• Darkneos
    131
    https://iai.tv/iai-academy/courses/info?course=why-the-world-does-not-exist
    https://iai.tv/iai-academy/courses/info?course=the-non-existence-of-the-real-world

    It just seems.....weird to me that some folks would do that? I mean doesn't that amount to shooting yourself in the foot more or less? Who are you talking to then? Why charge for your courses? Why tell this to anyone?
  • Wayfarer
    10.9k
    They're perfectly valid philosophical questions. Philosophy questions the meaning of existence and the nature of reality. Most folks go through life assuming that the answers to all those questions are already decided, that 'everyone knows' what is real and what really exists. It's philosophy's job to question it.

    Notice the first two sentences of the abstract of #2:

    The standard belief about the external world is that it exists, and we know it exists. Yet there is a rich tradition, in both Western and Eastern philosophy, of arguing that neither objects or facts have any real, independent existence.

    That lecturer, Jan Westerhof, was the author of a really interesting New Scientist article in a special edition about ten years ago, on this question.
  • 8livesleft
    125
    It's just another take on the nature and definition of reality.

    With regards to money, it should be no different from a televangelist asking for donations or someone selling a weightloss book.
  • Outlander
    864
    Many probably view it as more of a thought experiment or mental exercise in logic than a statement of absolute fact. How do I know my keyboard is here in front of me? Because I can see it, touch it, and interact with it. Though I could do the same with the mansions I live in while I dream. But do they exist? I sure like to think so. :)
  • Mww
    2k
    The questions and answers never were more important than that which makes them possible.

    Asking questions about the questions merely proves it.
  • Hippyhead
    1.1k
    The standard belief about the external world is that it exists, and we know it exists. Yet there is a rich tradition, in both Western and Eastern philosophy, of arguing that neither objects or facts have any real, independent existence.

    The perception of independent existence seems likely to be a pattern of conceptual division which the inherently divisive nature of thought imposes upon our view of reality.

    As example, if we're wearing tinted sunglasses all of our lives, and so is everyone else, a group consensus is likely to form that all of reality is tint colored. But the tint is not a property of what is being observed, but instead a property of the tool being used to make the observation. Consider the sloppy astronomer who has a speck of dust on the lens of his telescope. Everywhere he looks he sees "this huge thing, it's everywhere!!!"

    It would be wise for philosophers to shift their focus from the content of thought to the nature of thought, because the content of thought is a symptom of the nature of thought.
  • Manuel
    66
    It seems to me here that Chomsky and Haack are correct on this topic, namely the word "real" is honorific. When we say this is the "real" truth or the "real" facts, we don't mean we have two separate truths or two distinct set of facts, we use it for emphasis.

    If the question pertains to matter of perception, it becomes very hard to talk about this topic, like, if I'm hallucinating and seeing a dragon, I can say I'm seeing a dragon. You may reply by saying that the dragon I'm seeing "isn't real". Then what am I supposed to say? That I see fake dragons? No. I'd say I'm seeing an image of a dragon, which is relevant to the occasion of hallucinations, but not relevant for "ordinary life". Something along those lines.
  • jgill
    983
    Markus Gabriel: the Wise Philosopher

    Wikipedia: "In an April 2020 interview he [Markus Gabriel] called European measures against COVID 19 unjustified and a step towards cyber dictatorship, saying the use of health apps was a Chinese or North Korean strategy. He said the coronavirus crisis called into question the idea that only scientific and technical progress could lead to human and moral progress. He said there was a paradox of virocracy, to save lives one replaced democracy by virocracy."

