• Gary M Washburn
    105
    The thing is that I don’t do this willingly; rather, it’s the only thing that I can do as far as I can tell. That’s because likely the only mind of which I am directly aware is my own. The existence of all other minds, including yours, is only my hypothesis.Tristan L

    Solipsism? Or stubbornness? If you know any words at all you are not alone.As I said earlier, and I hate repeating myself, people who grow up among strong talkers are far more proficient, and a "wild child" may never learn to talk at all. You can't be a speaker and be alone. Even talking to yourself acknowledges that. Even if you deliberately keep yourself to yourself. The changes in your convictions, even about what words mean, that others urge in you can only mean that you are not alone. If you learn anything at all this can only mean you are not alone. You cannot change your mind about what words mean alone, and you cannot think yourself alone without having changed your mind about what words mean.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.7k
    Do Alice and Bob have the "same idea" when looking at this object.RussellA

    Welcome to my nightmare
    I think you're gonna like it
    I think you're gonna feel like you belong
  • Gary M Washburn
    105
    The solipsist must hate himself if he thinks that all the critical responses to his views are happening in his own head. So, Tris, you have my sympathy!
  • RussellA
    54

    As an aside, I intuitively believe that we live in a deterministic world, even allowing for apparent free-will, chaotic systems (still deterministic yet making predictions difficult) and quantum indeterminacy (not ruling out the possibility of a deeper determinism underneath quantum mechanics).

    It seems that linguistic meaning is ultimately indeterminate for several reasons, including the problem of definition, the Russell paradox about sets not being members of themselves and Gödel's incompleteness theorems.

    Perhaps, as it is therefore beyond the ability of current language to fully explain the reality of the world we live in, then another movement with the same goals as the Logical Positivists of the 1920's and 30's would be beneficial, ie, to create a new language whose meaning was determinate.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.7k
    It seems that linguistic meaning is ultimately indeterminate for several reasons, including the problem of definition, the Russell paradox about sets not being members of themselves and Gödel's incompleteness theorems.

    Perhaps, as it is therefore beyond the ability of current language to fully explain the reality of the world we live in, then another movement with the same goals as the Logical Positivists of the 1920's and 30's would be beneficial, ie, to create a new language whose meaning was determinate.
    RussellA

    Since you believe that linguistic meaning is "ultimately indeterminate", then don't you find the idea of a new language whose meaning is determinate, contradictory to what you believe? Wouldn't this make the new language something other than language as we know it? How could it be possible for language to change so drastically? Wouldn't any attempt to create a language with determinate meaning just produce another indeterminate language due to the nature of the human mind and human understanding?

    As an aside, I intuitively believe that we live in a deterministic world, even allowing for apparent free-will, chaotic systems (still deterministic yet making predictions difficult) and quantum indeterminacy (not ruling out the possibility of a deeper determinism underneath quantum mechanics).RussellA

    So I assume that this ideal, deterministic world, which you believe yourself to be in, despite all the evidence otherwise, would support this ideal, deterministic language which you believe in. Can I ask why you intuitively believe in such ideals?
  • Tristan L
    154
    Let's suppose you're right, and there are Properties and concrete particulars are instances of them.Srap Tasmaner

    That’s actually not my position. I hold that there is no such thing as a concrete object, and that all things are abstract. The only beondes ("things" that are) which can be concrete are pieces of information. According to my view, the illusion of a concrete thing is generated by mixing up a piece of concrete information with an abstract object related to the information in a certain way. For instance, there is the property of wrenchhood, a certain possible state of the quantum fields associated with wrenchhood in a cerain way, and the proposition A that the quantum fields are in that state. These three are all abstract. If and only if the proposition A is true, there exists a belonging piece of concrete info. The illusion of a concrete wrench is actually a chimera of that info-piece and the associated abstract things, importantly wrenchhood.

    Indeed, modern physics suggests to me more and more that the fundamental substances of reality are information and abstract things. And I also have philosophical arguments for the abstractness of all things.

    When I ask you to hand me that instance of Wrenchhood, am I asking you to hand me Wrenchhod? No. Am I "talking about" Wrenchhood? I am using the concept of Wrenchhood, and relying on you to understand it, but talking about Wrenchhood is when you analyze the necessary and sufficient conditions of being an instance of Wrenchhood. (Or whatever you like there.) Asking for 'that wrench there' is not that.Srap Tasmaner

    Well, that’s a narrow definition of “talk about”. What I mean by “talk about x” is to use a word which means x. Okay, then, let’s from now on use “talk involving” or something like that to mean what I originally meant by “talk about” if you like.

