• Pfhorrest
    2.5k
    (This thread is kind of a fork of this one, which originally had this OP at the start of it, but turned into a discussion entirely about the rest of that OP that's still there. So I'm leaving that to talk about that and starting this to talk about this instead).

    When I was studying philosophy academically, one of the things I found most fascinating was the way that the possible answers to a given sub-question related to the answers to other sub-questions. E.g. the answers to the questions posed in philosophy of mind are limited by one's ontology; or contrapositively, the answers to the questions posed in ontology could be limited by their implications on philosophy of mind.

    So aside from mapping out the structural relationships between the different fields, as I've discussed already in an earlier thread, one of my biggest interests in philosophy has been tracing the dependencies of these different views on each other, and searching for common principles that necessitate all of the views that I think are correct, as well as common errors that lead to all of the views that I think are incorrect.

    In this thread I'm interested to hear if other people have their own core principles that they think entail all of their positions on all of the different philosophical sub-questions, and if they think that there are common errors underlying all of the positions that they think are wrong.

    Or if your favorite philosopher does likewise, I’d like to hear about that too.

    For an example of the kind of thing I’m talking about, please see the OP of the other thread this split off from, which I left out of this OP to avoid derailing this one just like that one.
  • DingoJones
    1.8k


    Is it a cop-out to offer something like reason or logic? I think most people have those as core principals, but im not sure if you are looking fir something more specific...and wouldnt core principals be applied basically in all your thinking?
    Sorry, I think its an interesting question but Im a bit fuzzy on how to start answering.
  • Pfhorrest
    2.5k
    Something along those lines could make a core principle—something similar makes up a few of mine—but I’m thinking more of a few clear statements that then entail all the rest of your stances on other philosophical questions.

    I gave my own examples in the thread this split off from, but then the discussion there turned into one entirely about those principles and not the general concept of architectonic philosophy, so I left them out here. But if it helps you get started here, you can find mine for an example in the OP of the other thread this split off from.
  • Pfhorrest
    2.5k
    Also, something I would be interested to hear more knowledgeable people than I elaborate on: I’ve heard both Kant and Peirce described as architectonic philosophers, and while I’m pretty sure I known what Peirce’s core principle is (the Pragmatic Maxim), I’m not completely confident about that, and I don’t know where I’d begin to define a few core principles that define all of Kant. I’d love to hear anyone elaborate on them, or on other famous philosophers too.
  • Valentinus
    791
    In this thread I'm interested to hear if other people have their own core principles that they think entail all of their positions on all of the different philosophical sub-questions, and if they think that there are common errors underlying all of the positions that they think are wrong.Pfhorrest

    That is a good way to approach the matter if for no other reason than to decide for oneself if one's thinking is an expression of a yet to be articulated system or just a reluctance to join in the enthusiasm exhibited by others.

    In that regard, systematic philosophy like Whitehead, Hegel, and Kant have the merit of owning the responsibility of owning the conversation they started.

    But I am more interested in Aristotle in being interested in our capacity to experience what is happening. Knowledge as perception. And that the structure of what is happening is connected to that sort of thing as a natural process.

    Said in a different way, the attempts we make to relate our explanations of causality are mixed up with many problems. The underlying thing is an acceptance of conditions we do not understand.
  • DingoJones
    1.8k


    Ok, i understand.
    I have core principals but not sure how theyd fit into your framing nor if any would be concrete enough for yiur query, so ill just throw one out and see if its what you are looking for.
    Im always saying “awareness is key”. I think its fundamental to whatever free will you think humans might have, to communication and by extension philosophy and language, to self reflection and therefore self improvement...everything, as more awareness leads to more connections between not just sub categories but all categories.
    Operationally awareness should be maximised as a first step, and constantly updated throughout other steps. I generally assume in discussion of philosophy that my discussion partner knows something I do not if they disagree with me and the updating of awareness at each step dictates that knowledge be assimilated so get after it.
    Thats the gist, is that the kinda thing you mean? Feels like its too generic fir yiur purpose.
  • Pfhorrest
    2.5k
    Thanks for that. Can you articulate how that principle gets applied on different philosophical topics? Like, for one example, what implications does “awareness is key” have on your political philosophy? But also, like... all of the other topics you have views on too, not just that one.
  • Pfhorrest
    2.5k
    In that regard, systematic philosophy like Whitehead, Hegel, and Kant have the merit of owning the responsibility of owning the conversation they started.Valentinus