    Who would pay money for this guy's lectures?
  • Joshs
    911
    if I'm hallucinating and seeing a dragon, I can say I'm seeing a dragon. You may reply by saying that the dragon I'm seeing "isn't real". Then what am I supposed to say? That I see fake dragons? No. I'd say I'm seeing an image of a dragon, which is relevant to the occasion of hallucinations, but not relevant for "ordinary life".Manuel


    Husserl wrote:

    The attempt to conceive the universe of true being as something lying outside the universe of possible consciousness, possible knowledge, possible evidence, the two being related to one another merely externally by a rigid law, is nonsensical. If transcendental subjectivity is the universe of possible sense, then an outside is precisely nonsense. But even nonsense is always a mode of sense and has its non- sensicalness within the sphere of possible insight.”

    “Let us imagine that we effect natural apperceptions, but that our apperceptions are always invalid since they allow for no harmonious concatenations in which experienced unities might become constituted. In other words, let us imagine that, in the manner described above, the whole of Nature, in the first place, physical nature, is "annihilated."”.. (Ideas I).

    Husserl here isn’t eliminating all worlds, just the world of fulfilled adumbrations that the natural sciences call ‘real objects’. There is still a world of subjectively experienced sensate data after the bracketing of the natural world. But what is annihilated along with the wortld of physical objects and nature is the world of human beings and alter egos, my own psychological ego included.

    Husserl explains:

    “In Ideas I , I chose the way which at that time seemed to me the most impressive. It proceeds egologically at first, as a self- reflection entirely within the realm of purely inner-psychological intuition, or, as we can also say, as a "phenomenological" reflection in the usual psychological sense. Eventually it leads so far that I, the one reflecting on himself, come to realize that, in the consistently exclusive direction of experience toward what is experienceable purely as inner, toward what is "accessible" to me phenomenologically, I have a proper essence that is self- enclosed and self-coherent. To this essence pertains all actual and possible experience by means of which the Objective world is there for me with all the experiential verifications in which it has for me ontological validity, one that is verified even if never scientifically examined. This essence also includes the special apperceptions through which I have for myself the status of a human being with Body and soul, a human being who lives amid others in the world of which he is conscious as surrounding world, who is engaged with them in this world, who is attracted or repulsed by it, and who deals with it in work or in theory, etc. Reflecting further on myself, I realize as well that my phenomenologically self-enclosed proper essence can be posited absolutely, as the Ego (and I am this Ego) that bestows ontological validity on the being of the world of which I speak at any time. It is for me and is what it is for me only insofar as it acquires sense and self-confirming validity from my own pure life and from that of the others who are disclosed to me in my own life.” (Ideas II)
  • Manuel
    66


    That's quite fine. In so far as I understand what he's saying, it seems sensible. I mean, Bertrand Russell in Analysis of Matter says something similar, albeit less radical, given his empirical temperament. I'd agree that we can put aside or bracket all of the world, and be left with only pure conscious experience. It could be confused with solipsism, but I think something like it is the case for human beings, in that, we only have access to our thoughts, not those of others. Other people's thoughts are interpreted by us, and of course, we can only see the data of behavior, so far as people are concerned, in addition to whatever they say about what they experience. But I'm unsure if it makes sense to postulate "pure consciousness" absent a subject of experience- his "ego" I take it. I don't quite follow that train of thought.

    I do quibble with the idea of "physical objects", if that is taken to mean a real distinction between the physical and the non-physical. I don't think that distinction holds up anymore. But on the whole, it seems to me to be on right path.
  • MAYAEL
    25
    It is all part of the Ahrimanic influence that dominates Society right now
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    66

    Who are you talking to then? Why charge for your courses? Why tell this to anyone?

    Well, if you assume free will isn't real either, they don't really have a choice. I imagine being a determinist solipsist is depressing, but it's not like they have a choice.
  • Joshs
    911


    But I'm unsure if it makes sense to postulate "pure consciousness" absent a subject of experience- his "ego" I take it. I don't quite follow that train of thought.Manuel

    There is always a subject of experience for Husserl, or more precisely a subjective ‘pole’ rather than a constitutes ‘person’. There is such a thing for Husserl as a pre-personal ego. If I have not yet constituted other persons , then it makes no sense to refer to my subjectivity as a person. There is not yet a human being, since that is an empirical concept that is constructed via interpersonal correlations, just the subjective pole of acts of intentionality .

