Comments

  • The Will
    Will is then linked to choice and as you say, we can drive a wedge between the two. What does the world look like now?Agent Smith

    As I said, will is wrongfully linked to choice. When we drive a wedge between the two it is to change the way we look at the world. Then the world looks more real because we see causation in a realistic way. Consider Plato's cave allegory, the real existence of "the good" is not even acknowledged by those still in the cave.
  • The ineffable
    That's your claim. It's not what I've said.Isaac

    What you said is that there is a lack of one-to-one correspondence, and then you described this as a gap. I can remove "gap" if you want, and say that the lack of corresponds presents a "difference". This implies that the two are not the same.

    It's not missing. The difference is that one's a name and the other is a
    So epiphenomenalism then? Just because a correspondence has yet to be empirically demonstrated does not mean there isn’t one.
    — Mww

    collection of neurons firing.
    Isaac

    So, the difference implies that the named thing is not the same thing as the described thing.

    You've misunderstood reference. 'The apple' refers to the apple. They're two different things (one an expression, the other a fruit). They don't both 'refer' to different things. 'The apple' refers. The apple is just an apple.Isaac

    You have this wrong. It is not me misunderstanding, I fully understand, that you are producing a bad misrepresentation. This is not analogous to "apple" and "fruit", where "fruit" refers to the type of thing which the apple is. "Neurons firing" refers to a completely different type of thing than the named thing, "smell", and cannot be said to be a type of smell.

    If your proposal is that the named thing is "neurons firing", and a special type of neurons firing constitutes a smell, then we might have something to work on. But the proposal that "smell" is the named thing, rather than the descriptive term, and "neurons firing" is the descriptive phrase rather than a named thing, is simply nonsensical, and cannot take us anywhere.

    Of course it does. Your spleen is in the group {parts of MU}.Isaac

    You've changed the name from "MU" to "parts of MU". Of course the name "parts of MU" name the parts, that is explicit. But the name "MU" does not name any of the parts, which was your claim that it names the parts.

    That group was christened by naming something MU which was not a simple. You christened that group by naming the entity MU even though you do not know it's actual constituents. The point of all this being that you don't need to know what makes up the sensation 'smelling coffee' in order to name it.Isaac

    No Isaac, that's still nonsensical, logic does not work that way. Naming a thing such as "MU" does not imply that you've "christened" a group named "the parts of MU". That's a basic category mistake. You ought to distinguish between naming an individual thing, and naming a group, collection, set, or type, of thing. If the thing named is supposed to be a group, then this must be made explicit in the naming, as you do with "the parts of...". But if you just name a thing "MU", you are naming one individual, not a collection of things.

    ndeed, but denying a one-to-one correspondence is not, I think, the same as denying a correspondence of any sort.

    What I'm saying is that we group some loose collection of neural activity as 'smelling coffee' so whenever any activity which falls into that group occurs we're inclined to think that we're smelling coffee.
    Isaac

    Isaac, in order to say that a specific collection of neural activity corresponds with smelling coffee, this must be a one-to-one correspondence. Otherwise that activity could sometimes signify something else, or smelling coffee could occur without any of that neural activity. It makes no sense at all to say that this neural activity corresponds with smelling coffee, but it's not a one-to-one correspondence. If it sometimes corresponds, and sometimes does not, then we cannot make the general conclusion that this neural activity corresponds with smelling coffee.

    The contention that the aroma of coffee cannot be described in words is blatantly wrong.Banno

    Yeah, judging by your wheel of aroma, it can be described in pretty much whatever words anyone wants to use. And something that can be described in whatever words anyone wants, is pretty much the same thing as something that can't be described with words at all.
  • The Will

    Sure there is an association but the question is how closely are these two related. If we premise that all willed acts are chosen acts, then we run into the problem which Socrates and Plato exposed. Sometimes choices are not acted upon, we do not end up doing what we choose to do. This would demonstrate "choice" to be more broadly defined than "will". Not all choices are willed.

    And when we start driving this wedge between choice and will, it starts to appear possible that some willful acts might not even be chosen. This is what happens sometimes when we act from habit. You might willfully choose to walk to the store, for example, but you do not consciously choose all the particular actions which get you there, like each individual movement of your legs and feet. So there is a cause and effect process which proceeds from the willful act which makes it not required to choose each particular aspect of a willful act, after the causal chain is put into action. Therefore we do not necessarily choose the particular acts which follow from the habit, but in relation to moral responsibility, and law, these acts are still willful acts.

    Now we've broken the association between will and choice, showing that it is a faulty representation. Not all chosen acts are willed, and not all willed acts are chosen. We have no means for logical implication either way. Choice does not imply will and will does not imply choice.

    But this dead end does necessarily impede our process of understanding "will", because we have other alternatives. And by the process of elimination, understanding advances. "Will" is commonly associated with "intention", such that a willed act is necessarily an intentional act and vise versa. We might assume that there is an equivalence between the two. All willed acts are intentional, and intentional acts are willed. And when we look at the defining feature of "intentional", we find "purpose". The common definition is such that all purposeful acts are intentional acts. "Intention" is what gives purpose to an act. So when we look at an act, and judge that there is purpose to the act, we can say that it is an intentional act, and being intentional implies that it was willed. We can conclude that a purposeful act is an intentional act, and rely on our judgement of "purpose" in acts, as an indication of whether the act is willed. ( "Choice" having been shown to be unreliable.)

    Of course you will see all sorts of mechanistic acts in artificial things, which have purpose, and wonder how it is that each of these acts is a willed act. But artificial things are created, so their very existence is willed, and so by extension each act of the artificial thing is instilled with intention by the willful act which creates the thing. So the intention of a willed act has the capacity to continue in time far beyond the point in time which the act was willed, through the chain of cause and effect. This is the consequences of a willed act. The "end" might be far in the future from the beginning, but it is still intentional as the result of a willed act.
  • The Will
    It seems that some other posters are of the view that will is tied/linked to choice.Agent Smith

    I addressed this issue already. Choice is made by the mind, reason, or rational intellect, and the will is not "tied" to that choice or else it would not be free. If the will were tied to choice, we would not be able to do other than what we choose as the right thing to do. But experience shows us that people often make a choice about what ought to be done, then still end up acting otherwise, without being forced to act otherwise. That is because the will is free, and not tied to choice.
  • The Will
    Will, to me, is simply a kind of desire.Agent Smith

    Desire is just an inclination toward an object or goal. Will is what acts on the desire. That we do not necessarily act on our desires indicates that will is not a kind of desire.
  • The Will
    Pantagruel said something similar somewhere in the discussion. Well, to me, that doesn’t explain anything and justifies a most unhelpful dismissive attitude to people who are wrestling with what they experience as a great difficulty. You and Pantagruel are entitled to your beliefs. But since you don't want to accept any involvement in their problems, what you believe doesn't really matter.Ludwig V

    You've got this backward Ludwig. To say that your unwanted actions are caused by a habit, and therefore your will has no power to prevent them, is the dismissive helpless attitude, not vise versa.

