• Mww
    1.4k
    In saying this, you're assuming the reality of the object outside your judgement of it.
    — Wayfarer

    Yes, but Kant also assumes this in positing the thing-in-itself. What I'm saying is that the object itself is what my judgement is about, not a Kantian appearance.
    Andrew M

    As most are apt to say. But when saying that, all that happens without conscious attention, is neglected. You have no awareness of appearances, intuitions, conceptions, so you base judgements on the object as it is perceived. Nature has done you a favor. Appearances and all those esoteric entities only have meaning in a theoretical sense.

    Kant also assumes the reality of objects but does not posit things-in-themselves on that assumption. He admits that things-in-themselves are just as real as the objects of judgement, and that there is no real difference between them. The difference lays in us, not the things.

    If you can find no reason whatsoever to claim with certainty that the thing on which we base our judgements and the thing as it is without being judged by us, are not identical, you are justified, by the principle of deduction, in claiming the latter as not having any meaning or purpose. But that is only half the story, in as much you must also have every reason whatsoever to claim the thing of our judgement is without failure to be identical to the thing as it is in itself without our judgements, by the principle of induction.

    As long as you see that it is absolutely impossible to know everything there is to know about anything a posteriori, which the principle of induction demands, then you must see it is possible for there to be a reason why the two instances of an object are not identical. And possibility is its own justification; we don’t need to know what the difference is, only that a difference is possible. This is why the thing-in-itself is a knowledge claim, not a reality claim. Reality does not depend on us, but our knowledge of reality sure as hell does.
  • Andrew M
    881
    ↪Andrew M
    We can acknowledge dreams (and hallucinations and illusions) without supposing that we can't successfully refer to things even when we are awake and of sound mind.

    We either experience qualia or we don’t. What do you say?
    Zelebg

    If you mean "Is breaking your toe painful?" then, yes, it is. If you mean "Do we have radically private, immaterial experiences?" then, no, we don't.
  • Andrew M
    881
    But that is just what is at issue. For the purpose of making this point, there is no 'object itself'!
    — Wayfarer

    Well I guess that's that then! It's all an illusion... ;-)
    — Andrew M

    Not a mere illusion. Things have a degree of reality.
    Wayfarer

    Shadows on the cave wall...

    This is the model of ordinary public language (see Wittgenstein's private language argument), of Aristotle's naturalism (particular/form) and of physics (system/state), among others.
    — Andrew M

    But it's based on a implicit realism which is itself a mental construction - vorstellung, I believe is the German term for it. And besides - it's a model, and where there's a model, there's a mind!
    Wayfarer

    Seems like we agree. So what's the problem?
  • Zelebg
    364
    If you mean "Is breaking your toe painful?" then, yes, it is. If you mean "Do we have radically private, immaterial experiences?" then, no, we don't.

    I mean subjective experience, of pain for example, yes radically private. You deny? Ok, let us hear your reasoning then.
  • Wayfarer
    9.2k
    I don't think we do, but I've been unable to explain the sense in which we don't, so I'll give it a rest!
  • Andrew M
    881
    By intentional, I mean directing one's focus towards something (i.e., the thing she is intentionally talking about or acting on).
    — Andrew M

    The very epitome of a dualistic nature: focus towards immediately presupposes focus from. The thing being acted upon presupposes an actor, doesn’t it?
    Mww

    There's no dispute that Alice is acting intelligently here (whereas the tree doesn't have that capability). The issue is over whether this is characterized in a naturally observable way or in a radically private way (as exemplified by the Cartesian mind).

    Nevertheless, the minor objection is still the question....what could Alice possibly be pointing at, if not an object that impresses her senses? Perhaps the hyphenation has some meaning, but I don’t see any difference between object-of-sense and object of sense. There is no contention in saying she is pointing to the object itself, which must be something she senses. Otherwise.....why bother with the act of pointing, or indeed the act of speaking, at all?Mww

    It's of course true that she wouldn't be pointing at the tree if she hadn't sensed it. What I'm distinguishing here is the object itself (which she has a representation of) and the representation itself (as a kind of reified object).

    An analogy would be with a photograph of Alice's son Bob. When Alice shows the photo to a friend and says that this is her son Bob, she doesn't mean that the photograph she is pointing at is her son, she means that the person that the photo represents is her son. That's the case even though the friend only sees the photo.

