• Adam's Off Ox
    52
    It's like you are in denial.
    We happen to use some words in common, but we use them differently, say different things, come from different backgrounds, and generally have entirely different experiences.

    The number of things we agree about are just as interesting as our disagreements. It just happens that more of our discourse brings up differences because differences make up the majority of the sentences we choose to share.

    You deny that my experience is not the same as yours. That we both are writing with words from an English dictionary doesn't even mean we use the same language. Grammars vary, logics vary, meanings vary.
  • Banno
    8.3k

    Doubt only makes sense against a background of certainty.
  • Adam's Off Ox
    52
    You are lying to yourself about certainty.
  • Banno
    8.3k
    Well then, I'm in good company. Wittgenstein, Davidson... I could go on.
  • Adam's Off Ox
    52
    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.tilda-psychist

    But the way you select your framing, the units, scales, and relationships you choose to quantify come about as a result of the way you intend to use the numbers as symbols.

    The statement "Everything is quantifiable" is not the sort of thing that get's quantified.

    This, being a thread about postmodernism, is not one that will benefit either of us by proving your side wrong. Instead, the point in our discourse, for you, may be to come to identify the different way in which postmodernists and pragmatists come to use language.

    There may be use in coming to understand an alternate system, which is consistent in its own right, but does not produce the same kinds of sentences you are used to. There are advantages to understanding what the postmodernists are saying, engaging with their critiques, and moving beyond the Ancient Platonic/Aristotilean approach to philosophy.

    I'm sorry if I created any sort of sense that one of us is dumb or even wrong for saying the things we are saying.

    It's not even that I don't understand your appeal to mathematics. I work in a quantitative field. What I am saying is that there are advantages in observing things in this world that are not communicated by numerical models.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.4k
    me explaining again how objective truth is not a thing.Banno

    If it's not worth explaining again, it probably has no merit. And I can easily prove wrong the proposition: "objective truth is not a thing", because it certainly is a term, and a term is a thing.

    Well, that's wrong for starters.Banno

    You are incorrect. By your logic, every time I perform a mathematical function it should be accompanied by some corresponding external phenomenon, which is absurd. If you are saying that performance of the function itself suffices as its own phenomenon, then you are admitting that it indeed has no relation to life.
  • Banno
    8.3k
    Neither of those arguments is valid, let alone cogent.
  • Pfhorrest
    2.5k
    moral objectivity about an objective set of moral truthsKenosha Kid

    No more so than notions of objective reality, which you support in your support of natural science. Objective reality doesn't depend on there being some unquestionable set of descriptive statements; as you know in science everything is open to question, every claim is tentative, subject to later revision. There's no reason that one can't take precisely that same attitude toward morality, which would be exactly as objective an approach to morality as the scientific approach is to reality. That would mean there isn't some unquestionable set of prescriptive statements ("moral truths"), just a notion that there is some scale of correctness, some way to indicate what the direction toward more correct is, something by which such statements can be critically compared to each other, rather than all being equally indefensible out the gate.

    rationalism around objective reality as discoverable by thinking really hard about itKenosha Kid

    Okay, so you meant capital-R "Rationalism" as in the anti-empirical philosophical movement containing people like Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz, not just common-noun rationalism as in asking for reasons to (dis)believe things and not just obeying orthodoxy on faith. No disagreement there then.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.4k
    i disagree. I don't know how we would prove each other wrong.tilda-psychist

    Let's suppose you bought a dozen eggs, you are no longer dealing in pure mathematical truth, you have now introduced something external and independent to the universal idea of 12. More importantly, the mathematical concept "12" is only related to life, in this case, if you actually did buy something, and they were actually eggs, and you actually expected to receive a specified amount. Otherwise 12 in itself has no concrete relation to life.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.4k
    Neither of those arguments is valid, let alone cogent.Banno

    Translation: you disagree because it is over your head.
  • Banno
    8.3k
    Damn; he's on to me.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.4k
    Damn; he's on to me.Banno

    Love you Banno :kiss:
  • Banno
    8.3k
    So... 12 has no relation to life, except when it does.
  • Banno
    8.3k
    If it's not worth explaining again, it probably has no merit.Merkwurdichliebe

    Here's another thread for you not to read: Subject and Object
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.4k
    So... 12 has no relation to life, except when it does.Banno

    Exactly, just like the claim: "it's raining except for when it isn't". To bring it back to the OP, when it is true that it actually does, that would be an example of an objective truth.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.4k
    Here's another thread for you not to read: Subject and ObjectBanno

    :rofl:
  • tilda-psychist
    53


    I believe absolutely everything can be quantified including the personality of people.