    OK. But then what is the role of consciousness? And what makes this will my will? Why can’t my heart and lungs just get on with what they need to do? (Breathing, of course is more complicated than the heart, but there are lots of other things that are fully automatic, like digestion.)Ludwig V

    Are you asking me what is the purpose of living? How am I supposed to know? Each individual person must have one's own particular purpose. We are, each one of us, a single part in a massive multitude, each with something to do, therefore a role to play. It is not my role to tell you what your role is, we all have the freedom of will to determine our own roles.

    In my book, my heart-beat is not a freely willed act and even though it has a purpose, it is certainly not intentional (or unintentional).Ludwig V

    How can you separate "purpose" from "intention" in this way, to say that something with purpose is not intentional? "Intentional" is defined as having purpose. This implies that if an action has purpose it is intentional. If we separate "purpose" from "intentional" in the way that you propose here, then we have no way to understand "intentional". The definition I give here grounds "intentional" in "purpose".

    If we remove that grounding, then "intentional" is left floating freely, with no real meaning. You could associate "intentional" with anything you want, and disassociate it from anything. That's what you are trying to do with "habit" disassociate intention from it, so that you can say that a habitual act is not intentional, and therefore not willed. From here you may seek to absolve yourself from responsibility for an habitual act.

    I thought that the point of the concept of the will was to distinguish between actions, which can be free, and "events" caused by something else, which can’t; that’s why we are reluctant to call the latter “actions” at all.Ludwig V

    This all depends on what philosophy you are interested in. Different philosophies have a different purpose behind the way they define "will". I am interested in metaphysics, so my purpose in defining "will" is to fit the will into an ontology, give it a place in the overall reality of existence. Other philosophies, or fields of study might seek to position will in relation to some specific aspect of reality, giving "will" a different definition, for a different purpose. The legal system for example produces its own definition of "will" suited to its purpose.

    guess there is a paradox involved here, in that two things that cannot be discerned as distinct must be the same thing and, contrariwise, if two things can be discerned as separate, they must be two things, not one. It then seems as if the only true or real case of identity is a thing’s identity with itself, which is a limiting case and not typical. You can use the words that way if you choose to do so. But the standard use is different. When we say that two things are identical, we mean identical in relevant respects, (relevant means appropriate to the context). In a similar vein, we can justify applying a single general principle where situations are similar in relevant respects, because it is not merely useful but fundamental to understanding things.Ludwig V

    A thing's "identity with itself" is the law of identity. That's the definition of "identity" or "same" which we are interested in, in ontology. When you say that two different things are "identical in relevant respects", you are not saying that the two things are the same, you are saying that they are the same in certain respects. This is like saying that they are the same type. In this case "same" does not refer to the thing itself, but to the type. They are "the same type". This is the basis for the concept of equality, and equivalence, saying that two things are the same in some respect. You and I are equal as human beings for example (assuming you are not a bot), because we are the same type, "human". Notice however, that this form of sameness (of the same type) does not produce identity. Identity is what is given to the individual, so "identity" in its proper sense means "identity with itself".

    But I don’t think that’s enough to justify your approach, since it sweeps all differences and details under a carpet labelled “the will” and prevents understanding the phenomena in detail and working out what we can do something about and what we cannot change.Ludwig V

    I am not looking at sweeping "the will" under the carpet, just looking for a realistic way of representing it. If the will is supposed to be the initiator of human actions, then we need to maintain this principle in a consistent way. It makes no sense to say some actions are willed, and some are not, and then produce some arbitrary principles in an attempt to produce a separation between the two. If the desire is to produce an understanding, then we need fast principles to adhere to in our inquiry, and see how far this takes us. So, I propose we begin with the principle that the will is the initiator of action, and we see how much sense this makes, and how far we can go with this, until we meet unresolvable problems. When we meet the unresolvable problems, we might get an indication of where the principle is faulty. But if we start with the principle that some human actions are willed, and others are not, we will forever be in discussion trying to establish the boundary, due to the arbitrariness.

    An observation: – we started out, didn’t we? – asking what the will is. We’ve identified lots of things that the will does. But have we answered the question what it is? In the case of the train driver, I can identify the driver independently of his activity. How can I identify the will? If we can't do that, then the will becomes just a disposition (or potentiality) to do certain things and a label for what we do not understand.Ludwig V

    Try looking at it this way. You can identify the train engineer individually because you can see the person. But if you just see the train, you cannot identify the engineer, nor can you even say that there is an engineer (the train might be automated). Now, look at the human person. We cannot see the driver. So there is a possibility that the person is automated. However, people's actions indicate that human beings are not automated. So it's a better conclusion that there is a driver which cannot be seen, then no driver at all. Now we have identified "the will" as the driver. The next task is to look at all the different types of human activities existing on the planet, and proceed with the use of logic, to describe the driver. From the actions, we ought to be able to say something about the driver, or at least start with a confirmation that there is a driver, and not an automation, or vise versa.
  • The ineffable
    es, but that says there's a gap between my narrative and my my speech, not between my neural activity and my narrative.Isaac

    That's exactly the point. There's a gap between what "neural activity" means, and what "I smell coffee" means, which indicates that the two do not refer to the same thing. If we assert that the two do refer to the same thing, then our supposed understanding is missing all the reality of the difference between what these two actually refer to, which manifests as the real difference between them. That is to say, all the aspects of reality which constitute the difference between them is not being described, so asserting that they refer to the same thing denies the reality of that difference, but recognizing the gap acknowledges the difference between them.

    It seems to be your intention to recognize the difference, by talking about the gap, and the fact that there is no correspondence relation between the two modes of description, yet assert that the thing refer to by each is the same thing. If so, that's simply contradiction.

    No, but that's not the claim I made is it.Isaac

    You said "If you name your car 'bob; then you are naming (in part) a carburettor". That's nonsense, by way of division fallacy, face it.

    What you term 'my brain' is made up of elements you're not even aware of by naming the whole. It still contains those elements and they still form part of what you've called 'my brain' even though you're not aware of them.Isaac

    Sure, the supposed parts make up the whole, but to name the whole is to name the whole, and this in no way names the parts. That's simple, and to try to stretch this into a case where the person naming the whole, is also naming a multitude of completely unknown parts, is a serious epistemological mistake.
  • The ineffable
    didn't, you did. I said there's no one-to-one correspondence. several patterns of neural activity could be given the same name, and the criteria for such naming might change over time.Isaac

    "Gap" is your word. Look.

    do think, however, that there's a possible (more charitable) interpretation of the 'gap' here which might be something more like a gap between my identifying the neural activity as 'smelling coffee' and my being inclined to describe it thus, verbally. I suppose it's possible that I might choose to do otherwise at that juncture, but I can't see what ontological consequence that might have.Isaac

    But it's not a semantic issue. If two separate descriptions of the very same thing cannot produce a one-to-one relation, then something is missing, whether you call it a gap or whatever.

