• Yohan
    317
    To be perceived is to exist is false.TheMadFool
    For an idealist this is a tautology, or self-evident. It can't be disproven from second order logic. (to be is to be perceived)
    , off the top of my head I can say, to be material is to be perceived. That means,TheMadFool
    But didn't you agree that dreams are immaterial? Are they not perceptions?
    For an idealist dream matter and non-dream matter are both ultimately immaterial, that is, mental. Material is a perception, but perception isn't material.
  • TonesInDeepFreeze
    962


    I'm only saying that in any given context, it would help to be clear which of those frameworks are intended. As far as I can tell, ordinarily Steelman is used for a kind of debate that is a "reverse" debate. But I find it to be an interesting concept, no matter the context.
  • Cuthbert
    361
    Good idea; and like a number of good ideas in philosophy Aristotle had it:

    ....we must be able to employ persuasion, just as strict reasoning can be employed,
    on opposite sides of a question, not in order that we may in practice employ it in both ways (for we must not make people believe what is wrong), but in order that we may see clearly what the facts are....
    — Aristotle
  • James Riley
    2k


    I love that quote. Thanks for sharing.

    (for we must not make people believe what is wrong) — Aristotle

    Well there goes partisan political BS.
  • TheMadFool
    12.6k
    To be perceived is to exist is false.
    — TheMadFool
    For an idealist this is a tautology, or self-evident. It can't be disproven from second order logic. (to be is to be perceived)
    Yohan

    In other words, if perceived then either exists (like a stone) or doesn't exist (like a dream/hallucination). There's nothing to disprove since the consequent is a tautology (exists or doesn't exist). If the idealist agrees to this, as you seem to be claiming, as I said, fae can't distinguish between that which exists (say a stone) and that which doesn't (a dream or a hallucination). This is where Descartes comes in I believe.

    But didn't you agree that dreams are immaterial? Are they not perceptions?
    For an idealist dream matter and non-dream matter are both ultimately immaterial, that is, mental. Material is a perception, but perception isn't material.
    Yohan

    As I said, the idealist, through perception (percieved or not perceived) alone can't tell the difference between existent things, nonexistent things, and immaterial things.

    1. If perceieved then either exists or doesn't exist

    2. If not perceived then doesn't exist or immaterial

    That's all I have to say and can say. Steel man that for me, will ya?
  • Yohan
    317
    In other words, if perceived then either exists (like a stone) or doesn't exist (like a dream/hallucination).TheMadFool
    You are equating existence and materiality. I only said dream objects are immaterial. I didn't say dream objects don't exist.
    There's nothing to disprove since the consequent is a tautology (exists or doesn't exist)TheMadFool
    To exist is to be perceived means if it's perceived, it exists. Where are you getting "or doesn't exist from"?
    As I said, the idealist, through perception (percieved or not perceived) alone can't tell the difference between existent things, nonexistent things, and immaterial things.TheMadFool
    For an idealist existence=perception. Therefore, if perceived, exists. If not perceived, non-existent.
    For material vs immaterial we have not yet agreed upon a definition.
    You said in the last post that, off the top of your head, to be perceived is to be material.
    To me, there is nothing self-evident about that in experience nor logically necessary about it.
    Further, it leads to a problem. By definition hallucinations would be material. In other words hallucinated rocks would be made of matter because they are perceived...
    I can try to offer my own definition of matter if you'd like.
    I think the most important thing is we are clear about our premises and definitions. I can steel man what I think are your definitions and premises, after I have enough info.
  • TheMadFool
    12.6k
    You are equating existence and materiality. I only said dream objects are immaterial. I didn't say dream objects don't exist.Yohan

    They are the same thing. That was my point!

    To exist is to be perceived means if it's perceived, it exists. Where are you getting "or doesn't exist from"?Yohan

    If to exist is to be perceived, to not be perceived is to not exist. The problem is to not be perceived is immaterial. Thus, you can't distinguish between, nonexistence and immaterial.
  • TonesInDeepFreeze
    962
    I focus more on clarity than adding substance. The latter is hard to do if I believe the argument is lacking in substance.Yohan

    Suppose there are additional facts and logic that would improve your opponent's argument. Then you might easily win the Steelman by bringing in the additional facts and logic.