    It sounds like you are familiar with their architectonics. Do you feel up to elucidating what their core principles are, and what stances on various philosophical questions they take those principles to entail? (No need to replicate their entire arguments in between, of course).
  • DingoJones
    1.8k


    Well as you increase your awareness of politics you will find connection to other topics because of overlap with them. Why are these people acting this way in this area of politics? Boom, sociology, psychology, biology...awareness is key so in so much as they in fact overlap you will need to encompass that in your knowledge in order for your “key” (awareness) to unlock the doors of politics.
    There are bound to be topics that do not overlap of course, but the principal still forms the basic analysis for those separate topics.
  • Valentinus
    791

    I guess I could do that. But that project does not directly involve what I care about.
    The divergence of interest.
  • Pfhorrest
    2.5k
    I don’t completely follow you, and I get the sense that you also don’t follow me. I’m wondering, for example, what is your position on political philosophy, and how does your principle that “awareness is key” entail that position (if it does). You seem to be describing how awareness is key to doing political philosophy, but not what conclusion it requires you to take (which perhaps it doesn’t, if it’s not that kind of principle I’m asking about).

    I guess I must not have understood the end of your first post. Rereading it now I’m still not following. You’re saying you’re uninterested in architectonics? But more interested in... what, and why?
  • DingoJones
    1.8k


    Ok, I misunderstood. You want something that obligates me to certain conclusions across multiple topics, the way logic does? And it has to be specific to each discipline? Is that right?
  • Pfhorrest
    2.5k
    I'm not clear exactly what you mean by "specific to each discipline", but I think yes. I'm asking if you have some very general philosophical opinions that then obligate you to more specific philosophical opinions across a bunch of different topics. Or conversely, if there are some general philosophical opinions that, if ruled out, also rule out a bunch of specific philosophical opinions across a bunch of different topics.
  • DingoJones
    1.8k


    Ok, so something like Occums Razor?
  • Pfhorrest
    2.5k
    I'm not seeing the implications of Ockham's Razor on a bunch of fields, but if you think there are some, I'd like to hear about them.

    For a smaller example pulled from my own example views that are now in a different thread: my principle I called "criticism" rules out a bunch of possible views in different topics like a supernaturalist ontology, a dualist philosophy of mind, a ideistic epistemology, a religious philosophy of education, a puritanical account of ethical ends, a metaphysically libertarian philosophy of will, an absolutist account of ethical means, and an authoritarian political philosophy. (By itself it doesn't obligate any particular alternative views on any of those topics, but combined with other principles it does).
  • DingoJones
    1.8k
    ↪DingoJones I'm not seeing the implications of Ockham's Razor on a bunch of fields, but if you think there are some, I'd like to hear about them.Pfhorrest

    Well using Occums Razor here would be something like “do not add reasons or axioms except out of necessity”.
    I reviewed your core principals, this seems similar to me, would the above qualify?
  • apokrisis
    4.5k
    In this thread I'm interested to hear if other people have their own core principles that they think entail all of their positions on all of the different philosophical sub-questions, and if they think that there are common errors underlying all of the positions that they think are wrong.Pfhorrest

    The point of architectonics would be to get to the root of what "knowing" could even be. What would be its natural, and hence inescapable, organisation? It is the meta-philosophic question.

    And Peirce, with his pragmatism and semiotics, nailed it. To know is to be in a modelling relation. It is about forming a world predicting machinery - a rational engine with a useful goal - that is cashed out by the answering measurements it expects to find. And in being able to form such definite expectancies, the model can also be confounded by its mistakes or surprises. It can be wrong. So it is driven by the feedback of its own mispredictions to improve its modelling.

    So the argument is nothing else could properly constitute knowledge. There is the one general architecture - even if then there might be a variety of actual models of that architecture, such as Peircean semiotics, Bayesian reasoning, Rosen's modelling relation, Grossberg's adaptive resonance networks, etc.

    It doesn't matter what the philosophical sub-question is pretty much. Knowing is a modelling relationship. It is how nature designs our own minds. it is how we would have to build a knowing machine.

