• neomac
    51
    Do you find the account I set out in the first three posts of the debate to be a complete one?creativesoul

    To me, they are enough to seriously challenge Banno's account as he presented it so far. But as I said, we can determine our views on beliefs better by clarifying other related notions, like proposition, concept, reference, perception, sentence, etc. That’s why I’m interested now to explore your understanding of the relation between beliefs and concepts.

    On my view, all concepts are linguistic constructs, whereas not all beliefs are. All concepts are existentially dependent upon language.creativesoul

    On what grounds do you believe that all concepts are linguistic constructs? What are the features you ascribe to concepts that essentially require language?
  • Harry Hindu
    4.4k
    What kind if attitudes?
    — Harry Hindu

    The attitude that the proposition is true. That's been on the boards since day one.

    True, not certain.
    Banno
    What is the difference between knowledge and belief?

    What is the difference between, "the attitude that some proposition is true", and "certain that some proposition is true"?

    What is certainty if not the attitude that some proposition is true?

    I think I've mentioned this before. That's as good as it gets for truth. "how one determines some proposition is true" depends on the proposition; something else I've said many times. It's absurd to suppose that there could be one way to determine if a proposition is true.

    You seem to have changed topics.
    Banno
    True is a type of proposition, as opposed to false propositions. Certain would be a type of attitude of some proposition.

    Is it also possible to have an attitude that some proposition is false that is also a belief?

    It's not changing topics. It's integrating what you are saying with the rest of what we know.

    Banno is excellent at engaging others
    — creativesoul
    My attitude toward this proposition: :rofl:
    — Harry Hindu

    And yet here you are.
    Banno

    Proposition 1: Banno is excellent at engaging others
    Proposition 2: Banno is not excellent at engaging others
    Proposition 3: And yet you are here.

    If propositions are true depending on the proposition, then what use is your proposition (#3) in determining the truth of creativesoul's proposition (#1) and my proposition (#2)?

    It seems to me that you are implying that P1 is true depending on if P3 true. If a proposition can only be true depending on some other proposition, then we get an infinite regress of needing an infinite amount of propositions for just one to be true.

    If propositions are true depending only on the proposition itself, then P3 has no bearing on P1 or P2 being true, which means that your response is an example of us talking past each other. It would also mean that P1 and P2 have no implications on the other being true (which would mean that the LNC is false).

    To resolve the infinite regress and abide by the LNC, we must theorize that propositions are true depending on some state-of-affairs that isn't just another proposition, or that propositions refer to some state-of-affairs that is not another proposition.


    How can a language less creature, say a prehistoric mammal, have an attitude towards a proposition when propositions themselves are language constructs? The failure of what you argue is shown in it's inherent inability to make much sense of such language less belief.
    — creativesoul

    Again?

    So a belief is a something stored in the mind of a Diprotodon?
    Banno
    Propositions are composed of the structured sensations of visual scribbles and sounds, or touch (braille). Humans first started with using sounds to create propositions, then visual scribbles, and eventually braille for the blind. Since different sensations can be co-opted to create propositions with, why can't any animal that has sensations form propositions, like this smell means that wolves are in the area and that sound means that they are to my left, which also means I should run to my right? The only difference would be the degree of complexity with which some proposition could be made and the state-of-affairs that it can refer to.

    Does it matter what form some proposition takes (visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, etc.) as long as the sensation means (refers to, or has a causal relation with) something that isn't another sensation?
  • neomac
    51
    What is the referent of the belief in "the cat believes the bowl is empty"? — Banno

    The question makes no sense on my view.
    creativesoul
    I disagree. The referent of the word "belief" is a cognitive intentional state/event (depending on the dispositional or actual meaning we attribute to the word "belief").

    Beliefs are complex things composed of other things. They are a result of cognitive processes. All belief consists of correlations drawn between directly and/or indirectly perceptible things.creativesoul

    My impression is that here you are confusing the content of the belief, with the belief. I think your formulation would sound better if you stated "All belief consists of drawing correlations" instead of "All belief consists of correlations drawn". Yet I wouldn't find it satisfactory: we draw correlations even when we imagine or associate ideas, but imagination is not belief. Besides what is "correlations drawn between directly and/or indirectly perceptible things" supposed to mean when one believes that 3 + 2 = 5 or God is omniscient?
  • creativesoul
    10k
    On my view, all concepts are linguistic constructs, whereas not all beliefs are. All concepts are existentially dependent upon language.
    — creativesoul

    On what grounds do you believe that all concepts are linguistic constructs? What are the features you ascribe to concepts that essentially require language?
    neomac

    Short on time.

    Name some things that you count as a concept, and it will help this along better. As before, I do not use the notion, finding different ways of talking to be more practical.