    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.

    If we started categorizing each of those 12 eggs and tried to fit each of those 12 eggs into a categorization system where there were 100 categories based on different features of those eggs, there would be at most 12 different categories for that dozen or perhaps all 12 fit into 1 category. The only way for 100 of those categories to be represented would be for there to be something like 8 or 9 categories. And yes i'm too lazy to do the math for how many dozen eggs it would take to meet 100.

    Should most or all things be quantified, probably not, but i think it expands our own minds when we acknowledge that absolutely everything can be quantified. Have you ever played a game like World of WarCraft? That is a fairly complicated game and the truth of the matter is that game could be made a whole lot more complicated.

    You have your 3d engine and all the various things related to the 3d engine. Then on top of that you have the extreme complexities dealing with role playing games and also modern role playing games. Once again the game could have been made alot more complicated. Are you familiar with the games Arma 2 and Arma 3? These are dynamic battle field games. In 100 years these games will be looked upon by some as simple. For me i'll probably never code games this complicated.
  • Kenosha Kid
    518
    No more so than notions of objective reality, which you support in your support of natural science.Pfhorrest

    In both, objective reality is inferred from human activity. In science, the existence of objective reality is the simplest possible explanation for why the universe behaves as if it does, i.e. it appears to be a top-down. In morality, not so much. We know why morality is in some ways universal and others not, and it's a bottom-up structure, not a top-down one. (We'll end up making every thread about this before the week is out.)

    Okay, so you meant capital-R "Rationalism" as in the anti-empirical philosophical movement containing people like Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz, not just common-noun rationalism as in asking for reasons to (dis)believe things and not just obeying orthodoxy on faith. No disagreement there then.Pfhorrest

    Aye, the principals of the Enlightenment, and therefore the principles of the Enlightenment. Pomo places an emphasis on lived experience rather than abstraction-wrangling.
  • Adam's Off Ox
    52
    Let's suppose you bought a dozen eggs, you are no longer dealing in pure mathematical truth, you have now introduced something external and independent to the universal idea of 12. More importantly, the mathematical concept "12" is only related to life, in this case, if you actually did buy something, and they were actually eggs, and you actually expected to receive a specified amount. Otherwise 12 in itself has no concrete relation to life.Merkwurdichliebe

    Would it be fair to say the ontology of things encountered in mathematical study do not all correspond to physical objects which are seen, felt, heard, smelled, or tasted? Do I leave something out of what you are trying to say when I make that distinction between mathematical phenomena and "lived" (i.e. physical) phenomena?
  • 180 Proof
    1.4k
    Postmodernism is good for showing what not to do. ;)jorndoe
    :up:

    Anyhow, I view it and postmodernism (to the extent I know anything about it) as a kind of reaction to the worst excesses of the Enlightenment and the faith in the scientific method and reason as methods by which we may obtain a better world. Because it flourished in the Academy, where all is seemingly incubated, the postmodern point of view came to be applied helter-skelter, and I think got out of hand to the point that the use of reason and science was discouraged, even thought declasse in a sense; not done by those in the know.Ciceronianus the White
    :fire:
  • Pfhorrest
    2.5k
    In both, objective reality is inferred from human activity. In science, the existence of objective reality is the simplest possible explanation for why the universe behaves as if it does, i.e. it appears to be a top-down. In morality, not so much. We know why morality is in some ways universal and others not, and it's a bottom-up structure, not a top-down one. (We'll end up making every thread about this before the week is out.)Kenosha Kid

