• S
    9.7k
    Even paradigm-shifting thinkers aren’t right all the time.Mww

    Kant, for example. :grin:
  • S
    9.7k
    I feel like we're having the same conversation in two different places.

    I'm not talking here about the meaning of blue. I'm talking about blue, the wavelength. In order to say the cup is blue (blueness is a property of the cup) it is sufficient in your view, that it emits a wavelength which any intercepting object capable of recognising it would register as blue. An incorrectly tuned spectrometer may register it as red, but it would be wrong.

    The word "dog" (as a collection of sound waves) emits these sound waves which, upon being intercepted by anything correctly calibrated to recognise them, would produce the image of a dog.

    Yet the cup's ability to make capable recipients register 'blue' is a property of he cup, yet the word "dog"'s ability to make capable recipients conjure the image of a dog is not a property of the word, but of the capable recipient.
    Isaac

    Nice. I'm glad that someone is honing in on what seems to be an inconsistency in the reasoning between the two positions I call metaphysical realism and linguistic idealism. I'm a realist on both.
  • Mww
    657


    Along with Einstein, Newton, Galileo, Hawking, just to name a few.

    Good company.
  • S
    9.7k
    I have no experience of oranges in cupboards.Mww

    That doesn't mean jack outside of a sort of empiricism which is extremely unreasonable.

    If you tell me there is an orange behind the cupboard door, I’ll say....ok, take you’re word for it. But no such knowledge of fact is available to me. Still, because I know “orange” and I know “cupboard”, I know a priori the possibility of oranges in cupboards is not self contradictory and is at the same time quite possible. Just like those stupid f’ing rocks.Mww

    If your epistemology only let's you say, "There might be an orange, but then there might not be. It's a big mystery and I'm clueless either way", then your epistemology should be the laughing stock of philosophy.

    No, actually, they do not.Mww

    Yes, actually, they do.

    The orange *talked about* IS the orange of experience...Mww

    You've moved the goalposts. The claim is regarding the orange and the experience of it, not the orange and the orange of experience. Try again, but this time with the correct wording.

    The orange you ate is certainly an orange, the orange in the cupboard is possibly an orange.Mww

    Lol! Are you being serious? The orange in the cupboard is only possibly an orange? :rofl:
  • S
    9.7k
    So there’s meaning when there’s thinking. Is there meaning when there isn’t thinking (or speaking)?Michael

    There is by my account, which works to actually resolve the problems found through philosophy, instead of exacerbating them and getting off on it.
  • S
    9.7k
    There’s a painting of a man eating an orange. What is the nature of the orange? It’s paint. But the painting isn’t a painting of a man eating paint; it’s a painting of a man eating an orange.Michael

    A painted orange is a painted orange, and an experience of orange is an experience of an orange.

    But I'm asking what an orange is. What is it that's being painted? What is it that's being experienced? And you've yet to give a sensible answer.

    I dream of eating an orange. What is the nature of the orange? It’s a dream. But I’m not dreaming of eating a dream; I’m dreaming of eating an orange.Michael

    A dreamed orange is a dreamed orange. This is just yet more equivocation. What is it that you're dreaming of?

    Your description of idealism still seems to mix ontologies by assuming a materialist understanding of eating.Michael

    I'm simply testing whether it can make sense without twisting everything out of all proportion. Your reply still doesn't pass the test. It just kicks the can down the road, leading to the same kind of questions that I originally asked, only now there are more of them, and there's still no real answer. It has exacerbated the problem, not drawn closer to a resolution.
  • Mww
    657
    your epistemology should be the laughing stock of philosophy.S

    But it isn’t. Lots have done what you are doing, mocking it without refuting it.

    Go figure.
  • S
    9.7k
    Exactly. The bottom line is that "plausibility" and "good sense" are all you have to fall back on in your war against the idealists. But that won't bother the idealist one bit because they know that sometimes what seems plausible or sensible to the majority is nothing more than ignorance. You see, the idealist is one of an enlightened few and has seen through the smokescreen of naive realism and has grasped the Truth!

