• Judaka
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    I take you to be articulating a valuable pragmatist insight. I read the neopragmatist Rorty very intensely and closely, and I was strongly influenced by his anarchism.plaque flag

    I'm not familiar but after reading a summary, perhaps that's a mistake I ought to correct, the thinking is surely similar to mine.

    You say that : what is "right" is what accomplishes the goal. I see the value in this, but I maintain that you are still trying to tell me a truth here. It's not just instrumental. If it is, it has no authority. It's only true if I believe it, in other words, given that your desire is presumably to persuade.plaque flag

    Sure, I am trying to tell you a truth, several in fact, bundled up neatly together and presented for you. My point is that this argument of mine is the product of my creative effort, it involves my biases, and my intentions and serves my goals. It is not mere truth. However, I think it's important since we are talking about truth, for me to critique the word.

    In this context, I imagine you are using the word "truth" to roughly reference "being in accordance with reality". The other common use is through logic. The two combine to create a significant grey area for me. Let me ask a simple question, is a dog a dog? I think most people would agree, that it's objectively true, that a dog is a dog. But why? I think it's fair to say that language isn't part of reality, and the categorisation of a dog as a dog isn't either. So, it must be logic that makes it true.

    Long story short, I think it's clear that truth is working in reverse here, it's not that "a dog is a dog in reality". It's "When a thing, in reality, meets all the prerequisites to be a dog, then it is a dog". So, if an animal meets all the prerequisites to be a dog, then it's objectively true that it's a dog.

    Equally, the "truth" of my argument, involves interpreting reality as meeting the prerequisites of something like "useful". It's true that my argument seems correct, or it's true that my argument seems accurate, or something like that.

    In the simplest terms, if a method achieves its goal then that is a truth, and it's this kind of truth we seek, not "that which is in accordance with reality", barely anyone gives a shit about that. In a very real sense, anything useful is truth, specifically in its use.

    We agree very much on this.plaque flag

    Glad to hear it.
  • Mww
    4.5k
    I think it's clear that truth is….. “When a thing, in reality, meets all the prerequisites to be a dog, then it is a dog".Judaka

    As do I, and that kind of clarity for truth obtains for any thing whatsoever, by reducing to the simple proposition that truth, generally, is the accordance of a cognition with its object.
  • plaque flag
    2.7k
    My point is that this argument of mine is the product of my creative effort, it involves my biases, and my intentions and serves my goals. It is not mere truth.Judaka

    Agreed.

    I imagine you are using the word "truth" to roughly reference "being in accordance with reality".Judaka

    A deep issue ! Articulating the essence of articulation.

    Let me ask a simple question, is a dog a dog? I think most people would agree, that it's objectively true, that a dog is a dog. But why? I think it's fair to say that language isn't part of reality, and the categorisation of a dog as a dog isn't either. So, it must be logic that makes it true.Judaka

    I think you bring up a fascinating issue. The concept dog is different from any actual dog, yet in some sense it makes that actual dog possible as a dog. This last claim is controversial, and I would defend it from within an anthropocentric phenomenological direct realist framework.

    In such a framework, conceptuality (language) is very much a part of a reality. The world apart from human conceptuality is a sometimes useful fiction --and an ontological mistake? That's part of the essence of the OP. Our culture-loaded human nervous system is profoundly entangled with the world.
  • plaque flag
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    I think it's fair to say that language isn't part of reality, and the categorisation of a dog as a dog isn't either.Judaka

    I can understand the motivation, but I'd say that a crucial ontological breakthrough occurs precisely when we stop pretending that we as philosophers are ever on the outside looking in. I made such a big deal about critical rationality because the concept of the project of philosophy has profound implications with tend to go unnoticed. Any ontological thesis that contradicts a condition for the possibility of rational discourse is a performative contradiction.

    This means that our inquiry is not outside of reality looking in but rather its logical center. Semantic inferentialism suggests that we think of all entities (itches and cows and complex numbers) on the same 'layer' of reality. Scrap dualism, I say, because no entity or concept is intelligible apart from the entire network of all other concepts. 'Mental and 'physical' entities are semantically and causally interdependent, so the distinction is a mere tool among so many others, nothing absolute.

    Logic/semantics is fundamental, not something trapped outside looking in --- not for 'we the logical' who assume before any ontological claim that such a claim must be justified. This is not to say that the world is only concepts. Of course it's not. But philosophers traffic in concepts. Ontology is conceptual. We still want composers and painters. And even here the critique of logocentrism is rational as a reminder that being (the world) is not merely conceptual.
  • plaque flag
    2.7k
    n the simplest terms, if a method achieves its goal then that is a truth, and it's this kind of truth we seek, not "that which is in accordance with reality", barely anyone gives a shit about that.Judaka

    I applaud the insistence of relevance. I agree with your cynicism (hence my thread on the foolishness of ontology). But you seem to be on the edge of performative contradiction. What's the truth about the goal you have in making that very claim ? Let's assume you want to convince me. Then the statement is true because I believe it ?

