• marcolobo8
    5
    Hello everyone!

    Frege has this model of Designation/Sense/Reference.
    The designation is the word itself, i.e “chair”.
    The Reference is the actual thing which the Designation(word) refers to, i.e an actual chair.
    The sense is the Way in which the Reference is presented to us/given to us, i.e we Think of a chair as something to sit on.

    This model is pretty straight forward regarding actual physical objects... but what about “concept words”?
    Words which doesnt represent any actual physical thing out there in the World.

    Im particular interested in the word “God” since im writing a text about it.
    How do i apply Freges model on the word “God”? Is there even a definite reference to the word “God”? If so, is it as an object or a concept?

    Thanks!
  • I like sushi
    1.8k
    “God” is more like the word “and,” “or” or “thought” than the word “chair”.

    In my experience people just as much difficultly in expressing what they mean by “God” as they do with “and”.
  • fresco
    573
    It is my understanding that Wittgenstein's 'meaning is use' was a later rejection of Frege's support for 'a picture theory of language'.
    From developments in phenomenology, the idea of 'an actual thing' is countered by the views that 'things are thinged by thingers'..i.e. 'things' are those social acquired words we (humans) give to repetitive interaction events of observers and focal aspects of 'our world'. 'Physicality' (of chairs etc) is merely one possible aspect of that interaction. 'Things' such as 'love', 'understanding', 'God', etc...may lack such an aspect, but may still have consistent social usage.
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    'Physicality' (of chairs etc) is merely one possible aspect of that interaction. 'Things' such as 'love', 'understanding', 'God', etc...may lack such an aspect, but may still have consistent social usage.fresco

    I am not a systematic student of either philosophy in general or the philosophers you reference specifically, so maybe my take is naive. But that's never stopped me before.

    Doesn't it all come back to definitions? If we can define a word well, clearly, enough and if the people in the discussion can agree on that definition, can't we point to love just as well as we can point to the moon?

    There was a recent discussion on the forum of the meaning of "reification," which means "when you treat something immaterial — like happiness, fear, or evil — as a material thing." In that discussion, I wrote that everything we can talk about is a reification, "moon" as much as "love." Others disagreed.
  • Brainglitch
    211
    Easy.

    In theologese the "actual thing" referenced, though not a physical thing like a chair, is a mysterious spiritual thing, like choirs of angels and legions of demons and grace and holiness and such.

    Badda-bing.
  • fresco
    573
    No. IMO, definitions merely suggest potential usage contexts, and 'materiality' tends to imply 'of focal concern', not an allusion to 'physicality' as such (although 'to be of concern' is not without its biological connotations which are also 'physical events') As suggested on another thread, what 'matters' in social agreement is 'what happens hext', not some abstract state we call 'agreed meaning'. Reification, is the process of reinforcing the functional social value for a concept which lacks immediate 'physicality' by associating it with a physical 'object'. Thus, for example, 'recycling' is reified by designated disposal bins, or 'nationhood' is reified by a flag.
    Now we could perhaps stretch the reification argument to a claim that the physicality of 'words' is itself responsible for reification of any concept, but that could be a step too far.
  • fiveredapples
    42
    The Reference is the actual thing which the Designation(word) refers tomarcolobo8
    Is God not an actual thing? Must God be physical to fit into Frege's terminological system?
    How do i apply Freges model on the word “God”?
    The designation "God" refers to the referent God, and the senses are numerous: e.g. the almighty creator of the universe, an omniscient being, etc.
  • Gregory
    212
    In the middle ages they thought an object, when sensed, was actually in the soul of the subject
  • Harry Hindu
    2.6k
    It is my understanding that Wittgenstein's 'meaning is use' was a later rejection of Frege's support for 'a picture theory of language'.
    From developments in phenomenology, the idea of 'an actual thing' is countered by the views that 'things are thinged by thingers'..i.e. 'things' are those social acquired words we (humans) give to repetitive interaction events of observers and focal aspects of 'our world'. 'Physicality' (of chairs etc) is merely one possible aspect of that interaction. 'Things' such as 'love', 'understanding', 'God', etc...may lack such an aspect, but may still have consistent social usage.
    fresco

