Comments

  • What is Being?
    We use it to specify a state of the world, like "He is guilty."frank

    At this point, it seems you are mostly interested in promoting a particular political point of view.
    Whatever.
  • What is Being?
    Do you mean we'd lose touch with the history of the idea?frank

    I was thinking of it more as a proposition. So. not very historical as something that has to be weighed against other statements. It declares something to be the case and challenges those who think otherwise.
  • What is Being?

    You would lose the uncertainty of how it was approached at the beginning, The fragility of the ground to be asking about such things against the terrible silence of what obviously existed.
  • New Consciousness & Changing Responsibility
    You do not want to know what is going through my headAthena

    I am curious about is going through your head.
    I ask for a lot of things that don't interest my child. He is used to that. How to put it, we understand each other.
  • What is Being?
    What more is there to being than the way people behave?frank

    Is that a question? You could not ask it if it did not presume the contrary as something to be denied. Are you asking if being human is a hypothesis?
  • New Consciousness & Changing Responsibility

    You touched upon a lot of issues I cannot answer for. I am not happy with that response but I figure this sort of thing requires being very honest about limitations.

    My child has a pretty good understanding of my limitations.He is glad that I helped him understand how that works. A parent cannot ask for much more than that.
  • Solution to the hard problem of consciousness
    Chalmers does not offer what a viable theory would look like. He points out what has been left out by what has been offered so far. So his attempt to re-frame the question is not a hypothesis, much less a theory.
    I like his approach because he admits he cannot describe it.
  • Plato's Metaphysics

    The demiourgos in Timaeus does a similar thing. The things that are made that we encounter directly are brought into being by some agent using a pattern outside of time to create what we encounter in time.
  • New Consciousness & Changing Responsibility

    From my experience of being a male primary caretaker in the context of certainly being employable to do something else, it struck me how the kid (in review) had absolutely no preconceptions about what should happen. My efforts were not maternal but it was made clear to me they were welcomed as care.

    Children seem designed to make the failings of their parents to come sharply into view.
  • The Shoutbox
    The Forum is a serious project, however, so outside of the shout box one should do the best one can.Bitter Crank

    It is serious and there is little of its kind to be found elsewhere.

    Very little. I am reconsidering my decision to call the whole thing off.
  • Neither science nor logic can disprove God?
    The argument for PSR is, as I understand it, that it is necessary to assume PSR in order to do science. My purpose is to question that argument.Banno

    I don"t know much about that application of the principle enough to differentiate present methods of science. I have read the Leibniz introduction of the idea as a model for understanding proposed theories.
    Is that a distinction without a difference for you?
  • Neither science nor logic can disprove God?
    We might indeed look for a cause for any event, but we cannot assume ahead of our investigations that there must be oneBanno

    I am familiar with pursuits of causes that become too enmeshed with circumstances to separate one influence from another. Are you suggesting something else? Things happen because of agents we do not understand but outside of that sort of causality?
  • Neither science nor logic can disprove God?

    I understand those answers but will ask if that means you have no interest in causes, as discussed in the thread.
  • Neither science nor logic can disprove God?

    How did this purely internal thing come to be? If it is separated from all the other stuff, when did that happen? And if one is to accept such a possibility, why bother trying to make sense of other things that are not like that if the internal thing is primary?
  • Neither science nor logic can disprove God?

    You have cut to the bone of the issue. You may or may not agree with Spinoza but he tried to answer your challenge. Moving the arguments past whether something existed or not to what is a cause.
  • Neither science nor logic can disprove God?

    The alternative to the ex nihilo argument is equally not self evident. To accept the alternative would mean what seems like a new form of life is actually just a repetition of what was already expressed. Perhaps all of the Creation stories are trying to move away from that conclusion.

    Edit to Add:
    Oh crap. I just remembered I have left the Forum. Pardon the interruption.
  • Neither science nor logic can disprove God?

    Maybe the persistence of the idea does not come from a set of convictions but a response to experience. I am not causing everything that happens but I do cause some things to happen. Do those disparate observations catch a glimpse of what is going on or not? The question starts from a poverty far removed from explanations of sufficiency.