    The concept of belief and belief...

    Do you draw a distinction?
  • Joshs
    2.5k
    Dennet has at least one intuition pump that does much the same thing in "Quining Qualia", except he's arguing against the notion of private sensations or some such and using something like the private language argument to make the point of how socially constructed the notions actually are.

    I highly recommend reading that to anyone who has not.
    creativesoul

    I love that article. I think Dennett does a great job of demolishing g Strawson’s argument for panpsychism. I just wish he had gone a little further in Rorty’s
    direction.
  • Banno
    15.7k
    What is the difference between knowledge and belief?Harry Hindu

    roughly:
    • Truth is best understood through T-sentences: "P" is true iff P
    • Belief is a relation between an actor and a statement, such that the actor takes the statement to be true.
    • Knowledge might variously be understood as a justified true belief or a capacity to perform some action.

    Is it also possible to have an attitude that some proposition is false that is also a belief?Harry Hindu
    Yep. Believing that P is false is just believing ~P.


    It seems to me that you are implying that P1 is true depending on if P3 trueHarry Hindu
    Your use of "dependent" is misleading. Implication is not dependency. Support for Creative's contention that Banno is good an engaging others is found in the fact that you continue to be engaged.

    Propositions are composed of the structured sensations of visual scribbles and sounds, or touch (braille).Harry Hindu

    No, they re not They are composed of predicates and subjects.
  • creativesoul
    10k
    What is the referent of the belief in "the cat believes the bowl is empty"? — Banno

    The question makes no sense on my view.
    — creativesoul

    I disagree. The referent of the word "belief" is a cognitive intentional state/event (depending on the dispositional or actual meaning we attribute to the word "belief").
    neomac

    Note he asked the referent of the belief, not the word "belief". Beliefs do not have referents for they are not used to pick something out to the exclusion of all else. That's what names do.

    My impression is that here you are confusing the content of the belief, with the belief. I think your formulation would sound better if you stated "All belief consists of drawing correlations" instead of "All belief consists of correlations drawn". Yet I wouldn't find it satisfactory: we draw correlations even when we imagine or associate ideas, but imagination is not belief.neomac

    The content of a belief amounts to what a belief consists of. The content of the belief that a mouse is behind a tree is the mouse, the tree, the spatiotemporal relationship between the two, and the correlations drawn between all these by the creature capable of doing so.

    Indeed, we do draw correlations when imagining, remembering, creating, envisioning, dreaming, etc. I fail to see how that presents any issue for the position I'm putting forth here. I mean, I've not claimed that all correlations are belief, nor would I.


    Besides what is "correlations drawn between directly and/or indirectly perceptible things" supposed to mean when one believes that 3 + 2 = 5 or God is omniscient?neomac

    Are those meaningful marks imperceptible? When one believes that 3 + 2 = 5, they've done nothing more than accept the rules of arithmetic. It may be worth noting here that numbers are nothing more than the names of quantities. When one believes that God is omniscient, they've done nothing more than learn to use language to talk about the supernatural beliefs of the community, and believe that what they are saying is true. Believing that God is omniscient is to believe that there is a God, such that God exists, and that God knows everything.
  • creativesoul
    10k


    Yes. Indeed! That article was very impressive to me as well! I'm not a physicalist either, strictly speaking.

    You may find it interesting to search the site by typing the title into the search bar. Banno created a great thread about it. Good stuff in there, between the typical yahoos.
  • creativesoul
    10k
    creativesoul must think something like this, to explain why he is perplexed that a cat might have a belief while not being able to use language. For him, if a belief is an attitude towards a proposition, there must be propositions in minds, and so language.Banno

    No, that's not it at all. My problem with that notion of belief is well known. How to square that with the idea that language less animals are capable of belief. Hence, the need to posit the notion of a language less proposition.

    If all belief is an attitude towards a proposition, and all propositions are existentially dependent upon language use, then language less animals have no belief. That's the argument. The conclusion follows from the premisses. You have argued for both premisses. You cannot admit the conclusion, because you know better. I'm offering a way to make amends.
  • creativesoul
    10k


    :wink:

    I was just perusing that thread yesterday.
  • javra
    1.5k
    Does the beetle in the box argument affirm that my honestly saying “I am in pain” has a relevant referent? Such that, though you might not instantly discern what it is, it is nevertheless that which I intend to refer to via the sigh of “my pain”. Last I read it affirms the opposite, that whether or not there is a referent to this phrase is irrelevant. Meaning being strictly attached to the abstractions of language rather than to intents, which are intrinsic. — javra

    If I claim that I am referring to something intrinsic by saying that I am in pain, what I mean is that there is a simple and direct relation between my words and a sensation. Wittgenstein argues that such an isolated association between word and thing doesn’t say anything at all, it is meaningless. In order for the expression ‘ I am in pain’ to mean something to others,, it has to
    refer to a socially shared context of background presuppositions, and do something new with them that is recognizable to other speakers. If I am alone, and I think to myself ‘I am in pain’, then the thought is only meaningful to me if it refers to my own network of background presuppositions and carries them forward into a new context of sense.
    Joshs

    While acknowledging other’s rather complex interpretations of Wittgenstein, here’s what the guy actually said in his own words:

    If I say of myself that it is only from my own case that I know what the word "pain" means - must I not say the same of other people too? And how can I generalize the one case so irresponsibly?