    Anyway, how can you use a word which refers to something which isn’t there?

    As I understand it, when you ask me to hand over the wrench, you’re asking me to bring about a certain change in the state of the quantum fields and thus to make true an abstract proposition, thereby creating a piece of associated information. That proposition has a special relationship with wrenchhood.

    When we talk, hypothetically, about an instance of a concept that has no instances, what is the thing we are talking about? There is no such thing, so we are talking about nothing.Srap Tasmaner

    If that were so, then the statement “There are no odd even numbers” would be as meaningless as “Tdfgde fgdgd kkdfk, asdefwsek, erere heolgmd dkske”, wouldn’t it?

    But you would have it that if there are no instances of Wubblehood, then when we talk about wubbles we're actually talking about Wubblehood. But the absence of wubbles doesn't change talk about wubbles into talk about Wubblehood the concept.Srap Tasmaner

    That’s true. I hold that what “talk about wubbles” means always is talk about wubblehood, regardless of whether the latter has instances or not. However, if wubblehood has no instances, then it’s particularly clear that what is meant by “talk about wubbles” must in truth be talk about wubblehood.

    In the last paragraph, I used “wubblehood” as a variable that varies over all properties, and that paragraph is implicitly all-quantified.

    This argument for Platonism, from vacuous predicates and vacuous singular terms, is widely accepted, I'll grant you, but not by anyone who has learned the difference between use and mention.Srap Tasmaner

    Actually, I think that I’m pretty clear on the distinction between the two. For example, I’m aware that the sentence “The word ‘rightwiseness’ refers to a property” mentions the word 'rightwiseness', the sentence “Rightwiseness has douthhood and is a very weighty douth (virtue)” uses the word ‘rightwiseness’, and the sentence “The words ’rightwiseness’ and ‘justice’ mean the douth of rightwiseness” both mentions and uses the word ‘rightwiseness’, but only mentions the word ‘justice’. Yet I obviously accept the argument for platonism and have even put it forth.
  • Tristan L
    154
    Well, I could be dreaming up all those other people with whom I talk, couldn’t I? Or, to be less radically solipsistic, how would anything change for me if the behaviors of others, including the sound-waves that they make, were exactly as they are with them having minds, but everyone other than me lacked a mind?

    If you learn anything at all this can only mean you are not alone. You cannot change your mind about what words mean alone,Gary M Washburn

    How so? Can’t I think stuff over and that way both learn new things and change my mind on what words mean?
  • Gary M Washburn
    105
    Absolutely not! Because valid reasoning requires a commitment to the continuity of terms. So, if your terms change, then not only are you a solipsist, you are incapable of reasoning too. Alone, and mad.
  • Gary M Washburn
    105
    I think somewhere on this thread it was asserted, by someone other than myself, that reason is reductive. Is that reduction Ockham's Razor, or more like a sorites? Or maybe something like what is called, in Plato's Statesman, the 'division of being'? For instance, is nothing actually blue what blueness is? As I said earlier (I hate repeating myself!) if the idea is a member of its category it cannot be used to define the other members, and if it is not its membership cannot be used to define it. It is an insuperable contradiction at the heart of all terms, even structural terms needed to produce a logic. But if reason is reductive, then where is the abstract in the concrete reality it means to explicate and supply the terms for required rational inference? Are there any blue things if everything blue is not what blueness is? (By the way, a photon and an electron, and probably all subatomic particles, are "clouds" of probability. Is the idea itself a cloud? What then "cloudhood?) If every blue thing is determinately not what blueness is, how do we establish what this means? Reductively? By eliminating each blue thing from the idea one at a time? What does time even mean if you can never really get to it? But of course we can't! Because it is never there that the reduction begins or ends. It is not either/or, but neither/nor. There simply is no sense in which any blue thing is either what blueness is or not. It is always neither what blueness is nor not so. And so we reduce or eliminate the idea of every participant in it, until there simply is nothing left. The moment of that finding can be fended off eternally if we simply believe in infinity, even though we know there is no real infinity, that matter is not infinitely divisible and, that it is a contradictory concept. So, when all is said and done, what remains? What remains is the character of neither/nor a commitment to the continuity of terms necessitates and that each participant in the idea is neither the idea itself nor not. In that character of each decisive elimination from the idea each participant in it is the idea is most coherently and comprehensively neither what it really is nor not. If the origin of terms is neither/nor, but the reductive mechanism is either/or, then the exhaustion of that reduction is the worth to the idea each participant in it is lost to it as that reduction. The emptiness of the idea is the recognition of that worth. The departed from it is the completing term of the idea. And in this sense each part, each reduction of each part, is the coherence of the idea.
  • Srap Tasmaner
    2.6k
    Anyway, how can you use a word which refers to something which isn’t there?Tristan L