    I’m not sure what you mean here by top-down and bottom-uo. I would describe science as a bottom-up process the way I mean those words: it’s a decentralized, fallibilist operation, rather than some authority handing down truths from on high. You seem to think that an objective morality would have to be that kind if from-on-high approach, but my point is that science doesn’t do that and yet is still objective about reality, so we can do likewise toward morality too.
  • Kenosha Kid
    518
    I’m not sure what you mean here by top-down and bottom-uo. I would describe science as a bottom-up process the way I mean those words: it’s a decentralized, fallibilist operation, rather than some authority handing down truths from on high. You seem to think that an objective morality would have to be that kind if from-on-high approach, but my point is that science doesn’t do that and yet is still objective about reality, so we can do likewise toward morality too.Pfhorrest

    Science interrogates what appears to be an objective reality out there through indirect observation and modelling. While the means (knowledge, funding, technological capability, reigning paradigm, political amenability) are human all too human, it interrogates phenomena that don't seem to depend on those means other than their availability to us by those means. It seems to be mind- and culture-independent phenomena that minds and cultures are interrogating. In that sense, it is top-down: objective reality is assumed to exist (although the perspectives on it are relative) and we are probing its reactions.

    Morality does not seem this way. Moral capacity appears to be genetic, passed from individuals to individual, and application of that capacity appears to have some bits that are universal, some that are local. For instance, pretty much everyone wants to be good to their mother, but few are bothered about being to strangers, especially if those strangers are vulnerable. These distinctions seem to arise from culture: conformity within social groups. These cultures do seem to converge as well, but not spontaneously, rather through mixing with other cultures. For instance, abolition of the death penalty in Chad this year does not represent an independent trend toward moral rightness but instead is "aimed at harmonising our laws in line with all the countries of the G5 Sahel Group" (Djimet Arabi).

    The spread of moral ideas is bottom-up: it grows out of interactions of individuals within a social group and interactions between social groups. Whereas an objective reality is the best and simplest explanation for the perception of a regular, predictable universe, objective morality is not. At best, it makes no difference whether it exists or not, because bottom-up self-organising morality has all of the explanatory power and seems like what actually occurs.
  • Pfhorrest
    2.5k
    At best, it makes no difference whether it exists or not, because bottom-up self-organising morality has all of the explanatory power and seems like what actually occurs.Kenosha Kid

    To the extent that that is true, I would say the exact same thing about reality. Humans seems to have a lot of the same subjective experiences and to perceive a lot of the same things in those experiences and so to believe a lot of the same things.

    But some people don’t. Beliefs about reality obviously differ drastically between cultures, especially historically before the rise of science (look at all the different religions’ accounts of the nature and history of the world). Perceptions differ too because they are inherently interpretations, not the raw sensory observations themselves. Even sensations differ: some people are blind or deaf, some women have tetrachromatic vision and some men are color blind, etc.

    Science is in assuming that we can account for and reconcile all those differences and converge on some total common agreement about what is real if we’re just very careful, thorough, and methodical about it. That involves assuming that there is some objectivity reality that all of our different experiences, sensations, perceptions, beliefs, are incomplete or distorted pictures of.

    I see no reason not to approach morality in the same way, not so unlike how you describe it, but in undertaking a project to do that, we necessary act under the tacit assumption that there is some objective morality: that we can account for and reconcile all our moral differences and converge on some total common agreement about what is moral if we’re just very careful, thorough, and methodical about it.
  • Kenosha Kid
    518
    Beliefs about reality obviously differ drastically between cultures, especially historically before the rise of science (look at all the different religions’ accounts of the nature and history of the world).Pfhorrest

    That's true, you can reject the theory of evolution in a similar way that you can reject a human right. The distinction is that, for those who investigate this putative objective reality, it does seem to exist or, as NdGT put it, "The great thing about facts is that they're true whether you believe them or not". It would be a lot harder for a biologist to disbelieve evolution than it would for a Louisiana pastor.

