• Eee
    159
    meaning is meaninglessOmniscientNihilist

    Alksdf 34 [email protected] asdfm35 34 $#.


    when people talk about meaning its like talking about superman. sure you can talk about it but its not actually real. the smart thing to do would be to break meaning down into what it actually is. explain the processes of the mind and how they work.OmniscientNihilist

    Explain using meaningless mystical meanings, I suppose? These 'people' you mention...are they all philosophers but your own supreme, omniscient, mystical self? Or ain't that what we bodies are engaged in here? Explaining the mind, thinking about thinking.

    Pretending to doubt everything is all too easy, as are three word epigrams that project profundity. I don't mean to insult you but only to challenge you.
  • OmniscientNihilist
    171
    Explain using meaningless mystical meanings, I suppose?Eee

    no

    explain what the mind is in substance and how it works in process

    forget "meaning"
  • Eee
    159
    explain what the mind is in substance and how it works in processOmniscientNihilist

    Thanks for responding.

    We're already here doing that. Feel free to look at my past posts and debate this or that point. I like Derrida. I think he might be your cup of tea also.
  • OmniscientNihilist
    171
    We're already here doing that.Eee

    if you cant bulid a mind yet, then you still dont really understand it
  • Eee
    159
    if you cant bulid a mind yet, then you still dont really understand itOmniscientNihilist

    Perhaps. And what's your reason for saying so? That we understand only what we make? And does that inference require an understanding of the mind? 'We understand only what we can make.' OK, prove it. Support it. You saw on the branch you sing from. What is the foundation of your authority or insight?

    I don't claim to have a finished, bullet-proof theory. I suspect that such a theory is impossible. I challenge you as someone who pretends to be in on a secret.
  • OmniscientNihilist
    171
    That we understand only what we make?Eee

    “Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed.”

    ― Friedrich Nietzsche

    ego prevents people from seeing themselves for what they really are. which blocks true knowledge of what the mind is and how it works, which prevents the construction of A.I.
  • Eee
    159
    “Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed.”

    ― Friedrich Nietzsche
    OmniscientNihilist

    I love the old artilleryman. But sometimes people also deceive themselves in terms of aphorisms like those. Conspiracy theory is full of that stuff. The first are actually last, despite appearances. People who don't recognize my brilliance are simply afraid of the truth! Yeah, that's it. Or.... Let's really extend the suspicion. Let's suspect especially the suspicions that flatter us. As you say, ego is indeed a factor. Vanity is my favorite sin.

    ego prevents people from seeing themselves for what they really are. which blocks true knowledge of what the mind is and how it works, which prevents the construction of A.I.OmniscientNihilist

    An maybe 'ego' also whispers to us about some true nature that isn't really there. As far as AI goes, I actually know something about the field. And it's not really that exciting. Read some papers and see if it delivers that mystic feeling. IMO it's just another version of the angel/alien archetype. A techno-myth.
  • OmniscientNihilist
    171
    People who don't recognize my brilliance are simply afraid of the truth! Yeah, that's it.Eee

    the above is caused by the below

    An maybe 'ego' also whispers to us about some true nature that isn't really thereEee
  • Eee
    159
    the above is caused by the belowOmniscientNihilist

    I don't want to hijack the thread with this digression, but I will add one more point. What you don't give an account of is the transformation from an inferior perspective to a superior perspective. We both agree that ego or self-love is involved in distortion. This is in fact a old idea. 'Objective' means unbiased. But who is it that sees without distortion? The 'true self'? And how is this 'true self' connected to the community at large?

    As Wittgenstein and others make clear (though the realization is much older than that), meaning is a public or shared phenomenon. The individual brain is (to overstate it) incapable of meaning, since languages evolve among groups of human beings. The group is primary, and yet language/meaning obviously also requires the individual, living brain. What I like about Derrida is his investigation of the idea of a 'pure meaning' that lives 'behind' the 'dead' symbols and sounds we say that we use to 'transmit' this 'meaning.' Where you and I and he seem to agree is that meaning is a 'mystical' concept. The idea that God is spirit and must be worshiped in spirit and truth is connected to the idea of pure meaning. And the idea of pure meaning is connected to the idea of a pure ego or subject that gazes on or has direct access to this pure meaning. (Note that 'subject' and 'meaning' are themselves signs caught up in this game.)

