• Luke
    582
    I meant that the concept "apple" is one and the same as the object "apple", which is the word "apple".Metaphysician Undercover

    You're saying that words grow on trees?
  • creativesoul
    7.9k
    Given that, what seems a more interesting discussion topic is are three related issues:

    (B1) What circumstances necessitate adopting linguistic analysis as a philosophical methodology?
    fdrake

    :wink:

    Times like these.
  • fdrake
    3.3k
    I don't think this is quite right, but I think this partly down to how to phrased things with the dichotomy language/world. I need to modify what I said above: it is in fact the case that language and world can 'come apart', but the key thing is to recognise instances when they do. 'Linguistic analysis' ('LA'), as I understand it, is the attempt to track when language and world depart from one another, despite the impression that they have not (what Witty calls 'being held captive by a picture' or somesuch). There's a passage from Cavell that I really like that brings out the critical import of LA here, where he uses a really interesting turn of phrase, on making words 'nothing but their meaning':StreetlightX

    So I don't wanna shit on linguistic analysis totally, and it's an extremely important tool to check when "thought is not gaining traction on being" (paraphrasing Brassier) when reasoning. But I want to emphasize strongly that it's not the only thinking style which serves this negative role; especially when the flavour of intuitions and philosophical constructs that are wedded to the norms of language use should not be expected to gain traction in the right way.

    One example, that this forum readily serves up, is in qualia discussions. A folk psychological judgement of what feelings, perceptions and sensations are becomes embedded in the qualia notion by what counts as a qualia and what does not; it isn't a coincidence that qualia get associated with words for sensation types but /the quale/ is present in every token/instance. People doing phenomenology don't seem to need the concept at all, and the kind of descriptions they produce of experience - how you have to think to produce those descriptions - does not match the kind of descriptions that qualia engender of them (what always seems like a bundle theory). Phenomenology seems to pay much more attention to what makes the items of the bundle distinct.

    Reminds me of a discussion on the old forum about the distinction between naming and individuation, but I can't see a precise way of fleshing out the connection.

    Another example, taken from @Sam26 's video post about a section from Sense and Sensibilia. Austin gives a brief discussion about the phrase "material thing" and asks whether clouds count (arguably they do not). The ambiguities surrounding whether it's appropriate to consider a cloud a material thing marks site of torsion in how we think of objects and more hazy intuitions about processes. It is not so surprising that there will be internal torsion there in standard language use because norms of discourse have very little to say about how clouds work clouds. That isn't to say that clouds are philosophically uninteresting; linguistic analysis might show that the norms of discourse have a tension regarding them, but there's kind of metaphysics that takes something like a cloud as an exemplary entity rather than something like a table or an idea. There's still room for a positive account, and here it looks to require much different tools to build. Linguistic analysis can show us holes in intuition there, a different perspective is required to give anything like a positive account.
  • fdrake
    3.3k
    Times like these.creativesoul

    How could a time be like anything else? :chin:
  • Sam26
    1.4k

    Most of us have talked in generalities, although you have brought up specific examples from Austin. There are many words that philosophers use (and others) that could do with some Wittgensteinian analysis (as per the PI or OC). For instance...

    Truth
    Knowledge
    Illusion
    Delusion
    Soul
    Hallucination
    Reality
    Unconscious
    Subconscious
    Belief
    Time
    Thought
    Experience
    Infinity
    Subjective
    Objective

    The list goes on and on with words that cause linguistic confusion. Austin tackles a few of these in his book Sense and Sensibilia.

    Then there is Wittgenstein's analysis of how we derive meaning. How that many of our words aren't associated with objects (mental or otherwise) that give meaning to a word. It's the problem of thinking that meaning is associated with something internal to me (some mental phenomena) that I associate with the word as I use it.

    Obviously, as we have already agreed, linguistic analysis in the tradition of Wittgenstein and Austin isn't the be-all and end-all of understanding, but it is an important study, helping us to understand many confusions that arise philosophically.
  • fdrake
    3.3k
    Obviously, as we have already agreed, linguistic analysis in the tradition of Wittgenstein and Austin isn't the be-all and end-all of understanding, but it is an important study, helping us to understand many confusions that arise philosophically.Sam26

    What happens after the confusions are dispelled? Does that speak to the veracity of the cleared ground, or is it simply a case of being better off to do whatever else is required than before? I'm always wary of leaving the implicit accounts our use of language has as the final word, when their analysis is intended only to be the first.
  • Mww
    1.4k
    Why would you think the concept is the source of the word rather than that the word is the source of the concept?Metaphysician Undercover

    I never said it was. I said the word is subsumed under the concept, which just means the concept conditions the word that represents it. As you said, given acceptable convention, we can use any word we like for a conception, but the conception itself, stands for a single thought. There are as many conceptions as there are thoughts, and most are mere images without names. All that means is words come from some aspect of cognitive awareness, of which conceptions themselves are not a part. This must be the case, otherwise we’d have a word already, for a perception or a thought we’ve never had and the knowledge for which we never possess, which is absurd. If it be granted judgement is the first conscious aspect of the human cognitive system, it follows words are only available at judgement or subsequently, in cognition or experience.

    Gotta let go of habits, I must say. These days, there are so few perceptions or thoughts we’ve never had....too many people, too much automation, very little significant subjective privacy.....folks tend to allow themselves to be blinded by teaching instead of wondering how teaching occurs. The proverbial dogmatic slumbers.
    ————-

    I think that words are concepts.Metaphysician Undercover

    How would you prove it? And if not prove, sustain logically?
    ————-

    but "pure thought" doesn't necessarily contains concepts.Metaphysician Undercover

    Then you must find it absolutely impossible to account for objects we think, but do not empirically exist. I suppose it depends on what you mean by “pure”, and how your notion of it pertains to thought. Is there impure thought, and what kind of thought is that, such that pure and impure stand for different things?

    It is only when we think in words, or other symbols like mathematical symbols, that we think in concepts.Metaphysician Undercover

    OK, so this is how you account for non-existent objects. So....it is only when we think in words that we think in concepts, which implies words and concepts are the same thing, or at least do the same cognitive job. Again, human cognition is a process, some of which is absent from our awareness. Words are never absent from our awareness, which makes explicit some part of human cognition cannot be predicated on words. Depending on the stage of cognition one thinks himself aware of the process, that must be the stage at which he begins using words. We’ve already established that the faculty of understanding is the seat of conceptions (theoretically), so the question becomes, are we aware of our faculty of understanding? We are quite apt to say, “I understand what you mean”, but does that necessarily indicate we are aware of the employment of the faculty itself?

    We know from science, there is a blank spot between the object meeting perception, and the transfer of that information within the brain, culminating in what we call experience. In the same manner as science has its blank spot in its process, cognitive philosophy has subconscious spot in its process. When science examines its blank spot, it requires empirical justifications for its claims relating to it, but cognitive philosophy only needs logical justifications for its claims.

    Both science and philosophy acknowledge the objects of perception become objects of knowledge. But what science can’t examine that philosophy can, is the objects we merely think can also become objects of knowledge. Different kind of object, different kind of knowledge, but undeniable certainty nonetheless, at least from a private point of view. Skipping a few steps, if science grants the combination of this and that to get to an end, and philosophy grants the same thing, it still remains that philosophy has something over and above science, insofar as the “this” is missing. When we have what you call “pure thought”, perception is the “this” of both science and philosophy that is missing.

    All this methodology so far being under our awareness, with the exception of the initiating sensation, and in the case of absent perception which simultaneously absents sensation, where is the content of pure thought coming from? Such content can have nothing whatsoever to do with perception, which eliminates anything having to do with experience. From the point of view of science, memory, feedback loops, pre-existent enabled neural networks are eliminated; from the point of view of cognitive philosophy, appearance, phenomena and intuitions are all eliminated. All of those being determined a posteriori, the source of which in “pure thought” does not figure into the process.

    Just as science demands its certainty in the form of compliance to observation, so too does logic demand its certainty in the form of conclusions following necessarily from premises. All syllogisms have a major premise, a minor premise conditioning the major, and a conclusion reconciling both, from which certainty is given, or is at least certainly possible. Returning to the this and that to get an end, we arrive at “this” being intuition (the major), “that” being conception (the minor), ending in judgement (the conclusion). But in pure thought the “this” is missing, so we have demoted a logical syllogism to merely the form of a simple subject/predicate proposition. All change must have a cause, is such a pure thought, wherein no content for the subject or predicate is given, but the proposition remains true, and substitution of empirical conditions serves to prove it apodeitically.

    It should be clear by now, all those properties we assign to objects are not concepts, they are intuitions, because in pure thought, all empirical predicates, which are the constituents of intuition, become vacant. Absent all empirical properties, we cannot even say we ever knew there was such a thing as a cat. Experience tells us about fur, whiskers, claws, etc, from which the cognition “cat” is given so it follows that absent all those, “cat” disappears. The synthesis of a set of intuitions in accordance with a rule (this and this and this belong together, that does not) is a phenomenon. The phenomenon presented to understanding is then conceived as a particular thing. As long as the logical process meets with no contradictions (somehow a wing got intuited into the phenomenon of fur, claws and whiskers), it befalls the faculty of judgement to conclude, given the sound-ness of its premises, the conception can be thought of, and accordingly named, or, which is the same thing, cognized, as “cat”.

    And THERE is the first instance of a word. It should be evident we don’t need the words for fur, claws and whiskers to form our judgements. All we need are representations of objects or parts of objects, all we need is something to synthesize, no matter its name assigned in retrospect, or even if there isn’t one in the first occurrence of it. Only un-named things are representations, all named things are cognitions; of which the former we are unaware, the latter we are fully conscious.

    An admission: with respect “lackadaisical minds”, I have one myself, in that I usually say words represent conceptions, but in fact, words represent cognitions. I can rationalize my wanton whimsy by claiming one follows on the heels of the other in so immediate a fashion they are cognitively indistinguishable. The problem only arises in the case of some beliefs, where the cognition cannot conform to a conception without reason being inconsistent with itself. Like....that cloud looks like a rabbit.
    —————-

    Anyway......this is Sunday morning, and this is what I do on Sunday mornings.
  • creativesoul
    7.9k


    Salva veritate...

    An exercise in substitution...