    Let's imagine many different individuals have basically the same belief or method, but some of them succeed and others fail their goal. Is the statement both true and false ? I like the idea that 'P is true' is largely just asserting P. Now the essence of assertion can be clarified endlessly, I suspect.

    But maybe let's shift from the relationship between language and the world to that between one claimant and another.
    The parrot, the photocell, and the chunk of iron can serve as instruments for the detection of red things or wet things, because they respond differentially to them. But those responses are not claims that things are red or wet, precisely because they do not understand those responses as having that meaning or content. By contrast, when you respond to red things or wet things by saying “That’s red,” or “That’s wet,” you do understand what you are saying, you do grasp the content, and you are applying the concepts red and wet. What is the difference that makes the difference here? What practical know-how have you got that the parrot, the photocell, and the chunk of iron do not? I think the answer is that you, but not they, can use your response as the premise in inferences. For you, but not for them, your reponse is situated in a network of connections to other sentences, connections that underwrite inferential moves to it and from it. You are disposed to accept the inference from “That’s red,” to “That’s colored,”, to reject the move to “That’s green,”, and to accept the move to it from “That’s a stoplight.” You are willing to make the move from “It’s wet,” to “There is water about,” to infer it from “It is raining,” to take it as ruling out the claim “We are in a desert,” and so on. Because you have the practical ability to sort inferences in which it appears as a premise or conclusion into good ones and bad ones, your response “That’s red,” or “It’s wet,” is the making of a move in a language game, the staking of a claim, the taking of a stand that commits you to other such claims, precludes some others, and that could be justified by still others. Having practical mastery of that inferentially articulated space—what Wilfrid Sellars calls “the space of reasons”—is what understanding the concepts red and wet consists in. The responsive, merely classificatory, non-inferential ability to respond differentially to red and wet things is at most a necessary condition of exercising that understanding, not a sufficient one. — Brandom

    So this is more of what I'd call us realizing our ontological centrality. This entangles the conceptual aspect of the world with the human community's inferential standards.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
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    Time is not objectively linear - there is no inherent temporal separability between past and present. Rather, we enact this cut within the phenomenon of experiencing temporality, and the boundaries and properties of ‘the past’ and ‘the present, living being’ remain dynamic, ever-changing in relation to each other, whenever and however they intra-act (as opposed to interact which implies pre-determined boundaries/properties).Possibility

    But what about the future though? Isn't it necessary to have a "cut" between future and past, to distinguish between what is possible and what is impossible. Perhaps you don't believe this?

    The apparent determinacy of the past is inseparable from its present intra-action, enacting a particular embodied cut within such intra-action that delineates ‘the past’ from agencies of observation, including ‘the present’. Any difference between one such agential cut and another may not be obvious, but it is NOT zero.

    Both the past and the future are full of possibilities in which we can ‘partake’. We are continually reconfiguring, reworking and re-articulating ‘the past’, including what we have previously considered to be ‘determined’ or ‘actual’.
    Possibility

    Do you really believe this? The possibilities of the past are known as counterfactuals, and that's completely different from the possibilities of the future. If you really believe what you say here, can you explain to me how the past, which we've previously considered to be determined, could consist of real possibilities which we could choose from, to actualize through our actions, just like we do with future possibilities. I mean, aren't you saying we can choose to change things in the past?
  • Judaka
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    I applaud the insistence of relevance. I agree with your cynicism (hence my thread on the foolishness of ontology). But you seem to be on the edge of performative contradiction. What's the truth about the goal you have in making that very claim ? Let's assume you want to convince me. Then the statement is true because I believe it ?plaque flag

    My point about what makes it true that a dog is a dog, wasn't primarily a critique of language, but of truth. That truth is a function of logic, and language is an example, it has set up a system of linguistic references. When a thing is referred to correctly, that creates "truth". In other words, truth is not a reflection of reality, it's a quality given to a reference.

    The statement isn't true because you believe it, but if it's correct to reference it as true. The reason why a reference is correct isn't differentiated between, just as it isn't in logic.

    The word "truth" doesn't carry the weight many seem to think it does, it really needs to be contextualised. Maybe we generally only bother to ask whether something is true, in contexts where we think it matters if it is or not. Perhaps that's why the word's trivial reference isn't reflected in our perception of it.