    I do quibble with the idea of "physical objects", if that is taken to mean a real distinction between the physical and the non-physical. I don't think that distinction holds up anymore.Manuel

    Here’s Husserl’s view on ‘physical’ objects:

    One of the key aspects of Husserl's approach was his explanation of the origin of spatial objects. Rather than defining an object in terms of its self-subsistence over time with its properties and attributes, he believed such entities to be , not fictions, but idealities. That is to say, what we , in a naive naturalist attitude, point to as this 'real' table in front of us, is the constantly changing product of a process of progressive constitution in consciousness. The real object is in fact an idealization.This process begins at the most primordial level with what he called primal impressions, which we can imagine as the simplest whiffs of sensation(these he calls actual, rather than real. Actual impressions only appear once in time as what they are. When we see something like a table, all that we actually perceive in front of us is an impoverished, contingent partial sense experience.

    We fill in the rest of experience in two ways. Al experience implies a temporal structure of retention, primal impression and protention. Each moment presents us with a new sensation, th4 retained memory of the just preceding sensation and anticipation of what is to come. We retain the memory of previous experiences with the 'same' object and those memories become fused with the current aspect of it. A the same time, we protend forward, anticipating aspects of the object that are not yet there for us, based on prior experience with it. For example, we only see the front of the table, but anticipate as an empty horizon, its sides, and this empty anticipation joins with the current view and the memory of previous views to form a complex fused totality. Perception constantly is motivated , that is tends toward toward the fulfillment of the experience of the object as integrated singularity, as this same' table'.

    Thus , through a process of progress adumbration of partial views, we constitute what we call and object. It must be added that not just the sens of sight, but all other sense modalities can come into play in constituting the object. And most importantly, there is no experience of an object without kineshthetic sensation of our voluntary movement in relation to the thing seen. Intrinsic to what the object means as object is our knowing how its appearance will change when we move our head in a certain way, or our eyes , or when we touch it. The object is what it is for us in relation to the way we know we can change its appearance relative to our interactions with it.

    In sum, what the naive realist calls an external object of perception, Husserl treats as a relative product of constant but regilated changing correlated modes of givenness and adumbrations composed of retentions and protentions. The 'thing' is a tentative , evolving achievement of memory , anticipation and voluntary movement.

    From this vantage, attempting to explain this constituting process in psychophysiological terms by reducing it to the language of naive realism is an attempt to explain the constituting on the basis of the constituted. The synthetic structure of temporal constitution is irreducible to 'physical' terms. On the contrary, it is the 'physicai' that rests on a complex constitutive subjective process that is ignored in the naive attitude.
  • Manuel
    66
    Reminds me of Raymond Tallis' On Time and Lamentation: Reflections on Transience to a large extent. That constructive project you describe is quite coherent, it even reminds me of some aspects of Whitehead as well. And Husserl, under this interpretation, would be quite right in that our structures and constructions of the world, under the guise of something like a natural attitude, simply cannot be explained in the terms used by science.

    I only want to highlight that it can be misleading to use "physical" in contemporary philosophy and science, as it tends to have connotations related to scientism and the idea that everything will, one day, be explainable from such a framework. If that's what "physical" is used as, then that's not the physical the pertains to nature. Because consciousness is the most certain aspect we have of physical reality, and it certainly isn't an illusion.

    It's strange that some people insist on attempting to do reduction in science. It makes no sense. And in this respect Husserl, I strongly suspect, would be appalled that someone like Dennett or the Churchlands are taken seriously.
  • Constance
    55
    Nicely done, I thought.

