• Pragmatism Without Goodness
    The One wills itself, it isn't devoid of intentionality. How do you have thought devoid of all intentionality?Count Timothy von Icarus

    This questioning fully ignores that which I repeatedly have asked of you. This doesn't at this point come as a surprise. But, since you've asked as an open question, in non-metaphorical and what I take to be far more up to date terminology: by strictly consisting of literally pure, limitless, and absolute understanding (with strong emphasis on all three terms).

    Understanding does not logically require intentioning - this, for example, in the way intentioning requires intent(s) - and yet is a rather pivotal aspect of what is termed "thought" in all cases.

    This, then, would render "the One thinks itself in manners utterly devoid of any separateness/division between thinker and the thought(s) it thinks - for it is absolute Unity" into the logically valid "the One understands (which is one validly possible semantic of the term " to know") itself in manners utterly devoid of any separateness/division between understand-er and that which is understood - this in an absolute Unity". [Although, given common interpretations of the word, you might note that the term "itself" can here only be fully metaphorical - an inescapable aspect of communicating via the limitations of the English language as it currently stands.]

    The problem here is perhaps partly the analogia. You seem to be insisting on what holds for finite creatures for the One, particularly temporality.Count Timothy von Icarus

    As facts go, I don't. The exact opposite.

    But, as others before me, I do not interpret Neoplatonism to be its own form, or else brand, of Creationism. Via which I mean that, in my interpretations of Plotinus' writing, Neoplatonism is not about a Creator and his/her/its creation.

    I've by now come to believe that we will staunchly disagree on this point of Neoplatonism not being a form of Creationism. To which I cannot help but shrug and move on.
  • Pragmatism Without Goodness

    Although I don’t in principle have any disagreement with the Analogia Entis, it then seems you’ll nevertheless likewise find disagreement with these passages as well, for they parallel my own statements (boldface, underlines, and brackets are mine):

    Hearkening back, whether consciously or not, to the doctrine of Speusippus (Plato’s successor in the Academy) that the One is utterly transcendent and “beyond being,” and that the Dyad is the true first principle (Dillon 1977, p. 12), Plotinus declares that the One is “alone with itself” and ineffable (cf. Enneads VI.9.6 and V.2.1). The One does not act to produce a cosmos or a spiritual order, but simply generates from itself, effortlessly, a power (dunamis) which is at once the Intellect (nous) and the object of contemplation (theôria) of this Intellect. While Plotinus suggests that the One subsists by thinking itself as itself, the Intellect subsists through thinking itself as other, and therefore becomes divided within itself: this act of division within the Intellect is the production of Being, which is the very principle of expression or discursivity (Ennead V.1.7).

    As regards the very first principle of reality [i.e., the One], conceived of as an entity that is beyond Being, transcending all physical reality, very little can actually be said, except that it is absolute Unity [rather than either Being with a capital “B”, which it is beyond, or else nihility/nothingness].

    I do acknowledge that Plotinus makes ample use of metaphor in his writing, as well as using terms in a context that is often foreign to us moderners (with his use of "Being", again with a capital "B", as one possible example of such)—which can lead to numerous interpretations of what was in fact meant by him. Still, in assuming this is a forum of philosophy rather than a forum of Christian faith and various apologetics for it:

    In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, I’ll conclude that to you “intentional activity (or else acts) that is fully devoid of any intent” makes sense—here even tentatively indulging the belief that this is what Plotinus in fact intended to entail in the notion of the One. To me, on the other hand, this proposition as of yet doesn’t make any sense whatsoever—but is instead logically contradictory in a priori fashion (this as might be “a married bachelor”). And since you’ve made no effort to provide a rationally consistent explanation of how this stipulation of “intent-less intentions” could make sense—but have so far affirmed that this is what so and so in fact affirmed—I find no reason to continue in my attempts to ask you how this might rationally be. Faith that contradicts logical possibility (or experience, for that matter) is not my strong-suit—and this includes faith in notions of "the One" being that which intentions in manners devoid of any and all intents.
  • Pragmatism Without Goodness

    You're reply, though in no way addressing the questions I've asked regarding what "will" / "intentioning" could possibly mean in absence of an intent/end/purpose sought, might be cogent save for what clearly seems to be its direct contradiction to passages such as this:

    It is precisely because that is nothing within the One that all things are from it: in order that Being may be brought about, the source must be no Being but Being's generator, in what is to be thought of as the primal act of generation. Seeking nothing, possessing nothing, lacking nothing, the One is perfect and, in our metaphor, has overflowed, and its exuberance has produced the new: this product has turned again to its begetter and been filled and has become its contemplator and so an Intellectual-Principle.from Enniads 5.3.1.

    As I've previously quoted (were it to have been read) in Plotinus's terminology, the One is not Being but the source of Being. That Act and Being are united, as per 6.8.7, then speaks not of the One but of the Intellectual Principle which, via metaphor, is said to "overflow" from the One.
  • Pragmatism Without Goodness
    But this is profoundly misunderstanding the classical traditionCount Timothy von Icarus

    I'm not here arguing for (nor for that matter against) "classical tradition". I'm simply arguing for lucidity in thought via cogent reasoning and, if provided, accurate references (see below).

    If anything, it is Plotinus' whose views trend closer to the voluntarism that would come to dominate some strands of Protestant theology after the Reformation.Count Timothy von Icarus

    Hmm, Plotinus states verbatim in the Enneads that (all underlines and boldface are mine):

    1. The One is all things and no one of them; the source of all things is not all things; all things are its possession- running back, so to speak, to it- or, more correctly, not yet so, they will be.

    But a universe from an unbroken unity, in which there appears no diversity, not even duality?

    It is precisely because that is nothing within the One that all things are from it: in order that Being may be brought about, the source must be no Being but Being's generator, in what is to be thought of as the primal act of generation. Seeking nothing, possessing nothing, lacking nothing, the One is perfect and, in our metaphor, has overflowed, and its exuberance has produced the new: this product has turned again to its begetter and been filled and has become its contemplator and so an Intellectual-Principle.

    That station towards the one [the fact that something exists in presence of the One] establishes Being; that vision directed upon the One establishes the Intellectual-Principle; standing towards the One to the end of vision, it is simultaneously Intellectual-Principle and Being; and, attaining resemblance in virtue of this vision, it repeats the act of the One in pouring forth a vast power.

    This second outflow is a Form or Idea representing the Divine Intellect as the Divine Intellect represented its own prior, The One.
    from Enniads 5.3.1.

    Firstly, the “Divine Intellect” is clearly not equivalent to the One.

    And, as far as I can make out, the One’s “seeking nothing”—i.e., not being in search or in want of anything whatsoever—is at direct odds with the actuality of a will (cf., One’s will or, more formally termed, volition is the sum of one's intentions (be the conscious or unconscious), with intentions necessarily holding an intent/end/purpose aimed at in order to so be intentioning. Because of this, to will is necessarily to seek the fulfilment of some telos or teloi. If there is no telos-fulfillment sought, there can be no will.

    Is there some other sense of will you understanding wherein purpose is, at the very least, not a necessary condition of the will’s occurrence? (A purpose-devoid willing?)

    But, because I so far can’t think of any such understanding of the term “will”, I can only then find the passage you’ve quoted to utterly misinterpret what Plotinus quite directly affirms (as per the above quote) in putting into Protinus's mouth terms such as (supposedly the One's, right?) "absolute self-will". The One (for that matter, this much like the typically understood Buddhist notion of Nirvana) is in want of nothing, hence devoid of any intent not yet fulfilled, and, thereby, fully devoid of volition, aka will, this as will can in any way apply to the "Intellectual-Principle".


    But please reference the translation of Plotinus you’ve quoted. I ask because it is utterly discordant to the translations I’m so far aware of. Contrast it, for example, with these two online translations here and here. So much so that your translation reads as though it’s from a different author’s different book.

