• S
    8.5k
    And how can we possibly judge how to "best see" meaning if no true statements can be made about what meaning is?
    — Echarmion

    By which works best to achieve our goals.
    Isaac

    It's actually the opposite of it being the case that no true statements can be made about what meaning is, and that's where I have some sympathy with this pragmatic approach. There's nothing stopping me from adopting the definitions of others, which would logically lead me to trivial truths, except that I don't think that it would be very helpful.

    Yes, and I've asked you several times now for an explanation of how we judge which arguments are true, if not by empirical methods.Isaac

    I go with whatever explanation seems to do the job and is plausible enough. My method is to consider things like ordinary language use and logical consequences.

    Obviously, I think that these arguments represent "knowing when we've got there".
    — Echarmion

    Yes, but others don't, so now what?
    Isaac

    It then becomes about what criteria for knowledge works best. I had this in my other discussion, where someone seemed to be suggesting that our experience plays a bigger role than I judged to be necessary or productive, and also that we require certitude or greater certitude where again I didn't judge that to be necessary or productive, given where it leads.
  • Terrapin Station
    7.8k
    it wouldn't mean that you're not wrong, or that you're not speaking a language which clashes with ordinary language use.S

    Sure, and definitely the latter is true. A lot of philosophy jargon departs from everyday speech. That's true in any field, really.

    Easy. That's not how I use the word. Nor is it how it is ordinarily used. It doesn't even make sense to say that facts like that today is Saturday, or that I am in my room, or that I can't run faster than the speed of light, and so on, are systems or processes. They're just facts.S

    But I don't know how it makes sense to say of anything that it's not part of a system that it's not a process.

    And this is where you're clashing with ordinary language usage big time.S

    Right. In colloquial speech, "fact" is often used as a synonym for "true proposition" (although "proposition" in colloquial speech isn't nearly as well-defined as it is in analytic philosophy, and almost no one would define in as analytic philosophers do). Analytic philosophers, and by extension the sciences, etc., do not use "fact" that way. And there are reasons for this, due to analysis, the utility of making certain distinctions, etc.

    I agree. Facts and true propositions are distinct, and correspond.S

    If you're not using them the same, but facts are somehow about something in your view, however you're using the term would be a mystery to me, Maybe it's stemming from unfamiliarity with the analytic phil sense of proposition, though.

    me and my room and my location.S

    Which is a fact on the analytic phil and standard scientific usage.
  • S
    8.5k
    The only thing I can offer you at this point is a bit of armchair psychology, namely that I think your problem is that you are imagining a scenario without humans, but when you are then trying to look at that which remains, you are looking at it from a human view (in this case, literally imagining a yellow sign with text on it).

    As an exercise, let's imagine the only humans left are blind, and have been for generations. How would you explain to them what a yellow sign with text on it even is?
    Echarmion

    But I think that your problem is imagining that it's a problem that I'm imagining it, when that isn't a problem at all, it's actually just an old Berkeleyan argument which is deceptive and illogical.

    And no, if you try to make my position subjective, with all of this "looks like" and "yellow" and whatnot, then you're doing it wrong. I'm not a subjectivist, so I don't go by a subjectivist interpretation. I'm an objectivist and go by my own objectivist interpretation. You'd have to apply the right interpretation to avoid drawing an irrelevant conclusion.

    Why would it supposedly matter whether I could or couldn't explain it to them? I don't accept that anything of relevance hinges on that to begin with. If you manage to justify this hidden premise of yours then I'll accept that it matters, but until then, this does nothing.
  • Terrapin Station
    7.8k
    There are masses of evidence, but without actually checking you've just decided to believe there isn't.Isaac

    Oops. Patronization fallacy. It's not that I'm unfamiliar with everything considered to be evidence for this.