    So this is more of what I'd call us realizing our ontological centrality. This entangles the conceptual aspect of the world with the human community's inferential standards.plaque flag

    Ontology confuses me, I'm not sure I understand your claims. I may not be a great discussion partner for discussing ontology.
  • Possibility
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    But what about the future though? Isn't it necessary to have a "cut" between future and past, to distinguish between what is possible and what is impossible. Perhaps you don't believe this?Metaphysician Undercover

    Any description of the past OR the future is always in relation to a particularly embodied present. It seems to me that what you’re referring to is the difference between a living being’s relation to the past and their relation to the future, in terms of what is possible and what is impossible for them, in that moment. There is no unambiguous way to differentiate between ‘the past’ and ‘the future’ - an embodied intra-action (observation/measurement) occurs with one OR the other, but not both simultaneously.

    I would say that we change our relation to the past, including our description of what happened, how or why it happened, etc. as well as how we respond to the what, how or why, whenever we intra-act with information available (marks on bodies) in relation to that past. This, in turn, changes any subsequent relation to the future. Every time we intra-act with, and observe/measure the past, we effect it indeterminably, altering our relation to what is possible/impossible in the future. That this effect can seem negligible does not make it zero.

    But the important point is that all of this separability occurs within the phenomenon of one’s unique temporality. “No inherent subject-object distinction exists.” So the past as we describe it is only relatively ‘determined’ - Newtonian physics justifies ignoring this relativity by presuming that one can always reduce the effect of measurement interactions to the point where they are negligible. Quantum physics has demonstrated this presumption to be false.

    Do you really believe this? The possibilities of the past are known as counterfactuals, and that's completely different from the possibilities of the future. If you really believe what you say here, can you explain to me how the past, which we've previously considered to be determined, could consist of real possibilities which we could choose from, to actualize through our actions, just like we do with future possibilities. I mean, aren't you saying we can choose to change things in the past?Metaphysician Undercover

    The belief that grammatical categories reflect the underlying structure of the world is a continuing seductive habit of mind worth questioning. — Barad

    I’m not talking about changing ‘things’ as if these were the primary ontological units, with ‘words’ as the primary semantic units. Quantum physics demonstrates an ongoing, dynamic reconfiguring of the world that is purely relational at base. By changing material-discursive practices, measurements and observations of ‘the past’ (marks on bodies) change, which can alter ‘the facts’ of what happened.

    Quantum physics requires a new logical framework that understands the constitutive role of measurement processes in the construction of knowledge. — Barad

    What I’m referring to has nothing to do with counterfactuals or intentionally choosing to ‘change things in the past’ according to the classical ideal of causality. It isn’t that the past or the future consist of possibilities, but that intra-actions “change the very possibilities for change and the nature of change”. In this sense, how we may intra-act in the future with ‘the past’ (through techno-scientific practices, for instance) remains full of possibilities in gaining new information about the past, while other information becomes irrelevant to the future. To paraphrase Barad, since there is no inherent distinction between object and instrument, these ‘possibilities’ cannot meaningfully be attributed to either abstract object (the past) or abstract measuring instrument (the future).

    A condition for objective knowledge is that the referent is a phenomenon (and not an observer-independent object)…The crucial identifying feature of phenomena is that they include ‘all relevant features of the experimental arrangement’.
  • plaque flag
    2.7k
    Ontology confuses me, I'm not sure I understand your claims. I may not be a great discussion partner for discussing ontology.Judaka

    I use 'ontology' as a synonym of 'philosophy' in its more 'scientific' ambition to articulate the structure of reality.

    When a thing is referred to correctly, that creates "truth". In other words, truth is not a reflection of reality, it's a quality given to a reference.Judaka

    I think you are making the point that assertions are true or false. Some thinkers say that this means there is no truth without discursive beings like ourselves. I think they have a point. Indeed, I agree with thinkers who suggest that we ourselves 'provide' the conceptual aspect of the world. Along these lines, talk of a world independent of human experience is confused or absurd. So I reject scientific realism as nonempirical -- basically a useful fiction that ignores the normatively subjectivity it nevertheless depends on without being forced to notice it. Bad ontology doesn't necessarily prevent technology from improving.
  • plaque flag
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    The word "truth" doesn't carry the weight many seem to think it does, it really needs to be contextualised.Judaka

    Yeah, the deflationists are probably mostly right. Being able to call a statement true has certain metacognitive uses, but mostly 'P is true' doesn't add anything to 'P.'

    But what is it to assert P ? Is there something irreducible here ? Is there a raw bottom-most essence of language that just 'is' the conceptual aspect of the real ?
  • Judaka
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    I use 'ontology' as a synonym of 'philosophy' in its more 'scientific' ambition to articulate the structure of reality.plaque flag

    I see... I think once we begin to articulate an understanding, we've necessarily entered into the realm of subjectivity. It's too free, too many choices are being made.