    It is in empiricism that the explanatory power of objective reality finds its place, not in belief systems. You and I can in principle evolve a freshwater fish from a seawater fish or vice versa in laboratory conditions... we don't have to settle for belief, although it is also precisely this empirical criterion that makes science worth trusting. Empirically, physical law dictates phenomena, not vice versa.
  • Adam's Off Ox
    52
    I see you write about objective reality. Could you comment on what part of reality gets described as objective? Are you referring to the physical objects, the mathematics that describes them, the observations that are purportedly shared between observers, or the predictions made by scientific models.

    If two scientists disagree on a conclusion drawn from a set of observations, is that conclusion still objective?

    If different sets of data lead to different coefficients in a linear regression, are the coefficients objective?

    If every data point has some error with respect to the model that is based on that data, is the error objective?

    Besides that, would you be willing to describe what make up the constituents of reality? It seems like a term that gets itself used in many different ways by as many speakers.

    Is reality made up of physical objects? What about the mathematical formulas that describe those objects? Then, what again about the perceptions of those objects?

    Can you provide a demarcation between what is real and unreal, besides the distinction you make between the objectively real and subjectively real?
  • Pfhorrest
    2.5k
    It is in empiricism that the explanatory power of objective reality finds its place, not in belief systemsKenosha Kid

    Completely true, but what is empiricism if not appeal to the things we have in common between our sensory experiences, and a commitment to sorting out why we sometimes have different ones?

    There is a kind of experience that impacts opinions about morality in the same way sensory experience impacts opinions about reality: appetitive experiences, things like pain and hunger etc. An appeal to the things we have in common between such experiences and a commitment to sorting out why we sometimes have different ones would enable an approach to morality just as objective as a scientific approach to morality.
  • Adam's Off Ox
    52
    An appeal to the things we have in common between such experiences and a commitment to sorting out why we sometimes have different ones would enable an approach to morality just as objective as a scientific approach to morality.Pfhorrest

    That statement assumes, with the verb "would enable", that the reason we have different experiences of moral claims have similar attributes with why one person sees a thing as a different color as another. You have an embedded assumption that the causes of the differences are of a like kind. You assume that because differences in some reports of phenomena have been reconciled by a deeper explanation that is agreeable to both parties, that differences in all sorts of phenomena can be reconciled in that way. The way you move from some to all in your analysis does not follow a deductive path. It is a product of an induction, and not strictly logical.

    Do you agree with the way I differentiated between deductive and inductive as applying to your argument?
  • 3017amen
    1.9k
    in this thread I'm trying understand the appeal of the blatantly antiscience, and vaguely anti-reason,

    Gnomon, I believe part of Postmodernism movement/Existentialism (19-20th Century) and Phenomenology (20th) were developed in response to the limitations or gaps left from Logical Positivism. A few bullet points of contrast:

    Logical Positivism: Does not recognize Kantian synthetic a priori knowledge.

    Existentialism: People actually make decisions based on subjective meaning rather than pure rationality.

    Phenomenology is perhaps a little more interesting, as taken from Wiki:

    1.Phenomenologists reject the concept of objective research. They prefer grouping assumptions through a process called phenomenological epoché.
    2.They believe that analyzing daily human behavior can provide one with a greater understanding of nature.
    3.They assert that persons should be explored. This is because persons can be understood through the unique ways they reflect the society they live in.
    4.Phenomenologists prefer to gather "capta", or conscious experience, rather than traditional data.
    5.They consider phenomenology to be oriented toward discovery, and therefore they research using methods that are far less restrictive than in other sciences.[4]


    Hope that helps some.
  • Pfhorrest
    2.5k
    You have an embedded assumption that the causes of the differences are of a like kind.Adam's Off Ox

    It's not embedded as in tacit or implicit, I explicitly say we pragmatically must make such an assumption, because to do otherwise is simply to give up on the attempt. If we haven't succeeded at the endeavor yet, we just haven't succeeded yet, but that is no grounds to say success is impossible. It is assuming that success is impossible because it has been hard so far that is the inductive leap. I am saying to keep open to the possibility of it, and keep trying, always.
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