    Besides, there's all sorts of ways to get around these kinds of objections. We could posit God, the World Spirit, the Absolute, the Will or anything else we can dream up to account for the fact that things continue to exist even when you and I are not experiencing them.
    Theorem

    Idealism: isn't it just great? I must be a blind fool for caring about things such as plausibility and good sense! :lol:
  • csalisbury
    1.7k
    Oh god, not this again. Just because I can't imagine something, like an apple, without imagining it, that doesn't mean that it can't exist without my imagination. That's a really bad argument.S

    It's also an argument I didn't make. In fact I brought up this exact argument later on in the same post, in order to say that it doesn't work.
  • S
    9.7k
    It's also an argument I didn't make. In fact I brought up the argument you're imputing to me, later on in the same post, in order to say that it doesn't work.csalisbury

    I disagree. It think that it's your argument when exposed for what it really is, without the manipulation of language to make it seem like something more serious and defensible.

    What part of that post are you referring to? I didn't respond to the parts that seems unworthy of much of a response because they just seemed kind of empty, like an assertion or an opinion. Where was the substance? Where was the proper argument?
  • csalisbury
    1.7k
    Oh god, not this again. Just because I can't imagine something, like an apple, without imagining it, that doesn't mean that it can't exist without my imagination. That's a really bad argument
    — S
    It's also an argument I didn't make. In fact I brought up this exact argument later on in the same post, in order to say that it doesn't work. — csalisbury

    What part of that post are you referring to?S

    Read back through the post again and see if you can find something that sounds like this:

    Just because I can't imagine something, like an apple, without imagining it, that doesn't mean that it can't exist without my imagination.S

    I'll give you a hint. It's the part that says the same thing almost verbatim.
  • S
    9.7k
    Of course I’m a realist. How foolish to suppose there aren’t real things in the real world. Besides, I couldn’t explain my very own self if I denied objective reality. And if I acknowledge objective reality as not only reasonable, but absolutely necessary, I cannot then deny that same objective reality, and by association its contents, as present when I am not.

    I call anyone an idealist if they are rational thinkers. Whether or not those anyone’s agree is nothing to me; it’s just what the name implies.
    Mww

    That's a pretty rubbish way of defining your terms. Realist idealists? Atheist theists? Anyway, at the very least, you're not a realist in the relevant sense, given the context of this discussion, because you keep disagreeing with me over my realism. It would be more helpful if you just stuck with my usage to avoid confusion.
  • S
    9.7k
    Along with Einstein, Newton, Galileo, Hawking, just to name a few.

    Good company.
    Mww

    But their contributions are still very useful in a very important respect, not just interesting for historical value or as an exercise in critical thinking.

    And they were all scientists, by the way. Although apparently Kant did make some contributions to science, but unlike the others you mention, he's not famous for that, he's famous for his philosophy.
  • S
    9.7k
    But it isn’t. Lots have done what you are doing, mocking it without refuting it.

    Go figure.
    Mww

    I'm doing both, as ever. All the best criticism weaponises humour. Voltaire was famous for it.
  • Janus
    6.9k


    My understanding is that Hegel rejected the ding an sich as a 'mind-independent thing', because he saw it as another idea within consciousness, and nothing beyond that. I am not sure if you mean to claim that Hegel also rejected it on account of an alleged misapplication of the concept of causality. I would need to see textual evidence of that.

    it also follows naturally from the concept of an appearance in general that something must correspond to it which is not in itself appearance, for appearance can be nothing for itself and outside of our kind of representation; thus, if there is not to be a constant circle, the word "appearance" must already indicate a relation to something the immediate representation of which is, to be sure, sensible, but which in itself, without this constitution of our sensibility (on which the form of our intuition is grounded), must be something, i.e., an object independent of sensibility. Now from this arises the concept of a noumenon, which, however, is not at all positive and does not signify a determinate cognition of something in general, in which I abstract from all form of sensible intuition. (A251–2) — Kant CPR

    This quote from Kant only supports my contention that for him the idea of the ding an sich is based on logical, not causal, reasoning. There is no mention of causality in that passage.
  • Mww
    657


    What could possibly suggest I’m confused? Because I don’t agree with you? Because I don’t stick to your usage? Because the authority I’m using is confusing to you?

    You can’t even know for sure I don’t completely agree with every thing you say, but took the antagonist approach just for the fun of it.

    disagreeing with me over my realismS

    Oh but I don’t, in principle. Only difference is yours is necessary but insufficient, whereas mine is both because a form of idealism is attached as its complement.
  • Mww
    657
    I'm doing both, as ever.S

    Ahhhh. So “you’re sooooo stupid!!!”is a successful refutation in your world?
  • csalisbury
    1.7k
    I didn't respond to the parts that seems unworthy of much of a response because they just seemed kind of empty, like an assertion or an opinion. Where was the substance? Where was the proper argument?S

    S, I did a breakdown of your OP, charitably steelmanning it, to show how it didn't work. I engaged with the form and substance of your argument, thoughtfully.