    That being so, it would be almost impossible not to be using it. The errors would arise more from thoughts about what are the right ultimate goals of some act of trying to know. And then also from a failure to understand the natural limitations of pragmatic inquiry as a system of model construction.

    For example, the realist minded might believe that modelling delivers truth. The measurements that arise from predictions count as cold hard undeniable facts. But Kantian architectonics already showed that, as modellers, we can't transcend the model. We can predict X - X being some judgement of the senses. I can easily tell you that leaf is green, not red, because I'm not colourblind. But we know from science now that wavelengths don't have colour. Or at least we know how to point a light meter at a source and read off numbers that relate to some theoretical model.

    So if the goal is to know 'the truth", that simply misunderstands the nature of modelling relation. It is an error. But on the other hand, most people just want "truth" of a pragmatic kind - enough to serve some purpose they have in mind. They can be satisfied they have "the facts" as responding to the world in that fashion doesn't result in unwanted surprises.

    There are many other aspects of this pragmatic machine. You could discuss the different kinds of modelling forms - the logics - it might employ. Some would be too simple for some purposes, others too complex. It would be an error in some sense to use one when the other is better suited.

    But if we have a common goal in mind, then it does become a competition of what works best to model in such a way that we can demonstrate minimum surprisal.

    (Of course you have to then agree to make definite predictions in a form that is comparable. Much bad philosophy avoids naming observable consequences and instead predicts vague feelings or frank unobservables. Yet it still apes the architectonic form which claims: I have a model, and this counts as evidence ... to me.)
  • 180 Proof
    1.4k
    I'm asking if you have some very general philosophical opinions that then obligate you to more specific philosophical opinions across a bunch of different topics.Pfhorrest
    For me it's agency; which I understand as capabilities - affordances - ('the commons' e.g. grammars, adaptive habits, eusocial institutions, etc) for optimizing agency, and frame any 'optimizing exercises' in terms of (the) ontology, axiology & epistemology of always-already, suboptimal, agents in order to in/re/per-form such 'exercises' reflectively.

    Or conversely, if there are some general philosophical opinions that, if ruled out, also rule out a bunch of specific philosophical opinions across a bunch of different topics.
    Ruling out the so-called "Principle of Sufficient Reason" (or as Clemént Rosset interprets it the Principle of Insufficient Reality) also rules out 'positive' conceptions of ontology axiology & epistemology (i.e. 'what is real', 'what we must' do/value [beauty, good, truth] & 'what we can know', respectively); and so I (must? / only can?) conceive of these topics by negation, or apophasis:

    • determination of the real by negating what-is-necessarily-not-real [ontology vis-à-vis understanding];

    • determination of adaptive habits by negating maladaptive habits [axiology vis-à-vis judging]; and

    • determination of knowing by negating illusions-of-knowledge [epistemology vis-à-vis decision-making] ...

    ... so 'concepts & reasons' are ineluctably insufficient - incomplete, or non-totalizing - even though they're quite indispensable for tramping & bricolaging around endless, wide-open & wild territories (the real) outside the domesticity of maps (that are only aspects of the territory folded origami-like into abstract simulacra of other aspects of the territory - distinct (onticly), but not (ontologically) separate).

    Why rule-out the "PSR"?

    Because it cannot account for itself or its manifest exceptions (e.g. randomness; or 'every effect has a cause but not every event is caused or causes effects').

    Because teleology, like theodicy, is a woo-of-the-gaps just-so fish story.

    Because every 'necessary fact' is a contradiction (i.e. belongs to an impossible world e.g. 'where the negation of a rainy day - a sunny day - is a contradiction').

    And so on ...
  • mcdoodle
    1k
    In my previous times here at the forum I've learnt a lot from both the two previous posters, apo and his pragmatist approach to knowledge, and 180's centring on agency. Thanks to them both.

    I've come late in life to interest in philosophy, including 4 years of academic study now. I find the sub-divisions difficult to conceptualise in themselves: they're handy but hard to fit one's thinking into.