    I think you are making the point that assertions are true or false.plaque flag

    Not if that still leaves us with understanding truth as "that which is in accordance with reality" and thinking of an assertion as about reality. I understand the logic allowing us to refer to something as true or false as manmade. You might've understood that already, but maybe not.

    Along these lines, talk of a world independent of human experience is confused or absurd. So I reject scientific realism as nonempirical -- basically a useful fiction that ignores the normatively subjectivity it nevertheless depends on without being forced to notice it. Bad ontology doesn't necessarily prevent technology from improving.plaque flag

    I am not making an ontological argument in my critique of "truth", it's just a word to me, a poorly constructed one, one largely misunderstood. There's subjectivity in describing things. If you want to articulate the structure of reality, my view is that your aspiration is doomed from the start. Articulation is inherently subjective.

    Being able to call a statement true has certain metacognitive uses, but mostly 'P is true' doesn't add anything to 'P.'plaque flag

    Its meaning is contextual, maybe it means something, maybe it doesn't, we'd need to look at the logic involved.

    But what is it to assert P ? Is there something irreducible here ? Is there a raw bottom-most essence of language that just 'is' the conceptual aspect of the real ?plaque flag

    The logic for P being true is invented. What does irreducible mean?

    The logic of language is invented, all of it.

    In language, we refer to things with words, and there is a meaning to referring to something as something. That's all language is really. So, I don't really understand what you're talking about. What is the "raw bottom-most essence"? Do you understand language differently?
  • Gnomon
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    Perhaps philosophy's essence is its tenacious investigation of the subject's contribution to experience and how this contribution affects what we ought to believe.plaque flag
    I suppose you are talking about how we feel about the world of appearances*1, in which we are entangled & embodied, as opposed to what we believe about its ultimate objective cosmic reality. In other words, Phenomenology vs Ontology. For example, "how do you feel about God" versus "do you believe that God is really out there?"

    One could ask a true-believer, what does it feel like to know God or Jesus, despite their lack of phenomenal properties, i.e. direct experience? What the subject "contributes", brings to the table, is prior experiences & beliefs. All together, those embodied meanings form our belief system. But what makes the belief feel real? How do we derive feelings of trust & hope from indirect experiences?

    I have only superficial knowledge of Phenomenology --- never read any Husserl, etc --- but I am philosophically interested in how subjective Consciousness emerged from the evolution of the objective insensible material world. We typically believe our own senses, yet some beliefs are not based on sensory information, but on cultural concepts. So, how do we transform cultural phenomena (words ; semiology??) into personal ideas & beliefs, such as "salvation"? :smile:



    *1. Nagel's query about "what is it like to be bat" : the subjective feeling of being a sound-seeing flying mammal? For us primarily visual mammals --- like all consciousness questions --- that un-experienced experience is hard to imagine, and even harder to explain in words. The bat is "entangled" in the same physical world, but experiences different subjective sensations, due to unique features of its embodiment.
  • plaque flag
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    There's subjectivity in describing things. If you want to articulate the structure of reality, my view is that your aspiration is doomed from the start. Articulation is inherently subjective.Judaka

    This looks like a [ presumably accidental ] performative contradiction. You present the [ objective ] ontological thesis that articulation is inherently subjective. That is of course an articulation of the structure of reality, which by its own testimony is subjective (biased, unjustified, etc.) In my view, many forms of skepticism turn out to be precisely the kind of metaphysical claim they mean to forbid. I've held many such positions myself, especially a far-out neopragmatism, but also the default two-edged psychologism --- which one never abandons, because sometimes we have to think of people as clockwork rather than discursive responsible subjects. [ I'm not going to debate some drunk asshole at a bar --- not that I go to bars anymore -- but try to push buttons that allow for evasion, etc. ]
  • plaque flag
    2.7k
    The logic for P being true is invented. What does irreducible mean?Judaka

    How much can we say about the blueness of blue ? Blue is just blue. In the same way, assertion might be something so fundamental that assertions about assertions just muddy the water.

    Another example : arithmetic with natural numbers is more convincing than any philosophy that might try to offer a foundation for such arithmetic. Candle in the sun.
  • plaque flag
    2.7k
    The logic of language is invented, all of it.Judaka

    Don't you think culture is somewhat constrained by biology ? Translation seems to be common and relatively successful. Is it by chance that invented logics are sufficiently close for this to be possible ? Derrida and others have made the point that philosophy pretty much depends on the idea of translatable content -- the idea of ideas, in other words.
  • plaque flag
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    In language, we refer to things with words, and there is a meaning to referring to something as something. That's all language is really.Judaka

    This sounds like the default 'nomenclature' theory effectively criticized by Saussure and Wittgenstein. I think language is far more complex than that, though it includes references to entities. To name one complexity, Saussure talks of the sign as the fusion of an arbitrary signifier and an arbitrary signified, but the signified is a concept (not the worldly thing that concept may be applied to), and the signifier is form rather than substance (because no one ever says a word exactly the same way twice.)