    That's what I'm indicating with (hyphenated) object-of-sense there. It seems that Kant understands the object of sense to be a representation (like a photo or, more dynamically, like a shadow in Plato's cave or a movie), not the thing-in-itself.

    Whereas on my model, Alice is referring to the thing itself (which is independent of how Alice represents it, or even that Alice ever senses it at all).

    At any rate, usually Alice pointing to tree is chalked up to experience, insofar as Alice already knows the thing she’s pointing at is conventionally named as “tree”. The major objection then becomes, just because we are told why she points the way she does, because of something she knows, does not tell us anything about how she arrived at the correspondence required between the pointing, or talking, she does physically, and the understanding she does mentally, such that the pointing and the understanding don’t contradict each other. What is being asked here is, and what convention of naming things reduces to, is, what happens to Alice between being told “this is a tree”, and her comprehension of what she’s being told?Mww

    So on my model, "correspondence" is not the right term here, which implies a matching up between what she is doing physically and what she is doing mentally (i.e., dualism). But she is not performing two activities, she is performing one activity which is simply pointing at the tree. It's an identification (i.e., that this thing that Alice is pointing at is what she means by tree), so isn't subject to dualism's intractable interaction problems.

    Now things can go wrong in various ways - misjudgments, illusions, dreams, hallucinations. But these are naturally characterized as different activities to what Alice is doing above when she successfully identifies the tree.

    This raises the issue of how she can be certain she has successfully pointed at the tree (perhaps it is an illusion). The short answer is that she can't be certain. Nonetheless, her action can be successful as in the given example.

    Think of this as a formal model for how language terms operate. It proceeds from knowledge of the thing, not knowledge of the appearance.

    Form as in what objects look like, or form as in general characteristic of a class or group of objects. If a tree has a specific form for Alice, how does Alice tell one kind of tree from another? If Alice can tell one tree from another, it cannot be merely from the form “tree” that facilitates such separation, but would seem to require a form for each and every single aspect of difference. The interconnectedness of the root system of aspens absolutely cannot be derived from the mere form “tree”.Mww

    We can suppose a form for every difference, but some characteristics will be deemed important or general, others less so. Aristotle, for example, proposed essential and accidental characteristics. Wittgenstein proposed family resemblances. The bottom line here is that we go with what works. After a while we develop more formal processes around that (as exemplified by the scientific method).

    The maybe arises in particular in the fact that things Alice can intentionally point to or talk about may not have a form as does the tree. Alice can certainly point to examples of injustice, and talk about beautiful things, but she is only talking about things under certain conditions. Alice can talk about time, but she’s gonna have a hellava lot of trouble pointing to it.Mww

    And people do have trouble. But as you imply, the principle is the same on my model - they just involve more complex abstraction from what we point at than is the case for a tree.

    And the incompleteness arises from the very simple question.....where does the form reside? How is it possible to determine with apodeitic certainty, that forms reside in the objects, or that form resides in the cognitive system from which identity and representation of objects is given?

    I wouldn’t be so bold as to make a positive claim in that regard.
    Mww

    The form is in the object (in relation to Alice). It's not determined to be there with certainty, it is instead presupposed by the model.

    One instead chooses whether to use this model or some other model (assuming one thinks about these sorts of things at all, which is Wayfarer's usual complaint).

    I grant Alice has a form for herself, which has been called, among other things, the transcendental object, or transcendental ego, the “I” of subjective activity. But the “I” is never used in pure thought, and only becomes manifest in communication as an explanatory placeholder.

    I don’t dispute your rationality, one can think whatever he wants, but I nevertheless categorically reject the notion that Alice observes herself, or that she is in the scene. Way too much Cartesian theater for me.

    And Alice isn’t in the scene as much as she IS the scene.
    Mww

    So what is Alice observing when she looks at her hands? Merely her body? On my model, the "I" for Alice is a human being, not a mind or a body.

