Comments

  • Is there an external material world ?


    Discursive
    conventions are what allow us to come to agreement on ethical , inter social and scientific issues.
    — Joshs
    But that is twaddle. What allows agreement is that we share the same world. "Discursive conventions" are our agreeing, they are what our agreeing consists in.
    Banno

    Then I guess Trump supporters and liberals
    in the U.S live in different worlds, as Goodman says, given that they disagree profoundly on ethical, political and scientific issues. No pointing to the true facts , while castigating our foes for their laziness, stupidity or malevolent motives, will change this situation.

    Truth is where the world and language meet. Some of our beliefs are true, some not. Not just anything will do.Banno

    No, rightness is where the world and language meet, and rightness is not about truth and falsity but coherence of fit. What fits and what does not , and in what way, depends on lour purposes. We can ignore the particularities of our participation in social activities on some occasions , such as when we create broadly general categories of purpose that abstract
    away all of these particularities. Technology and physics are examples of this abstractive generalizing of discursive meaning, allowing liberals and conservatives to agree on why planes stay up in the air even as they cannot agree on much else. Only because we can construct such broad generalities can what seem like the ‘same true world’ appear as shared by an entire community.
  • Can we turn Heidegger’s criticism of objectivity into a strong basis for subjectivity?
    What's the problem with the rational common in a cultural relativist's view?Enrique

    There is no problem with it for postmodernists. Discursive
    conventions are what allow us to come to agreement on ethical , inter social and scientific issues. But if we try and fix in stone any particular set of conventions as based on a true external reality we deprive ourselves of the ability to forge new and perhaps deeper agreements as the world continues to change. There must be a continual
    back and forth between living within a given rational
    common and the transformation of the schematic basis of rational conventions. This means assuming that all of our scientific and ethical beliefs are ultimately contestable.
  • What happened before the Big Bang?
    Science explains nature (i.e. transformations of phenomena, facts-of-the-matter, states-of-affairs) with testable models and philosophy interprets – describes, infers – the conceptual ramifications (i.e. presuppositions, implications, extrapolations) of science, no? My point is that I understand that 'science is primarily an object-discourse and philosophy a meta-discourse' (à la Tarski). Also, that this 'meta-discourse' consists of an implicit conciliance, or convergence (à la Peirce), of Sellarian "manifest" and "scientific" images of human existence (pace Heiddeger, and other anti-moderns).180 Proof

    Joseph Rouse attempts to move the Sellarsian relation between manifest and scientific image in the direction of Heidegger, Kuhn and Rorty , as well as toward newer biological accounts of niche construction, by
    showing them to be reciprocally determinative. Facts of the matter, states of affairs, objects of discourse ( the scientific image) respond to our inquiries ( space of reasons) in the same way an organism’s niche is shaped by its behavior in relation to that environment. The continual discursive back and forth between space of reasons and objects of scientific discourse reciprocally modifies both via a dance of mutual coherence and fit, just as the organism’s goal-oriented behavior defines , adjusts and is reciprocally shaped by its environment.
    This back and forth between hypothesis and test describes philosophical as faithfully as it does empirical inquiry. Differences between philosophical and empirical approaches lie in the conventionality of the terms employed rather than in any fixed distinction in method of inquiry.

    I agree that a philosophical meta-discourse addresses
    both the manifest and scientific images, but not by restricting itself to the conceptual space of reasons (which would be impossible). Rather , its investigations enact the reciprocal dance I described above between the concept and the object, just as does empirical inquiry, and that makes it impossible to categorically separate science and philosophy on any basis.



    “ In contrast to traditional efforts to establish the epistemic objectivity of articulated judgments, Davidson, Brandom, McDowell, Haugeland, and others rightly give priority to the objectivity of conceptual content and reasoning. They nevertheless mis­takenly attempt to understand conceptual objectivity as accountability to objects understood as external to discursive practice. A more expan­sive conception of discursive practice, as organismic interaction within our discursively articulated environment, shows how conceptual nor­mativity involves a temporally extended accountability to what is at issue and at stake in that ongoing interaction.”(Rouse, Articulating the World)
  • "philosophy" against "violence"
    What we actually get: Violence as a necessary evil - under existing circumstances, renouncing violence is madness/stupidity/both.Agent Smith

    Why do you think violence is a necessary evil?
  • Can we turn Heidegger’s criticism of objectivity into a strong basis for subjectivity?
    This is a similar point, to my understanding, as Levinas' ethical charge against Heidegger - too much focus on ontology makes you forget the world. By highlighting that Levinas perhaps had an inadequate understanding of the ontological aspects of Heidegger's ontology in response to someone highlighting a political implication of his ontology, it looks to me like you're making a similar move to the one criticised.fdrake

    Those philosophers who are most sympathetic to Levinas’s critique of Heidegger’s ontology tend to be theologically oriented. When they accuse Heidegger of privileging ontology over ethics, by making ontology a neutral concept, what they really mean is that Heidegger follows Nietzsche beyond good and evil.
    Their beef with Heidegger extends to all ‘radical relativism’, because whereas
    Levinas holds onto a traditional religious notion of the Good as that which transcends all contingent contexts , for the atheistic postmodernists there is no such role
    for the Good.

    Reading the relativists this way, they fear the latter excuse totalitarianisms by sanctioning an ‘anything goes’ posture. I’m not sure if this is what you had in mind by ‘fascism’.

    There is a commentary concerning the relation between Heidegger’s philosophy and his politics that I o
    find meaningful, by the philosopher and psychologist Eugene Gendlin.

    “Gandhi, Marx, Dilthey, Buber, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, McKeon, and many others taught me deeply. But so did three writers whose politics were highly objectionable to me: Jung, Dostoevsky, and Heidegger.

