accepting an ontology than its indispensability
    in our scientific practice? he asks. Goodman has urged us to take
    seriously the metaphors that artists use to restructure our worlds,
    on the ground that these are an indispensable way of understanding
    our experience. Davidson has rejected the idea that talk of propositional
    attitudes is "second class," on similar grounds. These thinkers
    have been somewhat hesitant to forthrightly extend the same
    approach to our moral images of ourselves and the world. Yetwhat
    can giving up the spectator view in philosophy mean if we don't
    extend the pragmatic approach to the most indispensable "versions"
    of ourselves and our world that we possess? Like William James
    (and like my teacher Morton White) I propose to do exactly that.'
  • csalisbury
    1.8k
    Two points to make I guess. First is that I invoked the 'not-all' Logic to diffuse the general question of monism asked in the OP, irrespective of the 'content' of that monism ('mind', 'matter', etc). I think you're cool with this. The second point bears on Zizek's more specific argument w/r/t materialism and the answer to this is that the fact that reality is not-all is the 'content' of Zizek's materialism: for Zizek, to be a materialist is to claim that reality is not-All ('ontologically incomplete', as he puts it sometimes as well), or in yet a third formulation, that there is no big Other.

    This answer is 'Zizek specific' btw, insofar as his particular brand of materialism is premised on 'short-circuiting' both form and content. A different brand of materialist would probably have to answer your charge of 'ok but where the positive content?'; Zizek, because he simply identifies the not-All with reality as such, isn't compelled to do so in the same way.
    StreetlightX


    Yeahh. I guess all I'd say is here is what a million people before have said -which is - why is this 'materialist'?? I'd say it isn't, really, and its a kind of 'what are you gonna do about it?' rhetorical move.

    I do think the 'non-all' approach is right, overall.
  • Terrapin Station
    10.6k
    If there is such a thing as the 'set of everything', then, yes, in identifying anything, you would be identifying an element of that set.csalisbury

    So how would that work if differentiation is necessary?
  • Terrapin Station
    10.6k


    You said earlier that if we weren't able to differentiate x from other things, we wouldn't be able to identify x.

    But in this case, no differentiation is possible--anything we point to is part of "everything." Yet we can identify it all as part of everything.
  • csalisbury
    1.8k
    I understand that you're trying to show that the card analogy works. I find the elaboration confusing though. To take one part:

    But in this case, no differentiation is possible--anything we point to is part of "everything." Yet we can identify it all as part of everything.Terrapin Station

    What do you mean here? How do you point at something without differentiating it from other things?
  • Terrapin Station
    10.6k


    They're not differentiated in terms of being everything. They'd be differentiated in being say, a Grateful Dead CD and another copy of the same CD. Just like two cards would both be cards, even though they might be different cards.

    No one is supporting a monist postion--say materialism--where they're denying various things, they're just saying that all of those different things are material things.
  • csalisbury
    1.8k
    They're not differentiated in terms of being everything.Terrapin Station

    Are you trying to say that anything that exists has being? Everything that is, is?
  • Terrapin Station
    10.6k


    I'm trying to say that in terms of being everything, you don't need to differentiate anything ("the stuff that's not part of everything") in order to identify it as part of everything.

    Hence, differentiation re property Φ is not required to identify something as property Φ.
  • csalisbury
    1.8k

    What does 'being everything' mean?
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    1.8k


    I think it's in the meaning of that where the objection of the OP fails away. What can be everything? If we are considering an individuals of the world, it would seem the only answer can be nothing. To be an individual supposes distinction from everything else. If I am an individual, I am one who is not any other. I am absolutely not everything.

    We might think this is the nail in the coffin of monism. If a thing is never everything, how could everything be one? How could it all "be mind?" Or all "be matter?" Or any other singular notion we might consider? It would seem a thing is incommensurable with belonging to everything.

    If we were only to think about things, that might be the end of the matter. I don't think we always do. It would seem that a monism isn't even talking about things in the first place. If I think "matter" or "mind," I don't have a definition of any individual. If I think "God," I don't have a definition of an individual. If I think "human," I'm not describing any particular individual. Same with "man" or "woman." Any time I use a category on its own, I'm not speaking about an individual or thing at all. (it would so seem that your objection in the OP would also apply to dualism, since it's claiming everything belongs, just to two categories rather than one).

    I think the monist (or dualist. Or triest. Or... ) gets around the OP's objection because they are talking about no individual at all. They are just referring to some sort of shared meaning which might be of an individual (in the case of the dualist or greater a collector) and is of all individuals (in the case of the monist).

    In this respect, I think the monist is more than just a reaction to dualism. We could state the monist perfectly on its own: "Every individual shares the meaning of existing," for example.
  • csalisbury
    1.8k
    I have this vague feeling that you can have univocity without, at least, the kind of monism I was talking about in the OP. Would def have to think more about it. I don't think @Terrapin Station is quite talking about what you are.
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    1.8k


    Probably. I've seen a lot of people use a notion of monism which tries to speak on a level of a certain kind of state, whether it be an atom or an experience. To that, I would say I don't think it is really a monism (or even a dualism, a triism. etc.) because it really talking about individuals. The idealist who's says "everything is an experience" or the reductionist who says "everything is atoms" have an position that the world is constituted only by certain individuals.
  • csalisbury
    1.8k
    Are they saying the world is constituted only by certain individuals, or are they saying that every thing is constituted in the same way as certain individuals?
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    1.8k


    I think they are the same. When a reductionist says "There is only matter" they literally mean everything is consistuted in the individuals which are matter, e.g. "Your thoughts are just brain states."

    They aren't making any distinction between the individuals and the catergory they belong to. It seems they are arguing being an individual is no different than a group catergory.
  • Terrapin Station
    10.6k


    Everything is a term for all objects, all phenomena, etc. Anything that occurs, appears, etc. in any manner.
  • csalisbury
    1.8k
    What does 'being everything' mean?
  • csalisbury
    1.8k
    @Terrapin Station

    It sounds to me like what you're saying would boil down to treating existence as a property, which is a notoriously fraught idea. But the phrase 'being everything' is strange enough I may be misunderstanding.
  • csalisbury
    1.8k
    sorry for the curt response, it was late. I just think the individual/totality debate is orthogonal to what I'm attempting to talk about, tho parts of it criss-cross it.
  • Terrapin Station
    10.6k


    You keep bringing up existence. I'm not saying anything about it.
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