    I think there's scarcely any different level of evidence of the meaning of a word being located in the brainIsaac

    There is a ton of good evidence that mentality is simply brain function. Maybe you don't agree with that. That's fine. If you didn't agree with it and I were trying to convince you of it, I'd present some of the evidence for it, and then you could present your argument for why you don't believe that it is good evidence of it. That's how this works.

    That's what I do re the supposed evidence for unconscious mental phenomena.

    I don't think that 'meaning' is a thing that can occur anywhere.Isaac

    On my view, the notion of an existent anything that doesn't have a location, a particular (set of) time(s) and place(s) of occurrence, etc. is incoherent.
  • S
    8.5k
    But I don't know how it makes sense to say of anything that it's not part of a system that it's not a process.Terrapin Station

    But I doubt it when you say things like that, because to me it seems like you make your own self-fulfilling prophecies.

    I'm saying that to say that it's a fact that I'm alive at the time of typing this is not to say anything about a system or process, but only to say that it is the case that I'm alive at the time of writing this. We both know what that means. If it wasn't the case, then how could you be reading this?

    That I'm alive is not a system or a process. It is just a fact. And pointing out systems or processes related to the fact won't change that. That I'm related to my mother doesn't mean that I am my mother. That my mother is at her home doesn't mean that I am at her home. And that I talk about myself doesn't mean that I'm talking about my mother. The connections you seem to be making seem illogical.

    It seems in form to be the same logical error of conflating an orange with related things, like our experience of an orange. People should just stop doing this.

    Right. In colloquial speech, "fact" is often used as a synonym for "true proposition" (although "proposition" in colloquial speech isn't nearly as well-defined as it is in analytic philosophy, and almost no one would define in as analytic philosophers do). Analytic philosophers, and by extension the sciences, etc., do not use "fact" that way. And there are reasons for this, due to analysis, the utility of making certain distinctions, etc.Terrapin Station

    No, I don't think that it has anything to do with that. It's not that it is commonly used as synonymous with a true proposition, it's that they have things in common, as early Wittgenstein noted with his picture theory of language.

    If you're not using them the same, but facts are somehow about something in your view, however you're using the term would be a mystery to me, Maybe it's stemming from unfamiliarity with the analytic phil sense of proposition, though.Terrapin Station

    You can see it straight away when I talk about them. Here is a true statement: "I am alive". And what is the corresponding fact? That I'm alive.

    Which is a fact on the analytic phil and standard scientific usage.Terrapin Station

    Then I guess I reject that usage. *Shrugs*.
  • Isaac
    340
    That only works if our goals are not connected to the question what meaning is,Echarmion

    No, which approach works is connected to which approach works. One might presume a successful approach works because of its corresponding to the way the world actually is, but we do not need to know if it is.

    Again I feel I need to point out that this thread has a topic, which you are now apparently entirely ignoring.Echarmion

    I'm not ignoring it, arguing that it cannot be resolved and is just a result of confusion over terms is not ignoring it, its just not dealing with it in the way you want.

    Arguments are judged by their logical validity. And the premises can be judged based on whether they agree with current theories generated by the scientific method, or they can be derived from synthetic a priori statements.Echarmion

    They very obviously can't. If the truth of a proposition outside of empirical observation were derived from a timely mechanistic check of each step against rules of logical validity then what the fuck do you think philosophy has been arsing around with for the last 2000 years? Do you think this matter has only just come up? That we're at the coal face here, checking each step against our table of 'logically valid moves'? Are we soon going to have to report back to the world "Done it! And the answer is..."

    There's one of two possible scenarios I can see. Either it is not possible to judge arguments by their logical validity with sufficient granularity to obtain any useful results, or, it is possible to do so, but the process takes at least 2000 years and seems to require an unfeasible amount of circling back to previous ideas.

    If you deny any knowledge outside of empirical theories, you run into the problem of having to explain why the scientific method works to generate those theories.Echarmion

    I certainly don't deny any knowledge outside of empirical theories. I explain why the scientific method works by the same justification as I'm arguing for philosophical theories. Theories that work stay, theories that don't work go. Any theories that are still working are still in the running. You can add useful devices like Occam's razor, but again, no one deduced that these devices work, we tried them, they produced useful results, so we kept them.