    Husserl takes one the threshold, and Fink's Sixth Meditation puts analysis to the generative threshold of "enworlding." I never got around to finishing this work, but my thanks for reminding me. It is quite a wonderland of extraordinary thinking that follows along with this. Caputo takes this up in his Radical Hermeneutics, but his Tears and Prayers of Jacque Derrida reveals, I believe, where this stain of though ends up inevitably: apophatic theology. Jean luc Marion's Being Given is a nice read on this. Existentialism cannot die, only evolve.
  • Janus
    9.7k
    Reflecting further on myself, I realize as well that my phenomenologically self-enclosed proper essence can be posited absolutely, as the Ego (and I am this Ego) that bestows ontological validity on the being of the world of which I speak at any time. It is for me and is what it is for me only insofar as it acquires sense and self-confirming validity from my own pure life and from that of the others who are disclosed to me in my own life.”Joshs

    Reads like loquacious Cartesianism!
  • Joshs
    911


    It is quite a wonderland of extraordinary thinking that follows along with this. Caputo takes this up in his Radical Hermeneutics, but his Tears and Prayers of Jacque Derrida reveals, I believe, where this stain of though ends up inevitably: apophatic theology.Constance

    My impression was that rather than taking Husserl anywhere , Caputo simply misread him. I have to question whether Caputo ever fully grasped the implications of Husserlian phenomenology. In wanting to assimilated it to a Levinasian reading of Derrida , I think he was also misreading Derrida.

    Derrida: “First of all, in this early text on Levinas, I did not charge him with transcendentalism. On the contrary, I tried to question him, at least provisionally, from an ontological and transcendental point of view. My objections were made to him from a transcendental point of view. So in that respect I have nothing against transcendentalism. On the contrary, I was trying to say that a transcendental philosophy such as Husserl's could resist, could more than resist, Levinas's objections.” (Questioning God: edited by John D. Caputo, Mark Dooley, Michael J. Scanlon(2001). From the conference ‘‘Religion and Postmodernism 2: Questioning God'' on October 14–16, 1999 )”

    I completely agreed with Martin Hagglund’s
    devastating take down of Caputo’s reading of Derrida in
    THE RADICAL EVIL OF DECONSTRUCTION: A REPLY TO JOHN CAPUTO, and Hagglund was able to able to do so using more of a marxist than a phenomenological
    argument.
  • Joshs
    911
    It took Merleau-Ponty and Derrida to rescue Husserl from this often used charge of Cartesianism. Fortunately , a growing number of writers in philosophy and psychology recognize this error. You might want to look at Zahavi’s reading of Husserl, or Varela ,Evan Thompson, Matthew Ratcliffe
    or Shaun Gallagher, all of whom defend him against the accusation of Cartesianism.

    “...even in the most marked transcendental idealism, that of Husserl, even where the origin of the world is described, after the phenomenological reduction, as originary consciousness in the form of the ego, even
    in a phenomenology that determines the Being of beings as an object in general for a subject in general, even in this great philoso­phy of the transcendental subject, the interminable genetic (so­ called passive) analyses of the ego, of time and of the alter ego lead
    back to a pre-egological and pre-subjectivist zone. There is, there­fore, at the heart of what passes for and presents itself as a transcen­dental idealism, a horizon of questioning that is no longer dictated by the egological form of subjectivity or intersubjectivity.”(Derrida, Points)
  • Darkneos
    131
    And people wonder why no one takes philosophy seriously. I think sometimes philosophers invent problems to either have a job or feel like they haven't wasted their lives.

    I've read people's responses on here but I still stand by my points. If you want to argue that the world is not real or that there is no external reality then you are essentially shooting yourself in the foot. No one would listen to you because according to you they aren't real and you're just talking to yourself here.