    If you name your car "bob" then you are naming (in part) a carburettor even if you don't know what a carburettor is because there's one in your car and you named your car.Isaac

    You utter nonsense. To name a car is not to name an engine, or any component of the engine. That is simply ridiculous. That my name is MU does not imply that my heart or my lungs are named MU, that's a division fallacy.
  • The ineffable
    What. I don't see anything missing. There's some neural activity and there's the name we give it. What's missing?Isaac

    You said there's a gap between the two. What do you think constitutes a "gap"? How is there a gap between the two descriptions, neural activity and I smell coffee, unless there is something missing between these two descriptions? "I smell coffee" is not the name we give to neural activity, "neural activity" is the name we give to neural activity. And "it smells like coffee" is not the name we give to neural activity.
  • The ineffable
    Yes, but the key thing that some miss, I think, is that there's no one-to-one relationship between the two, such that a small and variable number of 'chemical and physiological reactions of my brain in the presence of coffee' might be described by us as "I smell coffee".Isaac

    Correct, and the existence of this gap means that there is a lot missing between these two. Within that gap is the ineffable. We know there's more to it than what we say, from either side, but we haven't the words to say it even if we try.
  • The ineffable
    I tried to discourage the reams of babble that emerged early on, to no avail.jgill

    Come on jgill, a thread on the ineffable could be nothing other than babble (a typical Banno thread). Why discourage them? Just let them play their games. Consider the infinite monkey theorem, something meaningful is bound to pop up once in a while.
  • Galen Strawson's Basic Argument
    1. You do what you do, in any given situation, because of the way you are.Sargon

    There is no such thing as "the way you are". We are constantly active, changing, and each activity you are engaged in is making you different from before. So the premise is self-contradicting. The fact that you are doing what you are doing implies that you are actively changing, therefore it is impossible that there is such a thing as the way you are.
  • The ineffable
    Improving is a public enterprise. It can be seen, or it amounts to nothing.Banno

    What about all the internal behaviour, which can't be seen? This is what is commonly called thinking. A person learns one thing here, another thing there, and something else from someone else, not necessarily displaying anything publicly yet, of what has been learned in these various places, though keeping the teachings in mind as considerations. Then through a process of synthesis, the person mixes up a bit of this with a bit of that, along with some of the other thing, also throwing in some innovation, and displays something original and unique to the public. The critical aspect here is the synthesis, and this is a private enterprise. Sure, improvement can be seen if it is displayed in public, but where it occurs is within what is private.
  • The Shoutbox
    If you didn't care what happened to me
    And I didn't care for you
    We would zigzag our way through the boredom and pain
    Occasionally glancing up through the rain
    Wondering which of the buggers to blame
    And watching for pigs on the wing
  • The Will
    You say that the will is continuously active and even while asleep.Ludwig V

    This is because the common way of understanding the will is to tie it to consciousness, so that a willful act is necessarily a conscious act. But that is very similar to tying will to reason, and this leads to the problem I described. How can you consciously do what you consciously do not want to do? So instead, we define "will" as the initiator or cause of our various acts, whether or not the acts are consciously decided upon. This allows for the reality that we go ahead and do things which we consciously decided not to do. The will as the first cause of motion in the body is not causally determined to follow the conscious mind.

    Actually, I would think that when I do something absent-mindedly, my will not engaged (the clue is in “absent”), but I suppose you would disagree.Ludwig V

    In this case, it is not that your will is not engaged, it is. What is the case is that your conscious mind, and power of reasoning is not engaged.

    I assume, though, that if someone is in a coma, you would agree that the will is not active.Ludwig V

    I would tend to think that the will still is active in some sense, when the person is in a coma, just like I said it is active when the person is sleeping. At this time, the will would be very limited in its capacity to do things. However, whenever things are being carried out for a purpose, implying the existence of intention, then the will is active. This would include things like breathing, and the beating of the heart.

    But I don’t see what the activity of the will consists of once it has started an action off. Are you saying that the will is like the driver of a train, who always monitors, but only acts when required, or that it is like the driver of a car, who has to control the car every second it is moving? I assumed the will just gave a push to start things off and the action was performed without its intervention.Ludwig V

    This is a very good question. Due to the way that I understand time, I think that the will has to be active at every moment of passing time, to keep the body alive. This is similar to the way that I understand the physical universe. God's will must be active at every moment of passing time, to ensure that things remain similar to the way that they were the moment before, instead of there being complete randomness at each passing moment. I believe that in order to account for the reality of change, and freely willed acts of human beings, it is necessary to believe that the entire universe is recreated at each moment of passing time. This is why it is the case that things are not exactly the same from one moment to the next, the world gets recreated at each moment, with those changes. That the world is recreated at each passing moment in a way which is consistent with the way that it was at the last moment, implies a cause.

    I don’t think there is any problem about how habits are acquired. A repeated cycle of stimulus and response is enough.Ludwig V

    Maybe, that would be the case, but in reality there is no such thing. Each set of circumstances at each moment of time is unique. So there may be similar incidents of stimulus, but the situations are not the same. How can we account for the same behaviour, same response, in different sets of circumstances, which are merely similar? It is wrong to represent this as a repeated cycle. This is the same issue we have with abstraction, and creating general principles. We make one general principle which is applicable to many different situations which are merely similar. We can't say that the situations are the same, so we cannot justify the applicability of the one general principle, by saying that it is applicable because it is based in a repetition of the same situation.

    2) I’m not at all sure that Plato’s "thumos" is equivalent to our will. For one thing, Plato does not think that "thumos" is the only precursor of action. "Epithumia" is another. But that’s a side-issue. It was a surprise that you think that my will doesn’t necessarily align with my desire. I think most people think of the times when physical events take over, as in addiction, extreme hunger, pain, what I then do is not done by me, hence not the result of my will.Ludwig V

    The point is that to be consistent, the will must always be the cause of action. It would make no sense to say that sometimes the will causes a human action, and sometimes it did not. Then we'd have to differentiate between which actions are caused by the will, and which actions are caused by something else. In reality though, we see that all human actions have a similar source, and it is not the case that some are derived from one place, and others from another place. I believe, that to say my actions were caused by an addiction, or by some physical event, rather than admitting that it was my will, is just to try and make an excuse for one's wrongful actions.
  • The ineffable
    I came across a good example of the ineffable in the thread called "The Will". When the free will prevents a person from doing something, as in the case of resisting an habitual activity, and instead of replacing the habitual activity with another activity, it simply prevents the activity from occurring, how could we describe what the will is doing in this case? The will is acting, but we cannot call what it is doing an activity without contradicting what has been stipulated.

    I propose that this is where we meet with the appearance of "the ineffable". Any time that we can make a statement about something, and the statement is reasonable (some of course will argue that the above statement with a "free will" is not reasonable), yet what is stated cannot be described without contradiction, then we have the ineffable.

    Another example is if we try to talk about what happened prior to the beginning of the universe (Big Bang). Since there was no time at this time, it makes it impossible to talk about. So any time that we propose an activity which is not a physical activity (describable in the terms of physics), then we have the appearance of something ineffable.

    Of course, this is only an appearance, and in truth we can avoid assuming the reality of the ineffable by adjusting the way that we look at, and describe things, by employing different principles. So for instance, when we adopt dualist principles we allow for the reality of activity which is not physical activity, and we bring this realm of activity, which appeared to be ineffable, into our domain of discourse by positing the principles which allow for that.
  • The Will
    I think you partially misunderstand me. I'm suggesting that a mechanistic causation is the case, but that we can override even that through concerted effort.Pantagruel

    But if this is the case, then the overriding concerted effort is the manifestation of "will" rather than the mechanistic causation. That is because "will" has to match up with what actually occurs, what the person does, as "the will" is said to be cause of this, in either case.