    A proposition of mathematics can be proved in the terms accepted at the beginning as definitions. Very little else is like that, even the technical systems that drive our world. Some models work better than others for a specific purpose. Is the question of the divine supposed to be approached the same way?
  • Plato's Metaphysics


    Thank you, Fooloso4, for all the challenges you have given me and others.

    Je pars, TPM.
  • Plato's Metaphysics

    I do not understand the Stranger to be saying that "proceeding by the method of division, we would take the kind, "beautiful things", and divide it into further types, bodies, souls, institutions, etc."
    I realize just now that I failed to type in the full quote from the Stranger. My apologies. Let me try again:

    And the man who can do that discerns clearly one form everywhere extended throughout many, where each one lies apart, and many forms, different from one another, embraced from without by one form, and again one form connected in a unity through many wholes, and many forms, entirely marked off apart. That means knowing how to distinguish kind by kind, in what ways the kinds can or cannot combine.

    So there is a limit to proper division and designating what combines into wholes. That relates to the Hippias passage of how a whole relates to the parts it unifies. Socrates distinguishes a difference between the whole and its parts. Hippias says Socrates is needlessly dividing things to say that.

    The matter does relate, as you say, to the Parmenides where it is asked if a unity is like a sail covering particulars or a day they occur within.

    The Stranger's statement in the Sophist can be compared to the issue raised in the Theaetetus:

    Socrates: Because, if a thing has parts, the whole thing must be the same as all the parts. Or do you say that a whole likewise is a single entity that arises out of the parts and is different from the aggregate of the parts?
    Theaetetus: Yes, I do.
    — Theaetetus, 204, translated by F.M. Cornford

    The comparison between Socrates and the Stranger does show an important difference. When Socrates ends the dialogue, he declares as a midwife that none of the births survived. When the Stranger comes to an end, he doesn't say that he had made no progress.
  • Plato's Metaphysics
    And ψευδομένους cannot be "a single lie" because it is plural.Apollodorus

    Yes, the form is a plural neuter accusitive participle. What makes the reference to a single lie is the τι, which is a singular neuter accusative pronoun. Otherwise, the form would have been τίνα if the reference referred to many lies.

    The English phrase "a noble lie" is only three words. It should not require 4 Greek words when translated back into Greek.Apollodorus

    Wow. That is a spectacularly ignorant comment. That principle does not work in modern languages, even those sharing many rules of word order to give parts of speech. To apply it to an inflected language borders on the moronic.

    I will no longer respond to claims you make about Greek texts. Life is too short.
  • Plato's Metaphysics
    Were this not the case, you would be able to show us the three Greek words that together form the phrase "a noble lie"Apollodorus

    Previously, I had given the first part of the sentence that expressed the intention to lie, expressed by γένοιτο (bring into being) a μηχανὴ (a contrivance) of ψευδῶν (false things), in order to point toward the unambiguous meaning of the word ψεῦδος in this context. A deliberate attempt to deceive.

    What you are looking for is in the remainder of the sentence. The grammar requires four words but the phrase you are asking for is underlined. The γενναῖόν (true to one's birth) modifies the noun ψευδομένους (a single lie). The grammar of τι ἓν says something like 'put forth a particular thing'. The thing being referred to is the lie.

    τίς ἂν οὖν ἡμῖν, ἦν δ᾽ ἐγώ, μηχανὴ γένοιτο τῶν ψευδῶν τῶν ἐν δέοντι γιγνομένων, ὧν δὴ νῦν ἐλέγομεν, γενναῖόν τι ἓν ψευδομένους πεῖσαι μάλιστα μὲν καὶ αὐτοὺς τοὺς ἄρχοντας, εἰ δὲ μή, τὴν ἄλλην πόλιν;
  • Plato's Metaphysics
    Relativism is the nemesis of absolutism. :confused: I don't understand how the former could coexist with latter?TheMadFool

    Aristotle said one gave rise to the other:

    These thinkers came upon the doctrine of Ideas because they were convinced about the truth of the Heraclitean arguments which state that all sensible things are always in a state of flux, so that if there is to be a science or knowledge of anything, there must exist apart from the sensible things some other natures which are permanent, for there can be no science of things which are in a state of flux. — Metaphysics, 1078b, translated by H.G. Apostle

    I will leave off from further replies for today. My wife is beating me with the chalk board the task list is drafted upon.
  • Plato's Metaphysics
    Isn't that putting the cart before the horse? The differences in ability amongst men explains/supports Protagoras' stand that "man is the measure of all things".TheMadFool

    If there are variations of ability between men then there must be some means of comparing them to each other beyond the horizon of personal experience.

    That proposition is addressed and deemed inadequate in the Theaetetus starting at 200d. — Valentinus

    Can't be because of Gettier cases.
    TheMadFool

    You will have to show how that problem of epistemology relates to Plato's actual argument in the dialogue. I don't see why I have to be the only one reading the dialogue in our discussion.

    So, "every day is like every other"? In a certain sense, yes (cyclical aspects) but in a different sense, no (acyclical aspects). I guess it depends on how we look at it aka perspective. Protagoras?TheMadFool

    From the perspective of immediate experience, past, present, and future are what is most familiar to us. To accept Heraclitus' view of the universe is to accept that our experience is an illusion.

    Basically, the world is chaotic, pulling us in all directions.

    Change is the only constant. — Heraclitus
    TheMadFool

    Well, Heraclitus was pretty specific about the fighting part. The next Fragment is:

    Homer was wrong in saying, "Would that strife might perish from amongst gods and men." For if that would occur, then all things would cease to exist.
  • Plato's Metaphysics
    And he still hasn't shown us where Plato uses the phrase "a noble lie" ....Apollodorus

    Plato uses the phrase in the Republic 414b-c. I gave the Greek text for it here, in Shawn's OP, An analysis of the shadows.

    I supported my interpretation of the passage here by quoting the Lexicon's entries for the words in question.

    Then you challenged my use of the lexicon because the forms of the words were not the same as how the lexicon generally lists the basic word it defines. I explained that parts of speech are indicated by means of changing the forms of words.

    Having come to the point of demonstrating your ignorance of a fundamental element of the language, I stopped trying to make my interpretation more clear to you.
  • Plato's Metaphysics
    By the way, Valentinus, you seem to be very adept at pulling up the most highly relevant and significant passages from Plato. How do you do this? What supports that skill?Metaphysician Undercover

    Thank you for making that observation.

    I have read a lot of Plato, some parts many times. I still possess The Collected Dialogues of Plato which I started reading 45 years ago. I have extensively annotated the texts and the index over the years. My copy of Liddell and Scott's lexicon was acquired at the same time.

    I am mostly using the Cornford translation because it is easily at hand. You are quite right to notice the wide range of translations. How to understand the Greek of Plato's later dialogues is one of the most fiercely debated issues amongst classical scholars. Cornford has many worthy challengers. In the text under discussion, and throughout this dialogue, he at least displays the virtue of being consistent in translating Kind for γένη and Form for εἶδος.

    I will have to think more about your charge of a 'category mistake' in this context. The method of division is used throughout the dialogues. Socrates has been charged numerous times for being sophistical on account of it. See the Greater Hippias at 301 for a particularly exquisite example of the style.
  • Plato's Metaphysics
    I thought Socrates defined knowledge as justified, true belief?TheMadFool

    That proposition is addressed and deemed inadequate in the Theaetetus starting at 200d.

    The future is within our grasp given the laws of nature are universal and constant - a good basketball player can, if he's skilled enough, score.TheMadFool

    That observation is also made by Socrates to note that Protagoras' use of each person's experience as an adequate measure does not account for differences in ability amongst men.

    Also, if the future can't be known isn't Heraclitus right?TheMadFool

    According to the Fragments of Heraclitus, you would not be able to affirm or deny the proposition:

    Hesiod distinguishes good days and bad day, not knowing every day is like every other.

