• Fooloso4
    1k
    I think we already went through this in the other thread and I demonstrated that this is a mistaken view.Metaphysician Undercover

    No, you argued that it is a mistaken view. I don't know if anyone but you found it persuasive.

    Your basic misunderstanding in this post is based on your conflating the logic of language with formal logic and reason. If you can get that straightened out then you should be able to see how misguided your post is.

    If, as usual, you are convinced you are right, that Wittgenstein is mistaken rather than you being mistaken about what Wittgenstein is saying, then so be it. I am not going to try to convince you otherwise.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    6k
    Your basic misunderstanding in this post is based on your conflating the logic of language with formal logic and reason. If you can get that straightened out then you should be able to see how misguided your post is.Fooloso4

    No, the issue is that if we assume that an animal must use logic, or reason, to do something like communicate, then we'll find that logic must pre-exist communication. And if we analyze why it is that we believe logic is required for such an activity, we'll find that logic is required for, and therefore must pre-exist the activities of all living beings. Then we'll need to believe in pan-psychism because it will appear like life comes about from matter using logic in its actions' .

    If, as usual, you are convinced you are right, that Wittgenstein is mistaken rather than you being mistaken about what Wittgenstein is saying, then so be it. I am not going to try to convince you otherwiseFooloso4

    There is no such thing as "the logic of language". And Wittgenstein does not refer to any such thing, you are making this up, to support your misunderstanding. Did you read 2019's post, which is what I was replying to? Logic is an idealized use of language, it is a type of use, the use of language for a particular purpose, "...rule-governed use is merely one of several related notions of the use of language that Wittgenstein employs...". if you make "logic" refer to something which underlies all language use, then you are not maintaining consistency with Wittgenstein. You are using "logic" in a way which is outside of the boundaries which Wittgenstein has drawn for it.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    6k

    Do you recognize the difference between something following rules, and rules being used to describe a thing? In the former case, the rules pre-exist the thing, and the thing "follows" the rules. In the latter case, the rules are produced to describe the thing, and therefore "follow" the thing. In the case of evolutionary theory, the rules describe the processes and therefore the rules follow the thing. The evolutionary processes are not following rules.
  • Fooloso4
    1k
    Did you read 2019's post, which is what I was replying to? Logic is an idealized use of language, it is a type of use, the use of language for a particular purpose ...Metaphysician Undercover

    Then I suggest you read it again, carefully , without your assumptions about what logic must be.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.3k
    I don't think so. Evolution does not follow any rules.Metaphysician Undercover

    So here we are playing language games. As you know, the term "rules" has many uses in our constructed language games. By rules, I mean a kind of set of patterns based on constraints. That is how I am intending to use it. Evolution, like all other phenomena, has constraints on its system and its elements. You have the constraints of time and place, the constraints of how DNA, genetics, and cellular biology works, constraints on behavior, constraints on survival in general. All these constraints prove to produce similar patterns of morphology, behavior, and survival-mechanisms in animals repeatedly over and over. Many traits are conserved or produce similar traits from different starting points. Hence we have mechanisms like the Red Queen Hypothesis, sexual selection, divergent and convergent evolution, etc. The processes eventually shake out into patterns based on these constraints. So I meant a kind of structuring logic based on the constraints of the system.

    What are you saying, that evolutionary processes follow some sort of informal logic? Who would have been carrying out this logical thinking which took place in the early development of language?Metaphysician Undercover

    Oh c'mon, this rather uncharitable interpretation. Evolution mainly works through differential survival rates. And as explained above, these do indeed create a kind of structuring system- an informal logic of its own, if you will. Systems can produce patterns of action. These are language games again. I am not using logic in the "formal logic" sense nor even in the "general inferencing" sense, but more of the arrangement and structure of a system sense. The "logic" of how a human heart works, or the "logic" of evolutionary mechanism clearly means something different than, "he is practicing logic".
  • schopenhauer1
    3.3k
    The evolutionary processes are not following rules.Metaphysician Undercover

    Explained above again. These are exactly the types of error Witty would hate. You know what I meant, I would think based on the context. No, there is no pre-set "rule" evolution is following. However, constraints of nature, cause similar processes (one can say "rules") that allow for various similar patterns. Evolution may be contingent, but it is a constrained contingency, that does not have hard-and-fast results (necessity), but neither is it limitless possibility (chaos). It has a sort of logic in its mechanisms and results based on these conditions and constraints.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    6k
    Then I suggest you read it again, carefully , without your assumptions about what logic must be.Fooloso4

    My assumptions of what logic is, are derived from Wittgenstein's descriptions. So I see no point in dismissing these assumptions for your assumptions of what logic is, when yours are inconsistent with Wittgenstein, because the thread concerns what Wittgenstein thought. If we weren't discussing Wittgenstein's position in this thread, I might take you up on your suggestions of what logic consists of.