    Then there's Brandom's inferentialism in which the meaning of concepts is caught up in the norms governing the inferential relationships of claims to other claims. Deep water. I'm not sure we'll ever get the bottom of it.
  • plaque flag
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    I suppose you are talking about how we feel about the world of appearances*1, in which we are entangled & embodied, as opposed to what we believe about its ultimate objective cosmic reality.Gnomon

    I'm definitely more interested in what we think and ought to think. As a phenomenological direct realist (a phrase I may have made up), I don't believe in a world of appearances and yet some other world of realities.

    I claim there's just the usual world of helicopters and toothaches and prime numbers and marriage vows ---all caught up in the same causal-semantic nexus. This suggests either a radical pluralism that minimizes the drama of the mental/physical dyad or a logical monism that celebrates the necessary if too often disavowed connection of all inferentially interdependent entities. It's so tapwater anti-mystical that it probably sounds mystical. I'd say the view is nothing but self-consciousness, nothing but what we are already doing all the time made explicit to us. It falls out of Brandom's Hegel, but it's implicit (folded up in) the very concept of philosophy as a critical-rational [onto-]logical enterprise.
  • plaque flag
    2.7k
    In other words, Phenomenology vs Ontology. For example, "how do you feel about God" versus "do you believe that God is really out there?"Gnomon

    I'd say that people who haven't dipped their nose in the texts have a mistaken view of phenomenology. There's a mundane use of 'pragmatism' that's far from C. S. Peirce. Same with 'phenomenology.'

    Indirect realists [ dualists ] are pretty much doomed to misunderstand the project, thinking it focuses on appearances rather than realities. Actually it focuses on how realities are given. The lamp on my desk is real. I can see it as the same lamp from an infinity of shifting perspectives. Or I can look at a picture of Humphrey Bogart and understand that the picture intends (is of) Humphrey Bogart. Or I can grasp that talk of the Eiffel Tower is actually about the Eiffel Tower and not my idea of the Eiffel Tower. Or I can contemplate the difference between my idea of the number 2 just now and the publicly available number 2 which is not merely my idea. You might say that phenomenology is about the way that reality appears, but it is not about appearance as some layer that gets between us and reality. The big difference is that practical ordinary life just looks 'through' the way this stuff is given to what is given in its utility. So the phenomenologist foregrounds what's usually in the background.

    Note that such direct realism doesn't pretend to infallibility or omniscience. Reality is profoundly horizonal (we know the mountain has another side, that we could definitely get clearer on Hegel, etc.) We can be wrong, confused, see things at different levels of clarity. The physicists sees the chair in the kitchen in ways that the child can't, for the physicist has learned to enrich the object by weaving it into the scientific image. A philosopher will also see the chair in more complex and complete way than the child.

    My point is that indirect realism is often motivated by our fallibility as if the only way to explain being mistaken is in terms of not being mistaken [ about some incorrigible representative image that may or may not somehow (?) be congruent with the pre-psychical (?) unknowable 'Reality.' ] As an escapee from indirect realism's tentacular confusions, I can't help teasing on it.
  • plaque flag
    2.7k
    *1. Nagel's query about "what is it like to be bat" : the subjective feeling of being a sound-seeing flying mammal? For us primarily visual mammals --- like all consciousness questions --- that un-experienced experience is hard to imagine, and even harder to explain in words. The bat is "entangled" in the same physical world, but experiences different subjective sensations, due to unique features of its embodiment.Gnomon

    In my opinion, the hard problem is made harder (pointlessly harder) by the confusions of dualism. I will perhaps please the Spiritual crowd by agreeing with them that the subject is absolutely crucial. I reject scientific realism understood as the dead pure object existing utterly apart from an embodied subject. But I say we should understand subjectivity as a perspective on worldly being. So consciousness is 'just' the being of the world 'for' or 'from' this or that perspective. And, far as we can say, as empirical rational-critical epistemically humble folk, that's the only way the world exists.