    In context:

    Soul becomes free when it moves, through Intellectual-Principle, towards The Good; what it does in that spirit is its free act; Intellectual-Principle is free in its own right. That principle of Good is the sole object of desire and the source of self-disposal to the rest, to soul when it fully attains, to Intellectual-Principle by connate possession.

    How then can the sovereign of all that august sequence- the first in place, that to which all else strives to mount, all dependent upon it and taking from it their powers even to this power of self-disposal- how can This be brought under the freedom belonging to you and me, a conception applicable only by violence to Intellectual-Principle itself?

    It is rash thinking drawn from another order that would imagine a First Principle to be chance- made what it is, controlled by a manner of being imposed from without, void therefore of freedom or self-disposal, acting or refraining under compulsion. Such a statement is untrue to its subject and introduces much difficulty; it utterly annuls the principle of freewill with the very conception of our own voluntary action, so that there is no longer any sense in discussion upon these terms, empty names for the non-existent. Anyone upholding this opinion would be obliged to say not merely that free act exists nowhere but that the very word conveys nothing to him. To admit understanding the word is to be easily brought to confess that the conception of freedom does apply where it is denied. No doubt a concept leaves the reality untouched and unappropriated, for nothing can produce itself, bring itself into being; but thought insists upon distinguishing between what is subject to others and what is independent, bound under no allegiance, lord of its own act.

    This state of freedom belongs in the absolute degree to the Eternals in right of that eternity and to other beings in so far as without hindrance they possess or pursue The Good which, standing above them all, must manifestly be the only good they can reasonably seek.

    To say that The Good exists by chance must be false; chance belongs to the later, to the multiple; since the First has never come to be, we cannot speak of it either as coming by chance into being or as not master of its being. Absurd also the objection that it acts in accordance with its being if this is to suggest that freedom demands act or other expression against the nature. Neither does its nature as the unique annul its freedom when this is the result of no compulsion but means only that The Good is no other than itself, is self-complete and has no higher.

    The objection would imply that where there is most good there is least freedom. If this is absurd, still more absurd to deny freedom to The Good on the ground that it is good and self-concentred, not needing to lean upon anything else but actually being the Term to which all tends, itself moving to none.

    Where- since we must use such words- the essential act is identical with the being- and this identity must obtain in The Good since it holds even in Intellectual-Principle- there the act is no more determined by the Being than the Being by the Act. Thus "acting according to its nature" does not apply; the Act, the Life, so to speak, cannot be held to issue from the Being; the Being accompanies the Act in an eternal association: from the two [Being and Act] it forms itself into The Good, self-springing and unspringing.
    Enniads 6.8.7.

    BTW, to be clear, it is the last paragraph of the quoted section on which the previously mentioned divergences occur.

    But again, the Good is again blatently not equivalent to the Intellectual Principle, but is instead that which the Intellectual Principle seeks as end/telos. Willing (freely or otherwise) is not done by the One / the Good (for the One seeks nothing whatsoever), but by the Intellectual Principle as it's here in part addressed, and this in its seeking of the Good.

    Can you reference anything out of the Enniads directly that would, within its proper context, contradict what is here stated in the two quotes, or else in my own evaluations regarding the One?


    As to the notion of freedom in and of itself, the One is affirmed to be devoid of any and all limits—i.e., absolutely unbounded, else in no way constrained, by anything whatsoever (it is in-finite in this literal and non-mathematical sense). I know of no other more accurate or literal description of an absolute, hence perfect and complete, freedom. Do you?

    But as to the Christian doctrine of divine freedom which affirms God to have free will – which Christ himself had about as much to say as he did the Trinity (Christian doctrine proper, with its Trinity included, being first introduced in the First Council of Nicaea, this 325 years after Christ’s death):

    Please explain how the very notion of free will (however one might choose to interpret the term) can hold any cogency in the complete absence of intention, hence purpose, hence telos one seeks to fulfill.

    Ps. I’m here asking for cogent reasoning, preferably yours, and not for the questionable opinions of others regarding the matter.
  • Do (A implies B) and (A implies notB) contradict each other?
    The very proposition of "there both a) is a self and b) is no self" has (a) and (b) addressing the exact same thing - irrespective of how the term "self" might be defined or understood as a concept, the exact same identity is addressed — javra

    The point is that if there is no determinate entity that 'the self' refers to, if there is only the concept, and if there is no actual entity, then saying that we are speaking about the same thing is incoherent. On the other hand, if you stipulate that the self is, for example, the body, then what would A be in the proposition (A implies B) where B is 'there is a self' ? Let's say that A is 'the perception of the body': this would be 'the perception of the body implies that there is a self". 'The perception of the body implies that there is no self' would then be a contradiction to that.

    I’ll offer that the commonsense notion of “self” necessarily pivots around what we westerners commonly term “consciousness” - "the self" here always entailing the subject of one’s own experience of phenomena (or, in for example the more philosophical jargon of Kant, the “empirical ego” (via which empirical knowledge is possible) - this as contrasted to what he specifies as the underlying “transcendental ego”). And, in this commonsense understanding of "the self", the body of which one is aware is then not the “self” which is in question - "the self" instead holding as referent that which is so aware. Nor does the notion you present in any way cohere with the descriptions of self as they are addressed in the Buddhist doctrine of anatta: this being the very metaphysical understanding of reality from which we obtain propositions along the lines of “neither is there a self nor is there not a self”. Which, on the surface, do at least at first appear to be contradictory (though, as I've previously argued, do not need to so necessarily be).

    But, since, we each hold our own - sometimes more divergent than at other times - understandings of what terms signify, I’ll here say that were the term “self” to be devoid of any referent outside of the occurrence of empirically observable physical bodies (maybe needless to add, that are living and so normally endowed with a subject of awareness, this rather than being dead and decaying), then I might find agreement with your general reasoning here.

    I’m however not one to find the term “self” - and, hence, terms such as “I”, “you”, “us” and “them” - devoid of referents, unempirical (imperceivable) though I take these referents as "subjects of experience" to be. All the same, this thread is not the place to engage in debates regarding what “the subject of one’s own experiences” might specify or else be - although I do agree that it is not "an entity" in the sense of being a thing.
  • Pragmatism Without Goodness
    Unfortunately, I think this is really misunderstanding the Christian tradition. It's premised on violations of God's eternal nature, divine simplicity, the Doctrine of Transcendentals, and really the Analogia Entis as well.

    God can't be striving towards things "before and after." God is absolutely simple, not stretched out time. The whole of God is always present to God's self (divine simplicity implies eternal existence, "without begining or end," not simply "everlasting.")
    Count Timothy von Icarus

    I didn’t intend to here present that stringent of an argument but, yes, I at least so far find the notion of a Divinely Simple, etc., God who in any way intends (needless to add, this purposefully) any X whatsoever to be self-contradictory:

    One can always fall back on “God is beyond all human notions of logic, including the basic laws of thought, and hence beyond all human comprehension”, but if God is nevertheless understood as having intended and/or intending anything whatsoever then there necessarily is some end/purpose not yet actualized which God strives toward in so intending - hence making God’s actions purposeful - and this will then be blatantly incongruous with the notion of Divine Simplicity, among others.

    Divine Simplicity, however, is necessarily applicable to, as one example, the Neoplatonic notion of the One - which is not a god – although there’s nothing precluding the One from being appraised as the pinnacle of Divinity upon which all else is dependent and, in this sense alone, as G-d/God (such that the sometimes heard of aphorism of “God = Good” can here make rational sense).

    As just one possible example, this one from Jewish tradition:

    In Maimonides' work Guide to the Perplexed, he states:[10]

    "If, however, you have a desire to rise to a higher state, viz., that of reflection, and truly to hold the conviction that God is One and possesses true unity, without admitting plurality or divisibility in any sense whatever, you must understand that God has no essential attribute in any form or in any sense whatever, and that the rejection of corporeality implies the rejection of essential attributes. Those who believe that God is One, and that He has many attributes, declare the unity with their lips, and assume plurality in their thoughts."

