• creativesoul
    4.6k


    Aristotle did not draw and maintain the crucial distinction between thought/belief and thinking about thought/belief.
  • creativesoul
    4.6k


    You've offered several different kinds of meaning. What do they all have in common such that that commonality is what makes them all a kind of meaning?
  • creativesoul
    4.6k
    ...it appears we are thinking about our own thinking, which is technically true, but in actuality, we are just thinking. Instead of some arbitrary object to think about, we’ve chosen ourselves as the object. We think about ourselves in exactly the same way we think about everything else.Mww

    We are not our thought/belief.

    Are you really attempting to deny that we think about our own thought/belief?
  • Mww
    491


    I personally prefer the Enlightenment era Continental Idealism, particularly the Kantian variety, even if I wouldn’t bet the family farm on it. But it doesn’t matter which speculative system one chooses, if he chooses at all, which ever way the brain works is how it works, and because there’s no peer-reviewed positive evidence of the fundamental aspects of brain mechanisms, we are free to be as purely logical as we please.
    ————————-

    We are not our thought/belief. Are you really attempting to deny that we think about our own thought/belief?creativesoul

    I don’t know what you mean by “thought/belief”. For me, a belief is a thought but a thought is not necessarily a belief, and if thinking is always and absolutely prevalent, believing is redundant. There is no epistemological or cognitive distinction between “I think.......” and “I believe.......”, and in a sufficient metaphysical reduction, the “I believe......” disappears anyway.

    Still, I see you use that connectivity just about everywhere on here, so it must mean something to you. And no, I would hardly attempt to deny that we think about our own thinking, but I would submit Everydayman doesn't even recognize the mechanics of his own thinking, hence doesn’t acknowledge that there are any.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    5.4k
    Aristotle did not draw and maintain the crucial distinction between thought/belief and thinking about thought/belief.creativesoul

    Of course he did, that's why the divine act is thinking about thinking, not just plain old thinking. Thinking requires an object, what is thought about, subject matter. In his Nichomachean Ethics, contemplation (thinking) is described as the most virtuous activity, but thinking about thinking is the highest form of thinking. This follows Plato's divisions of knowledge, which places knowledge about ideas as the highest form of knowledge.
  • creativesoul
    4.6k
    Are you disagreeing that meaning is shared?
    — creativesoul

    I can only understand the word 'shared' in terms of division, or joint ownership, or maybe joint possession (as in some property is shared). I can only make sense of 'meaning' as in the use a word is put to, or maybe the responses it brings about when it's read or heard.
    Isaac

    Common denominators are shared and undivided. The world is shared and undivided. All mammals share mammary glands. Commonalites are shared and undivided.




    You asked, what is it that is being shared between language users? As if there were a single thing that had some significance over others.

    If 'shared' is to be used to indicate joint possession or membership, then we share the words themselves, we share a broad collection of the uses they're put to, we share some (but not all) of the responses they generate in our minds. But this is all trivially true. What's the point of the question?
    Isaac

    The point of the question is to see what sense can be made of it. From your position, we have word use is shared... by definitional fiat. If meaning is the use a word(or language) is put to, then there are some unacceptable consequences...

    Some people convince others to take certain actions by virtue of making statements. The speaker does not believe what they say. The listeners are convinced that the speaker does.

    Here, your position cannot adequately account for the meaning of the statements/language use. Their use is not equivalent to their meaning.
  • Isaac
    340
    Common denominators are shared and undivided. The world is shared and undivided. All mammals share mammary glands. Commonalites are shared and undivided.creativesoul

    Yes, that's why I included those things in my list of thing I think "shared" could refer to.

    Some people convince others to take certain actions by virtue of making statements. The speaker does not believe what they say. The listeners are convinced that the speaker does.