    That's one linguistic analysis that is often quite useful.
  • Sam26
    1.4k
    What happens after the confusions are dispelled? Does that speak to the veracity of the cleared ground, or is it simply a case of being better off to do whatever else is required than before? I'm always wary of leaving the implicit accounts our use of language has as the final word, when their analysis is intended only to be the first.fdrake

    It depends on what the confusions reveal. For example, if we're referring to Moore's argument against the skeptics, the argument fails. If we're referring to the skeptic's argument against Moore, their argument fails. Both arguments fail because of the misuse of the words know and doubt respectively. In both cases it clears the ground, so that future mistakes of the same kind are not made. Does it speak to the truth of the arguments? Yes. If both arguments fail, then their conclusions are not true. Is it the final word on the matter, of course not. One might need to revise the arguments in light of the new information. It depends on one's goals. Moreover, understanding the points made in Wittgenstein's analysis clears the way in many other similar arguments.

    It's seems you're implying that not much is accomplished after the air clears. It depends on what the clarity achieves. It might be a minor point of clarity, or a major point of clarity. Wittgenstein's analysis of what it means to know in OC is a major point of clarity. It affects the way we use the word know across a wide domain of uses.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    6.7k

    You seem to be saying much the same thing as me, in a different way. Do you think that this part of cognition which is absent from our awareness (and I would say that it's a large part), uses words?

    Again, human cognition is a process, some of which is absent from our awareness. Words are never absent from our awareness, which makes explicit some part of human cognition cannot be predicated on words.Mww

    I don't agree with this division. We can free our minds from words. Try humming a tune for example. If you've ever practised meditation, you should have come to notice that we can banish words from our minds. This is an important aspect of contemplation, because if we cannot completely rid our minds of words, then we cannot have complete control over the words which are in our minds. So first we might practise banishing all words from the mind, and when we become successful at that, we can move on toward allowing only the words that we want to exist in our minds. But if you cannot successfully banish all words from your mind you cannot control which words are in your mind.
  • StreetlightX
    4.9k
    There's still room for a positive account, and here it looks to require much different tools to build. Linguistic analysis can show us holes in intuition there, a different perspective is required to give anything like a positive account.fdrake

    Yeah I totally agree. Those who think that LA is the be-all-and-end-all of philosophy are infuriating. A major case of seeing everything as a nail while wielding a hammer.
  • Mww
    1.4k
    Do you think that this part of cognition which is absent from our awareness (...) uses words?Metaphysician Undercover

    I think....not a chance. Only the preliminaries for empirical cognitions function absent our awareness, which makes sense because to be unaware of the objects of cognition reason creates on its own accord is contradictory. The preliminaries of empirical cognitions begin, of course, with some real object of perception, which is then transformed into some kind of information usable by mechanisms totally different then the mechanisms the initially perceived the object, re: eyeballs are quite different arrangements of matter than optic nerves. This is the blind or unconscious spot I mentioned, blind (unconscious) because whatever that information is, makes no difference to us. That it is, is crucial; what it is, is irrelevant. Nothing controversial here; we are unconscious of this transformed information, even if such information is an absolutely necessary part of the system in general.

    Science calls it electrochemical potentials, philosophy calls it appearances. When science measures the potential, a name becomes generated corresponding to the result of the measurement, but that result of measurement of potential is not the object that was perceived. The named potential represents the real object. No one has yet fallen for the absurdity of calling a tree “1.6734uv”. Philosophy, on the other hand, has no means to measure, but cannot ignore what science can measure, thus philosophy cannot name its form of representation, but it no less a representation for lacking a name. So far, to answer your question.....no, there is no use of words.
    —————

    human cognition is a process, some of which is absent from our awareness. Words are never absent from our awareness, which makes explicit some part of human cognition cannot be predicated on words.
    — Mww

    I don't agree with this division. We can free our minds from words. Try humming a tune for example.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    Absent from our awareness means not contained in it; never absent from our awareness means always contained in it. What’s to disagree with? I’m saying awareness is sufficient for words but words are not necessary merely from being aware. So, yes, of course we can free our minds from words; it is my position we do exactly that any time we are not communicating. And meditation is really just extreme non-communication, so.....there ya go.

    But if you cannot successfully banish all words from your mind you cannot control which words are in your mind.Metaphysician Undercover

    Banish: Delete, remove, dismiss, abolish. If I do that, I automatically banish anything to which the word relates, because by means of representation of conceptions do conceptions exist and without conceptions, cognition, hence knowledge, is impossible. Ever notice how empty your mind gets when some word is right on “the tip of your tongue”? You become rationally incapacitated, you’re stuck in your cognitive tracks, forced to take a different path that doesn’t require that word. That gawd-awful dreaded Blue Screen of Crash, no less. Nahhhh....I ain’t banishing no words; I got enough short-term memory problems without intentionally exacerbating them to my own disadvantage.

    By the way.....I like some of your stuff in the Time thread.
  • BitconnectCarlos
    324


    What happens after the confusions are dispelled? Does that speak to the veracity of the cleared ground, or is it simply a case of being better off to do whatever else is required than before? I'm always wary of leaving the implicit accounts our use of language has as the final word, when their analysis is intended only to be the first.

    According to Wittgenstein the philosophical problems disappear when the confusions are dispelled.

    I'm not sure if you are bilingual or not, but if you aren't -- trust me, a language isn't just a collection of words and grammar it's a worldview with its own implicit assumptions and ways of categorizing the world. Philosophical problems which arise in one language may not arise in another and other languages may give rise to philosophical problems that english speakers would consider ridiculous.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    6.7k
    I think....not a chance. Only the preliminaries for empirical cognitions function absent our awareness, which makes sense because to be unaware of the objects of cognition reason creates on its own accord is contradictory.Mww

    What about habitual actions, would you say that they occur absent of our awareness? For example, if I'm walking, I'm not actually aware of how I am moving my legs, and where I am putting my feet. Sure I'm aware that I'm walking, and I watch for things or other people who might get in the way, but the general, large activity called walking, consists of a whole bunch of small activities, and I might not actually be aware of the some of those smaller activities involved in walking. You know, I could get right into the activities of all my muscles when I'm walking, and I'm sure I'm not aware of all that.

    So how would you draw a line between which activities happen absent of awareness and which activities require awareness? It appears like I can't walk without being aware that I am walking (sleepwalking perhaps?), but the activities required for walking, moving my muscles, occur without my awareness.

    Draw this analogy to speaking if you will. Suppose someone asks me a question, and I answer from habit, without really thinking. I am aware that I am speaking, but I am not aware of thinking up which words to say, they just sort of roll out in response to the question. Isn't this evidence, that this part of cognition, which is coming up with the words that I am saying, is absent of my awareness, though I am still aware that I am speaking, in a way similar to the way that the activities of my leg muscles are absent of my awareness when I am aware that I am walking? So it appears like words are being used in this part of my cognition which is absent from my awareness. Do you agree? Isn't this even more evident when there are words in your dreams?
  • Mww
    1.4k
    So how would you draw a line between which activities happen absent of awareness and which activities require awareness?Metaphysician Undercover

    By only considering activities within speculative epistemological metaphysics. Physical activities essentially belong to behaviorism, the domain of empirical psychology and therefore outside my experiential/educational comfort zone.

    Still, there is a sort of correspondence here.....

    I could get right into the activities of all my muscles when I'm walking, and I'm sure I'm not aware of all that.Metaphysician Undercover

    .....in that me telling you all about the human faculty of representation, for which the necessity of language is given in the objective telling but not in the subjective doing, is congruent to subjectively getting right into the activities of the muscles used in objectively walking. In other words, inasmuch as we only think about walking muscles for some reason other than merely walking, so too do we only think about the unconscious operation of the faculty of representation for some other reason than merely thinking. We walk, but how is it that we walk; we think, but how is it that we think. Same-o, same-o.

    And I don’t care how it is that we walk, so....there’s my red line in the activity sand.
    ——————-

    Suppose someone asks me a question, and I answer from habit, without really thinking.Metaphysician Undercover

    Hume’s “constant conjunction”. From habit is temporal antecedent made explicit, and from temporal antecedents arise the notion of two objects, re: repeated question and habitual answer. Critical examination of the literature in which the so-called two objects are found,** shows not all judgements, which is exactly what any response to a question really is, require contemplation***. That it seems to us we are not contemplating our response, is equivalent to seeming to occur without thinking, but in fact it is reason recognizing the impossibility of a contradiction (again, rationality and intellectual consistency being given). Hume thought the impossibility of contradiction followed from the invariance of Nature, but Kant showed such impossibility cannot arise from empirical conditions, because Nature cannot be proved invariant, but is certainly granted by reason from the principle of deduction given a priori, the power of which Hume went to great lengths to deny.

    ** ECHU 5.1.5
    “.....And it is certain we here advance a very intelligible proposition at least, if not a true one, when we assert that, after the constant conjunction of two objects (...) we are determined by custom alone to expect the one from the appearance of the other....”

    *** CPR B317
    “....Many judgements are admitted to be true from mere habit or inclination; but, because reflection neither precedes nor follows, it is held to be a judgement that has its origin in the understanding. All judgements do not require examination, that is, investigation into the grounds of their truth....”

    So....answering from habit still requires thought, just doesn’t require understanding to waste any time on it. Because answering a question even out of habit, presupposes a set of empirical conditions in the form of the receptivity of the question, the unconscious cognitive apparatus remains in play just as in any other empirical consideration. Of the myriad of intuitions residing in consciousness, of all the possible answers to that question, just slightly different this or that (his shirt was red (redwood, rosewood, rust, terra cotta and auburn)) the habitual answer is only one, because its precedent has been set, hence the impossibility of understanding contradicting itself. This is how contemplation in judgement, from which the answer is delivered as its cognition, is shown to be unnecessary, and from which follows the immediacy of habitual cognitions in general.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    6.7k
    .in that me telling you all about the human faculty of representation, for which the necessity of language is given in the objective telling but not in the subjective doing, is congruent to subjectively getting right into the activities of the muscles used in objectively walking. In other words, inasmuch as we only think about walking muscles for some reason other than merely walking, so too do we only think about the unconscious operation of the faculty of representation for some other reason than merely thinking. We walk, but how is it that we walk; we think, but how is it that we think. Same-o, same-o.Mww

    We were talking about awareness. Have you switched this for the faculty of representation? Or do you think they are one and the same?