    Because a referring expression doesn't always refer. Displacement is a core feature of language, but if you have the tools to create an expression that can be understood by others to refer to something not in your immediate environment, you also have the tools to fail to refer to anything at all.

    Suppose you ask me to grab three reams of paper from the supply room, and I come back with two. You put one in one printer, one in another, and then say, "Where's the third?" "There were only two there." No one thinks that just because you can say "the third ream of paper" that there were three.

    Or, let's say, considering the purpose of this thread: I don't think that, and you have given me no reason to do so. I'm not actually here to refute your position: you can believe whatever quantum Platonism you find entertaining. The point of this thread is to see if you can give me, a non-Platonist, any reason to take your position seriously.
  • Tristan L
    154
    Well, I do admit that I’m not (hopefully only yet?) wise, not even remotely, and so my thoughts are still full of vagueness, so it comes as not surprise that the meanings of the terms I use are also not always crystal clear. In fact, to make them so, I’d have to already be able to mentally “see” all of beonde (that which is, Seiendes) as well as beon (the "state/property/deed" of being, Sein) itself, not-beon itself, the orprinciple above beon and not-beon which is the well of all, as well as what lies beyond, even beyond beyondness itself, in a crystal clear fashion.

    Here’s a challenge: Please prove to me – and I mean prove – that you have a mind, that @Srap Tasmaner also has a mind, and that those two minds are not the same. In particular, please show me that the texts I see on this forum have been written by real people with minds rather than a random number generator.

    I have already almost given up on giving you two (or anyone else other than me for that matter) a proof that I have a mind, so if you do have minds (which I strongly believe), I concede that I likely can’t show you that I have one, too, though I myself am 100% sure that I have.


    :confused:

    It is always neither what blueness is nor not so.Gary M Washburn

    :brow:?
  • Tristan L
    154
    No one thinks that just because you can say "the third ream of paper" that there were three.Srap Tasmaner

    True, and that’s the thing; we aren’t actually referring to individual papers. The expression does refer to something, though, and that something must be abstract.

    Or, let's say, considering the purpose of this thread: I don't think that, and you have given me no reason to do so.Srap Tasmaner

    I believe that you only think that I have given you no reason, but that I have in fact given you more than one reason:

    • We can (at least I can, and I hypothesize other minds can, too) be directly aware of abstract things. By contrast, we can only infer the existence of concrete stuff like physical beondes and thoughts of others.
    • Only abstract universals can make it even meaningful to say that two or more particulars have something in common – namley an abstract universal.
    • Only properties allow sentences containing common nouns to make sense.
    • The very fact that we can ask whether there are abstract things needs abstractness, which is an abstract property.

    Now, I’ll give you further reasons:

    • Quantum mechanical experiments have shown that (supposed) particles apparently don’t obey the Principle of the Identity of Indescernibles. However, that principle can be easily shown with nothing but basic witcraft (logic). This shows that there are no individual particles in the first place, but only the respective abstract fields, e.g. electronhood and photonhood instead of individual electrons or photons.
    • The laws of witcraft and mathematics are rock-solid compared to most other laws, yet they clearly aren’t about concrete stuff. For instance, you can’t change the fact that 5 is odd even one bit, no matter how great the might of your muscles or the smartness of your mind or the strength of your will. Hence, they must be about real, abstract entities, and these must be at least as real as conrete stuff.
  • RussellA
    54
    Wouldn't any attempt to create a language with determinate meaning just produce another indeterminate languageMetaphysician Undercover

    Exactly so. That is the problem as I see it. As Gödel proved for mathematics the impossibility of finding a complete and consistent set of axioms, perhaps we need another Gödel to prove whether or not language can be determinate.