    You did not respond in the same way. The biggest part of your response to my post was, bizarrely, to @ Banno, directing to him this steelmanned version in retaliation for what you perceived as a previous slight. There wasn't much to the rest of the post, but it ended with you more or less ignoring my criticism in order to say that, in any case, you disagree with the people who disagree with you.

    You've since added the point that if you explained your post to other people, they'd probably agree with you.

    You've accused me of point-scoring, but your approach through the majority of this thread has been to quote others who agree with you with a '100' or other variations on 'nailed it,' while fisking other posts in a patently point-scoring way. (this is a tu quoque, by the way.)

    You've glowingly approved theorem's caricature of idealists as self-important, while saying things like 'It's time for a new breed of philosophers to throw off the chains, escape the scourge' etc. With a characteristic note of martyrdom, you compared your approach to that of a historical figure executed for spreading information to the masses.

    You can understand my frustration. I remain suspicious that you don't quite understand the difference between OLP therapeutics (which I am a fan of ) and appeals to incredulity + pose-striking.
  • S
    9.7k
    What could possibly suggest I’m confused? Because I don’t agree with you? Because I don’t stick to your usage? Because the authority I’m using is confusing to you?

    You can’t even know for sure I don’t completely agree with every thing you say, but took the antagonist approach just for the fun of it.
    Mww

    You don't think that if we all use the same terms but mean different things, that'll increase the risk getting our wires crossed?

    Oh but I don’t, in principle. Only difference is yours is necessary but insufficient, whereas mine is both because a form of idealism is attached as its complement.Mww

    Empty words.

    Ahhhh. So “you’re sooooo stupid!!!” is a successful refutation in your world?Mww

    I haven't said that. I don't need to.
  • Michael
    7.7k
    A painted orange is a painted orange, and an experience of orange is an experience of an orange.

    But I'm asking what an orange is. What is it that's being painted? What is it that's being experienced? And you've yet to give a sensible answer.
    S

    The orange is part of the experience, just as a dent is part of the car door. Your mistake, again, is in trying to understand idealism from the perspective of materialism, where experience is one thing and the object of experience is some separate thing, but that's not how it is for idealism. There's just the experience of eating an orange and we pick out parts of the experience and name them ("orange", "man", "mouth", etc.).
  • Theorem
    50
    My understanding is that Hegel rejected the ding an sich as an 'mind-independent thing', because he saw it as another idea within consciousness, and nothing beyond that. I am not sure if you mean to claim that Hegel also rejected it on account of an alleged misapplication of the concept of causality. I would need to see textual evidence of that.Janus

    No, I don't think Hegel brought up the point on causality, though I believe that many of Kant's contemporaries did. I know some modern commentators have tried to defend Kant by claiming that he employed a "regulative" notion of causality or the principle of sufficient reason. I don't know if that defense succeeds, but I suppose it's one possible response.
  • Mww
    657
    You don't think that if we all use the same terms but mean different things, that'll increase the risk getting our wires crossed?S

    Probably. Generally however, that’s not the case. Billions of people communicate successfully most of the time.
  • Theorem
    50
    You've glowingly approved theorem's caricature of idealists as self-important, while saying things like 'It's time for a new breed of philosophers to throw off the chains, escape the scourge' etc.csalisbury

    My caricature was intended to be tongue in cheek, by the way. No offense intended to you or others on the forum.
  • S
    9.7k
    S, I did a breakdown of your OP, charitably steelmanning it, to show how it didn't work. I engaged with the form and substance of your argument, thoughtfully.

    You did not respond in the same way. The biggest part of your response to my post was, bizarrely, to Banno, directing to him this steelmanned version in retaliation for what you perceived as a previous slight. There wasn't much to the rest of the post, but it ended with you more or less ignoring my criticism in order to say that, in any case, you disagree with the people who disagree with you.

    You've since added the point that if you explained your post to other people, they'd probably agree with you.

    You've accused me of point-scoring, but your approach through the majority of this thread has been to quote others who agree with you with a '100' or other variations on 'nailed it,' while fisking other posts in a patently point-scoring way. (this is a tu quoque, by the way.)

    You've glowingly approved theorem's caricature of idealists as self-important, while saying things like 'It's time for a new breed of philosophers to throw off the chains, escape the scourge' etc. With a characteristic note of martyrdom, you compared your approach to that of a historical figure executed for spreading information to the masses.