    As long as you see that it is absolutely impossible to know everything there is to know about anything a posteriori, which the principle of induction demands, then you must see it is possible for there to be a reason why the two instances of an object are not identical. And possibility is its own justification; we don’t need to know what the difference is, only that a difference is possible. This is why the thing-in-itself is a knowledge claim, not a reality claim. Reality does not depend on us, but our knowledge of reality sure as hell does.Mww

    I agree there is no certainty when one claims that this thing that they are pointing at is what they think it is. There are various ways of going wrong. The model says that on the condition that Alice has identified a tree, she has acquired knowledge. So her claim is always provisional.
  • Andrew M
    881
    ↪Andrew M
    If you mean "Is breaking your toe painful?" then, yes, it is. If you mean "Do we have radically private, immaterial experiences?" then, no, we don't.

    I mean subjective experience, of pain for example, yes radically private. You deny? Ok, let us hear your reasoning then.
    Zelebg

    Language depends on public criteria. See Wittgenstein's private language argument and specifically regarding pain, see his beetle-in-a-box thought experiment.
  • Zelebg
    364

    So I had to read all that just to see your point is that you are refusing to talk because you have nothing relevant to say about it.
  • jjAmEs
    43
    Language depends on public criteria. See Wittgenstein's private language argument and specifically regarding pain, see his beetle-in-a-box thought experiment.Andrew M

    I agree. Wittgenstein's point is radical and yet often ignored (just as similar Derridean insights are ignored.)

    For me it's not as some in is thread might see it. It's not that private experience like pain is being denied. We know what people mean by such talk (we know how to get along in less philosophical conversation.) Nor is something like the presence of meaning being denied. But this general notion of immediate contact with sensation or meaning is revealed as a largely unquestioned assumption, to those willing to suffer the damage such an insight does to their current attachments.
  • jjAmEs
    43
    I think you failed to address the point.

    I wrote:

    Note that in an argument against writing, the metaphor of writing is employed.jjAmEs

    You wrote:

    I would interpret this as a statement of Plato's attitude towards written texts generally.Wayfarer

    Indeed, and it's precisely this demotion of writing in the name of speech that is strangely presented with a metaphor that involves writing. Socrates contrasts to writing that cannot defend itself 'an intelligent word graven in the soul of the learner.'

    That this metaphor is not accidental is suggested by the relationship of ideality and iterability (explored in Voice and Phenomenon). The relative permanence of writing is presumably being borrowed.

    His Hindu contemporaries philosophical teachings were likewise called 'upanisads' - meaning 'sitting close to', i.e. indicating a spoken or silent teaching between guru and chela.Wayfarer

    I'm open to the value of spoken and silent teaching. I also like Hadot. But is there not always the risk of performative contradiction? What does it mean to make written gestures away from writing? Is writing merely a recruitment tool, a half-truth that lures the student in for a personal initiation? The implication seems to be that what is learned is non-verbal --perhaps like learning to ride a bike. I find that kind of knowledge not only plausible but ubiquitous.

    But how is one to distinguish one variety of mute know-how from another? As the outward sign is demoted or denied, so is rationality. This is fine, but why should access to the super-rational present itself rationally ? 'He who knows does not speak. He who speaks does not know.' And yet he who 'knows' feels compelled to say so. To me it's this need that makes me skeptical of the needy person's Enlightenment or mystic access. They are compelled to write just like me, even if they also remember peak experiences in which they temporarily felt beyond the need to explain or justify or even describe. How can such experiences even be talked about, though, without retrospective or anticipatory metaphors?
  • Wayfarer
    9.2k
    (I would love to respond but am in a hotel room with only an iPhone til Sunday. Asked wife to pack iPad she forgot :sad: )
  • Andrew M
    881
    ↪Andrew M
    So I had to read all that just to see your point is that you are refusing to talk because you have nothing relevant to say about it.
    Zelebg

    It seems you misunderstood my response. If pain were radically private (in the Cartesian sense), then we would not have language to talk about it. Yet we do. So the term pain must have public criteria. This is surprising to many people. The links were to Wittgenstein's arguments against the possibility of a private language, in case you or other readers weren't familiar with it.

    For me it's not as some in is thread might see it. It's not that private experience like pain is being denied. We know what people mean by such talk (we know how to get along in less philosophical conversation.) Nor is something like the presence of meaning being denied. But this general notion of immediate contact with sensation or meaning is revealed as a largely unquestioned assumption, to those willing to suffer the damage such an insight does to their current attachments.jjAmEs

    Yes, exactly. :up:
  • David Mo
    118
    Pain is a subjective experience.