    But I disagree with the premise. I don't think "radioactive" is a property if you stick to the letter of that definition. I think the dictionary definition provides a shorthand reference to the actual property of radioactive substances, which is that their atoms are unstable and therefore prone to emit radiation.Echarmion

    That's fine, but you haven't explained why you're right and I'm wrong, only that you think one thing and I another.

    They either think about it and revise their decision, think about it and point out the flaws in my argument, or ignore me and go on with their lifes.Echarmion

    Again I refer you to the 2000+ years of philosophical investigations thus far, do you really think the first two options are going to get us anywhere?
  • Isaac
    340
    Do you remember what the issue here is actually about? Or what my position actually is?S

    Probably not at this stage, to be honest.

    There's a lot in there that I simply don't accept at face value, and I would therefore need to see your support.S

    And you'd be absolutely right to ask, but it's a very big topic and each fork splits a thread like this in half making it very difficult to follow. I'm happy for now just to put the idea out there and relate it the problems of this topic. If people don't find it immediately appealing without a conclusive argument that's fine, a thread on each aspect is probably most appropriate.

    If it were so that that's my basis, then how do you expect me to rectify that? You'd have to be a lot more specific for starters. It's not at all clear what exactly you're even talking about.S

    Apologies, I will try to be clearer. You seem happy to say that meaning 'really is' a property of the word, blue 'really is' a property of the cup, but 'having a tendency, among humans wishing to drive nails, to be used to drive nails' cannot be a property of the hammer. I've not read yet anything I understood as a description of the factor(s) your using to make these categorisations other than that they seem obvious.

    The hammer is apparently a "ready-to-hand". :rofl:S

    But only if it's a German hammer, right? I mean, they are objectively better.
  • Isaac
    340
    go with whatever explanation seems to do the job and is plausible enough. My method is to consider things like ordinary language use and logical consequences.S

    Great, then you win the prize for the only one who has a method that has even the slightest chance of yielding any useful result in the next millenia.
  • Isaac
    340
    Oops. Patronization fallacy. It's not that I'm unfamiliar with everything considered to be evidence for this.Terrapin Station

    Fair enough, my apologies.

    There is a ton of good evidence that mentality is simply brain function. Maybe you don't agree with that.Terrapin Station

    I do agree with that, I just think there is the same quantity of evidence for unconscious mental states, but as I said in the previous thread, and am now even more sure of that you've mentioned your background reading in psychology, I think I just haven't properly grasped what you mean by 'mental states'.

    I'd present some of the evidence for it, and then you could present your argument for why you don't believe that it is good evidence of it. That's how this works.

    That's what I do re the supposed evidence for unconscious mental phenomena.
    Terrapin Station

    Do you mean "that's what I would do"? Because if not, I'd love to read a properly cited piece about how the evidence for unconscious mental states is all wrong. Just because I'm too lazy to produce one in favour, doesn't mean I wouldn't love to read one in opposition.

    On my view, the notion of an existent anything that doesn't have a location, a particular (set of) time(s) and place(s) of occurrence, etc. is incoherent.Terrapin Station

    How are you with the notion of quantum indeterminacy, out of interest? Do you find that coherent? I ask because the inability to completely conceive of something has never stopped me from using it.
  • S
    8.5k
    Probably not at this stage, to be honest.Isaac

    Well, to be fair, it is now 24 pages later. Some people go off course far sooner, and sometimes right off the bat.

    And you'd be absolutely right to ask, but it's a very big topic and each fork splits a thread like this in half making it very difficult to follow. I'm happy for now just to put the idea out there and relate it the problems of this topic. If people don't find it immediately appealing without a conclusive argument that's fine, a thread on each aspect is probably most appropriate.Isaac

    Fair enough.