    AS for the discussion of "real" I say what science says about it speaks far more than anything philosophy brings to the table. I think when discussing reality or the world philosophy is useless as my lived experience remains unchanged regardless of the argument for the world or lack of it.
  • Joshs
    911
    AS for the discussion of "real" I say what science says about it speaks far more than anything philosophy brings to the table.Darkneos

    You may have to clarify what ‘science’ you’re referring to.
    A wide range of social sciences as well
    as biological disciplines , and even within physics , now recognize that the notion of the ‘real’ as it pertains
    to their research is not unproblematic and cannot be easily disentangled from subjectivity.
  • Wayfarer
    10.9k
    f you want to argue that the world is not real or that there is no external reality then you are essentially shooting yourself in the foot...AS for the discussion of "real" I say what science says about it speaks far more than anything philosophy brings to the table.Darkneos

    Then why bother with a philosophy forum? There are plenty of science forums.
  • Constance
    55
    THE RADICAL EVIL OF DECONSTRUCTION: A REPLY TO JOHN CAPUTO

    I will read this and get back to you.
  • Constance
    55
    Then why bother with a philosophy forum? There are plenty of science forums.

    Because science isn't philosophy. Apples and oranges. The latter deals with an entirely distinct set of problems, those that are presupposed by the former. If you find yourself reading science to find your philosophical answers, then you are just asking science questions.
  • Janus
    9.7k
    Who would pay money for this guy's lectures?jgill

    Did you listen to the actual interview or form this judgement based on the out of context quote from Wikipedia?

    https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/markus-gabriel-on-coronavirus-as-immune-reaction-planet/id1504301339?i=1000473834952
  • Janus
    9.7k
    You might find this interesting Wayfarer. I read this several years ago and was reminded of Gabriel by the comment by jgill I responded to above. I found it a very interesting read.
  • Wayfarer
    10.9k
    Thanks for the recommendation. Markus Gabriel was mentioned in another thread recently so I looked into him. But I noticed this:

    "In an April 2020 interview he [Markus Gabriel] called European measures against COVID 19 unjustified and a step towards cyber dictatorship, saying the use of health apps was a Chinese or North Korean strategyjgill

    which I reject entirely.

    The other guy mentioned in the OP, Jan Westerhoff, is more up my alley, he's a specialist in Madhyamika philosophy. (As a matter of fact, I'm going to enroll in that course, as soon as I get my next contract. )

    As I mentioned, there was a special edition of New Scientist in around 2010, 'What is Reality', which contained several articles by Westerhoff.
  • Janus
    9.7k
    which I reject entirely.Wayfarer

    Before deciding that I would recommend you listen to the podcast I linked, where those statements are given in context.

    Even if you still disagree with what he says there, that doesn't mean you would have to find nothing of interest in his other ideas, does it? To say it does would be the equivalent of saying there is nothing in Heidegger on the grounds that he had reprehensible political affiliations.
  • Wayfarer
    10.9k
    Sure, I might well follow up on him, but I'm totally, like, backlogged with things to read, including Heidegger :-)
  • Janus
    9.7k
    backlogged with things to readWayfarer

    Yeah, I am well familiar with that syndrome!
  • Janus
    9.7k
    There is, there­fore, at the heart of what passes for and presents itself as a transcen­dental idealism, a horizon of questioning that is no longer dictated by the egological form of subjectivity or intersubjectivity.Joshs

    I don't know what this even means. I would say that there is a sense in which all questioning is, if not dictated, at least mediated in forms of subjectivity and intersubjectivity. It does not follow from this that the origin of all things is subjective/ intersubjective, although it seems obvious that the latter plays a significant role in how they are experienced and understood.
  • Joshs
    911
    It does not follow from this that the origin of all things is subjective/ intersubjective, although it seems obvious that the latter plays a significant role in how they are experienced and understood.Janus

    I would prefer to say , with Rorty, Dewey , phenomenology , hermeneutics and radical constructivism that it doesn’t make any sense to talk of that which lies ‘outside’ of our subjective access to it except in terms of constraints and accordances
    which themselves are co-defined by the subjectivity which is shaped by them.
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