    We don't feel other people's pain in a literal sense. We observe some linguistic and bodily behaviours. These behaviors provoke an immediate response in our feelings and behaviour. This response is not deliberate and conscious. Therefore, we can say that we feel the pain of others. But this is not literally true. The only pain we feel is our own.
  • Andrew M
    881
    Yes, our feelings are our own and not someone else's. And we don't literally see someone's pain, though we might see that they are in pain.

    For me, the philosophical point is that pain, happiness, someone's belief that it is raining, etc., can all be referenced (and, in principle, explained) on a natural model - there's no need to invoke a Cartesian-style mind/body distinction. Further, such a claimed distinction rests on a category mistake - the idea that we are ghosts in machines (per Ryle's metaphor). Both idealist and materialist theories of mind can fall prey to this category mistake (in distinctive ways):

    Although neuroscientists are committed materialists, and adamantly insist on this aspect of their anti-Cartesianism, they have, Bennett and Hacker argue, merely jettisoned the dual substance doctrine of Cartesianism, but retained its faulty structure with respect to the relation of mind and behavior.Notre Dame review of Bennett and Hacker's Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience
  • jjAmEs
    43
    The only pain we feel is our own.David Mo

    We have this one word 'pain' for something that we are all supposed to experience privately. How do I know that what I call my pain is what you call your pain?

    We observe some linguistic and bodily behaviours.David Mo

    Exactly. So even though we have a certain intuition that the word 'pain' is attached to private experiences which cannot be compared, the concept only works because of various social conventions. In my view, Wittgenstein's point about the beetle in the box is a radical insight. It applies not only to pain or sensation but also to the issue of meaning. If the concept of pain depends on social convention, then so does the meaning of 'subject' and 'object.' The basic philosophical prejudice is arguably the notion that words are attached somehow directly to mental entities. And then this prejudice understands social practice to be secondary and derivative, ignoring that the functioning of a concept is radically dependent on social practice.

    We have this idea of private experience that by definition cannot provide evidence. I can never know whether we 'mean' the same thing according to the private conception of meaning. All we can do is trade more signs, witness one another's behavior.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x86hLtOkou8

    If I say of myself that it is only from my own case that I know what the word "pain" means - must I not say the same of other people too? And how can I generalize the one case so irresponsibly?

    Now someone tells me that he knows what pain is only from his own case! --Suppose everyone had a box with something in it: we call it a "beetle". No one can look into anyone else's box, and everyone says he knows what a beetle is only by looking at his beetle. --Here it would be quite possible for everyone to have something different in his box. One might even imagine such a thing constantly changing. --But suppose the word "beetle" had a use in these people's language? --If so it would not be used as the name of a thing. The thing in the box has no place in the language-game at all; not even as a something: for the box might even be empty. --No, one can 'divide through' by the thing in the box; it cancels out, whatever it is.

    That is to say: if we construe the grammar of the expression of sensation on the model of 'object and designation' the object drops out of consideration as irrelevant.
    — Wittgenstein

    I think Derrida is making a related point in Signature, Event, Context. The point is not to simply deny the privacy of pain or meaning but to root out unquestioned assumptions or dominant metaphors.
    One such metaphor is the mind as an eye that gazes on atemporal meaning.
  • jjAmEs
    43
    I add this quote to the conversation for anyone who might find it useful. It's more difficult prose than that inSignature, Event, Context, but it touches on the relationship of the ideal and that which can be repeated.

    For instance, 2 is an ideal object because it's always the same when I bring it back to mind. I can repeat the cognition or experience of this ideal object again and again. Its ideal reality is 'in' this possibility of reliable repetition. 2 doesn't exist as a physical object but either as innate form of human cognition (Kantianism of some kind) or as an object in some nonphysical realm for which humans have a 'sense' organ (mathematical Platonism).