    Jung offers deep and indispensable insights. I did not like knowing that Jung had said: "Hitler is the embodiment of the German spirit." The Nazis knew his views. Records show that they considered sending for Jung to help Rudolph Hess with his mental trouble.

    Similarly, I had not wanted to know that Dostoevsky hated Jews, Germans, and Poles. He gave influential speeches in favor of the Panslavic movement. That movement was a direct cause of the Russian-French alliance and the World Wars.

    What I heard of Heidegger's Nazi views made me decide not to read him at all. I read him when I was almost 40 years old. Then I realized that Heidegger's thought was already in mine, from my reading of so many others who had learned from him.

    With these three we are forced to wonder: Must we not mistrust their seemingly deep insights? How could we want these insights for ourselves, if they came out of experience so insensitive to moral ugliness? Perhaps it might not matter if the insights were less deep. But they open into what is most precious in human nature and life. The depth is beyond question. The insights are genuine.

    So one attempts to break out of the dilemma on the other side: Is there a way Nazism or hatred of other peoples might be not so bad? Could it have seemed different at the time? No chance of that, either. I am a Jewish refugee from Vienna, a lucky one to whom nothing very bad happened. I remember what 1938 looked like, not only to a Jew, but to others. I remember the conflicts it made in people. They could not help knowing which instincts were which. Many writers and ordinary people had no difficulty seeing the events for what they were, at the time.

    So we return to question the insights again. But by now they are among our own deepest insights. We go back and forth: Nothing gives way on either side. Did these men simply make mistakes? We can forgive mistakes. A human individual can develop far beyond others, but surely only on one or two dimensions. No one can be great in more than a few ways. And silently to myself, when other Americans discuss and share Heidegger's view that to be human is to dwell historically as a people on a soil. How do my fellow Americans manage to dwell with Heidegger on German soil?

    My colleagues read this in a universalized way. For us, in the Heidegger Circle, the human is the same everywhere in this respect, and equally valuable. Humans are culturally particularized, certainly, but this particularization is itself universal. Humans are one species. They are all culturally particular. This universal assertion holds across us all, and we see no problem.

    Indeed, after 1945 Heidegger writes of the dangers of technological reason on a "planetary" level. But it is reason, which is thus planetary---the same universal reason he says he had always attacked. (Spiegel Interview.) Heidegger's planetary view differs from our more recent understanding of human universality. The difference has not been much written about, so there are no familiar phrases for it. For Heidegger there is no common human nature which is then also particularized and altered in history. There is no human nature that lasts through change by history. There is only the historical particular, no human nature.

    Humans eat and sleep differently in different cultures. They arrange different sexual rituals, build different "nests," and raise their young differently. In an animal species the members do all this in the same way. Humans are not even a species. So, at least, it seemed to those thinkers who entered into what is most deeply human. To them, the deepest and most prized aspect of humans was the cultural and historical particular.

    In our generation we easily and conveniently universalize the particularization. Not Heidegger. For him, what is most valuable is the necessarily particular indwelling in one people's history and language, on its land, and not another's. We change it without noticing, to read: any indwelling in any people's history is this most highly valued aspect.

    it was Heidegger who pioneered a thinking beyond logical universals, beyond the thin, abstracted commonality categories. He pioneered the thinking which consists of situatedness (Befindlichkeit). He said that situational living is already an understanding. He said that understanding is always befindlich. "Understanding always has greater reach than the cognitive can follow." He called it "dwelling" (see Gendlin, Conference Proceedings, 1983). He also called it "indwelling" (einwohnen). He thought its more-than-logical creativity limited within historical soil and nation. To him non-rational meant non-universal.

    But with his own books, and through Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, and many others, it was he who opened the way to our kind of thinking---the kind that now dwells universally beyond the rational common---although it is only beginning to say how. To work on that is our problem. He contributed enough for one human.

    Heidegger must be credited for a great share in that very development because of which we no longer feel the old either/or: either the deeply human historical particular with its political savagery and sadism, or the merely rational commmon.

    It is partly the influence of his work in us, which now makes us unable to grasp how he could have failed to sense the nonrational universality of humans. Today, in Chicago, when we look at Louis Sullivan's buildings, the ones that created modern architecture, we wonder why he used so much granite. Why didn't he use just steel and windows?

    To understand may be to forgive, but it is certainly not to excuse. Without pretending to lighten the horror, we need to understand why that tradition of thought also brought horror. Only so can we think through what we draw from our immediate past. Only then can we recover the other past, right behind that one. We need both, to articulate our own, non-rational universalization of human depth.” Eugene Gendlin
  • What happened before the Big Bang?


    I believe Leibniz was the first to conceive the universe as a computing machineJackson

    yes indeed
  • What happened before the Big Bang?
    ↪Joshs I'm with Witty: philosophy describes discursive features and usages while leaving "everything as it is". On the hand, physics endeavors to explain how transformations of states-of-affairs into other states-of-affairs are possible with high-precision models that are experimentally testable. Philosophical elucidations are used in constructing physical models the way grammars are used in novels and histories; they do not explain anything but rather make explicit, or describe, as you say "interconnections, correlations and coherences" implicit in concepts or discourses such as physics. To the degree physicists find 'philosophical contributions' add to the efficacy of their theoretical and research practices, they deliberately use philosophy; otherwise it – speculation for speculation's sake – is mostly (again, efficaciously) ignored.180 Proof