    By rules, I mean a kind of set of patterns based on constraints. That is how I am intending to use it. Evolution, like all other phenomena, has constraints on its system and its elements. You have the constraints of time and place, the constraints of how DNA, genetics, and cellular biology works, constraints on behavior, constraints on survival in general. All these constraints prove to produce similar patterns of morphology, behavior, and survival-mechanisms in animals repeatedly over and over.schopenhauer1

    I really do not see how a constraint is a rule. That makes no sense to me. I agree with what you say about constraints, time and place are constraints, and all the physical features of genetics, DNA, etc. are constraints. These may all be classed as the particulars of the circumstances. But how do you construe the particulars of the circumstances as rules?

    So I meant a kind of structuring logic based on the constraints of the system.schopenhauer1

    We can analyze the system using logic, and produce some laws which describe the actions of the system, but these laws are descriptive. They do not actually structure the system, so it's inappropriate to say that the system "follows" these laws. The laws describe the system, the system is not following the laws.

    Oh c'mon, this rather uncharitable interpretation. Evolution mainly works through differential survival rates. And as explained above, these do indeed create a kind of structuring system- an informal logic of its own, if you will. Systems can produce patterns of action. These are language games again. I am not using logic in the "formal logic" sense nor even in the "general inferencing" sense, but more of the arrangement and structure of a system sense. The "logic" of how a human heart works, or the "logic" of evolutionary mechanism clearly means something different than, "he is practicing logic".schopenhauer1

    I can see how a system might produce patterns of action, and that we might understand these patterns through logic, but I do not see how you can say that there is any "informal logic" within the system, governing the actions of the system. To say that the system has "an informal logic of its own" which is creating the patterns of action, is to say that the system has a mind of its own, because only minds use logic to govern actions.

    You might do as Fooloso4 appears inclined to do, and define "logic" in a way which is completely inconsistent with the way that Wittgenstein uses it, but in the context of this thread, what's the point in that?
  • Fooloso4
    1k
    Then I suggest you read it again, carefully , without your assumptions about what logic must be.
    — Fooloso4

    My assumptions of what logic is, are derived from Wittgenstein's descriptions.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    Okay, then don't read it again. I would suggest that you look more carefully at what Wittgenstein actually says about logic, subliming logic, logic and grammar, and so on, but I suspect you would prefer to stick with your assumptions. So there is nothing left to say.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    6k

    I've read 2019's post twice fully, and some parts three or four times now, and I've looked very carefully at what Wittgenstein says about logic. I've found nothing to support your claim that there is such a thing as "the logic of language". So there is actually much for you to say (despite your claim that there is nothing for you to say). You could attempt to justify that claim, or admit that you are mistaken, and proceed toward changing your opinion. If you read closely PI 81 and 98, you'll see that Wittgenstein believes that there is an order of perfection, which underlies all language use, but we cannot say that this order is a logical order because logic is based in an ideal, and this order is based in a perfection which is other than an ideal.
  • Fooloso4
    1k
    From 2019's discussion of Oskari Kuusela:

    He sees Wittgenstein as trying to extend logic beyond calculus-based methods, by introducing alternative logical methods such as grammatical rules ... philosophical problems are primarily logical and are solved by logical investigations, while, at the same time, extending logic beyond calculus-based methods and into "ordinary" language-games, grammar etc.2019

    And:

    Wittgenstein takes into account the way we talk in order to show the logic behind it, its grammar, by comparing language with calculi or games according to fixed and exact rules.2019

    If you read closely PI 81 and 98, you'll see that Wittgenstein believes that there is an order of perfection, which underlies all language use, but we cannot say that this order is a logical order because logic is based in an ideal, and this order is based in a perfection which is other than an ideal.Metaphysician Undercover

    PI 81. ... But if someone says that our languages only approximate to such calculi, he is standing on the very brink of a misunderstanding. For then it may look as if what we were talking about in logic were an ideal language. As if our logic were, so to speak, a logic for a vacuum.

    One is on the very brink of a misunderstand if he thinks that what we were talking about in logic were an ideal language. Our logic, that is, the logic of language, is not logic in a vacuum. It does not exist on its own. It is not independent of the language-game and thus not some one, universal, invariant thing.

    The perfect order Wittgenstein refers to in §98 cannot be an illogical order.

    There is no one universal order that underlies all language.
  • EricH
    51
    There is no one universal order that underlies all language.Fooloso4

    FYI - There's an interesting debate about this in the linguistics community: https://dlc.hypotheses.org/1269
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    6k

    In your quotes from 2019, you missed the conclusion. The necessity of logic, logical necessity is not rule based, it is language based, and "Importantly this involves construing the notion of language use more broadly than as rule-governed use...".

    The problem with your interpretation is that you fail to respect the fact that the necessity of language is "necessity" in the sense of "needed for the purpose of...". And so the necessity of logic, being language based is a form of "needed for the purpose of" something. Now when we turn to the natural world, to observe the order and patterns which exist there, we cannot assume that they were created with intention, "for the purpose of" something.