    The unique and permanent motif of all the mistakes and distortions which Husserl exposes in "degenerated" metaphysics, across a multiplicity of domains, themes, and arguments, is always a blindness to the authentic mode of ideality, to that which is, to what may be indefinitely repeated in the identity of its presence, because of the very fact that it does not exist, is not real or is irreal—not in the sense of being a fiction, but in another sense which may have several names, whose possibility will permit us to speak of nonreality and essential necessity, the noema, the intelligible object, and in general the nonworldly. This nonworldliness is not another worldliness, this ideality is not an existent that has fallen from the sky; its origin will always be the possible repetition of a productive act. In order that the possibility of this repetition may be open, ideally to infinity, one ideal form must assure this unity of the indefinite and the ideal: this is the present, or rather the presence of the living present. The ultimate form of ideality, the ideality of ideality, that in which in the last instance one may anticipate or recall all repetition, is the living present, the self-presence of transcendental life. Presence has always been and will always, forever, be the form in which, we can say apodictically, the infinite diversity of contents is produced. The opposition between form and matter—which inaugurates metaphysics—finds in the concrete ideality of the living present its ultimate and radical justification.

    Husserl will awaken it, recall it, and bring it back to itself in the form of a telos— that is, an Idea in the Kantian sense. There is no ideality without there being an Idea in the Kantian sense at work, opening up the possibility of something indefinite, the infinity of a stipulated progression or the infinity of permissible repetitions. This ideality is the very form in which the presence of an object in general may be indefinitely repeated as the same. The nonreality of the Bedeutung, the nonreality of the ideal object, the nonreality of the inclusion of sense or noema in consciousness (Husserl will say that the noema does not really—reell—belong to consciousness) will thus give the assurance that presence to consciousness can be indefinitely repeated—ideal presence to an ideal or transcendental consciousness. Ideality is the preservation or mastery of presence in repetition. In its pure form, this presence is the presence of nothing existing in the world; it is a correlation with the acts of repetition, themselves ideal.
    — Derrida
    from Voice and Phenomenon.
  • jjAmEs
    43

    I look forward to your response.
  • Zelebg
    364
    It seems you misunderstood my response. If pain were radically private (in the Cartesian sense), then we would not have language to talk about it.

    We don't have language to describe ontology of pain or any of the qualia. We can talk about it on a superficial level because we share similar experience.

    We sure can not talk about qualia in terms of size, weight, speed, charge… or ony of the physical units of measurement. How come?


    Yet we do. So the term pain must have public criteria. This is surprising to many people. The links were to Wittgenstein's arguments against the possibility of a private language, in case you or other readers weren't familiar with it.

    What is your conclusion then: there is no hard problem, there is no qualia, or what?
  • Mww
    1.4k
    There's no dispute that Alice is acting intelligently here (...). The issue is over whether this is characterized in a naturally observable way or in a radically private way (...).Andrew M

    Ok. Keeping context in the fore.....

    You: By intentional, I mean directing one's focus towards something;
    Me: The thing being acted upon presupposes an actor, doesn’t it?;
    You: there is no dispute that Alice is acting intelligently here.

    .....it seems established that Alice, the actor, is directing her focus intelligently towards something, the object of her focus. To be pointing to a tree, as precedent has it herein, would certainly appear to be naturally observable, by anyone physiologically equipped to observe as does Alice herself. But I’m worried about the meaning of pointing to with respect to focus towards. Pointing to, in its strictest sense, would seem to be undeniably naturally observable, but focusing on seems just as undeniably radically private. Doing anything intelligently implies a source of intelligence, which implies radically private, but does not necessarily imply the naturally observable act of pointing.

    So saying, when I point to, I mean to physically indicate. Therefore, I do not point with that which is radically private. My focusing on is not naturally observable, because focusing on, that is to say, the instantiation of a rational methodology, is an act of the intelligence, hence radically private. Thus, to resolve the issue as stated, I submit that all acts of the intelligence are characterized as radically private, all intelligent acts are naturally observable, and in general, the human does both.
    ———————

    ....what could Alice possibly be pointing at, if not an object that impresses her senses?
    — Mww

    It's of course true that she wouldn't be pointing at the tree if she hadn't sensed it. What I'm distinguishing here is the object itself (which she has a representation of) and the representation itself (as a kind of reified object).......

    (Ok. Understood.)

