• Terrapin Station
    2.7k
    If no time passes while x is F or x is not-F, then how are the different changes between these two states of affairs connected?aletheist

    They form a time unit for x, for one.

    I think that your views entail that time is discrete, and I have tried to illustrate that with this example.aletheist

    Is discrete time temporally contiguous, with no "gap" in between?

    It is about whether reality constitutes a collection of (only) particulars, as you claim.aletheist

    It has nothing to do with whether reality consists of particulars versus universals on the traditional view of particulars versus universals. Apparently, though, Peirce refashions the discussion into a discussion about whether things are continuous or discrete. So in that refashioning, it would have something to do with it. On the discussion of whether things are continuous or discrete, again, I'm an agnostic. I don't think it makes any difference for anything. (Well, maybe aside from assumptions about that making a difference for applied science and mathematics.)

    Which basically defines time such that there is a "present," but still does not explain how something can be ongoing as the present tense of "is changing" would indicate.aletheist

    The present is one change or set of changes occurring relative to another change or another set of changes.

    Are you saying that the laws of non-contradiction and excluded middle are only mental abstractions,aletheist

    Well, yeah, of course--you could have simply asked me that in the first place. I'm an anti-realist on logic and mathematics. Logic and mathematics are languages we've invented for thinking about relations with a high degree of abstraction (abstractions being something that's purely mental).
  • Real Gone Cat
    86


    So, whatever is happening inside a person's head at any given moment is their (present phenomenal) experience. That idea is, of course, unfalsifiable - but also useless. Certainly other things can happen inside one's head - memories, dreams, hallucinations - which do not seem to be experiences, or are they?
  • Terrapin Station
    2.7k
    Certainly other things can happen inside one's head - memories, dreams, hallucinations - which do not seem to be experiences, or are they?Real Gone Cat

    Yes, those are phenomenal experiences.

    I didn't say the idea was useful for anything. It's simply the way in which we can be not be mistaken about our own experiences.
  • aletheist
    709
    They form a time unit for x, for one.Terrapin Station

    How is that a real connection between the two changes? As you noted, we can only "count" those units from "outside" that hypothetical world. There is also the whole issue of whether x is really still x after each change from F to not-F or vice-versa; if so, then that would seem to entail multiple instantiations (x as F, x as not-F) of the identical thing (x), which is why I see the problem of universals as relevant.

    Is discrete time temporally contiguous, with no "gap" in between?Terrapin Station

    No, because you are saying that each change corresponds to a distinct time, and there is no time in between those changes. Time as a whole is thus a discrete collection of actual changes.

    Logic and mathematics are languages we've invented for thinking about relations with a high degree of abstraction (abstractions being something that's purely mental).Terrapin Station

    So as an actual thing, apart from our thoughts about it, x can be both F and not-F, and x can be neither F nor not-F?
  • Terrapin Station
    2.7k
    How is that a real connection between the two changes? As you noted, we can only "count" those units from "outside" that hypothetical world.aletheist

    Time does not equal our counting. I never said anything suggesting that. Time is real. It's the real changes or motions of matter and structures of matter. So that's how it's a real connection.

    What equals our counting is a particular measurement of time. That's different than time itself.

    There is also the whole issue of whether x is really still x after each change from F to not-F or vice-versa;aletheist

    Yeah, in my view it's x and x' (x and x-prime). Also, I think that the idea of "substances" that have properties, where the two aren't identical, is incoherent. That's a related issue, but I didn't want to get into too many things at once. It's better to keep things as focused as possible in my opinion.

    because you are saying that each change corresponds to a distinct time,aletheist

    ??

    Where am I saying anything about "distinct" time? Not that I'd necessarily not say that, but I'm not even sure I know what saying it would amount to. The same thing goes for a lot of talk about continuous versus discrete. At any rate, I'm definitely saying that time is temporally contiguous, with no gap in between. I don't know if that's "distinct" or not.