    Now this concerted effort which overrides the mechanistic causation of what could have happened, if the person did not exercise the will in this way, has to be looked at for a cause of it. If the mechanistic action has a mechanistic cause, then why wouldn't the concerted effort to prevent that action also have a mechanistic cause? Each can be said to be "the will". Either the will allows the describable mechanistic action to occur, or it disallows it, so the type of causation, as "the will", is the same in each of the two cases.
  • The Shoutbox
    ...lots of good special effects...universeness
    The number one drawing card.
  • Fibonacci's sequence and Emergence.
    So, what's the point here?
  • The Will
    Right, and behaviourism steps in and says that this is environmentally triggered and there you are. I'd propose an interpretation that is a kind of soft-determinism in conjunction with a modified conception of what constitutes free-will.Pantagruel

    But it is not true that actions are necessarily environmentally triggered. That is what will power, and the capacity to break habits demonstrates to us. If we cannot in every instance of a willfull act, establish a necessary relation between an environmental trigger, and the act, we cannot make the conclusion that such acts have an environmental trigger. And there are many little experiments you can carry out by yourself, to prove that acts are not necessarily environmentally triggered. Hold an object in your hand for example, and decide at some random time, to drop it to the floor, without any environmental trigger.

    Let's assume that when we act, we are operating mechanistically in that the conditions of the success for an action trigger that action which exists in us as a tendency.Pantagruel

    This is not an environmental trigger, it is an internal decision, as to the probability of success.

    But suppose also that it is possible to alter these instincts or habits through concerted and prolonged effort (the phenomenon of hysteresis, prevalent in organic systems evolution). Then, by choosing to modify our habits, we choose the direction in which our willing proceeds. Choice which is free to be determined by reasoned effort. Reasonable choice. Maybe we do not have free-will; but maybe we are free to (reasonably choose) to have will.Pantagruel

    We have the will to break habits, and we often do, so I do not think that there is any question here. What is a more interesting question, is how do habits, and even instinctual actions come into existence. Habits must be developed, we practise the same thing over and over again, and this requires effort. So just as much, or more, will power is required to produce a habit, as is required to break a habit. This leaves the issue of how can we account for the reality of instinctual habits.

    So the act of will starts a reasoning process which can lead to a judgement, but the judgement doesn't necessarily initiate any action. So is it correct to say any action must be initiated by another act of will? Does there have to be another reasoning process for this second act of will?Ludwig V

    I don't quite see what you are asking. The act of will is what initiates an act. Are you calling the act of will a "second act", because it is the cause of the act which can be observed? So for instance, you can observe someone's act of walking, or even your own act of thinking, but there is necessarily another act, the act of will (more properly called the first act as prior to the other,) which is the cause of the observable act. In any case, since this act is prior to the reasoning act, there is no need to assume a reasoning act which is prior to this act, if that is what you are asking. That is what makes the will "free".

    So am I right to conclude that an act of will is necessary to start even a habitual action? So how come I find myself carrying out habitual actions even when I don't want to?Ludwig V

    This is the separation I referred to, between what is consciously wanted, through the reasoning mind, and what is acted upon by the will. That is the issue which gave Socrates, Plato, and other ancients, much trouble, how can we do the act which we know that we do not want to do, i.e, knowingly act bad. The answer is that the will is free, and so it is not necessarily compelled by reason. So Plato posited spirit, or passion, as a medium between the body and the mind in his dualism. The spirit can be aligned with the body, or with the mind. So if you engage in habitual acts which you do not want to, I would say that this is an instance of your spirit being aligned with your body rather than your mind.

    If I imagine myself driving a car along a road, I think of myself carrying out all sorts of actions, cognitive and executive, all of them habitual. Are they the result of a single act of will, for example wanting to go to the supermarket, or are there multiple acts of will? Does each adjustment of the steering wheel involve an act of will?

    Forgive me if these questions are naive. This is new territory to me.
    Ludwig V

    I would say, that the will is continuously active, and so we are continually moving and thinking all the time, even while asleep. Have you ever tried meditation, where the goal is to calm this activity? The result of separating the will from the mind in principle, provides us with a good starting point for understanding the reality of human actions.

    We are all naive here, as this is simply unknown territory. What I say on the subject is only speculation, so feel free to correct me.
  • Dualism and the conservation of energy
    Yes, you did, and this is due to your own misunderstanding of the complexities of the physics involved.
    I found the points made by those who fully accept the conservation laws in the physics stack exchange much more compelling than those, like you, who dissented.
    universeness

    I find that very easy to believe, because you've demonstrated over and over again that you are extremely biased in your approach, and you either willing deny, or completely misunderstand what is written by the experimenters you yourself referenced.

    I think you should perhaps start using terms like 'imperfect' or even 'incomplete' as opposed to 'false' or 'untrue,' when offering your interpretation of conservation of energy. You might be taken more seriously by doing so.universeness

    You told me this much earlier in the thread, and I explained to you exactly why "false" is a better word. Countless scientific experiments have demonstrated that energy loss is very real, and not one has ever demonstrated conservation. And so conservation does not correspond with fact. It is a very useful principle, but it is simply wrong because it is not consistent with what scientific experiments have demonstrated as the truth about this matter.

    And it is not a matter of the principle of conservation being "imperfect", or "incomplete" because as I told you last time, it is the exact opposite of this. The law of conservation states something perfect and complete, conservation, when experiments show that in reality things are not perfect and complete, in the way that this principle states. So it is an ideal which does not take into account the reality of the imperfections which actually exist in the world. Therefore it's simply false, like any other Utopian ideal.
  • The ineffable
    What if language is less like a mail system, more like a construction site. What if instead of passing thoughts from one private mind to another, we use language to build thoughts, together, in a shared space.

    If thoughts are a shared construction, they are not ineffable.
    Banno

    My thoughts are in my mind, and your thoughts are in your mind. Yes, your thoughts may influence my thoughts, and my thoughts may influence yours, through communion or whatever. But you and I disagree with each other, and that's clear indication that the thoughts I am constructing are not the same thoughts which you are constructing. And of course, there are many other examples, like the reality of deception, which prove you to be wrong.
  • The Will
    Willing is predicated on choosing, but it is more than just choosing; willing includes an aspect and degree of difficulty. Also, significantly, willing is not just choosing to do something. Often, willing can involve choosing not to do something. Indeed, this is the most characteristic forms of what is known as will-power.Pantagruel

    I think it will be useful to expound on this separation between willing and choosing. We can characterize choosing as a feature of the rational intellect, and show that choosing to do something does not necessitate any acts toward such a doing. One might willfully delay, as you described, and we also have the problem of people who choose something, and then do not proceed toward carrying out the actions chosen.

    The latter was a difficulty to ancient philosophers. How is it possible that a person can know what is right, yet proceed to act in a way contrary to this? This problem became the means by which Socrates and Plato drove a wedge between virtue and knowledge, providing efficacy for their attack on the sophists who claimed to be teaching virtue.

    Aristotle went on to explain "habit" (to have), as a property of the capacity to act; the capacity to act being a potency of the soul. Thomas Aquinas inquired deeply into the nature of habit. Since a human act is a case of actualizing a potential, he inquired as to what is the habit a property of, the potential to act, or the act itself. He concluded that the habit must be a property of the potential to act.