    My two principles are (1) Wittgensteinian - Is the question well-formed? If the question can be put another way is it more readily answered? Or, has it turned out not to be a philosophical question after all but some more immediately practical, psychological or scientific question?? (2) How does the current question relate to my personal obsession, which is with the philosophy of talk, a little-explored area at the crossroads of language, action, and mind? I'm inclined to think everyone has a bit of a specific obsession, and the more they follow that, the more interesting they become, even if you disagree with them.
  • Kenosha Kid
    519


    Scepticism, empiricism, pragmatism, and (I agree, ) Occam's razor, which I include under scepticism.

    In metaphysics and epistemology, I accept that the existence of a real, regular external world is the simplest explanation for the appearance of a real, regular subjective world by taking into account not only my experience of it but also my experience of consensus within it. Alternative explanations add complexity but no explanatory power, so I am sceptical.

    In ontology, I accept that the precise nature of our models of the external world will be imperfect, but believe that those that correspond the most regularly with phenomena, including the phenomena of seeming consensus, are more accurate and thus justifiable via pragmatism than those with weaker correspondence or lesser seeming consensus.

    In ethics, this is a biological (nat. sel.) basis for moral capacity, a sociohistorical theory of moral origins, an existential footing for moral decision-making, and a scepticism toward contrary top-down moral systems that do not follow from selected-for moral capacity.

    The common "error" I encounter is ignoring how things actually seem in preference for abstraction behind definitions that don't necessarily correlate to any phenomena. The free will question is a perfect case in point, unless someone has ever actually observed someone "do otherwise". These sidestep empiricism and pragmatism, and derive from definitions one ought to be sceptical of.
  • Pfhorrest
    2.5k
    Thanks for that! This is the response most in line so far with the kind of thing I was looking for.
  • Pantagruel
    890
    In this thread I'm interested to hear if other people have their own core principles that they think entail all of their positions on all of the different philosophical sub-questions, and if they think that there are common errors underlying all of the positions that they think are wrong.Pfhorrest

    I think that my core principles should be consistent with each other and with the body of my thought as a whole. I don't attempt to enforce that from the ground up. It is more of a "systemic coherence" to which I aspire.

    I try not to think of alternative perspectives to my own as wrong. Indeed, I don't think they are wrong. They are part of a different type of worldview, with different fundamental experiential underpinnings; and may, in themselves, be consistent. Just not consistent with my views.

    Edit. Consider scientific theories. If anything is a candidate for right versus wrong it is science. But this is not true. Science is never right, because it is always approximate. A scientific theory is more accurate than one that it replaces because it is able to explain a wider array of phenomena. So is more inclusive. I think this represents a general characteristic of theoretical knowledge shared by philosophy. Philosophy's goal should be that of expansive inclusivity, with a progressive reduction of error (inaccuracy).

    So the things which I think of as "wrong" may simply be perspectives I have as yet been unable to assimilate.
  • fdrake
    3.9k
    In this thread I'm interested to hear if other people have their own core principles that they think entail all of their positions on all of the different philosophical sub-questions, and if they think that there are common errors underlying all of the positions that they think are wrong.Pfhorrest

    I have one? Maybe?

    If you put all the ideas and all the logical/evidential/semantic relations between them on a page, you'd have a big network. It'd be a map of all human knowledge, or at least it would purport to be.

    One of the amazing things about ideas though, especially philosophical systems, is that they are perspectival; every well thought out idea is a perspective on the world and generates a view on other ideas connected to it. It seems that the global structure of such a network looks to depend upon what subnetwork you inhabit. Under some ideas, phenomenology is first philosophy, under some metaphysics is, under some ethics is, under some politics is. under some logic is, under some theology is, under some epistemology is. Proponents of these theses change the overall connection of the network by characterising the root nodes differently.

    I don't believe that a philosophy can ever transcend that variation in connectivity; we'd just end up with the same problem but applied to metaphilosophical theses, and a regress occurs. For that reason, being truthful, honest, precocious, exploratory and recognising limitation and fallibility is much more important than doctrine; care how you generate your perspective and the rest will take care of itself.
  • apokrisis
    4.5k
    One of the amazing things about ideas though, especially philosophical systems, is that they are perspectival; every well thought out idea is a perspective on the world and generates a view on other ideas connected to it.fdrake

    What distinguishes architectonics is that it is speaking to the unity of this view taking. And it is an anti-nominalist, and hence systematic, meta-theoretic position. Perspectives are connected to their consequences by some optimising relation. So you can't just have philosophy as just a bunch of disconnected views.