    So language, having a necessity in the sense of "for the purpose of..." is artificial, and logic obtains its necessity (logical necessity) from this (needed for a purpose). But this excludes the possibility of "natural languages" and renders Kuusela's interpretation a little off track. And despite the fact that Wittgenstein bases logical necessity in the necessity of language, "needed for the purpose of...", he makes no attempt to describe "needed for the purpose of" as a logical necessity. And so Kuusela's description which sees Wittgenstein as extending logical necessity downward into the necessity of language (needed for the purpose of) is misguided, mistaken.

    One is on the very brink of a misunderstand if he thinks that what we were talking about in logic were an ideal language. Our logic, that is, the logic of language, is not logic in a vacuum. It does not exist on its own. It is not independent of the language-game and thus not some one, universal, invariant thing.Fooloso4

    Right, logical necessity does not exist in a vacuum. It is grounded in the necessity of language-games, "needed for the purpose of...". The misunderstanding which we are on the brink of, is the danger of turning things around such that the necessity of common language might become grounded in the necessity of logic.

    The perfect order Wittgenstein refers to in §98 cannot be an illogical order.Fooloso4

    Of course this perfect order is not illogical, but neither is it logical, it is alogical, completely outside the realm of logic, just like "becoming" is outside the logical principles of "being and not being". The necessity of logic is derived from the necessity of language, "needed for the purpose of...". The "necessity" of "needed for the purpose of..." extends much further than the logical "necessity", it is a "necessity" having a much wider application, and broader meaning than logical "necessity", such that it includes things which cannot be said to be logical. Therefore the fundamental order which is found at the basis of "needed for the purpose of...", cannot be a logical order.
  • Fooloso4
    1k
    [reply="EricH;296021"

    Interesting. I recall some heated arguments between followers of Chomsky and followers of Wittgenstein.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.3k
    I really do not see how a constraint is a rule. That makes no sense to me. I agree with what you say about constraints, time and place are constraints, and all the physical features of genetics, DNA, etc. are constraints. These may all be classed as the particulars of the circumstances. But how do you construe the particulars of the circumstances as rules?Metaphysician Undercover

    Again, because we are playing language-games. Constraints in nature, cause there to be patterns. If we want to call it n-rule instead of strictly "rule" because it is not a human-created, top-down creation, then that is fine. We are just debating the meaning of how a term can be used then.

    What I am positing in this argument is that humans evolved by these very constraint-produced patterns, and not only that, have abilities such as inferencing powers, that were in some way directly or indirectly evolved (whether specifically selected, sexually-selected, by exaptation, or a combination of all three). This inferencing power, along with other cognitive capacities like social learning, which coincided with our language generation, has given us the ability to recognize the very constraints and resultant patterns that were involved in our very evolution.

    We can analyze the system using logic, and produce some laws which describe the actions of the system, but these laws are descriptive. They do not actually structure the system, so it's inappropriate to say that the system "follows" these laws. The laws describe the system, the system is not following the laws.Metaphysician Undercover

    This makes no sense to me. The system is shaped by the constraints. This shaping by the constraints, is "following laws". This version of "following laws" does not need intentionality, simply actions that are constrained to create certain probable outcomes and patterns.

    I can see how a system might produce patterns of action, and that we might understand these patterns through logic, but I do not see how you can say that there is any "informal logic" within the system, governing the actions of the system. To say that the system has "an informal logic of its own" which is creating the patterns of action, is to say that the system has a mind of its own, because only minds use logic to govern actions.

    You might do as Fooloso4 appears inclined to do, and define "logic" in a way which is completely inconsistent with the way that Wittgenstein uses it, but in the context of this thread, what's the point in that?
    Metaphysician Undercover

    So what if I am using it in a way that Wittgenstein is not? This is a different language game. What I am doing is explaining/describing how our pattern-recognition powers, like inferencing powers, were created by pattern-generating phenomena from constraints, that allowed us to see those very patterns that created us. We perhaps could not help but be a creature that recognizes patterns. The other option of nature would be to strictly follow those patterns of behavior unreflectively, or non-recursively rather, which is more-or-less the instinctual abilities that other animals have rather than the inferencing/social learning/pattern-recognition pattern abilities that our species has. It just so happens that mathematically-derived empricism has applied, refined through verification/falsification, and accumulated methodologies of our pattern-recognition and inferencing onto the world itself instead of a particular subset of other use-contexts and has given us results we would not have initially expected. We can see these results in applying prior known maths/logic to new phenomena that explain observations and technological results.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    6k
    Again, because we are playing language-games. Constraints in nature, cause there to be patterns. If we want to call it n-rule instead of strictly "rule" because it is not a human-created, top-down creation, then that is fine. We are just debating the meaning of how a term can be used then.schopenhauer1

    Constraints do not necessarily cause patterns. The constraints must be designed, or systematic to cause patterns. So you are overlooking the real cause of the patterns, which would be the design of the system of constraints, and you are assigning the cause of the patterns to the constraints themselves. So we are not just debating how a specific term, "rule", may be used, we are discussing how it is that a pattern may come to exist. Constraints may be completely random, there is no necessity in the concept of "constraint" which would require that constraints are ordered. So if it comes to be, that constraints are arranged in such a way as to create a pattern, we need to account for the reason why this has occurred. It doesn't suffice to say that the constraints are following a rule.

