Comments

  • The structure of a moral claim to truth
    Democracy means nothing if it is not "concerned about ends".Athena

    I didn’t mean to disagree, just to differentiate what I was discussing. Truth in this sense is more like a founding principal than a decision about what to do, how we are to decide in a moral quandary. Of course I do agree with the need for a reasonable discussion about those issues, and, when we extend into the unknown, we are in a similar structural position of responsibility to an ethical decision as the acceptance of a principal. Though I would think the context is more concrete with a decision about what to do.
  • The structure of a moral claim to truth
    You are declaring your pledge of responsibility to a moral truth generally claimed by everyone, or, claimed universally.Mww

    A claim to the truth is made as if it were universal, as there is no reason it can't be (the other is in the same position with a rejection). I make it in a universal voice, as Wittgenstein makes his claims to a grammatical remark or difference, such as that believing is like hoping and not thinking (#574).

    That I am categorically responsible for my reasons and by association my judgements given from them, does not immediately demand I am categorically responsible for accepting a general moral truth.Mww

    No, it's that a truth is accepted or rejected--that's how it works--it is not proved true and false (that's a different kind of true). Not that it is a demand by me, but that, like the pain of the other, it is a claim upon you, who you will be, in response.

    Willingness to be responsible for rejection is negation of validity (of truth).Mww

    Well being willing to provide a reasoned rejection to a claim to truth is at least more courageous than refusing to answer at all (say, sliding out behind logic, science, that it's all irrational). I'm not sure just being responsible is a negation, but I will say the possibility of rejection is not an immediate fracturing of community. There is the opportunity for rational disagreement.

    The onus is on those advocating that it isn’t [a small, vanishing chance for truth], to present, not a mere claiming of, but a justification for, why it isn’t.Mww

    I acknowledge that we shouldn't blindly accept things, but, as I have said, you should see for yourself. Otherwise, this seems very cynical. I would call for more of us to attempt to see the truth in something rather than demanding that the other provide justification first. Our job as philosophers is to seek the truth, stand in the other's shoes (on their terms), find something of worth even though there may be a weakness (make their argument the strongest case you can), acknowledge more and not dismiss out of hand, etc. I take this as Diamond's hope for the truth, for us to think well on its behalf. Prefunctory skepticism lacks intelligence and imagination just as much as blind obedience. @Banno@Marchesk@tim wood
  • The structure of a moral claim to truth
    How about Cicero and the notion of right reason? It is a democratic value to know the truth because right reason is essential to things going well, and wrongly reasoning can lead to trouble. Education for good moral judgment is about understanding cause and effect and the importance of right reasoning. This also goes with Socrates' concern about expanding our consciousness because if we don't know enough, we are more apt to make bad decisions. And the miracle of democracy is having many points of view, a broad consciousnessAthena

    I agree that a broad education is important. It does bring up the issue again of avoiding a rote understanding of truth. I take this as the difference between "knowing" the truth and accepting it (telling myself rather than being told). As well as understanding its depth of meaningfulness, we come to its importance as a personal process, a journey of my life maybe as much as my acknowledgement of its implications. The reading of Cicero that stuck with me was that it mattered to the truth who I was as a person, which I read as that I am part of the state of a truth. That this can be done well or poorly, rather than right or wrong. That we are not here concerned about ends (things going well).
  • The structure of a moral claim to truth
    My issue is that if morality is entirely human-made, then there's no objective truth to it... Which means that anyone's morality, including our modern enlightened sense of fairness, is arbitrary. Nothing real makes it true.Marchesk

    This is the story relativism tells. But you will notice it begins with the desire (demand) that truth meet a standard that does not include us, as math does not, nor science. But this is not the nature of truth, and so its condemnation is our doing, not its failing. We deem ourselves "arbitrary" because we don't meet the very standard we impose in a desire to avoid ourselves being responsible, avoid ourselves being known if we are. Our interests, our judgments, are the long history of a moral truth, which we paint as partial, contingent, irrational, but it is ours, our culture, our duty, in which to make who we are, what our culture will be, our country, in relation.

    To desire a third party (criteria) to arbitrate a truth between you and I--to wish for a rule to tell me what is the right thing to do--is to abdicate a moral conversation before we have even begun. The fact is that we may not come to agreement but we can have a disagreement for reasons we understand and will know at least what each stands for.
  • The structure of a moral claim to truth
    it might be worth considering further. Let's look at Anscombe's shopping list. If it is a list of all the things she bought, it will be true if it lists all and only the things she bought. If it is a list of the things she is intending to buy, is it still true if it lists all and only the things she intends to buy...? I'm wiling to consider alternatives.Banno

    If we consider that not every act is intentional (chosen), but nevertheless certain acts include being willing to answer for them (more than just "did you intend to...?), then we are not like the investigator, who may get the record of the world wrong, but we also would not be said to have made a mistake in what we intended (to do). The mistake we may be said to make in relation to a truth is that we wish to excuse ourselves of our obligation to it, our promise to stand for it (to welch, I think Austin says); we may have made an error in the sense of not realizing the terms and implications I was committing to, but this is not to denigrate its truth, but, reflect on me.

    I'll go over the difference in direction of fit one more time. To decide if "the cat is on the mat" or "The cat is not on the mat", one looks at how the world is, and makes a choice as to which words fit. But making observations is of no help in deciding if "the cat ought be on the mat" or "the cat ought not be on the mat" is true. Rather these last are an expression of an intent to act upon the world.Banno

    The direction we take is thus not towards the world, to express it correctly, truthfully, but towards our desires and intentions. I would qualify this as the expression of those in this case, which is to say the history of the things that have been said about this truth. And, since our language contains our interests and judgments in the world, that they reflect on ourselves. Do I fit the life (the list) of what our truths are to be?

    And I am taking a moral claim as a conclusion of what we ought to do, as different than a truth we are asked to accept absent a call to a specific action, not decided before taking, in light of taking, or what that act should be. The necessity for action is as yet undetermined, but I nevertheless am in position to choose whether I will stand ready (thereafter) in response (either way).

    My concern would begin with whether justice was real or just a social construct.Marchesk

    Your acceptance of a claim of what justice is thus appears contingent on your knowledge of it. And one answer I take as a wish that there was a fact about it, and the other would be some sense that we made it up or agreed to it, as if there were no necessary fact about it. I would say there is no "fact" about a moral truth that will satisfy the criteria to obviate your place in the state of its truth, but that, nevertheless, it is not insupportable, only not without our part, our bringing them to life, carrying them forward in our culture, adapting them to new contexts, allowing them to constitute us and compromise us.

    Wittgenstein declares that we are not of the opinion (that it is not a matter of knowledge) that the other has a soul (p. 179). An aspect, a possibility, dawns on me (or we are blind to it) and we accept an attitude about someone's soul, as in the position I take toward others; my acts treat them as if they have a soul. The relation we have to a moral truth is to put myself in such a position to it (as part of the grammar of how such a truth works).
  • The structure of a moral claim to truth
    the structure of a moral claim is not a statement (known to be true)
    — Antony Nickles

    .....does that mean not a known true statement, or, not a statement at all? I took it to mean not a statement at all, insofar as I hold the structure of moral claims to be grounded in the moral feeling alone.
    Mww

    Not a statement known or judged to be true or false, so, not a statement (is there any other); the idea of a declaration is more appropriate, announcing to everyone that it is me staking myself to this truth. This is not a feeling, say, Humean. A moral truth is part of our world (there are criteria and rationale) though not a claim about the state of the world.