    No. IMO, definitions merely suggest potential usage contexts, and 'materiality' tends to imply 'of focal concern', not an allusion to 'physicality' as such (although 'to be of concern' is not without its biological connotations which are also 'physical events') As suggested on another thread, what 'matters' in social agreement is 'what happens hext', not some abstract state we call 'agreed meaning'. Reification, is the process of reinforcing the functional social value for a concept which lacks immediate 'physicality' by associating it with a physical 'object'. Thus, for example, 'recycling' is reified by designated disposal bins, or 'nationhood' is reified by a flag.
    Now we could perhaps stretch the reification argument to a claim that the physicality of 'words' is itself responsible for reification of any concept, but that could be a step too far.
    fresco
    Seems to me that recycling is an act, or a cause, in the world that leads to a change in the world. I don't see any reason to throw around terms like "materiality", "physicality" "reification", etc. as it complicates things for no good reason. Talking in terms of causality, or the processing of information - from input to output - cause and effect - is more applicable to how language is used and why it is useful in the first place.

    If things are thinged by thingers then what are those thingers, if not things themselves? It seems to me that one would be elevating, or separating, the thingers above, or from, the thinged when you'd have no good reason to do so. What is it that is being thinged? By things are thinged, means that things were already things prior to being thinged.

    Why would thingers be thinging things in the first place?

    What did Witt mean when he said "meaning is use"? What did he mean by "use"? Meaning is "use" seems like what a p-zombie would say. I need to be able to see and hear to use words. I need to be able to experience things other than words in order to use words.
  • 3017amen
    985
    If so, is it as an object or a concept?marcolobo8

    Since Frege is basically talking about the logic of language (truth value) in his philosophy about Sense and Reference, the definition and/or concept of God would include words like; phenomena, ineffable, abstracts, super-natural, extra-ordinary, metaphysical, a priori, timelessness, cosmological, and so forth.

    Common sense would suggest it's both an 'object and a concept [abstract]'.
  • SophistiCat
    923
    Frege has this model of Designation/Sense/Reference.
    The designation is the word itself, i.e “chair”.
    The Reference is the actual thing which the Designation(word) refers to, i.e an actual chair.
    The sense is the Way in which the Reference is presented to us/given to us, i.e we Think of a chair as something to sit on.

    This model is pretty straight forward regarding actual physical objects... but what about “concept words”?
    marcolobo8

    This is only a part of Frege's sentence model. He specifically excludes "concept words" from this part.

    Im particular interested in the word “God” since im writing a text about it.
    How do i apply Freges model on the word “God”? Is there even a definite reference to the word “God”? If so, is it as an object or a concept?
    marcolobo8

    God (capitalized) is, obviously, a proper name, both in the ordinary sense and in Frege's technical sense - i.e. the word "God" is a sign that can, at least in principle, refer to a concrete object. Whether the reference exists in reality is another question, but even if the word fails to refer, that doesn't make it a "concept word." This would be a case of "sense without reference" (assuming you do have some sense of what "God" is).
  • Harry Hindu
    2.6k
    Words are names of things, not the things themselves. So there aren't thingers thinging things. There are namers naming things for the purpose if communucating the named things.
  • fresco
    573
    I suggest you think about your somewhat vacuous phrase 'naming things for the purpose of communicating the named things'. Compare it with ''things are merely repetitive observation events' (Rovelli) and ' all observation involves verbalization' (Maturana).
    Whether or not you understand these points, they certainly indicate attempts to transcend your 'naive realism' by emphasizing the inextricability of 'observer' and 'observed'.
  • Harry Hindu
    2.6k
    I suggest you think about your somewhat vacuous phrase 'naming things for the purpose of communicating the named things'. Compare it with ''things are merely repetitive observation events' (Rovelli) and ' all observation involves verbalization' (Maturana).fresco
    I thought about it before I typed it. That's why I typed it. Cause and effect. The words on the screen refer to the idea in my head that wasn't the words typed on the screen, but were visual and auditory images of humans using words to refer to things in the world. Humans are not made of words. They are made of flesh and mouths and make noises with their mouths and point with their hands. The words on the screen are black scribbles that are about those images that I thought about, so I don't know what you mean by "vacuous".

    Things are not merely repetitive observation events. Everything changes. Cause and effect are the only constants.

    Observation does not necessarily have to involve verbalization. I can experience things without applying words to the experience. Think about what it's like listening to instrumental music.

    I think that some philosopher-scientists try too hard to sound witty (because they think language is a game) and they end up being incoherent, or just making word salad.