    In the question as to the nature of the will, we need to position the will in relation to the habit. The habit is the propensity to actualize a potential in a specific way, and the habit is situated as a property of the potential to act, by Aquinas. A potential however, cannot actualize itself, so the habit being a property of the potential to act, cannot be the cause of the act which is specified by a description of the habit. This leaves the will as separate, being the source of actuality, which is responsible for the act, as cause of it. Hence the will is said to be free.

    That is what I was trying to catch in my intro - intending to do something is a choice, but there can be obstacles to enacting a choice. To what extent one is or isn't prevented by obstacles is where it becomes a question of will.Pantagruel

    This is a good indication as to why it is necessary to separate will from choice. Many philosophers would still like to keep these two united, and they might point to rational judgement as an indication that they are united. If the mind is thinking thoughts, and it comes to a conclusion concerning these thoughts, it would appear like that conclusion, or judgement, requires an act of will. So it appears from this perspective, that the will is a part of the rational intellect.

    You might find that Augustine has already addressed this issue, and has proposed a three-part intellect consisting of memory, reason, and will. Each is a distinct part with its own purpose. So even within the intellect itself, we might find that the act of reasoning, which utilizes things provided by memory, does not necessarily produce any conclusions. The act of reasoning can be described as habitual, and even the forcing of judgement through logic would also be habitual. But the will can break that habit by preventing the reasoning process which leads to such habitual conclusions. In this case, the judgement is simply a feature of the reasoning process, as part of the habit, and the judgement is a posterior part of the act, as the concluding part of the act. The judgement does not necessarily lead to further action, so it is not properly called an act willing. It is the result of an act, the effect, rather than the initiator, or cause of an act. The act of willing is properly positioned as prior to the reasoning process which result in the conclusion, as initiating, or causing that process.
  • Dualism and the conservation of energy

    I hope you read that well, and understand some simple principles. First, what they stated at the beginning, the issue with an "isolated system". This is what Banno stated earlier, that energy is conserved in a "closed system". However like those at the stack exchange, I argued that in reality there is no such thing as a "closed" or "isolated" system. So this idea is a fiction, an imaginary scenario, created by human minds, as the scenario in which the law of conservation would be true. But since there is no such scenario in reality, the law of conservation is not true.

    The next principle I'd like you to try and understand is a bit more subtle, and more difficult to grasp. This is the variability in the method employed by physicists to figure the value of "energy" in any particular system. Remember in the experiment you linked, how they explained the "arbitrary" method of figuring potential energy. They said that there was freedom to choose the value for either height, or mass, for the purpose of facilitating their calculations.

    So when the stack exchange discussion proceeds into a discussion of the symmetries produced by The Standard Model of particle physics we must be very wary of this fact. And if you make a closer analysis of the procedures in particle physics I suggest that you will find that physicists "arbitrarily" assign, and adjust the designated mass of a particle, in a way which maintains consistency with the law of conservation. In other words, they have no real way to measure the mass of a fundamental particle, they simply assign a mass to it according to what the law of conservation dictates it ought to be. As demonstrated by how the experimenters assigned a value for height in the linked experiment. And so the designated "mass" of fundamental particles is always being altered and adjusted depending on the outcomes of various experiments.

    You should notice therefore, that when the participants in the stack exchange discussion turn to particle physics as proof of the validity of the law of conservation, there is no real proof here at all. What happens in particle physics, is that instead of measuring things like the height and the weight of the object, like in your simple experiment, the amount of energy is determined by other means. Then, from this determination of the amount of energy, and the application of the law of conservation (as demonstrated in the "arbitrary" method of determining PE), the mass of the particle is determined. And, of course it will appear like particle physics validates the law of conservation, because the designated mass of a particle is produced by applying that conservation law. That's the begging of the question which I told you about.

    To understand this better, look into the difference between "rest mass" (invariant mass), and "relativistic mass" (calculated from the energy of the system). You'll find out for instance, that a photon must have zero "rest mass" but at the same time it is impossible that a photon has zero "relativistic mass". This is due to the falsity of the conservation law, and the need to adjust the "mass" of the particle to be consistent with the calculated energy of the system, when the energy level is determined by a means other than mass and velocity.

    www.desy.de/user/projects/Physics/ParticleAndNuclear/photon_mass.html

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_in_special_relativity
  • The ineffable
    I don't think that's true, because we can know-how, collectively. That's basically the whole process of production -- to analyse a process, divide up the labor and specialize to form a social organism.Moliere

    That is not a collective know-how, it's a collective production. Each individual involved in the production has one's own know-how necessary to play one's own part in the production, but there is no single know-how which is proper to the whole, only a product. The product is proper to the whole, as a product of the whole, but there is no specific know-how which is proper to that product because the same product could be produced in different ways. That the same product can be produced in numerous different ways, i.e. the same end can be reached with different means, is evidence that there is no specific type of know-how which can be directly related to the end product. "Know-how" refers to the means not the end.

    We know how to do many things together.Moliere

    This, I believe is a misrepresentation, for the reason explained above.
    In order for you and I to do something together, I must know how to do my part, and you must know how to do your part. Since what I am doing would be completely different from what you are doing, it is very clear that your required know-how would be completely different from my required know-how. And, neither of us could be playing both roles at once. Since no-one can play that role of multiple positions at one time, this purported 'act of the whole' cannot be accounted for as a type of know-how.

    Therefore there is no such thing as the know-how of both of us together, because no one could be able to do both parts at once, so this needs to be called by a name other than "know-how". The unity of parts working toward a common goal, what you call doing something together, is clearly not a form of "know-how" but something distinct. That is why Plato classed "the good" as distinct from knowledge, as Constance and I discussed earlier in the thread. And the "just" "State" was described as the state where each person did one's own thing without interfering with others. Notice that the State is a state, and acts are proper to the individual members of the state. And know-how is proper to acts, not to states of being.

    Further, the process of learning, at least in the industrial world, is transferred -- that's what socialization is all about. And, for creatures like us, given how long it takes for our offspring to become productive, and how much education it takes to make us productive in our societies, we intentionally transfer knowledge to the young all the time. It is taught. There is a teacher, and a student, and the students are given rules to follow -- including the social organization of the school itself, teaching children to behave in an industrial society.Moliere

    Your missing the point Moliere. If knowledge is a property of the whole, then it is not transferred in the act of teaching and learning, because it's not a property of the individual, to be transferred from one to another. You can't have it both ways, arguing that knowledge is a property of the united whole, as you do above, and then turn around and say that knowledge is a property of individuals, which is transferred from one to another. You are talking about two distinct things here, one, the property of the whole, the other the property of the individual. If one is "knowledge", the other cannot be, because the two are completely different.
  • The ineffable
    Science eventually solved this speculative impossibility by proving any change in the form of energy means some will be lostMww

    Try making this statement on the dualism and conservation of energy thread. They will act as if you are a troll, and make fun of you like you are a fool.