    The expression of my poverty or well-being is also derived from feelings, but the pledge respecting that expression is a statement, and because it expresses a subjective condition a priori, it must be known by me to be true.Mww

    Diamond.....or you.....should have said, a moral claim-ing can be general, which means anyone can do it, which is certainly a true moral statement.[/quote]

    I meant general, as not specific (see discussion above re Wittgenstein), but also that I claim it to be a truth for all of us, which is a claim to community as much as it is to truth.

    to say you are claiming responsibility for mine, or that I pledge anything about yours, is outside the realm of moral consideration.Mww

    Your responsibility is your own, but I hold this truth to be available to both of us, acceptable to both of us, but that you must come to it yourself or reject it, and, though, your reasons may be yours alone, that you are categorically answerable to them.

    The claim of a moral principal and an aesthetic judgment are expressed in a similar structure
    — Antony Nickles

    .....is only superficially true, insofar as aesthetic judgements are grounded in a subjective condition with respect to empirical predicates, re: the beautiful
    Mww

    My point in drawing a connection is that an aesthetic claim is made as universal, in the sense that you can see it for yourself in what I show you that can be seen. This is not a claim of a subjective condition, or a justification from a subjective position (I don't want to go down a Kantian rabbit-hole, but it is along the lines of the form of the beautiful). To say it is "subjective" is to judge the personal by the desired, imposed criteria of certainty, the achievement of which is the erasure of our responsibility for truth entirely.

    but the claim of a moral principle... here taken from your implication of staking a claim in a moral principle, claim-ing a moral principle, taking possession of it implicitly re: the sublime, in your case apparently, responsibility, are grounded in a subjective condition predicated on pure practical reason.Mww

    Your characterization of the acceptance of a moral truth implicitly, as in the sense of without question or reservation, is not the structure of the acceptance; I am accepting to be responsible for it, to it. My reasons are my own, as are my reservations. In addition, I am not accepting one thing, or asking you to do the same, for my or a set of reasons which we agree to, but within its depth and breadth, though perhaps not to all of it, but which is mine to be held to, by.

    their respective expressions, the former being a judgement expresses as a cognition, the latter being necessary ground for the judgement, expressed as a feeling.Mww

    I am pointing out a categorical requirement, apart from the picture of only a dichotomy of reason or feeling (irrationality). I call it categorical because it is implicit of the structure of what a moral truth is, my part in it, to it, is part of its grammar as Wittgenstin will call it.

    no principle can be itself a judgement... it's easy to lay claim to a principle without ever considering the source of it, and consequently, the truth of its necessity.Mww

    There is no necessity for it except that which you see in it, or are willing to be answerable for in its rejection, to endlessly attempt to reconcile ourselves within it, to it, of which we are the source (not my reason or feeling, independent of my responsiveness).
  • The structure of a moral claim to truth
    Moral claims can't be true i.e. when someone claims everyone is equal, a moral claim, he does not do so because it is true, incidentally it isn't. Ergo, moral claims must be about something else - bewitchment by language? What that something else is...???TheMadFool

    This is again to want something's being "true" to be the reason why we claim it; truth here being a standard that moral claims can not meet because they do not work like how a proposition or statement are true. This is what the bewitchment of language allows for: that since one word can mean one thing (a certain way), we take all language to mean one thing in the same way. But claiming a moral truth works differently. The value it has is to the extent we are willing to relinquish the judgment of it and allow for the reasoning it has, prepared to see ourselves in its expression.

    Morality is made up by humans like mathTheMadFool

    Well, but not like math though. And we also "made up" carpentry, and international tariffs, and apologizing, and dancing, and vengeance, and fairness. The sense of truth which I am discussing is tied to the world as much as the life of etiquette. Justice can be corrupted, perverted, politicized, and simply die. Moral truth is kept alive through us, made up of us.
  • The structure of a moral claim to truth
    when it comes to morals and such we are likely better served to look as 'betterment' than 'truth' as dictating the best course of action.I like sushi

    Skipping over that we are not necessarily talking about a claim of how to act, my betterment (or dissolution) is part of my consideration in claiming the truth, as it involves what I become in the act.

    Saying something is a moral truth just makes itself out to be a subtler way of claiming a moral absolute that even refuses to be held up to enquiry.I like sushi

    I am not claiming an authority or standard, nor that we must even agree on what is meaningful about it for us both to accept it in a sense that matters. But mostly to say that the exact point, the thing that makes this a moral truth, is that it is something I accept to answer for in having claimed it, open to investigation, deeper understanding.
  • The structure of a moral claim to truth
    What I'm hearing is a refusal to acknowledge rhetoric as a distinctly different kind of logic about things that dialectic cannot properly cover, although many people in ignorance think it does, or should. And that the distinctions were substantially understood and laid out more than 2300 years ago.tim wood

    Yes, I'm saying Plato was wrong. The distinction between truth and rhetoric that he made was to hold knowledge to a certain standard, which involved erasing our everyday criteria, which is to say us, people, as imbedded in our culture, institutions, language, etc., but also to remove our part in our moral acts, which I am saying here is the categorical necessity for this sense of a truth, we are required; though we certainly run from that obligation (perhaps even creating a hidden world to be/do what we do not want to). The sense of rhetoric as words that mean or do nothing is because of the fact that we can mean them, as in be willing to stand by them, to have such an expression fully and completely express me just then to you about whether we will accept that all people are created equal; to express me as a person, as one who judges, as a citizen in a country founded on the principal.

    You know, but you apparently do not know that you know.tim wood

    It may be a matter of my knowledge of myself, my learning of my interests, what I will answer for in having said it, as if it were what I'd die for.

    What is it, or why is it, that we cannot, or will not, accept that everyone is created equal?
    — Antony Nickles

    Because they are not... Whatever makes you think that everyone is created equal?
    tim wood

    And you might say, look: they are born into poverty, physically different, etc. which are empirical answers, but this is not an empirical claim. I don't think it, I proclaim it. This is not a claim of knowledge. Knowing what we do already, I am pronouncing that all people are created equal, say, that we each create ourselves in every moral utterance, what we say to something asked of us, in responding to which we are implicated, compromised by (comprised of), created in.

    What evidence of that?tim wood

    You are as much the evidence as I, a source of finding reason in it, for it, an interest, a cause. Modern philosophy would say evidence would be how the things we say about it show us how it works to be meaningful. You may be looking for a different kind of evidence; looking for that is where Plato went wrong.

    consider just what an ethical imperative istim wood

    And now you want me to say Kant (or Hume, etc.) was wrong too. The desire for necessity, motivation, cause, power, control, force, normativity, is that then I will know how to predict you, I will be certain I am doing the right thing. But with the kind of truth I am looking at, the after is more important than the before. Not in terms of weighing consequences in making a decision, but what we set ourselves to, without being moved to, other than perhaps for who I am to be in relation.
  • The structure of a moral claim to truth
    I wouldn't worry so much about whether moral statements are truth-apt though.SophistiCat

    The idea of wanting something to be "truth-apt" is to have something to depend on, justify our acts, ensure agreement, etc. The sense of a statement that is true or false takes our place--which I say is the structure of a moral claim, in our having to be true to something.