    According to Maimonides, then, there can be no plurality of faculties, moral dispositions, or essential attributes in God. Even to say that God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-good is to introduce plurality, if one means thereby that these qualities are separate attributes.

    This is (or at least can be) in full rational accord with the notion of the One as described by Neoplatonism (the Neoplatonic descriptions of cosmology here placed aside) and, again, is fully discordant rationally to the notion of God as an intending superlative deity.

    As to possible commonalities between diverse traditions - here primarily addressing the Neoplatonic notion of the One and some subspecies of Abrahamic thought - if there is a perennial philosophy, then this would account for different traditions' diverse interpretations of the same Divinely Simple, uncreated and imperishable, essence which, to here use Aristotle's terminology, is the unmoved/unmovable (i.e., changeless) mover (i.e., change-producer) of all that exists. Although, as I previously argued, this could not rationally be an intentioning God (e.g., God as described in the Torah/Bible, imv most especially as addressed in Genesis II onward).
  • Do (A implies B) and (A implies notB) contradict each other?
    I understand the proviso "in same time in all respects". But that proviso may be given more generally, upfront about all the statements under consideration:

    (1) Caveat: We are considering only statements that are definite enough that they are unambiguous as to such things as time, aspects, etc. So we're covered in that regard.

    Then we have:

    (2) Law: For all statements A, it is not the case that both A and not-A.

    Would (1) and (2) suffice for you as the law of non-contradiction?

    How does your newly provided caveat (1) added to your previously made statement (2) not fully equate semantically to what I initially explicitly defined the law of noncontradiction to be in full?

    If (2) and the now explicitly stated (1) do fully equate semantically to what I initially stated explicitly, then you have your answer. “Yes.”

    if A and notA do not occur — javra

    Is A a statement?

    Quite obviously not when taken in proper given context. ("if a statement both does and does not occur [...]" ???)

    If not, then what is ATonesInDeepFreeze

    Anything whatsoever that can be the object of one’s awareness. For example, be this object of awareness mental (such as the concept of “rock”), physical (such as a rock), or otherwise conceived as a universal (were such to be real) that is neither specific to one’s mind or to physical reality (such as the quantities specified by “1” and “0”, as these can for example describe the number of rocks present or else addressed).

    and what does it mean for it to occur?TonesInDeepFreeze

    In all cases, it minimally means for it to be that logical identity, A=A, which one is at least momentarily aware of. Ranging from anything one might specify when saying, "it occurred to me that [...]" to anything that occurs physically which one is in any way aware of.


    I get the sense you might now ask further trivial questions devoid of any context regarding why they might be asked. I don't have as much leisure time as many others hereabout apparently have. If further questions are asked, please provide a context to your questions. I will choose to not further reply without a sufficiently meaningful context being provided.

    BTW, general questions about Aristotelian notions of the principle of non-contradiction can be answered in this SEP article.
  • Do (A implies B) and (A implies notB) contradict each other?

    On second thought, so we don't continue going around in endless circles:

    E.g.: this water can be green today and blue tomorrow (not a contradiction). Or, this water here can be green and that water there can be blue (again, not a contradiction).

    However, if it's affirmed that:

    "water can be green and water can be non-green (e.g., blue) at the same time and in the same respect [with "in the same respect" to include its spacial location]"javra

    Then logical contradiction does result.

    Again, if A and notA do not occur at the same time and in the same respect, then no contradiction occurs. Only when A and notA do are affirmed to occur at the same time and in the same respect does contradiction obtain.
  • Do (A implies B) and (A implies notB) contradict each other?
    I understood you the first time. The reply I gave still holds as my answer.
  • Do (A implies B) and (A implies notB) contradict each other?
    If I understand, you take

    It is not the case that both water can be green and water can be not-green.

    as an instance of the law of contradiction. (?)

    No, the exact opposite. Hence the concluding sentence to you in my last post.

    However, the statement "water can be green and water can be non-green (e.g., blue) at the same time and in the same respect" will be an instance of the law of noncontradiction.

    I don't find that one can properly express the principle linguistically without "at the same time and in the same respect" - or this phrasing's semantic equivalent - being affirmed.
  • Do (A implies B) and (A implies notB) contradict each other?
    Would allow simplifying that to:

    For any statement A, it is not the case that both A and not-A.

    Is that a question or an affirmation?

    Consider: The statement, "Water can be green", does not allow for "water can be green" and "water can be not-green (e.g., blue)".

    So what I said does not simplify into what you've written.
  • Do (A implies B) and (A implies notB) contradict each other?

    In short, A and not-A cannot both occur at the same time and in the same respect.
  • Do (A implies B) and (A implies notB) contradict each other?

    The principle/law of thought which sometimes goes by the name of "the law of noncontradiction", this as articulated by Aristotle (with possible ambiguities as to whether the law applies only to epistemology or also to ontology at large here acknowledged).
  • Do (A implies B) and (A implies notB) contradict each other?
    As in the concept/meaning of self as "that which is purple and square" vs. "that which is orange and circular" or any some such? And this in relation to "there both is and is not a self"? — javra

    This makes no sense to me.

    In other words, the first question addresses this very affirmation which you more recently added:
    That said, the self has no definitive definition, so introducing such a thing in the context of discussing whether anything could be the same in different contexts or thought under different perspectives seems incoherent from the get-go.Janus

    While the second question I asked addresses this:

    The very proposition of "there both a) is a self and b) is no self" has (a) and (b) addressing the exact same thing - irrespective of how the term "self" might be defined or understood as a concept, the exact same identity is addressed The proposition has nothing whatsoever to do with two different interpretations of what "self" means and has everything to do with "the self" both occurring and not occurring at the same time.

    So your critique completely misses the issue addressed regarding contradictions and the possible lack of such in the proposition "(the understanding of reality R entails that) there both is and is not a self". "Self" remains identical, but the usage of "is" can in principle be interpreted in two different ways - this, at least, within the context of certain Indian philosophies - thereby potentially equating to the more verbose proposition that "selfhood occurs from the vantage of mundane reality which is illusory but selfhood in no way occurs from the vantage of ultimate/genuine/non-illusory/nondual reality - for there can be no selfhood in the the complete absence of any duality with other - and both these actualities (in semi-Kantian terms, that actuality of the phenomenal world of maya and that nondual actuality/reality which can only be utterly non-phenomanal and, hence, purely noumenal) co-occur at the same time (again, this within certain Indian philosophies)". And such an affirmation would not be logically contradictory.


    Consider the following substitutions which do not suffer from such ambiguities: Render (A implies B) as "the presence of water implies the presences of oxygen" and (A implies notB) as " the presence of water implies the absence of oxygen": do the two statements not contradict one another?Janus

    Of course they do. Just as much as saying that "the car C is completely green and completely red at the same time and in the same respect* ". And this as I upheld in the post you initially replied to: again, most often, the proposition that A entails both B and notB will be logically contradictory.

    * p.s., to be clearer, this with the understanding that any shade of brown is neither green nor red, but brown.
  • Do (A implies B) and (A implies notB) contradict each other?
    No, "two different perspectives and, hence, in two different respects" just is two different interpretations of the concept or meaning of 'self'.Janus

    As in the concept/meaning of self as "that which is purple and square" vs. "that which is orange and circular" or any some such? And this in relation to "there both is and is not a self"?

    I don’t see how your answer can rationally follow. Nor have you put in any effort in justifying your contention via any reasoning or examples. Nor have you evidenced how the examples and reasoning I have repeatedly provided to support my own contention cannot feasibly, rationally, work.

    But I’ll leave you to it.
  • Do (A implies B) and (A implies notB) contradict each other?
    Those different entailments rely on different interpretations of what is meant by"self' so they are not speaking about the same things.Janus

    No, as per my previously given example, they are (or at least can be) speaking about, or else referencing, the exact same thing via the term "self" - but from two different perspectives and, hence, in two different respects (both of these nevertheless occurring at the same time). Again, one perspective being the mundane physical world of maya/illusion/magic-trick and the other being that of the ultimate, or else the only genuine, reality to be had: that of literal nondualistic being. The validity, or lack of, of this Buddhist metaphysics being here inconsequential. As logic goes, here A entails both B and notB at the same time but in different respects/ways.
  • Do (A implies B) and (A implies notB) contradict each other?
    Is it not a given that we should understand A and B to refer to the same things in both?Janus

    No. We presume this to be so most of the time for good reason, but it is not a universal given.