    You make it sound like philosophy constructs grammars and clarifications after the fact , by looking at the explanations of physicists and then making explicit what the physicists have already created. But the leading edge of philosophy always beats physics to the punch. It is physics that ‘fills in the details’ years after a philosophical approach produces a new architecture of thought, and then has to reconfigure anew all those details when philosophy ( or a philosophically attuned physicist) subverts the old architecture.
    Each era of philosophy, from Descartes to Leibnitz to Kant to Hegel to Wittgenstein, anticipates an era of physics. Newtonian physics is compatible with Descartes but not with Kant, Hegel or Wittgenstein. A 19th physicist who had read and understood Kant would likely recognize inadequacies in Newtonian physics that would be invisible to Newton. Similarly, a 21st century physicist who understands Hegelian and post-Hegelian concepts will find it necessary to reconfigure the axes around which central ideas in physics revolve. Lee Smolen is an example of such a physicist today. He writes:

    Philosophers of the past “sometimes understood the problems we face more deeply than many of my colleagues today. For example, Leibniz was, to my understanding, the first to struggle with the main question that we face in trying to make a quantum theory of gravity-how to make a background independent description of a closed universe that contains both all its causes and all its observers. And Peirce was the first to articulate and try to solve the puzzle at the heart of the current debates in cosmology and string theory: what chose the laws that govern our universe? And what chose the initial conditions?”

    “… in many cases philosophers are working on the same questions I work on-and developing ideas related to the ideas I hope to establish-but from a bracingly different perspective.”

    “… fundamental physics has been in a crisis, due to the evident need for new revolutionary ideas-which becomes more evident with each failure of experiment to confirm fashionable theories, and the inability of those trained in a pragmatic, anti- philosophical style of research to free themselves from fashion and invent those new ideas. To aspire to be a revolutionary in physics, I would claim, it is helpful to make contact with the tradition of past revolutionaries. But the lessons of that tradition are maintained not in the communities of fashionable science, with their narrow education and outlook, but in the philosophical community and tradition.”

    The fact is physics does not make significant progress without regularly going through revolutions in its basic assumptions. When speculation for speculation’s s sake is ignored by physicists there isnrelative stagnation in the field.
  • What happened before the Big Bang?
    But we throw the baby out with the bathwater if we make these rigid compartmentalizations. Better to break free of it. Life is messyXtrix

    Yes, I don’t think there is any categorical way to distinguish the philosophical, the scientific-empirical , the technological, and the literary or artistic for that matter. They interpenetrate each other in complex
    ways.
  • What happened before the Big Bang?
    Physics IS philosophy.
    However, philosophy IS NOT physics (i.e. not theoretical, or does not explain any aspect of nature).
    180 Proof

    If the job of explanation is to reveal interconnections, correlations and coherences among what had formerly been taken to be disparate phenomena, then both physics and philosophy explain. I think it’s a matter of how conventional and generic the explanation is. If empiricism takes as its role the explanation of what can be objectively measured , this is because it takes as its starting point the already conventionalized idea of the object. A philosophical explanation can burrow
    deep within the unexamined pre suppositions forming the condition of possibility for the conventionalized notion of the physical object. Physicists explain objective nature, while philosophy explains the nature of the construction of the idealization physicists call objective nature.
  • What happened before the Big Bang?


    If the explanation lies outside our capacities, or outside of naturalism, then we need to accept it or broaden our fundamental concepts of existence.Xtrix

    Good point. I would say the explanation lies outside of the approach to naturalism that one finds in today’s physics.

    Multiple universes seems to push the question back, much like God. Who or what created God? What created the universe or the multiverse? Etc.

    Human beings aren’t omnipotent. This could be a question we just can’t answer, and perhaps demonstrates our cognitive limits.
    Xtrix

    Or perhaps the way we are forced to formulate these questions when we stick to the confines of physics’ scheme of thinking keeps us from noticing an entirely different, and I would argue more productive, way of approaching origins, time and space that is already available to us in philosophy.
  • What happened before the Big Bang?

    I think it only make sense in philosophy to talk about what has already been established in physics and not to extrapolate non-evidentiary, or inexplicable, counterfactuals that philosophy is ill-equipped to establish. My point is: given the physics we philosophers have to work with, time before – independent of – spacetime doesn't make any sense; besides, a speculative fiat of "other spacetimes" is unparsimonious as well.180 Proof

    This was Quine’s position, that pragmatism’s relativism must ground itself in the realism of physics, a notion referred to as scientism by Putnam.

    Physics IS philosophy. That is , it is an applied language of philosophical thought. The problem is that the forms of metaphysics that today’s physics depends on may be ‘already out of date’ when it comes to effectively addressing questions concerning the nature of time, space and genesis. We philosophers don’t have to limit ourselves to the theories the physicist has to work with. We have at our disposal, if we are willing to make use of them, a host of more powerful conceptual tools to deal with these issues beyond a physical account of spacetime.
  • Is there an external material world ?


    Davidson quite happily sets truth-conditional semantics as a part of meaning as use, then asks: if you have the truth conditions for a sentence, what more do you want?

    It's not a rhetorical question.
    Banno

    And the non-rhetorical answer is that truth conditions play only a minor role in determining the rightness of meaning , due to the fact that rightness is predominately a matter of fit between habit and what appears. Fit is relative to purpose, and there are no things in the world that are external to all purposes.

    As Nelson Goodman puts it:

    “Truth, far from being a solemn and severe master, is a docile and obedient servant. The scientist who supposes that he is single-mindedly dedicated to the search for truth deceives himself. He is unconcerned with the trivial truths he could grind out endlessly; and he looks to the multifaceted and irregular results of observations for little more than suggestions of overall structures and significant generalizations. He seeks system, simplicity, scope; and when satisfied on these scores he tailors truth to fit. He as much decrees as discovers the laws he sets forth, as much designs as discerns the patterns he delineates. Truth, moreover, pertains solely to what is said, and literal truth solely to what is said literally. We have seen, though, that worlds are made not only by what is said literally but also by what is said metaphorically, and not only by what is said either literally or metaphorically but also by what is exemplified and expressed-by what is shown as well as by what is said.”