    Assenting to a statement is a pledge to proceed in accordance with that statement - anything else would be disingenuous or vacuous.SophistiCat

    J.L. Austin says that our word is our bond (Emerson would say we are bound to it, fated). Cavell puts it that we can be read in our expressions, that we can be asked to answer for them. Wittgenstein will say that I can see what you are going to do, even if you are not aware. I can understand what you've said, more even than you. This is part of my accepting a moral principal, though we may not necessarily have a direction (being told what to do).

    I am interested in the performance of "accepting" a claim without doing anything; I've called this platitudes, slogans, quotations; but that is to put the responsibility on the speech, not the speaker. This is why Cicero claimed that who a speaker was, their character, was integral to a good speech, because we are involved. This is why Plato decried "rhetoric", because he did not want us in the picture; our partiality, limitation, lying, hypocrisy, vacuousness, propagandizing, etc.
  • The structure of a moral claim to truth
    It is, as Kant would say, expressed in a universal voice (the 3rd critique)
    — Antony Nickles

    At first glance, that’s a confusion of aesthetic judgements with strictly moral judgements. Are you saying the willingness to be responsible is an aesthetic quality?
    Mww

    The claim of a moral principal and an aesthetic judgment are expressed in a similar structure, subject to the same acceptance or rejection, with the same powerlessness to resolve other than you seeing what I have drawn your attention to, within the form of each thing.
  • The structure of a moral claim to truth
    Sounds suspiciously like fear of context rather than relativism.I like sushi

    Diamond proposes that a moral claim can be general, as universally claimed, but still with a context because it has a history, its possibilities of interpretation, a way that it works, which, most importantly, is that I am claiming it (as discussed above, along with an example of how it is seen as begging relativism).

    'Slavery is unjust' is not a True statement as far as I can tell.I like sushi

    It is not claimed as a true statement (that's not how it works).

    The question I would have is if the author is tending towards some form of moral absolutism or not? If they are I cannot see how they would convince me.I like sushi

    As I've discussed above, the claim is made upon us all, universally, but it is not a standard, nor does it claim any authority, as it is something you have to see for yourself. We could call it a principal, in that it is initially, fundamentally to be accepted. You need not be convinced, but you do take it as a conviction. As you must accept it, you can reject it, but, as well, then you are the person who has turned your back on it.
  • The structure of a moral claim to truth
    That sounds like consequentialism, a full-fledged although incomplete moral theory, unless you have something else in mind when you speak of "implications".TheMadFool

    I'm not discussing a moral theory. I mean implications here as like Wittgenstein's grammar. Not that we are considering the consequences in making a decision before taking action, but that there are categorical ways in which we must take action for it to be such a thing. When we make a claim such as this, we commit ourselves, etc. That is what it means, what is implied, in the doing of it, being said to have done it. This is the structure I am discussing.
  • The structure of a moral claim to truth
    My own thinking on the topic owes much to the Direction of Fit stuff from Anscombe, which I am finding quite useful. Moral claims differ from, say, physicist's claims in that the physicist seeks to match their words to the world, while the moralist seeks to match the world to their words.Banno

    I believe this was discussed at the meeting. Diamond's addition to this was I believe that this was not like an empirical assessment, nor that any disparity from what is the case detracts from the truth of a moral claim. This diverges from Anscombe I'm sure but I wouldn't know how.

    I wonder if something like "Slavery is unjust" is a moral statement. After all, that slavey is unjust simply follows from what slavery is, in conjunction with what justice is.Banno

    I agree that we could say that here we are simply stating something about slavery, or even, grammatically (categorically), that part of justice is freedom. But those are not to claim this as a truth in instant sense, simply that these statement are true (or claimed to be). All people are created equal is a type of claim that is not in the same category (it has a different grammar), and there is more to it than what simply follows from it as a statement.

    Further, moral statements imply an action. "Slavery is unjust" does not of itself imply an action. To get there we need another rule, something like, "reject injustice!" - and that is where morality enters the discussion.Banno

    I understand where you're coming from; standard moral issues amount to, what should we do? (particularly when we are in a new context or our criteria/justifications run out). I would differentiate these kind of claims because there we are discussing or judging the matter beforehand as to what is best or right (or good, at times).

    [we should rid ourselves] of "truth" meaning anything substantive. If you think it does, please state that substantive meaning.tim wood

    The substance of a moral truth I do not believe will assuage the desire for a kind that fits the picture for
    the criteria we wish to impose. Here, though, I think the best analogy is Wittgenstein's discussion of blurry concepts, vagary, generality, etc.--the insight that a general claim can be more meaningful than a specific one, more appropriate than limiting its senses (and here "sense" is meant in the way Wittgenstein sees that an expression, like "I know" has different options/opportunities (senses) to be meaningful--even that we might not realize until the expression, at a time and place in a context).

    And so our example, that everyone is created equal, has multiple possibilities which need not be reconciled together for the claim to be meaningful (yet not whatever you'd like); in fact, it is more important to us because it, as I said, is a summary of all the depth of truth which it contains: that we are the same more than we are different; that despite our divergent paths, we started in the same place and so our differences are situational; that equality is inherent, essential to everyone, as if we were born with it in us; that everyone should be treated with equal dignity, etc. The depth and breadth here is not limited by the desire for certainty that creates the picture of the singularity of "meaning".
  • The structure of a moral claim to truth
    By what standards does the OP judge the truth of his pronouncements and why do they not apply to ethics?TheMadFool

    A moral claim is not gauged by generalized criteria. Our lives have specific histories of judgments and interests and what matters, but the difference in this question is not a matter of judging its adequacy, but accepting its implications for you, for the other.
  • The structure of a moral claim to truth
    I take dialectic to be a process of arriving at a sense of truth by logical argument.
    — Antony Nickles

    No, not a sense of, but a true conclusion from valid argument
    tim wood

    A conclusion from an argument deemed to be valid is one sense of truth, as a statement that is judgeed to be true or false. Some truth is not at the end of reasoning with a criteria imposed to ensure an outcome, mostly certainty, universality, determined application, etc. The dichotomy that anything else is rhetoric is forced by the abstraction from ordinary means of assessing value, determining identity, acting appropriately, etc., which criteria comes from the thing itself; here, the form of a moral claim, which I am saying is categorical.

    The possibilities of a moral claim are only contingent on us, our willingness to stand for what is meaningful in it. But the history and criteria of the truth that all people are created equally are not irrational, various, insubstantial. But it is powerless as an argument to independently explain or logically force you, as if it were proposed to you as a hypothesis. It is not a proof of what was or is, to be solved; it is a demand, an insistence, brought alive, to be witnessed, accepted.

    This is not to ask a small concession in the face of science or logic. As I said, this is a claim made on everyone. What is it, or why is it, that we cannot, or will not, accept that everyone is created equal? Maybe there is an example I could show you, an implication that needs description, the picture of an alternative drawn, etc., but anything would be something you could see for yourself (is self-evident, as it were). A moral claim is categorical because it, say another's equality, is a claim on you, and thus your rejection defines you; who you are/will be is contingent upon it.