    So....answering from habit still requires thought, just doesn’t require understanding to waste any time on it. Because answering a question even out of habit, presupposes a set of empirical conditions in the form of the receptivity of the question, the unconscious cognitive apparatus remains in play just as in any other empirical consideration. Of the myriad of intuitions residing in consciousness, of all the possible answers to that question, just slightly different this or that (his shirt was red (redwood, rosewood, rust, terra cotta and auburn)) the habitual answer is only one, because its precedent has been set, hence the impossibility of understanding contradicting itself. This is how contemplation in judgement, from which the answer is delivered as its cognition, is shown to be unnecessary, and from which follows the immediacy of habitual cognitions in general.Mww

    I don't see how you get to this conclusion. The habitual answer is not the only answer, because a person might interrupt one's own inclination to speak, and decide on a different answer. So the whole apparatus of speaking appears to be an interplay between allowing what comes to one's mind by habit, and also at the same time possibly declining this, to decide on saying something else. Therefore it is only sometimes that contemplation is unnecessary, but this itself would be a judgement, that contemplation is unnecessary. It may be the case that all words come from the unconscious cognitive apparatus, and the conscious mind only makes the judgement of whether or not to say them. Would this mean that the conscious awareness doesn't actually think with words, because it would need to think with something else in order to judge the words coming from the unconscious?
  • Mww
    1.4k
    We were talking about awareness.Metaphysician Undercover

    We were talking about words, and the awareness/use of them relative to the human cognitive system in general. Your unconscious part of the mechanics of walking is analogous to my unconscious part of empirical cognitions. I haven’t switched anything, and I reject that awareness and the faculty of representation are one and the same.
    ————-

    The habitual answer is not the only answer, because a person might interrupt one's own inclination to speak, and decide on a different answer.Metaphysician Undercover

    Answers other than the habitual are possible, but answering habitually makes all of them irrelevant. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be habitual.

    So the whole apparatus of speaking appears to be an interplay between allowing what comes to one's mind by habit, and also at the same time possibly declining this, to decide on saying something else.Metaphysician Undercover

    I don’t care for “allowing to come to one’s mind”; it carries the implication I could actually prevent something from coming into my mind. In order to prevent a thought, the only thing that ever comes into my mind in the first place,** I must first think what I intend to prevent, which is self-contradictory, or, I must be able to un-think the thought I wish to prevent, which is impossible. We don’t “allow” thoughts; they arise from reason necessarily, invited or uninvited, from our very nature as humans, and we may allow them to matter if they relate to something or we may reject them because they don’t. From here, that which comes to one’s mind by habit is just a repetitive relation, or, which is the same thing, good ol’ experience.

    If you decide against saying something in favor of saying something else, all you’ve done is relate one to the other and judge something about that relation.

    I don’t know or care much about “the whole apparatus of speaking”, but I suspect it is mostly sheer mechanics. But there must be some part of the speech apparatus in which the thought of what to say transitions into being said, at least in general conversation, which would seem to be a lot like your walking muscles.....operating behind the conscious scenes and only comes to the fore upon defect or accident of some kind. Just as stumbling is not necessarily the fault of muscles, so too is speaking falsely not the fault of the language.
    —————

    It may be the case that all words come from the unconscious cognitive apparatus, and the conscious mind only makes the judgement of whether or not to say them.Metaphysician Undercover

    Positing that words come from a place still needs justification for the ways and means of them being there. Going to be pretty hard to tell ourselves something about that of which we are not consciously aware, except as a logical possibility. Which sometimes just has to be good enough.

    ** CPR B67
    “.....all in our cognition that belongs to intuition contains nothing more than mere relations. (The feelings of pain and pleasure, and the will, which are not cognitions, are excepted.)...”
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    6.7k
    I don’t care for “allowing to come to one’s mind”; it carries the implication I could actually prevent something from coming into my mind.Mww

    We prevent things from coming into our mind all the time. Once you accept as the phrase you will say, and say it "…" you prevent other possibilities from coming to your mind. But if you don't accept what first comes to your mind, you leave your mind open to other possibilities, so more and more possibilities come to your mind. Preventing things from coming into one's mind is what is commonly called being closed minded. Though it's often considered a vise rather than a virtue, it's not at all self-contradictory.

    We don’t “allow” thoughts; they arise from reason necessarily, invited or uninvited, from our very nature as humans, and we may allow them to matter if they relate to something or we may reject them because they don’t.Mww

    Thinking and reasoning are carried out for a purpose. In general the purpose is to solve a problem. When we pass judgement, decide that the solution has been found, we no longer think about that subject. At this point, thoughts concerning that subject are no longer allowed. That's why people on this forum will defend a position to no end, refusing to even consider contrary arguments. They disallow further thought on that subject. So disallowing thoughts, closed mindedness, could be in some cases be related to a confidence in what one believes, or it might be related to some sort of fear of the unknown, and allowing thoughts, open mindedness, is related to a type of skepticism.

    From here, that which comes to one’s mind by habit is just a repetitive relation, or, which is the same thing, good ol’ experience.Mww

    If this were really the case, how would it differ from straight forward memory? It's not really the case though, because each situation that a person finds oneself in is different from the last, so we can't describe this as a "repetitive relation". When a phrase comes to one's mind in a habitual sort of way, it may be that the person recognizes a similarity in the present situation in relation to a remembered situation, but I don't even think that this the case. It's more like the words just come to mind in relation to each other, like some words just kind of go together, and the situation (being asked a question with specific words for example) just sort of triggers a particular grouping of words to come forward as a reply.

    I don’t know or care much about “the whole apparatus of speaking”, but I suspect it is mostly sheer mechanicsMww

    "Mechanics", do you really mean that?

    But there must be some part of the speech apparatus in which the thought of what to say transitions into being said, at least in general conversation, which would seem to be a lot like your walking muscles.....operating behind the conscious scenes and only comes to the fore upon defect or accident of some kind. Just as stumbling is not necessarily the fault of muscles, so too is speaking falsely not the fault of the language.Mww

    I would say that the thing operating behind the conscious scene is what is putting the words into the mind. The reply to the question just pops into the mind, as if hearing the question asks the unconscious to produce a reply. But the words have to pass in front of the conscious mind to be judged, before they are spoken. The conscious mind might just glance at them as they pass by, or it might prevent them from being spoken, and allow other options to come forward. So this is not like walking muscles at all. If it were, then each potential act of the walking muscles would have to pass in front of the conscious mind before being carried out.

    Positing that words come from a place still needs justification for the ways and means of them being there. Going to be pretty hard to tell ourselves something about that of which we are not consciously aware, except as a logical possibility. Which sometimes just has to be good enough.Mww

    There's no problem with the place where the words are, they are in the memory, just like other memories.. A person doesn't speak words that one has never heard before. But we are clearly not consciously aware of everything which is in the memory. What I suggested is that certain combinations of words come from the memory into the conscious mind, depending on the situation, in a sort of habitual way. But how can this really be habitual, when all the situations are different, and the combination of words which comes forward into the mind as ready to be spoken, is tailored for the situation already, when it comes into the conscious mind? How can an action be said to be habitual when it is different every time it occurs?
  • Mww
    1.4k
    We prevent things from coming into our mind all the time.Metaphysician Undercover

    What are your thoughts on mental imagery? We agree on a lot of stuff, however different the terminology. The major difference, is in the imagery, so if you reject the reality of it, we won’t ever get past being stuck in our own predications.
    ——————-

    If “we” have that much influence on “mind”, than we and mind must be separate entities. I reject that “I” am in any way distinct and separate from my mind; “I” am my mind. To say some natural activity that justifies and legitimizes what this “I” is, by means of the manifold of my thoughts, is willfully prevented by that very same “I” from thinking something less than that manifold, is ultimately a self-contradiction. This condition can be alleviated by granting reason as possessing sufficient power for preventing things from coming into the mind, in as much as reason prevents nothing except logical impossibilities from coming into the mind, as a consequence of the human methodological system.

    To say we can prevent a thing from coming into the mind presupposes the thing. The thing presupposed is at least a valid conception, otherwise we are preventing a thing that is nothing. But to conceive a thing makes explicit it has already entered the mind, for the faculties of mind in general are the sole arbiters of validity in conceptions.

    Such are two arguments refuting the assertion we can prevent things from coming into the mind. What we can do, and is more the case, is disregard a legitimate judgement. And THAT is what close-minded really means. But even close-minded is an insufficient notion, with respect to an irrational judgement, wherein a judgement is not disregarded, but simply incompatible with the empirical conditions from which it arises.

    Once you accept as the phrase you will say, and say it "…" you prevent other possibilities from coming to your mind.Metaphysician Undercover

    Can you honestly tell me you’ve had more than one thought at a time? I’d be very suspicious of an affirmative claim, insofar as it is generally accepted in the literature that human thought is singular and successive, rather multiple and co-existent. It follows that words representing thoughts and phrases representing groups of thoughts, and eventually representing cognitions, must also be singular and successive.
    ——————

    When we pass judgement, decide that the solution has been found, we no longer think about that subject.Metaphysician Undercover

    So you think that as soon as I, e.g., learn arithmetic propositions, I don’t think about them the next time I find myself in the presence of one? Even if I need no noticeable time in the accomplishment of any learned task, I am still required to relate something to something else, such the solution of the same problem is consistent. While it is true I may not need to judge some object in general as a particular object of sense more than once in order to know what it is, thereafter I still need to judge the consistency between subsequent observations of that object, and extant intuitions already understood as necessarily belonging to it, such that I will know it as the same object. Or same kind of object.

    That's why people on this forum will defend a position to no end, refusing to even consider contrary arguments.Metaphysician Undercover

    Oh, I'm guilty of that, I must say. Thing is, I can defend my position til the crowd of smelly bovines amble into the wooden containment structure, I mean, right down to the principles, which not one other person engaged here is ever wont to do. Even you, telling me all kinds of this and that, which I accept as given out of respect for your intelligence, still haven’t yet told me how it is done.——————

    From here, that which comes to one’s mind by habit is just a repetitive relation, or, which is the same thing, good ol’ experience.
    — Mww

    If this were really the case, how would it differ from straight forward memory?
    Metaphysician Undercover

    For the empirical psychologist or the cognitive neuroscientist, it isn’t. The epistemological speculative philosopher, on the other hand, dealing as he does in pure abstracts in a strictly representational system, calls “memory” the faculty of intuitions, in order to distinguish the origins of its contents, which is, coincidentally enough.....experience.

    It's not really the case though, because each situation that a person finds oneself in is different from the last, so we can't describe this as a "repetitive relation".Metaphysician Undercover

    Hmmmm....possibly correct; I should have been more precise in my terminology. If I see a red apple more than once, the observations of apples is repetitive and its relations hold, but if I’ve never seen a green apple, the concept “apple” fails in at least one of its relations, so technically I have no right to know the green thing as an apple. Nonetheless, if I observe this green thing on the ground under an apple tree, surrounded by red apples, similar extension and mass being given, I am safe in drawing a new relation, such that future observations will abide as repetitive relations.