    Apologies, I will try to be clearer. You seem happy to say that meaning 'really is' a property of the word, blue 'really is' a property of the cup, but 'having a tendency, among humans wishing to drive nails, to be used to drive nails' cannot be a property of the hammer. I've not read yet anything I understood as a description of the factor(s) your using to make these categorisations other than that they seem obvious.Isaac

    Okay. So I'm applying whatever criteria make sense based on how the claims fall into different categories. That does seem kind of obvious to me, but I'm trying to think how I can explain it beyond what I've already said. You accept that "it has" can be used in a loose, non-literal sense, right? That's basically all I think is going on in some cases but not others. So that the word has meaning is of a loose, non-literal sense. I'm just saying something along the lines that it means something relative to the corresponding language rule. And that it has a use is like this also, in that it doesn't have such a property, it just means that it is such that it could be used for something or other. And even the blue cup is a bit like this, because it is more complex than the properties of the cup, it is about the wavelengths of the light reflecting off of it. I don't go as far as the early Wittgenstein and say that the world is composed of facts. I'm not sure what facts are, ontologically. And use is more conceptual or linguistic, not like a physical property. But the blue is a physical property. It is a physical property of a physical entity, light. That it is blue is that it is of a certain range of wavelength.

    I meant that it really is the case that the word means something, and that the circumstances of the cup mean that it is correct to say that the cup is blue.

    But it isn't really the case that the hammer has a property which we can rightly call its use. Not unless we adopt that funny way of speaking which I decline to adopt precisely because I find it to be a funny way of speaking. It has properties, and because of those properties, we can loosely talk about it "having" a use in a non-literal way. And that's the end of it, as far as I'm concerned. I can't stop other people from using language however they want to.
  • Echarmion
    303
    But I think that your problem is imagining that it's a problem that I'm imagining it, when that isn't a problem at all, it's actually just an old Berkeleyan argument which is deceptive and illogical.S

    Sigh. Thanks for repeating this, I had overlooked it the first 500 times you said it.

    And no, if you try to make my position subjective,
    with all of this "looks like" and "yellow" and whatnot, then you're doing it wrong. I'm not a subjectivist, so I don't go by a subjectivist interpretation. I'm an objectivist and go by my own objectivist interpretation. You'd have to apply the right interpretation to avoid drawing an irrelevant conclusion.

    Why would it supposedly matter whether I could or couldn't explain it to them? I don't accept that anything of relevance hinges on that to begin with. If you manage to justify this hidden premise of yours then I'll accept that it matters, but until then, this does nothing.
    S

    It wasn't intended as an argument. It was intended as a thought exercise to try to bridge the apparent failure to communicate. To perhaps bring out the hidden premises, as you call it. Oh well.

    No, which approach works is connected to which approach works. One might presume a successful approach works because of its corresponding to the way the world actually is, but we do not need to know if it is.Isaac

    Or one might simply say that if an apporach works, it tells us something about how the world actually is (it's structure is such that the approach works, at least in our perception). I think that's less confusing, anyways.

    I'm not ignoring it, arguing that it cannot be resolved and is just a result of confusion over terms is not ignoring it, its just not dealing with it in the way you want.Isaac

    Thanks for clarifying then. I wasn't aware that this was what you were trying to do. I tried asking a few times, but maybe I worded my questions wrongly.

    They very obviously can't. If the truth of a proposition outside of empirical observation were derived from a timely mechanistic check of each step against rules of logical validity then what the fuck do you think philosophy has been arsing around with for the last 2000 years? Do you think this matter has only just come up? That we're at the coal face here, checking each step against our table of 'logically valid moves'? Are we soon going to have to report back to the world "Done it! And the answer is..."Isaac

    The 2000 years (a low estimate I think) of disagreement come from trying to figure out what the correct premises are. And it took a while for the rules of logic to coalece to the extend they have today. And even then, not all philosophy is analytic philsophy.