    So I assume that this ideal, deterministic world, which you believe yourself to be in, despite all the evidence otherwise, would support this ideal, deterministic language which you believe inMetaphysician Undercover

    In answer to the question, "can a deterministic world support a deterministic language ?", I don't believe so, as it seems that linguistic meaning is always indeterminate. The problem remains that language is part of the mind, and the mind is part of the world, not separate to it. Ultimately, bearing in mind Russell's paradox about sets being members of themselves, something can never know itself, meaning that language can never be determinate

    In Plato's terms, language may be included with justice, truth, equality, beauty as being derived by reasoning from the Form of the Good, where the Good is a perfect, eternal and changeless Form, existing outside space and time and superior to every material instantiation of it. The perfect Form - a deterministic language - may be strived for, but never achieved. This raises a problem with Plato's Theory of Forms in that if the Form is outside of time and space and superior to every material instantiation of it, how can Plato argue for the existence of something that he has already argued is beyond his ability to discover.
  • Gary M Washburn
    105
    ?
    ?Tristan L

    Contrariety. When all is said and done the contrary term is the engine of the real. A careful reading would inform you that I said this and carefully explained it. I know it's a strain on the little noggin,,,
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.7k
    In answer to the question, "can a deterministic world support a deterministic language ?", I don't believe so, as it seems that linguistic meaning is always indeterminate. The problem remains that language is part of the mind, and the mind is part of the world, not separate to it. Ultimately, bearing in mind Russell's paradox about sets being members of themselves, something can never know itself, meaning that language can never be determinateRussellA

    OK, so the question is, if language is an indeterminate part of the mind, and the mind is a part of the world, why do you believe that the world is determinate. Isn't at least part of the world indeterminate?

    In Plato's terms, language may be included with justice, truth, equality, beauty as being derived by reasoning from the Form of the Good, where the Good is a perfect, eternal and changeless Form, existing outside space and time and superior to every material instantiation of it. The perfect Form - a deterministic language - may be strived for, but never achieved. This raises a problem with Plato's Theory of Forms in that if the Form is outside of time and space and superior to every material instantiation of it, how can Plato argue for the existence of something that he has already argued is beyond his ability to discover.RussellA

    I think you need to recognize that Plato was exploring the deficiencies in this theory of eternal Ideas, which was coming from Pythagoreanism. We tend to approach Plato's work with the idea that Plato put forward this grand theory of eternal Ideas, and this is what we call Platonism. In reality, Socrates and Plato were more like skeptics, so they did what they could to elucidate the principles which supported this Idealism,(which was quite vague at the time) so that it could be judged. Aristotle then went on to refute this form of Idealism, using what Plato had taught him.

    As for how a philosopher like Plato can approach something which is outside of space and time, the answer is with logic. What logic demonstrates to us, in its usage, is that it is not restricted by spatial-temporal reality, it can very easily go beyond, and think about things which have no spatial temporal existence. The real question then, the point of difficulty, is how do we maintain truth in this realm of logic, which goes beyond spatial-temporal existence. This is where "the good" becomes significant. We can apprehend as reality, that logic is not grounded in spatial-temporal existence, it is grounded in "the good". The good is what Aristotle called "the end", the goal, or objective, what is wanted.
  • Gary M Washburn
    105


    Thank you for taking a different view of Plato.

    I'd have to dig back into the text, but at the beginning of Laws, he reiterates the view often stated throughout his works that the engine of reason is what is usually translated "shame". The Greek is 'aischron'. What is more likely is that it is a recognition of the pathology of conviction. Conviction is indispensable to reason, to logic (which Plato pointedly avoided formalizing and Aristotle pointedly avoided learning why) but, since reason is reductive, no synthetic term can validly be produced. Because of this reason is limited to what can be learned from applying rigor to an unwarranted conviction. In aid of this it is necessary to look for differences of that pathology of the terms of reason antecedent to its process. Under dialectical examination this pathology must become recognizable, though all too often we attribute it to our interlocutor. When we recognize our responsibility in it we might be ready to accept the cure. Altered views. And, ultimately, a fair recognition of the limits of reason itself, limits that can only be realized through the discipline of the pathology of reason itself. There is no contradiction in this. But there is contrariety. Contrariety in the community we become in pursuit of a warranted realization, not only of the proper discipline of reason, but of its pathological need of conviction in its starting point. But the language of that recognition is the personal discipline we each bring to that dialectical process. We cannot engage in reason without suffering waxing and waning moments in that conviction. That dramatic evolution of conviction is so personal we may never recognize any meaning in it, we are so limited to rational devices in our attempt to conserve the antecedent term we know is indispensable to it, but, carried on in competence, discipline, and honesty, we must at last recognize we are not alone in the evolving terms of our convictions, though there is never a moment we are not in contrariety to each other in them.