    "The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" would thus be a perverse and paralyzing policy for any world- maker. The whole truth would be too much; it is too vast, variable, and clogged with trivia. The truth alone would be too little, for some right versions are not true-being either false or neither true nor false-and even for true versions rightness may matter more.

    What I have been saying bears on the nature of knowledge. On these terms, knowing cannot be exclusively or even primarily a matter of determining what is true. Discovery often amounts, as when I place a piece in a jigsaw puzzle, not to arrival at a proposition for declaration or defense, but to finding a fit. Much of knowing aims at something other than true, or any, belief.

    An increase in acuity of insight or in range of comprehension, rather than a change in belief, occurs when we find in a pictured forest a face we already knew was there, or learn to distinguish stylistic ditterences among works already classified by artist or composer or writer, or study a picture or a concerto or a treatise until we see or hear or grasp features and structures we could not discern before. Such growth in knowledge is not by formation or fixation or belief, but by the advancement of understanding. Furthermore, if worlds are as much made as found, so also knowing is as much remaking as reporting.”

    “ Briefly, then, truth of statements and rightness of descriptions, representations, exemplifications, expressions-of design, drawing, diction, rhythm--is primarily a matter of fit: fit to what is referred to in one way or another, or to other renderings, or to modes and manners of organization. The differences between fitting a version to a world, a world to a version, and a version together or to other versions fade when the role of versions in making the worlds they fit is recognized.”

    To me this is the key point. We gain nothing by assuming a set of facts about the world supposedly existing independently of all versions, purposes and uses. Such an assumption is completely vacuous. It has no work to do.
  • The fragility of time and the unconscious


    Consider two camps: in mine, everything is metaphysics. In the other, everything we call metaphysics is nonsense. For me, it is clear: all basic level inquiry leads to indeterminacy, whether is it about quantum physics or my cat. Ask me what my cat is, where it is, how old it is, if my cat exists, properties my cat has, etc., and I will show you the road to deconstructing my cat into oblivion, referring to all knowledge claims that make cats cats and fence posts fence posts. Time seems particularly fragile because it falls apart so readily. Yesterday? You mean that-which-is-not-this-occurrent-event? Something outside "outside" an occurrent event? No sense can be made of this. Such a thing is unwitnessable.Constance

    There are two other sorts of camps. In one, indeterminacy is a failure of knowledge, the breakdown of certainly that leads to a skepticism , alienation or even nihilism. In the other camp, it is the determinacy associated with certainty that leads to lack of intelligibility, alienation and fragmentation, because understanding and meaning are functions of relevance , and relevance is a function of the structure of time , whereby the present occurs into a past history such that the world a always recognizable and familiar to us at some level. Meaning , understanding , determination and relevance require a dance between past and present in which the past is adjusted to the present, while the present bears the mark of its past. To determine a present is to produce it. If rather than a making, we think of determinism as a finding of what was already there, we have been lured into confusion.
  • Is there an external material world ?


    the whole argument of Davidson's "The Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme" assumes that translation leaves the language into which we translate unaffected.
    — Joshs

    I don't think this is so. Davidson's description is of an ongoing and growing conversation.

    So do you have an argument for this?
    Banno

    I’m going to cheat and use Putnam again:

    “The word "meaning" and its relatives may be used in a sense closely connected with linguistics (counting lexi- cography as part linguistics). of Using the notion in this way, we ask what a word means, and expect to be given, if not a synonym, at least a paraphrase of a kind that any native speaker of the relevant language might give, or if the para- phrase is in a different language, one that counts as a reason-able translation. This is the notion of meaning that concerns Donald Davidson, my predecessor in the Hermes Lectures. In this sense of "meaning," the criterion as to whether two expressions have the same meaning is translation practice. But there is another, perhaps looser, notion of meaning made famous by Wittgenstein, in which to ask for the mean- ing of a word is to ask how it is used, and explanations of how a word is used may often involve technical knowledge of a kind ordinary speakers do not possess, and may be of a kind that would never appear in a lexicon or be offered as translations. In short, there is a difference between elucidat- ing the meaning of an expression by describing how it is used, and giving its meaning in the Davidsonian, or narrow linguistic, sense.”

    “Conceptual relativity, as I already in-dicated, holds that the question as to which of these ways of using "exist" (and "individual" "object," etc.) is right is one that the meanings of the words in the natural language, that is, the language that we all speak and cannot avoid speaking every day, simply leaves open.”
  • Postmodern Philosophy and Morality
    Simply put, I read Nietzsche or Peirce or Wittgenstein against the likes of Foucault, Lyotard, Derrida & Rorty whereby the latter, IME, flounder in 'discursive relativisms' (i.e. sophistries) from deliberately mis-reading the various conceptual-pragmatic doubts raised by the former.180 Proof

    I think Putnam stands as a transitional figure between
    the realisms espouses by analytic philosophy up through Davidson and Quine and a full-fledged relativism. He has one foot in the postmodern world but didnt dare cross the threshold. I think Putnam’s conceptual relativism quantifies as a ‘discursive relativism’. He was only a realist when it came to empiricism and valuative criteria of rightness. I’m curious as to whether you, like Banno, side with Davidson against Putnam.
  • Can we turn Heidegger’s criticism of objectivity into a strong basis for subjectivity?
    You put a lot of effort into researching this, which I appreciate.
    You know the 'Heidegger makes ethics subservient to ontology' line then, do you feel like it's that much of a stretch from there to fascism? I don't, I think the technology stuff is a fairly big enabler for his Naziism.fdrake

    In his deconstructive reading of Levinas , Violence and Metaphysics (in Writing and Difference) , which I discuss here,

    https://www.academia.edu/38323356/Reading_Heidegger_Against_Levinas

    Derrida takes apart Levinas’s claim that Heidegger privileges ontology over ethics.

