• Kenosha Kid
    559
    nationalism, moral objectivity, populism, anthropocentrism, rationalism, religion, and political ideology.
    — Kenosha Kid

    Two of these things are not like the others.
    Pfhorrest

    I saw this, then lost it, now found it again. They are all different, and there a few ways of breaking them down, but the main characteristic is they are centred. Nationalism centres around the nation-state you were accidentally born into, moral objectivity about an objective set of moral truths, populism (in a broad sense, not just anti-elitism) around majority opinions, anthropocentrism around human primacy, rationalism around objective reality as discoverable by thinking really hard about it, and political ideologies around particular needs and wants. Religion falls under several of these (but definitely not rationalism).

    I listed them as targets of postmodernism which tends to decentre, particularly in its early incorporation of hyperreality, championing of multiculturalism and pluralism, its post-anthropocentrist environmental philosophy, and scepticism to claims of objective truth.

    The obvious one I omitted is science, for a few reasons. First, science absorbed pomo criticism rather well. Second, modern science contributed to rather than defended itself against decentering ideas, and is well aware of its relationship to objective reality. And third, it's difficult to find anti-scientific postmodernism that isn't actually a competing ideology wanting to use pomo scepticism to forward its own metanarrative. From Wikipedia:

    In Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and Its Quarrels With Science (1994), the scientists Paul R. Gross and Norman Levitt accused postmodernists of anti-intellectualism, presented the shortcomings of relativism, and suggested that postmodernists knew little about the scientific theories they criticized and practiced poor scholarship for political reasons. The authors insist that the "science critics" misunderstood the theoretical approaches they criticized, given their "caricature, misreading, and condescension, [rather] than argument".

    which accords with my evaluation of anti-science agendas that continue to this day: a selective incredulity toward metanarratives. Major players like Lyotard, Derrida, Kellman and eventually Latour himself did not see scientific evidence as no better or worse than religious dogma a la Feyerabend but did see it as fair game for study, which it was, and that was good. But the tactical and populist appeal of anti-science by what Latour rightly calls "extremists" was set in, and now pomo is more associated with rejection of science (esp. by the conservative wing of the scientific community) than anything else.

    This seems to me qualitatively different from the rejection of metanarratives, but that might be my bias.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.4k
    Can you explain how we arrive at "objective truth", whatever that is?Adam's Off Ox

    The scientific method, followed by conventional history, seems to be the closest process by which we arrive at "objective truth", and whatever that is, it is at most a relativistic approximation.
  • Adam's Off Ox
    52
    The scientific method, followed by conventional history, seems to be the closest process by which we arrive at "objective truth", and whatever that is, it is at most a relativistic approximation.Merkwurdichliebe

    Would you be willing to offer more understanding of how you use the word 'relativistic'? I'm familiar with 'subjective'. Do you intend the two words as synonyms?
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.4k
    Would you be willing to offer more understanding of how you use the word 'relativistic'? I'm familiar with 'subjective'. Do you intend the two words as synonymsAdam's Off Ox

    No, they are not synonyms. I find this to be a common misconception. Subjective truth is not relativistic, and because of its immediacy, it is probably correct to say it is absolute.
  • Adam's Off Ox
    52

    But you agree then, we never know the truth — we only arrive at an approximation?
  • tilda-psychist
    53
    Are you saying objective truth doesn't exist?
    — tilda-psychist

    Can you explain how we arrive at "objective truth", whatever that is?
    Adam's Off Ox

    I agree that absolute truth or objective truth is very hard to obtain more often than not but i don't think it benefits any person to say it doesn't exist. Absolutely everything can be quantified including human personalities. Are you familiar with sampling in reference to compact discs (wave files)?

    2 + 2 is definitely equal to 4 but to measure the degree to which African Americans were victimized in their enslavement in the antebellum years would be very hard to nail down to an exact value. Its not that that sort of thing can't be quantified, however its that it would be extremely hard to quantify. The best you could get for something like that is a ball park figure similar to how software developers quantify the efficiency of an algorithm.

    The quickest way to become irrational is to reject the idea that objective truth exists. I'm sure i'll be accused of being irrational for whatever reason.
  • tilda-psychist
    53
    But you agree then, we never know the truth — we only arrive at an approximation?Adam's Off Ox

    I didn't see you respond to someone else in this way. I would have to argue we are in agreement not disagreement. Once again i only replied to your reply to me. I didn't see all the posts that were posted.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.4k
    But you agree then, we never know the truth — we only arrive at an approximationAdam's Off Ox

    Yes, and the truth of consensus is not excluded. But I can arrive at my subjective truth via reflection - what I think I believe at present, and althought it may be impermanent or subject to temporarility, it is by no means an approximation.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.4k
    mathematical truth is purely conceptual, as such it has no relation to life and hence no objective actuality, which means nothing can be apprehended as an objective truth through pure mathematical deliberation (if there is such a thing).
  • Banno
    8.4k
    Take a look at the thread Objective truth matters.