    And so a moral truth is not a noun or a thing--the opposite of it is not a falsity or a lie. The state of its being true is held by us. Its substance is what is meaningful to us, what expresses our interests, our judgments, our possibilities.
  • The structure of a moral claim to truth
    Rhetoric v. dialectic.tim wood

    I take dialectic to be a process of arriving at a sense of truth by logical argument. It implies that we have come to a conclusion that all people are created equal, rather than it being something I (we) declare as true, and then answer for that stance. The way this works is that one takes it as their own conviction, but that does not mean that you were persuaded to my statement nor to something that is just variable or temporary, etc. There are ordinary criteria, history, context, etc., that exist already, and thus there is a structure that allows for rationale, the individual logic of such a thing, precision, specificity, etc. What makes the sense of "Truth" as certainty is the imposition of our measure of a true statement (thanks Plato). The reason why the moral realm is subject to the charge of being merely "rhetorical", or just words that are empty, is because it is up to us to fill them.

    The what-is v. the what-ought. Two logics that overlap in some of their methods, but are in themselves different things about different kinds of topics.tim wood

    The idea of moral as "ought" is not just the measurement of the current state of our world compared to what we would like it to be. If the question is: what should (ought) I do? there is no general answer to that as there is no determination of what to do without a situation, but also because to decide in advance is to think we can account for every application.

    The fact that every person is not currently equal is a measure of our culpability. The extent to which we are created equal is open to debate. But, structurally, the kind of claim I am discussing is not an epistemological one, nor an ideal or aspiration. We create or latch on to these dichotomies to avoid our responsibility, our part in a moral world.
  • The structure of a moral claim to truth
    My claim is not a theory but my pledge to be responsible for its state (its life or death), ready to act in its defense, to explicate what is summarized.
    — Antony Nickles

    ......if it is my claim, and expresses that pledge, why isn’t it only my poverty or wellness my claim expresses? ...if it is my (moral) claim, how can it not be from my (moral) thought?
    Mww

    It is not my claim, as in my thought or my statement (that is not the structure, the grammar). I accept its claim on me. It is my willingness to be responsible for it that is my claiming it. And the wellness and poverty is not about me, but how well it is responded for--its state in culture as truth.

    ...what right do I have to pledge to be responsible on behalf of everyone?Mww

    It is, as Kant would say, expressed in a universal voice (the 3rd critique). It is as if to speak for everyone; but not to impose or override their voice. Your acceptance of it is to see for yourself whether you would be willing to take ownership of it, be seen by it, as well.

    The problem he worried on was the fear of relativism.
    — Antony Nickles

    It looks like spreading MY moral claims, or the personal claims of individuals represented as each “my”, over everybody, is fear of moral relativism.
    Mww

    When I say "my", I could as well say "our", or more technically, it is our culture's. As I said in the post, it is not the individual vs. anything--it is the individual's part in truth.

    Do you think there is an intrinsic gap between moral claims and ethical claims?Mww

    The words have lost any true sense of individuation, but I take a moral or ethic in the sense of a rule, or standard (determined beforehand); whereas the moral realm, and its claim on us, is when we are lost as to what to do, or that we are necessarily a part of what is ongoing.
  • How would you define 'reality'?
    Neuroscience wants to be able to figure us out, insofar as we are composed of that which adheres to natural law, but if and when it does figure us out with the certainty of natural law.....will “I” disappear?Mww

    And my point is that science, as with the projection of reality, wants knowledge, but only "insofar as we are composed of that which adheres to natural law", and, taken in that sense, is only that which meets the standard of being certain, which simple just rules out most of who we are; our lives, our criteria for judgment, for action, for saying something; our possibilities, our freedom, etc.

    Even if proved illusory, not needed in conformity to law, superfluous with respect to determinism writ large.....do we then relinquish relative truths?Mww

    No, to recognize the desire for a reality or science to ground our world with certainty, is not to condemn us to relativity. We have different specific precise criteria for each thing but not the predetermined irrefutable answer. We have to acknowledge our responsibility, which is not the same as reducing our whole society to my opinion, feelings, or thoughts.
  • How would you define 'reality'?
    @Banno @180 Proof @Cidat
    Now the question becomes, to whom does the fear intrinsic to radical skepticism belong?Mww

    I probably can’t paint a picture with enough depth to instill the grip of skeptical doubt, but I do claim that it is not senseless nor should it be dismissed nor solved. We are not dealing with a simple case of attaching a word to an object; let's try: when two people disagree about not only what is important (what the essential criteria are) about an object, but, say, something like justice, e.g., is it restitution of prior wrongs? or just retribution for prior harms? If I say a table is flat with four legs and you say it’s something we study or eat on, we may struggle to see your world as the same as mine, and maybe then the question we imagine of what is real begins to worry us.

    Skepticism is, at bottom, the consciousness of ignorance.Mww

    This seems to say that the take-away of the skeptic’s claim is that we realize we don't have enough (or the right kind of) knowledge, that our problem is an intellectual lack. You characterize this as a limit or that we do not have the capacity. My point is that this limitation is, in a sense, self-inflicted. I'm not saying that we could find the capacity or think our way around a limit, but that knowledge is limited (it's not our fault), which is where our responsibility begins (or we avoid it with the mirage of a perfectly-knowable reality). The truth of skepticism is that we are separate from each other so we can not know the other (their minds), we must respond to them, accept them (or reject them); that it is up to us to project an expression into a new context and then be answerable for the fallout (not that the meaning is in the saying); that we must act and be read by it without complete knowledge of the outcome. Cavell puts it that knowledge is not our only relation to the world. But instead of accepting the structure of the human condition we manufacture this picture of reality and blame ourselves for not knowing it, or it for being unknowable, rather than take on the burden that is the world and what we would be in it (or defined by it, as @180 Proof says). This does not quell our pursuit to learn about the world, only that we understand something in making explicit the various ways we measure each different thing (thus ourselves) rather than forcing one standard of judgment.

    We don’t abstract from, we assign to. Finches don’t inform us as to what they are, but only provide the data from which we tell them how they are to be known. That feat is accomplished with such speculative metaphysical predicates as appearances, particulars, meanings and truths, along with that which unites them all under a logical system, which doesn’t strip away, but PROVIDES our criteria for each thing and the context under which they are applied.Mww

    I could not have put the train of thought any better myself that leads to us creating the world for ourselves. If we can agree that each thing has its own criteria in various contexts, the "logical system" (for each differently) is provided to us, not imposed by us as abstraction into generalized terms. The “data” of a thing are the preexisting criteria that are only "assigned" as they have developed as part of the history of all our lives (forever) with things and others. Rather than tell the world how it is to be known, we must listen for what rationale a thing has for itself, wait for what matters to us about a thing (hidden in the criteria to gauge it, see it done, etc.).

    What I was tracking was that if we want to ensure that the world is "real" (certain), then the fallible part must be me, my perspective, my individuality, my irrationality
    — Antony Nickles

    That is.....er......absolutely.....most agreeable.
    Mww

    This was not meant as a statement or claim. I was telling the story we create about ourselves for the world to maintain a sense of stability. And we might not know the world with certainty, but instead of settling for the ordinary fallible limited understanding we can have, complete certainty remains the gold standard for what "knowledge" is (for reality), so then we assume the fallible part is us, that we only see appearances, etc.