    I want to point out that what Heidegger is attempting to do in his analysis of enframing and the essence of the technological is perform a deconstruction of the metaphysics of presence, which Derrida also does , ina different manner. When Heidegger harks back to the Greeks for inspiration, he isn’t suggesting that we can or should dial back history in a nostalgic move. Instead , the only way is forward.

    In Basic Questions of Philosophy (1936), pp. 96-130, Heidegger deals with the issue of why the original Greek discovery of truth as the unconcealment of Beings was turned into the notion of truth as correctness of an assertion, first with Aristotle , and then more fully in medieval and modern western thought. This transformation of the meaning of truth is tied to the origin of Enframing.

    He concludes that it was not simply a mistake or omission on the part of the ancient Greeks that they did not fully define truth as unconcealment, but that it was part of their genius as establishing the beginning that they did not define it. The West, particularly thanks to the genius of Nietzsche and Holderlin, is now at the transition to the end of that first beginning and Heidegger wants to take us into the new beginning, a wholly other beginning, prepared for but not glimpsed by Nietzsche.

    “Just what have we gained thereby? What else than the historiographical cognition that for us today, and for the West since long ago, the original essence of truth has been lost because of the predominance o f truth as correctness. Hence we have gained the recognition o f a loss. But it is not at all decided that we have here a genuine loss. For that would be the case only if it could be shown that the not-losing, the preservation, of the original essence of truth (aXf)deia) is a necessity and that we consequently need to gain back what was lost.

    The knowledge of the essence o f dXfj'deia did not get lost because later on aX-rjOeux was translated by Veritas, rectitudo, and " truth , " and was interpreted as the correctness of an assertion, but just the opposite, this translation and this new interpretation could begin and could gain prevalence only because the essence of otXf)'deLa was not unfolded originally enough and its unfolding was not grounded strongly enough. The occurrence of the submergence of the primordial essence of truth, unconcealedness (aXfj'dciot), is nothing past and gone but is immediately present and operative in the basic fact it determines, namely the unshaken domination of the traditional concept of truth.”(p.99)
  • Can we turn Heidegger’s criticism of objectivity into a strong basis for subjectivity?
    In all honesty, I've no interest in going down the rabbit hole, especially if you feel it needs to start in B&T.fdrake

    You can start it wherever you want, but I think you’re making the wrong case. Fascism is a simplistic explanation, which mostly ignores or misreads rather than properly addresses his work. The best philosophical arguments connecting his ideas and his political actions I’ve read come from Derrida and Levinas , both of whom avoid oversimplified notions of fascism.
  • Can we turn Heidegger’s criticism of objectivity into a strong basis for subjectivity?
    Only a god can save us. But we have a choice in how we are not saved - the principle he expressed there of return to a poetic and spiritual sensibility (@Wayfarer), or the one he embodied in practice, or, not to put too fine a point on it, a forceful politics of nostalgia and mythical reclamation. The poetic violence of fascism.fdrake

    That’s quite a leap you made there from Enframing to fascism. The concept of Enframing arose out of Heidegger’s analysis of the inauthentic comportment the of present to hand in Being and Time. Do you see any hints of mythical nostalgia or fascism in his distinction between inauthentic present to hand and authentic Dasein in that book?
  • Can we turn Heidegger’s criticism of objectivity into a strong basis for subjectivity?
    I wish you’d stop invoking Heidegger in your own musings if you can’t put the minimal amount of effort into representing him accurately.Xtrix

    I would have loved to say that to Sartre.
  • Is there an external material world ?


    Davidson seems to me to have the upper hand in the infamous debates on truth, as I take it Rorty agreedBanno

    I can’t imagine that Rorty would choose Davidson’s position over Putnam’s on too many issues.

    SO I don't see that Putnam’s views hold much value.Banno

    I didn’t think you would. Just for the bell of it , I thought I’d include Putnam’s rebuttal to Davidson’s critique of the conceptual scheme, which you have mentioned a number of times.


    “Davidson has famously argued against Whorf that the very fact that Whorf could translate Shawnee into English at all shows that there is no difference in "conceptual scheme" between the two languages, and the same argument is commonplace today in papers and courses on psycho- linguistics." However, this argument assumes that English already had that notion of a "fork-shaped pattern" (or "fork- tree") before Whorf wrote his paper. In fact, the whole argument of Davidson's "The Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme" assumes that translation leaves the language into which we translate unaffected. I deny both of these premises. I think Shawnee has an "ontology" of patterns that (normal) English lacks, although we could, of course, add it to English; and I think that the conceptual scheme of English is constantly being enriched by interactions with other languages,as well as by scientific, artistic, etc., creations.”
  • Is there an external material world ?
    You can see that also in Platonist philosophies with their focus on universals or ideas as the sub-structure of judgement; whilst the individual cup is an ephemeral instance, the idea of the cup is a universal, and so not something that can be broken or lost. Furthermore 'the idea of the cup' is neither objective nor subjective, but straddles the object-subject divide.Wayfarer

    Could you say a little more about your position concerning what Putnam calls conceptual relativity, his belief that the mind-dependence of facts means that there is no fact of the matter that our language about objects like cups and tables refers to, only a plurality conventional accounts with no external real referent to justify them?
  • Is there an external material world ?
    ↪Joshs So where do you wish to go with that? It's all over the shop.Banno

    I’m assuming you agree with Putnam’s value objectivism , but what do you object to in the quotes I included concerning his conceptual relativism?
  • Is there an external material world ?
    Yes, I agree. Here is an example:

    We agree that the cup is on the table
    The only way we could agree that the cup is on the table is if there is a cup, and there is a table, and the cup is on the table.
    There is a cup, and there is a table, and the cup is on the table.