    Consider: the metaphysical understanding of reality, R, entails both that a) there is a self and b) there is no self.

    If the entailment here referred to in regard to both (a) and (b) occurs in the exact same respect (to include relative to the exact same metaphysical or else philosophical perspective concerning the exact same reality/actuality - this even if various levels of reality/actuality were to be implicitly endorsed, e.g. the mundane physical reality of maya and the ultimate reality of literal nonduality), then it would be a flagrant contradiction and thereby a necessarily false proposition. One can of course argue that this is in fact the case, but one cannot thereby establish that this is what the speaker in fact held in mind and thereby intended to express. (Example: the speaker might have intended that in the mundane physical reality of maya there of course occurs the reality of selfhood, this just as much as that in the ultimate reality of literal nonduality no such thing as selfhood is possible - with both these affirmed truths being equally entailed by the very same R at the same time but in the different respects just mentioned.)
  • A Case for Moral Anti-realism
    Promises entail a commitment to do all that is within one’s means to do to bring about the future reality of that promised so that it in fact becomes manifest. So that one makes a commitment to steadfastly intend that which one promises. Intentions in general, though, can very well change on a whim, if not also via deliberative reasoning, this without any commitment to in fact fulfilling that which is momentarily intended—such that here one merely involves oneself in a possible future outcome without in any way committing to it.

    Why am I mentioning this? Only because I feel obliged to some hereabouts (no, not to you @Michaell) to share a good humored joke:

    Q: What is the difference between the chicken and the pig in a breakfast of eggs and ham?
    A: The chicken was merely involved; the pig was committed.

    Hence, in its own equivocal way, clearly evidencing there being quite the substantial difference between mere involvement with possible future realities (i.e., mere intentions at large) and commitment to them (i.e., promises).

    I think this argument sort’a works. Gives me reason to smile at least.

    That said, I’ll be taking my leave.
  • A Case for Moral Anti-realism
    In a context where you detect that "exist" is being used to talk about corporeal entities, would you agree that they don't exist?frank

    In such a strict context of corporeal entities, interpersonal relationships - such as friendships - do not exist either: a relationship cannot be seen, heard, smelled, tasted, etc. and its attributes cannot be mathematically measured, and so is not corporeal. But for most of us at least, though we know them to exist, interpersonal relationships are never "changeless and eternal abstract objects".
  • A Case for Moral Anti-realism
    It is just the case that if you murder then you will be punished.Michael

    Only if you're caught. Perfect crimes are never punished. Ergo ...

    There is no need to imagine phantom abstract entities.Michael

    A "relationship" - which, as my previous post, can only obtain just in case there likewise occur one or more obligations between the parties concerned - is only a "phantom abstract entity"; what a worldview this must be like to live in.
  • A Case for Moral Anti-realism
    As it stands, what they are hasn't been explained, what purpose they serve hasn't been explained, and what evidence there is for them hasn't been explained.

    They just seem to be meaningless and superfluous.

    As to what an obligation is: Obligation, from ob- (“to”) + ligare (“to bind”): the act or process of binding, hence limiting, hence determining, hence constraining possible future states of affair relative to relationship(s) between the psyches addressed—i.e., relative to the persisting interactions, both present and future, of the psyches in question (these persisting interactions being that which defines relationships (and not necessarily of a romantic kind)).

    As to what their purpose is: To benefit either some or else all parties concerned. Issues of fairness and unfairness being at play here. E.g., the typical slave will consider their obligations to the slave-master unfair.

    As to evidence for them: on equal par to evidence for interactions between different parties that persist over time.
  • Pragmatism Without Goodness
    Because it seeks explanations in terms of physics, in which the notion of reason in the sense of ‘the reason for’ is excluded.Wayfarer

    Very much so. And it likewise also fails to account for the basic principles/laws of thought upon which all formal systems of logic and the supposed coherency of modern day naturalism (here being a full synonym for physicalism(s)) are necessarily founded - this as though these very principles/laws of thought ubiquitous to all sentience (consciously so or otherwise) were to themselves be in some way utterly unnatural (but instead strictly artificial, as in being a human artifice) due to not being themselves accountable for in terms of modern day physics.

    And this un-naturalism of basic principles/laws of thought will equally apply to traditional materialism and to all modern-day variants (e.g. those making due with information theory, thermodynamics, and the like).

    This logically derived un-naturalism of laws of thought can in turn be found to undermine the very reasoning by which this derivation is obtained as being a factual state of affairs - at the very least in so far as this very derivation (necessarily, via laws of thought) makes all reasoning perfectly, or else radically, relativistic.

    And it likewise stands in stark contrast with interpretations of natural-ism such as those I've previously alluded to here:

    [...] natural-ism as intepreted by ancient Stoics via their notion of Logos, to which even the polytheistic gods, were they to occur, are necessarily bound—this, for example, as expressed by Cicero in his The Nature of the Gods, which I deem far more accurate than any modern day rendition of what Stoicism used to be and uphold [...]javra

    For, in this just quoted example, the laws of thought are part and parcel of the very Logos from which the world is both built and construed - and, hence, are an integral part of what is deemed "natural" (aka, in-born, hence innate, and this relative to the cosmos itself) in the fullest sense of the term. (But, as noted, this latter ancient Stoic notion of natural-ism fully accommodates the possible reality of, for example, polytheistic deities as being aspects of Nature at large, to not here get into the notion of "spirit", as in its place relative to the anima mundi (aka, the "world soul").)
  • Do (A implies B) and (A implies notB) contradict each other?
    Do (A entails B) and (A entails notB) contradict each other?bongo fury

    Only if (A entails B) and (A entails notB) occur in the exact same respect (and, obviously, at the same time), which I find is most often the case.
  • Do (A implies B) and (A implies notB) contradict each other?
    I think issues like the cat are simply mistranslations and over simplifications. The statement should be something like:

    The cat is sitting across the threshold of the house, therefore some of the cat is in the house and some of the cat is in the house.
    Count Timothy von Icarus

    I don't find
    A = a cat is sleeping outstretched on the threshold of the entry door to a house.javra

    to be physically impossible. With a quick whimsical online search, found this pic:

    In this one pic, the 4-month-old cat's tail is partly inside and some of its whiskers are outside, and the threshold is to a sliding door rather than an entry door, but I think it amply illustrates my point: given a sufficiently wide threshold and a sufficiently small cat, A as I described it can in fact obtain. This as a real-world example.
  • Do (A implies B) and (A implies notB) contradict each other?
    Yes, this is similar to ↪Count Timothy von Icarus
    's vampire argument.

    Yes, I forgot to give Count Timothy a mention. Thanks for pointing that out. I thought the example of the cat to be more “real-world” than that of vampires in that it is something that can physically happen in our world, and most likely has. But yes, it’s the same general issue in respect to logic.

    As to polyvalent systems of logic, I’m one to find the notion of “partial truths” to be quite applicable to the world we live in. One of the most immediate and commonplace examples of this can be that of what one is seeing at any moment M. We generally say, “I am looking at …” to implicitly specify what we are willfully focusing on visually. But to specify what we are seeing is a quite different matter; such as, for example, were a judge to ask one “what did you see that night?” In such a context, it is literally impossible to give a “full truth” regarding what one saw or else sees: from the issue of needing to describe everything one is aware of occurring within one’s peripheral vision to that of needing to describe all the minute details of what one witnesses in one’s focal point of vision. A book would be required for this, and even then the telling would still be incomplete. Partial truths, such as that of what we are seeing, could then be contrasted with each other for degrees of fullness; such that what results, as one example among others, is the comparative attributes of some proposition being more true (or truthful), else most true, by comparison to some other proposition (and this without necessitating any falsehoods being expressed). In contrast, I find that falsehoods in the form of lies will always contain some (at least background) truths in order to be in any way believed by those to whom they're told. And in all this I find extensive interest. But maybe all this talk of partial truths is too far afield for the current thread. Although it certainly entwines quite well with most if not all systems of polyvalent logic.

