• ghost
    109

    Same here. I also think this is some of the best stuff in Wittgenstein and Heidegger. The 'form of life' is mostly invisible. The foundation of our inquiry is inaccessible. We can always already speak. Our language is more complex and elusive than can be mastered by artificial theories. Practice is ahead of theory.

    For me this is not anti-theory, but it does free us from an obsession with artificial foundations. I like to think that we creatively forge phrases. Some of them prove themselves, others don't. I like this about Popper. We don't know (and it doesn't matter) where theories come from. It's how we judge them that matters. It's holding the results of our mysterious creativity up to the fire of reality and criticism.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    981
    Practice is ahead of theory.

    For me this is not anti-theory, but it does free us from an obsession with artificial foundations. I like to think that we creatively forge phrases. Some of them prove themselves, others don't. I like this about Popper. We don't know (and it doesn't matter) where theories come from. It's how we judge them that matters. It's holding the results of our mystery creativity up to the fire of reality and criticism.
    ghost

    This touches on something creativesoul and I have discussed earlier on this thread - methodology and premise. I came to the conclusion that the foundation of the premise of any theory is inaccessible. The best we can do is presuppose the premise and proceed to investigate through strict methodology, which, at least, allows us to proceed with some consistency of logic. It is likely that we will find out nothing about the subject of our investigations. Reality and criticism will always prevail in negating theory. Despite that, what is of value is the actual conducting of the thought experiment. Only by doing so can we see it for what it is, and judge it by it's true merits.
  • ghost
    109
    The best we can do is presuppose the premise and proceed to investigate through strict methodology, which, at least, allows us to proceed with some consistency of logic.Merkwurdichliebe

    That makes sense to me. I think we also have social conventions about what moves are allowed in the game. I call these something like power dynamics. It's about everyone getting along. I think this is related to logic. It's not that we have proved that no one has mystic access to the truth. It's just that we are the kind of people who don't play the game that way. So 'logic' or 'reason' is an abbreviation for some kind of simultaneously epistemological and moral background. We are never done specifying what it is to be rational, but we know well enough.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    981
    That makes sense to me. I think we also have social conventions about what moves are allowed in the game.ghost

    I like how you circled back onto the automatic stuff, subconscious thought/belief factors into everything we assert.
  • ghost
    109
    I like how you circled back onto the automatic stuff, subconscious thought/belief factors into everything we assert.Merkwurdichliebe

    I do think it's huge. I guess the fault of intellectuals tends to be pretending that they aren't all riding dark horses whose names they do not know. I do see that this insight is related to a dangerous irrationalism. The danger on the otherwise is a dogmatism that thinks it knows and speaks from a pseudo-foundation, a cheap low complexity model of something that dwarfs and surprises it.

    Personally I don't think there's a clean break between philosophy and character. With science we can pretty much do that. But as philosophers I think welive our finitude. Rorty writes of 'final vocabularies.' I'd say these are words that aim at basic intuitions of decency and rationality and maybe even masculinity that we just can't question ---or justify in other terms. We see how nasty things get in the politics threads. We lose our heads when we run out of words.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    981
    what moves are allowed in the game. I call these something like power dynamics. It's about everyone getting along. I think this is related to logic. It's not that we have proved that no one has mystic access to the truth. It's just that we are the kind of people who don't play the game that way. So 'logic' or 'reason' is an abbreviation for some kind simultaneously epistemological and moral background.ghost

    Well said. This places the utmost importance on being clear with respect the rules we are playing by. When we consider all the subconscious thought/belief that is not readily accessible, it seems, this getting along is essential to moving us forward in our theorizing..
  • ghost
    109
    This places the of utmost importance on being clear with respect the rules we are playing by.Merkwurdichliebe

    I agree, but I'd add that we have to already be in on something friendly to begin with in order to set up the rules. So that suggests that the rules are still a little artificial, however useful. But I am down with conventions. Sometimes they help (like clear rules about what can be talked about on this forum, or rules against personal insults, etc.)
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    981
    I'd add that we have to already be in on something friendly to begin with in order to set up the rules. So that suggests that the rules are still a little artificial, however useful.ghost

    Rules are indeed useful.