    It's more like the words just come to mind in relation to each other, like some words just kind of go together, and the situation (being asked a question with specific words for example) just sort of triggers a particular grouping of words to come forward as a reply.Metaphysician Undercover

    This is pretty much what I’m saying, except I use concepts where you use words. Some concepts go together, and some situation will trigger concepts to come forward. Introspection resolves the “inner voice” reality, but we spend far less time introspecting than we do understanding the world’s relationship to us, which just means we use words less than we use the means to understand the world, through the representations of mental imagery.
    —————-

    What I suggested is that certain combinations of words come from the memory into the conscious mind, depending on the situation, in a sort of habitual way. But how can this really be habitual, when all the situations are different, and the combination of words which comes forward into the mind as ready to be spoken, is tailored for the situation already, when it comes into the conscious mind? How can an action be said to be habitual when it is different every time it occurs?Metaphysician Undercover

    Do you recognize how screwed the system would be, if it required absolute precision for each of its responses to any given situation? If “it was an accident” was the habitual response for tipping over a glass of water, wouldn’t it suffice for tipping over a glass of milk? Particular relations can hold in general experiences.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    6.7k
    If “we” have that much influence on “mind”, than we and mind must be separate entities. I reject that “I” am in any way distinct and separate from my mind; “I” am my mind. To say some natural activity that justifies and legitimizes what this “I” is, by means of the manifold of my thoughts, is willfully prevented by that very same “I” from thinking something less than that manifold, is ultimately a self-contradiction. This condition can be alleviated by granting reason as possessing sufficient power for preventing things from coming into the mind, in as much as reason prevents nothing except logical impossibilities from coming into the mind, as a consequence of the human methodological system.Mww

    This all depends on how one defines the terms. The point is that there must be some sort of divisions. If "mind" means "conscious mind", Then these things which come from the unconscious, like memory, feelings, and emotions, are separate from mind. If "mind" is supposed to include these, then where do we draw the line? You ask me about images, and sure they are real, but are they produced by the conscious mind, or the unconscious? Images come to me in my sleep when I am unconscious so if images are produced by the mind, the mind must extend to the unconscious. But is my finger part of my mind because it has feelings? I think "mind" is a somewhat useless term here because it is commonly used in so many different ways that it's really hard to know how someone is using it. Often people will equivocate, because it's very easy to do with a term like that, and the equivocation is not intentional.

    To say we can prevent a thing from coming into the mind presupposes the thing. The thing presupposed is at least a valid conception, otherwise we are preventing a thing that is nothing. But to conceive a thing makes explicit it has already entered the mind, for the faculties of mind in general are the sole arbiters of validity in conceptions.Mww

    This is not true at all. We commonly prevent things which we haven't even identified. We do this by limiting the possibilities. By doing one thing in the next minute I prevent a whole bunch of things from happening which were possible, but now impossible, which I haven't even identified. So it's completely untrue that the possibility has to come to my mind, as a valid conception, before I can prevent its occurrence. By choosing to do anything which excludes that possible occurrence, I prevent it without even knowing about it. Sure, the possible thing is "nothing", but that's what preventing something is, ensuring that it remains a nothing. But this does not mean that it didn't exist as a real possibility at some time. This is why a possibility is really nothing, but at the same time as being nothing, it has some sort of reality.

    Such are two arguments refuting the assertion we can prevent things from coming into the mind.Mww

    You argument is clearly contradictory. It assumes that something must exist before it can be prevented. But that's nonsensical contradiction, because if it exists, it hasn't been prevented.

    Can you honestly tell me you’ve had more than one thought at a time? I’d be very suspicious of an affirmative claim, insofar as it is generally accepted in the literature that human thought is singular and successive, rather multiple and co-existent. It follows that words representing thoughts and phrases representing groups of thoughts, and eventually representing cognitions, must also be singular and successive.Mww

    You don't seem to grasp the issue. Suppose I have an open question in my mind, "what will I do tomorrow morning?". As soon as an idea comes which I accept, and I decide that's what I will do tomorrow morning, then I stop thinking about it, and no more ideas for what I might do tomorrow morning come to my mind. I close my mind to that subject. It's not an issue of multiple ideas coming to my mind at the same time, it's a succession of ideas, one after the other, as possibilities to consider. But I put an end to that succession as soon as I decide, therefore no further possibilities come to my mind. For instance, if I decide right away, I have to go to work tomorrow, then I plan for my commute, etc., and don't let anymore alternative ideas of what I might do tomorrow morning come into my mind. Having a conclusion puts an end to any line of reasoning and allows one to move on to other thought..

    So you think that as soon as I, e.g., learn arithmetic propositions, I don’t think about them the next time I find myself in the presence of one?Mww

    What I mean is that you do not think about how to solve them now, you already know. So when you come across more, you simply act to solve them rather than thinking about how to solve them. Take my example of walking. The child has to learn how to walk, and puts much effort over many days, trying different things. I'm sure the child puts a whole lot of thought into learning how to walk. But when we get up to walk we don't put any of that thought into it, because we already know how to walk. The thinking goes into solving the problem, but once the problem is solved the procedure is carried out without thought.

    Even if I need no noticeable time in the accomplishment of any learned task, I am still required to relate something to something else, such the solution of the same problem is consistent.Mww

    When you say ten times ten is a hundred, what is the other thing you are relating it to? It's nothing other than a memory. If a new problem comes to your mind, then you'll have to relate it to something else in your memory to figure it out. But the solution to "the same problem" ought to come straight form your memory.

    Hmmmm....possibly correct; I should have been more precise in my terminology. If I see a red apple more than once, the observations of apples is repetitive and its relations hold, but if I’ve never seen a green apple, the concept “apple” fails in at least one of its relations, so technically I have no right to know the green thing as an apple. Nonetheless, if I observe this green thing on the ground under an apple tree, surrounded by red apples, similar extension and mass being given, I am safe in drawing a new relation, such that future observations will abide as repetitive relations.Mww

    Let's take this example of an apple. If someone asked me, when I see an apple, how do I know it is an apple, I would say I don't know, I just kind of recognize it as an apple. So I can start to describe an apple, different features, but this is not really how I know an apple is an apple, by naming these features I see in it. I just see an apple, and somehow I know it's an apple, without relating it to anything else, or comparing features. You might suggest that when I learned how to recognize an apple as an apple I had to learn these features. But I don't think I did, I just saw a number of apples and learned how to recognize an apple. So where's the concept apple? It's not in any features of an apple, it's simply the capacity to recognize an apple as an apple.

    Some concepts go together, and some situation will trigger concepts to come forward. Introspection resolves the “inner voice” reality, but we spend far less time introspecting than we do understanding the world’s relationship to us, which just means we use words less than we use the means to understand the world, through the representations of mental imagery.Mww

    This is just a feature of our society. The society we live in is very much science oriented, so we learn from a very young age, and develop the habit, of trying to understand the world. We are far less directed toward introspection, so we do not develop that habit.

    Do you recognize how screwed the system would be, if it required absolute precision for each of its responses to any given situation? If “it was an accident” was the habitual response for tipping over a glass of water, wouldn’t it suffice for tipping over a glass of milk? Particular relations can hold in general experiences.Mww

    I can't see what you're saying here. Are you saying we shouldn't cry over spilt milk?
  • Mww
    1.4k
    Such are two arguments refuting the assertion we can prevent things from coming into the mind.
    — Mww

    You argument is clearly contradictory. It assumes that something must exist before it can be prevented. But that's nonsensical contradiction, because if it exists, it hasn't been prevented.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    Yeahhhh-no, it isn’t. You are neglecting the domain of discourse which gives the proposition its validity. There are things that may indeed be prevented from coming into the mind, including the set of empirical things which don’t exist or the set of things that exist but have never been presented to us, and, the set of logically impossible things, but in those cases it is not WE who are preventing.

    Now, WE, in order to responsible for preventing something from coming into the mind, must have something presented to us, otherwise we have nothing to work with, and if we have nothing to work with it cannot be said anything occurred, in this case, the occurrence of prevention for which we are the cause. From this, it is clear it makes no difference what this something is that is necessary for us to work with, but the very minimal thing it can be, and still be an affect on the mind, is a conception. Obviously...I mean, if an object is given to us we cannot deny it has been given to us, which is the same as saying we cannot prevent it from coming into the mind. So all that’s left that can be an affect on the mind is a conception. But.....and here’s the kicker.....if there is a conception, the mind has already done something, has already been affected by itself, which immediately makes it impossible for the mind to be prevented from doing what it just did.

    We, as conscious, otherwise fully cognizant individual humans, cannot prevent things from coming into the mind. There is never a time the mind is empty of the representation of a thought/idea/notion a priori, or empty of the representation of an object a posteriori.

    BOOM!!!! Mic drop.
    ——————-

    We commonly prevent things which we haven't even identified. We do this by limiting the possibilities. By doing one thing (,) in the next minute I prevent a whole bunch of things from happening which were possible, but now impossible, which I haven't even identified.Metaphysician Undercover

    There is nothing given from a thought at t1 preventing anything at t2. The content of the thought at t1 makes no absolutely necessary restriction whatsoever on the content of the thought at t2. Ever lost track of what you were thinking, the next thought of which you are aware having nothing to do with the first?

    It is a categorical error of relation (cause and effect) and modality (existence-non existence) to say a thing has been prevented from entering the mind when no reality had ever been connected to it in the first place. Transcendental illusion writ large. If one happens to acknowledge such things, that is.

    If you’d said the content of a thought at t1 prevents any other content of that thought, I would have agreed.

    Metaphysical reductionism is your friend.
    —————-

    Can you honestly tell me you’ve had more than one thought at a time? I’d be very suspicious of an affirmative claim......
    — Mww

    You don't seem to grasp the issue. Suppose I have an open question in my mind, "what will I do tomorrow morning?". As soon as an idea comes which I accept, and I decide that's what I will do tomorrow morning, then I stop thinking about it, and no more ideas for what I might do tomorrow morning come to my mind. I close my mind to that subject.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    Issue grasping? So what...you have a bunch of ideas on a subject, one right after another, pick one, cease examining further ideas, stop thinking about the subject. Move on to the next. How is that any different overall than what I said?

    Is the problem.....“as soon as an idea comes”, in that they may be all come at once? You know that can’t be, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to tell them apart in order to give your acceptance a valid ground, such that closing the subject actually occurs. If you picked an idea that doesn’t fit, the subject may very well remain open.
    ——————-

    The thinking goes into solving the problem, but once the problem is solved the procedure is carried out without thought.Metaphysician Undercover

    Carried out without the same thinking that went into solving the problem, but not without thinking of some kind. Even if you’ve done the same problem repeatedly, since the solution of it, you still have to do something mentally in order to ensure the solution you give actually belongs to the problem given to you. Simple arithmetic isn’t that much of an issue, but the same principle applies to the problem of, say.....solving the problem of exiting the shower such that the floor doesn’t impact your face.
    ———————

    If someone asked me, when I see an apple, how do I know it is an apple, I would say I don't know, I just kind of recognize it as an apple. So I can start to describe an apple, different features, but this is not really how I know an apple is an apple, by naming these features I see in it. I just see an apple, and somehow I know it's an apple, without relating it to anything else, or comparing features.Metaphysician Undercover

    Hmmmm....yeah, radical skepticism. Reminds me of a quip by Russell: “....element of frivolous insincerity in any philosophy which pretends to accept it...” But just perceiving being good enough for knowing is exactly the opposite of skepticism. Tell ya what I do: I tell a thing what it is, that way, there’s no doubt about what I know it as. I do have to make sure what I know as an apple isn’t already known as a 2 x 4, but that’s easy enough.