    I understand your view, but whenever this comes up, I point out that it took us thousands of years to come up with the scientific method itself. Even though it now seems entirely self-evident and "true". It's maybe the most universally accepted piece of philosophy there is. If there is no way to progress in philosophy, how did we come up with it, and why did it only happen a few hundred years ago?

    There's one of two possible scenarios I can see. Either it is not possible to judge arguments by their logical validity with sufficient granularity to obtain any useful results, or, it is possible to do so, but the process takes at least 2000 years and seems to require an unfeasible amount of circling back to previous ideas.Isaac

    I'd argue that philosophy has come up with quite a few useful results over the last 2000 years.

    I certainly don't deny any knowledge outside of empirical theories. I explain why the scientific method works by the same justification as I'm arguing for philosophical theories. Theories that work stay, theories that don't work go.Isaac

    Ah, but that causes an infinite regress, because "working" also needs to be defined. That's easy to do for empirical science (because we were all brought up with the scientific method already part of the culture), but how do we know whether or not, say, a theory on moral philosophy "works"?

    Any theories that are still working are still in the running. You can add useful devices like Occam's razor, but again, no one deduced that these devices work, we tried them, they produced useful results, so we kept them.Isaac

    Deciding that a device works and should therefore be kept is a deduction.

    That's fine, but you haven't explained why you're right and I'm wrong, only that you think one thing and I another.Isaac

    No, I haven't. Neither have you. That was my point. Your original argument relied on that definition being "right".

    Again I refer you to the 2000+ years of philosophical investigations thus far, do you really think the first two options are going to get us anywhere?Isaac

    If you don't think so, then why the hell are you still here?
  • Terrapin Station
    7.8k
    I'm saying that to say that it's a fact that I'm alive at the time of typing this is not to say anything about a system or processS

    How could you think that being alive is not a process, for example? Are you alive if you're not experiencing metabolism? Cell division?

    How could you think that you're not a system and part of other systems? Are you alive sans a circulatory system?
  • Terrapin Station
    7.8k
    Do you mean "that's what I would do"?Isaac

    Yeah, sorry--that's what I would do in response to what someone takes to be good evidence for it, where I don't agree that it works as evidence for it.
  • S
    8.5k
    Sigh. Thanks for repeating this, I had overlooked it the first 500 times you said it.Echarmion

    You're welcome. It's called psychological conditioning. It's for your own good! :lol:

    It wasn't intended as an argument. It was intended as a thought exercise to try to bridge the apparent failure to communicate. To perhaps bring out the hidden premises, as you call it. Oh well.Echarmion

    I really don't need a thought experiment. I know exactly where you're coming from. I just don't agree with you. The thought experiment is a failure before it even gets off the ground.

    And you should know my premises by now without the need of me repeating them 500 times or more. What's left that's "hidden", except what you were getting at with that thought experiment? You could've just explicitly stated the relevant premise instead of going down the thought experiment route. It's just the same old idealist logic you had in mind behind that thought experiment. Same logic, same problem.
  • Terrapin Station
    7.8k
    How are you with the notion of quantum indeterminacy, out of interest? Do you find that coherent? I ask because the inability to completely conceive of something has never stopped me from using it.Isaac

    Some aspects I think are just an instrumental way to make predictions. I don't take them as making any sort of ontological commitment. Some interpretations of qm are just nonsensical in my view. But I have no problem accepting the general notion of indeterminacy.
  • S
    8.5k
    How could you think that being alive is not a process, for example?Terrapin Station

    No, you need to follow my wording precisely. I didn't say that being alive is a fact. The fact is that I am alive. By my view, it is proper to state a fact in similar way to stating truth-apt statements. "Being alive" is not truth-apt. "I am alive" is truth-apt. It is a fact that I'm alive. It is the case that I'm alive. It doesn't make any sense to say that it's a fact that being alive, or that it's the case that being alive.

    Am I sounding like an analytic philosopher now? :grin:

    Are you alive if you're not experiencing metabolism? Cell division?