    Compare:
    We agree that the cup is on the table
    The only way we could agree that the cup is on the table is if something like Q can be an externality in relation to mind only to the extent that it have its own internality, a subsistence , a being into itself that can be clearly separated from what causes or influences it. A thing can persist as itself , and external to another thing, for so many milliseconds, for instance. This notion of how things exist in time rests on a particular kind of metaphysical thinking, or something like that.
    hence... you get the point
    — Banno

    This is gold.
    Tom Storm

    Are the two paragraphs saying essentially the same thing? And if not, what could possibly be the practical significance for our daily lives of the difference between them?

    So let’s cut to the chase. First off, notice that cups and tables are value objects , whose meaning is established from their cultural use. Cups and tables don’t exist in physics , which deals with a different set of conventions. And they don’t exist for certain abstract artists , and they don’t exist for any of us when our attention is elsewhere. We see them but see right though them. So cups and table appear for us with the sense that you are intending here within certain contexts but not others.

    But Instead of the value objects of cups and tables , let’s
    choose a knife held by one person piecing the body of another. What is taking place here? A murder? Self defense? Justified punishment? Accounts of the motives involved will differ , but so may accounts of the basic facts of the matter, once we get past the superficial aspects. After all , even the world from the vantage
    of physics can no longer be considered deterministic.

    As Hilary Putnam writes:

    “Elizabeth Anscombe, in her powerful inaugural address, recognizes both the importance of the determinism issue and the importance of the fact that the scientific evidence no longer supports determinism, if it ever did. One way of scoffing at the significance of indeterminism is to pretend that it makes no difference to "ordinary macroscopic events" such as the motions of human bodies. This is an outright mistake, and Anscombe disposes of it with great elegance.”
  • Is there an external material world ?
    A third possibility. Yes, it might not refer to anything. I'd just ask what do you want it to refer to? Reference appears alarmingly flexible - inscrutable, as Quine and Davidson put it. There simply might not be any fact of the matter.

    But this is a side issue, I'm just flagging it because it might become relevant is someone (↪Joshs ?) wanted to follow through on Putnam's model- theoretical argument for anti-realism, mentioned previously
    Banno

    I just finished re-reading Putnam’s collection ‘Realism with a Human Face’. He leans a lot here on the later Wittgenstein and the American Pragmatists. His realism with a small ‘r’ , as he calls it, is a relativism almost all the way down. I say almost because although he calls analytic philosophy a dead end, he stops short of the value relativism of Rorty and the French Postmodernists.

    On the one hand , he argues that “Logical positiv­ism maintained that nothing can have cognitive significance unless it contributes, however indirectly, to predicting the sensory stimulations that are our ultimate epistemological starting point (in empiricist phi­losophy). I say that that statement itself does not contribute, even indirectly, to improving our capacity to predict anything. Not even when conjoined to boundary conditions, or to scientific laws, or to appropriate mathematics, or to all of these at once, does positivist philosophy or any other philosophy imply an observation sentence. In short, positivism is self-refuting. Moreover, I see the idea that the only purpose or function of reason itself is prediction (or prediction plus "simplicity") as a prejudice-a prejudice whose unreasonable­ness is exposed by the very fact that arguing for it presupposes intel­lectual interests unrelated to prediction as such.”
    “…the success of science cannot be anything but a puz­zle as long as we view concepts and objects as radically independent; that is, as long as we think of "the world" as an entity that has a fixed nature, determined once and for all, independently of our framework of concepts."
    “So much about the identity relations between different categories of mathemati-cal objects is conventional, that the picture of ourselves a describing a bunch of objects that are there "anyway" is in trouble from the start.”
    “…what leads to "Platonizing" is yielding to the temptation to find mysterious entities which somehow guarantee or stand behind correct judgments of the reasonable and the unreasonable.”

    On the other hand, “…intelligence, in the sense of the ability to use language, manipulate tools, and so on, is not enough to enable a species to do science. It also has to have the right set of prejudices…” “…plausible reasoning that is often subjective, often controversial, but that, nevertheless, comes up with truths and approximate truths far more often than any trial-and-error procedure could be expected to do.”

    “If coherence and simplicity are values, and if we cannot deny with­out falling into total self-refuting subjectivism that they are objective (notwithstanding their "softness," the lack of well-defined "criteria," and so forthright), then the classic argument against the objectivity of eth­ical values is totally undercut.”
  • Is there an external material world ?


    Continental philosophy. It may have something to do with the water in Europe.
    — Joshs

    It probably doesn't have lead in it. That's our special ingredient. With a sprinkle of asbestos.
    Tate

    And a smidgeon of Viagra to elevate the level of philosophical intercourse.
  • Is there an external material world ?


    As Janus puts it...

    Commonality of experience shows that the gestalts or meaningful wholes do not arise arbitrarily, not merely on account of the individual perceiver, taken in isolation. So the possibilities are that either real existents, including the objects perceived, the environmental conditions and the constitutions of the perceives all work together to determine the forms of perceptions. or else there is a universal or collective mind which determines the perceptions and their commonality.
    — Janus

    I accept that all of this is possible, I'm not trying to deny it, but for the second option we're having to invoke a whole load of speculated realms and mechanisms, just to avoid there being intrinsic properties and I can't see why.
    Isaac

    Or we could argue that discursive practices that neither originate entirely within the individual nor the community, but in a complex dance between them, establish and contest rules and techniques of reciprocal interaction with a world that we end up talking about as the experience of ‘real intrinsic objects’.
    By substituting for the concept of intrinsic content the notion of reciprocal interaction we keep what intrinsic realness gives us , but gain much more.