    What this whole discussion misses is the interplay between the words and the world;Banno

    It's called the mind, and it's not the fault of the other participants in the thread that you refuse to recognize its existence, and therefore ignore everything written about it. You represent "the beetle" as if it is non-existent, and therefore we ought not talk about it, even though it is a named thing, and you talk about it. If the beetle were non-existent, implying that we ought not talk about it, this would be because talking about it would be deception. That's the point with the possibility that there might not be a beetle, deception is possible. So the beetle (what's in the box) only ceases to be relevant in the act of deception. In honest discussion, the thing in the box called "the beetle" maintains relevance because there id no such deception. And here, you talk about "the beetle" as if it is not relevant, implying its non-existence, then you are the one engaged in deception.


    That's about it, "knowledge" in that specialized epistemological sense, JTB, which is expressed in words, is just a special type of "knowledge" in the more general sense, which is still a form of know-how. Even Banno is accepting of this principle, but Banno has a very muddled idea of what know-how is, having been misled by a poor reading of Wittgenstein.

    So why doesn't this count as ineffable, if we aren't even tied to the words really, but just use them to enable? I think it's because these things can be taught to others. I can refer to my knowledge, and show it to someone, and they can learn. So, at least, there's a connection of some kind between us in the transfer of knowledge. And while transferring knowledge to others, at least, I cannot do it without words.Moliere

    I agree that the key to understanding the nature of knowledge is in understanding the process of learning. There is much misunderstanding here, and the reading group of Wittgenstein's "Philosophical Investigations" which we held a few years back, seems to have permanently stalled out when we approached the critical part of this book, where he analyzed this process of learning.

    Your passage here is rife with error. First, it is a misrepresentation to say that there is a "transfer of knowledge" between people. We have two possible representations of "knowledge", one as a communal entity, and the other as the property of individuals. The former, knowledge as a communal entity, rules out the possibility of a 'knowledge transfer', knowledge is a communal property which we share in. Therefore there would be no 'transfer'. However, "knowledge" as 'know-how' is inconsistent with "knowledge" as a shared entity, because know-how is unique and proper to the individual.

    This is where Banno goes astray, trying to make "knowledge" as know-how consistent with "knowledge" as a shared, communal entity. I believe that a true reading of Wittgenstein demonstrates that Wittgenstein actually places knowledge into the individual, as a property of the individual, which we call "know-how".

    From here, we have to account for the process of teaching, which you call "the transfer of knowledge". There is no transfer here, as the uniqueness of each person's know-how demonstrates. Each person individually goes through a process of learning, and "construction" of one's own capacities called "know-how". Therefore we must represent the learning process as something other than a transfer of knowledge. It is instead, better described as a process of acquiring the capacities through observation along with trial and error. This is what Wittgenstein alluded to when he spoke of the possibility of learning the rules to a game simply through observing the game, without the rules being stated in words. And, we see this type of behaviour in all sorts of animals, how the young learn from the adults through observation, without the use of words.

    ↪Moliere Again, well said. That is in agreement with my extended argument to hypericin and @LukeBanno

    See above.

    There is a contradiction in Janus claiming both that what "cannot be taught" yet one can "make the acquisition of such know-how more likely", but perhaps it's much the same point as I just attributed to Wittgenstein. Janus would then be saying much the same thing, just less clearly.Banno

    There is no such relationship between what can and cannot be taught, and what is ineffable. That is because teaching and learning extends far beyond the use of words, as animals demonstrate to us, and using words is just a form of showing, as knowing-that is a form of knowing-how. So we can teach and learn things by showing instead of speaking, but since such activity is prior to the use of words, and words come later, it in no way implies that we cannot put words to that teaching process. To invert the logical priority here, to propose that learning with words is prior to showing, is to propose principles not consistent with reality (false). And, if there are things which currently can be shown, but not described in words, this does not imply that they will forever be this way, in the future.
  • Dualism and the conservation of energy
    No because the 0.1 joules of energy was not lost, it was converted to other energy types.universeness

    We are talking about "the system". The energy is lost to the system. That all the energy could be accounted for by measurements of things other than the system is pure speculation. And this has never been proven because to measure it is to bring it into "the system", and all systems have been observed to lose energy. So in reality, this hypothesis that all the energy could be accounted for with other measurements, has actually been disproven. That's the point I am arguing, 100% of the energy has never been accounted for, ever, in any experiment, and that's why the law of conservation has been proven to be false.

    No, the total energy of the system after the first collision is shown and the error bar in measurement is shown in the small curved broken line. Again, no energy is lost, a tiny amount is converted to other forms. Total energy is conserved.universeness

    You are not addressing the issue universeness. The graph shows .9 joules of potential energy, and .9 joules of total energy at the initial position. Kinetic energy is zero. This means all the energy at that point is potential energy. Then the glider moves, and reaches a maximum kinetic energy of .6 joules. Since this is the maximum kinetic energy, it is prior to the first collision. The glider has not slowed down yet. At this time, the potential energy is .1 joules. So, the total energy at this time, just prior to the first collision, is .7 joules. Therefore we can conclude that a total energy loss of .2 joules occurred prior to any collisions. That is a very significant energy loss to the system.
  • Dualism and the conservation of energy
    Taking a measurement is an 'instantaneous' snapshot of the system properties at that moment.universeness

    This is false. Despite what Banno claims, velocity is always the product of an average from at least two measurements of position and calculated over the time difference. Velocity cannot be derived from a snapshot of the system at a moment. And, since energy is a function of the movement of the system, it is as I've been telling you, the product of a calculation from the application of formulae. It is never directly measured.

    Your 0.15 joule drop in the first 1.5 seconds for that particular experiment is just based on your own bad and bias guesstimation. It seems much closer to 0.09 or 0.1 joules to me.universeness

    OK, let's take your guesstimate then that's still at least ten percent of the total energy, a very significant energy loss. in the first 1.5 seconds of time. Do you see that this energy loss, of the system, prior to any collision, is at least ten percent? How can you insist on conservation when you know this is true?

    The fact that potential energy is a measure of many other energies present, not just gravitational, but electrical, chemical and nuclear as well, so depending on the instantaneous state of the system when measured, there is some error bar involved.universeness

    This is completely irrelevant. The formula they used is clearly stated as mgh (mass time gravitational constant times height), which is the formula for gravitational potential energy. All that energy lost in the first second and a half of time must be lost in the conversion of potential energy to kinetic energy, in the falling of the glider.

    Then, after the first collision, this significant energy loss (at least ten percent in the first 1.5 seconds of the experiment) which has been demonstrated to be occurring in the free movement of the glider is completely dismissed, and ignored in the later part of the experiment. The use of mgh as the formula to figure the potential gravity is replaced with a formula which matches potential energy to kinetic energy, as an equal conversion without ant energy loss. Therefore all this energy loss is completely ignored.

    The KE at 1.5 sec is 0.6 joules, at the first collision this becomes 0, due to the collision and then the direction is reversed, and the KE becomes positive, after the collision and then becomes 0 again before changing direction again.universeness

    Well, all this means is that there is more unaccounted for energy loss which we haven't addressed yet. The initial potential energy (and total energy because that's all the system has at the beginning) is .9 joules. If the kinetic energy only reaches .6 joules, and the potential energy can be seen to be at .1 at this time, this indicates a total energy loss, prior to any collision, of .2 joules, more than twenty percent.

