• Marchesk
    3.6k
    What does he mean when he says that a feeling goes beyond what is sayable?Harry Hindu

    Perhaps that language can't fully capture experience, or do proper justice to how one feels on occasion.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    The "view from everywhere" is available if we accept that you and I and the humans are "embedded in language" - that is, if you accept that we (not 'you' or 'I' in isolation, but we) are making determinations regarding the nature of the real via "a conversation with other folk." A shared language (including shared notions and behaviors, e.g., trusting a map made by a stranger; performing and receiving appendectomies) provides the "view from everywhere."ZzzoneiroCosm

    That would just be a view from a lot of different places (and only if we assume that somehow the language has the views packaged into it and it's not just sounds, text marks, etc., or just meanings for that matter (not that I think that language has meaning objectively embedded into it somehow)).
  • ZzzoneiroCosm
    985
    Is it the language use that exercises your mind, or the things you think about before you start typing that exercises your mind?Harry Hindu

    It's both. Mind and imagination.
  • Harry Hindu
    3.4k
    No. I am under no obligation to you.Banno
    Oh yeah, this is when you clam up because you don't have any interesting comebacks.

    This relation is such that if the agent acts in some way then there is a belief and a desire that together are sufficient to explain the agent's action. Banno wants water; he believes he can pour a glass from the tap; so he goes to the tap to pour a glass of water.

    --This is very behaviorist and quite outdated. Rather, I posit that propositional attitudes, such as Banno wants water, are determined by not belief or desire, but a volition.

    The logical problem here, the philosophical interesting side issue, is that beliefs overdetermine our actions. There are other beliefs and desires that could explain my going to the tap.

    --No, disagreement; but, this is too simple. A volition is something that determines action, and beliefs need not even be mentioned here.
    — Banno's profile quizzed by Wallows

    If words are used, then volition must be involved.

    It seems to me that it requires volition to have a belief. Beliefs are constructed from observations.
    Harry Hindu

    Volition is prior and more fundamental than beliefs.

    And if we can reach the same conclusions about reality independently without interacting with other human beings, then what does that say about reality and the human beings in it?
  • Harry Hindu
    3.4k
    What does he mean when he says that a feeling goes beyond what is sayable?Harry Hindu

    Perhaps that language can't fully capture experience, or do proper justice to how one feels on occasion.Marchesk
    But didn't he just use language to describe the experience? Saying it is indescribable is describing it with words, no? Is "indescribable" a description? If not, then how did it become a common saying? How did other humans learn to use the phrase?
  • ZzzoneiroCosm
    985
    That would just be a view from a lot of different places...Terrapin Station

    I agree with that.

    Unless we accept that "you and I and the humans are 'embedded in language'". That is, all the humans, all embedded. Banno's view-from-everywhere requires universal participation.
  • Marchesk
    3.6k


    "I finally achieved Nirvana this past Sunday."

    "Oh yeah? What was that like?"

    "Truly Indescribable. Beyond words!"

    "Ah, I see. That explains it perfectly. Thanks for sharing! So what's the meaning of life?"

    "42."

    "Of course! I understand fully."
  • Harry Hindu
    3.4k
    But didn't he just use language to describe the experience? Saying it is indescribable is describing it with words, no? Is "indescribable" a description? If not, then how did it become a common saying? How did other humans learn to use the phrase?Harry Hindu

    "I finally achieved Nirvana this past Sunday."

    "Oh yeah? What was that like."

    "Truly Indescribable. Beyond words!"

    "Ah, I see. That explains it perfectly. Thanks for sharing. So what's the meaning for life?"

    "42"

    "Of course! I understand fully."
    Marchesk
    I don't see how this answers my questions.

    Is "indescribable" a description? If not, then how did it become a common saying? How did other humans learn to use the phrase?Harry Hindu
  • Marchesk
    3.6k
    I don't see how this answers my questions.Harry Hindu

    The answer is inscrutable. I'm sure you understand.
  • Marchesk
    3.6k
    Is "indescribable" a description? If not, then how did it become a common saying? How did other humans learn to use the phrase?Harry Hindu

    We developed the cognitive ability to point to things we can't properly express. Unknown unknowns and what have you.
  • Harry Hindu
    3.4k
    We developed the cognitive ability to point to things we can't properly express.Marchesk
    This is better.

    Why can't we express them? Is it that the language is limited, or our cognitive grasp of the language we're using, or something else - like maybe a misinterpretation of what you are actually feeling?

    When someone else uses the phrase, "The feeling was indescribable!", how would others learn how to use the phrase if it was truly indescribable? It seems that "indescribable" is a description. It has a definition in the dictionary.


    I say that he did describe the feeling, and I say that your Nirvana post is a description as well.