    So I agree that a certain kind of scientistic ontology is very much blind to its dependence on subjectivity. From a practical point of view, it's a mostly harmless error, because it doesn't stop the next iPhone from being made, hence my other thread about the worldly foolishness of philosophy. But for the anal retentive fools who really like their stories straight, there's a logical foul in the thought of the mind-independent object. But there's the same foul, structurally speaking, in the independent fleshless outsideless communityless subject. Hence my OP and the thesis of interdependent entanglement ---correlationism with a new coat of paint.
  • Judaka
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    That is of course an articulation of the structure of reality, which by its own testimony is subjective (biased, unjustified, etc.)plaque flag

    Do you associate subjective with unjustified? That would be unfortunate, it's sad how this word has been butchered.

    As I've already explained, and you seemingly agreed with, my argument is the result of my creative effort, it's got my biases, my choices, my views attached. "Articulation is inherently subjective", that's my understanding of articulation, my understanding of "inherently", my rules for applying "inherently", my understanding of "subjective" my rules for applying "subjective". I chose the words and not some other words. I sequenced them as they are. It's my creation, and its construction is tied to my thinking.

    Isn't that sufficient to say that my words and reasonings are subjective? The view is mine to its very core.

    How much can we say about the blueness of blue ? Blue is just blue. In the same way, assertion might be something so fundamental that assertions about assertions just muddy the water.plaque flag

    I don't understand what you mean by "muddy the water", and I remain just as confused, sorry.

    Don't you think culture is somewhat constrained by biology ? Translation seems to be common and relatively successful.plaque flag

    We've got words to reference things such as colours, animals, objects, and words to reference concepts such as culture, biology and constrained. It should translate well.

    This sounds like the default 'nomenclature' theory effectively criticized by Saussure and Wittgenstein.plaque flag

    Fair enough. I'll provide a brief explanation of my view of language.

    We use words to refer to things, but by referring to something as something, we're saying something about it. The word "dog" isn't representative of dogs, it's a type of animal, and when you refer to an animal as a dog, you're calling it a dog. What it means to refer to something as a "dog" depends on the context, and the meaning can vary greatly. Let's say someone is telling me how loyal their dog is, and I say "Yep, well, she is a dog after all", what does that mean? My meaning is something like "A dog is a loyal animal, so it makes sense that the dog is loyal". The logic of what it means to refer to something as something is complex, influenced by culture, context, tone and interpretation.

    There's a lot of subtext to the logic of reference that can convey meaning as well. For example, referring to something as overpriced might indicate that you think the price should be lowered or that you're not going to buy it. We need the context to understand it, why is this person calling this thing overpriced? But the context may make it quite obvious, along with tone and emphasis, what this person means.

    The logic that makes something overpriced is omitted, it's made up, and we'd need to hear the reason. The context matters greatly for determining the rules involved in whether it's acceptable to refer to something as something.

    So even a word like "truth", I don't think a dictionary definition helps that much, we need to ask, what does it mean to refer to something as truth, and what are the rules for it? What does it mean for something to be truth and how should we treat something upon knowing that it's the truth? All of these questions are relevant to understanding the word, though context can influence this greatly.

    That's far from a comprehensive explanation, and I could've written this much better but it should be enough that you understand my perspective, maybe.
  • plaque flag
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    Do you associate subjective with unjustified? That would be unfortunate, it's sad how this word has been butchered.

    As I've already explained, and you seemingly agreed with, my argument is the result of my creative effort, it's got my biases, my choices, my views attached. "Articulation is inherently subjective", that's my understanding of articulation, my understanding of "inherently", my rules for applying "inherently", my understanding of "subjective" my rules for applying "subjective". I chose the words and not some other words. I sequenced them as they are. It's my creation, and its construction is tied to my thinking.
    Judaka

    Consider the larger context. You wrote : If you want to articulate the structure of reality, my view is that your aspiration is doomed from the start. My point is that you were doing what I'd call articulating the structure of reality in that very statement. Can we help but articulate the structure of reality ?

    I realize that they are your words. I think you mostly had to conform to semantic norms that transcend you, because I understand you all too well otherwise. But surely those particular words are a function of you in particular as well.
  • plaque flag
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    That's far from a comprehensive explanation, and I could've written this much better but it should be enough that you understand my perspective, maybe.Judaka