    Here, your position cannot adequately account for the meaning of the statements/language use. Their use is not equivalent to their meaning.
    creativesoul

    What? I really can't make any sense of that. Your writing is like you're missing every second sentence. Is your ISP charging you by the word? If you want to engage in a discussion, at least put the effort into constructing proper paragraphs of rather than just stringing some sentences together.
  • creativesoul
    4.6k
    I personally prefer the Enlightenment era Continental Idealism, particularly the Kantian variety, even if I wouldn’t bet the family farm on it. But it doesn’t matter which speculative system one chooses, if he chooses at all, which ever way the brain works is how it works, and because there’s no peer-reviewed positive evidence of the fundamental aspects of brain mechanisms, we are free to be as purely logical as we please...Mww

    My last two responses to you were based upon what I've taken to be 'fundamental'(for lack of a better word) tenets of the position you're arguing for/from. The position I'm arguing for/from differs remarkably. I suspect that you are already aware of this. Never-the-less, I do find much agreement as well. Do you agree?

    I want to say that I appreciate the 'manner' in which you've taken part here, and I want to return to some of those posts. They deserve more attention than they've been given thus far. It's just that both posts began with an assertion/claim/statement that seems to be incompatible with my own view. That makes for clear difference. Clear difference is good. Crucial for both of us, as it lends itself to knowing what we're talking about and/or debating.



    I don’t know what you mean by “thought/belief”. For me, a belief is a thought but a thought is not necessarily a belief, and if thinking is always and absolutely prevalent, believing is redundant. There is no epistemological or cognitive distinction between “I think.......” and “I believe.......”, and in a sufficient metaphysical reduction, the “I believe......” disappears anyway.

    Still, I see you use that connectivity just about everywhere on here, so it must mean something to you.
    Mww

    This skirts around the very foundation of my position. I agree with much above, but not all. All belief is thought, but not all thought is belief. The only difference between the two, it seems to me, are during times of contemplation, particularly when one is temporarily suspending one's judgment about a particular subject matter in order to follow a line of thinking regarding that matter. Even then, however, that act is chock full of thought/belief.

    If there is a metaphysically based method of reduction in which "I believe" disappears, and/or belief and/or believing is rendered as redundant, then there's either something wrong with the method, or the method arrives at the inability to draw a distinction between thought/belief and thinking about thought/belief.

    There is clearly a difference. Exploring that difference is key.
  • creativesoul
    4.6k


    Could you show me exactly where he draws that distinction? I've seen nothing from him with regards to talking about "thinking about our own thought/belief"...
  • creativesoul
    4.6k
    Common denominators are shared and undivided. The world is shared and undivided. All mammals share mammary glands. Commonalites are shared and undivided.
    — creativesoul

    Yes, that's why I included those things in my list of thing I think "shared" could refer to.

    Some people convince others to take certain actions by virtue of making statements. The speaker does not believe what they say. The listeners are convinced that the speaker does.

    Here, your position cannot adequately account for the meaning of the statements/language use. Their use is not equivalent to their meaning.
    — creativesoul

    What? I really can't make any sense of that.
    Isaac

    There are times when "We are under attack!!!" is known to be false by the speaker but deliberately used nonetheless to manufacture consent for war. The meaning is used to manufacture consent. Thus, the meaning of the statement and it's use are clearly not equivalent.
  • S
    8.5k
    We set up a computer system, including a camera/microphone and a robot arm, in a small room, so that there's also a tree, a totem poll and a bookcase in it.

    We type or say or show a picture we drew of a tree. The computer responds by pointing the robot arm at the tree.

    We type or say or show a picture we drew of a totem poll. The computer responds by pointing the robot arm at the totem poll.

    Is the computer "doing meaning"? In other words, does "tree" mean something to the computer?
    Terrapin Station

    Interesting, but this is the whole problem: one could answer either way, and one could be right either way, at least in a sense. Meaning is use, including the use of "meaning".