    Been real.....
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    6.7k
    Now, WE, in order to responsible for preventing something from coming into the mind, must have something presented to us, otherwise we have nothing to work with, and if we have nothing to work with it cannot be said anything occurred, in this case, the occurrence of prevention for which we are the cause.Mww

    It is not the case that we have nothing to work with. We have something to work with, this is the subject, what is being thought about, what I described as the problem to be solved. Once the thinker believes oneself to have solved the problem, further thoughts about that problem, and alternative solutions are prevented. Are you denying this?

    From this, it is clear it makes no difference what this something is that is necessary for us to work with, but the very minimal thing it can be, and still be an affect on the mind, is a conception.Mww

    Are you saying that a problem to be solved is a conception? I don't think so. Conceiving the exact nature of the problem is half way to solving it.

    We, as conscious, otherwise fully cognizant individual humans, cannot prevent things from coming into the mind.Mww

    We already discussed this, meditation and such. You agreed that we can prevent words from coming into our minds. Saying that we can prevent things from coming into our minds does not imply that we can prevent everything from coming into the mind, to have an absolutely empty mind. That would be a ridiculous conclusion. How can you assert that we cannot prevent things from coming into our minds, yet agree that we can prevent words from coming into our minds, then insist that this is not contradictory?

    The content of the thought at t1 makes no absolutely necessary restriction whatsoever on the content of the thought at t2Mww

    Are you serious? Despite the fact that I do not know what you might mean by "absolutely necessary restriction", if it were true that the thoughts at t1 had no restriction whatsoever on the thoughts at t2, we'd have no control over our thoughts at all. The temporal progression of thoughts would be completely random.

    Issue grasping? So what...you have a bunch of ideas on a subject, one right after another, pick one, cease examining further ideas, stop thinking about the subject. Move on to the next. How is that any different overall than what I said?Mww

    What I say is different from what you say because I say that "picking one", deciding, choosing, is what allows one to stop thinking about the subject. You are arguing that a person cannot stop oneself from thinking about a subject. You are insisting that a person cannot prevent thoughts, because the thoughts would have to be present to the person's mind, in order for that person to prevent them. But that's contradictory nonsense. And it leaves you in the position that if an individual did happen to stop thinking about something, it would just be random chance. In fact, it appears like under your principles all thoughts would be random occurrences.

    Carried out without the same thinking that went into solving the problem, but not without thinking of some kind.Mww

    Where do you derive this necessity to talk about not thinking, in an absolute sense. I am surely not talking about a person doing something while not thinking at all. How would that even be possible? This is how we multi-task, things we do routinely we put on auto-pilot, and do them while we think about other things.

    Even if you’ve done the same problem repeatedly, since the solution of it, you still have to do something mentally in order to ensure the solution you give actually belongs to the problem given to you.Mww

    Yes, I agree you must do something mentally, but all you have to do is pass it in front of your conscious mind to make sure it looks right. That is the point, the person is not solving the problem at this point, just making sure that it looks right. So back to the example of speaking in the habitual way. When the words come to my mind, in response to a question, I simply make sure that they appear correct for the circumstances, and I speak them, without thinking about what they actually mean, or considering if they are the best words for that situation.
  • Mww
    1.4k
    Thinking and reasoning are carried out for a purpose. In general the purpose is to solve a problem.Metaphysician Undercover

    Now, WE, in order to responsible for preventing something from coming into the mind, must have something presented to us, otherwise we have nothing to work with, and if we have nothing to work with it cannot be said anything occurred, in this case, the occurrence of prevention for which we are the cause.
    — Mww

    It is not the case that we have nothing to work with. We have something to work with, this is the subject, what is being thought about, what I described as the problem to be solved. Once the thinker believes oneself to have solved the problem, further thoughts about that problem, and alternative solutions are prevented. Are you denying this?
    Metaphysician Undercover

    Yes, insofar as it is false that alternative solutions are necessarily prevented. There’s nothing about one solution to a problem sufficient to cause the impossibility of another. Once the thinker has solved the problem, further thoughts about that problem, and alternative solutions qua solutions, are just redundant, and if pursued could actually be irrational, illogical or even catastrophic. On the other hand, there’s nothing preventing further thought on an alternative solution facilitating a solution of greater benefit. But even a greater benefit is not a necessity in itself. Nahhhhh.....not thinking an alternative solution is not the prevention of it; not thinking an alternative solution is merely the lack of causality for it.

    And I question the relevance. When we’re awake and aware, we always have something to work with, because it is impossible to prevent, which has been my position all along. The questionable relevance arises from the fact that the something we always have to work with is not always a problem to be solved. Problem solving is the domain of empirical psychology/anthropology, where the analysis of words and concepts is the domain of pure reason, or, speculative epistemology.

    Nails are a given; I wish to know all there is to know about their relationship to hammers.
    ———————

    From this, it is clear it makes no difference what this something is that is necessary for us to work with, but the very minimal thing it can be, and still be an affect on the mind, is a conception.
    — Mww

    Are you saying that a problem to be solved is a conception? I don't think so. Conceiving the exact nature of the problem is half way to solving it.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    Me: something necessary; minimal; conception;
    You: problem, conception, solution;

    How in the hell am I suppose to relate those? I never said anything about a problem, or anything that could relate to a problem.

    What is a problem if not a separation between what is given and what is known. Conceiving the exact nature of a problem is understanding the synthesis of its fundamental a priori representations, and judging that relation to experience. So no, a problem to be solved is not a conception alone, but rather, it is reason in conflict with itself, temporarily if subsequently solved without contradiction, other than temporarily if solved with contradictions, hence irrationally, or, permanently, if unsolved because of insufficient rational predicates.
    —————

    The content of the thought at t1 makes no absolutely necessary restriction whatsoever on the content of the thought at t2
    — Mww

    Are you serious? Despite the fact that I do not know what you might mean by "absolutely necessary restriction", if it were true that the thoughts at t1 had no restriction whatsoever on the thoughts at t2, we'd have no control over our thoughts at all. The temporal progression of thoughts would be completely random.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    Absolutely necessary is one of two principles of law, the other being universality. Reason, and by association, human thought, is not law-abiding, which is sufficient reason to justify the proposition that thought at t1 does not legislate thought at t2. Thought may be random, and often is, but it stands just as much chance of being pertinent, or logically related, to its antecedent.
    ——————

    Issue grasping? So what...you have a bunch of ideas on a subject, one right after another, pick one, cease examining further ideas, stop thinking about the subject. Move on to the next. How is that any different overall than what I said?
    — Mww

    What I say is different from what you say because I say that "picking one", deciding, choosing, is what allows one to stop thinking about the subject. You are arguing that a person cannot stop oneself from thinking about a subject.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    Perfect example of conflating the particular with the general. It is quite obvious one may indeed stop paying attention to any given particular subject for any given reason. But an aware, otherwise cognizant thinker cannot not think about something, so in effect never stops thinking about some subject in general.

    Keyword....overall.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but what we’re conventionally calling the subject is actually the object. That which is thought about is the object of thought, the subject being that to which the thought belongs, the thinker, represented by “I”, or other grammatically coherent personal pronouns. The proper form of all human thought is “I think (__x___), x being the object to which the subject directs himself. Such is the only reasonable way to account for subjectivity, even if it is only an appearance.
    —————-

    Even if you’ve done the same problem repeatedly, since the solution of it, you still have to do something mentally in order to ensure the solution you give actually belongs to the problem given to you.
    — Mww

    Yes, I agree you must do something mentally, but all you have to do is pass it in front of your conscious mind to make sure it looks right. That is the point, the person is not solving the problem at this point, just making sure that it looks right.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    And what would that be, except thinking? Is there something else we do mentally, such that knowledge is possible from it? Feelings don’t count here; they are not cognitions, and we’re not interested in whether or not feelings “look right”.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    6.7k
    Yes, insofar as it is false that alternative solutions are necessarily prevented.Mww

    But it's not false. Alternative solutions are prevented, just like in my analogy, when an action is taken alternative possibilities, which as possibilities, are just as real as the one decided upon, are prevented from occurring. That's how we work to avoid bad situations. We take action to prevent the possibility from materializing. By ceasing to give the problem further consideration we prevent the possibility of alternative solutions from materializing.

    Once the thinker has solved the problem, further thoughts about that problem, and alternative solutions qua solutions, are just redundant, and if pursued could actually be irrational, illogical or even catastrophic.Mww

    Right, the thinker sees thinking about that subject as irrational and avoids thinking about it. Therefore thoughts on the subject are prevented. Where's the problem for you? When a person apprehends a specific course of thought as irrational, it is avoided. Why do you insist that this is not a case of preventing those thoughts? In the analogy, we apprehend a bad situation as possible, and we act to avoid it. Here, irrational thinking is apprehended as a bad situation, and we act to avoid it. That bad situation consists of irrational thoughts, and those thoughts are avoided. Therefore the irrational thoughts are prevented from occurring.

    On the other hand, there’s nothing preventing further thought on an alternative solution facilitating a solution of greater benefit. But even a greater benefit is not a necessity in itself. Nahhhhh.....not thinking an alternative solution is not the prevention of it; not thinking an alternative solution is merely the lack of causality for it.Mww

    I agree that there is nothing to prevent these thoughts from occurring at a later time, if the thinker changes one's mind, but for the time being, the thoughts are prevented from occurring. Furthermore, the later thoughts would not be exactly the same thoughts anyway, being triggered by new information or some such thing.

    With respect to your determination of "lack of causality", consider my analogy. We are on course for a bad situation. Preventing that situation requires action, causality. The bad situation would happen, following from the present situation without any causality. The issue is that the continuity of the current situation, as understood by the principles of physics, inertia, momentum, will continue with no cause required.

    Thoughts are not different. The thinker is actively engaged in thinking about something. If this particular activity, thinking on this specific subject, continues indefinitely it will develop into a bad situation, severe anxiety, or some sort of incapacitating fear of the impossibility of deciding. So the thinker puts an end to it by preventing this type of thought from occurring anymore. Therefore stopping the current situation, i.e. stopping from thinking about the specific subject, is causation, as defined by the principles of physics. And so there must be an act of causality and this prevents the continuity of further thought on the subject.