    What if the human cognitive system is itself a logical system?Mww

    Or this is the other fantasy we tell ourselves: that we operate a certain way, say, that we have a systematic perception (once it was a moral faculty), and if we (neuroscience!!) could figure us out, or how we can't see the real world, then we will understand how we are certain, or could compensate for our imperfection, or, as you say:

    What ground do we have to prove certainty, when what we use to prove it, isn’t certain.Mww
  • How would you define 'reality'?
    what does it mean to “fear” the conclusions of a radical skeptic? How would that conclusion manifest?Mww

    I appreciate your asking questions; skepticism is of course a long story (and I won't tell it right), but with Plato and Descartes, etc. radical skepticism differs from regular doubt in that it is not just: how to identify a goldfinch from a robin, but: how do we know that is (an instance of) a table, or a piece of wax? Once we get to that question the fear is that there needs to be an answer or we end up in a place where we are asking how do we know what is real at all. To add fuel to the fire, we want to know what is the right thing to do and know about other people (their minds), and then the wheels come off the bus because we can't find any solution that has any weight in those instances.

    I grant the need to answer the radical skeptic with a solution (rebuttal? refutation?) of a particular kind.Mww

    And this is the bottle we get trapped into, picturing the issue as a problem that must be solved. What Wittgenstein and others found is that the skeptic's abstraction from tables and goldfinchs to generalized terms like appearance and particular and meaning and true, stripped away our criteria for each thing and a context in which to apply them. Without those, our answer to the skeptic's picture of our groundlessness is to re-impose criteria which solve for that conclusion outside any context.

    If ordinary means of judgement result in truth, why wouldn’t that answer the radical skeptic, as a legitimate solution?Mww

    Even if we put the skeptic's claims within an understandably context, the skeptic is correct about our ultimate groundlessness, our separation from each other, the possibility we may not bridge that gap, and that we can not do it with knowledge alone (beforehand, as it were: sidestepping our responsibility). And the fact our ordinary means of judgement are specific for each thing means that truth (true/false) is not the only measure of importance (or truth-value), nor are we setting (imposing) the bar equally across the board with certainty, a certain logic or rationality, etc.

    what is an ordinary means of judgement? Are there extraordinary means?Mww

    The criteria we would ordinarily use would be the measure of, or what counts in deciding, say, the difference between an accident and a mistake. They are the yardstick by which we judge whether the expression of an excuse absolves me of the consequences of an action; whether my expression meets the categorical requirements to call it an excuse, one successfully pulled off. Now if we are worried about leaving our actions in the hands of classification and judgment after the fact, we could remove the context of before and after, and the surrounding circumstances, and simply abstract a generalized theory of action or speech which would remove our part in it.

    I grant the contingency of empirical knowledge is a human condition, but reject the groundlessness of it. Knowledge is an intellectual process giving a solution in itself, which suffices as necessary ground. There is irreducible certainty in human rationality, therefore knowledge is possible. That which is possible must have a ground.Mww

    Math and formal logic and science are grounded within themselves. For the rest, we "give a solution" to ourselves" which is modeled on those and only recognizes "irreducible certainty" suppressing our ordinary, fallible rationale and the regular logic of our lives. There is no assurance of us being understood, no guaranty for our acts, no knowledge to secure our relationship to another.

    This is the desire for certainty to] relinquish us from responsibility for failure.
    — Antony Nickles

    Perhaps, insofar far as the failure is not mine, but the other’s. I try my best to be understood, and that I have tried relinquishes me from responsibility for you not understanding me.
    Mww

    The generalized ideas of intention and meaning are abstractly related to our expressions as reality is to our world. That "I try my best to be understood", to mean something specific, is the desire to have what we say have a meaning that is certain, complete, contained. That I simply control what I say, rather than be answerable for what I have said, as the judgment of what matters in our expressions is after my saying it, to you, here, now.

    we take responsibility to avoid being responsible.
    — Antony Nickles

    I can see taking responsibility FOR avoiding being responsible, but if I do take responsibility, something I’m responsible for is presupposed. It would seem I cannot, then, take responsibility TO avoid being responsible. If I take responsibility I AM responsible for taking it, hence haven’t avoided being responsible at all.
    Mww

    What I said was maybe a bit too poetic to be useful. What I was tracking was that if we want to ensure that the world is "real" (certain), then the fallible part must be me, my perspective, my individuality, my irrationality; if we want our expressions to have a "meaning" (fixed), then the problem must be "you not understanding me". We (humans) take the blame so that the world and our language have the sheen of certainty, because we do not want the burden, the exposure, the instability, of carrying the world and our communications forward ourselves (continually responsible for our lives, our expressions), rather than hiding behind right, rules, rationality, and fact.
  • How would you define 'reality'?
    Descartes’ metaphysics at least, was merely the other of a pair of extremes, in accordance with the human system of rational complementary. As such, he didn’t fear it, or its potential, but rather accepted its formal necessity, for without it, his idea of god would be meaningless.Mww

    Yes, I am saying the fear of the conclusions of the radical skeptic creates the need to answer him with a particular kind of solution, ignoring the ordinary means of judgment we already live within, because they are not a solution.

    ....making the inherent potential for failure and uncertainty seem like (the) only state (left to us)
    — Antony Nickles

    .....IS to succumb. It just makes no sense to me, to argue the validity in fearing a mere potential, or in doubting the possibility of avoiding it. Why would anybody even get out of bed in the morning, if he was constantly wracked with fear for making potential failure the rule of the day?

    Nahhhhh.....no profit whatsoever in allowing the exception to the rule to become the expectation.
    Mww

    I'm not claiming this reality that we postulate is in response to a "mere" potential or that in abandoning its picture we are giving up. The ultimate groundlessness of knowledge is not an exception but our human condition, without an intellectual solution. Nevertheless we function, and fail; sometimes it does not work out; and we bear that ongoing burden.

    As regards reality, if we always receive, who or what is projecting? ...[we] always and only tell ourselves how reality appears to be. As soon as this is understood as the fundamental condition of the human state of affairs, there is no legitimate reason to fearMww

    This is not to deny the world, just its separation into appearance and reality; which is the differentiation we use to salvage reality as a generalized certainty, making our experience or perception what is limited, tainted, or only individual. The history of our lives, culture, and expressions are the fabric of our criteria for each thing, which responds to our inquiries, provided we are not demanding the answers provide generalizable certainty, as we equate with "reality".

    I make the case for wishing to be understood BUT NOT holding with any fear of failing in my own understanding, you make the case for the fear of not being understood BECAUSE of the potential for failure in one’s own understanding.Mww

    As I mentioned previously, the confidence with which Emerson implores us to act is to rely upon our everyday criteria, which is not the same as an arrogance that we are not afraid of failing because we act on a certainty based on reality (not that that is your position). I am not making the case that we should be afraid, but that our creation of this picture of reality is the result and evidence of the fact that we are afraid (like an overcompensation to an insecurity); that we want to ensure our being understood, that we want our knowledge to guaranty our acts beforehand, relinquish us from responsibility for failure. This is not fear of failure of "one's own understanding", but the scisim of us from the world, and so we save the world and internalize the failure as our own; we take responsibility to avoid being responsible.
  • How would you define 'reality'?
    Our compulsion for certainty is from our fear of the failure of our ordinary means of judgment
    — Antony Nickles

    Only the common, or the uninformed, succumb to such disaster. Everyone makes mistakes; no need to fear anything.
    Mww

    Tell that to Descartes. We imagine disaster though we have ordinary ways to mitigate it: excuses, apologies, etc. And we do not succumb, we react, creating the standard of reality and making the inherent potential for failure and uncertainty seem like only our (my) state rather than of everything.