    In Laws, Plato does seem to apply the Pythagorean conviction that reality is "geometric". But at the very end, if only we are not exhausted by then, he recognizes that that geometric/quantifying view is inadequate to the matter. It is personal qualities that clinch our recognition of what reality is. That is why Plato so consistently focuses all his discourse on the dynamics of human character, and under the trope of recognizing the pathology of opinions and accepting the cure.
  • RussellA
    54
    Isn't at least part of the world indeterminate?Metaphysician Undercover

    I should have distinguished between the two types of indeterminism, semantic indeterminism (SI) and metaphysical indeterminism (MI).

    The clause "two people have the same idea" is an example of SI, in that the phrase "same idea" has two different meanings. MI allows the possibility of free will. Many, including myself, believe that indeterminism is nothing but a semantic problem about the meanings of words. However, others believe, such as Professor David Taylor, that if indeterminism is semantic then one falls into an infinite regress, meaning that SI requires MI, in that there is something indeterminate about the world itself.

    However, metaphysical determinism and semantic indeterminism are linked by the arrow of time, in that one can have both metaphysical determinism, a cause necessarily determines an effect, and semantic indeterminism, given an effect the cause cannot necessarily be determined.

    Socrates and Plato were more like skepticsMetaphysician Undercover

    I agree. Plato and I are both septics as regards the Theory of Forms. However, the Theory of Forms, as with teleology, is a pragmatically useful concept, even if not true.

    logic is not grounded in spatial-temporal existenceMetaphysician Undercover

    From my reading, although Plato was interested in logic, and did discuss sentence analysis, truth and fallacies, logical puzzles in Euthydemus and the difference between valid and invalid arguments, logic as a fully systemized discipline only began with Aristotle. Plato approached the World of Forms not through logic but through intuition, where knowledge of the Forms cannot be gained through sensory experience but through the mind. Forms transcend time and space, timeless and unchanging. Plato was a Dualist, where the soul before being localised by the body was directly connected to the World of Forms. After the soul had been confined by the body, it retained a dim recollection of the Forms. IE, for Plato, the mind approaches the World of Forms not through logic but through a dim memory of them.

    There is the question as to whether the mind can use logic to go outside of time and space.
    Along the same lines, Mathematical Platonism suggests that mathematical entities have no spatio-temporal properties. As Plato would have said, I'm sceptical. My belief is that numbers are definitions, in the performative rather than than descriptive sense, and we find our defined numbers useful because we have discovered that they often correspond to the world around us. Things defined do exist, in a sense, through all time and all space, but only within it, not outside it.
  • Gary M Washburn
    105
    I should have distinguished between the two types of indeterminism, semantic indeterminism (SI) and metaphysical indeterminism (MI).RussellA

    Nuh-uh! The more pertinent indeterminism is syntax. Syntax is not intrinsically valid a priori without quantifiers. And number is not real at all. It is a medium by which the qualifier is recognizable as the limit of the enumerator and the calculus of that enumeration. Reason requires conviction in some system of quantification, but its limit is that there is nothing within it that identifies what it counts. Because of this it is not possible to sustain that conviction without suffering variance in the character of it. That variance is emotion. The discipline we each bring to that conviction, and the variances in it we urge in each other, reveal to each other the personal character of that discipline, and so identify the person we each are ti each other and supply, in that recognition, the terms by which we understand ourselves and recognize what is real and what reality is. Person cannot be revealed in the quantifier. Only at the limit of that count, where is recognizable its presumptive issue is not within it, is person real. There can be no structural terms that govern that recognition. Only the worthiness of the character of person it is names it. That worthiness to which we supply the terms of recognition to each other is, in terms of the count, a kind of absence, a departure from conviction. That departure is what we call truth. Only departed is it complete, and so comprehensive. Logic simply has no terms to identify it. That is why logic can only be valid or invalid, never true. And most surely not what truth is. The venue of truth is dialectical, not analytic.
  • RussellA
    54
    The more pertinent indeterminismGary M Washburn

    There can be syntactic ambiguity, "He ate the cookies on the couch" and there can be semantic ambiguity, "We saw her duck"

