• Don Wade
    185
    We can visualize a tree, but add the tree to other trees and it becomes a part of a forrest. In this example the change in context is adding other trees to the visualization. Is the tree a tree, or is it part of a forrest? The difference seems to be in what context the object (in this case, the tree) is thought about, or how we visualize an object. That is, in what "context" do we visualize (or see) the object. It also seems that sometimes we do not acknowledge a context. We may only visualize an object (no context).
  • tim wood
    7.3k
    Indeed! And it all seems to be about things. But what exactly is a thing? Or any thing? Is there any thing that constitutes a thing? Or is it viewpoint and context all the way down?
  • Pantagruel
    1.7k
    Indeed. And some objects only exist in specific realms, e.g. a cup exists in the realm of natural objects, which are subject to direct interaction, while the atoms of the cup exist in the realm of scientific objects, which are encountered symbolically. We encounter the cup directly, its atoms, inferentially.
  • tim wood
    7.3k
    We encounter the cup directly, its atoms, inferentially.Pantagruel
    Hmmm. Just hmmmm!

    How easy it is to counter that the cup, of all "things," we never, ever encounter, but only the atoms.
  • Pantagruel
    1.7k
    I'm currently reading Max Scheler's views on phenomenology and science: "the facts of science...are never encountered in the natural world view." I tend to agree. It seems evident that our natural interactions are with the natural world.

    How is it one would encounter an atom?
  • James Riley
    1.2k
    I don't know if it changes an object, but it changes perception of the object. Maybe the tree is the particle and the forest is the wave? Likewise individualism vice socialism? A question is, which perception is . . . . uh oh, if I finished that sentence I would be forced to use a word that would open up a whole new can of worms, like "better", "more objective", "real", etc. Maybe a double slit experiment could be tried to determine if there is a particle or a wave. Maybe both.
  • tim wood
    7.3k
    Which sentence might be edited to read, "Facts are never encountered in the natural world." (Not sure what a "natural world view" is.)

    And if not atoms we encounter, then what? Granted personal introduction is problematic.
  • tim wood
    7.3k
    Maybe both.James Riley

    Careful what you wish for. There is a quantum possibility that you will on the instant find yourself at a tea party of all the maiden aunts in the world with no way out - certainly not the way you came. And I have the impression that while they might be glad for your presence, they might disapprove of the mud.
  • James Riley
    1.2k
    they might disapprove of the mud.tim wood

    No doubt. :smile:
  • Joshs
    1.7k
    some objects only exist in specific realms, e.g. a cup exists in the realm of natural objects,Pantagruel

    One could argue from a phenomenological point of view that the cup is a cultural object. It loses its sense when we take away its socially assigned use.
  • Joshs
    1.7k
    How easy it is to counter that the cup, of all "things," we never, ever encounter, but only the atoms.tim wood

    Is the empirical physical description really the most primary one from a philosophical point of view, or is it just one of may possible derived products of the direct perception of an object , in which we don’t experience atoms but this object in its relevance for us?

    ““Initially" we never hear noises and complexes of sound, but the creaking wagon, the motorcycle. We hear the column on the march, the north wind, the woodpecker tapping, the crackling fire. It requires a very artificial and complicated attitude in order to "hear" a "pure noise."” Heidegger
  • tim wood
    7.3k
    It requires a very artificial and complicated attitude in order to "hear" a "pure noise."” HeideggerJoshs

    Artificial and complicated I wouldn't know. But have you never heard and instantly responded, "What was that?" Or listened to the same music played by different musicians, encountering their differences in interpretation, amounting to differences in sound. Or for that matter tested different instruments listening for exactly their "noise"? No argument here. Perhaps a slightly more expansive and less harsh viewpoint?
  • Joshs
    1.7k
    have you never heard and instantly responded, "What was that?" Or listened to the same music played by different musicians, encountering their differences in interpretation, amounting to differences in sound. Or for that matter tested different instruments listening for exactly their "noise"?tim wood

    But notice that in each case there was a prior context of interest and relevance that made it possible for a sense to break through into consciousness as something meaningful. What determines the difference between all those situations in which background noise is entirely ignored while we intently focus on what is drawing our interest, and a situation in which we suddenly ‘notice’ something as a noise? It’s not as if there is no awareness at all of background stimulation in the first instance, but the relevance and therefore the very substance of the ‘sound’ changes with our interest in it Context is key here, and I think that’s Heidegger’s point. He’s saying there are no isolable
    primitives of sensation independent of the meaningful, relevant contexts of human activities.
    As you know , how musical notes are heard is dependent on the prior context out of which they arise.
  • Pantagruel
    1.7k
    One could argue from a phenomenological point of view that the cup is a cultural object. It loses its sense when we take away its socially assigned use.Joshs

    Yes, that's another valid realm. What the relationships between various types of realms of knowledge and the natural realm are is a complex question. As Scheler approaches it, there is more of a symbolic mediation, while essential intuition grasps prejudicatively.
  • Joshs
    1.7k
    Interesting. I’m less familiar with Scheler’s approach to perception than with Husserl. But there’s a lot of interest these days among psychologists in Scheler.
  • Pantagruel
    1.7k
    Husserl said that Heidegger and Scheler were his two philosophical antipodes.
  • Joshs
    1.7k
    I do see a strong affinity between Scheler and Merleau-Ponty, but not with Heidegger.
  • Pantagruel
    1.7k
    Right, they are they antipodes because they are at the completely opposite poles. I may revisit Merleau-Ponty since you mention that, when I'm done with Scheler. It's been decades.
  • Don Wade
    185
    How easy it is to counter that the cup, of all "things," we never, ever encounter, but only the atoms.tim wood