    What is shared meaning? Well, how do you use "meaning"? And how do you use "shared"? The rest will logically follow. "Logic takes care of itself; all we have to do is to look and see how it does it" - Wittgenstein.

    /thread
  • Isaac
    340
    There are times when "We are under attack!!!" is known to be false by the speaker but deliberately used nonetheless to manufacture consent for war. The meaning is used to manufacture consent. Thus, the meaning of the statement and it's use are clearly not equivalent.creativesoul

    It's used to get people to think they're under attack. That's the use of the word if they genuinely are, and that's its use if they aren't but the speaker wishes to deceive them. It's the same use.
  • Mww
    491
    I do find much agreement as well. Do you agree?creativesoul

    I agree with several of your responses to others, sometimes in total, sometimes in part. I’m not sure the position you’re arguing from differs remarkably, if just because I’m not sure what it is. It seems we are close enough in the basics, at least in the understanding of shared meaning and the disastrous appeal to rhetorical heuristics of the so-called language philosophers of the early 20th century, to say the differences aren’t that far apart.

    Yes, my comments, if not an outright interrogative, began and usually do begin, with either assertion/claim/statement, as you say. That’s merely to set a reference, a starting point, and support for it, from which a co-conversant will supplement or reduce as the situation warrants.
    ————————

    All belief is thought, but not all thought is belief. The only difference between the two, it seems to me, are during times of contemplation, particularly when one is temporarily suspending one's judgmentcreativesoul

    I broke off your comment, quoting only the part which shows how the difference may arise. It is easy to see how idle contemplation does not necessarily have an object, which validates the suspension of judgement. Understanding can still do its job, but without the requirement for validating its correctness, and without a particular cognition as an end, there is nothing to judge.
    (Look at a wall. What shade of green is that, really? Lighter than this, seems like, deeper than that, sorta like a pear but not really. I had a t-shirt almost that color once)

    On the other hand, as soon as an object is incorporated in the sequence of reasoning, as in contemplation of a specific subject matter, either a priori from reason or a priori from experience, it is accompanied by a judgement, because in such case a cognition is the ends, that is to say, there is something to cognize about the subject matter.
    (Look at a wall. I’m painting it green, but I don’t want my wall to look like a maple leaf or a mantis or a pear. I want....whichever shade is judged is then cognized. Wife hates it........start over)
    ———————

    the method arrives at the inability to draw a distinction between thought/belief and thinking about thought/belief.creativesoul

    All metaphysical methods are concerned with reason, but it is reason from which all metaphysics obtains. Obviously, circular reasoning in intrinsic to this kind of system; it is inescapable, the natural functionality of being human and possessing a singular intellectual form. Epistemological idealism in general and various forms of transcendental idealism in particular, seek to expose the circularity, but never seeks to eliminate it, because it can’t. So, yes, there is an intrinsic inability to draw a distinction between thought and thinking about thought. Whether or not it is correct to call them the same thing as a means to overcome the inability to distinguish them, doesn’t detract from the overall method, even if it is somewhat unsatisfactory. It’s like, reduce this far, if you reduce any further you’re in jeopardy of contradicting yourself, or falsifying the entire method, not just part of it.

    It remains a valid premise, nonetheless, that separating thought from belief is not self-defeating, and is in fact a logical rational enterprise. What can’t be separated, and what is susceptible to inability, is the determining of exactly what the “I” that has thoughts and has beliefs, actually is. THAT is the end of the line, that of which reason has nothing to say at all, with any logical consistency.

    Your turn.
  • creativesoul
    4.6k
    There are times when "We are under attack!!!" is known to be false by the speaker but deliberately used nonetheless to manufacture consent for war. The meaning is used to manufacture consent. Thus, the meaning of the statement and it's use are clearly not equivalent.
    — creativesoul

    It's used to get people to think they're under attack. That's the use of the word if they genuinely are, and that's its use if they aren't but the speaker wishes to deceive them. It's the same use.
    Isaac

    The meaning of "We are under attack" is the same in both situations. It means the same thing.