    How could you think that you're not a system and part of other systems? Are you alive sans a circulatory system?
    Terrapin Station

    All of these questions do not indicate an understanding of my earlier point where I explained what I do and do not doubt. I don't want to keep repeating it, so perhaps you could go back and try again without me having to do so.
  • Terrapin Station
    7.8k
    The fact is that I am alive.S

    The fact that you are alive is the fact that your body is undergoing metabolism, cell division, etc.
  • S
    8.5k
    The fact that you are alive is the fact that your body is undergoing metabolism, cell division, etc.Terrapin Station

    It relates to that fact. I am alive because of that.

    But what of it? That still doesn't address my point. My point is that facts are not what they're about. So agreeing over bodily systems doesn't do anything at all. A fact is not a bodily system in my view.

    Please keep in mind what I said elsewhere. If this is a dead end, be explicit about it, and don't keep pushing on to no avail. Think ahead.
  • Terrapin Station
    7.8k
    My point is that facts are not what they're about.S

    First, I don't even have any idea what you're referring to with "fact," because per your claims, you're neither using it in the state of affairs sense nor in the colloquial "true proposition" sense.

    Facts aren't about anything except if one is sloppily using the term to be a synonym for "true proposition."
  • S
    8.5k
    First, I don't even have any idea what you're referring to with "fact," because per your claims, you're neither using it in the state of affairs sense nor in the colloquial "true proposition" sense.

    Facts aren't about anything except if one is sloppily using the term to be a synonym for "true proposition."
    Terrapin Station

    I've already shown you what I mean and explained my position. This reply from you doesn't help us move forward at all. So unless you have anything else, we're done here.
  • Terrapin Station
    7.8k
    I've already shown you what I mean and explained my position.S

    Nevertheless, I have no idea what you'd be referring to by the term, exactly. Do you want me to just pretend that I do because you don't want to try to explain it some other way?
  • S
    8.5k
    Nevertheless, I have no idea what you'd be referring to by the term, exactly. Do you want me to just pretend that I do because you don't want to try to explain it some other way?Terrapin Station

    But you're not helping me to help you. What can I do? It feels like you're just throwing your hands up in the air instead of working with me.
  • Terrapin Station
    7.8k


    How would I help you help me? I haven't the faintest idea how you're using the term "fact" based on what you've said you don't have in mind with it.
  • S
    8.5k
    How would I help you help me? I haven't the faintest idea how you're using the term "fact" based on what you've said you don't have in mind with it.Terrapin Station

    Yeah, well, I don't think I'm going to humour you, because I believe that you know what I mean enough to understand me when I say, for example, that it's the case that I'm alive. You do understand my meaning, in spite of any protestations to the contrary.
  • Terrapin Station
    7.8k


    I'd have no idea what "it's the case" is supposed to refer to if it's not a synonym for facts a la either states of affairs or the colloquial "true proposition" sense.

    But okay, I guess just assume that I must know.
  • S
    8.5k
    I'd have no idea what "it's the case" is supposed to refer to if it's not a synonym for facts a la either states of affairs or the colloquial "true proposition" sense.

    But okay, I guess just assume that I must know.
    Terrapin Station

    So you're just going to deliberately ignore what I said earlier on this very point? This is what I mean when I say you're not being helpful.
  • Terrapin Station
    7.8k
    So you're just going to deliberately ignore what I said earlier on this very point?S

    I have no idea what you're referring to here, so I suppose I have no option at the moment aside from "ignoring" it.
  • S
    8.5k
    I have no idea what you're referring to here, so I suppose I have no option at the moment aside from "ignoring" it.Terrapin Station

    Yes, no option at all! It's impossible for you to put any more effort in on your end, so that you actually pay attention to what I'm saying, so that I don't have to repeat myself. At least take this as a lesson and learn from it.

    I'm fed up with, "I don't know what you mean because I wasn't paying attention. Do all of the work again for me". It's bad form.