    So as an actual thing, apart from our thoughts about it, x can be both F and not-F, and x can be neither F nor not-F?aletheist

    As an actual thing, it's not the same as our logical/mathematical language. So we can't ask a question about it as if it were. Aside from that, as I noted above a couple times, when we talk about x being F at time Tx, we're engaging in an abstraction that's not representative of what the world is like, since time is change or motion, not some mathematical point.
  • aletheist
    709
    Yeah, in my view it's x and x' (x and x-prime).Terrapin Station

    If x is F and x' is not-F, is the next step that x is F again or that x'' is F (and so on)?

    Where am I saying anything about "distinct" time?Terrapin Station

    When x changes from F to not-F and when x' changes from not-F to F are distinct times, not the same time, right?

    At any rate, I'm definitely saying that time is temporally contiguous, with no gap in between.Terrapin Station

    You lost me here. Time cannot be contiguous if it is defined simply as change, because it only "exists" in our scenario as the change from F to not-F or vice-versa, not anything in between. It is just like a series of alternating binary digits, where 0 corresponds to the change from F to not-F and 1 corresponds to the change from not-F to F. There is nothing at all between each pair (01 or 10).

    As an actual thing, it's not the same as our logical/mathematical language.Terrapin Station

    As I have suggested elsewhere, it seems that we then have no knowledge of the actual thing, since all of our cognition involves our logical/mathematical language.
  • Terrapin Station
    2.7k
    If x is F and x' is not-F, is the next step that x is F again or that x'' is F (and so on)?aletheist

    x is F and then x' if not-F and then x'' is F' and then x''' is not-F' and so on.

    When x changes from F to not-F and when x' changes from not-F to F are distinct times, not the same time, right?aletheist

    They're different times, yes, if that's all you were getting at.

    You lost me here. Time cannot be contiguous if it is defined simply as change, because it only "exists" in our scenario as the change from F to not-F or vice-versa, not anything in between.aletheist

    Which means that it's contiguous from time 1 to time 2 with no gap in between. Contiguity being a direct, "touching" connection. We could just as well say that it's like a line, say, with time 1 and time 2 as contiguous "points" on the line.

    As I have suggested elsewhere, it seems that we then have no knowledge of the actual thing, since all of our cognition involves our logical/mathematical language.aletheist

    I keep meaning to go back to that post and answer it, but I keep answering these other posts instead and not getting around to it. I don't at all agree that we can only know universals and saying that all of our cognition involves logical/mathematical language seems especially bonkers to me.
  • aletheist
    709
    We could just as well say that it's like a line, say, with time 1 and time 2 as contiguous "points" on the line.Terrapin Station

    Let the record show that you introduced this diagram. Remember, on my view a truly continuous line has potential points exceeding all multitude between any two actual points. This is because two points can only be contiguous if they are (actually) indistinct but (potentially) distinguishable. Even if we marked points corresponding to all of the real numbers - rational and irrational - on a continuous number line, there would still be an inexhaustible supply of potential points in between each of them. Your definition of time as (actual) change thus entails that it cannot be continuous in this way; it must be discrete.

    I don't at all agree that we can only know universals and saying that all of our cognition involves logical/mathematical language seems especially bonkers to me.Terrapin Station

    Can you give me an example of cognition that does not involve logical/mathematical language, or at least some kind of general representation?
  • Real Gone Cat
    86


    Ah, I got your point after sending the last comment. To use realist language, we might say : Light waves reflected from a tree come into contact with your eye. But what happens at the eye is not your experience of the tree. Your experience of the tree is what happens in your brain.

    The unseen gorilla is qualia, what you are aware of is your experience.

    How does this amendment strike you : Experiences may be undeniable, but we may doubt qualia. Is that better? What do you think?