    And if philosophy does develop into a network of neighbourhoods as you say (which is a fact), then there would be two principal sources of variety I would say. One would be a community agreement about the optimisation value in play - beauty, truth and good would be three of the familiar choices. A notion of least action or information reduction would be the more scientific pick.

    The other thing that happens is that every "well-formed" perspective has to contain the possibility of its dialectical "other". You say idealism, I say realism. You say system, I say atomism. So rather than a loose network connection - a flat many to many relation - you have opposed schools of thought adopting complementary perspectives (that, architectonically, ought really be fused into the unity of a single hierarchical systems account).

    So a "perspective" is a pragmatic modelling relation. You start with the thing-in-itself. Some messy set of impressions about "reality" - the explanandum - you want to get your nut around. To get beyond this immediate subjective response - to transcend it - you have to create some kind of perspective. You have to step outside reality and form a model, an explanatory account, some generalised framework of such phenomena.

    But in doing that, the perspective then allows you to generate predictions about concrete particulars. Now to the other side of the messy phenomenology, so to speak, you construct a detailed image of a bunch of answering measurables. You no longer experience the mess as the mess but as an atomised collection of known particulars.

    A warm furry ball becomes understood as a "cat" because it has all the right details, like "those pointy ears" and those "retractable claws". The perspective is tied to empirical consequences. And it is tied to them by some optimising rule. The perspective works in some sense that meets the goal of reducing confusion about what might be the case concerning "the world".

    So.... MODEL >>> "messy world" <<< MEASURABLE FACTS

    If the messy world had no unity or systematic regularity itself, we would never be able to extract such a relation. And - architectonically - progress in philosophy would be about moving towards the system of model and measurement that does the best universalising job of clarifying all messy impressions.

    For that reason, being truthful, honest, precocious, exploratory and recognising limitation and fallibility is much more important than doctrine; care how you generate your perspective and the rest will take care of itself.fdrake

    Yes, the problem is that because every theory is defined in terms of the type of facts it imagines, then it is easy enough to get trapped into a self-satisfying loop. If I think all cats have pointy ears, then I might identify a Tasmanian devil as a cat.

    But rather than stressing a set of "ideal human inquirer" values, discussing modelling (or perspective taking) at a meta-theoretic would produce its own philosophically general cautions.

    For instance, a "good" model achieves the maximum possible information reduction. It gets things so right that it needs the least effort when it comes to measuring the facts. Our brains do this when they learn to recognise "cat-like" configurations of features. The answering act of measurement is itself a gestalt reaction rather than a laborious listing of atomised details. You could boil down the conformity to a single number between 0 and 1, as recognition technology might do.

    And the reason for wanting to move away from human-centric criteria is that - for Peircean architectonics at least - the ultimate revelation is that epistemology is ontology. The modelling relation not only is the "mental" algorithm that discovers the underlying unity of nature, it is the very way that nature produces "material" unity in itself.

    To stress the qualities of the philosophical mind when confronted with the mysteries of the brute world is to stay stuck in the Cartesian framing that both Kant and Peirce were intent on transcending. It is halting that progress towards a fully unified "view of everything". And as I say, with Peirce, the epistemic modelling relation becomes itself the best model of cosmic evolution. The reason anything definite could come to exist, such that it would be amenable to our attempts to decode its grand patterns.

    It was that ultimate flip in viewpoint that he was getting at here....
    The Architecture of Theories By Charles S. Peirce
    https://arisbe.sitehost.iu.edu/menu/library/bycsp/arch/arch.htm
  • Pfhorrest
    2.5k
    I am enjoying reading your posts, but struggling to pull out of them the kind of thing I was wondering about in the OP.

    Since you seem to know much about both Kant and Peirce, who are two architectonic philosophers I was specifically wondering about, do you think you could give a couple short lists like the ones I gave for my philosophy in the other thread (linked in the OP) for each of them? A list of a few sentences that are their core principles, and a list of a few sentences that are the entailed positions they consequently take on some different philosophical questions? A pair of such lists for each of them.