    And you would be too busy fighting to care:

    It should be understood that war is the common condition, that strife is justice, and that all things come to pass through the compulsion of strife.
  • Plato's Metaphysics

    The Greek includes εἶδος, the word that is used for Forms, as an essential part of the description. The description does not turn 'kind'; and 'form' into one word. But to deny the close link made between them in the passage is odd. It is like you are trying to use alternative translations of the text to be used as changes to the text.
  • Plato's Metaphysics

    That is hardly an answer to my question regarding the use of division in other dialogues.

    Cornford does a better job than Fowler of relating the use of εἶδος in the passage.
  • Plato's Metaphysics
    I think that to say that a Form is a kind, is a misunderstanding of Forms.Metaphysician Undercover

    The text refers to the use of Kind and Form in the following way:

    Stranger: Dividing according to kinds, not taking the same form for a different one or different one for the same - is not that the business of the science of dialectic?
    Theaetetus: Yes.
    Stranger: And the man who can do that discerns clearly one form everywhere extended throughout many, where each one lies apart, and many forms, entirely marked off apart. That means knowing how to distinguish, kind by kind, in what ways the several kinds can and cannot combine.
    Theaetetus: Most certainly.
    Stranger: And the only person , I imagine, to whom you would allow this mastery of dialectic is the pure and rightful lover of wisdom.
    — Sophist, 253d, translated by F.M. Cornford

    The Greek from the Perseus site for the first line by the Stranger (with the words in question underlined by me) is:

    Ξένος
    τὸ κατὰ γένη διαιρεῖσθαι καὶ μήτε ταὐτὸν εἶδος ἕτερον ἡγήσασθαι μήτε ἕτερον ὂν ταὐτὸν μῶν οὐ τῆς διαλεκτικῆς φήσομεν ἐπιστήμης εἶναι;

    Are there examples of division and recognition of forms in the Dialogues that depart from this use?
  • Is Baudrillard's Idea of the 'End' of History Relevant in the 21st Century?

    It should be observed that Baudrillard does not consider himself bound to a particular lexicon and uses "real" in other senses than as an opposite to the virtual. Here are two passages where two different senses are placed side by side:

    We are in a society of icy intolerance, where the slightest diversion from, the mildest breach of, the reality principle is violently repressed. Realist Philistinism and Pharisaism are triumphant on all sides. All ideas are immediately cast in concrete. The anathema level is the equal of any religious or Stalinist society. Nothing has changed. The conspiracy of imbeciles is total.

    These fashionable spots where everyone recognizes everyone else without ever having known them. The voracity of faces, each lit up by the anticipated mutual recognition. Yet perhaps they did know each other in another world. This is the impression you get from Left Bank cocktail parties. Everyone has an air of déjà vu about them, and they float like shadows over the waters of the Styx. Moreover, hell must be just this: compulsive remembrance of all you've been through without ever being able to put a name to a face.
    — Baudrillard, Fragments, pg 25, translated by Emily Agar
  • Plato's Metaphysics
    Basically, Plato's allegory of the cave.TheMadFool

    The Theaetetus does not claim that. The dialogue ends without finding an adequate account of knowledge. The 'paradigmatic' role of the Forms, spoken of in the Republic, is not on display in Socrates' argument against Protagoras' measure being able to be a judge of possible future events (178b).
  • Plato's Metaphysics


    The subjectivity is not refuted. The very portion of Theaetetus I am referring to is the acceptance of personal immediate experience. In the effort to address it, Socrates inquires into perception and knowledge and on what basis they encounter other beings. It is through making a distinction between perception and knowledge that Socrates seeks to defend himself against Protagoras.
  • Plato's Metaphysics

    Socrates was not denying things change. He was saying that if nothing stayed the same, there would be no knowledge.