    Imagine standing before a painting at your local museum. As you study it, you notice finer and finer details - the use of shadow, the brush strokes, the composition. Clearly your experience of the painting changes. But the qualia have not changed - the colors, the shapes. And it is those qualia that you do not have direct access to. (Notice that your experience is what I have been calling narrative - your story of the painting.)
  • Terrapin Station
    2.7k
    Let the record show that you introduced this diagram. Remember, on my view a truly continuous line has potential points exceeding all multitude between any two actual points. This is because two points can only be contiguous if they are (actually) indistinct but (potentially) distinguishable. Even if we marked points corresponding to all of the real numbers - rational and irrational - on a continuous number line, there would still be an inexhaustible supply of potential points in between each of them. Your definition of time as (actual) change thus entails that it cannot be continuous in this way; it must be discrete.aletheist

    Note that I put the word "point" in quotation marks. Again, mathematics isn't/mathematical objects aren't real. There are no real "zero dimensional" things. The very idea of that is incoherent. All I'm saying is that you could just as well represent time with a line, and different, adjacent times are thus two "points" on the line. That works just as well as saying that it's binary.

    Re this: "f they are (actually) indistinct but (potentially) distinguishable," "if they are actually not different but potentially different" just reads like nonsense to me.

    Can you give me an example of cognition that does not involve logical/mathematical language, or at least some kind of general representation?aletheist

    Sure. For example, when I just looked at this fake rat I have on top of my computer. (It's like a plastic/slightly rubbery rat, a souvenir from the Florida Panthers hockey team, just in case you're wondering why I have a fake rat on top of my computer, haha.)
  • Terrapin Station
    2.7k


    I'd say that what you can doubt in the vein you're shooting for are what the real things are like that your experiences are correlated with, or that triggered/catalyzed your experiences.

    You can also doubt that you're remembering how you normally use concepts, terms, etc.
  • John
    2.7k


    You say there can be no such thing as a dimensionless point instant, right? So presumably the present must, for you, either have duration, or be duration itself. If the present has or is duration, then it must be, at least logically, divisible into prior and succeeding parts, no?
  • aletheist
    709
    All I'm saying is that you could just as well represent time with a line, and different, adjacent times are thus two "points" on the line. That works just as well as saying that it's binary.Terrapin Station

    Only if you concede that there is some distance between the two "adjacent" points. They are not and cannot be contiguous, any more than the zeroes and ones in an alternating string of binary digits can be contiguous. There is a reason why analog and digital are not the same.

    I just looked at this fake rat I have on top of my computer.Terrapin Station

    Looking at the fake rat is perception, not cognition. When you judge that you are seeing a fake rat, you are already representing it, and that judgment is the first premiss of any subsequent reasoning about it. You cannot think about the fake rat (or anything else) without representing it somehow.

    (I have to ask - why on earth would a team called the Panthers give out fake rats?)
  • Terrapin Station
    2.7k
    You say there can be no such thing as a dimensionless point instant, right? So presumably the present must, for you, either have duration, or be duration itself. If the present has or is duration, then it must be, at least logically, divisible into prior and succeeding parts, no?John

    It "is duration," I suppose. It is a swath of time. Namely, the present is one change or set of changes occurring relative to another change or another set of changes. You could think of that as being divisible into "parts," sure, although if you think of it being divisible into a nonchanging part, you're no longer talking about time, and you're just invoking an abstraction.
  • Terrapin Station
    2.7k
    Only if you concede that there is some distance between the two "adjacent" points. They are not and cannot be contiguousaletheist

    The temporal "points" in question ARE contiguous. (And this is like the third or fourth time I've said this.)

    Re the difference between analog and digital, that can't hinge on zero dimensional points in the real world because there are no such things. So, for example, analog recording/analog tape doesn't involve zero dimensional points in any manner. Maybe on some fine-grained ontological level, there is no real difference between analog and digital recording. I don't know.

    Looking at the fake rat is perception, not cognition.aletheist

    Maybe you have some unusual definition of cognition in mind, but I wouldn't say that cognition doesn't include perception. A general dictionary definition of cognition is "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses." When I look at the rat on my computer, I'm acquiring knowledge--that it's there, for example; that it looks like it does; that it feels as it does, etc.