    ........An analogy would be with a photograph of Alice's son Bob. When Alice shows the photo to a friend and says that this is her son Bob, she doesn't mean that the photograph she is pointing at is her son, she means that the person that the photo represents is her son. (....) That's what I'm indicating with (hyphenated) object-of-sense there.
    Andrew M

    Looks a lot like the ol’ map/territory paradox. Alice shows her friend the map of what she sees as the territory. ‘Course, the photo is a map to Alice as well; it’s just that she knows the territory better than the map depicts. Actually, she knows the territory so well, the map is quite useless to her. So she has both a first-hand, useful representation of her son, and a second-hand perfectly useless representation of the exact same thing in the photo of her son.

    I, on the other hand, as Alice’s friend to whom she shows the photo, has a representation of the territory given from the map. The map, however, by telling me merely what the territory looks like, gives me no experience of the territory, so the map is useless to me as well.
    ——————-

    ....does not tell us anything about how she arrived at the correspondence required (...) such that the pointing and the understanding don’t contradict each other.
    — Mww

    So on my model, "correspondence" is not the right term here, which implies a matching up between what she is doing physically and what she is doing mentally (...). But she is not performing two activities, she is performing one activity which is simply pointing at the tree. It's an identification (i.e., that this thing that Alice is pointing at is what she means by tree), so isn't subject to dualism's intractable interaction problems.
    Andrew M

    Ok, understood. But your model presupposes knowledge. Alice points to a thing she already understands as being identifiable as a tree. In such case, it is more parsimonious to attest she is performing a single task, but in doing so, reason is cast aside, which begs the monstrous question.....how can reason be so readily cast aside. Kant asked Hume this very question, because Hume agrees with you, insofar as, in effect, Alice identifies what she means for no other apparent reason than that’s what she always does. It’s called constant conjunction. And it’s empirically justified, but rationally, it sheer hogwash.

    Constant conjunction...better known as mere habit....says what is done in the performance of one activity, but never how what is done comes about. Now you can bring in your language dudes, because they will inform you that language tells Alice what to do. Somebody told those dudes what to do, and somebody told those somebodies what to tell the dude to tell Alice....and eventually we end up asking the very same question Kant asked: how does the first guy find out what to tell everybody else? And if that is so patently obvious a problem for all people in general, it absolutely must be the exact same problem for any single member of that general population. Which gets us right back into where your model wants to get us out of...the dual aspect of physically doing, and mentally understanding what to do, so the two don’t contradict each other. Or, if you wish, so Alice is enabled to perform her single act.
    —————-

    This raises the issue of how she can be certain she has successfully pointed at the tree (perhaps it is an illusion). The short answer is that she can't be certain.Andrew M

    True, she can’t. Her rationality relies on the law of non-contradiction, even if she’s not aware of it. She will become aware as soon as she makes a mistake in her pointing. Wonder what she’ll do when she has to learn something all on her own, where no kind of experience can help her. When all she has to go on is how it feels.

    Think of this as a formal model for how language terms operate. It proceeds from knowledge of the thing, not knowledge of the appearance.Andrew M

    No doubt, no argument. Proceeding from knowledge says nothing about knowledge itself, but I’m all happy we’ve agreed knowledge comes first.
    ——————

    The model says that on the condition that Alice has identified a tree, she has acquired knowledge.Andrew M

    Not my model. My model says on the condition that Alice has knowledge, she has thereby acquired the means to identify an object in the world. Whether or not the object is a tree depends on something else.
  • Andrew M
    881
    What is your conclusion then: there is no hard problem, there is no qualia, or what?Zelebg

    I reject them both (and the mind/body dualism they presuppose).

    In my view, Wittgenstein's point about the beetle in the box is a radical insight. It applies not only to pain or sensation but also to the issue of meaning. If the concept of pain depends on social convention, then so does the meaning of 'subject' and 'object.' The basic philosophical prejudice is arguably the notion that words are attached somehow directly to mental entities. And then this prejudice understands social practice to be secondary and derivative, ignoring that the functioning of a concept is radically dependent on social practice.jjAmEs

    Nicely said. This contrast in approach to meaning can also be traced back to Plato for whom the natural world was secondary and derivative (compared to the ideal Forms), and Aristotle for whom the natural world was intelligible.
  • Andrew M
    881
    Thus, to resolve the issue as stated, I submit that all acts of the intelligence are characterized as radically private, all intelligent acts are naturally observable, and in general, the human does both.Mww

    So I characterize it differently on my model. Keep in mind(!) that I reject radical privacy, but not mind-related terminology.

