• javra
    127


    Right, you’re not one for universals. I was instead thinking in terms of all of us sharing a common understanding of basic aspects of reality, such as what up and down is, for example—this due to a fundamental universality of our individual experiences, even when unexpressed. And it of course then can become more complex via culture (in the anthropological sense) ... which includes a commonality of memories regarding the same events as referents.

    We might need to do the old agreement to disagree on this one.
  • Terrapin Station
    3.4k
    We might need to do the old agreement to disagree on this one.javra

    Haha--yeah. Remember that I'm a physicalist and kind of an extreme reductionist and "naturalist," in addition to being a nominalist who rejects that there are any real abstracts whatsoever. So anything that suggests a real abstract in any manner isn't going to be something I'd accept.
  • javra
    127
    Talking about changing the past, then, is talking about changing changes that no longer exist.Terrapin Station

    But hey, no cheating: what about your claim that the past doesn't exist? Care to embellish this some.
  • Terrapin Station
    3.4k


    I'm not sure what you want me to embellish. It seems very straightforward to me. Obviously I'm not saying that we don't have present memories, but that doesn't amount to the past existing.
  • javra
    127
    I'm not sure what you want me to embellish. It seems very straightforward to me. Obviously I'm not saying that we don't have present memories, but that doesn't amount to the past existing.Terrapin Station

    I’m not sure how to do this without dreary examples, so I’ll use forth-person: One is fine up until the day one gains amnesia. When one is fine there is a (nonexistent?) past. When one gains amnesia, this (nonexistent?) past is no longer existent within one’s duration of the present moment.

    (a) Correct this wordage so that when one is fine there is a past relative to oneself.

    (b) Then, using this corrected wordage regarding the past, how is the past which applies to one and all not existent (i.e., devoid of being; aka. “is” not)?

    Before we get lost in what (b) intends, resolve (a).
  • Terrapin Station
    3.4k


    Amnesia is a memory problem. You might not remember things like your name, your family, where you live, what you do for work, etc. So it's an issue with present brain states. Remembering those things is a matter of presently accessing information stored in your brain (via dynamic structures of particular neurons, synapses, etc.). When you have amensia, you can't access that information any longer.
  • javra
    127
    Amnesia is a memory problem.Terrapin Station

    Yes, I’m aware of what it is and its mechanisms as much as any other.

    The issue is in expressing the different between there being a past for the person prior to amnesia, after which the person’s past no longer is.

    Again, all this is in reference to your remark that the past does not exist.
  • Terrapin Station
    3.4k
    there being a pastjavra

    "There being things they remember" is all that is.
  • javra
    127
    "There being things they remember" is all that is.Terrapin Station

    So the things that the doctors remember isn't?

    And if those things also are, then isn't there a commonly shared past independent of the individual's memory?
  • Terrapin Station
    3.4k
    So the things that the doctors remember isn't?javra

    What? The things that the doctors remember aren't what? My "is all that is" is another way of saying "All that you're describing there is that people remember things (when they don't have amesia)."
  • javra
    127
    Then also address this part:

    And if those things [the doctors' memories ] also are, then isn't there a commonly shared past independent of the individual's memory?javra
  • Terrapin Station
    3.4k


    That seems grammatically garbled to me. If the doctor's memories also are what?

    I'll take a guess at what you might be asking about, though.

    * Joe remembers that Betty wore an orange shirt yesterday.

    * Pete also remembers that Betty wore an orange shirt yesterday.

    * You're calling that a "shared memory."

    * I'm pointing out that it's not literally shared. It's rather that Joe and Pete both have memories that they're expressing so that they agree with each other, etc. (they say things like,"Yes, Betty did wear an orange shirt yesterday" and so on).

    * I'm also pointing out that all of this stuff occurs in the present. It in no way suggests that a past still exists . . . and I have no idea why anyone would take it to suggest that, as it seems like quite a bizarre thing to believe in my opinion.
  • javra
    127

    * I'm also pointing out that all of this stuff occurs in the present. It in no way suggests that a past still exists . . . and I have no idea why anyone would take it to suggest that, as it seems like quite a bizarre thing to believe in my opinion.Terrapin Station

    We’re again talking past each other.

    If Joe (say, via some form of conscious or subconscious self-deception that occurred yesterday) now honestly remembers that Betty wore a blue shirt yesterday, does that then change the fact that Betty wore an orange shirt yesterday?

    I say “no”—this for reasons I’ve already in part previously addressed. The past contains facts that remain unchangeable and, in this sense, the past exists independently of the changing present (this with a heads up to a great deal of potential complexity that, due to universals, nevertheless ends up being the same thing for all intended purposes).

    But the onus is on you to clarify what you’re implying.
  • Terrapin Station
    3.4k
    If Joe (say, via some form of conscious or subconscious self-deception that occurred yesterday) now honestly remembers that Betty wore a blue shirt yesterday, does that then change the fact that Betty wore an orange shirt yesterday?javra

    No, that doesn't change that fact, but that doesn't imply that the past exists and contains things.

    It's not that the past isn't independent of the present--of course it is, as it doesn't exist any longer.
  • John
    3.2k


    Believing something in the kind of manner in which one could be mistaken or not, for example "I am seeing a pink elephant" is always a matter of what is generally called 'propositional knowledge'.

    There is no other context in which the dichotomy of being mistaken/not being mistaken is relevant or even makes sense,
  • javra
    127
    No, that doesn't change that fact, but that doesn't imply that the past exists and contains things.

    It's not that the past isn't independent of the present--of course it is, as it doesn't exist any longer.
    Terrapin Station

    I am forgetting: you’re a materialist/physicalist. If I understand you properly, the past no longer exists materially.

    My current label of choice is that of an "objective neural-monist". So, to me, just as a thought hold’s presence—exists in this way—so too does the past exist: as information that holds presence. Only that it’s a lot more complex than a mere thought that one is having.

    I say we call it Dutch. X-)
  • Terrapin Station
    3.4k
    Believing something in the kind of manner in which one could be mistaken or not, for example "I am seeing a pink elephant" is always a matter of what is generally called 'propositional knowledge'.

    There is no other context in which the dichotomy of being mistaken/not being mistaken is relevant or even makes sense,
    John

    You're ignoring that I was talking about phenomenal experience per se, though. I'm not talking about assessing a proposition's relation to something else, at least not beyond doing so as a phenomenal experience, and I'm not talking about something limited to that. When I mentioned seeing a pink elephant, I'm talking about having that "sense data" present. When you have that sense data present, you have it present. It's difficult to deny that. (Yet people want to argue about it, since this is the Internet after all.)
  • John
    3.2k
    When you have that sense data present, you have it present.Terrapin Station

    Yes, but the argument isn't over whether when you have the sense data present, you have it present, which is tautologically true, whatever "having sense data present" might mean, and I actually don't think it means very much.

    The argument is over whether you can know for certain that you have it present when you have it present; that is whether you can be mistaken about its being present. But we've already been around this circle at least once before.
  • Terrapin Station
    3.4k


    Well, so after clarifying this and giving you an example, etc., how about going back to what I requested from you earlier--give an example re how we could be mistaken about present phenomenal experience, as present phenomenal experience.

    We can limit this to propositional knowledge about present phenomenal experience as present phenomenal experience if you like. So explain how that could be mistaken. Take the pink elephant example.
  • John
    3.2k


    You could be mistaken in thinking that you are seeing a pink elephant.
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