    All the same, thank you for the thoughtful reply, the "edit" portion of it included. Yes, my other post regarding "yes and no" was poorly formulated for the context; other such possible answers can include "it is and it isn't" and "they're the same but different" (which I do find interest in as pseudo-contradictions of sorts); but yes, they don't quite address implications.
  • Do (A implies B) and (A implies notB) contradict each other?
    You could also put this a different way and say that while the propositions ((A→(B∧¬B)) and (B∧¬B) have truth tables, they have no meaning. They are not logically coherent in a way that goes beyond mere symbol manipulation. We have no idea what (B∧¬B) could ever be expected to mean. We just think of it, and reify it as, "false" - a kind of falsity incarnate.*Leontiskos

    Here’s a possible real-world example (which I think is common knowledge in some circles, though I don’t now recall where I picked up the example from):

    A = a cat is sleeping outstretched on the threshold of the entry door to a house.
    B = the cat is in the house
    notB = the cat is not in the house

    In this example, how does A not imply both B and notB in equal measure?

    It so far seems to me that one can then affirm that, due to A, both B and notB are equally true. Furthermore, the just specified can then be affirmed with the same validity as affirming that A implies both B and notB to be equally false.

    This, however, would still not be a contradiction, for while both B and notB occur (else don’t occur) at the same time as a necessary consequence of A, they nevertheless both occur (else don’t occur) in different respects.

    As I so far see things, this addresses the principle of the excluded middle. But the fault would then not be with this principle of itself but, instead, with faulty conceptualizations regarding the collectively exhaustive possibilities in respect to what happens to in fact be the actual state of affairs.

    This same type of reasoning can then be further deemed applicable to well enough known statements such as “neither is there a self nor is there not a self”. This latter proposition would be contradictory only were both the proposition’s clauses to simultaneously occur in the exact same respect. Otherwise, no contradiction is entailed by the affirmation.

    Asking this thinking I (as a novice when it comes to formal modern logics) might have something to learn from any corrections to the just articulated.
  • Do (A implies B) and (A implies notB) contradict each other?
    And if you think they do contradict each other, does that mean they can't both be true at the same time?flannel jesus

    Haven't read through all the posts so far. Still, to given one answer:

    They'd contradict each other only if they are claimed to occur both at the same time and in the same respect. This irrespective of what "imply" might be taken to precisely specify.

    For example, to the question "Is that song any good?" can validly be replied, "Yes and no," without any logical contradiction. Here, yes and no at the same time but in different respects: such that yes, the song is of substantial quality and thereby good and no, the song will be unable to make any revenue and is thereby bad.

    Hence, here, song A implies (is taken to hold as a necessary consequence) quality B (here that of "goodness") and song A implies notB - this at the same time, but in different respects, and, hence, in perfectly non-contradictory manners.

    Maybe this isn't the best use of the term "implies", but the same principle remains.
  • Pragmatism Without Goodness
    Aristotle has it that the Prime Mover must be an intellectual nature. Where Neoplatonism saw its most expansive development was in the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic tradition, and there the One was always a person (or three persons of one substance).Count Timothy von Icarus

    As an apropos to this:

    Although maybe not with as much detail as you might be, I’m of course aware of the historical evolution of concepts in relation to Plotinus’ the One and the Abrahamic (in many a way, biblical) notion of God—whereby the two otherwise quite disparate concepts were converged, tmk not by the Neoplatonists but by Abrahamic philosophers.

    Tying this in with parts of my previous post, while I’ve so far upheld the possibility of global purpose sans a global creator of such purpose, I’ll now do my best to make the far more stringent argument that the ancient Neoplatonic notion of the One is logically incompatible with the Abrahamic notion of God as an omni-this-and-that “I-ness”, hence “ego”, hence “psyche”, hence (given the incorporeality and absolute supremacy of the aforementioned attribute(s)) “deity”.

    For the sake of brevity, I’ll here simply address all these differently termed attributes mandatory to an (I should add, non-mystical) understanding of the Abrahamic God as “the supreme deity” or “SD” for short.

    This will be contrasted with the bona fide Neoplatoic notion of the Good which was also termed the One in Neoplatonism, which I’ll here address as “TD” for short.

    (Not that I hold the acronyms "SD" and "TD" in high regard, but maybe their use will dispel some of the connotative baggage that might, for some at large, cloud the intended logic with emotive overtones.)

    All this will assume reasoning via logic, and thereby dispel any notion of SD being this way and that way in manners that are beyond, and hence unconstrained, by basic laws of thought. In other words, the affirmation that SD is beyond all human comprehension but is nevertheless the way that such and such interprets (obviously, human written) biblical scripture, even when these interpretations of the bible are blatantly contradictory logically (e.g., that SD is literally omnipotent but was however not in control of the not-yet-slithering serpent’s doings in the garden of Eden; else, that SD is omnipresent but was nevertheless limited to bipedal form separated from the earth upon which he walked when walking through the garden of Eden; etc.) will here be fully eschewed in favor of upholding a stringent logical consistency.

    1) Either SD behaves (does things) in a) fully purposeless manners or else in b) at least partly purposeful manners. (There can be no “in-between” state of affairs relative to these two options.)

    2) If (1.a.), then SD is in no way governed by any telos which SD pursues in anything that SD does. Because here there is never any intent (this being one possible form of a telos) actively held onto and pursued, this further entails that SD never does anything intentionally. Because SD then does not engage in any intentional behaviors whatsoever, SD cannot then design anything whatsoever. Here, then, SD cannot impart any type of purpose to anything.

    3) If (1.b.), then SD is governed by at least one telos which SD deems worthy of fulfilling (i.e., deems beneficial and thereby good). Because it is a telos (which SD understands as good), this strived for end cannot be yet actualized by SD while SD holds it as intent and thereby purposefully behaves. Moreover, and more importantly, this intent via which SD behaves purposefully cannot have logically been created by SD for, in so purposefully creating, SD will necessarily have yet been striving toward some telos (a yet unactualized future state of being) which SD deemed to be good. A purposeful SD will hence, logically, at all times be moving toward that which is (deemed to be) good without yet having actualized it as SD’s intent/end—a moved toward intent/end which is logically requite for SD to create anything purposively (very much the creation of so termed “everything”) and, hence, which cannot be the (purposeful) creation of SD. Hence, in (1.b.) one then logically obtains the following necessary consequence: SD is forever subject to (and constrained by, hence limited by, hence determined by) an intent which SD deems good which SD nevertheless in no way created.

    Here assuming (1.b.) for SD, contrast this to TD as defined by genuine Neoplatonism:

    TD is that end which, directly or indirectly, ultimately determines all things (including all psyches, with this terminology yet grounded in process theory understandings of “things” and “psyches”, and, as reminder, with all deities being by definition incorporeal psyches, very much including SD) without being in itself in any way limited, hence without being in any way determined by something other—such as, for example, some telos which it itself approaches.

    This, in and of itself, I so far take to logically demonstrate the incongruity of the two notions: that of the Neoplatonic TD and the Abrahamic SD.


    Somewhat related to this, TD is take to of itself be the metaphysical pinnacle of intellect—this only in so far as intellect is addressed in the sense of “understanding”, but is in no way an intellect in the sense of that which understands, or else holds any capacity to understand, other. The latter notion of intellect can only pertain to an I-ness/ego/psyche, something that can only occur in a duality to otherness—and something which by entailment applies to SD in variant (1.b.), for, here, SD holds of an understanding of the intent which SD deems good which SD seeks to eventually actualize, and end whish is thereby logically other relative to the creating/designing SD. Whereas TD as the absolute pinnacle of understanding is utterly devoid of any and all otherness—i.e., is completely and perfectly non-dualistic—and so cannot logically be a psyche/ego/I-ness.