    I suggest that the graph is very poorly drawn, not clearly showing total energy. But, we can see clearly that at 1.5 seconds there is .6 joules of kinetic energy and .1 joules of potential energy, for a total of .7 joules. This means that prior to any collision, there was a total energy loss to the system of over twenty percent.

    This experiment clearly demonstrates that energy is conserved in this system.universeness

    Now, you've exposed the fact that the true energy loss of the system, prior to any collision was actually more than twenty percent. Let's look at the facts. Initial energy, as potential energy (mgh) was .9 joules. Kinetic energy at the time just prior to the first collision was .6 joules. Potential energy at this time was .1 joules. Do we agree with this reading of the graph? Do you see that this means an initial loss of total energy of .2 joules, prior to any collision?

    This experiment clearly demonstrates that energy is conserved in this system.universeness

    That's a very strange conclusion. The experiment shows an energy loss to the system of more than twenty percent in the conversion of potential energy to kinetic energy in the initial dropping of the glider. And you conclude "This experiment clearly demonstrates that energy is conserved in this system."!!!???
  • The Shoutbox
    You may not be American, so I'll judge you less harshly because you may be in the right where you are, but whenever someone questions my judgement in the US, I tell them it's judgment, not judgement.Hanover

    I believe that "judgment" can only be claimed to be the correct spelling in the case of a legal judgment. Outside the court we have the freedom to make our own judgements on such matters. I suppose you could put me on trial though, then I think I'd have to adhere to the judgment of the court, to avoid punishment. Fucking lawyers, think they have the power to cast their spells on everyone.
  • The Shoutbox
    There is a judgement which we like to make, between accident, suicide, and murder. The judgement might be easy for anyone present, but not so easy for those not present.
  • Dualism and the conservation of energy
    As the glider moves down the ramp, value of h becomes negative. This negative value of PE annihilates the positive value of KE that is produced due to increasing velocity. Thus the total energy remains zero.universeness

    Get real universeness! Face the fact of the first 1.5 seconds of the experiment for me please. As recorded by the experimenters, and indicated on the graph, there is significant energy loss as the glider moves down the ramp. It's right there, in that first one and a half seconds, where potential energy figured from mgh, using a true representation of the height differences of the actual system, was compared with kinetic energy observed at the point of collision.

    That the negative value of PE annihilates the positive value of KE, so that the total energy remains zero, is an absolute fabrication (a complete falsity), produced by the "arbitrary" way that they figured the potential energy of the system, from the point of the first collision onward. They replaced mgh with an inversion of KE, assuming total energy conservation. They made no more actual measurements of height to determine mgh, and a true PE at the apex of each rebound, they made all their calculations based on PE being an inverse of KE hence the designation that PE annihilates KE as an exact equality, and the total energy remaining at zero, as dictated by the law of conservation.

    Furthermore, there is inconsistency in your reference to the Britannica article which demonstrates exactly what I've been telling you. The point which you repeatedly ignore. You imply that the same system could have different quantities of gravitational potential energy, depending on how the PE is figured, yet you also state "potential energy is a property of a system". If the quantity of PE within a system at any particular time, can vary, depending on the method used to calculate it, then we cannot say that it is a property of the system. It is, as I've been repeating to you, something determined by calculation. This is a fundamental principle which I keep repeating to you, which you continually ignore, and refuse to acknowledge.

    The reality of this inconsistency can be demonstrated with your quoted statement:
    "the system would have twice as much potential energy if the initial position were the bottom of a 10-foot-deep hole." Tha fact is, that this would not be the same system because having different initial positions means being a different system. Having the initial position at the top of a ten-foot-deep hole, or having the initial position at the bottom of a ten-foot-deep hole makes two very distinct systems in reality. These two representations cannot be said to be representations of "the same system".

    So, if it is true that you can figure the gravitational PE for the very same physical system, in two very distinct "arbitrary" ways (as if they are two very distinct systems with two distinct initial positions), coming up with completely different values for the gravitational PE, and each of these distinct values may be considered a correct representation of that one system, then it is clearly false that "potential energy is a property of a system". The PE is a product of the calculation, and the fact that the very same system can have completely different 'correct' values for PE, demonstrates this very clearly.

    Until you recognize, and accept this point, that energy is not the property of a system, but something calculated from measurements and the application of formulae, then it is pointless for you and I to continue this discussion. That this is true, that energy is something calculated, and not a property of the system itself, is very evident from the way that PE may be calculated in this "arbitrary" way.


    I don't see how a totally hypothetical "thought experiment" is supposed to demonstrate any facts. Yes, it explains in a way, the hypothesis of energy conservation, but as the first 1.5 seconds in the glider experiment shows, what happens in reality (significant energy loss) is not consistent with the hypothesis of energy conservation.
  • The Shoutbox


    That's sad, I think we all loved csalisbury. I hope it was peaceful.
  • Dualism and the conservation of energy
    Between t= 1.6 and t= 3.9 seconds. The curved broken line has a min at approx 0.52 joules and a max of approx 0.58 joules. A difference of 0.06 joules. Quite a difference from your 15% claim.universeness

    As I said, after the first collision, at approximately 1.5 seconds, they started with the "arbitrary" figure for potential energy. Please reread the experiment, so that you might understand what they did. This replaces the gravitational formula for potential energy (mgh) with an inversion of the measured kinetic energy, i.e begging the question by assuming that all the energy is conserved.. You still haven't grasped this, after days of discussion. Or have you, and you're playing dumb? But why?

    Look at the first 1.5 seconds please, where a true value for "h", height was provided, and the potential energy was figured from mgh, rather than from the assumption of a total energy of zero, and potential energy figured as the inverse of kinetic energy.

    The rest of your post, concerning "tiny losses" is irrelevant, because it is based in your misunderstanding of how they used the "arbitrary" method to figure potential energy in the rebounds. This gave them no real indication of the amount of total energy actually lost during the up and down motion of the glider

    Firstly even given quite astute and accurate explanations, he does not reconsider his position. Secondly drawing attention to his comments leads some folk into considering his arguments seriously, which is corrosive. This became clear in discussions of limits and instantaneous velocity, where clear arguments refuting his position had him doubling down, as he did here, while attracting more support than was healthy - mostly from those who, while not agreeing with him, wanted to support his right to be wrong.Banno

    Do you think that explaining to me some conventional principles of mathematics, which I obviously already have an understanding of, as I am arguing against them, gives me reason to accept them? I am sorry if it disappoints you, but you'll have to do better than this. Try giving me reasons to accept these principles, rather than just assertions that these are the accepted principles, and implying that because they are the accepted principles they must be true.
  • The Shoutbox
    Question: Is this phenomenon beneficial to the gene pool? If so, should it be discouraged?Bitter Crank

    Have you heard of the Darwin Awards? Since these are given as awards, I think the idea is that the behaviour is encouraged.
  • Dualism and the conservation of energy

    Right, you're talking about some sort of "occult" energy loss, universeness is trying to claim that scientific experiments have proven that all energy is conserved, and Banno is rambling some nonsense about instantaneous velocity. It's no wonder I haven't the faintest idea what you guys are talking about.