    That meaning is not being used for the same thing.

    With an insincere speaker the statement is used to deliberately misrepresent the speaker's own thought/belief(the speaker uses the statement to lie/deceive). With a sincere speaker, it is used to represent one's own thought/belief(the speaker uses the statement to be honest/sincere).

    Speaking sincerely and speaking insincerely are the not the same use of the same statement with the same meaning.
  • Janus
    6.7k
    This is a bit of sophistry. It is obvious even to the casual reader that the point @Isaac was making was that the sentence "We are under attack" is used to inform or assert that some group ("we") is under attack. You are equivocating on the sense of "use" by introducing the irrelevant possibility of differing intentions behind the basic informative or assertive (whether honestly informative or assertive or not is irrelevant) use of the sentence.
  • Isaac
    340


    If someone asked you what a screwdriver is used for would you answer "to manage financial transactions"? No. So just because in one instance it might be used to put together a computer, which is then used to manage financial transactions, does not mean the financial transaction is the 'use' of the screwdrivers. Is is used to drive screws, for whatever ultimate purpose.

    The expression "we're under attack" is used to engender the response of feeling under attack. The ultimate purpose of someone wishing to engender those feelings is neither here nor there, otherwise the question "what is x used for" becomes pointlessly unanswerable.

    Talking of pointless, don't bother responding to this post, I've no interest in continuing to engage in this charade.
  • creativesoul
    4.6k


    Well, you've offered more than adequate background. From early on, I was reminded of Kant and the old British Empiricism/Rationalism debates. Those were some of my very first interests in philosophy. Kant's intellect was quite impressive. It's no surprise his writings are still revered despite the untenability of Noumena. Intro to Philo classes may still teach the idea that all we can know is our perceptions. I know at least one... a year or so back... did. I have no idea why.

    I am beginning to think/believe that the similarities between you and I revolve around personal values. I suspect our ethics are similar. That is where I still find Kant very appealing. Goodwill. The Categorical Imperative as a standard by which to measure the goodness of an act. His bit on judgment as a talent that cannot be learned at the beginning of the First Critique also left quite the impression. There are many good reasons to honor Kant and all of the other greats throughout history, especially given their knowledge base at the time along with who the most powerful people were.

    The most important difference between our viewpoints is that the position you argue from/for does not drawn the crucial distinction between thought/belief and thinking about thought/belief. You've acknowledged that much. The consequences of neglecting to draw and maintain that distinction are far reaching. The evidence of that neglect pervades nearly all of Western philosophy... Hume and Kant notwithstanding(his notions of apriori and a posteriori are proof positive, as is the very misconception of 'pure reason').

    Thought/belief begins very simply and grows in it's complexity. At conception, there is no thought/belief and yet at the end of some people's lives the sheer complexity of thought/belief that they have/hold and/or use is downright daunting. However, the very complex ones are existentially dependent upon the simple ones. Thought/belief is accrued. Thus, to draw a distinction between empirical thought and pure reason is to show that one misunderstands how all thought/belief works. There can be no pure reason without simple thought. There can be no simple thought without an external world. There can be no pure reason without an external world. The distinction between pure reason and empirical thought is fraught with tremendous misunderstanding.

    All thought/belief - from the most rudimentary, simple, and/or basic ones through the most complex - consist of common basic elemental constituents, and that is what makes them what they are.
  • creativesoul
    4.6k


    How about you stick to the example I offered? It is one which clearly shows that use is not equivalent to meaning.

    Besides that... there's an obvious tack here...

    Are you claiming that we do not use meaning? I mean surely you must be. How could we do that if they were equivalent?
  • creativesoul
    4.6k
    The expression "we're under attack" is used to engender the response of feeling under attack. The ultimate purpose of someone wishing to engender those feelings is neither here nor there, otherwise the question "what is x used for" becomes pointlessly unanswerable.Isaac

    The ultimate purpose is precisely what the meaning of the statement is being used for.