    Now someone tells me that he knows what pain is only from his own case! --Suppose everyone had a box with something in it: we call it a "beetle". No one can look into anyone else's box, and everyone says he knows what a beetle is only by looking at his beetle. --Here it would be quite possible for everyone to have something different in his box. One might even imagine such a thing constantly changing. --But suppose the word "beetle" had a use in these people's language? --If so it would not be used as the name of a thing. The thing in the box has no place in the language-game at all; not even as a something: for the box might even be empty. --No, one can 'divide through' by the thing in the box; it cancels out, whatever it is.

    That is to say: if we construe the grammar of the expression of sensation on the model of 'object and designation' the object drops out of consideration as irrelevant.
    Philosophical Investigations, Sec. 293 by L. Wittgenstein

    Note that the most primordial beetle of all beetles, so to speak, is conscious awareness itself. The question is asked, “Does conscious awareness occur in myself, in humans at large, in other lifeforms?” To which Witt replies, “It would be a beetle in a box, so who knows and who cares? It’s irrelevant.”

    As always before, I, personally, am not satisfied by Wittgenstein's answer to this and like issues. This when reading Witt verbatim. Felt like mentioning that.
  • neomac
    51
    Note he asked the referent of the belief, not the word "belief". Beliefs do not have referents for they are not used to pick something out to the exclusion of all else. That's what names do.creativesoul

    It wasn’t clear to me since "the cat believes the bowl is empty” could be taken as mentioning a sentence not as using it to describe whatever is supposed to be the case. However your reply is misleading as well in this respect, because I would grant that the question doesn’t make sense if the question presupposes a categorisation of belief as a word with some referent instead of an intentional state. And this would be a categorial mistake: beliefs are not words (but is there anybody here who would believe otherwise? If not, then what's the interest in asking this question wrt to the topic under discussion?). Yet as long as beliefs are taken to be representational, then for me “content of belief”, “what belief is about” and “what belief is referring to” (so the reference of belief) are interchangeable expressions. Is it not the case for you? If it is case for you too, then your previous claim was wrong, indeed it does make sense to ask what the reference of a belief is and the plausible answer would be a description of whatever a specific belief is concretely about. On the other side if you disagree, how else do you understand the different meaning of “content of belief”, “what belief is about” and “what belief is referring to”?

    Indeed, we do draw correlations when imagining, remembering, creating, envisioning, dreaming, etc. I fail to see how that presents any issue for the position I'm putting forth here. I mean, I've not claimed that all correlations are belief, nor would I.creativesoul

    Let’s focus. You wrote: “All belief consists of correlations drawn between directly and/or indirectly perceptible things”. First of all, to me beliefs do not consist of correlations drawn, but at best of drawing correlations. The second point is that I’m not satisfied with the latter formulation either, not because it's utterly wrong but because at best it provides a necessary condition, it certainly is not necessary and sufficient for belief ascription.
    Another potential source of contention could come also from clarifying what kind of ability the expression “drawing correlations” is supposed to mean. But pls let’s ignore this last point for now.
    I'm just fine if you agree on the first 2 points I made.


    Are those meaningful marks imperceptible? When one believes that 3 + 2 = 5, they've done nothing more than accept the rules of arithmetic. It may be worth noting here that numbers are nothing more than the names of quantities. When one believes that God is omniscient, they've done nothing more than learn to use language to talk about the supernatural beliefs of the community, and believe that what they are saying is true. Believing that God is omniscient is to believe that there is a God, such that God exists, and that God knows everything.creativesoul

    It seems to me here you are confusing the perceptual nature of our representations with what they are about. The belief that God is omniscient or that 3 + 2 = 5 [1] are about something that doesn’t look to be perceptible in nature even if those beliefs can be rendered through perceptible statements. So the correlation of meaningful perceptible marks doesn’t imply that what it represents is a correlation between perceptible things. Unless you can clarify how.


    [1] I'm not sure that arithmetic beliefs are best understood as beliefs about something to be the case. But for now I pretend to be they are.
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