    Thanks!
  • Pfhorrest
    2.5k
    I think I agree with you about the idea of a network of different relationships between various subfields, and that is the kind of thing that (as I said in the OP) got me to thinking about this kind of thing. But what I'm wondering about is if anyone here (or notable philosophers like Peirce and Kant) does a thing like I do: I don't have any one field as the core of philosophy upon which all others depend, but I have some very general principles that have implications on a bunch of fields, which then have implications on still other fields, etc.

    (My principles, for example, have direct implications on ontology, epistemology, and on ethics in two different ways, forcing me to split it up into two fields; ontology then has implications on philosophy of mind, epistemology on education, the two parts of ethics on will and politics respectively; ontology also has implications on philosophy of math, and ethics on philosophy of art; and the whole arrangement has implications on philosophy of language and "philosophy of life").
  • Pfhorrest
    2.5k
    Actually I stated my own principles implications incorrectly just then. Positions in all of those different fields are directly implicated by my principles, but also there are cross-implications between various fields: ontology and mind, ethicse and will, epistemology and academics, ethicsm and politics, ontology and epistemology and mathematics, ethicse and ethicsm and the arts, math and art and language, mind and academics and life, and will and politics and life; as illustrated in my earlier thread on the structure of philosophy.
  • apokrisis
    4.5k
    Lists don’t really cut it if what you are reaching for is an account of a functional architecture. You need to understand the structure of the flow. And it is a flow that caps out in a enfolding hierarchical organisation

    All systems philosophy - Aristotle, Hegel, Peirce - is triadically structured. So it is irreducibly complex or holistic. That is, its bootstrapping. The whole is shaping the parts even as the parts are constructing the whole.

    But to start somewhere simple, you could consider Peirce’s division of natural reasoning into the three steps of abduction, deduction and inductive confirmation.

    So you start the loop by sporting some fruitful guess - a hypothesis. You have some vague sense of what the purpose for framing a question might be, and a vague idea about what could be the right type of answer.

    Every philosophical or scientific inquiry is going to start like that, right? A question that seems worth answering, even if the question itself is still hazy in its exactness. And likewise a sense that it is answerable as it has the right shape for an answer to fit.

    Next comes the fleshing out of some exact model or theory that makes the hypothesis precise. Deductive reason can draw out a variety of logical consequences - how things should be if the core idea is correct.

    Then third comes induction - the empirical bit. The formal model spells out the measurements that are sufficiently binary to give a thumbs up or thumbs down. Evidence gathers as you compare the predictions of the theory against the apparent facts of the world.

    So you do all that and find the model works or the model fails. And keep going back around the loop until the model is refined in a way that feels satisfactory.

    This threshold is thus defined by your purpose. What is the ultimate goal? And how private and subjective is that versus how publicly shared and objective?

    That in a nutshell is a modelling relationship which is both prescriptive enougH, and flexible enough, to cover reasoned inquiry in all its possible variety.
  • Pfhorrest
    2.5k
    Lists don’t really cut it if what you are reaching for is an account of a functional architectureapokrisis

    I'm not so much looking for a complete account of it at this point, as a sketch of it. Where do they start (their general principles) and where does that take them (their various conclusions about specific topics).

    The rest of what you've described of Peirce's sounds like an epistemology. Maybe his principles are generally epistemological in character, I guess that could be fine. But where does following that take him on questions about, say, freedom of will, or politics? I don't need the complete chain of reasoning that he follows from those principles to reach those conclusions, I'm just curious, for our purposes here, what the general start and specific ends are.
  • Pfhorrest
    2.5k
    Where do they start (their general principles) and where does that take them (their various conclusions about specific topics).Pfhorrest

    NB that I'm not implying this is chronological; just logical. They maybe started chronologically with a bunch of conclusions that seemed correct, then noticed shared types of reasoning in those, and worked back to general principles that had implicitly underlain their reasoning on those specific topics. I know that's how it went for me. Well, back and forth actually, from specifics to general to specifics and back again, until it all cohered together nicely. Which sounds a lot like what you're saying Peirce's process is like. But that still doesn't tell me (perhaps) what the general principles on one end of that are, and what the specific conclusions he derives from them on the other end are.
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.