    You cannot think about the fake rat (or anything else) without representing it somehow.aletheist

    I don't agree with that in the slightest. I don't buy representational theories of perception. I'm a direct realist on phil of perception.

    (I have to ask - why on earth would a team called the Panthers give out fake rats?)aletheist

    Their old home arena was infested with rats. The players used to chase them around the locker room with their hockey sticks. Word of that got out, and fans started bringing rubber rats to games. When the team would win, the fans would throw the rats onto the ice. At first the team tried to discourage it, but it became a tradition and part of the team culture so that they incorporated rat stuff into other things with the team, too, and they started selling their own fake rats to throw on the ice, etc., and this has continued even after they moved into a new arena.
  • aletheist
    709
    The temporal "points" in question ARE contiguous. (And this is like the third or fourth time I've said this.)Terrapin Station

    No matter how many times you say it, it will always be incoherent to me. If time is defined strictly as the change from F to not-F or vice-versa, then the points that represent these changes cannot be contiguous, they must be discrete. Time (no pun intended) to call it an impasse, I suspect.

    When I look at the rat on my computer, I'm acquiring knowledge--that it's there, for example; that it looks like it does; that it feels as it does, etc.Terrapin Station

    "That it's there" is a judgment; "that it looks like it does" is a judgment; "that it feels as it does" is a judgment. On my view, only the percept itself is brute; all subsequent steps, beginning with these kinds of judgments, involve representation. This will probably just result in another impasse, I suspect.

    Hockey fans are weird.
  • John
    2.7k


    If you can think of it as "divisible into parts" and the parts are prior or subsequent to other parts, then the present contains elements which are past and future in relation to one another. How 'wide' is the duration that is the present moment; and what determines its 'width'?
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    1.6k
    By the laws of non-contradiction and excluded middle, X is never both Y and not-Y at the same time, and X is always either Y or not-Y at any assignable time. Suppose that X is Y at time T1 and not-Y at time T2; i.e., X changes from Y to not-Y sometime between T1 and T2. There can be no particular instant of time between T1 and T2 when X is changing from Y to not-Y; it is always either one or the other, and never both. Hence if everything is particular, including time, then there is no "present" at which changes "are occurring," just discrete instants before and after each change.aletheist

    This is very similar to the example Aristotle used to demonstrate why we need to allow exceptions to the law of excluded middle. Without the exception, "becoming", and all change, is unintelligible. If something changes from not-Y to Y, then if we adhere to the law of excluded middle, there is no time in between, when the thing is changing, or "becoming" Y. Sophists were accused of adhering to the laws of logic in order to produce absurd conclusions such as in your example. Therefore it was established that we should allow exceptions to the law of excluded middle in order that change and becoming may be considered as real.
  • Rich
    437


    Exceptions are only necessary when an underlying model creates uncomfortable paradoxes, e.g. the Zeno paradoxes.

    In the Bergsonian model, change is in duration, not between some moments in time. Continuous, indivisible, heterogeneous change is synonymous with duration which we feel as some memory transforms into a different memory. That is how we can feel our own continuous existence. There are no in-between moments in such a movement from one memory into another. This time is not a series of simultaneities in space, e.g. clock movements, but rather time is felt as some change in duration.
  • Terrapin Station
    2.7k
    If you can think of it as "divisible into parts" and the parts are prior or subsequent to other parts, then the present contains elements which are past and future in relation to one another. How 'wide' is the duration that is the present moment; and what determines its 'width'?John

    The very post of mine that you're respoding to contained the answer:

    the present is one change or set of changes occurring relative to another change or another set of changes.Terrapin Station

    So, for example, take change A, from x to y. If B changes from 1 through 10 during A's change from x to y, then B's 1 through 10 is A's present.

    That's the same thing if A is the set of changes from m to y (m, n, o . . . ), B's 1 through 10 is A's present.

    In other words, it's relative to our reference frame (<<warning: not identical to the physics concept>>), --OR-- the present is one change or set of changes occurring relative to another change or another set of changes.
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