    The human compulsion for certainty is merely a reflection of our nature as rational agents to seek truth, and we seek truth because anything else is reducible to it. Simple as that.Mww

    Yet if we reduce the world to true or false, we make it impossible to see the variety and complexity of knowledge and wisdom that we seek.

    All this just seems like a solution in need of a problem.Mww

    The problem is the projection of reality as a solution for our inability to manage with the imperfect criteria of our lives, our responsibility for them, and the otherwise groundlessness of our world.
  • How would you define 'reality'?
    We may see the world as intelligible, capable of telling us its secrets, but not if we require that it be certain knowledge or necessarily stem from a cause.
    — Antony Nickles

    Wait. Wha??? W says we’re compelled to certainty, but we should at the same time disregard the first principle of certainty, re: cause and effect? .....what did I mistake?
    Mww

    Our compulsion for certainty is from our fear of the failure of our ordinary means of judgment, and so we strip away any context, abstracting to "reality" as a generalization to which we can attribute a certain ground, a consistent cause that will ensure certainty. As you quote:

    ....(We) must approach nature with the view, indeed, of receiving information from it, not, however, in the character of a pupil, who listens to all that his master chooses to tell him, but in that of a judge, who compels the witnesses to reply to those questions which he himself thinks fit to propose.... — Kant, Critique of Pure Reason

    Wittgenstein attributes Kant's imposition of the terms of judgment as what blinds us to the vast variety of criteria of every different thing, as he himself was guilty of in the Tractatus, which led to his inability to speak on so much of our lives. The desire for certainty and resolution precludes the rational means we have of investigating and discussing everything else, though it may not lead to agreement or avoid our failings.

    the human system attempts to... if not attain to certainty, at least have some certainty by which to judge our comprehensions a priori. Hence, the three Aristotelian laws of logical thoughtMww

    Our fear of our groundlessness creates a desire for necessity worked out beforehand, thus the popularity of Aristotle's observations. If we can just find premises which ensure conclusions, then we can skip the messy work of sorting out an instant case based on what prior criteria our lives have for each thing. We forget that formal logic's stringent criteria limits its applicability only to certain topics (wanting instead to apply it everywhere). So we create "reality" to apply our own criteria universally and then we internalize uncertainty within ourselves in order to have control over it. Thus we "judge our comprehensions" before they have a chance for the regular failures the world has and we in it.

    Still, to be compelled implies the limitless, insofar as it demands an end even if it be contradictory or absurd, the very epitome of irrationality, but to merely wish implies its own limit, and it is always better to be unsatisfied that irrational.Mww

    But to be unsatisfied in our wish for certainty makes us dismiss anything not able to meet that standard as "absurd" or "irrational". So we are the ones which create a "limit" for what rationality is: certainty, completeness, necessity, and the abstract removal of context and ourselves. And our limit (Kant's line) creates the picture of a "reality" which we can then judge everything else against in which we cannot be sure of beforehand (in ourselves, "a priori").

    But the ordinary criteria in our lives do have prior standards of identity, judgment, completion, and other implications, though they do not ensure our actions or expressions, and are subject to the context and require our subsequent and continuing involvement (in contrast to our wish to structure rationality or ourselves to avoid, beforehand, this responsibility).
  • How would you define 'reality'?
    Illusions, mistakes and disagreements are most simply accounted for if what is the case is different to what is thought to be the case. Reality is not what one experiences. Reality is what is the case.Banno

    That my experience (what I saw, touched, tasted) can be an illusion, that I can be mistaken in my memory, my assumptions, makes it seem as if even the closest things to me cannot be trusted. We take the failure of our best case scenario as a sign there must be a different version which is not subject to the limitations of our ordinary means of judgment, instead of looking at it that our failure and limitation happens in normal rational ways. We are apart from each other and still learning and obscure to ourselves and subject to deception or lack of control. However, if we only ascribe certainty and solidity to the world, we strip away the ordinary fallible, different means of judging every separate type of thing.

    As @Manuel has said, "reality" is a title with few duties except with respect to something else. And so as @Banno has said, we are mistaken, fall prey to illusions, etc. And as I have pointed out, we become deluded, fooled, dream, hope, etc., but "Reality" is not a thing or quality itself, but only a relation to a state of confusion. We find ourselves lost to our inquiry, away in our own thoughts, even in a picture created by our desire to simplify, and we need to be brought back to the case at hand. But this is not one thing, found in one way, judged by one standard.
  • How would you define 'reality'?
    why shouldn’t we wish for certainty in some form or another? If we trust the principle of law with respect to empirical science, why not the principle of sufficient reason for pure metaphysics?Mww

    Wittgenstein will say we are compelled (to strip our world of any measure and replace it with a requirement for certainty). We may hope that a moral discussion will end in agreement, but the temptation is to define our morals beforehand so we are ensured of what is right. We may see the world as intelligible, capable of telling us its secrets, but not if we require that it be certain knowledge or necessarily stem from a cause.
  • How would you define 'reality'?
    I mean, if we look at the ocean, the blueness we see and the wetness we feel are surely part of the reality of the ocean (for us).Manuel

    You can take out "the reality" and, if you take out "surely" (certainly), then you can even take out "(for us)". We may turn out (afterwards) to be mistaken (in a waterpark, say), yet the world does not come crashing down--only our desire to be sure beforehand.

    What I am trying to say is that I think it's likely that we cannot study scientifically those aspects of the world which we find most interesting:

    Music, colours, politics, most aspect of experience, history and so on.
    Manuel

    Well the scientific method only works with certain things. But also, particular topics do not respond to a requirement for certainty. We may not be ensured of a result in a moral conversation, but it does not make it irrational.

    We have some interesting ideas and categorizations, but not "theoretical depth".Manuel

    As I said, our ordinary criteria allow us to rigorously dig into these topics with specificity, precision, accuracy, distinction, clarity, etc. So there may be something else causing you to overlook philosophy's insights into color (which I mention above), and its ability to add to the discussion of justice.

    The implications we find when we say, for example, "You live in your own reality." are more concrete than all the machinations about what "reality" is. — Antony Nickles

    …If we speak of "reality" without such specifications, the conversation will be broad as we aren't yet specified by what we agree to take as aspect of reality that are relevant.
    Manuel

    This is how philosophy removes the context of a concept in order to slip in the criteria that something be certain. The thing is that we don’t speak of anything without the specifications and implications of it in our lives, so if we don’t remove them but focus on them, they are what we intellectually can grab onto about something.
  • How would you define 'reality'?
    This looks to me as an attempt to (try to) clarify the phenomenal properties we add to the world.Manuel

    Not sure what "this" is (gonna assume everything I said, which seems like an oversimplification may be coming), but no, I am talking about everything. Just not differentiating/separating a "reality" from something we don't quite get at, or only get at rationally, or through "phenomenal properties".