    This makes no sense to me. The system is shaped by the constraints. This shaping by the constraints, is "following laws". This version of "following laws" does not need intentionality, simply actions that are constrained to create certain probable outcomes and patterns.schopenhauer1

    See, here you are talking about "shaping by the constraints". But the constraints can only cause the existence of a pattern if the constraints are themselves arranged in a particular way. It doesn't make sense to say that the constraints are "following laws" or that they arrange themselves in such a way so as to create a pattern.

    So what if I am using it in a way that Wittgenstein is not? This is a different language game. What I am doing is explaining/describing how our pattern-recognition powers, like inferencing powers, were created by pattern-generating phenomena from constraints, that allowed us to see those very patterns that created the us. We perhaps could not help but be a creature that recognizes patterns. The other option of nature would be to strictly follow those patterns of behavior unreflectively, or non-recursively rather, which is more-or-less the instinctual abilities that other animals have rather than the inferencing/social learning/pattern-recognition pattern abilities that our species has, which very much can recognize patterns for use in a community. It just so happens that mathematically-derived empricism has refined our pattern-recognition and inferencing onto the world itself instead of a particular subset of other use-contexts and has given us results we would not have initially expected, through falsification and applications of prior maths/logic to new phenomena as far as explanatory and technical results.schopenhauer1

    It seems like I need to emphasize the fact that a constraint is not a law, or a rule. A constraint is a particular physical thing an obstacle or an object of restriction. In order that constraints might produce a pattern they must be arranged in such a way so as to do that. Recognizing that there are patterns, and that the patterns come about through constraints, and even describing the existence of those constraints in terms of laws or rules, does not address the reason why the constraints exist in such a way that allows them to be described by rules. The fact that the arrangement of constraints required to produce a pattern may be described by rules, does not mean that the arrangement of constraints required to produce that pattern is caused by rules.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.3k
    Constraints do not necessarily cause patterns. The constraints must be designed, or systematic to cause patterns. So you are overlooking the real cause of the patterns, which would be the design of the system of constraints, and you are assigning the cause of the patterns to the constraints themselves. So we are not just debating how a specific term, "rule", may be used, we are discussing how it is that a pattern may come to exist. Constraints may be completely random, there is no necessity in the concept of "constraint" which would require that constraints are ordered. So if it comes to be, that constraints are arranged in such a way as to create a pattern, we need to account for the reason why this has occurred. It doesn't suffice to say that the constraints are following a rule.Metaphysician Undercover

    You are just going down the rabbit-hole of language games further. So how descriptive do you want me to be? I agree with your explanation here that it is not just constraints but interaction in the system. Terms can be used to construe more than the word it represents. In fact, even if I gave a much more detailed description, I wouldn't even exhaust that phenomena anyways. Actually, that was a very Wittgenstein point I just made :wink: .

    It seems like I need to emphasize the fact that a constraint is not a law, or a rule. A constraint is a particular physical thing an obstacle or an object of restriction. In order that constraints might produce a pattern they must be arranged in such a way so as to do that. Recognizing that there are patterns, and that the patterns come about through constraints, and even describing the existence of those constraints in terms of laws or rules, does not address the reason why the constraints exist in such a way that allows them to be described by rules. The fact that the arrangement of constraints required to produce a pattern may be described by rules, does not mean that the arrangement of constraints required to produce that pattern is caused by rules.Metaphysician Undercover

    This is just term-mongering. I already explained how I was using the term in a different way than you are defining it. I've already addressed this and said you can call it n-rule if you wanted. I don't really care.

    The ontological point was that the systemically-defined, constraint-patterns are intelligible to humans. Sure we can say that anything that makes sense to us, makes sense to us because it could not be otherwise. But it can be said, it makes sense to us, because a humans evolved in a way where pattern-recognition, a part of the human capacity to survive, turned its capacity on the broader phenomena of the world itself, they could not help but find these patterns, originally used for general inferencing abilities in other contexts.
  • I like sushi
    1.3k
    Language ... semper fi fool of meaning.

    “Term mongering” is just term mongering. Is it that we fashion our terms anew like some birthed child? Are our terms the purest of the pure?

    Rabbit holes are useful given that Alice’s rabbit as particularly concerned with TIME!

    I’m just terribly confused by almost all of the comments in this thread. It appears to me that you’re all robots toying with the idea of emotional content yet forever blind to any felt experience - life is merely streams of numbers? It could be so, yet the certainly of claiming otherwise seems a little arrogant to me.

    Through the temporal disregard toward language we’re certainly able to reveal that LOGIC, the pure mathematical certainty of X being X not not X, universally true (yet such ‘universal’ is confined to a set understanding). If a rabbit is a rabbit it is not a dog, yet if a rabbit IS a dog, then why have two terms for one entity? It is a matter of different relations given in time not a pure logical form.