    Plato is not content with Parmenides' position either. The dialogue of that name has old man Parmenides schooling young Socrates on how difficult it will be to speak of a world of becoming to be connected to a realm of eternally present Being. This frames the career of Plato as one of attempting to do exactly that.
    In the Theaetetus, Socrates seeks the 'nature of knowledge' that can refute Protagoras' appeals to the immediacy of experience on which to say 'man is the measure of all things.' This approach requires accepting the world of becoming as a starting place for the inquiry. At 178b, Socrates points particularly to predicting the outcome of future events where Protagoras is hiding. So at 179d, Socrates says:

    We must, then , look more closely into the matter, as our defense of Protagoras enjoined, and study this moving reality, ringing its metal to hear if it sounds true or cracked. However that may be, there has been no inconsiderable battle over it, and not a few combatants. — translated by F.M Cornford

    While Socrates declines to address Parmenides directly in his inquiry he is looking to establish a third way that is not premised upon either absolutely stated position. Parmenides is not sufficient for his needs.
  • Plato's Metaphysics
    That Heraclitus is wrong does not mean that Parmenides is right. That would make a terrible argument. You are wrong, therefore anyone who says something different from you, must be right.Metaphysician Undercover

    I am not saying anything of the kind. You proposed that the Sophist was written specifically as a refutation of Parmenides. I spoke of why that is doubtful.
  • Is Baudrillard's Idea of the 'End' of History Relevant in the 21st Century?

    Baudrillard is speaking of history in the Hegelian register and so should be seen together with Baudrillard's statement that the 'real' is dead in respect to the way Hegel talked about it. As a consequence, the ground typically associated with the 'real' has been given over to the virtual as its only available replacement.
    Baudrillard speaks of the death as a crime not an accomplishment (even of evil intent). So the pursuit of the evidence for it is always being removed. The view is distinctly not interested in promises of progress. But it oddly is not a surrender to a fate.
  • Plato's Metaphysics
    This form of argumentation is what supports the stranger's metaphysics. The deficiencies of it are exposed more clearly in The Parmenides. But the proposed kinds, boundaries, and consequent category mistakes, expressed by Parmenides are extremely difficult to following, requiring great attention to detail. It is evident therefore, that Plato is rejecting this metaphysics, as based in faulty arguments, rather than supporting it.Metaphysician Undercover

    While there can be no doubt that having the Eleatic visitor do the talking in the Sophist and the Statesman involves a markedly different approach than when Socrates is in charge, stating that what Plato thinks is entirely absent from the dialogues and that they are only demeaning caricatures of Parmenides is a proposition that does not fit with other circumstances.

    In the Theaetetus, Socrates rips the Heraclitean thesis that "all things change" to shreds. When asked give the 'whole of things are at rest' thesis the same treatment, Socrates says:
    Socrates: A feeling of respect keeps me from treating in an unworthy spirit Mellisus and the others who say the universe is one and at rest., but there is one being I respect above all. Parmenides himself is in my eyes, as Homer says, a 'reverend and awful' figure. I met him when I was quite young and he quite elderly, and I thought there was a sort of depth in him that was altogether noble. I am afraid we might not understand his words and still less follow the thought they express. Above all, the original purpose of our discussion - the nature of knowledge - might be thrust out of sight, if we attend to these importunate topics that keep breaking in upon us. In particular, this subject we are raising now is of vast extent. It cannot be fairly treated as a side issue, and an adequate handling would take so long that we should lose sight of our question about knowledge. Either course would be wrong. My business is rather to try, by means of my midwife's art, to deliver Theaetetus of his conceptions about knowledge. — Thaeatetus, 183d, translated by Benjamin Jowett

    I see that Aristotle referring approvingly to what was said in the dialogue has left no impression upon you. He does, however, refer to the ideas as belonging to Plato. In the beginning of On Sophistical Refutations, Aristotle again refers to the language of the Stranger when noting:
    In the same way both reasoning and refutation are sometimes genuine and sometimes not, though inexperience may make them appear ; for inexperienced people obtain only , as it were, a distant view of these things. — 164b, translated by W.A. Pickard-Cambridge

    What is one to make of the Eleatic visitor being so warmly welcomed the next day by Socrates in the opening of the Statesman? That dialogue does introduce views of the Polis not expressed in the Republic but the author Plato is not setting the two dialogues against each other.