    When asking what does ""two people have the same idea" mean, I would say that this is an example of semantic ambiguity rather than syntactic ambiguity, in that "same" is ambiguous in meaning. IE, is "same" meant as a type (the same type of idea) or a token (the same instance of an idea).
  • Tristan L
    154
    Sounds interesting. Just one remark: The Shape of Contrariety makes your position possible in the first place, doesn’t it?
  • Srap Tasmaner
    2.6k
    "same" is ambiguous in meaning. IE, is "same" meant as a type (the same type of idea) or a token (the same instance of an idea).RussellA

    My argument was precisely that I can happily say "Joe is thinking the same thing as Allison" if Joe is thinking it's going to rain and so is Allison, and that I can do so without committing to the independent existence of The Thought That It's Going To Rain.

    I like the type-token thing, but not if it allows Platonism in through the backdoor after barring it from the front.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.7k
    Many, including myself, believe that indeterminism is nothing but a semantic problem about the meanings of words. However, others believe, such as Professor David Taylor, that if indeterminism is semantic then one falls into an infinite regress, meaning that SI requires MI, in that there is something indeterminate about the world itself.RussellA

    I think I'd be with Taylor here.. Isn't semantic indeterminism dependent on free will? The reason why SI exists is that we are free to use words how we please. If we had no free will, we'd have no choice in word selection, and there'd be no SI. Therefore if free will is dependent of metaphysical indeterminism, SI is also dependent on MI.

    However, metaphysical determinism and semantic indeterminism are linked by the arrow of time, in that one can have both metaphysical determinism, a cause necessarily determines an effect, and semantic indeterminism, given an effect the cause cannot necessarily be determined.RussellA

    You seem to be missing something here. Yes, a cause necessarily determines an effect, by definition, but what if something happens which is uncaused? So metaphysical determinism requires a stronger premise, it requires that everything is caused. Now, something might appear as if it is uncaused, and we can choose to believe one of two options, that it has a cause which cannot be determined, or it has no cause. In essence, aren't the two the same? To determine something as the cause, is to apprehend a logical relationship. If it is impossible for a logical relationship to be demonstrated, doesn't this mean that there is no cause?

    From my reading, although Plato was interested in logic, and did discuss sentence analysis, truth and fallacies, logical puzzles in Euthydemus and the difference between valid and invalid arguments, logic as a fully systemized discipline only began with Aristotle. Plato approached the World of Forms not through logic but through intuition, where knowledge of the Forms cannot be gained through sensory experience but through the mind. Forms transcend time and space, timeless and unchanging. Plato was a Dualist, where the soul before being localised by the body was directly connected to the World of Forms. After the soul had been confined by the body, it retained a dim recollection of the Forms. IE, for Plato, the mind approaches the World of Forms not through logic but through a dim memory of them.RussellA

    I guess I was somewhat free with my use of "logic", a little bit of semantic indeterminism there. Maybe I should have said reason, or even intellect. All these, as well as intuition, are aspects of mind.

    What Plato did not provide, is a good distinction between soul and mind. You seem to know Plato pretty well, and I think you'll find that mind and soul are sometimes used almost interchangeably, as referring to the immaterial aspect of the dualism which is the human being. This is where Aristotle excelled, and surpassed Plato, by providing a proper distinction in his biology, "On the Soul". Aristotle actually defines "soul", as "the primary actuality of a body having life potentially in it", and then proceeds to discuss the different powers of the soul, self-nurishing, self moving, sensation, and intellection. So all living things have a soul, and the soul has different powers according to the material body of the living being, and the mind is now understood as a property of the soul which is realized through the material body..

    This is important because it provides a division between the forms which the mind apprehends, and the Forms which are independent and prior to the body. This allows that the mind actually creates its forms. And there is no need for the theory of recollection, which doesn't work so well, because the Forms which actually transcend space and time, the category where the soul is placed, are therefore not the same forms as those which the mind apprehends. The soul is directly related to the independent Forms, but the forms apprehended by the intellect are dependent of the mind, which is dependent on the body. So the material body is a sort of medium between the independent Forms, and the forms apprehended by the mind. This accounts for the reality that human ideas are often mistaken.
  • RussellA
    54
    not if it allows PlatonismSrap Tasmaner

    I agree that neither of us want to allow Platonic Forms back.