    This something friendly is part of social aptitude. Perhaps it is the ability to make oneself agreeable to alien thought/belief. The rules, whether in regard to logic or moral reasoning, demand conformity, and imply an altering of one's thought/belief so as properly to abide by the rules. In this sense, rules are absolutely artificial.

    This brings us to the question of responsibility. When one has the choice to follow the rules or not. For example, when it becomes possible to consciously transgress the rule (e.g. do not to speak in tongues, or do not commit murder). In the rules of logic, this would merely make one untintellible/dumb. But under the rules of morality, this would make one wrong/unacceptable.
  • Janus
    7.3k
    I agree that "proto-morality" is not "a domain of morals", and this agreement is related to several discussions about terminology I have had with @creativesoul in the past, where I have said that I think it is best for clarity and avoidance of unnecessary and possibly misleading anthropomorphization to make a distinction between the linguistically based abstract forming, having and holding of thoughts and beliefs, and the kinds of pre-linguistic cognitve processes, which we might refer to as 'thinking' or 'believing'.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    981
    ↪Merkwurdichliebe I agree that "proto-morality" is not "a domain of morals", and this agreement is related to several discussions about terminology I have had with creativesoul in the past, where I have said that I think it is best for clarity and avoidance of unnecessary and possibly misleading anthropomorphization to make a distinction between the linguistically based abstract forming, having and holding of thoughts and beliefs, and the kinds of pre-linguistic cognitve processes, which we might refer to as 'thinking' or 'believing'.Janus

    Excellent. :grin:

    That fits in perfectly with my current understanding. I have no objections.
  • ghost
    109
    This something friendly is part of social aptitude. Perhaps it is the ability to make oneself agreeable to alien thought/belief.Merkwurdichliebe

    Indeed. I like 'aptitude.' I also like 'know-how.' And it takes guts to expose yourself to criticism. There's also a sense of fair play. I meet strangers at basketball courts where I exercise. I am often impressed by and grateful for their manners. I think it's the same in intellectual conversation. People are fundamentally sure of themselves (but not of each of their ideas) are perhaps more able to do this. We let our theories do our dying for us, and we even invite one another to try to kill these theories. Or to express distaste or skepticism. As long the individuals treat one another as worthy of respect (independent of particular theories) this can work beautifully.
  • ghost
    109
    This brings us to the question of responsibility. When one has the choice to follow the rules or not. For example, when it becomes possible to consciously transgress the rule (e.g. do not to speak in tongues, or do not commit murder). In the rules of logic, this would merely make one untintellible/dumb. But under the rules of morality, this would make one wrong/unacceptable.Merkwurdichliebe

    I agree. And one could argue that the deepest philosophy happens here, right at the edges. To be intelligible, one has to stay at least mostly within the current logical norm. But that norm is shifted over time. Our notion of the rational evolves. It's the same with morals. Those who are outright criminals won't be persuasive, but a non-violent hippy in the 60s was right on the edge.
  • creativesoul
    5.2k
    I agree that "proto-morality" is not "a domain of morals", and this agreement is related to several discussions about terminology I have had with creativesoul in the past, where I have said that I think it is best for clarity and avoidance of unnecessary and possibly misleading anthropomorphization to make a distinction between the linguistically based abstract forming, having and holding of thoughts and beliefs, and the kinds of pre-linguistic cognitve processes, which we might refer to as 'thinking' or 'believing'.Janus

    Yes.

    I would even take this a bit further and say that distinguishing between pre-linguistic thought/belief and linguistic thought/belief still isn't quite enough parsing. There also needs to be a distinction drawn between linguistic thought/belief that is not reflective, and linguistic thought/belief that is.