    Yes, we grow into certain molds - set forth by nature - we don't know exactly how, aside from saying that genetics play a role.Manuel

    What I am saying is that we do know how to look into ourselves and our world, if only we get past our paralyzing need for certainty (say by falling back to only genetics).

    But I think that novels explore these things you are speaking of quite well.Manuel

    It wouldn't be the first time philosophy was looked down upon as stylistic, but I agree with you, only I take our expressions as more than novel. The implications we find when we say, for example, "You live in your own reality." are more concrete than all the machinations about what "reality" is.
  • How would you define 'reality'?
    Well okay, then we're talking past each since my aside (So, no need for some quasi-platonic "transcendental deduction" ... pace Kant et al). — 180 Proof
    dismisses the "traditional use" of a priori.
    180 Proof

    I understand you want to avoid "quasi-platonic 'transcendental deduction' " but that is not to dismiss what "a priori" is, but only what you think are the necessary conclusions based on the implications of the criteria for inclusion in its class of reasoning. I disagree with what I take as your understanding of what the criteria are for being a priori, as well as your assumption the above are the only outcomes.

    My conception is that "participating in a situation ... with its associated entanglements" is the a priori (e.g. Merleau-Ponty's flesh, Buber's dialogical encounter Witty's forms-of-life, Freddy's bodily perspectivism, Hume's empirical customs & habits of mind, Benny Spinoza's bondage ... re: embodied / enactive cognition). Thus, my focus on 'brain organization – experiencing, judging, reasoning are brain-effects (outputs) and not causes (e.g. "categories" that "constitute experience").180 Proof

    To call judging an effect of the brain is of course true in the sense our brains affect everything we do, but it does not have control over everything. The criteria for judging a good example of a dog breed are set by the American Kennel Club. The criteria for what we say is "reality", I could agree, are embedded in the forms of our lives, with each form (concept, category) having its necessary criteria to be walking, seeing, thinking, compromising, understanding, etc. To reduce these to effects of the brain is to gain knowledge and certainty, but only in overlooking all the depth of the history of life.

    The reason to distinguish judgments based on a priori reasoning is that we want to have the necessity of criteria of a category for our judgment: that if I'm going to claim you're not seeing reality, only specific questions are expected to be asked, categories of evidence considered, and only certain answers will be accepted (within the lines of our a piori criteria and their types of justifications). "You need to face reality, they are not coming back." would be followed by "I know they will!" which could lead to "You're dreaming; I'm done." Also, "You're not experiencing the real world." would be met with something like "I'm only going to stay with my parents until fall." Now you can say whatever you like, but "I am!! I'm participating!!" seems to lose the thread on not only how but why we differentiate reality a priori.

    Now I am not minimizing the a posteriori as Kant wanted to (out of a desire for certainty). It is critical to put a concept like reality into a context in drawing out the implications, and, when we make judgements, we not only must consider the context (applicable to that concept), but that I am also personally, individually, involved sometimes in how things come off (it's not all about knowledge), though not that my "experience" determines anything (outside of my past participation), nor that the "situation" is our brain/body (other than maybe times when the brain is not functioning normally).
  • How would you define 'reality'?
    real is best conceived as a rational quality
    — Mww

    Again, the abstraction of reality into a quality......
    — Antony Nickles

    Notice the difference?
    Mww

    I didn't differentiate, because it doesn't matter. Rational or not, it is ascription of a "quality" to the world that starts the slippery slope. "Rational' easily slides towards predetermined, complete, self-enclosed, and, most importantly, certain. Of course, if you did not mean to say quality, but simply that the world is best conceived as rational, then I misunderstood.

    Cool thing about a 240 yo hole? Nobody’s successfully filled it in. Scoffed at it, ridiculed it, bastardized it, FUBAR’ed it....but never showed its irrationalityMww

    Yes, it is understandable. It involves the fear of separation from the world and so the desire to impose a solution to ensure our relation. The fear is very real, and the desire is understandable.
  • How would you define 'reality'?
    I don't think "things in themselves" can be studied empirically... So I agree with the spirit of the argument, but I don't think we can study MUCH of "what interests us", in much depth. From phenomenal properties such as colors and sounds to political organizations. We just can't get much depth empirically about these things.Manuel

    I'm not suggesting an emperical investigation. Instead of projecting (the "essence") into a thing, subject ahead of time to certainty, we are investigating what is important to a thing being what it is--what is said to be an essential distinction of a color? Unlike objects, if we have the same color on two objects, we say there is one color, not two instances of the same color. This is part of what color is; how a priori we judge the sameness of color, compared to saying there are two colors, meaning different colors, not different instances. These criteria are embedded in our lives and we grow into them. They are the depth to our unexamined connections to the world.
  • How would you define 'reality'?
    ???180 Proof

    I guess what I said might be entirely inscrutable in not explicitly explaining that I took you to be saying that "a priori" was a function of the brain automatically interacting with the world. I imagine your use of the term here was to point out that our brain affects our world before we experience it, or that it is our experiencing in general. The reason I then said "We would like the functions of the brain (science) to be responsible for our connection to the world" is because, though science could tell us about how our brain affects our experience, it only makes it philosophically relevant if our brain was more involved in how we are connected (and disconnected) from our world, how to make clear-headed (realistic) judgments in it, see it for the dog-eat-dog power struggle that it really is, don't get caught in flights of fancy, etc. What I took it to come down to--though not necessarily in response to your comment--is only a desire to have the certainty of brain functions be the measure of our situation, carry our responsibility for us.

    As a contrast, I was describing a priori's traditional use to distinguish between the types of reasoning used in the act of making judgments, in which a priori rationale come prior to our experience, but this in the sense of prior to me participating in a situation (with its associated entanglements of my feelings and interests). But how we judge, what matters to us, our standards, are in our lives already (prior to) and are categorically necessary (without me) in that if an expression doesn't fit into the criteria of an apology, it just isn't a real apology. A priori rationale would be: you must be sincere, you must understand what you did, you must say I'm sorry, your forgiveness is contingent on its acceptance by the other, etc.).
  • How would you define 'reality'?
    real is best conceived as a rational qualityMww

    I'm pretty sure when I post, it just flies into the ether (it feels unreal). Again, the abstraction of reality into a quality was caused by the desire to have certainty. We are digging in a 240-year-old hole.

    ...reality is whatever there is (for us). Anything beyond that or whatever grounds this reality, is admitted as mostly unknowable.Manuel

    And the fact that our (non-mathematical) world is not certain freaks us out so much we cut ourselves off from the thing-in-itself (from what essentially interests us) so that we can impose certainty onto the (our) world, even though we can't know (for certain) the "real" world. We kill the world before we even get started knowing each thing by their everyday criteria.

    To say "the a priori is not part of reality" amounts to saying 'brain organization' doesn't constitute a functioning brain – "a part of reality" – when, in fact, it does.180 Proof

    We would like the functions of the brain (science) to be responsible for our connection to the world, but a priori is a basis for judgment, and our judgments already (prior to experience) have everyday criteria (apart from us) for what makes each thing, necessarily, what it is (categorically); here, what matters to us about (i.e., the criteria for) reality is, in part, that it is in contrast to illusion, delusion, denial, fakery, etc.