    Maybe one of you could step forward and at least try to say something reasonable for a change?
  • The ineffable
    I like to take ponderous metaphors like this, and bring them home: here I am, cat on sofa, clouds and trees and houses outside. Now, what IS the Good? It is here, in the actuality of the lived event that this question has its authenticity, I hold. To your point: If the good makes the intelligible, intelligible, then the good is logic and language, something Kantian? Plato is called a rational realist, and so I always thought along these lines. But the affectivity, this is happiness, joy, love, bliss, ecstasy, rapture, and other words that mean essentially the same thing. How does this "Good" effect knowledge, I want to ask. Not that it doesn't, but to characterize somehow is a worthy question.Constance

    I think "the good", in the Platonic tradition, is what is desired, or wanted, described by Aristotle as "the end", or final cause. It is the cause of knowledge in the sense that when something is wanted we learn the means to get it. So all knowledge is produced in this way, as the means to an end, even if that end is the quest for truth.

    But the good, in itself, always presents itself as this or that particular thing, which is wanted, and in this way the good seems to be well known, I know what I want for dinner for example. However, like Aristotle explained, particular goods always end up being desired for the sake of something else, the means to a further end, so the true good escapes our grasp. And when we look for the meaning of "the good" in the general sense, as final cause, it escapes our grasp completely.

    I agree with this, but there one has to get by the difficulties. One is this: Consider states of affairs as a temporal dynamic, and not as a spatial one.Constance

    This is exactly where the difficulty lies, in the attempt to give states of affairs a temporal dynamic, in order to make them something real. Temporal dynamic, as active change, is fundamentally incompatible with a "state" which is static. So it's really impossible to consider states of affairs as a temporal dynamic, because of this inconsistency. And this is the same inconsistency I talked about, between the general principles, and the particular. General principles tend to state "what is", as a static principle, a truth, but in the particular situation, things are changing continuously.

    Thus, what it means to have an encounter in the world at all has a temporal model to work out, for when we talk about general principles' failure to grasp the palpable realities before us, the "before us" is a "presence" in time, in which the past and the future are a unity where recollection (history) offers the basic existence conditions out of which a future is constructed, and this occurs as a spontaneous production of our Being There. In this, the present vanishes. All that lies before me is bound to this past-future dynamic.Constance

    This may be the case, that the present vanishes into a unity of past and future, as you say, but the analysis must be continued further. We call them by different names, "past" and "future", because they surely are different. And if they are different, then there must be something that separates them, so we are back to the logical conclusion of a present. Again, we have the same inconsistency rearing its head, from the one perspective the temporal model has the present disappear into a unity of past and future, but that very premise, that there is a past and future to be united, necessitates the conclusion of a present which allows them to be distinct in the first place.

    I say, true, yet put a spear in my kidney and the is not an historical event. Or listen to music, fall in love,, and all of the affective spontaneities that are always already there as well, and THIS declares the present., the Real with a capital 'R'. I defend a kind of value-ontology: the determination as to what is Real lies in the felt sense, and this sense of not epistemic; rather, the "raw feels" of the world are aesthetic. The "features of the particular circumstances" you speak of have their ineffability in the desire, the interest, the satisfaction, the gratification, and so on, that saturate experience.Constance

    This is the same conclusion I described, the present is the Real, and I derived this as a logical necessity. But then, what becomes of this unity of the past and future, which seems to make the present vanish? It is not just an illusion, the fact that past and future are unified in being, this is equally Real. So where does this leave us? The past and future are necessarily separated, due to the vast and substantial difference between the two. Yet equally, the past and future are united as one in the existence of what has being at the present. So it's a conundrum, how two things which are necessarily separated also exist together as a unity all at the same time, the present..
  • Dualism and the conservation of energy
    How can you be so obtuse, MU, confusing the "lack of 100% efficiency" in thermodynamic processes with occult "energy loss"?180 Proof

    I never said anything about occult energy loss and I haven't the fainted idea what you are talking about. I've never before heard of "occult energy loss". Let;s stick to the facts. There is energy loss, as all experiments demonstrate. Do you or do you not agree with this conclusion derived from observation?

    TAre you basing this on something like 0.9 (the initial total energy shown on the graph at t=0) minus 0.75 (your guestimate of the total energy read from graph 3 at t = 1.5 sec) to arrive at your 0.15 joules drop? If that's your basis for the 0.15 joules drop, then it is probably quite inaccurate.universeness

    Call it a "guesstimate" if you want, it's taken straight from the numbers on the graph. There is a drop of energy of approximately .15 joules prior to any collision, which is roughly 15 percent of the total energy of .9 joules. That the graph is unclear is the fault of the experimenters, not me. Whether the actual drop calculated by the experimenters was .13 joules, or .17 joules (hard to read on the graph) is irrelevant to the fact that the loss of energy prior to any collision was significant.

    The shapes created by each of the 5 graph sections are pretty close to identical. They just reduce in height each time, due to the collisions. The symmetry is obvious.universeness

    The symmetry in the shape of the total energy after the collisions is produced from their way of figuring potential energy from that point onward. As we discussed already, this, what they call "arbitrary" way of figuring potential energy replaces the formula mgh with an inversion of the calculated kinetic energy. Because of this way of figuring the potential energy, it is impossible to distinguish energy loss due to inelasticity in the collision, and energy loss during movement of the glider. And, as is evident from the first 1.5 seconds, there is actually significant energy loss, just in the movement of the glider.

    he does not reconsider his position.Banno

    This is false, I am always adapting and changing my position, depending on what is brought to my attention. It is the case though, that many people, such as universeness is this thread, never bring anything worthwhile to my attention and so I have nothing new to base a reconsideration on.
  • The ineffable
    Of course, in his Lecture on Ethics, he was clear, talk of the nature of ethics was nonsense. Yet, the Good is at the very center of ethics. The implicit question was this, How is it that Wittgenstein was capable of, at once, a flat out denial of the possibility of talk about ethics; yet confessing this about the Good? Keep in mind that in the Tractatus ethics was transcendental. "The Good lies outside the space of facts."Constance

    This is consistent with how Plato originally explained "the good" in "The Republic". It is in a strange way, always outside of knowledge, therefore not truly knowable, making virtue something other than knowledge. But the good has a profound effect on knowledge, as what makes the intelligible objects intelligible, in a way analogous to the way that the sun makes visible objects visible.

    You should see where this is going. Witt was struggling with the contradiction inherent in the confrontation with the world that one the one hand possessed logical delimitations, and on the other, intimated with such insistence that ethics and value were embedded in the intuitive presence of things (putting aside his own language limitation here, just to discuss) that he broke off with Russell on account of the latter failing to see that the essential point of the Tractatus was not what was revealed to be affirmed within the "state of affairs" of discourse, but rather just what it was that could not be said at all. This was the major thrust of the work.Constance

    This is the difference between the general principles which we apply, and the particular things or particular circumstances which we find ourselves engaged with, and requiring the application of general principles. This difference often creates a conundrum for decision making because the general principles often do not readily fit the particular circumstances.

    The problem with "states of affairs" is that this terminology creates the appearance that a particular situation can be represented by general principles, and expressed as a state of affairs. The issue, with what cannot be said, is that there is a fundamental inconsistency between how we represent general principles, and how we represent particular situations. There are features of the particular circumstances, which by our definition of "particular" and the uniqueness assigned to "particular", which makes it so that the particular cannot be represented by descriptive terms, which we employ as general principles.