    The "context" (location) of the cup would help to identiy what level the cup is in (in the mind). Are you thinking at the atomic-level, or are you thinking at the breakfast-table level. Whatever your context level then determines whether the object is, atoms, or a cup. (It's still the same item - just viewed at different levels.)
  • tim wood
    7.3k
    Holding here "cup" to be an abstract idea - not that I live that way. Above was claimed that it's the cup we encounter and not the atoms. And of course it's possible to reverse that. The point being that so many claims we're inclined to make without qualification or thought, depending on context may indeed need both qualification and thought.
  • Manuel
    1.2k
    s the tree a tree, or is it part of a forrest? The difference seems to be in what context the object (in this case, the tree) is thought about, or how we visualize an object.Don Wade

    This is an epistemic claim, correct? This isn't a factual claim about the world. As in we designate trees as trees and trees as belonging to forests.

    It also seems that sometimes we do not acknowledge a context. We may only visualize an object (no context).Don Wade

    It depends on what the aim of your inquiry is for. If you want to make a painting you can attempt to copy what you see, if you want to find out how such an object grows in a mind independent manner, then you'd do some kind of scientific enquiry. If you want to do philosophy of language, you can do many things with said object.

    I think that part of the reason we ignore context is because we need to be able to discern something quickly. If we took in as much as we could any time we interact with an object, it might be too taxing for us.
  • Don Wade
    185
    I think that part of the reason we ignore context is because we need to be able to discern something quickly. If we took in as much as we could any time we interact with an object, it might be too taxing for us.Manuel

    I agree!
  • Antony Nickles
    309

    We can visualize a tree, but add the tree to other trees and it becomes a part of a forrest. In this example the change in context is adding other trees to the visualization. Is the tree a tree, or is it part of a forrest? The difference seems to be in what context the object (in this case, the tree) is thought about, or how we visualize an object. That is, in what "context" do we visualize (or see) the object. It also seems that sometimes we do not acknowledge a context. We may visualize an object (no context).Don Wade

    A context is, among other things, the circumstances of an event, a moment, so not "our visualization". How the object "is thought about" is part of what is happening in the sense that we are interested in different ways in the object. And the ways in which we judge, or value, or use an object is part of the ways the object works or we with it, and the ways it which it doesn't. The fact that we can focus on one tree, or refer to a grouping, that it can be a source of material, or an ecosystem, are the possibilities of a tree and our lives with it. The terminology of "seeing" the tree seems to give us the power to see it as we like, but the external context, including the way the object is meaningful to us, frames the ordinary use of "tree". Philosophy does a good job of isolating words from any context to make them more certain, rational;like know or intend or see or believe.
  • Anand-Haqq
    95


    . Yes ... the context does change the object ... the object has no Life on it's own ...

    . A flower is beautiful in a certain context ... a flower is beautiful while is nourished by manure ...

    . If you remove it from the earth ... it ends up fainting ... its ends up losing away it's fragrance and beauty ...
  • Don Wade
    185
    Good! Almost poetic.
  • Don Wade
    185
    Philosophy does a good job of isolating words from any context to make them more certain, rational;like know or intend or see or believe.Antony Nickles

    So, does context "change" an object?
  • Antony Nickles
    309

    So, does context "change" an object?Don Wade

    An object has certain ways in which it can be used, discussed, identified, etc. And each object has its own. There are different senses in which "tree" can be used. This also applies to concepts, such as that of "change". Now when I say traditionally philosophy isolates words/things from a context, your question is exactly that kind of non-specific, contextless use of the concept of change, so we have no idea in which sense you are using it. Wittgenstein refers to the ways we use tree as its grammar, and says that grammar tells us what kind of object anything is (PI #373, emphasis added), as in, the parameters of that class of object; what judgments, expressions, interactions, are possible for a thing to be in the category of a "tree". Say, the criteria of identity (from a bush), the different ways it has value in our society (timber, shelter for animals), the rationale ordinarily attributable to our actions involving trees, its status as an object (and not a principal), etc.

    So to attempt to answer your question I can only assume in what sense you are using "change" and "context". The method of ordinary language philosophy (like Wittgenstein's) is to imagine a context in which what is said can be meant (or can not) within the possibilities of the grammar of the concept/thing, and whether we can at least agree on that.

    When you (and others) are saying "context" it seems to imply it is a perspective or viewpoint (in me; how I "see"); that "you" (or your "visualization") have a part in the context; but in the sense that science or forestry have "contexts", they are not "yours" (say, internally). Would it do to simply say that we share the same interests and concerns about trees as science (with its context)? The part of the concept of context that I was pointing out earlier is the fact it is the circumstances of a specific situation, but it is, as well, the external limits and possibilities associated with an object--there is the context of our interests, judgments, expectations, and implications, which form our different ways of interacting with a tree.

    And we can understand the question of change in the traditional metaphysical sense of how to find certainty due to the fear of skepticism and our desire for a fixed world--we thus remove the ordinary context (do not "acknowledge" it as you aptly say) in order to create a rationale, universal, predictable framework. Or, in an ordinary sense, say, compare the context of science to the context of forestry. In the first a tree is a physical object of study, and in the second it can be a resource. Does an object "change" in different contexts? It appears: no, and yes.

    Maybe these examples will help us get clearer about how we are using "change" and "context"? (or stepping outside of their ordinary criteria/sense/grammar).
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