    In other words, at least in philosophical/scientific contexts, words are used to explain reality, and it is expected that others would come to the same conclusions given the same observations of reality. We are trying to use words to create observational sensations in others so that they might see the world as we see it. Most of our words are visual - meaning that they refer to, or initiate, visuals in someone else's mind - so that they can see things as you see them. If this wasn't the case, then why post anything at all on a philosophy forum? If you're just posting how you feel and it is only useful to you, then why post it? If it would be useful to others, why would it be useful to others if there wasn't some objective nature to reality?
  • ZzzoneiroCosm
    985
    It seems that "indescribable" is a description.Harry Hindu

    Most of our words are visual - meaning that they refer to, or initiate, visuals in someone else's mindHarry Hindu

    "It's indescribable" is indeed a description. But, in light of its non-specificity, it's a poor one. As connected to visuals: there would be no transfer of visualized content - more a confession of the inability to transfer visualized content.
  • Harry Hindu
    3.4k
    "It's indescribable" is indeed a description. But, in its non-specificity, it's a poor one. In connection to visuals: there would be no transfer of visualized content - more a confession of the inability to transfer visualized content.ZzzoneiroCosm
    Which is why I asked how others might learn to use the term when observing someone else use it.

    Indescribable: too unusual, extreme, or indefinite to be adequately described.

    If it isn't specific, then why does it have such a narrow definition? I mean, is there any way to misinterpret what someone is saying when they claim their feeling is indescribable? If so, then how can others learn to use the phrase?

    Is it that they know the feeling, but there aren't words to refer to it, or is it that they don't know the feeling and therefore wouldn't know the words to refer to it? Would someone else who has the same feeling be able to use terms other than "indescribable" to describe it?
  • ZzzoneiroCosm
    985
    Which is why I asked how others might learn to use the term when observing someone else use it.Harry Hindu

    Folks use the expression to circumvent a variety of communicative difficulties. Folks learn that when communicative difficulties - of various kinds - arise, it's acceptable to deploy the expression. The singular feeling in common is that of an inability to communicate a portion of the content. The incommunicable content obviously varies.

    The singular feeling in common (namely, "I'm having a problem communicating X") justifies applying a narrow definition to the expression. The incommunicable portion of the content is left to one side in favor of the communicable. What's communicable is the incommunicability of a portion of the content.
  • Shawn
    10.8k


    Hey Harry,

    Perhaps there is some disagreement here. What I meant by volitions and intent, was not separate from words, otherwise, it would rather lead us to the sort of conclusions of a homunculus living in the brain of sorts. What I do think actually happens, is something @creativesoul has been talking about for a great while now, about prelinguistic "content" or the 95% of communication that gets passed over on these forums because we can't see behavior or hear tonality.
  • frank
    5.1k
    It's a peaceful thing to be named among the unremembered.ZzzoneiroCosm

    Koan.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    Unless we accept that "you and I and the humans are 'embedded in language'". That is, all the humans, all embedded. Banno's view-from-everywhere requires universal participation.ZzzoneiroCosm

    How would "being embedded in language" aid us in having a view from the spatiotemporal location of, say a particular quark near a particular star in the Andromeda Galaxy?
  • ZzzoneiroCosm
    985
    How would "being embedded in language" aid us in having a view from the spatiotemporal location of, say a particular quark near a particular star in the Andromeda Galaxy?Terrapin Station

    It wouldn't, obviously. It would limit us to a human perspective.

    I'm not sure "the view from everywhere" is linked to spatiotemporal perspective. I understand it as assaying (and failing) to encompass the range of human perspectives. Banno may have something to say about it.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k


    So first, what I was talking about was spatiotemporal situatedness.

    And if some spatiotemporal situatedness is excluded, we wouldn't be dealing with "everywhere," every unique spatiotemporal location.
  • ZzzoneiroCosm
    985
    So first, what I was talking about was spatiotemporal situatedness.Terrapin Station

    I think because the "6 or 9" example was linked to "spatiotemporal situatedness" Banno's notion of "a view from everywhere" was linked in your mind to space and time. I don't think Banno looks at it that way.

    I'm sure he'll let you know.
  • Banno
    9.2k
    What I'm not getting from the article is why you think the very idea that we experience reality through models is fraught.Isaac

    For me it's a carry over from critique of indirect realism. When I talk about my cat, Jack, I'm not talking about a model-of-Jack that sits in my head; I'm talking about that cat. When you talk about Jack, you are talking about the cat, not your model-of-Jack. So we both manage to be talking about the very same thing - Jack; and not two seperate things, our distinct models-of-Jack.

    But check out the last couple of pages of the article I shared, and this, the paragraph before the one I quoted above:

    It would be wrong to summarize by saying we have shown how communication is possible between people who have different schemes, a way that works without need of what there cannot be, namely a neutral ground, or a common coordinate system. For we have found no intelligible basis on which it can be said that schemes are different. It would be equally wrong to announce the glorious news that all mankind -all speakers of language, at least - share a common scheme and ontology. For if we cannot intelligibly say that schemes are different, neither can we intelligibly say that they are one.