    But the answer to the question "do two people have the same idea" also depends on one's definition of "person", which, at the end of the day is semantically indeterminate, even allowing that there is a consensus amongst most people as to its meaning. As I picture it, as there is no one fixed definition of "person", and no two people's definition of "person" will be the same, the meaning of "person" can be illustrated by the bell curve of normal distribution, a probability distribution symmetric about the mean.

    There will be a consensus at the mean of the bell curve. However, at one extreme end of the bell curve will be those who define a person as their mind, in that being in an accident and losing one's leg doesn't take away a person's individuality. At the other extreme of the bell curve will be those who believe in telepathy, in Platonic Forms, in a collective consciousness (Emile Durkheim 1893 The Division of Labour in Society) or in a universal consciousness (Loken and Bendriss 2013 The Shift in Consciousness)

    Therefore, the answer to the question "do two people have the same idea", will also depend on a person's particular definition of "person". Those at one extreme of the bell curve, those believing in telepathy, Platonic Forms, collective and universal consciousness, would argue that "the idea" is a token, whereas everyone else would argue that it is a type.

    IE, neither opinion is right or wrong, as it depends on one's personal beliefs.
  • RussellA
    54
    Isn't semantic indeterminism dependent on free will?Metaphysician Undercover

    A similar problem to the one experienced by Captain Kirk in the episode The Liar Paradox. Being trapped by machines on a planet, Captain Kirk tells the humanoid "everything that Harry Mudd tells you is a lie", at which point Harry Mudd says "I am lying", causing the humanoid to say "illogical" followed by a breakdown with smoke escaping from its head. The moral of the story is that deterministic machines without human free will cannot cope with semantic indeterminism.

    However, the humanoids learn from their encounter. They add another line of software to their programs, such that if a calculation takes longer than a fixed time, the program stops and moves on to the next problem.

    Years later, on being visited by the Battlestar Galactica, who are similarly trapped on the planet, Admiral Adama tells the humanoid "everything that Col. Tigh tells you is a lie", at which Col. Tigh says "I am lying".The humanoid, with its updated program, successfully avoids any logical problems, and the crew of the Battlestar Galactica remain imprisoned without chance of release.

    IE, a metaphysically deterministic humanoid without free will can be programmed to avoid any logical problem of semantic indeterminism.

    If it is impossible for a logical relationship to be demonstrated, doesn't this mean that there is no cause?Metaphysician Undercover

    Our system of knowledge is based on axioms. Axiom One could be that we live in a deterministic world where all events, including moral choices, are completely determined by previously existing causes. Axiom Two could be that we live in an indeterministic world where no event is certain and the entire outcome of anything is probabilistic. Being axioms, no relationship between an earlier event and a later event needs to be logically proved.

    IE, the fact that it is impossible for a logical relationship to be proved, does not exclude axiom one, ie, that there are causes.

    Aristotle actually defines "soul", as "the primary actuality of a body having life potentially in it"Metaphysician Undercover

    Perhaps Kant can be thought of as continuing Aristotle's philosophy in that one could draw a comparison between Aristotle's Forms and forms with with Kant's "a priori" and "synthetic", whilst, as a modern Enlightenment thinker, moving away from Aristotle's incorporeal and eternal soul to a more sceptical view about ever being able to know the true nature of the mind.
  • Gary M Washburn
    105
    Subatomic particles are not semantic. Quantum values are not numerical. But there is no ambiguity to them either. They are quite decisively neither/nor rather than either/or. Because being decisively neither/nor is more real. It is what reality is. The search for disambiguation is merely a temporary expedient. It is a treacherous prize. There simply is no possible justification for a conviction two minds think the same. Ideas are generated from a comparison of differences. What in its nature is difference can never be characterized by sameness. "I met a man upon a stair, I met a man who wasn't there. He wasn't there again today, I wish the man would go away." You're all grasping at what isn't there, and means not to be. In Plato's Lysis he shows us the way to be the friend is not to be the friendship, and meaning not to be. Meaning to be, thinking you know what you mean, let alone thinking you know what I mean, is a mug's game.

    The Shape of ContrarietyTristan L

    Whah??? Whatever you mean by this shape, the point is, if there is no there there there is no shape to it. Plato was not a Pythagorean, and Socrates violated the most sacred secret tenet of that cult, in Meno. So why impute geometry to him?
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.7k
    IE, a metaphysically deterministic humanoid without free will can be programmed to avoid any logical problem of semantic indeterminism.RussellA

    But this does not address the issue. The issue is that what causes language to be semantically indeterminate is that the creators of language have freewill. The point I made is that if people did not have free will, there would be no choice on how to interpret meaning, nor choice as to which words to use, consequently no semantic indeterminism.