    You can understand my frustration. I remain suspicious that you don't quite understand the difference between OLP therapeutics (which I am a fan of ) and appeals to incredulity + pose-striking.
    csalisbury

    :100:

    (Alright, alright! Maybe I'll take another look and start over. Just hold your horses! But I do think that you're giving yourself a bit too much credit there.)
  • S
    9.7k
    The orange is part of the experience, just as a dent is part of the car door. Your mistake, again, is in trying to understand idealism from the perspective of materialism, where experience is one thing and the object of experience is some separate thing, but that's not how it is for idealism. There's just the experience of eating an orange and we pick out parts of the experience and name them ("orange", "man", "mouth", etc.).Michael

    I see. The orange is part of the experience. So when I eat the orange, I'm eating a part of the experience.

    Now it all makes perfect sense. I think you've made me a convert.
  • Michael
    7.7k
    I see. The orange is part of the experience. So when I eat the orange, I'm eating a part of the experience.

    Now it all makes perfect sense. I think you've made me a convert.
    S

    You seem to be doing it again where you’re interpreting the act of eating under a materialist ontology, and so I assume accusing idealism of entailing that we swallow and digest experiences with our mind-independent physical bodies.

    Of course the problem here is you trying to mix materialism and idealism together. So stop doing that as it’s ridiculous. There’s just the experience of eating an orange, and like with a painting or a dream we can separate it out and say “this part is the orange and that part is my mouth”.
  • Janus
    6.9k
    No, I don't think Hegel brought up the point on causality, though I believe that many of Kant's contemporaries did. I know some modern commentators have tried to defend Kant by claiming that he employed a "regulative" notion of causality or the principle of sufficient reason. I don't know if that defense succeeds, but I suppose it's one possible response.Theorem

    The way I read Kant, he is saying not that the noumenal causes the phenomenal, but rather that it is the phenomenal thought as in itself rather than as an appearance. He was always very clear that causation is thinkable only in relation to the phenomenal. Obviously things are also only thinkable in relation to the phenomenaI, so why could it not be said that just as you have unknowable things in themselves, then you might also have unknowable causality in itself? That would seem to constitute no contradiction within his system.
  • Theorem
    50
    Hi Janus, I agree that in the particular passage I quoted Kant does not posit noumena as the cause of phenomena, but he does do this on other occasions. Consider the following:

    The understanding accordingly bounds sensibility without thereby expanding its own field, and in warning sensibility not to presume to reach for things in themselves but solely for appearances it thinks of an object in itself, but only as a transcendental object, which is the cause of appearance (thus not itself appearance), and that cannot be thought of either as magnitude or as reality or as substance, etc. (since these concepts always require sensible forms in which they determine an object); it therefore remains completely unknown whether such an object is to be encountered within or without us, whether it would be canceled out along with sensibility or whether it would remain even if we took sensibility away. If we want to call this object a noumenon because the representation of it is nothing sensible, we are free to do so. (A288) — Kant CPR

    The non-sensible cause of these representations is entirely unknown to us, and therefore we cannot intuit it as an object; for such an object would have to be represented neither in space nor in time (as mere conditions of our sensible representation), without which conditions we cannot think any intuition.(A494) — Kant CPR

    Other similar passages can be found where Kant talks about things in themselves "causing" or "affecting" things. So this all begs the question of what licenses Kant to talk about causation or affectation with regards to the relationship between noumena and phenomena given that causation is one of the categories and, as such, does not apply to anything outside of sense representations.
  • Theorem
    50
    Sorry, I seem to have overlooked the bottom half of your post. Kant could posit unknowable causation "in-itself", but he'd be in the same bind, illicitly using an equivocal concept (and one that necessarily has no content!) in an analogical way.
  • Janus
    6.9k
    OK, but doesn't the same as what you say here apply to speaking of 'things in themselves'? I can excuse Kant for this because it seems natural to think that anything that appears to us must also exist "in itself" in some unknowable way.

    Of course, no amount of talking about noumena gets us any closer to being able to say what any thing, including causality, space and time is in itself, and Kant is very firm about this. I see Kant as nudging up against the limits of thought and knowledge, and also against the limits of language, as Wittgenstein might say.

    So I don't see Kant's endeavour as "illicit" use of concepts or language, but as an attempt to show the limits of thought by thinking coherently about the unthinkable as much as is possible.
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