    Without any shadow of doubt [as: lack of confidence], amidst this vertigo of shows [appearances] and politics, I settle myself ever the firmer in the creed, that we should not postpone and refer [to a reality] and wish [for certainty], but do broad justice where we are [in a context], by whomsoever we deal with, accepting [before knowing] our actual companions and circumstances [conditions of each thing], however humble [ordinary the criteria] or odious, as the mystic officials to whom the universe has delegated its whole pleasure for us.Emerson, Experience
  • How would you define 'reality'?
    It sounds like you're discussing the intersubjective aspects of object permanence -- on-topic -- but in code, or using the forum as a metaphor.Srap Tasmaner

    Hey, I can only point.
  • How would you define 'reality'?
    In my experience, if you come across it on the page, you get the most recent version. If you follow a link to your name, you get the version that was current when it was first saved. If you add a mention to a post later, the person mentioned doesn't get a notice.T Clark

    I emailed support and they said"

    You're right, edits to comments do not generate new notifications. We have no plans to change this at this time.

    Links to a specific comment shouldn't change, regardless of whether it's edited or not. Are you sharing the comment's permalink (retrieve this using the "share" icon)?

    I don't think the Share arrow at the bottom of a edited and saved document does us any good, but it sounds like it doesn't send a new notification, which is fine, but if the link to a specific comment shouldn't change after its edited, I'm not sure the link passes through to the edited document. If you can use the notification link to get to this document and see if it has "TEST 1" at the bottom (which I will edit in after I post it, then we know the notification link points to the re-edited document.

    TEST 1
  • How would you define 'reality'?
    Thanks, I've edited it a few times (and probably will again). I'm not sure how that works, but I think if you come at it from a link, you get the old version if you don't refresh the page.
  • How would you define 'reality'?
    Is it possible to give a rigorous definition of 'reality'?Cidat
    @Banno@James Riley

    For philosophy, reality is an abstract quality, such as appearance or essence (though not of an object, but the whole world). The criteria for the quality that we impose is its fixed, certain nature.
    Reality is the word we use when we go hunting for certainty.Tom Storm

    The sense is that we can be wrong about the world, but, if we are right, it is because of a relationship with reality (correspondence, reference, etc.). This is the common understanding of a fact that is true (or sometimes knowledge, compared to opinion or "belief").

    But the "factness" of a scientific fact (its certainty, its dependability) is based on the method of science, not its correspondence with "reality". Its factness is its repeatability, its constancy, its reliability, its seeming causality. And this desire for a set relationship with something certain, universal, also tempts us to impose the criteria of reality on things other than those subject to the scientific method, instead of seeing what matters to each thing's judgment, identity, correctness, completion, etc.

    And this is not to deny the world. In fact, we learn more about the (real) world we live in than a definition of reality by looking (passively receiving, describing) instead of saying so much (actively defining, grasping, imposing, explaining).

    If we look at what we imply when we talk about "reality" (or what is real), we say: that we got fooled, as by a fake (not real); that we are deluded, as in creating our own world (own reality); that we should stop day-dreaming, and get back to the business at hand, with tangible (real) results; that hoping will not get us there if we do not deal with the realities (economics, logistics, etc.); that we are only speculating or opining, and not investigating, asking questions (about something other than our own thoughts); that we are in denial of something that happened, or that there is no such possibility. There is also the sense @180 Proof provides:
    The real [reality] is that which hurts you badly, often fatally, when you don't respect it.
    Say, "They can ignore the consequences all they like now, but at some point reality is gonna smack them in the face."

    I'm sure there are more, as these are not my definitions (nor definitions at all), and there is more to rigorously dig into, with more specificity, precision, accuracy, distinction, variety, by drawing out examples of when we talk about reality (our history of expressions) to find the implications and criteria (in what contexts) that this data shows about our lives, thus ourselves, than the intellectual gymnastics that philosophy goes through to make our world "reality" before even getting started.

    I think reality is circumstance. I think reality is nature. It brings to mind an Emerson quote, emphasis added:
    James Riley
    Here [In nature] we find sanctity which shames our religions and reality which discredits our heroes. Here we find nature to be circumstance, which dwarfs all other circumstance, and judges like a god all men that come to her.Emerson, Nature

    I join in this focus on circumstance (we could say we make "heroes" of scientific certainty, ideals, forms), but I would tweak it that Emerson is not saying "reality is nature" (it is not a statement--he is not solving skepticism); but he is redirecting us to our ordinary circumstances (contexts Wittgenstein and Nietszche will emphasize). Not imposing certainty, but finding the criteria of each thing, in the contexts in which they live (could be extended to), instead of abstracting away from any context in order to apply "reality" to everything.
  • Some remarks on Wittgenstein's private language argument (PLA)
    I haven't really considered this before, I'll have to give it more thought. Thanks for the reply.Sam26

    As I said, I draw it out in more detail in the OP I titled "Bedrock Rules" (for lack of a catchier headline). Luke and I sidetrack into meaning and intention at a certain point as that needs to be cleared up to talk meaningfully about rules. It is an appropriate discussion here as what people call the private language argument is an example, not a conclusion, the fallout of which is not just taking the picture of "meaning" and moving it externally, publicly.
  • Some remarks on Wittgenstein's private language argument (PLA)
    if I intend to mean something within the framework of public meaning, then I can intend what I mean, if that intention is a public conveyance. So, I'm transporting, so to speak, my intentionality into the public domain where my intention gets in line with public meaning (is evaluated publicly) and rule-following.Sam26

    I addressed this in the post to Luke (and many other posts in my OP on Cavell and Rules), but my claim is that the concept of "intention" is discussed afterwards. There is no intention or cause beforehand or during every time. I can choose what I say, for a speech or when talking to my angry wife, but even then I do not intend what I "mean", even if I am intending a public "meaning". There is no "intention" in this way, and this is not how "meaning" works. I say something, and the context and the criteria of the concepts allow it to be judged as meaningful along the sense or uses of that concept in that context. We ask "What'd you mean?" or "Did you intend to shoot that donkey?" and these questions and our responsibility to answer can be endless. Your "intention" is not transported and does not align with a "meaning" or "rule", public or not. Such a picture of intention and meaning goes away. This is a little terse but I've been battling it with Luke over a number of weeks.
  • Some remarks on Wittgenstein's private language argument (PLA)
    @Sam26 @Luke

    @Metaphysician Undercover has long had issues with identity, numerical equivalence, and material equivalence. Better not to go down the garden path with him.
    Banno

    Not that I want to get lost in that jungle, but we say you and I have the same sensation/experience to the extent we express it and agree we do. "I have a scratchy throat." "Me too!" "But mine is raw and only scratchy on the back." "Mine too!" Then to say "But surely another person can't have THIS pain!" (#253) is to want to remain unknowable, unreadable, or to have a crisis about whether there is anything that is mine, there is anything to me (there very well may not be). But there is also a sense in which my pain is not the same as yours, not identical, and that is that mine is in my body, and yours in yours. Numerically there are two pains, in different places. But to say "I am in pain" is not necessarily to differentiate who is in pain, but to say "Help me!", to make a claim on you for myself (#405). Thus in saying your pain is not (I can't know it is) the same as mine, I am, in a sense, denying you. (Cavell, Knowing and Acknowledging)