    There's a need to establish existential dependency between different moral notions, such as all the ones heretofore discussed in addition to a few more perhaps. I think such a parsing is needed in order for our establishing a well-grounded evolutionary timeline. The timeline is needed to help parse which notions existentially predate others. That knowledge serves as ground for conclusions about origens.
  • creativesoul
    5.2k
    The best we can do is presuppose the premise...Merkwurdichliebe

    But that is just not true.

    I appreciate the overtly friendly discourse more than my words can probably convey. There's much to be agreed with regarding the bits about rules and social interactions.

    There are two main premisses at work here for my part at least. One involves what all things moral have in common, and the other involves what all thought/belief have in common. While those two premisses can be used as premisses, they were not arrived at by virtue of assumption.

    However, I'm always at a complete loss when others talk about and/or imply some foregone conclusion - some fait accompli - that we cannot get 'beneath' language. It's just not true. There's also a hint of discarding truth altogether and/or at least misunderstanding the irrevocable role that truth plays in all thought/belief and statements thereof.

    We cannot get there(beneath language) if we continue employing historical frameworks which fail to draw and maintain the distinction between thought/belief and thinking about thought/belief.

    Another is the notion and/or dichotomy of contingency/necessity that results from neglecting the aforementioned distinction. Then, we have all those other notions that have proved as little more than a waste of time and a lot of it(apriori, a posterior, analytic/synthetic, etc), because they are also based upon the same neglect.

    The point here is that as long as one follows Zeno's framework, the hare never catches up to the rabbit. The historical frameworks of philosophy proper have not gotten human thought/belief correct. That's the problem writ large for those willing to admit it. There are no philosophers... ever... to have clearly and unequivocally drawn the distinction between thought/belief and thinking about thought/belief.

    That's how this discussion began. It remains germane to the task at hand. That is particularly true of the current thought experiment and/or metacognitive endeavor of putting the distinction to good use.
  • creativesoul
    5.2k
    As long the individuals treat one another as worthy of respect (independent of particular theories) this can work beautifully.ghost

    Well put.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    981
    But that is just not true. While I appreciate the friendly discourse more than my words can probably convey, I'm always at a complete loss when others talk about and/or imply some foregone conclusion that we cannot get 'beneath' language. It's just not true.

    There are two main premisses at work here for my part at least. One involves what all things moral have in common, and the other involves what all thought/belief have in common.

    While those two premisses can be used as premisses, they were not arrived at by virtue of assumption.
    creativesoul

    You are right, we've put in a lot of groundwork to validate our premise. That post was not meant to discount it.

    I was merely expressing my opinion that no premise is fully immune to criticism. But that's a different topic for a different thread, so I will stop here.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    981
    As long the individuals treat one another as worthy of respect (independent of particular theories) this can work beautifully.
    — ghost

    Well put.
    creativesoul

    I second that.
  • Janus
    7.3k
    There also needs to be a distinction drawn between linguistic thought/belief that is not reflective, and linguistic thought/belief that is.creativesoul

    Yes, that seems to be a good and even necessary distinction, which was at least implied, if not explicit, in an earlier post where I wrote:

    Humans, by virtue of language, have transcended the merely instinctual imperative to adhere to proto-moral behavior, but they are nonetheless socially conditioned and inculcated into pre-reflective moral (and obviously other) worldviews, that form cultural and conceptual contexts, contexts only within which questioning of those paradigms may later become possible.Janus

    So, we have the pre-reflective (but not pre-linguistic, obviously) context within which, and by virtue of which, later reflection upon that paradigm becomes possible.
  • ghost
    109
    So, we have the pre-reflective (but not pre-linguistic, obviously) context within which, and by virtue of which, later reflection upon that paradigm becomes possible.Janus

    That sounds right.

    Philosophy first commences when a race for the most part has left its concrete life, when separation and change of class have begun, and the people approach toward their fall; when a gulf has arisen between inward strivings and external reality, and the old forms of Religion, &c., are no longer satisfying; when Mind manifests indifference to its living existence or rests unsatisfied therein, and moral life becomes dissolved. Then it is that Mind takes refuge in the clear space of thought to create for itself a kingdom of thought in opposition to the world of actuality, and Philosophy is the reconciliation following upon the destruction of that real world which thought has begun. When Philosophy with its abstractions paints grey in grey, the freshness and life of youth has gone, the reconciliation is not a reconciliation in the actual, but in the ideal world. — Hegel
    When does reflection become not only possible but necessary? When the old habits , commandments, and rituals stop working?... Once we have the abstract notion of morality, we are already 'evil.' To see our culture from the outside is maybe only possible for a sinner.
  • creativesoul
    5.2k
    There also needs to be a distinction drawn between linguistic thought/belief that is not reflective, and linguistic thought/belief that is.
    — creativesoul

    Yes, that seems to be a good and even necessary distinction, which was at least implied, if not explicit, in an earlier post where I wrote:

    Humans, by virtue of language, have transcended the merely instinctual imperative to adhere to proto-moral behavior, but they are nonetheless socially conditioned and inculcated into pre-reflective moral (and obviously other) worldviews, that form cultural and conceptual contexts, contexts only within which questioning of those paradigms may later become possible.
    — Janus

    So, we have the pre-reflective (but not pre-linguistic, obviously) context within which, and by virtue of which, later reflection upon that paradigm becomes possible.
    Janus

    This is agreeable as well.

    So we are playing around with three kinds of thought/belief. Prelinguistic, linguistic pre-reflective, and linguistic reflective.

    What do they all have in common that makes them all thought/belief?

    :smile:
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    981
    So we are playing around with three kinds of thought/belief. Prelinguistic, linguistic pre-reflective, and linguistic reflective.

    What do they all have in common that makes them all thought/belief?
    creativesoul

    They are all modes of assessment by which we make correlations/associations/connections.

    Additionally, we find a social dynamic involved in the communication of each mode.
  • creativesoul
    5.2k
    You are right, we've put in a lot of groundwork to validate our premise. That post was not meant to discount our premise in this discussion.

    I was merely expressing my opinion that no premise is fully immune to criticism. But that a different topic for a different thread, so I will stop here.
    Merkwurdichliebe

    We're good. No problema.

    While it is true that no premise is fully immune to criticism, it is also true that not all criticism is either valid or well-grounded. Some are neither. As you say, that's a different topic for a different thread.
  • creativesoul
    5.2k
    They are all modes of assessment by which we make correlations/associations/connections.Merkwurdichliebe

    Let's take a look. In order for the above to be true... One of the following would also have to be true...

    1. Modes of assessment exist in their entirety prior to any and all thought/belief.
    2. There is no difference between modes of assessment and thought/belief.
    3. Thought/belief is one mode of assessment

    Regarding 1...

    Something that consists of something else cannot exist prior to that something else. All assessment consists of pre-existing thought/belief. Assessment cannot exist prior to all thought/belief. Hence, it only follows that not all thought/belief are modes of assessment.

    Regarding 2 and 3...

    The same answer.

    Final conclusion...

    I reject that answer and remain steadfast to what I've been arguing for thus far.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I thought/believed that we'd already agreed to the universal criterion for what counts as thought/belief. I'll chalk it up to a pattern of mine. I tend to assume that the reader has already been through all the same veins of thought/belief and carried away the same understanding as I have.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    981
    So we are playing around with three kinds of thought/belief. Prelinguistic, linguistic pre-reflective, and linguistic reflective.

    What do they all have in common that makes them all thought/belief?
    creativesoul

    What is thought/belief in the first place? How are we defining it? It is impossible to determine what makes them common until we do this.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    981
    @creativesoul
    After reviewing earlier discussions, thought/belief was associated with meaning. But I never got to the point at which we specifically defined it.
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