    Whether or not you understand these points, they certainly indicate attempts to transcend your 'naive realism' by emphasizing the inextricability of 'observer' and 'observed'.fresco
    If you and those that you've quoted have made true statements about the nature of reality, then it seems that it is you and they, who are the naive realists. How can you make any truth statement about the nature of reality, implying that is how it is for everyone, and not be a naive realist? How is it that you know the nature of reality to say that ''things are merely repetitive observation events"? How do you know this if not by observing reality?
  • fresco
    573
    Sorry, but I have no idea what you mean by the phrase 'true nature of reality' !
    IMO, all we can attempt to explain is what 'communication' is functionally about. Maturana for example might describe it as ' structural coupling between biological,systems directed at a mutual goal'. And, If you think 'cause and effect' are essential aspects of the term 'explanation' we are not on the same wavelength.
  • Harry Hindu
    2.6k
    Sorry, but I have no idea what you mean by the phrase 'true nature of reality' !fresco
    Most other people understand what I'm talking about when I said that. If meaning is use, then I used words and they have meaning. Saying that you don't understand what I mean is inconsistent with the idea that meaning is simply use. If someone uses words, everyone should understand the meaning, right? How can someone not understand what someone else means if meaning is simply use and use entails drawing scribbles and making sounds with your mouth? There must be something more to "use" if others can't understand what it meant by word use.

    Since you say that you don't understand, I'll rephrase. Take this bit from your previous post:
    From developments in phenomenology, the idea of 'an actual thing' is countered by the views that 'things are thinged by thingers'..i.e. 'things' are those social acquired words we (humans) give to repetitive interaction events of observers and focal aspects of 'our world'. 'Physicality' (of chairs etc) is merely one possible aspect of that interaction. 'Things' such as 'love', 'understanding', 'God', etc...may lack such an aspect, but may still have consistent social usage.fresco
    Does every statement you scribbled here refer to some real state-of-affairs which is the case for everyone regardless whether they believe it or not? If not, then how would it be useful to anyone else and why did you type it in the first place? Why are you communicating with me if it's not to transmit your ideas to me as if your ideas would be useful to me and others? And is it your word-use that is useful, or what your words mean that is useful?

    Is
    "From developments in phenomenology, the idea of 'an actual thing' is countered by the views that 'things are thinged by thingers'..i.e. 'things' are those social acquired words we (humans) give to repetitive interaction events of observers and focal aspects of 'our world'. "
    accurate?

    Do these scribbles represent some real state-of-affairs that everyone would realize if they just had the same observations as you? How is it that you came to realize that "From developments in phenomenology, the idea of 'an actual thing' is countered by the views that 'things are thinged by thingers'..i.e. 'things' are those social acquired words we (humans) give to repetitive interaction events of observers and focal aspects of 'our world'. ", if not by observations?

    IMO, all we can attempt to explain is what 'communication' is functionally about. Maturana for example might describe it as ' structural coupling between biological,systems directed at a mutual goal'. And, If you think 'cause and effect' are essential aspects of the term 'explanation' we are not on the same wavelength.fresco
    How can you explain anything without having what the explanation is about prior to the explanation? Aboutness is another term for causation. Effects are about their causes. Effects carry information about their causes. Information/meaning is the relationship between causes and their effects.
  • fresco
    573
    You don't seem to understand that your position is one of 'naive realism'.
    Try this.
    http://www.oikos.org/vonobserv.htm
  • Harry Hindu
    2.6k
    You don't seem to understand that you have to assume "naive" realism if you expect to teach others how to use words - as if the words appear the same to others as they do to you so that you can come to some shared meaning about how they are used. This means that you know how the scribbles appear to others, and what they mean to others. We have the same beetles in our boxes and if any of what we say is accurate (meaning our statements correspond to some state-of-affairs) and meaningful to others, then how can you not say that you don't have direct access to reality as it is? How can you say that you don't have direct access to your mind and your mind is part of reality - a causal part - which means that your mind is about your body and its relationship with the world.
    Try this:
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281656260_Aboutness
  • fresco
    573
    Thanks...read it...not too impressed.
  • Harry Hindu
    2.6k
    That's it? No explanation as to why?

    I take issue with the very first sentence in your link:
    "If there is no other, there will be no I. If there is no I, there will be none to make distinctions.
    Chuang-tsu, 4th Cent., B.C. (*)"

    What qualifies as "other" and "I"?