    Alice might point at the tree in a focused way, in a distracted way, or entirely randomly. The first involves intelligence, the latter two not so much. Or perhaps it turns out that she wasn't pointing at all, but instead made an incidental hand movement while talking about something else. So context matters here.

    Describing an action as intelligent is a way to characterize that action (as opposed to the action being thoughtless, for example). There isn't a separate private mental act over and above the action.

    And, contra behaviorism, neither is her action reducible to a mechanical or external body movement. That framing implicitly assumes the dualism that is at issue.

    Ryle again:

    There have always existed in the breasts of philosophers, including our own breasts, two conflicting tempers. I nickname them the "Reductionist" and the "Duplicationist" tempers, or the "Deflationary" and the "Inflationary" tempers. The slogan of the first temper is "Nothing But . . ."; that of the other "Something Else as Well . . ."Thinking and Saying - Gilbert Ryle

    --

    An analogy would be with a photograph of Alice's son Bob. ...
    — Andrew M

    Looks a lot like the ol’ map/territory paradox.
    Mww

    OK, so I'd like to try to use those metaphors to illustrate our respective models.

    On my model, when Alice looks at the tree, she is not looking at a photograph of the territory (since there is no photograph), she is looking at the territory which has a specific form in relation to her. Her beliefs about the territory are her map (e.g., that the tree has green leaves).

    Whereas on your (Kantian) model, Alice is looking at a photograph (the territory in sense) of the territory-in-itself. Her beliefs about the photograph are her map (e.g., that the tree has green leaves). Whereas the territory-in-itself remains unknowable.

    Does that capture your model, on your view?

    Ok, understood. But your model presupposes knowledge.Mww

    Not quite. It presupposes objects that can be known about.

    You asked about how the first person bootstraps their knowledge on my model. The answer is that they try something and, if that doesn't work out, they try something else (assuming they survive long enough to do so). And language builds up around those experiences.

    For example, suppose Robinson Crusoe needs to build a shelter and he's looking for a tall, straight stick to support the roof. He encounters a stick partially submerged in water. He assumes he's seeing a bent stick and continues looking elsewhere. This is a kind of naive realism that assumes that things are always just as they appear. From his perspective, he believes (mistakenly) that he has acquired knowledge of the object.

    Later he happens to pull the stick out and realizes it is straight. He makes a mental note of the implications of this discovery for future reference.

    And so knowledge and language accrete in tandem with practical experience. One step forward and, sometimes, one step back.

    Now would Robinson Crusoe have had a considered philosophical explanation for all this? Probably not. Lucky for him that we're here!

    A couple of points. First, the above is not a description of Humean constant conjunctions, it is a description of Crusoe's practical experiences in terms of his purposes and achievements.

    Second, on my model, the references to "pull the stick out", "realizes" and "mental note" do not imply a physical/mental dualism. They should be understood as holistic descriptions of his actions.

    That is, he did not "physically" pull the stick out and, as a separate action, "mentally" realize that it was straight. Instead his realization that it was straight was part-and-parcel of pulling the stick out - a single action (which we can then go on to separate in an abstract sense for analysis). Note that in some other context, he may pull the stick out and not realize it was straight. The key is to resist reducing those two different actions (in their respective contexts) to equivalent "physical" behaviors + some additional and separate "mental" activity.

    With "mental note", that should be understood as remembering something (in contrast with writing it down on paper). It has an apparent Cartesian implication, but it's just a way of speaking about the exercise of a particular human ability, in this case committing something to memory.

    The model says that on the condition that Alice has identified a tree, she has acquired knowledge.
    — Andrew M

    Not my model. My model says on the condition that Alice has knowledge, she has thereby acquired the means to identify an object in the world. Whether or not the object is a tree depends on something else.
    Mww

    Do you mean that if she has knowledge of the appearance (the photo in my illustration), she can then go on to identify an object such as a tree? Also, what does "whether or not the object is a tree" depend on?
  • Zelebg
    364
    I reject them both

    Yeah, so how do you reject the hard problem of consciousness?
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