    I will address the use of division and kinds in Plato in another post to avoid conflation with your proposition regarding Plato's intent here.
  • Taoism - Which is peferable: contentment or self-actualization?

    In the literature of the early classics, there is a distance between the life of the sage and those who have have responsibilities amongst men. But there is also a connection between them. The voice of Tao Te Ching is more absolute in separating the valuable from the useless. The writings of Zhuangzi often show tradespeople and the statesmen learning there is a greater order to their world than the one they impose upon it. The practice of 'not-doing' is not the absence of life coming to be.
  • Plato's Metaphysics
    Being concerned with "that which is not" is the mark of a sophist (254).Metaphysician Undercover

    The text of that passage is:

    Stranger: It is, then, in some such region as this (where kind is distinguished from kind) that we shall find the philosopher now or later, if we should look for him. He too may be difficult to see clearly, but the difficulty in his case is not same as in the Sophist's.
    Theaetetus: What is the difference?
    Stranger: The Sophist takes refuge in the darkness of not-being, where he is at home and has the knack of feeling his way, and it is the darkness of the place that makes him hard to perceive.
    Theaetetus: That may well be.
    Stranger: Whereas the philosopher, whose thoughts constantly dwell on the nature of reality, is difficult to see because his region is so bright, for the eye of the vulgar soul cannot endure to keep its gaze upon the divine.
    Theaetetus: That may well be no less true.
    — Sophist, 253d, translated by F.M Cornford

    Aristotle appears to be referring directly to this part of the Sophist during his explanation for why there can be no science of 'accidental' being:

    In the same way, the geometer does not investigate the attributes which are in a manner accidental to figures. nor the problem whether a triangle is distinct from a triangle whose angles are equal to two right angles. And this happens with good reason; for an accident is a mere name, as it were. And so Plato was not wrong when he ranked sophistry as being concerned with nonbeing. For the discussions of the sophists deal most of all with what is accidental, so to speak; for example whether the musical and the grammatical are the same or distinct.... — Aristotle, Metaphysics, Book Epsilon, 1026b, translated by H.G Apostle

    The passage connects to both the distinguishing between kinds and the use of 'same and different' being discussed in the dialogue. This also points to the indeterminacy being discussed in the OP since Aristotle argues that without accidental being, every thing that occurs would happen by necessity.

    Aristotle also frames the matter of sophistry as a bait and switch operation:

    And therefore the teaching they gave their pupils was ready and rough. For they used to suppose that they trained people by imparting to them not the art but its products, as though anyone professing that he would impart a form of knowledge to obviate any pain in the feet, were then not to teach a man the art of shoe-making or the sources whence he can acquire anything of the kind, but were to present him with several kinds of shoes of all sorts: for he has helped him to meet his need but has not imparted an art to him. — Aristotle, On Sophistical Refutations, 184a, translated by E.M. Edghill

    In this context, the role of the Sophist as a whole dialogue can be sought after. In what way does it impart the art of the philosopher?
  • Plato's Metaphysics
    It does. The Stranger is identified as a member of that circle. (216a) How do we reconcile Parmenides' denial of not-being with the Stranger's affirmation? The solution is in the dyad 'same and different'.Fooloso4

    The Stranger reaffirms the Parmenides denial while presenting the dyad of 'same and different' during the discussion of false statements:

    Stranger: And if it were not about you, it is not about anything else.
    Theaetetus: Certainly.
    Stranger: And if it were about nothing, it would not be a statement at all, for we pointed out that there could not be a statement that was a statement about nothing.
    Theaetetus: Quite true.
    Stranger: So what is stated about you, but so that what is different is stated as the same or what is not as what is--a combination of verbs and nouns answering to that description finally seems to be really and truly a false statement.
    — Sophist, 283c, translated by F.M. Cornford

    The Eleatic Visitor has only conceded that language can deceive when used a certain way. He has not overturned the school of Parmenides.