    But this requires a shift in our conceptualizations of empiricism from backward-looking notions like knowledge and epistemology to forward-looking terms like practice, production, contextual use and niche construction. I think this is the direction philosophy of science is headed( See the work of Joseph Rouse).
  • Is there an external material world ?
    ↪Joshs That's easy for you to say. :razz:Tate

    Continental philosophy. It may have something to do with the water in Europe.
  • Is there an external material world ?
    Great. What are their assessments of the ontology of propositions?Tate

    For Heidegger. S is P is derived from the ‘as’ structure.
    Heidegger's analysis of the derivation of propositional logic from a pragmatic ‘as' structure illustrates the immediately transformative nature of intentional aboutness. Heidegger explains that in taking something to be the case in a propositional judgement (for instance, S is P) , we are taking something as something within a wider context of pragmatic relevance. Making sense of something is an act that always has the ‘as' structure, as Heidegger tells us, but this structure of relevanting is covered over and flattened down in causal models.

    “What is to be got at phenomenally with the formal structures of "binding" and "separating," more precisely, with the unity of the two, is the phenomenon of "something as something...In accordance with this structure, something is understood with regard to something else, it is taken together with it, so that this confrontation that understands, interprets, and articulates, at the same time takes apart what has been put together.”

    “The most immediate state of affairs is, in fact, that we simply see and take things as they are: board, bench, house, policeman. Yes, of course. However, this taking is always a taking within the context of dealing-with something, and therefore is always a taking-as, but in such a way that the as-character does not become explicit in the act.”
  • Is there an external material world ?

    Propositions are the things people assert or agree to. If you adopt an ontology that rules them out, you're headed for some type of behaviorism.

    Philosophers don't usually feel required to give an ontology to them.
    Tate

    Except for Heidegger , Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, Derrida, Nietzsche, and a host of other phenomenologists and postmodernist philosophers.

    “But because discourse is always talking about beings, although not pri­marily and predominantly in the sense of theoretical statements, our analysis of the temporal constitution of discourse and the explication of the temporal characteristics of language pattems can be tackled only if the problem of the fundamental connection between being and truth has been unfolded in terms of the problematic of temporality. Then the ontological meaning of the "is" can be defined, which a superficial theory of propositions and judgments has distorted into the "copula”.( Heidegger, Being and Time)
  • Is there an external material world ?
    My objection is not to the content but the structure of that argument. The "supernatural" element, even if "immanent", is introduced using a fraught transcendental argument*. It is the transcendental argument that is objectionable.Banno

    I don’t deny that Deleuze’s immanent panpsychism requires a transcendental framework. In fact he calls his approach an immanent transcendentalism. But there is no getting around a transcendental element. There is no brand of realism that does not depend on a transcendental , that is, metaphysical ground. So it isn’t a question of avoiding metaphysics but of how one’s discourse relates to it. Realist empiricisms naively depend on a metaphysical method, whereas Deleuze and other relativists make explicit the preconceptions orienting empiricism.

    if "singularities are only what they are in reciprocal interaction with other singularites" then there are other singularities. Each account you give remains dependent on a something "external" to mind.

    I maintain that all this theoretical stuff can be removed via the simple expedient of proposing realism. There is a world in which we are embedded, and which includes things we do not know.

    Your arguments appear sophistic. Reality is a simpler option.

    *and I mean argument of the form:
    P; P only if Q; therefore Q.
    It's valid, but only true if the second premiss can be demonstrated.
    Banno

    Q can be an externality in relation to mind only to the extent that it have its own internality, a subsistence , a being into itself that can be clearly separated from what causes or influences it. Realism depends on a determinably fixed distinction between inner and outer, and these tens depend on a notion of time as allowing for absolute self-identical repetition. A thing can persist as itself , and external to another thing, for so many milliseconds, for instance. This notion of how things exist in time rests on a particular kind of metaphysical thinking.
  • The fragility of time and the unconscious




    Truth is what leads to affective affirmation and Nietzsche was right about this, but wrong about will to power, whatever that could possibly mean (if all you do in life is overcome illness, as it was with Nietzsche, "will" takes on a perverse reification, is the way I see him).Constance

    Will to power is the self-differentiating creative impetus of willing. Deleuze says:

    Will to power does not mean that the will wants power. Will to power does not imply any anthropomorphism in its origin, signification or essence. Will to power must be interpreted in a completely different way: power is the one that wills in the will. Power is the genetic and differential element in the will; it does not aspire, it does not seek, it does not desire, above all it does not desire power.”
  • A Materialist Proof of Free Will Based on Fundamental Physics of the Brain
    Both, and assessing relative weight of all those factors is not a simple matter.Enrique

    Sounds like your ethical model is similar to that of Peter Strawson.

    https://people.brandeis.edu/~teuber/P._F._Strawson_Freedom_&_Resentment.pdf
  • A Materialist Proof of Free Will Based on Fundamental Physics of the Brain
    ↪Joshs

    An inconsistent position because taken to its logical conclusion no purpose exists for willing anything, total apathy. It is also fallacious because reasoning is a substantive cause, proven by the nature of civic action, organizational structure and mechanisms of progress. I think those questionable moral approaches mentioned are to be conditionally resisted to the extent that they are damaging to oneself or somebody else, for pragmatic reasons.
    Enrique

    Do you believe that good and evil are the products
    of freely choosing autonomous individuals through causal reasoning, or that wrong-doing is fundamentally shaped by social influences and causes, upbringing and biology?
  • The fragility of time and the unconscious
    indeterminacy due to a collapse of determinate language. One says she is in a room. Is this sustainable as a knowledge claim if she does not know where the room is?Constance

    As I recall , determinism for you is closely tied to intrinsicality, a property inherent to something that can be located dependably outside contextual change. I believe this kind of determinacy is another name for meaninglessness.
  • A Materialist Proof of Free Will Based on Fundamental Physics of the Brain


    The popular formulation of determinism as an approach to ethics de-emphasises personal responsibility.