    And I question the relevance. When we’re awake and aware, we always have something to work with, because it is impossible to prevent, which has been my position all along. The questionable relevance arises from the fact that the something we always have to work with is not always a problem to be solved. Problem solving is the domain of empirical psychology/anthropology, where the analysis of words and concepts is the domain of pure reason, or, speculative epistemology.Mww

    I agree with this, we cannot prevent thoughts in an absolute sense. So I grant you this principle, that there is always something there, "something to work with". If you agree, we can call this "content", or "subject matter". I like the latter because it implies a sot of "matter" which is proper to the individual human "subject".

    Would you agree that this "subject matter" is what is derived from the unconscious, and taken by the conscious mind to be worked with? As required for thinking, it is temporally prior to the conscious act of thinking, and therefore the conscious mind has no capacity for causal impact on this subject matter. However, if we adhere to the Aristotelian concept of "matter", we might allow that this subject matter has no necessity of any particular form, though it necessarily has "form". There is no particular form which is proper to it. So it might come to the mind in any "form", a problem, a word, a concept, etc., it still must come to the mind as a form.

    However, since the "form" is what the conscious mind works with, and the conscious mind has the capacity to change the form which the subject matter has, through imposing the causal limitations described above, the subject matter itself has no inherent capacity to restrict the conscious mind. So in spite of the fact that we tend to think that things come to the conscious mind from the unconscious systems, and these things constitute the content of the thought, as imposing on the person, what that person will think about, this is actually false, because the conscious mind will actually impose the form (the 'whatness') on to that subject matter, through the imposition of the restrictions described. This is how we can say that the will is free.

    But the will is not free in an absolute sense. If we say that when the content comes to the conscious mind it necessarily has form, adhering to Aristotelian metaphysics which dictate that there is no such thing as pure matter, prime matter, then the subject matter necessarily has some sort of form, but not any particular form of necessity. Then the possibilities for the thinker would be determined by that form which the content has when presented to the conscious mind. The thinker is therefore restricted in the capacity to prevent thoughts which are already dictated by that prior form.

    Me: something necessary; minimal; conception;
    You: problem, conception, solution;

    How in the hell am I suppose to relate those? I never said anything about a problem, or anything that could relate to a problem.

    What is a problem if not a separation between what is given and what is known. Conceiving the exact nature of a problem is understanding the synthesis of its fundamental a priori representations, and judging that relation to experience. So no, a problem to be solved is not a conception alone, but rather, it is reason in conflict with itself, temporarily if subsequently solved without contradiction, other than temporarily if solved with contradictions, hence irrationally, or, permanently, if unsolved because of insufficient rational predicates.
    Mww

    You appear to be claiming that the subject matter, the content which comes to the conscious mind, from the unconscious, is necessarily a "conception", and this is what I dispute. Yes, the content comes to the mind as subject matter with a form, but the form is the form of a particular, in the case of "subject matter". So this is what separates it from a "conception", as a conception is known as the form of a universal. It is only the subject matter that is worked with by the conscious mind, that has the nature of a universal, conception. Therefore we have a necessary separation here, the forms (abstractions) which the conscious mind is applying, and the subject matter which the conscious mind is applying it to. The subject matter already has a particular form, and the conscious mind is working with universal forms, so there is an incompatibility here, a necessary separation between the two.

    You are not upholding this necessary separation, to claim that anything within the conscious mind must be a conception. But we must maintain this separation to properly account for the nature of temporal existence, and the fact that new material, material from the particular circumstances, which must be dealt with, is continually coming into the conscious mind. Relating the new subject matter, to the already existing universal forms, or conceptions, is what is called abstraction. So, "a problem" is exactly as you describe it "a separation between what is given and what is known". And since that separation is very real, we need to respect the reality of it, within the conscious mind. So within the conscious mind there is both "what is given", subject matter with a particular form, and "what is known", conceptions, as universal forms.

    This is not "reason in conflict with itself", it is two incompatible aspects of reason. But it is the essence of reason, because with out these two distinct aspects there would be no need for any reasoning whatsoever. The conscious mind must reconcile the particularities of the present situation, given to it as subject matter, with the universal conceptions it holds within, produced from prior processing of situations.

    Therefore the conceptions, being extensions of past situations, are simply memories. And the memories are held within the brain and presented to the conscious mind as representations of what has occurred, images, and symbols. Primitive conceptions exist as images which are recreated, requiring extensive brain power, while advanced conceptions exist as symbols which have a known representation, reducing the required brain power.

    Absolutely necessary is one of two principles of law, the other being universality. Reason, and by association, human thought, is not law-abiding, which is sufficient reason to justify the proposition that thought at t1 does not legislate thought at t2. Thought may be random, and often is, but it stands just as much chance of being pertinent, or logically related, to its antecedent.
    ——————
    Mww

    I disagree, thought cannot be random. That is contradictory. If one's mind is changing at every moment of passing time (random thought), this cannot be called "thought". As describe at the beginning of this post, breaking up a line of thought, creating a discontinuity, requires causation, under accepted principles of physics. Therefore thought is naturally continuous, and breaking it up with discontinuity (randomness) requires acts of causation.

    Absolutely necessary is one of two principles of law, the other being universality. Reason, and by association, human thought, is not law-abiding, which is sufficient reason to justify the proposition that thought at t1 does not legislate thought at t2. Thought may be random, and often is, but it stands just as much chance of being pertinent, or logically related, to its antecedent.Mww

    "Reason" by definition is law abiding.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but what we’re conventionally calling the subject is actually the object. That which is thought about is the object of thought, the subject being that to which the thought belongs, the thinker, represented by “I”, or other grammatically coherent personal pronouns. The proper form of all human thought is “I think (__x___), x being the object to which the subject directs himself. Such is the only reasonable way to account for subjectivity, even if it is only an appearance.Mww

    Can you see the separation between the particular and the universal, which I described above? The particular we might call "the object" of thought, and the universal we might call 'the subject" of thought. All thought must consist of both, as the mind operates with the two. However, if we take the Aristotelian principles of matter and form, the role of each of these two is inverted between the object of thought, and the subject of thought. The universal, being a conception, is essentially a form, and the material aspect is accidental to it, this is the subject. The object, being the peculiarities of the particular situation, provides the material aspect. to the thinker.

    And what would that be, except thinking? Is there something else we do mentally, such that knowledge is possible from it? Feelings don’t count here; they are not cognitions, and we’re not interested in whether or not feelings “look right”.Mww

    I think it is necessary to distinguish the different mental activities. The two fundamental ones, described above, are receiving present information, and retrieving past information. That they are fundamentally separate, I believe, is evident from the activity of dreaming. There is a third fundamentally different mental activity which is judgement. The nature of judgement (what I described as preventing unwanted thoughts) is what we have been disagreeing on.
  • Mww
    1.4k


    Took some extra time with this one, dija? Worthy dialecticians are so awful hard to find, n’est ce pas?

    And away we go.......
    ——————-

    You (a): Once the thinker believes oneself to have solved the problem, further thoughts about that problem, and alternative solutions are prevented. Are you denying this?

    Me: Yes, insofar as it is false that alternative solutions are necessarily prevented.

    You (b): But it's not false. Alternative solutions are prevented (...) when an action is taken alternative possibilities (...) are prevented from occurring.

    Ok, we have a temporal disconnect here. (a) and (b) are different times. Your (b) is correct: the time of action taken, is the time of the thought of the solution, and because we have but one thought at a time, all other thoughts, as alternative solutions, are prevented therefrom. However, your (a), “once believed to have solved”, the ground of my initial response, is post hoc, looking back to the time of the thought of the solution. From his post-solution time, he can easily think another solution, which means it is false further solutions are prevented. The one and only time in which no other and all alternative solutions is prevented, is the time of the thought of a solution. This principle applies for any number of successive thoughts, for each and every thought can be a solution in itself.

    From the day before......
    If you’d said the content of a thought at t1 prevents any other content of that thought, I would have agreed.Mww
    ......which is saying the same thing as your (b) here today.

    Shall we call it a draw?
    ——————-

    I agree with this, we cannot prevent thoughts in an absolute sense. (...). If you agree, we can call this "content", or "subject matter". I like the latter because it implies a sort of "matter" which is proper to the individual human "subject".

    Would you agree that this "subject matter" is what is derived from the unconscious, and taken by the conscious mind to be worked with?
    Metaphysician Undercover

    Yes, as long as we are allowed our choice. I would prefer content, because reason considers the individual self as a subject, thus will try to convince him the notion “subject matter” pertains to the content of his self rather than the contents of his mental activities. Minor point, to be sure, but in speculative metaphysics, everything in its place and nothing left out of place.

    That aside, content or subject matter arises from unconscious and is worked with by the conscious, yes.
    ——————

    Beginning at....
    However, if we adhere to the Aristotelian concept of "matter"Metaphysician Undercover
    ....well done indeed. Each line has something which can be said about it, but taking just a few.....

    we might allow that this subject matter has no necessity of any particular form, though it necessarily has "form". There is no particular form which is proper to it. So it might come to the mind in any "form", a problem, a word, a concept, etc., it still must come to the mind as a form.Metaphysician Undercover

    I should have given your comment on conscious vs unconscious parts of mind, and the general uselessness of the conception itself, more attention. It is relevant now, because you brought up coming to the mind, and we never agreed on what that really means. In the Kantian sense, form is a priori, hence derived from the unconscious, and from that the fun, and rampant confusion, really begins......

    Physical objects do have proper form, which is the particular arrangement of its matter. So....“subject matter” as mere sense data alone, does come from the unconscious part of mind in a particular form, but is yet unknowable to the conscious mind. This kind of form is called intuition, by which we represent to ourselves the arrangement of the matter of a thing as it is perceived. This is the fur, claws, whiskers, etc., thought to belong to some yet unnamed thing, which will eventually become conceived as some kind or another, of “cat”.

    Such is the case for real subject matter, that is, data given to sensibility by physical things. But there is the kind of “subject matter” not given directly from matter, but is still given from thinking a particular arrangement of it. In this way, we conceive a possible object with the form of board, from the sense data of a tree.

    .........
    Would you agree that this "subject matter" is what is derived from the unconscious, and taken by the conscious mind to be worked with? As required for thinking, it is temporally prior to the conscious act of thinking......

    (Not exactly. Forms from intuition and appearances from sensibility are the subject matter of the unconscious faculty of imagination, the synthesis of which gives us phenomena. So yes....forms are required for thinking, are temporally prior to conscious thinking, but forms are not taken up to be worked with by the conscious mind. Judgement and cognition are operatives in the conscious thought, forms being left far behind in the process.)

