• Janus
    8.5k
    I wasn't referring to philosophy generally as being merely a matter of terminological preferences, but specifically had in mind the the terms "understanding" and "interpretation" in the context in which I have been arguing.

    As long and as much as I have been aware of the existence and character of David Stove I always associated him with Stove's Gem and thought he was a sexist, conservative, perverse and generally bigoted philosopher. But what do I know?
  • Wayfarer
    8.6k
    Well, I have a pretty poor opinion of Stove's Gem but the reason I liked him is because he was very courteous to me (as they all were). Although I have heard that he's been criticized for sexism.
  • Janus
    8.5k
    Fair enough indeed!

    For some reason your mention of healing reminded me of these words in the poem by Jim Morrison:

    "Words got me the wound and will get me well
    If you believe it"


    Full poem here: https://genius.com/Jim-morrison-lament-annotated
  • Possibility
    621
    Knowing what things are is not (just or even necessarily) knowing what they are called; it is knowing what kinds of things they, what uses they have, what they look like and so on.

    An example of an affordance is a dog knowing what its food bowl is. The bowl has meaning for the dog insofar as it recognizes it as the place food will be presented.
    Janus

    But the way I see it, the dog doesn’t know what its food bowl is - it may respond to ‘its food bowl’ in relation to the meaning you attribute on its behalf based on your observations, but it doesn’t follow that the dog is aware of meaning inherent in the object, because there is no meaning inherent in an object. The meaning is attributed by us as observers to the relationship between the dog and the object as a special bowl or place.

    But to the dog, it could simply be an objective relationship of value connecting the organism to a food stimulus, and/or to a valued source of that food stimulus (ie. its owner).
  • Terrapin Station
    13.5k
    it is knowing what kinds of things they, what uses they have, what they look like and so on.Janus

    That's referring to one's concept of the thing in question, one's interest in it, etc. Again, that's thought about it, and that's not at all necessarily attendant with perception. It certainly won't be attendant with hundreds of things at the same time. It's also not the same thing as perception when it's attendant with it, just to make sure that that's clear (for anyone reading this, not just you).

    The bowl has meaning for the dog insofar as it recognizes it as the place food will be presented.Janus

    Insofar as the dog thinks in an associative way about the bowl, sure, it will have meaning for it. Otherwise no.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.5k


    3 billion years ago there were only single-celled organisms. So how would anything be already interpreted then?
  • Janus
    8.5k
    What you're missing is that no thought of a reflexive nature is necessary to recognize and feel the significance of objects, for either humans or animals. Everything you encounter in the world has meaning to you, because you see all things as somethings. In this way the world is familiar, and it has meaning simply in virtue of its familiarity.

    Even if you encountered something of which you had no idea what it was, it would have meaning to you in the sense that it stands out as something you cannot identify. This is impossible anyway, because it would necessarily have some features; colour, shape, tonality, weight, texture and so on, which are meaningful to you.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.5k
    Everything you encounter in the world has meaning to you, because you see all things as somethingsJanus

    The point is precisely that you don't see all things as "somethings." There's no way that you perceive hundreds of things at the same time as "somethings." Most things you simply see, hear, etc. , without any thought, awareness, etc. of what you call them, what you might use them for, etc.
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