    It will save me explaining again how objective truth is not a thing.
  • Banno
    8.4k
    ...as such it has no relation to lifeMerkwurdichliebe

    Well, that's wrong for starters.
  • Kenosha Kid
    559
    2 + 2 is definitely equal to 4tilda-psychist

    With respect to chosen mathematical axioms. I can give you an axiomatic mathematics in which 2+2=4 is unjustified.

    1. There does not exist an empty set 0={}.
    2. Etc.
  • tilda-psychist
    53
    mathematical truth is purely conceptual, as such it has no relation to life and hence no objective actuality, which means nothing can be apprehended as an objective truth through pure mathematical deliberation (if there is such a thing).Merkwurdichliebe

    i disagree. I don't know how we would prove each other wrong.
  • Banno
    8.4k
    We could start by buying a dozen eggs.
  • tilda-psychist
    53
    2 + 2 is definitely equal to 4
    — tilda-psychist

    With respect to chosen mathematical axioms. I can give you an axiomatic mathematics in which 2+2=4 is unjustified.

    1. There does not exist an empty set 0={}.
    2. Etc.
    Kenosha Kid

    Please explain further.
  • tilda-psychist
    53
    We could start by buying a dozen eggs.Banno

    What is this in reference too?
  • Banno
    8.4k
    ...showing how
    mathematical truth is purely conceptual, as such it has no relation to lifeMerkwurdichliebe
    is wrong.
  • Banno
    8.4k
    Throwing out both the baby and the bathtub with the bath water.
  • tilda-psychist
    53
    ↪tilda-psychist ...showing how
    mathematical truth is purely conceptual, as such it has no relation to life
    — Merkwurdichliebe
    is wrong.
    Banno

    oh thanks. Yeah i agree with you.
  • Banno
    8.4k


    it ain't nothing but a heart-breaker
    (PoMo) friend only to the undertaker
    Oh, PoMo it's an enemy to all mankind
    The point of PoMo blows my mind
    PoMo has caused unrest
    Within the younger generation
    Induction then destruction
    Who wants to die, ah, PoMo-huh, good god…

    Surprisingly apt.
  • Adam's Off Ox
    52
    The quickest way to become irrational is to reject the idea that objective truth exists. I'm sure i'll be accused of being irrational for whatever reason.tilda-psychist

    I find you to be rational here. I think that for a postmodernist, rationality is not a requirement though.

    I didn't see you respond to someone else in this way. I would have to argue we are in agreement not disagreement. Once again i only replied to your reply to me. I didn't see all the posts that were postedtilda-psychist

    So if we never know the truth, exactly, what value is there in saying it is objective?

    I'll explain my view a little further. I consider the things that we call true to be sentences. If you are saying something is true, you are referring to a sentence or text or model.

    And when it comes to the sentence, we only compare the symbols of the sentence to some other phenomenal experience. We say the sentence is true because it jibes with experience. But then the true-ness is not a relationship with the thing-in-itself. We never arrive at noumena.

    Now, you may say that you and I experience the same underlying thing, but that goes beyond what we can know. We don't even know we have the same experience of phenomena. All we have are the shared sentences that come between us.

    But shared sentences with unverifiable phenomena or noumena are not a model for objectivity. We are merely comparing subjective experience. Here the term intersubjectivity better describes what we are modeling. We have to leave objectivity as unnattainable or at least unknowable.

    I don't say "There is no objective truth," but rather just avoid using the word objective, where intersubjective is really what is happening. We can leave the discussion of the terms "There is" and "truth" for another time.
  • tilda-psychist
    53
    The quickest way to become irrational is to reject the idea that objective truth exists. I'm sure i'll be accused of being irrational for whatever reason.
    — tilda-psychist

    I find you to be rational here. I think that for a postmodernist, rationality is not a requirement though.

    I didn't see you respond to someone else in this way. I would have to argue we are in agreement not disagreement. Once again i only replied to your reply to me. I didn't see all the posts that were posted
    — tilda-psychist

    So if we never know the truth, exactly, what value is there in saying it is objective?

    I'll explain my view a little further. I consider the things that we call true to be sentences. If you are saying something is true, you are referring to a sentence or text or model.

    And when it comes to the sentence, we only compare the symbols of the sentence to some other phenomenal experience. We say the sentence is true because it jibes with experience. But then the true-ness is not a relationship with the thing-in-itself. We never arrive at noumena.

    Now, you may say that you and I experience the same underlying thing, but that goes beyond what we can know. We don't even know we have the same experience of phenomena. All we have are the shared sentences that come between us.

    But shared sentences with unverifiable phenomena or noumena are not a model for objectivity. We are merely comparing subjective experience. Here the term intersubjectivity better describes what we are modeling. We have to leave objectivity as unnattainable or at least unknowable.