    Your comments on language all seem quite reasonable to me. You might like these passages.
    A characteristic distinguishing feature of linguistic practices is their protean character, their plasticity and malleability, the way in which language constantly overflows itself, so that any established pattern of usage is immediately built on, developed, and transformed. The very act of using linguistic expressions or applying concepts transforms the content of those expressions or concepts. The way in which discursive norms incorporate and are transformed by novel contingencies arising from their usage is not itself a contingent, but a necessary feature of the practices in which they are implicit. It is easy to see why one would see the whole enterprise of semantic theorizing as wrong–headed if one thinks that, insofar as language has an essence, that essence consists in its restless self–transformation (not coincidentally reminiscent of Nietzsche’s “self–overcoming”). Any theoretical postulation of common meanings associated with expression types that has the goal of systematically deriving all the various proprieties of the use of those expressions according to uniform principles will be seen as itself inevitably doomed to immediate obsolescence as the elusive target practices overflow and evolve beyond those captured by what can only be a still, dead snapshot of a living, growing, moving process. It is an appreciation of this distinctive feature of discursive practice that should be seen as standing behind Wittgenstein’s pessimism about the feasibility and advisability of philosophers engaging in semantic theorizing…
    ...
    [T]he idea that the most basic linguistic know–how is not mastery of proprieties of use that can be expressed once and for all in a fixed set of rules, but the capacity to stay afloat and find and make one’s way on the surface of the raging white–water river of discursive communal practice that we always find ourselves having been thrown into (Wittgensteinian Geworfenheit) is itself a pragmatist insight. It is one that Dewey endorses and applauds. And it is a pragmatist thought that owes more to Hegel than it does to Kant.
    — Robert Brandom
  • plaque flag
    2.7k
    So even a word like "truth", I don't think a dictionary definition helps that much, we need to ask, what does it mean to refer to something as truth, and what are the rules for it? What does it mean for something to be truth and how should we treat something upon knowing that it's the truth? All of these questions are relevant to understanding the word, though context can influence this greatly.Judaka

    Yes. And I for one think philosophy is largely about clarifying meaning, getting a better grip on our basic concepts...or getting a better on grip on why that's not possible...or figuring out whether it is possible...and so on.
  • Janus
    15.3k
    The concept dog is different from any actual dog, yet in some sense it makes that actual dog possible as a dog.plaque flag

    Surely the dog is what it is absent the concept or more precisely name, "dog". Actually 'dog' by itself does not seem to be a concept but is so only on account of all the associations which it carries; associations which come into play after the familiarity cultivated by seminal cognition and subsequent re-cognitions.

    The concepts associated with the name 'dog' transform the mere name into a category constructed out of observed characteristics and attributes.
  • Gnomon
    3.5k
    I'm definitely more interested in what we think and ought to think. As a phenomenological direct realist (a phrase I may have made up), I don't believe in a world of appearances and yet some other world of realities. . . . Indirect realists [ dualists ] are pretty much doomed to misunderstand the project, thinking it focuses on appearances rather than realities. Actually it focuses on how realities are given.plaque flag
    "I see", said the blind philosopher. So, as a "naive realist" you disagree with Aristotle, Descartes, & Kant that we can't believe our perceiving eyes, because they deceive us with subjective beliefs about the non-self "other" (unreal or ideal) world that our senses purport to inform us of?*1 Hence, your worldview is direct & monistic with no filters?*2 No need for philosophical doubt about percepts? And no need for notions of Ideal Forms underlying the Facts. Do we still need the gods, though, to bestow upon us The Given?*3

    That probably would have been my own worldview in earlier days, before I belatedly began to think scientifically & philosophically. Have I been deceived by those anti-religious thinkers into denying the "facts" reported to me by my personal senses? Or, have I been deceived by eons of evolution, to interpret reality in terms of meanings that have proven to be favorable for the continuation of biological species over many lifetimes?*4 If I can't believe my own senses, or my own mind, or the dons of science, what hope is there for me to cope with the slings & arrows of non-self-serving Reality? :cool:

    PS__Did I mis-interpret your opinion of the way "we ought to think" : I.e. naively instead of skeptically?


    *1. Arguments against direct realism :
    This argument was "first offered in a more or less fully explicit form in Berkeley . . .
    One concern with indirect realism is that if simple data flow and information processing is assumed then something in the brain must be interpreting incoming data. This something is often described as a homunculus, although the term homunculus is also used to imply an entity that creates a continual regress, and this need not be implied.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_and_indirect_realism
    Note -- That invisible interloping "interpreter" -- coming between the mind and reality -- may also be the culprit that makes the Problem of Consciousness "hard". Perhaps its that devious interpreter who pulls a curtain between Self & Non-Self; denying our holistic "entanglement" in the Cosmic System of Reality.

    *2. Faith Filters :
    Your beliefs, both good and bad, create your entire perception of how you see and experience the world.
    https://limbicperformancesystem.com/beliefs-as-filters/

    *3. Save the Appearances :
    known for his attack on the “myth of the given”.
    But you start from a kind of cognitive freebie: what’s ‘given’ to you in experience.