    According to Maturana, the cognizing organism is informationally closed. Given that it can, nevertheless, produce descriptions; i.e., concepts, conceptual structures, theories, and eventually a picture of its world, it is clear that it can do this only by using building blocks which it has gleaned through some process of abstraction from the domain of its own experience. This insight, which Maturana expresses by saying that all cognitive domains arise exclusively as the result of operations of distinction which are made by the organism itself, was one of the points that attracted me to his work the very first time I came across it. — Ernst von Glasersfeld

    What does it mean for a cognizing organism to be "informationally closed", when an organism has senses, and the organism produces behaviors that is part of the environment and has an effect (even a selective effect like predators vs prey) on the processes of other organisms? How does an entity that is "informationally closed" become social?

    This also seems to contradict the first sentence in the link. The bold part seems to imply that a "informationally closed" entity can produce operations of distinction which are made by the entity itself. So an "I" (if it means the same thing as an "informationally closed" entity) isn't necessary to make distinctions.
  • fresco
    573
    It means that 'information theory' as per attempted computer modelling of 'cognition' is not applicable. The organism structurally adapts to perturbations in its environment. It makes no 'choice' in the information theoretic sense of 'deciding between alternatives'
    Indeed the failure of such models has led to the rise of alternative models such as 'emboded cognition' in which 'languaging' is merely a complex behaviour which requires no concept of 'a world independent of the organic system/s which defines it.' 'Closure' implies 'a world limited by the organism'.
    These developments follow the evolution of ideas from Kant, via phenomenology, to linguistic nonrepresentationalism in which there are no independent 'things-in-themselves'.
    Socialization implies that individuals 'structurally couple' to form a more complex system which defines its 'joint world'.
    'Predation' in which 'a predator' is separate from 'its prey' is seen by Maturana as an anthropomorphism. Predation is merely an automatic structural coupling involving a a temporary 'joint system'.
  • Harry Hindu
    2.6k
    It means that 'information theory' as per attempted computer modelling of 'cognition' is not applicable. The organism structurally adapts to perturbations in its environment. It makes no 'choice' in the information theoretic sense of 'deciding between alternatives'
    Indeed the failure of such models has led to the rise of alternative models such as 'emboded cognition' in which 'languaging' is merely a complex behaviour which requires no concept of 'a world independent of the organic system/s which defines it.' 'Closure' implies 'a world limited by the organism'.
    These developments follow the evolution of ideas from Kant, via phenomenology, to linguistic nonrepresentationalism in which there are no independent 'things-in-themselves'.
    Socialization implies that individuals 'structurally couple' to form a more complex system which defines its 'joint world'.
    'Predation' in which 'a predator' is separate from 'its prey' is seen by Maturana as an anthropomorphism. Predation is merely an automatic structural coupling involving a a temporary 'joint system'.
    fresco

    This is all nonsense. The only alternatives are solipsism or realism. You seem to be arguing for the former. If you are conflating "world" with "mind", then you are a solipsist.

    If "languaging" (a silly term to use when I'm sure that there are other, more applicable terms to use) is a complex behavior which requires no concept of a world independent of the organic system that defines it, where does this complex behavior take place in relation to you and I? What does it mean for some system to be "organic"? What is an organism?

    Saying that "languaging" is a complex behavior implies a world in which this behavior takes place. If not, then what is a behavior? It seems to me that the use of words does imply a world that our words are about. If not, then words are meaningless.

    If "languaging" doesn't require the concept of a world independent of the organic system, then there is no aboutness to its complex behavior. What does the organic system accomplish by "languaging" and how does an organic system become a 'languager'?

    Doesn't the organism have other complex behaviors that isn't "languaging" and that its "languaging" can be about? Your behavior isn't the world. You can only behave within a world, and "languaging" is an organism's way of relaying information about certain states of this world to others. This is why seeing that it is raining and hearing another say, "It is raining." is redundant information you're receiving on two different channels - eyes and ears. One is a state of the weather, while the other is a state of using complex behaviors to inform others about the state of the weather.

    What do you mean? = What are you talking about?

    When you say,
    "Indeed the failure of such models has led to the rise of alternative models such as 'emboded cognition' in which 'languaging' is merely a complex behaviour which requires no concept of 'a world independent of the organic system/s which defines it.'",
    what are you talking about if not some state-of-affairs where there are failures of models?

    How can there ever be a failure of our models if our model is the world as we define it? If an organism uses a particular set of complex behaviors, how can those behaviors entail a "failure"? What would that mean? It seems to me that you can't escape talking about the world when using words. You are always attempting to explain some state-of-affairs in the world that you and I share, and are trying to impart knowledge about this world to me.
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