    Jeez.
  • creativesoul
    4.6k
    There are times when "We are under attack!!!" is known to be false by the speaker but deliberately used nonetheless to manufacture consent for war. The meaning is used to manufacture consent. Thus, the meaning of the statement and it's use are clearly not equivalent.
    — creativesoul

    It's used to get people to think they're under attack. That's the use of the word if they genuinely are, and that's its use if they aren't but the speaker wishes to deceive them. It's the same use.
    Isaac

    This misses something...

    If they are genuinely under attack, the use is for them to know it. If they are not genuinely under attack, the use is for them to believe it. So, even with the most charitable reading... not the same use.
  • Isaac
    340
    The ultimate purpose is precisely what the meaning of the statement is being used for.creativesoul

    So a perfectly normal answer to the question "what is a screwdriver used for?" would be "getting to the moon"? Because the ultimate purpose of using it to tighten screws in a rocket is to reach the moon. No wait, wasn't the space race just a tool in the cold War, so maybe screwdrivers are used to manage international politics. But then why do we engage in international politics at all, so maybe screwdrivers are used to ensure our long term security. Gosh, it's a wonder anyone can answer such a complicated question at all. What idiots they must all be for their simplistic notions that - it's used to drive bloody screws!
  • Mww
    491
    At conception, there is no thought/belief and yet at the end of some people's lives the sheer complexity of thought/belief that they have/hold and/or use is downright daunting.creativesoul

    Because “...at the end...” is one terminus, I think it fair to say “at conception...” is the other, rather than conception as a position in the thought process, the assignment of meaning to something. If so, would it be reasonable to suggest your whole idea of thought/belief is what I would call experience? Experience does fit well in the context, you must agree, re: at conception the initial state of being there is no experience and at the end of being there is immeasurable experience. And experience is certainly accrued.
    ———————

    to draw a distinction between empirical thought and pure reason is to show that one misunderstands how all thought/belief works.creativesoul

    I guess I must count myself amongst those ones; I understand empirical thought to mean cognizing of empirical things or condition of empirical things, the ground of which is always perception and of which there is always a conception from which experience is possible. Pure reason, on the other hand, is cognizing of possible things or possible conditions of possible things, the ground of which is imagination and of which no conception nor experience is at all possible. Herein is the negation of thought/belief being synonomous with experience, for while it seems reasonable to have experience with thought belief, it is equally reasonable to have thought/belief with no ensuing experience. Unless one considers even the internal rational process itself is an experience, which I myself do not.

    So I admit to misunderstanding how your characterization of thought/belief works.
    ————————

    All thought/belief - from the most rudimentary, simple, and/or basic ones through the most complex - consist of common basic elemental constituents,creativesoul

    I understand the basic premise here. Thought is a series of procedural steps, have an unconsciously time abiding duration, beginning with perception, ending with experience. In between are the faculties of intuition, sensibility, understanding, judgement, cognition. Pure reason begins with an idea/notion, skips the phenomenal faculties, picks up again with understanding, ends at cognition. However, this system has no degrees of complexity, it is all done the same way. I suppose it’s because mine is a regulatory system at it core, which means we are encouraged to remain logically consistent in order to prevent contradicting ourselves.
    (Writing this shows me writing about thinking. But I had to think it first, which is not shown, so in effect, I am thinking about writing about thinking. But if I didn’t write it, I still would have thought it, which is....just thinking. Thinking about thinking is just thinking.)

    There can be no pure reason without simple thought.creativesoul

    What is your idea of simple thought?
  • creativesoul
    4.6k


    Red Herrings won't do here.
  • creativesoul
    4.6k
    What is your idea of simple thought?Mww

    Correlations drawn between different things. That is the rough outline of all thought/belief. The complexity/simplicity is determined by the content of the correlations.
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