    “…what we do and the way we are is ultimately the result of factors beyond our control, whether that be determinism, chance, or luck, and because of this agents are never morally responsible in the sense needed to justify certain kinds of desert-based judgments, attitudes, or treatments—such as resentment, indignation, moral
    anger, backward-looking blame, and retributive punishment.”( Dirk Pereboom).
  • Is there an external material world ?


    Buddhist philosophy denies the existence of substance in the philosophical sense, and also of the transcendental subject (ātman). But it still has an idealist school.Wayfarer

    Yes, postmodern social constructionist Ken Gergen mentions some of the affinities he sees between buddhism and his model of relational being.

    “ Resonating with the thesis of co-action, Buddhists propose that as we remove ourselves from daily cares we come to realize the artifi ciality of the distinctions or categories on which they are based. In effect, our linguistic distinctions are responsible for both our desires and disappointments. We see that in conceptualizing wealth, love, status, or progeny as desirable, we establish the grounds for disappointment and distress. Further, we come to see that the division between self and non-self is not only misleading, but contributes to the character of our suffering. (Consider the common anguish resulting from the sense of personal failure.)


    Over time one becomes conscious (Bhodi) that there are no indepen­dent objects or events in the world. These are all human constructions. When we suspend the constructions, as in meditation, we enter a con­sciousness of the whole or a unity. More formally, one enters consciousness of what Buddhists call codependent origination, or the sense of pure related­ness of all. Nothing we recognize as separate exists independent of all else. As the Vietamese master Thich Nhat Hanh puts it, we come to an appre­ciation of inter-being, that “everything is in everything else.”
  • The fragility of time and the unconscious
    show me the past and I will show you a present event affirming something called past. the future and the present suffer the same fate. All that can be confirmed is an altogether indeterminate present, for lack of a better word.Constance

    The present ( primal impression) isn’t indeterminate, it’s specious, complex. Retention and protention (anticipation) belong to the present. They are a part of the immediate ‘now’.

    Gallagher(2017)writes “primal impression, rather than being portrayed as an experiential origin, “the primal source of all further consciousness and being” is considered the result of an interplay between retention and protention. It is “the boundary between the retentions and protentions”

    The primal impression comes on the scene as the fulfilment of an empty protention; the now, as the present phase of consciousness, is constituted by way of a protentional fulfilment.
  • Is there an external material world ?
    ↪Joshs Sure, I'm aware of such oddities. It looks like a reworking of god as the answer to the three problems I listed.

    Pan-psychism brings with it all the problems of any supernatural entity.

    Information transfer. That brings with it much the same issue as my original question to Wayfarer - When one's mind constructs reality, what is it it constructs it from? When information is transferred, what is it transferred in? Information is pattern; patterns are in something.

    Moreover, if there is a something, independent of mind, then in what sense does the theory remain a version of idealism?
    Banno

    The points you just made show a confusion concerning what postmodern models are aiming at.
    First of all , God requires a stable notion of the good. If good and evil are relative to context and have no ground beyond this , then the idea of god becomes incoherent. The model I sketched is Nietschean, beyond good and evil and thus beyond god. The model is not supernatural, it is immanent.

    You say pattens are in something. Why? Where did you get the idea that we have to begin with a something, an object, a thing or force or wave or law with properties and attributes? You got it from a long-standing tradition in philosophy and empirical science. Deleuze doesnt begin with things or facts that change. He begins with difference and shows how we derive things from change. He begins from multiplicities of differential singularities. The singularities are only what they are in reciprocal interaction with other singularites. And most importantly, the singularities are not things, objects, facts, entities, they are differential changes that only occur as what they are once and never repeat exactly the same. Construction constructs from prior constructions. Transfer transfers from prior transfers. Pattern changes prior pattern. What we call stable, predictable empirical reality is the result of only relatively stable pattens which are ‘composed’ of the above internally differential and differentiating changes, which never produce ( or originate in) fixed facts , properties or substances. One could say that each singular is its own world, its own god.

    The theory is an idealism in that it is grounded in ideas, not things or material causes. Singularities, in their differential structure within themselves and within the multiplicities that they belong to, are ideas. An idea does not have to be the product of a human mind, it can be located in the differential structure
    of any event, as the temporal system of past-present-future that reveals the relations between elements
    of the world not in terms of fixed causes external to entities but in terms of an anticipatory trajectory intrinsic to each element of relation.
  • Is there an external material world ?
    realism holds that there are things we can't know. Antirealism, including idealism, holds that whatever is true is somehow related to mind.

    The core problems for idealism are explaining consistency in the world around us, explaining error and explaining the existence of others. All three are dissipated by supposing that truth is not dependent on mind.
    Banno

    Not all irrealisms, anti-realisms, idealisms and relativisms assume that truth is related to the human mind. Deleuze begins from the ‘idea’, but this is not the functioning of a human mind, it is a property of all things animate and inanimate. It can be considered a form of pan-psychism, but it does not assume a notion of psyche as an inner , spiritual substance. Rather, it refers to information transfer involved in self-organization at the level of inorganic processes . “There is information transfer and self-organization in autocatalytic loops, and this fits the cybernetic definition of mind offered by Gregory Bateson when he identifies mind as synonymous with cybernetic system—the relevant total information-processing, trial-and-error completing unit.”( John Protevi)