    Our application of language to matters of TIME - planning what to do from moment to moment based on what has happened - reveals the unbound ‘moment’. It is merely a glorified assumption of temporal reduction; it is certainly practical though. This conscious appreciation of time we can compare to vision thus ... if locked in room our visual ‘reach’ is bound by the extend of the walls around is. Time acts in the same conscious manner and language traps it so and cuts it into pieces of sensible notions (called ‘concepts’). Remove the walls and we can see the mountains on the horizon, remove words and we’re bound to the idea of a ‘moment’ - a reduction of plurality to a singular ‘measure’ (a measure which no ruler can encompass; obviously!)

    Our temporal appreciation is bound in our memory. The viciously simplistic net of ‘language’ only makes items of experience seem complete.

    The most foolish appreciation of time is due to the “excluded middle” principle. Yet do any of you see this? In my experience people generally consume themselves in relativism and/or reductionism. The binary thought can be applied to ‘future’ and ‘past’. Either we are in the future or in the past, or such distinctions are merely matters of convenience rather than real.

    Language is the ordering and/or expression of experience. Language can extend our experience of TIME like removing the walls. With language we stretch ourselves beyond some delusion of ‘moment’ and regard our being in a none measured manner, beyond the boundaries of rulers. It is within the confines of such ‘language’ (ordering) consequences that a possible form of measure becomes apparent through temporal appreciation (knowing ‘change’ as an idea - a possible, and necessary, circumstance of consciousness).

    We are what we don’t ‘know’. We ken things yet we ‘know’ nothing. For us to map one-to-one means no recognition. A congenially blind human ‘knows’ sight yet cannot ken sight unless they ‘un-know’ sight.

    We refer to ‘knowledge’ as something other than the above though. Knowledge for us, day-to-day, is temporal apprehension of otherness. As we contemplate time the idea of moment is crushed into non-existence, yet when we claim dominion over the ‘moment’ temporal apprehension collapses. Basically talk of ‘relativism’ is just willful ignorance to stave off the excluded middle we childishly call ‘the now’.

    Note: No questions allowed. I’m an idiot and proud of it.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    6k
    The ontological point was that the systemically-defined, constraint-patterns are intelligible to humans. Sure we can say that anything that makes sense to us, makes sense to us because it could not be otherwise. But it can be said, it makes sense to us, because a humans evolved in a way where pattern-recognition, a part of the human capacity to survive, turned its capacity on the broader phenomena of the world itself, they could not help but find these patterns, originally used for general inferencing abilities in other contexts.schopenhauer1

    It seems we are talking about completely different ontological points. You are talking about the reason why patterns make sense to us, and I am talking about the reason why patterns exist. As I explained, we cannot say that patterns exist because natural things follow logical rules or because of constraints, or something like that. So I don't see how you can argue that natural things make sense to us because they are following logical rules, or because of constraints.

    Let me start from your side. I agree that patterns make sense to us because we have evolved to recognize them, and that this means that recognizing patterns serves some evolutionary purpose which evolutionary theory designates as survival. But I still see a gap here between "recognizing patterns serves the purpose of survival", and "the patterns make sense to us because the natural things are following rules of constraint". We can only make conclusions in relation to your premise, that the patterns make sense to us because making sense of them serves us in relation to survival. How do we cross this gap (which is similar to an is/ought gap), to say something about the patterns themselves, when our premise says something about what serves a purpose? We need another premise which relates what is, to what serves a purpose.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.3k
    How do we cross this gap (which is similar to an is/ought gap), to say something about the patterns themselves, when our premise says something about what serves a purpose? We need another premise which relates what is, to what serves a purpose.Metaphysician Undercover

    Right, that is a theory I posited is that, "what serves a purpose" is telling us "what is", and the confirmation is through accidental (contingent more accurately) language-game of math-derived science.Our inferencing capacities, needed to recognize patterns to serve the purpose of survival. What did not need to take place was that we needed to have math/science/modern technology as it played out. However, this inferencing/pattern-recognition/social learning/linguistic mechanism for survival provides the underlying ability to understand patterns of the world itself through methods of falsification, observation, and experimentation and math-derived empirical methods. The evolutionary mechanisms, produced inferencing mechanisms, that could recursively turn around and see "what is" by way of refining inferencing mechanisms in the scientific/math-derived methodology which is confirmed through the explanatory and technological power that it produces versus other methodologies of our inferencing abilities.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.3k
    .
    This probably works better in a diagram of sorts:

    Constraints interacting in a system (more complicated than this though as we agree) >>>
    Instincts (in other animals) which are patterns of behavior at in part or wholly brought about through some sort of evolutionary mechanism (natural/sexual selection/exaptation, etc.)

    OR

    inferencing/pattern-recognition (less innate patterns of behavior more recognition of patterns to survive)>>>>

    Refined pattern-recognition through accumulated cultural knowledge (though contingently learned) has "hit upon" more accurate pattern-recognition of the natural world that gave rose to the pattern-recognition.