    All this was written in relative haste. But I wanted to post this now, just in case it might be replied to. In short, as far as I so far find, the distinction between the Good and the (non-mystical) Monotheistic God (for mystical notions often enough do not assume God to be a psyche, i.e. personhood) is amply clear—and this in manners that make the two notions logically inconsistent with each other. Unless, maybe, one would like to assume some form of a Demiurge as SD which is itself yet bound by TD, i.e. to the (uncreated) Good.

    If logical inconsistencies in what I’ve just written are found, I’d be grateful for being shown where these logical fallacies might occur.

    p.s., as to the issue of natural ends of naturalism, I’m again unclear on what “nature” and “natural” are here expected to signify outside of s straightforward materialism/physicalism—which I, as always, disagree with.
  • Pragmatism Without Goodness
    This is why I keep going back to the question - does the assertion of the existence of purpose (or design or intention) in nature, necessarily imply that there must be a purposeful agency other than human agency? Because it seems the inevitable entailment of such a claim. Likewise, the requirement that Dawkins has to deny the intentionality of design in nature stems from his atheist philosophy.Wayfarer

    Again, my best current appraisals:

    I honestly felt no need to read much of Dawkins beyond a thorough reading of The Selfish Gene, in which it is clear to me that he values the immortality of existent being as an end-state above all else, for he equates that which is most immortal existentially (in his interpretation, this being genes) with that which is most quintessential to existence … hence, in at least a metaphorical sense, the very selfishness of existents by which this immortality is deemed obtainable (obviously, in his writing, this by genes alone; which, in his perspectives, serve to determine all aspects of life).

    He notoriously concluded this same thesis by affirming that, “We, alone on earth, can rebel against the tyranny of the selfish replicators.”

    Also stipulating things such as: "We can even discuss ways of cultivating and nurturing pure, disinterested altruism, something that has no place in nature, something that has never existed before in the whole history of the world." … Wherein one can quite clearly find an implicit affirmation of an ontological dualism between “nature” and “us”, this even though “us” is deemed fully determined by the underlying “nature”.

    And all this, on a logical and hence rational level, is utter rubbish. Our innate nature in totality is X as determined in full by our set of “selfish/immortal” genes, but we must then “rebel” against this very innate nature which materialistically determines all that we do and hold the possibility to do so as to be or else become ethical. How so? Rationally speaking. What one ought do or become cannot be logically obtained in any way whatsoever if it is not in any way allowed as a logically possibility in the very metaphysical principles one endorses.

    So far, upon first reading, it seems to me that the issue of intentionality (here only addressing intentioning) you bring up regarding Dawkins' views directly parallels this same type of erroneous reasoning that he makes in the Selfish Gene, resulting in what to me is an absurd worldview.


    I'd also like to point out that there can often occur much equivocation between “design”, “intention”, and “purpose”, this among so called experts (such as Dawkins) and layperson alike. May I be corrected on any of this if need be:

    Design, in one way or another, always pivots around the notions of “de-” (in the sense of “from” or “of”) and “sign”. As one example, a designed table will de-sign-ate the intention(s) of that which designed it – at least to those others capable of understanding these intentions. And, so, designs are always intentional. (Hence, a non-intentional design so far to me makes no sense.)

    Intention, on the other hand, will always imply a straining, augmentation, and/or effort of some given X to actualize an as of yet unactualized future intent/end—hence, X’s effort to make real something that is not yet real as the end pursued in the given intentioning.

    Lastly, purpose is of itself merely the end toward which something moves in an Aristotelian notion of “movement”. As one Aristotelian example, the seed’s end is that of fully developing into a mature adult.

    Hence, while all designs will be intentional and all intentions will be purposeful, this in no way entails that purpose must consist of intentions or, else, that intentions must result in designs. E.g., the purpose of a heart is to pump blood, but this in no way then implies that nature intentionally brought about the occurrence of a heart—and, hence, one cannot then validly affirm that “nature (necessarily, intentionally) designed a heart” for the purpose of pumping blood. Moreover, say that one’s intension (hence motive; hence reason) in moving leftward at a crossroad was to most effortlessly arrive at the market one wants to make purchases at—but this in no way implies that one thereby necessarily designed anything in so intending to move leftward.

    So, that all design necessarily stems from some intentioning psyche (that thereby holds some intent in mind and, hence, some purpose/end/intent in so designing) will in no way then entail that all possible forms of purpose are necessarily designed (this by an intentioning X, where X is almost always understood to be a mind-endowed-agency).

    Therefore, at least when logically appraised, nature can well be globally purposeful without this purpose having been in any way designed by anyone or anything.


    I’d also be grateful for clarity as to what precisely differentiates modern metaphysical naturalism (as compared to, say, natural-ism as intepreted by ancient Stoics via their notion of Logos, to which even the polytheistic gods, were they to occur, are necessarily bound—this, for example, as expressed by Cicero in his The Nature of the Gods, which I deem far more accurate than any modern day rendition of what Stoicism used to be and uphold) with modern metaphysical materialism.

    More to the point, from what I so far gather, modern metaphysical naturalism rejects the very notion of ontologically occurring purpose—this just as materialism/physicalism does. E.g.:

    Further, this sense of naturalism holds that spirits, deities, and ghosts are not real and that there is no "purpose" in nature.

    (But to be forthright, I so far find that “naturalism is to nature” as “objectivism is to objectivity”. Meaning that, so far to me, it is as wrongheaded to assume that nature ought to be defined by the tenets of (modern metaphysical) naturalism as it is to assume that objectivity is in any way adequately defined by the tenets of (the obviously modern notions of) objectivism.)
  • Pragmatism Without Goodness

    Going back on my word to myself and taking the time to post:

    Hmm, I was under the impression that @Janus was strictly concerned with how it might be coherent for global purpose to occur without a purposer’s imposition, to not say creation, of a global purpose in the world. Very much akin the Watchmaker argument as concerns “God making a purposeful world (which would not be purposeful in any way sans a purposive God)”. In an attempt to further address my best current understandings of this:

    In here assuming the reality of the Good in a strictly Neoplatonic framework, as example, is the Good/the One the (purposeful) creation of some creator (which thereby holds an altogether different end in mind in so creating the Good) or, else, an uncreated and imperishable, else metaphysically immovable, end that applies to all at least corporeal beings—this just as much as it would apply to all incorporeal beings (from ghosts/apparitions to gods) were the latter to in any way occur?

    Furthermore, is not the Good within this framework expressed as that which either directly or indirectly determines all that does and can exist? Hence not only all of life’s evolutionary transformations and behaviors but all that is deemed to be purely physical as well?

    In a Neoplatonic framework, that a rock might here have purpose (an ultimate end toward which it moves, however incrementally) does not then either entail that the rock has any form of intention or that its purpose (hence, end toward which it progresses) in the grand scheme of things was intended by anyone—be such someone either corporeal (human) or incorporeal (god).

    Human agents have historically held onto myriad types of final ends for their own being: e.g., from the nihility which corporeal death is supposed to bring, this as the final end pursued by those who seek to free themselves of their suffering via suicide; to the notion of immortality in the form of a literally perfect (and hence eternal) self-preservation as that end to be striven for (with some transhumanist ideals as one modern example of this); to the yearning to become the uncontested top-dog, so to speak, of all that is and surrounds; or, as one here last given example, the eternal paradise of a Christian Heaven wherein one eternally dwells as unperishing ego devoid of any and all suffering, maybe with a harp in hand, under the omnipotent guidance of a superlative ego as creator of everything that is. But then, these many human-devised concepts of a final end to be yearned for and pursued—this together with that Neoplatonic notion of an absolute unity/henosis with the One—are most often logically contradictory. Such that, logically at least, not all of them can be true, else real, else correct, and hence right (not at least at the same time and in the same respect).