    (My italics)

    The criticism of presented in the article applies equally well to folk with supposedly very different models to our own, and to folk with supposedly identical models.

    It's easier to see the point if one looks at language rather than perception, although it holds in both cases.
  • Banno
    9.2k
    I think because the "6 or 9" example was linked to "spatiotemporal situatedness" Banno's notion of "a view from everywhere" was linked in your mind to space and time.ZzzoneiroCosm

    The physical example, relativistic theory, is very clear. Given your predilection and understanding of physics, @Terrapin Station, I'm puzzled at your resistance here.
  • creativesoul
    8.7k


    I cannot speak for Banno, but I think his invocation of the view from everywhere leans on the inevitable social element of language that all views have in common, with the possible translation between views being paramount to remember. It places the ability to talk about the same stuff in the forefront. In addition, I do not think that Banno thinks that an individual worldview has to include one and only one sense of any given term within it. I could be waay off here, but I think that that's at least an incomplete but fair summary. Edited to add:I also have come to believe that Banno, much like myself, does not think that one must adhere completely to any pre-established view... to any "ism", simply because one has adopted some aspect or another into their own view.

    In comparison...

    My earlier addition regarding the view from everywhere is probably far away from Banno's, in that it's more about the methodology used as a means for establishing reliable premisses/conclusions that ought be used as a basis for assessing viewpoints. On my view, I have found that all views share the same basic set of common denominators at their core. This set is determined by seeking to identify and isolate that which is common to all world-views. These are the basic element constituents of all thought and belief, including views that may or may not agree/conflict with our own. So to that degree, while I think your cautionary measures are relevant in such discussions, the method I'm invoking ought steer clear of precisely what you're cautioning against. To be blunt, you're cautioning against exclusion of some, whereas the method I'm working from, advocating for, and promoting demands inclusion of all...

    So, no worries.
  • Harry Hindu
    3.4k
    Perhaps there is some disagreement here. What I meant by volitions and intent, was not separate from words, otherwise, it would rather lead us to the sort of conclusions of a homunculus living in the brain of sorts. What I do think actually happens, is something creativesoul has been talking about for a great while now, about prelinguistic "content" or the 95% of communication that gets passed over on these forums because we can't see behavior or hear tonality.Wallows
    I doubt that 95% would be how much information is lost in communicating on these forums. Maybe when communicating with Banno you'd lose 95% of what he means, but what do you expect from someone who thinks language is a game?

    I'm not sure what you mean by volition being seperate from words, unless you mean word-use. Like I said, if words are used then volition must be involved.

    Something uses the information in working memory (consciousness) to make decisions whether it be which route to take for work based on the current traffic conditions, or which sound to make with your mouth to communicate the information present in working memory - kind of like how computers use different protocols to communicate with other computers. I dont think "homunculus" would be the proper term for that something. How about "central executive"?

    I think much of the problem lies in what people mean by, "use".
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    The physical example, relativistic theory, is very clear. Given your predilection and understanding of physics, Terrapin Station, I'm puzzled at your resistance here.Banno

    I don't really understand this comment.
  • Shawn
    10.8k
    I doubt that 95% would be how much information is lost in communicating on these forums. Maybe when communicating with Banno you'd lose 95% of what he means, but what do you expect from someone who thinks language is a game?Harry Hindu

    Yeah, I may have overestimated. But, some large percentage of communication is non-verbal, and that's something you could use as an argument for volitions or intentionality existing, just throwing that out there.
  • Harry Hindu
    3.4k
    The singular feeling in common is that of an inability to communicate a portion of the content. The incommunicable content obviously varies.

    The singular feeling in common (namely, "I'm having a problem communicating X") justifies applying a narrow definition to the expression.
    ZzzoneiroCosm
    So theres no beetles in our box when it comes to communicating uncommunicatible feelings?

    Yeah, I may have overestimated. But, some large percentage of communication is non-verbal, and that's something you could use as an argument for volitions or intentionality existing, just throwing that out there.Wallows
    But when it comes to communicating philosophical/metaphysical or scientific ideas on forum like this, what useful information would be missing?
  • ZzzoneiroCosm
    985
    So theres no beetles in our boxHarry Hindu

    More like a zoo in a box.

    Or an X in a box.
  • Shawn
    10.8k
    But when it comes to communicating philosophical/metaphysical or scientific ideas on forum like this, what useful information would be missing?Harry Hindu

    You don't see people talking in full sentences in every-day life. At least, here, there's a demand for rigour and logicality, which is good and all. On the flipside, remarkably (rather), philosophers have been able to put into words existential issues that are deep moods, and feelings that go sometimes beyond the trivial and mundane of every-day life. Isn't that rather remarkable, given how much of communication is actually non-verbal?
  • Banno
    9.2k
    Not too much to disagree with.
    On my view, I have found that all views share the same basic set of common denominators at their core.creativesoul

    Well, being embedded in a shared world, they would.

    There are, I'll contend, some who ought be excluded; the law of diminishing returns applies here.
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