    Essentially the meta-theory here is that BECAUSE of the patterns of the world, it necessitates that creatures had to be good at recognizing patterns to survive (if not instinctual following of modules of behavior). Science works because we have that initial inferencing, but we don't need specifically, modern science to survive. The patterns of the world have revealed "what is" through turning our inferencing abilities on the world itself, with a mechanism that was created from inferencing in general.

    I know this is highly contrary to Wittgenstein, but that is my point. Math works not because it "has to work" in the internal logic, when it is applied to empirical evidence and technology. It works, because there is something about how it is describing the very patterns that we initially used to recognize more practical or immediate situations in our development.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    6k
    Right, that is a theory I posited is that, "what serves a purpose" is telling us "what is", and the confirmation is through accidental (contingent more accurately) language-game of math-derived science.schopenhauer1

    I don't see how "what serves a purpose" tells us "what is". What if all the patterns which human beings come up with are imaginary, fabrications, and the universe is just a program which rewards people for coming up with imaginative patterns? Coming up with an imaginative pattern serves the purpose, it produces the reward, the universe behaves according to the pattern created, so the person is rewarded by this. But this really doesn't tell us anything about "what is", and that is the system which hands out the rewards for the creation of imaginative patterns. The "universe" as we know it may have been created by evolving living creatures imagining patterns, and getting rewarded for this, by the system.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.3k
    I don't see how "what serves a purpose" tells us "what is". What if all the patterns which human beings come up with are imaginary, fabrications, and the universe is just a program which rewards people for coming up with imaginative patterns? Coming up with an imaginative pattern serves the purpose, it produces the reward, the universe behaves according to the pattern created, so the person is rewarded by this. But this really doesn't tell us anything about "what is", and that is the system which hands out the rewards for the creation of imaginative patterns. The "universe" as we know it may have been created by evolving living creatures imagining patterns, and getting rewarded for this, by the system.Metaphysician Undercover

    Yes this gets to the heart of speculation in general about the ontology of the world. I actually agree more than I disagree here. This thread was trying to add some sort of Pythagorean realism- the math actually "tells us" something beyond our epistemological understanding. Patterns recognizing patterns because pattern-recognition is itself a pattern that "works" for survival seemed interesting avenue to explore. Again, a high symmetry and formalism. Evolution is much messier than this, but it may fit into that scheme. Traits use what has came before, what is expedient. It follows a trajectory of its own constraints. But it can generally be used that, if something is not right about what fits for survival, than it is not going to last long, and that itself is a mechanism that can lead to pattern-recognition in a species with general learning capabilities.

    The Speculative Realist crew, is much more, well, speculative. All of these philosophies probably fail to answer questions like the Hard Question of Consciousness. What it's going to come up with is what idealism is going to come with- a sort of panpscyhsism or hidden dualism, though more sophisticated, because of the "process" variety. Somehow by smearing consciousness over time and with "behavior" this jumps the abyss to the other side. It just gets sublimated into still other inaccessible ideas.

    I'm interested in how our inferencing power, when formalized to the degree we have gotten it, has given us the minutia mongering that we have today.
  • 2019
    2


    The point is that Wittgenstein is not interested in explaining the "source" of regularities in nature. It's taken as a brute fact that they exist. Not only he's not interested in such "explanations", he seems to think that it's not philosophy's business in general. If the source of natural regularities is an empirical question, it's science's business; if it's not an empirical question, most probably it falls within the domain of a mystery which many try to explain by another mystery or: "a nothing could serve just as well as a something about which nothing could be said".

    I know this is highly contrary to Wittgenstein, but that is my point. Math works not because it "has to work" in the internal logic, when it is applied to empirical evidence and technology. It works, because there is something about how it is describing the very patterns that we initially used to recognize more practical or immediate situations in our development.schopenhauer1

    I don't think this is contrary to Wittgenstein. Natural regularities constrain human behaviour, so human behaviour presents its own regularities. Math rests on these. But it's of a different order than these: "Here we see two kinds of responsibility. One may be called "mathematical responsibility": the sense in which one proposition is responsible to another. Given certain principles and laws of deduction, you can say certain things and not others. - But it is a totally different thing if we ask, "And now what's all this responsible to?"

    The last part of this quote seems like an allusion to another distinction: "We must distinguish between a necessity in the system and a necessity of the whole system".