    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/sellars/
    Note -- With no formal training in philosophy, I've never read any of Sellars' work either. So my knowledge of his opinions is "indirect", mostly from Wikipedia. Anyway, the notion of "the given" sounds like inborn prejudices of the human brain, designed by evolution to do some of our thinking for us, in the form of prepackaged beliefs & kneejerk reactions.

    *4. Evolution's benevolent deception :
    The interface theory of perception is the idea that our perceptual experiences don't necessarily map onto what exists in the reality of itself.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_D._Hoffman
  • plaque flag
    2.7k

    I think you may have a 'naive' view of phenomenological direct realism. I went out of my way to spare you the confusion.

    Note that such direct realism doesn't pretend to infallibility or omniscience. Reality is profoundly horizonal (we know the mountain has another side, that we could definitely get clearer on Hegel, etc.) We can be wrong, confused, see things at different levels of clarity. The physicists sees the chair in the kitchen in ways that the child can't, for the physicist has learned to enrich the object by weaving it into the scientific image. A philosopher will also see the chair in more complex and complete way than the child.plaque flag

    Note also that my 'one-level' ontology includes hallucinations and toothaches and memories of apple pie. I hope that blows your hair back. Hallucinations and direct realism ? You betcha.
  • Gnomon
    3.5k
    In my opinion, the hard problem is made harder (pointlessly harder) by the confusions of dualism. I will perhaps please the Spiritual crowd by agreeing with them that the subject is absolutely crucial. I reject scientific realism understood as the dead pure object existing utterly apart from an embodied subject.plaque flag
    I happen to agree with that assessment, except to point-out that scientistic Materialism is a metaphysical monism. Hence, Brain & Mind are not two different substances, but simply a singular machine with the function of interpreting Reality in a way that behooves a temporary material creature in a sometimes hostile world. For the purposes of a life-preserving mechanism, the subjective Self is the "crucial" fact of Reality. That's one way of resolving the "confusion of dualism".

    I also agree that scientifically dis-entangling the embodied Self from the Cosmic System (observer from environment) is a mindless-soulless worldview. That's why I prefer to re-integrate Matter & Mind, Part & Whole in a monism that might "please the Spiritual crowd" --- except that it has no need for the accretion of myths about the ultimate absolute Reality that hypothetically encompasses our local relative reality. I won't go into the details of that proximate Dualism within ultimate Monism in this post. It's a complex & controversial explanation for the apparent materiality of the world in which we are myopically entangled. And has been roundly rejected by the Scientism crowd. :smile:
  • Judaka
    1.7k

    My point is that you were doing what I'd call articulating the structure of reality in that very statement. Can we help but articulate the structure of reality ?plaque flag

    I didn't take myself to be articulating the structure of reality there... I had imagined something broader, something closer to the "whole truth", as you say. Something overarching. Was I wrong?

    I realize that they are your words. I think you mostly had to conform to semantic norms that transcend you, because I understand you all too well otherwise. But surely those particular words are a function of you in particular as well.plaque flag

    Although I don't have to, I generally add words that qualify that demonstrate that my words reflect my point of view. I had said I was talking about my view, and I provided an explanation of the problem earlier in my comment. Nonetheless, if I wanted to find a nuance that allowed me to avoid the performative contradiction, it would be doubtless easy. Such is the fickle nature of logic and reason, after all.

    Your comments on language all seem quite reasonable to me. You might like these passages.plaque flag

    I'm glad you feel that way. The passage is nice, I too value a pragmatic understanding of language, and I share the dislike of semantic theorising.
  • Gnomon
    3.5k
    I think you may have a 'naive' view of phenomenological direct realism. I went out of my way to spare you the confusion.plaque flag
    I apologize for my dumminess! My naive notion of "direct realism" is limited to the Wiki summary. Since I have no formal training in the abstruse enigmas of academic philosophy, your clarification must have sailed right over my little pointy head. Can you read me into your more sophisticated view, without getting into technicalities that will only confuse me further. I sense that our worldviews are not far apart, but perhaps on the other side of the mountain. :smile:

    PS__It may help to penetrate my opaque skull, for you to reply directly to some of the alternative views I linked to in the post.
  • plaque flag
    2.7k
    Surely the dog is what it is absent the concept or more precisely name, "dog".Janus

    I don't think it's that simple. Of course I see why one would say so. But are mountains mountains in the same way without us grasping them as mountains with all that that entails ? I'm serious about my anthropormorphic ontology. The independent object (the pure dog untainted by being grasped as a dog by a cultural being) is a useful fiction --so useful that it seems silly to call it a fiction. Yet the concept dog evolved (and so therefore did the lifeworld), and that's another complexity worth discussing.
    ***
    Consider also the difference between a rare tool seen by someone who knows what it's for as opposed to someone else who only guesses it's a tool.
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