    Maybe it would help if you didn't just quote one little bit of a reply to you, as you did in this case. It's okay to do that in my book, but not if you don't pay sufficient attention to the important parts which you left out, as seems to be the case here. How about you try a little harder? How about you just scroll up the bloody page? No? Is that asking too much? You're a nightmare at times.
  • Janus
    6.7k
    I already did in a previous response to you. I also already pointed out that we have no way of telling how many artificial objects we have wrongly identified as natural.Echarmion

    What did you "already do"? You haven't given any examples of objects whose origin, whether natural or artificial, is open to serious doubt.

    I think what you were saying didn't adress the points I raised becuse it didn't adress the points I raised. You ignored my entire post save for the two sentences you quoted. Here is a relevant quote from my post:

    You therefore have to explain how "the intention for the text to mean X", as a mental state, is represented by a brain state and this brain state is then fully represented by the text.

    And for that, we need to identify a property of the text at present that carries that information.
    Echarmion

    I can respond to that part of what you write that I think is relevantly responding to what I have been saying. So, as I see it, what you claim is a relevant response is not so at all. I haven't claimed that texts "fully represent" author's intentions, much less "brain states". What I have said is that texts and other intentionally produced artifacts are the result of cultural conditions and their makers' intentions (which are themselves correlated with neural states) and that they therefore have a different kind of material origin than naturally occurring objects.

    I think you were arguing in favor of the position that meaning is, ontologically, a property of the symbols or sounds themselves.Echarmion

    What purpose does "ontologically" serve here? Symbols carry meaning; if they didn't ancient texts would heave no meaning to decipher. This is a very straightforward argument.

    I am not disagreeing with any of that in principle. But it does mean that two conflicting positions can both be equally reasonable. That is not something everyone will agree with.Echarmion

    I don't think it is "equally reasonable" to say that ancient artifacts are no different to natural objects in that they do not embody any intentional meaning. We are just going to talk past one another it seems, so I am not going to continue this conversation any further; I would rather just acknowledge your disagreement and leave it at that.

    .
  • Echarmion
    303
    What did you "already do"? You haven't given any examples of objects whose origin, whether natural or artificial, is open to serious doubt.Janus

    I have - prehistoric tools.

    I can respond to that part of what you write that I think is relevantly responding to what I have been saying.Janus

    You can also respond to the rest, if only to say that you don't see it's relevance. That way, I am not left wondering whether or not you read my posts at all.

    So, as I see it, what you claim is a relevant response is not so at all. I haven't claimed that texts "fully represent" author's intentions, much less "brain states". What I have said is that texts and other intentionally produced artifacts are the result of cultural conditions and their makers' intentions (which are themselves correlated with neural states) and that they therefore have a different kind of material origin than naturally occurring objects.Janus

    That is so trivially true that it's not worth debating. I don't believe that this was your initial point, and if it was it wasn't very clear.

    What purpose does "ontologically" serve here? Symbols carry meaning; if they didn't ancient texts would heave no meaning to decipher. This is a very straightforward argument.Janus

    The purpose of specifying ontology is to go beyond such trivial claims as "symbols carry meaning" or "intentional objects have a different kind of origin from natural objects" and ask what meaning is and how it is carried.

    Your "straightforward argument" has been addressed several times by now, repeating it doesn't get us anywhere.

    I don't think it is "equally reasonable" to say that ancient artifacts are no different to natural objects in that they do not embody any intentional meaning.Janus

    I have explained multiple times how I think meaning "works". You can keep repeating you disagree, but unless you engage with my actual argument we won't get anywhere.

    We are just going to talk past one another it seems, so I am not going to continue this conversation any further; I would rather just acknowledge your disagreement and leave it at that.Janus

    It seems this topic inevitably leads to the claim of "talking past each other" with no way to resolve the alleged misunderstanding. I find it puzzling, but of course it's your decision. See you around!
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