    Our system of knowledge is based on axioms. Axiom One could be that we live in a deterministic world where all events, including moral choices, are completely determined by previously existing causes. Axiom Two could be that we live in an indeterministic world where no event is certain and the entire outcome of anything is probabilistic. Being axioms, no relationship between an earlier event and a later event needs to be logically proved.

    IE, the fact that it is impossible for a logical relationship to be proved, does not exclude axiom one, ie, that there are causes.
    RussellA

    I don't see the point. Aren't the two axioms contradictory, so we'd have to disallow accepting both, on the basis of the law of non-contradiction? Or are you suggesting that we reject the law of non-contradiction as an unacceptable axiom?
  • Tristan L
    154
    The Shape of Contrariety — Tristan L


    Whah??? Whatever you mean by this shape, the point is, if there is no there there there is no shape to it. Plato was not a Pythagorean, and Socrates violated the most sacred secret tenet of that cult, in Meno. So why impute geometry to him?
    Gary M Washburn

    The word “Shape” with an uppercase ‘S’ means the same as “Form” (with uppercase ‘F’) and “Idea” (with uppercase ‘I’), as in “Theory of Shapes/Forms/Ideas”. So “Shape of Contrariety”, “Form of Contrariety”, “Idea of Contrariety”, “contrariety”, “contrariety itself”, “contrariness”, and “contrarihood” all mean the same (abstract) thing.

    I never had anything geometrical in mind at all.
  • RussellA
    54
    The issue is that what causes language to be semantically indeterminate is that the creators of language have freewillMetaphysician Undercover

    Language (syntax and semantics) as a human creation is inherently indeterminate, in that it is not possible to create a determinate language, as illustrated by Gödel's incompleteness theorems in mathematics and Bertrand Russell's failed project of Logism which attempted to create an analytic framework for language.
    IE, any language is indeterminate, regardless of whether its creators have free will or not.

    If it is impossible for a logical relationship to be demonstrated, doesn't this mean that there is no cause?Metaphysician Undercover

    As some people might believe in axiom one, and other people might believe in axiom two, it is true that different people's beliefs will be contradictory.
    IE, for someone who believes in axiom one (defined as a statement so evident or well-established that it is assumed to be true ), it follows that they accept that it is impossible for a logical relationship to be demonstrated, meaning that the fact that it is impossible for a logical relationship to be demonstrated does not affect their belief in a cause.
  • magritte
    76
    deterministic machines without human free will cannot cope with semantic indeterminism.RussellA

    Human free will is from a different unrelated language. In theory, machines can be made at least as semantically intelligent as a standard dumb human. Semantic indeterminacy, as vagueness and ambiguity unresolved, is a necessary feature of natural languages to allow specific in-context applicability of a limited formal vocabulary to a boundlessly unpredictable real world.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.7k
    Language (syntax and semantics) as a human creation is inherently indeterminate, in that it is not possible to create a determinate language, as illustrated by Gödel's incompleteness theorems in mathematics and Bertrand Russell's failed project of Logism which attempted to create an analytic framework for language.
    IE, any language is indeterminate, regardless of whether its creators have free will or not.
    RussellA

    I think you are misinterpreting the evidence. The reason why it is impossible to create a determinate language is that language is inherently something created by free willing beings. Free willing beings like Godel, and Russell can imagine what a determinate language might be like, and show how it is impossible for an actual language to be like this, but this does not get to the reason of why it is impossible for an actual language to be like that. And the reason why it is impossible for an actual language to be like that, is as I explained, that there is freedom inherent in its creation due to free will.

    IE, for someone who believes in axiom one (defined as a statement so evident or well-established that it is assumed to be true ), it follows that they accept that it is impossible for a logical relationship to be demonstrated, meaning that the fact that it is impossible for a logical relationship to be demonstrated does not affect their belief in a cause.RussellA

    The problem though, is that many axioms are accepted on the basis of utility (pragmatism), not on the basis of being self-evident. This relates to Plato's "the good". This makes the belief itself the cause , as in teleology, but many do not believe that beliefs are causes.
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