    .......and therefore the conscious mind has no capacity for causal impact on this subject matter....

    (Agreed. The conscious part of the mind already has its conditions set. It only remains for judgement to conform to or conflict with experience.)

    .....However, if we adhere to the Aristotelian concept of "matter", we might allow that this subject matter has no necessity of any particular form, though it necessarily has "form". There is no particular form which is proper to it. So it might come to the mind in any "form", a problem, a word, a concept, etc., it still must come to the mind as a form.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    I’m ok with Aristotle in some places, particularly the categories, but not here, with respect to forms. But then, I’m not so learned in his metaphysics, so I must excuse myself.
    ————————

    However, since the "form" is what the conscious mind works with.....

    (No, it isn’t. The conscious mind works with cognition. Imagination works with forms.

    .......and the conscious mind has the capacity to change the form which the subject matter has.....

    (No, it can’t. At best, the conscious mind can misjudge the phenomenon given to it by the unconscious.)

    ...... through imposing the causal limitations described above, the subject matter itself has no inherent capacity to restrict the conscious mind.....

    (True, but not for those reasons)

    ...........So in spite of the fact that we tend to think that things come to the conscious mind from the unconscious systems,.....

    (Agreed, they cannot arrive in the conscious mind any other way than through the antecedent unconscious. Nothing whatsoever comes immediately into the conscious mind, but is always conditioned by the unconscious.)

    ...............and these things constitute the content of the thought, as imposing on the person, what that person will think about,.....

    (True)

    ......this is actually false,....

    (Gasp)

    .......because the conscious mind will actually impose the form (the 'whatness') on to that subject matter, through the imposition of the restrictions described. This is how we can say that the will is free.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    (Errr....not no, but oh HELL no!!! Moral philosophy has nothing to do with speculative epistemology)
    ———————

    You appear to be claiming that the subject matter, the content which comes to the conscious mind, from the unconscious, is necessarily a "conception", and this is what I dispute.Metaphysician Undercover

    Good. As well you should. The subject matter in the conscious mind is not conception alone, which is what I said. The subject matter of the conscious mind is cognition.

    The rest of that section is also very good, well-written and thoughtful. I don’t agree with much of it, but to go through it item by item, in order to refute it successfully (from my point of view) is just too much. At the end of it, you wrote:

    So within the conscious mind there is both "what is given", subject matter with a particular form, and "what is known", conceptions, as universal forms.Metaphysician Undercover

    Within the conscious mind is subject matter, yes, but that subject matter is what is known, or possibly known. Experience or possible experience. I don’t think the human cognitive system can be divided as you think it to be. Divided yes, conscious and unconscious, but both parts are equally necessary and the system cannot function without both, at least under empirical conditions. You said as much as well.
    ——————

    Lots of good stuff. Sorry it took me so long to respond, and sorry I didn’t get to everything.
  • Mww
    1.4k
    "Reason" by definition is law abiding.Metaphysician Undercover

    If that were the case, irrationality would be impossible. We would never make a mistake in judgement if all understandings were predicated on necessity and universality. The principle of induction forbids those principles from conditioning experience, and is sufficient reason for asserting the tentative nature of empirical knowledge.

    Pure logic is law abiding, which makes mathematics law abiding. Transcendental speculative metaphysics is grounded in logic merely as the means to exemplify its ideal, which the human can never attain.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    6.7k
    Your (b) is correct: the time of action taken, is the time of the thought of the solution, and because we have but one thought at a time, all other thoughts, as alternative solutions, are prevented therefrom.Mww

    OK, we're starting to have better understanding of each other, and better agreement.


    From his post-solution time, he can easily think another solution, which means it is false further solutions are prevented.Mww

    He can think of another solution, but he doesn't because he believes the problem has been solved. Therefore these thoughts (looking for other solutions) are prevented. Please don't think of this as a situation of necessity, because we are talking about free willing beings. Yes, "he can easily think of another solution", but he doesn't because his mind is made up by the present solution. Any person can change one's own mind, at any time, I mentioned this, but so long as the mind is made up, the thoughts are prevented.

    The one and only time in which no other and all alternative solutions is prevented, is the time of the thought of a solution. This principle applies for any number of successive thoughts, for each and every thought can be a solution in itself.Mww

    It's not "the one and only time", because it's an extended period of time. So long as the person has made the decision, and adheres to the decision, the thoughts are prevented, just like we prevent thoughts in meditation. Of course it is possible that at some future time the person will reconsider, and at that time allow those thoughts, but that's irrelevant to the fact that during that period of time (no matter how long it is), when the thoughts were prevented, they were being prevented. Delaying the occurrence of something is a matter of preventing it for a period of time. While it is being prevented it is being prevented, but when it is no longer prevented it is no longer prevented. Nothing about the concept of prevention implies that prevention must be eternal. It refers to the here and now; I prevented myself from falling down the stairs many times when I used the stairs, but maybe not next time.

    I should have given your comment on conscious vs unconscious parts of mind, and the general uselessness of the conception itself, more attention. It is relevant now, because you brought up coming to the mind, and we never agreed on what that really means. In the Kantian sense, form is a priori, hence derived from the unconscious, and from that the fun, and rampant confusion, really begins......Mww

    I'm wary of the Kantian use of "form", because in the Aristotelian sense "form" is strictly actual, while Kant seemed to allow "form" to be possibility. So when we talk about what is derived from the unconscious, if this is understood as possibilities for thought, then we must place it in the category of matter rather than form, if we adhere to Aristotelian terms. However, as you state below, all these possibilities must be present as particular forms. So even if it is categorized as matter, subject matter, or possibilities for thought, it still must have some type of form.

    Physical objects do have proper form, which is the particular arrangement of its matter. So....“subject matter” as mere sense data alone, does come from the unconscious part of mind in a particular form, but is yet unknowable to the conscious mind. This kind of form is called intuition, by which we represent to ourselves the arrangement of the matter of a thing as it is perceived. This is the fur, claws, whiskers, etc., thought to belong to some yet unnamed thing, which will eventually become conceived as some kind or another, of “cat”.Mww

    So I'm in agreement with this paragraph.

    Forms from intuition and appearances from sensibility are the subject matter of the unconscious faculty of imagination, the synthesis of which gives us phenomena.Mww

    I wouldn't say this though. The faculty of imagination gives us forms, as images, what you call phenomena. If that faculty works with both, forms from intuition, and appearances from sensation, I would say that only one of these is the "subject matter". Since we have a workable form/matter distinction, and we say that the imagination gets forms from intuition, then we ought to say that it gets subject matter from sensation, and synthesis of the two is phenomena.

    An important point though, is that the subject matter, the appearances from sensibility, must already have forms of their own, the particular forms mentioned above. So even within this unconscious faculty of imagination, there must be something (a faculty) which establishes compatibility or consistency between the forms from intuition and the forms from sensibility (which are the material aspect, as the possibility of phenomena, contrary to Kant), in order that phenomena be intelligible. There is a fundamental difference between the two types of forms, universal and particular, so this faculty must focus on, and work with the matter from sensation, as providing the possibility of phenomena. The particular forms are reduced to possibility because they are fundamentally incompatible with the universal forms from intuition.

    The conscious mind works with. Imagination works with forms.Mww

    I think we have a lapse in terminology here. I would understand "cognition" as what the mind does, but we still have the issue of what it is working with when it is engaged in that activity, the content. "Form" historically has a wider range of applicability, as ideas and concepts, in the sense of "formulae".

    Moral philosophy has nothing to do with speculative epistemology)Mww

    Wouldn't you be surprised! Do you see the problem we've had with this issue of preventing thoughts? If you'd only release your idea of necessity, and approach this from the perspective of a free willing human being with the capacity to choose, that being the approach of moral philosophy, rather than the approach of some epistemological necessity, perhaps the reality would reveal itself to you. But you have created that wall of incompatibility between your intuitive forms of necessity, and the forms of the particulars which must be understood as possibilities. It is only moral philosophy which gives us a true understanding of possibility, and this is the only way to understand the particular. And the particular does enter the mind, as is evident in the case of individual words. Therefore the existence of a word, as a particular, must be understood by the terms of moral philosophy, the terms of possibility.

    Within the conscious mind is subject matter, yes, but that subject matter is what is known, or possibly known. Experience or possible experience.Mww

    I don't think you are adequately grasping the role of the possible. There are two distinct roles for "the actual". There is the actual which is activity within, creating forms of intuition, knowledge, etc.. And, there is the actual which is activity outside the individual subject, creating the material world of objects. The two types of activity need to be understood as distinct, as I described, because the internal forms are universal principles, while the forms external to me are individuals, particulars. Since we cannot establish compatibility between these two types of activity, within and without, we look at all the external activity as possibility. Then we have the basis for a dichotomy. But the dichotomy doesn't work, because it's not clear cut. Judgement and decision are how we impose activity onto the external possibility, while indecisiveness and skepticism is how possibility seeps into the internal activity. So we cannot hold such a dichotomy. The real dichotomy it is far more complex.


    If that were the case, irrationality would be impossible. We would never make a mistake in judgement if all understandings were predicated on necessity and universality.Mww

    Why do you say that? Failing to abide by the law is a real possibility. What you don't seem to realize is that law does not produce necessity, laws are produced out of some necessity. This is why it is far better to approach this subject from the precepts of moral philosophy, rather than to approach it as a speculative epistemology. From moral philosophy, the law says what one ought to do, but the law does not provide the necessity to ensure that what ought to be done is what is actually done. Moral philosophy is the only philosophy which provides us with real principles to give us a real understanding of possibility.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    6.7k
    In the Kantian sense, form is a priori, hence derived from the unconscious, and from that the fun, and rampant confusion, really begins......Mww

    Here's another thing to consider Mww. The precise separation between passive (possible) intellect, and active (agent) intellect, has never been resolved. Logic has determined the need to assume both of these as distinct categories, but no one has been able to adequately demonstrate which things are property of each, because all things are a combination of both (matter/form). This was a fundamental issue in the nominalist/realist debate. Some wanted to deny material elements within the mind, attempting to maintain the pure immateriality of the human mind. But then the passive aspect of the intellect needs to be accounted for by some sort of passive element which is other than matter. And if matter (as passive intellect) is proper to the individual mind, then the active intellect must be something external to human minds, to maintain the separation between the two. It remains an unresolved issue as to how the passive intellect and active intellect might both be features of one human mind.

    On the other hand, one might characterize the same division as a priori/a posteriori like Kant. The problem is that we create these categories of separation as a means for analysis, because such a division is "necessary" (in the sense of needed for understanding the operations of the mind), when we do not have adequate principles to define the categories; "and rampant confusion, really begins...". So a philosopher might say "these are the categories required for analysis", without paying due respect to the fact that everything to be categorized already contains aspects of both categories. So there is confusion That's why I propose we go to a different form of analysis, a sort of analysis where we look at the things to be categorized as essentially of one category, with accidents of the other category, in an attempt to avoid the confusion.
  • Mww
    1.4k
    From his post-solution time, he can easily think another solution, which means it is false further solutions are prevented.
    — Mww

    He can think of another solution, but he doesn't because he believes the problem has been solved. Therefore these thoughts (looking for other solutions) are prevented.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    It has already been agreed, that any content of a thought prevents all other content for that thought. This is a necessary prevention, because its negation is impossible. If the thinker doesn’t think something at some time, it is a contingent prevention, for the impossibility of a thought is not given merely from the not having of it, but from the having of a different one.
    ——————

    Of course it is possible that at some future time the person will reconsider, and at that time allow those thoughtsMetaphysician Undercover

    Yep. That’s the way I see it.
    ——————

    I'm wary of the Kantian use of "form", because in the Aristotelian sense "form" is strictly actual, while Kant seemed to allow "form" to be possibility.Metaphysician Undercover

    Not sure of any benefit in mixing the two greatest thinkers known to man. I prefer Kant maybe for no other reason than he operates from a period in time with 1000 years of advancement in knowledge beyond the time of Aristotle. Everything evolves, given sufficient stimuli, the greatest of which is, of course, time itself

    Not sure how you arrive at form as possibility in a Kantian sense. Seems to me the idea always refers to something definitive, re: space and time are the forms of all sensible intuition; categories are the forms of all experience, and so on.

    I suppose you’re of the mind that form belongs outside the mind, thus forms are actual because that to which they belong are themselves actual. Which is fine, except we don’t really care about the actuality of things, such being presupposed when we want to know what the thing is. In addition, maybe you’re of the mind that the Kantian ding an sich, being unknowable, makes its form merely possible. In a representational cognitive system, however, the ding an sich doesn’t matter.

    So when we talk about what is derived from the unconscious, if this is understood as possibilities for thought, then we must place it in the category of matter rather than form, if we adhere to Aristotelian terms.Metaphysician Undercover

    If you say so. Like I said, I’m not that well-versed in Greek thinking. In Kant, though....two things: matter is not a category, and, possibility for thought does not require matter, if the thoughts are a priori, re: space, time, causality, existence, geometry, etc. Empirical thought, on the other hand, requires both matter and form.
    ——————-

    Forms from intuition and appearances from sensibility are the subject matter of the unconscious faculty of imagination, the synthesis of which gives us phenomena.
    — Mww

    I wouldn't say this though. The faculty of imagination gives us forms, as images, what you call phenomena. If that faculty works with both, forms from intuition, and appearances from sensation, I would say that only one of these is the "subject matter". Since we have a workable form/matter distinction, and we say that the imagination gets forms from intuition, then we ought to say that it gets subject matter from sensation, and synthesis of the two is phenomena.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    No, I would guess you wouldn’t, favoring Aristotle as you seem to do. But to put things in order...imagination gives us phenomena, but they are not images, because this occurs in the unconscious part of the mind and we are always aware of our mental images.

    Matter is nothing but extension in space, and sensation merely represents such extension as it appears to the sense organs. Intuition is the origin of a pattern into which the appearance fits, and is given from previous experience. Whether or not the form matches the perception, and the phenomenon is valid is irrelevant, because it is unconscious subject matter. If the phenomenon subsequently turns out to conform to its experience we learn nothing; if it turns out to contradict all experience we know we made a mistake somewhere, or, we learn something new about the object of our perception.

    That being said, you are correct in that the synthesis of the two is phenomena. It must be kept in mind, that there is no matter, per se, except external to us. Internal to us is merely representation of matter. It follows “subject matter” can attributed to any of the individual faculties for which there is an object derived from it, therefore “subject matter” of the unconscious part of the mind in general, is phenomena. The subject matter of the faculty of sensibility is represented as appearance; the subject matter of the faculty of intuition is the form of the appearance.
    ———————

    An important point though, is that the subject matter, the appearances from sensibility, must already have forms of their ownMetaphysician Undercover

    As history would have it, yes. However, in order to theorize on the possibility and truth of a priori cognitions in general, as the means to explain the certainty of mathematics in particular, rather than just take such certainty for granted, the entire historical methodology for the understanding the real world needed a paradigmatic overhaul. And the most radical part of the overhaul, was the speculation that it is us that assigns form to objects, not, as history warrants, that objects come to us with their forms included.

    So even within this unconscious faculty of imagination, there must be something (a faculty) which establishes compatibility or consistency between the forms from intuition and the forms from sensibility (which are the material aspect, as the possibility of phenomena, contrary to Kant)Metaphysician Undercover

    It isn’t the consistency between the forms of intuition and the forms of sensibility, it is the consistency between the forms of intuition and the matter of sensibility, and the consistency is determined by the categories intrinsic to understanding, not imagination. In the quest for knowledge in concreto, we gain nothing from imaging a world, but from understanding the affect it has on us.
    ——————

    Within the conscious mind is subject matter, yes, but that subject matter is what is known, or possibly known. Experience or possible experience.
    — Mww

    I don't think you are adequately grasping the role of the possible......

    (Perhaps not, as you envision it. From where I sit, my grasp is doing ok)

    .........There are two distinct roles for "the actual". There is the actual which is activity within, creating forms of intuition, knowledge, etc.. And, there is the actual which is activity outside the individual subject, creating the material world of objects. The two types of activity need to be understood as distinct.....

    (Granted. Actual a priori and actual a posteriori. Both from the principle of cause and effect. Done deal.)

    ............as I described, because the internal forms are universal principles, while the forms external to me are individuals, particulars. Since we cannot establish compatibility between these two types of activity, within and without,.....

    (But we can; there is compatibility or there is not. Either of which is an establishment with respect to ontological disparity)

    ........we look at all the external activity as possibility.....

    (Yeah, I guess, sorta. The external activity is given, so not a possibility, but knowledge of what the external activity entails, is possibility. In effect, what we are trying to establish is not compatibility, but intelligibility, insofar as the external activity could be anything at all, but in order for us to comprehend it, it absolutely must at the very least be logically possible, or......intelligible.)

    ........Then we have the basis for a dichotomy. But the dichotomy doesn't work, because it's not clear cut....

    (Isn’t external/internal clear cut?)

    ............Judgement and decision are how we impose activity onto the external possibility, while indecisiveness and skepticism is how possibility seeps into the internal activity. So we cannot hold such a dichotomy.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    (I take “imposing activity onto the external possibility” to mean we tell Nature what it is rather than Nature telling us, to which I agree. Skepticism just indicates our impositions on Nature cannot be proven with apodeictic certainty, with which I also agree. So we cannot hold such dichotomy just means it doesn’t do us any good to be so skeptical we falsify every judgement we ever made. Actually, this is the primary justification for the paradigm shift in epistemological metaphysics, in that, e.g., to be skeptical of, or merely hold an opinion on, the certainty of mathematics is absurd. Recognition of the absurdity, rather than adhering to the skepticism of the possibility, is the ground for the relative truth of all synthetic judgements, of which the most common to humanity is experience itself.)
    ————-

    If that were the case, irrationality would be impossible. We would never make a mistake in judgement if all understandings were predicated on necessity and universality.
    — Mww

    Why do you say that? Failing to abide by the law is a real possibility. What you don't seem to realize is that law does not produce necessity, laws are produced out of some necessity.....

    (Correct, we may fail to abide by law as the condition of our thinking, as witnessed by our possible errors in judgement, which is the same as being unintentionally irrational. All that means is that it was never absolutely necessary we think in a certain way to begin with, which is the same as saying reason is not law-abiding in itself. It couldn’t be, given the differences in subjectivity in otherwise perfectly similar people. Still, if a cognitive system as a whole is theoretically predicated on logic, then reason should theoretically adhere to logical law in order for us to trust in its authority.)

    ..........This is why it is far better to approach this subject from the precepts of moral philosophy, rather than to approach it as a speculative epistemology.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    Yes, if we wish to instill a necessary ground for something. It is never the case we absolutely must know some external object as a single thing, but it is absolutely necessary we act in a very certain way iff we wish to think ourselves as moral agents. That is to say, we are allowed to contradict ourselves with respect to what we know, which merely makes us silly, but we are never allowed to contradict ourselves in our moral determinations, the occurrence of which jeopardizes our very human worthiness. Thus it is the power of necessity, and the authority of law given from fundamental principles, from which a singular effect called “morality”, is at all possible.

    Again, not to put too fine a point on it, all knowledge is possible from pure reason; morality is possible from pure practical reason. The difference is that morality has its own object, that being the agency that both formulates its own criteria for formulating his moral disposition, then obligates itself to conform to such formulation in order that becoming such an agent is possible.
    —————

    The precise separation between passive (possible) intellect, and active (agent) intellect, has never been resolved. Logic has determined the need to assume both of these as distinct categories, but no one has been able to adequately demonstrate which things are property of each, because all things are a combination of both (matter/form).Metaphysician Undercover

    I would say logic has determined the need to assume distinct ontologies, but not so much distinct intellects. Transcendental idealism dictates there is but one intellect, which functions under two ontological conditions. The external condition is a passive ontology, insofar as everything about it is given to us. The internal condition is the active ontology, insofar as everything about our cognitive system arises from itself. There is one inconsistency intrinsic to this system, in that we think perception to be passive, which falsifies the notion that our entire cognitive system is active. We just allow an overlap between them, so we can move on. Hence the lack of precision??

    Some wanted to deny material elements within the mind, attempting to maintain the pure immateriality of the human mind.Metaphysician Undercover

    That’s me. Pure immateriality of the human mind, but granting the physical properties of the brain from which the mind seems to evolve.

    That's why I propose we go to a different form of analysis, a sort of analysis where we look at the things to be categorized as essentially of one category, with accidents of the other category, in an attempt to avoid the confusion.Metaphysician Undercover

    Lay it on me. Just keep in mind, what appears to be a failure to grasp is really nothing but a difference in points of view. I would never be so presumptuous to think you fail to grasp your own philosophy, so I’d appreciate reciprocity.
  • Mww
    1.4k
    The real dichotomy it is far more complex.Metaphysician Undercover

    ...and far more numerous. At the apex, I submit the immanent/transcendent; descending to practical/speculative; analytic/synthetic; transcendental/experiential, culminating at the bottom of complexity in the ubiquitous subject/object.

    No wonder philosophy has lasted so long: it is self-generating and self-sustaining. For better or worse.
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