    I don't say "There is no objective truth," but rather just avoid using the word objective, where intersubjective is really what is happening. We can leave the discussion of the terms "There is" and "truth" for another time.
    Adam's Off Ox

    I think where we disagree is whether or not absolutely everything can be quantified including human personalities. I believe absolutely everything can be quantified. However i wouldn't argue that everything or even most things should be quantified.

    All that being said NASA actually doesn't come to exact answers but they come closer to the truth than Chevrolet does when they pursue the truth.

    If you are saying that the pursuit of what is commonly called the objective truth can hurt everyone in the end, then i agree with you. The pursuit of the truth can sometimes be detrimental to society but not pursuing the truth can also be detrimental to society sometimes. I believe in scientific determinism which is a form of fate, all of our opinions and actions are outside of our control.
  • Banno
    8.4k
    ...we only compare the symbols of the sentence to some other phenomenal experience.Adam's Off Ox

    Sigh.

    What phenomenal experience do we compare "and" to?

    What about "why?", or "Hello", or "autocratic"?

    Indeed, it seems htat most words do not work in this way.
  • Banno
    8.4k
    Now, you may say that you and I experience the same underlying thing, but that goes beyond what we can know. We don't even know we have the same experience of phenomena. All we have are the shared sentences that come between us.Adam's Off Ox

    Sigh.

    You and I are both looking at this post. That's sufficient, sans the "underlying thing", for all our purposes outside of philosophy.

    We are merely comparing subjective experience. Here the term intersubjectivity better describes what we are modeling. We have to leave objectivity as unnattainable or at least unknowable.Adam's Off Ox

    The funny thing is that we overwhelmingly agree on which sentences are true and which are false. It's as if we shared a world about which we are speaking... Or better, we are embedded in the world.

    Hence that unattainable, unknowable noumena is pretty much irrelevant. Hardly worth talking about, really.

    That's roughly the view Wittgenstein espoused.
  • Adam's Off Ox
    52
    What phenomenal experience do we compare "and" to?

    What about "why?", or "Hello", or "autocratic"?

    Indeed, it seems that most words do not work in this way
    Banno

    You ask a fair question. I already volunteered that I write weirdly. Maybe I'm using the word phenomenon in a way that is different than what you are used to. When I speak of phenomena or experience, I refer to a very broad group of events. I consider thoughts, dreams, physical sensations, emotions, feelings, beliefs, desires, and memories to fall under the realm of phenomena. They are the starting point from which we come to know the world.

    As far as the experience that jibes with "and" it is an intuition upon which we build our sense of logic. It is a phenomena.

    As far as "why", and "Hello", there are other kinds of language behaviors people engage in besides making claims about their experiences. There are lots of kinds of language moves.

    The funny thing is that we overwhelmingly agree on which sentences are true and which are false. It's as if we shared a world about which we are speaking... Or better, we are embedded in the world.Banno

    The funny thing is, we, you and I, as well as a broader group of people all over the globe, overwhelmingly disagree on what i the best way to communicate our experience. If we agree so much, then you will find no problem in avoiding phrases like "objective reality."

    You overstate the things we agree upon by dismissing the whole world of subjective experience that does not constitute medium-sized dry goods.
  • Adam's Off Ox
    52
    I think where we disagree is whether or not absolutely everything can be quantified including human personalities.tilda-psychist

    I do disagree that everything can be quantified. How much do I love my daughter? How good is sex?

    What is the likelihood my wife is angry tomorrow? What number measures her anger.

    I don't believe mathematical models provide the same descriptions as qualitative observations.

    Your post is 217.9134 true.
  • Banno
    8.4k
    No helping some folk.
  • Adam's Off Ox
    52
    It's like we have different experiences.
  • Banno
    8.4k
    No. It's like you are in denial. The fact that we are having this conversation, over the internet, using English, demonstrates my point. The beliefs we share far outweigh our points of disagreement. But we take them for granted. You do not need to check that we agree that 5+1 is 6 in order for us to have this conversation. We focus on points of disagreement simply because they are more interesting.
  • tilda-psychist
    53
    I think where we disagree is whether or not absolutely everything can be quantified including human personalities.
    — tilda-psychist

    I do disagree that everything can be quantified. How much do I love my daughter? How good is sex?

    What is the likelihood my wife is angry tomorrow? What number measures her anger.

    I don't believe mathematical models provide the same descriptions as qualitative observations.

    Your post is 217.9134 true.
    Adam's Off Ox

    i'm not sure there is a point in arguing with you. Its not that you are dumber than me but that you don't see everything as a system.

    I believe there is a connection between everything including apples and oranges (don't compare apples to oranges). Some things have a one to one relationship, some a linear relationship, some a inverse exponential relationship and some things an exponential relationship. Then you have things like bell curves. Ofcourse we have to also consider constants and coefficients.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.