    For example (this is simplified, but you can see the point):

    Suppose your opponent's argument is "Capital punishment in the United States should be abolished because it results in racial inequity".

    Then you could come back with "Capital punishment should be abolished because (not necessarily in order of importance) (1) it is cruel and unusual punishment violating the Constitution, (2) it societally institutionalizes cruelty, (3) it executes some people who are not guilty, (4) it wrongfully makes some people who are not guilty endure the deprivations of Death Row and the anguish of dreading execution, (4) it is not a deterrent, (5) it violates a philosophical principle that even a person who has committed great evil should be allowed redemption in this life, (6) it results in racial inequity, (7) some victims' families passionately don't want it, (8) the purpose of justice is not always to bring emotional closure to victims' families, (9) it is more expensive than the alternative, (10) imprisonment is punishment enough, (11) it drags the society and state down to the level of the murderer, (12) many democracies, especially allies who have greatest ideological affinity the United States, have abolished it, leaving the United States in a class of nations that are mostly authoritarian and totalitarian".

    Then you could win the Steelman decisively.

    Then Steelman truly is the opposite of Strawman.

    Strawman is either (1) Claiming your opponent has taken a certain position, though your opponent has not, then knocking down that position or (2) Knocking down only the weakest parts of your opponent's position.

    So if Steelman is truly the opposite, then Steelman should actually strengthen your opponent's arguments not just paraphrase them better. That would go along with the method of preparing rebuttals. To prepare a rebuttal, one should devise responses not just to what your opponent is likely to argue, but responses to the very best argument your opponent could conceivably argue. And exceptionally convincing argument can be made by presenting affirmatives and also proactively incorporating pre-rebuttals by saying "My opponent may argue that Jones had good reason to believe the gun was not loaded, but here's evidence that he did have good reason, moreover, even if he did not have good reason, then [fill in more pre-rebuttal here]."
  • Yohan
    317
    They are the same thing. That was my point!TheMadFool
    Of course as a materialist you believe that.
    You say I can't distinguish between non-existence and immaterial. In their ontological status, of course I can't. Both are absences of something. But there is a difference in what they deny, in scope. Non existent means no existence at all. Immaterial means no material existence. That's all. It doesn't mean no existence.
    Therefore, it's possible something may exist without having material properties.
    Again, hallucinations exist, and are immaterial.
    However, it's true that I can't distinguish a hallucination from a non-hallucinstion. And we are back at the cogito. This a epistemological limitation. It's equal for a materialist and an idealist. The difference is the idealist doesn't assume there must be something independent of consciousness.
    As far as I know, everything is immaterial at its base. I can't tell material from immaterial. Can you? If you can't, then is it possible everything is immaterial?
  • TonesInDeepFreeze
    962
    Ironic that in a thread about an alternative to head to head debating we have a head to head debate.
  • TheMadFool
    12.6k


    Esse est percipii — George Berkeley (father of idealism)

    1. If x exists then x is perceived.

    1a. If x is not perceived then x doesn't exist

    Now, what about x doesn't exist? What does that imply in terms of perception?

    Can we say, if x doesn't exist then x is not perceived? We have to say yes because if it were false it leads to a contradiction.

    Also, what about x is perceived? What does that indicate for existence? This is just the mirror image of the above question.

    So we agree,

    2. If x is perceived then x exists

    In other words, perception = existence, they're one and the same thing.

    However, there's a catch - the classic chicken and egg problem. According to idealism, you can't exist without first being perceived first but then you can't perceive with existing first. This has to do with God as a necessary being who ensures the existence of the universe via his perception.
  • TonesInDeepFreeze
    962
    E -> P implies ~P -> ~E.
    CORRECT

    ~(~E -> ~P) is inconsistent with ~P -> ~E.
    INCORRECT
  • TonesInDeepFreeze
    962
    Usually a debate has Pro and Con such that Con is the negation of Pro. Is that the framework with Idealism vs Materialism here?

    What is the definitive statement of Idealism here? What specific proposition of the form

    "Idealism is true if and only if [fill in definiens here]"

    is the Pro so that Materialism is the Con?

    Or, equivalently

    "Idealism is true if and only if [fill in definiens here]"

    is the Pro so that Idealism is the Con?

    Otherwise, this is just an open ended airing of disagreeing points of view.
  • TonesInDeepFreeze
    962
    Or if Idealism and Materialism can't be shoehorned into strict Pro and Con that way, then there could be just one particular representative proposition chosen as the Pro with Con as its negation.

    Or there could be two propositions or sets of propositions, not necessarily one the actual negation of the other, and each party supports their own proposition and attacks the other party's proposition.
  • TonesInDeepFreeze
    962
    Everything is immaterial vs
    Some things are material

    Everything is material vs
    Some things are immaterial

    Everything is immaterial vs
    Some things are material and some things are immaterial

    Everything is material vs
    Some things are material and some things are immaterial

    Everything is immaterial vs
    Everything is material

    Which of those are being debated?

    What is the definition of 'is material'?
  • Yohan
    317
    Consider:
    Experiencer of emotion- feelingness- emotion felt
    Is the emotion seperate from the perception of it? What is an emotion like when it's not being felt? What does it even mean for an emotion to exist without being felt?

    Another example:
    Thinker-thinking-thought
    Which came first. The thought or the thinking of it. Is there difference between the two? What is a thought like independent of thinking?

    Most people will acknowledge the questions as nonsensical. Having a thought is the same as thinking. Feeling an emotion is the same as emoting.
    It's clear to most that thoughts and feelings are subjective experiences...and there doesn't seem to be a good reason to suppose thoughts and feelings could exist independently of thinkers and feelers.
    When we try to imagine what a feeling is like when it's not being felt, we imagine no feeling at all. And what do we imagine a thought is like when it's not being thought about? Like nothing at all?

    But imagine if everyone thought that thoughts and feelings had independent existence. They are out there waiting to be felt and thought about before being felt and thought about. Imagine asking them what a thought is like independent of a thinker. They say the thought has any number of qualities, and that the only difference between a thought in consciousness and a thought outside of consciousness, is consciousness.

    Well, the idealist has examined more than his thoughts and feelings. He has examined all his experiences, smell, taste, touch, sight, hearing, and determined in each case that the same formula applies to these as to thought and feeling...all can be reduced to subjective experience
    What is a flavor? A flavor IS tasting. What is an image? And image IS seeing.
    Broadly, the perceived IS perception. In other words, to be is to be perceived.
  • Cuthbert
    361
    Not sure how we can get from 'no perception without a perceiver' to 'to be is to be perceived'. Maybe Jo sees the blackbird; and there would be no seeing of the blackbird without Jo's seeing it; and there was a blackbird before Jo arrived.
  • Yohan
    317
    To be is to have quality.
    Can we at least agree on this?
    Then, we can ask: Is quality a feature of matter, or is matter a kind of quality.
    If quality is more fundamental than matter, then matter is an emergent quality of being, rather than the essence of being.

    We can likewise question, is quality a feature of consciousness, or is consciousness a kind of quality. To me I can't imagine a quality without consciousness, consciousness seems fundamental to all qualities. But I guess materialists don't agree.
  • Cuthbert
    361
    To me I can't imagine a quality without consciousness, consciousness seems fundamental to all qualities.Yohan

    You can't imagine unless you are conscious. But the things you imagine might not be conscious.

    I can imagine a cup having the quality of roundness, if by that is meant just that the cup is round. I'm supposing that the roundness of the cup is not itself conscious of anything. I have no idea what it would mean for the roundness of the cup to be conscious.
  • Yohan
    317
    . I'm supposing that the roundness of the cup is not itself conscious of anything.Cuthbert
    I agree with that
    Being consciousness is different than having consciousness. I doubt anything has consciousness. Consciousness is like the cinema screen, and objects are like the light projected onto the screen.
  • Cuthbert
    361
    What is the definition of 'is material'?TonesInDeepFreeze

    moderate-sized specimens of dry goods — Austin

    I think 'dry' refers more to Austin's tone than to the goods. We could include liquids and gases.
  • hope
    216
    competition with a materialist, myself being an idealist.Yohan

    Matter and mind are both made of consciousness.
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