    Of note, it is human’s evolved intellect which facilitates humans abilities to envision the many such disparate final ends of personal being. Frogs don’t do this too well (or rather at all). So it seems that the greater the intelligence/sapience, the greater too the ability to either align to or else deviate from that which is—in a Neoplatonic framework—a fixed final end and an absolute good (to one's personal being included). In parallel, frogs can’t willfully deceive others and their own selves anywhere near as much as humans can—but then, neither can they apprehend as many truths regarding reality.

    So, to my best current understanding, in a modern and more analytically cogent model yet upholding the Neoplatonic understanding of the Good as final end, the Good would then need to account in one way another for all these discordant various final ends which human agencies can, and at times have, aimed toward. This while also holding a cogent explanation for why these various other conceivable ultimate ends are in fact untrue, else unreal, else incorrect, and hence wrong—and, so, are in fact bad ends to pursue or else progress toward. This while furthermore likewise making sense of why the physical world as we empirically know it occurs. Hence, the Good—just as ancient Neoplatonism maintains (and as was at the very least linguistically echoed in Aristotelian metaphysics—must then be the unmoved (undetermined and, hence, unlimited) mover (determiner; else, in Aristotelian terms, final cause) of all that in any way is and can existentially be. Itself, as the final end yet to be obtained, being beyond both existence and nonexistence.

    And yet the Good in this Neoplatonic framework (as in so many others) cannot be a purposer (at least not as I take the term to have been so far implied by Janus: an ego which purposefully creates and thereby endows purpose): it hence is in no way an ego that can be disappointed or happy in its attempts to bring anything about by striving to itself obtain some end. The Good as final end is of itself not purposeful, but instead merely is. And, in so being, it reputedly endows purpose to everything else both sentient and insentient via any number of means. Via at least some of these means, this will then logially need to include all false final ends that intelligent enough sentience might seek to actualize.

    It seems that this is where one starts philosophically questioning what in fact is the genuine and good final end that one ought to do one’s best to pursue/intend/remain aligned to (for one's own benefit of minimizing one's overall suffering). This just as one deliberates between going leftward or rightward at a given crossroads – but, here, regarding metaphysical notions of final ends to one’s existence that maximally, if not fully, satisfy all of one’s wants (and, hence, all of one’s intents).

    While I don’t in this post want to write a thesis on my best current understandings regarding a Neoplatonic notion of the One/the Good, in short, there obviously are different final ends which people can both envision and actively choose to pursue – this as a guiding factor to our more immediate (needless to add, intentional) decisions. But, logically at least, this array of contradicting final ends we can envision as a humanity then necessarily consists of at least some erroneous conceptualizations of where our being ends. And in assuming there being the Neoplatonic the Good as fixed final end, the Good, aka the One, then necessarily needs to account for all end/purposes that can in any way existentially occur—both those pertaining to sentient beings (deities included where they to occur) and to insentient physicality, both those aligned with the actualization of the One/the Good and those which deviate from this.

    Of course, deny the very possibility of the Good/the One being real and all this goes down the toilet. Obviously. But where the possibility is entertained, there will then necessarily and coherently be a global purpose which occurs in the absence of anyone or anything producing and hence creating this global, or else cosmic, purpose - but instead being in one way or another, consciously or unconsciously, bound to it.

    My current best two cents worth regarding this issue of a possible global purpose sans global purposer.
  • Pragmatism Without Goodness
    Janus, my bad. In haste, I mistook what thread I'm on. Still, the logical issues I've so far addressed remain.

    At any rate, I'll sign off for now.
  • Pragmatism Without Goodness
    Explain to me how the notion, not to mention the imputation, of purpose makes sense in the absence of an agent that purposes.Janus

    There is a post on another thread which you've so far not addressed. Still, as to explanation: if there is an un-created and imperishable ultimate end for the sake of which X does this and that, then there will be purpose that was not created by a purposer. BTW, this ultimate end can be a grand "heat death" just as much as it can be "the Good". If all things mover toward their end, then purpose occurs.

    I'll in turn ask, how can a purposer bring about a purpose A in the absence of an end/purpose Z by which the purposer is teleologically determined in so bringing about purpose A. Would not any such act be instead utterly devoid of purpose, hence intent/end-pursued and, hence, in no way intentional/purposive?
  • Do I really have free will?
    A better question is: have you been able to shape your world so that it's a paradise you roam in? Or is it a hell you constantly fight against?frank

    This where Nietzsche's aphorism of, to paraphrase, "my heaven/paradise is in the shadow of my [two sided] sword [which cuts/effects me just as it cuts/effects the other, if not the astral/abstract/above]" might be seen to come into play, depending on its interpretation. At any rate, all life shapes the world in part, be this in line with consciously willed intentions or not.
  • Purpose: what is it, where does it come from?
    :100: I've been reading about the ideal of the mind's conformity with actuality and the distinction between 'conforms with' and 'corresponds to'. Compare with the Platonic principle 'to be, is to be intelligible.' See Eric D Perl Thinking Being.Wayfarer

    Thank you kindly. Yes, though in some ways subtle, I find the distinction quite important, both ontologically and epistemologically - in many ways related to the notion of forms/eidoi and their relation of either accordance/harmony or the converse (whereby conflict occurs in some measure). Thumbs up to the Platonic principle you quote.

    I've so far gotten a "404 not found" in the link. I'll check back in later.
  • Purpose: what is it, where does it come from?
    The questions here are, then, what is purpose (in itself), where does it come from, what is its ground? Or, what exactly gives it all meaning, makes it all worthwhile?tim wood

    As to what purpose is, I here take it to be that end for the sake of which an action, else movement, occurs or for the sake of which something is—with the latter (things) being subsumed by the former (processes) in any process theory.

    That said, for the kick of it, I’ll offer an extremely pithy premise regarding the universal purpose of biological evolution—within which context our own individual cognitive purposes unfold—which I’d love to see falsified on either logical or empirical grounds:

    • The steadfast global purpose to the evolution of life is that of life’s optimal conformity to that which is actual and, hence, real. *

    For better clarity, this irrespective of the detailed means, e.g. via optimal biological fitness relative to individuals and groups, via occurrences of genetic drift, and via the many almost innumerable other detailed means by which biological evolution is currently known to occur. Adaptation to an ever-changing world then being one less abstract facet of this just stated purposeful process. Such that that life which sufficiently deviates from optimal conformity to what is actual/real ceases to be while the life forms which maintains such optimal conformity to what is actual/real persevere.


    * As to some of this pithily expressed premise’s implications: The same relationship of “conformity to that which is real/actual” can well also adequately define the attribute of truth—such that when this conformity becomes complete, hence absolute (here tentatively entertaining the hypothetical that it in principle can), life then obtains a state of being wherein truth and reality/actuality become one and the same: here maybe better expresses as “Truth” with capital “T”. Also of note, as it’s been just specified, this global purpose of life will then occur in the absence of any superlative ego’s (i.e., God’s) so intending things to be—with the very notion of a purposing God being superfluous to the state of affairs specified (a God who'd furthermore also need to be subject to some end in order to act purposely, different issue though this is)—instead, here purpose in the form of ultimately becoming one with global Truth is a staple aspect of existence; i.e., it becomes a brute fact of the world. So, in a likewise somewhat informal expression, the purpose of life is here taken to be that of not only eventually discovering the quintessentially genuine (“true” in this sense) actuality/reality of being itself but of also becoming one with it. Add some measure of indeterminacy and free will into the equation and, we via our own freely willed choices then (at least at times) stand in the way of this grand end being actualized, or at least further approached; this, for one example, by preferring fictitious accounts of what is and of what will be over truths regarding the same (truths which at times can be at least initially unpleasant to accept). Other implications could then follow, such as the provision of why lies in general are to be deemed bad: they further the whole from the very end here addressed (which I might add could also be labeled as "the Good").