    There are necessities within our mathematical system, but the system itself is not necessary. I don't see him as a conventionalist either regarding math or logic (or, I should say, especially regarding logic): "it has often been put in the form of an assertion that the truths of logic are determined by a consensus of opinions. Is this what I am saying? No". Given the world we live in, that's the math we can have. There's not a whole lot to say about "why this world" though. I take him to hold that (in its metaphysical depth (or shallowness rather)) this is a nonsensical question which produces nonsensical explanations.
  • StreetlightX
    4.1k
    I don't think this is contrary to Wittgenstein... I don't see him as a conventionalist either regarding math or logic (or, I should say, especially regarding logic): "it has often been put in the form of an assertion that the truths of logic are determined by a consensus of opinions. Is this what I am saying? No".2019

    Good luck getting through to Schop on these points.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.3k
    The point is that Wittgenstein is not interested in explaining the "source" of regularities in nature. It's taken as a brute fact that they exist. Not only he's not interested in such "explanations", he seems to think that it's not philosophy's business in general. If the source of natural regularities is an empirical question, it's science's business; if it's not an empirical question, most probably it falls within the domain of a mystery which many try to explain by another mystery or: "a nothing could serve just as well as a something about which nothing could be said".2019

    Right, hence me opening this thread about Wittgenstein and his relation with ontological speculation and science itself. This is a good answer. However, within the very belief here "philosophy doesn't say something that is in the realm of empiricism/scientific explanation" the question still remains as to the "why" of the regularities. Saying, "Wittgenstein just isn't interested" is shoving off any philosophical debate into "it's just brute fact" which in that case, makes sense why people often put Witty under "non-philosophy" or "anti-philosophy".

    Any speculation is shrugged off. Thus, all that's left is to describe various contexts of language use. Great, all debates off. Let's just shut the forum down, all philosophical inquiry should be under creative writing/religion sections, and we can focus on something else now. That is the implication here. That there are "brute facts" begs the question- point lost for Witty then, as this cannot be explained, and he is not willing to even "go there" other than to say it is a limit, and all limits should not be crossed (pace famous quote about nothing can explain what cannot be said". Also a limit is human nature itself which "empiricism" as a blunt approach is not going to elucidate. Again, more room for philosophy. It seems more of trapping the fly and gluing it shut, then letting it free.

    The last part of this quote seems like an allusion to another distinction: "We must distinguish between a necessity in the system and a necessity of the whole system".2019

    Right, I was connecting the two- that was the speculative leap.

    There are necessities within our mathematical system, but the system itself is not necessary. I don't see him as a conventionalist either regarding math or logic (or, I should say, especially regarding logic): "it has often been put in the form of an assertion that the truths of logic are determined by a consensus of opinions. Is this what I am saying? No". Given the world we live in, that's the math we can have. There's not a whole lot to say about "why this world" though. I take him to hold that (in its metaphysical depth (or shallowness rather)) this is a nonsensical question which produces nonsensical explanations.2019

    Not nonsensical- not empirically verifiable. Rather logical connections can be made, but they are never verified. At the end of the day, Witty is being a skeptic who honors the methods of empiricism for what is useful to humans. Ironically, his quote about not speaking of where one cannot, is inspired by Schopenhauer who did all sorts of metaphysical speculations.
  • g0d
    135
    Saying, "Wittgenstein just isn't interested" is shoving off any philosophical debate into "it's just brute fact" which in that case, makes sense why people often put Witty under "non-philosophy" or "anti-philosophy".

    Any speculation is shrugged off. Thus, all that's left is to describe various contexts of language use. Great, all debates off. Let's just shut the forum down, all philosophical inquiry should be under creative writing/religion sections, and we can focus on something else now.
    schopenhauer1

    These do seem like good criticisms of one questionable interpretation of Wittgenstein. For me the use of Wittgenstein is going through the issues again and eliminating some of them as pointless. A person is more wary of their tendency to say nothing important as if it were profound, drunk on the jingle of their words. After his basic linguistic insights are digested, his more metaphysical/mystical ideas in the TLP become more fascinating. You mention brute fact. Well perhaps we do eventually bump up against brute fact (and is this not an old issue in philosophy?)

    Here's a quote that I hope addresses your concern. You are echoing Gellner's frustration, I think.

    Throughout his career, Gellner depicted Wittgenstein as a relativist who claimed that all conceptual schemes are equally valid, and who therefore represents "one of the most bizarre and extreme forms of irrationalism of our time" (Gellner 1992: 121). To do this, he used a strict adherence to the fideist conception of Wittgenstein’s notions of "form of life" and "language-games," according to which these notions can be invoked in justifying any political, social or religious view. For Gellner, language-games are windowless monads that fight each other without even really knowing what they fight. He once claimed, when interviewed as an anthropologist, that the Wittgensteinian notion of a form of life "doesn’t make sense in a world in which communities are not stable and are not clearly isolated from each other" (Davis 1991: 65). Shortly before his death, he summed up his position on forms of life:

    [T]he most important events of human history — the emergence of abstract doctrinal religion, the possibility of Reformations which invoke abstract truth against social practice, the possibility of an Enlightenment which does the same in secular terms, the emergence of a trans-cultural science confirmed by a uniquely powerful technology — all these facts show that thought is not limited by the form of life in which it occurs, but can transcend it.

    (Gellner 1996: 671)

    But Gellner never even tries to show exactly where Wittgenstein disagreed. He never stops to consider the possibility that the Wittgensteinian notion of "form of life" might include elements opposed to each other that interact and compete in the most complex ways. In an exceptionally conciliatory mood, he once wrote: "All that needs to be added to Wittgenstein’s view to the effect that concepts are legitimated by their role in the living system of which they are part, is … that this world contains more than one culture, and that the various cultures found in it differ quite a lot" (Gellner 1968d: 457). He never manages to show where Wittgenstein tries to deny or even play down this fact. Neither is there a sign in Words and Things of a realization that a Wittgensteinian language-game can be criticized, rejected or condemned in any other Wittgensteinian language-game, even one played within the same form of life.
    — link

    Here's a quote from Wittgenstein's diary, too:
    Are we dealing with mistakes and difficulties that are as old as language? Are they, so to speak, illnesses that are tied to a language’s use, or are they of a more special nature, peculiar to our civilization?

    Or again: is the preoccupation with language, which permeates our whole philosophy, an age old move of all philosophizing //of all philosophy//, an age old struggle? Or, again, is this it: does philosophizing always waver between metaphysics and critique of language?
    — Wittgenstein
    https://www.mv.helsinki.fi/home/tuschano/writings/strange/
  • StreetlightX
    4.1k
    Lol when someone calls Witty an empricist what is one to do but throw one's hands up and laugh; "The limit of the empirical -- is concept formation" (RFM). And all of Witty is an exploration of how concepts take hold; an exploration of the limits of empiricism. It'd be like if one were to call Plato a materialist. How much more idiotically off-base can one get?
  • Fooloso4
    1k
    I take schopenhauer1's point to be that the limits of Wittgenstein's philosophical inquiry should not mark the limits of philosophy. That there are questions and issues that Wittgenstein puts beyond the limits of philosophy that are legitimate philosophical problems.

    It is not that he calls Wittgenstein an empiricist but that, contrary to Wittgenstein, the empirical should not be regarded as beyond the bounds of philosophy.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.3k

    Where did you get that I called Witty an empiricist? Don't see it in my last post, though I mentioned the word empiricism. Making straw there Street and boxing shadows- an exercise in arrogance more than anything. I said several things about Witty but not that. I said:

    However, within the very belief here "philosophy doesn't say something that is in the realm of empiricism/scientific explanation" the question still remains as to the "why" of the regularities. Saying, "Wittgenstein just isn't interested" is shoving off any philosophical debate into "it's just brute fact" which in that case, makes sense why people often put Witty under "non-philosophy" or "anti-philosophy".schopenhauer1

    So if you have a disagreement there, without misconstruing it, go ahead. I also said:

    Any speculation is shrugged off. Thus, all that's left is to describe various contexts of language use. Great, all debates off. Let's just shut the forum down, all philosophical inquiry should be under creative writing/religion sections, and we can focus on something else now. That is the implication here. That there are "brute facts" begs the question- point lost for Witty then, as this cannot be explained, and he is not willing to even "go there" other than to say it is a limit, and all limits should not be crossed (pace famous quote about nothing can explain what cannot be said". Also a limit is human nature itself which "empiricism" as a blunt approach is not going to elucidate. Again, more room for philosophy. It seems more of trapping the fly and gluing it shut, then letting it free.schopenhauer1

    IN RESPONSE TO:

    The point is that Wittgenstein is not interested in explaining the "source" of regularities in nature. It's taken as a brute fact that they exist. Not only he's not interested in such "explanations", he seems to think that it's not philosophy's business in general. If the source of natural regularities is an empirical question, it's science's business; if it's not an empirical question, most probably it falls within the domain of a mystery which many try to explain by another mystery or: "a nothing could serve just as well as a something about which nothing could be said".2019

    I take schopenhauer1's point to be that the limits of Wittgenstein's philosophical inquiry should not mark the limits of philosophy. That there are questions and issues that Wittgenstein puts beyond the limits of philosophy that are legitimate philosophical problems.

    It is not that he calls Wittgenstein an empiricist but that, contrary to Wittgenstein, the empirical should not be regarded as beyond the bounds of philosophy.
    Fooloso4

    Yes! This is essentially what I intended to convey there. But you probably weren't looking for strawmen to begin with, so you can at least see it.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.3k
    These do seem like good criticisms of one questionable interpretation of Wittgenstein. For me the use of Wittgenstein is going through the issues again and eliminating some of them as pointless. A person is more wary of their tendency to say nothing important as if it were profound, drunk on the jingle of their words. After his basic linguistic insights are digested, his more metaphysical/mystical ideas in the TLP become more fascinating. You mention brute fact. Well perhaps we do eventually bump up against brute fact (and is this not an old issue in philosophy?)g0d

    Yes, I never stated nor believe Wittgenstein's whole project should be discounted. I think clarifying concepts is important in philosophy, and Witty understand that as one of the most important contributions. When we are talking about concepts of the "absolute", "free will", "dasein", "perfect duty", etc. etc. These are all jargony terms and have to be clarified in their contexts. I don't believe every jargony term is senseless. It has their uses.
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