    To me it seems that Derrida shows how this framework breaks down, despite its initial plausibility. The pure subject and pure meaning aren't really there. And yet they are at the heart of the philosophical mission. Timeless truth must be unstained by the exteriority of signs, ultimately independent of the 'flesh' of language, merely using it as a vehicle.
  • OmniscientNihilist
    171


    forget all that talk of "meaning"

    the word doesnt stand for anything.

    language is nothing but sounds and shapes that get associated to recorded sense data in the mind
  • Eee
    159
    forget all that talk of "meaning"OmniscientNihilist

    I can't, and neither can you, else you'd have no role to play here. Like the rest of us, you need a foil to shine against.

    the word doesnt stand for anything.OmniscientNihilist

    Well it does and it doesn't. But these grandiose one-liners don't clearly stand for anything. If you want to develop your mask, I suggest looking into pragmatism. It also likes to 'dissolve' problems by conspicuously being 'uninterested' in them.

    language is nothing but sounds and shapes that get associated to recorded sense data in the mindOmniscientNihilist

    That's a terrible theory, easily and long ago refuted. You need the concept of language in order to (implicit) deny concept itself. Consider the possibility of your own vanity. I understand the appeal of 'nothing is true' and 'it's all lies/confusion' positions. They don't require one to have read much, since they negate the value of books from the outset. But perhaps it's an anti-intellectual position that hopes to sell itself as the supreme intellectual position.

    Maybe we're all dying, pretentious dogs. But we mostly die slow, and it's fun to talk about talking.
  • OmniscientNihilist
    171


    if meaning and language dont exist then im not using them and therefore its not self refuting to say they dont exist.

    what am i using? something else nobody seems to have found yet. because:

    "false knowledge is a greater impediment to truth then ignorance"
  • Eee
    159
    if meaning and language dont exist then im not using them and therefore its not self refuting to say they dont exist.OmniscientNihilist

    Aad aroim fsgomsrgb sdfpmsefvmoksfgbfsv ?

    what am i using? something else nobody seems to have found yet. because:

    "false knowledge is a greater impediment to truth then ignorance"
    OmniscientNihilist

    To me it's your false knowledge (your 'omniscience') that impedes your movement toward something truthier than your current position. As I read the situation, you're going to keep working that shtick until you give up on winning recognition with it and/or get bored. You'll even start using capital letters. The self schemes to spread its memes.

    Where we agree is that 'ego' is a blinding force. The young, vain spirit tries for the shortcut, reaches for the bogus absolutes. This patricidal approach makes sense. It's almost impossible to carve in interesting mask until you've studied hundreds of them. That's the old man's primary advantage. He's fat with ingested personalities. He's tried the shortcuts and knows them better than the current shortcutters do.

    But maybe we're just dying monkeys passing the time with spiritual/intellectual cosplay.
  • OmniscientNihilist
    171
    Aad aroim fsgomsrgb sdfpmsefvmoksfgbfsv ?Eee

    my mind has not associated these shapes(sense data) to any other sense data

    therefore i dont know what you "mean"
  • Pfhorrest
    1.9k
    Politics is just another form of religion
    — Harry Hindu

    I agree, and I think this should be obvious. But the confused concept of the supernatural obscures how religion organizes group activity in the real world in the same way that a politics based on unquestioned secular concept/ideals does. Transcendence, justice, freedom, fairness, etc. Their force remains, even if one withdraws a traditional religious imagery from them.
    Eee

    I argue this very point in like the second paragraph of my book so thumbs up to both of you for making it too. All appeal to authority is fideistic. The supernatural only demands fideism because there is no evidence possible from which to reason about it.
  • Eee
    159
    All appeal to authority is fideistic.Pfhorrest

    I like this theme. I've been writing about the patricidal fraternity of reason, which is an indulgent way to describe the good philosopher as eschewing appeals to authority, and in fact point out and negating such appeals.

    The supernatural only demands fideism because there is no evidence possible from which to reason about it.Pfhorrest

    I think I know what you mean. The supernatural offends the 'fraternity' as the prototypical absent father, appealed to in the real world by viceroys or sons whose authority derives from an imagined proximity to this father. And this father can also be a secret 'trans-conceptual' 'knowledge.'

    In politics, especially on the atheist left (which I mostly claim), the authority is a set of dangerously vague concepts.
  • Pfhorrest
    1.9k
    Yep. And I also argue that appeal to popularity is also just an appeal to the authority of the crowd and so an appeal to faith, and appeal to intuition is effective an appeal to one’s own authority and so an appeal to faith. Properly critical reason means holding nothing beyond question no matter who or how many think or say it.
  • Eee
    159

    Well said. What we can't seem to avoid is a faith in 'properly critical reason' itself. That to me is the implicit humanism in philosophy. What do we mean by reason? It's a rich concept.

    Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed nonage. Nonage is the inability to use one's own understanding without another's guidance. This nonage is self-imposed if its cause lies not in lack of understanding but in indecision and lack of courage to use one's own mind without another's guidance.
    ...
    Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why such a large part of mankind gladly remain minors all their lives, long after nature has freed them from external guidance. They are the reasons why it is so easy for others to set themselves up as guardians. It is so comfortable to be a minor.
    — Kant

    appeal to intuition is effective an appeal to one’s own authority and so an appeal to faith.Pfhorrest

    I agree that an appeal to intuition is appeal to faith. But I agree with Kant that enlightenment is the courage of thinking for one's self. What is it in the self that is not intuition? It's basically concept or language, which is intrinsically a public phenomenon. So the person that reasons properly cannot be the lonely ego. This lonely ego is itself 'spoken by language' or a sign within the system of public signs.

    Language is nothing other than the realization of the species; i.e., the “I” is mediated with the “You” in order, by eliminating their individual separateness, to manifest the unity of the species.
    ...
    [T]he urge to communicate is a fundamental urge – the urge for truth. We become conscious and certain of truth only through the other, even if not through this or that accidental other. That which is true belongs neither to me nor exclusively to you, but is common to all.
    — Feuerbach

    So basically we have a tension between the adult/enlightened ego that thinks for itself and the rejection of mere opinion founded on merely private intuitions. We do accept valid private reasoning, but my suggestion is that this validity is public, and that therefore reason isn't essentially private --even if it needs particular human brains as its 'hosts.' We are, it seems to me, the supremely social species, with an eerily liberated ability to use signs to organize our environment, including our symbolic environment.
  • Christoffer
    602
    Shakespeare is wheeled on for this thought experiment rather than, say, Charles Dickens because he’s the supposed apogee of literary creativity. The reductionist probabilitarians are saying: you think Shakespeare’s the greatest – well, he can be reproduced by empty randomness.Chris Hughes

    The answer to this might be found in the library of babel? https://libraryofbabel.info/
  • Chris Hughes
    180
    Er, right. After some googling, I can see a connection, if not an answer. Apparently, the Library of Babel website, to which you provided a link, is based on a short story of the same name by Jorge Borges about a library containing every possible 410-page text. Wikipedia says:

    'There is no reference to monkeys or typewriters in "The Library of Babel", although Borges had mentioned that analogy in "The Total Library": "[A] half-dozen monkeys provided with typewriters would, in a few eternities, produce all the books in the British Museum."'

    Wikipedia goes on to say;

    'In The Library of Babel, Borges interpolates Italian mathematician Bonaventura Cavalieri's suggestion that any solid body could be conceptualized as the superimposition of an infinite number of planes.

    'The concept of the library is also overtly analogous to the view of the universe as a sphere having its center everywhere and its circumference nowhere. The mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal employed this metaphor, and in an earlier essay Borges noted that Pascal's manuscript called the sphere effroyable, or "frightful".

    'In any case, a library containing all possible books, arranged at random, might as well be a library containing zero books, as any true information would be buried in, and rendered indistinguishable from, all possible forms of false information; the experience of opening to any page of any of the library's books has been simulated by websites which create screenfuls of random letters.'

    Not sure what that means (if anything!) in the context of my OP.
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