    All that said—with all these implications being not perfectly expressed—what I’m primarily curious about is, again, any valid argument against the pithy premise regarding the global purpose of life (this via the analysis of biological evolution’s purpose/end) which was previously specified.

    P.s., While I’m anticipating some degree of discord on the matter if I’m at all replied to, I likely won’t be around to reply for a number of days.

    [edit: some typo's corrected]
  • Is the real world fair and just?
    In the singing birds song, is he saying, "another world" : perhaps a Garden of Eden?Gnomon

    Yes, he's saying "another world" - ultimately concluding with this other world being a place where "nothing ever dies". Which I think supersedes even the notion of a Garden of Eden. This is not what everybody deems to be the ultimate good - Buddhist notions of Nirvana without remainder as one (counter-)example, Plotinus's the One as another, in both these cases there being no world to speak of, but only pure being devoid of any existence (here in the sense of that which "stands out"). Still, to me at least, the song does get an emotive point across, an emotive point that many enough do share: we (most at least) do secretly want, or at least yearn for, more than the world makes possible to have even in principle. I suppose to a Buddhist, this however being indicative of not following the middle-path.

    Still, at the end of the day, it's just one song among many, and I don't endorse a good portion of its perspectives. Just the part about the world being neither fair nor unfair.

    My philosophical view is that the physical/material world is Monistic : a single dynamic causal force (amoral energy) that can have positive or negative effects, depending on the individual's me-centered --- or we-centered --- interpretation. That's why the Buddha preached a No-Self perspective, and the Stoics focused on self-control. Fairness & Justice are not of the world, but in the mind of the observer. The cosmos is what it is, but humans can imagine what it could be.Gnomon

    I get that, and as I've previously mentioned, my own philosophical view is not one of materialism (i.e. a monism of physicality/materiality). Yet, do you find the "mind of the observer" to be any less real than the physicality which it observes and thereby knows? And, if not, are not both then equally real aspects of that which constitutes "the world" as-is.

    If so, then I find that fairness & justice (together with unfairness & injustice) are as much of the world as are the minds of observers to which these notions are requisite. This doesn't then make the world of itself either fair or unfair in total. Nor does it address that by which fairness and unfairness is determined. Yet it does seem to avoid the inconsistency of a dualism - namely, between a) fairness/justice (and of the observers to which these properties often enough apply) which is claimed to not be of the world and b) the physical world itself - occurring within an upheld monism of materialism/physicalism, this however the latter be interpreted.
  • The Principle of Double Effect
    :smile: Nice to hear. As the the ass so choosing, I think the disagreement between the two of you was as to whether the choice is consciously deliberated or not and, hence, whether it is a conscious choice. And it's this which I wanted to address. In sum, the ass as a total being makes the choice, yes, but the ass as a conscious agent makes no choice whatsoever since it does not deliberate.

    This no more than I or you are consciously deliberating on which words to use in our expressing ourselves most of the time. Our conscious choice most of the time being strictly limited to whether or not we ought to express those concepts which we hold in mind. Nevertheless, the specific words we use (and their placement, etc.) still being chosen by us as total beings, this subconsciously.
  • The Principle of Double Effect

    Maybe for entertainment, as a somewhat different perspective on this matter: Most of our volitions as conscious beings—though willed freely, here in the strict sense of there being no obstruction to our consciously willing, else intending, as we do—are nevertheless not deliberative. Here, we as conscious agents effortlessly inhere into, or else with, the volition of our unconscious mind—resulting in a unified volition/will relative to the total mind concerned. This often acquired, i.e. learned, and habitual means of acting and reacting to stimuli then makes our typical behaviors quite functional in their efficacy: e.g., we don’t deliberate between alternatives on how to move our fingers, wrist, etc. when reflexively catching a ball that was thrown to us—but our so catching it will have nevertheless been freely willed/intended (hence, with disappointment resulting were our will/intention to catch the ball to not be fulfilled as willed/intended).

    It is only when our unconscious mind is torn between different possible intents that we as conscious agents consciously experience alternatives (brought up to consciousness from our unconscious processes of mind), alternatives between which we as conscious agents then in one way or another choose via deliberation (this being the process of weighting two or more alternatives’ possible benefits and costs and then determining that one ought proceed with one alternative at expense of all others).

    With the Buridan’s Ass thought experiment, one will typically in no way deliberate between which side to move toward but, instead, will effortlessly inhere into (or with) the subliminal volitions of one’s unconscious mind—whose reasonings for so determining to go either leftward or rightward (here granting that one’s unconscious mind is not of itself utterly irrational in its activities) will be beyond the purview of one’s conscious awareness.

    Yet, were we to at any point actively deliberate between two alternatives which we at a conscious level appraise to be of equal value to our longer-term intent, I’ll venture that there will yet occur subliminal appraisals and reasons which the unconscious aspects of our total mind engages in that will tip the scale of the given deliberation. For example, maybe one side holds a background of sky and clouds (which we do not consciously appraise) that seems more inviting and hence auspicious than the other. In effect re-taking the choice from the conscious being (who finds no preference for either alternative being selected) back to the unconscious mind—whose volitions the conscious being once again effortlessly inheres with.

    While clarifying and justifying all this would take a considerable amount of time and effort, I’ll simply affirm that in real life no human (or lesser animal for that matter) ever dies of hunger or thirst from an indecision between alternatives which seem to be of equal worth or import. And I find the perspective just offered to be reasonable enough as-is in providing an explanation for why this is.

    Here, then, all reasoning—be it conscious or else unconscious—will yet be principled by, at the very least, the laws of thought: hence "following the rules/laws of thought". However,again, many if not most of our voluntary behaviors will not be deliberated upon at a conscious level of awareness. As regards at least some of these latter, our rational justifications for performing these, again, nondeliberative yet freely/unobstructed-ly willed behaviors will be both post hoc and ad hoc—which doesn’t necessitate that the explanations we then provide will be wrong but does allow for false conclusions to occur. E.g., a person is hypnotized to not sit down on a chair and, when asked why they don’t take a seat, provides a justification that seems rational but has nothing to do with the facts of the matter.

    I acknowledge that the philosophy of mind is very complex and that this perspective only skims the surface. Still, to sum up this partial perspective in a few words: the vast majority of our voluntary behaviors—for which we yet typically hold direct responsibility for on grounds of being that which we willed/intended—are not deliberated upon at a conscious level, such that the selecting of one alternative between two alternatives that to us conscious agents appear of equal value will, most often, not be consciously made.

    p.s. This, acknowledgedly incomplete, perspective in many ways accommodates what can be termed a bundle-theory of mind or, maybe more directly, of volition – taking into account both conscious and non-conscious aspects of a total mind. And this without in any way dismissing the possibility of metaphysical (i.e., libertarian) free will pertaining to us conscious agents whenever we do consciously deliberate between alternatives (hence, a free will wherein we as conscious agents solely determine the effect of the alternative which we choose, such that we as conscious agents are in practice metaphysically free to choose differently than what we will end up choosing ... but then this same libertarian free will could also be conceptually extended to the sometimes disparate volitions of one's unconscious mind, volitions with which one as conscious agent/will most often effortlessly unifies sans any conscious deliberations).

    At any rate, all this being one way to address the paradox presented in the Buridan's Ass thought experiment.
  • Is the real world fair and just?

    Although on the whole the lyrics to this song are a bit too materialist for my tastes, I yet very much agree with its primary message: “the world, per se, is neither fair/just nor unfair/unjust, period”. (And I conclude this as someone who nevertheless upholds the reality of the Good as per Plato and Aristotle, etc – from where the very notions, or “eidoi”, of fairness (that aligned with the Good) and unfairness (that misaligned with the Good) reportedly emerge to begin with.)

    At any rate, this pithy conclusion of “the world is neither fair nor unfair” as just worded might be somewhat too non-dualistic for many, but I find it in full keeping with previously mentioned notions of “the world can be fair only to the extent that we make it so”.

    Thinking you might get a kick out of this song’s lyrics: