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Post 60

Monday, December 1, 2003 - 3:36amSanction this postReply
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Regi,

Thanks for the thoughts. Under your definitions of subjective and objective reality then I also completely disagree with subjectivism. I'm not sure, however, that you would agree with my conclusions about what our objective reality might consist of. Could you let me know if they don't?

"The objective view is that there is an objective reality which exists independently of anyone's awareness or knowledge of it, but that reality includes real objective beings who are aware of it and do have knowledge about it. The subjective view is that there is nothing but consciousness."

As you define subjectivism here I would completely agree that it is in contradiction to consciousness. Thanks for a clear definition, I was struggling to define the two views.
When I wrote, "...both [subjectivity and objectivity] account for the available evidence ..." I was in fact referring to subjective reality in a different sense, one that doesn't seem to fit in the definition you just gave. Actually, it works under your definition of objective reality.
You wrote, "Well, you might get away with this with a philosopher, but when your banker gives you a call about your over-drawn checking account, your argument that both his accounting and your accounting both account for the facts probably will not work. It does not work when talking about reality, either."


Consciousness assumes being conscious of something, and the facts of this reality (this something) are discovered by our being conscious of it. We treat the world around us with respect because we have learnt that we cannot break certain laws without consequences. We do not expect a pen to 'fall' upwards because we have experienced it falling down so many times, so do we not presume that our bank and ourselves operate on different evidence. I think we can even infer the rule A is A by examining facts; a pen cannot be anything else at the same time, a ball cannot be anything else at the same time... nothing can be what it is and something else at the same time. These rules are necessarily because of what our reality is, but we cannot infer everything about reality from them.

It is the substance of what we usually refer to as reality that I was stating cannot be determined by the available evidence. That is, if our consciousness is conscious of a Matrix type world, or if we are conscious of a dream world, or some other world. There is no reason to hold consciousness does not or cannot exist in a dream or some other 'fantastic' form. We are still conscious of something, and it is not consciousness, so there is no contradiction. And I suppose it fits into the definition of an objective reality, and these 'realities' would probably be better labeled 'perceptive illusions' then actual realities.

This is why I partly defended the subjective reality view before. I assumed that the opinion that what we take as a sort of total reality might only be a small world inside a larger reality was in opposition to the objective reality view. I now see it isn't, but I do wonder how many 'subjectivists' are only subjective in that they think that our perceived reality might be a part of something larger, like the dream or matrix existence.

Of course to claim that you know what this bigger reality is would be impossible; neither atomic physics nor metaphysical deliberation can unveil this.

Thanks,
David

Post 61

Monday, December 1, 2003 - 10:20amSanction this postReply
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[Regi:] “Without humanity, there is no law of identity.

[Jaume:] “I think that without humanity, the law of identity existed. Thats why we are able to describe and to acquire knowledge from prehuman events, events that necessarily left the law of identity inviolated.

[Regi:] “If I have understood you, I think you are making a mistake between the nature of things and our understanding of them.

One of my intentions is to understand how is that the nature of things is intelligible.


[Regi:] “Everything that exists has a specific nature.

Sure. Still, identical things have something identical. And that was the core of my question.


[Regi:] “As we discover aspects of the nature of things, we call that discovered knowledge ‘laws,’ but it is never absolutely complete, and often has inaccuracies.

Under your view, is 1+1=2 is not complete? and is innacurate?


[Regi:] ”This does not make them any less real knowledge. For example, Newton's laws of physics were the best possible knowledge of the nature of the behavior of physical existence at that time. Later, Einstein and company discovered more about the nature of physical existence and developed news laws we call relativity and quantum mechanics.

”But relativity and quantum mechanics did not supplant Newtonian physics, as the post modernists and other anti-intellectuals would like to maintain. The "new" physics is only a refinement of Newtonian physics and would have been impossible without Newton's discoveries.


On my opinions about philosophy of science, you may see the further evolution (from the moment you left it) of the discussion of Russell Madden’s paper with title “You Might Be a Fascist”.


Obviously these laws do not exist in reality itself, because they would otherwise not be subject to change.

My point is that (real) science, (real) philosophy, and (real) knowledge are not subject to change. Or is perhaps the result of 1+1 subject to change? And why should it be different in reference to less “obvious” patterns of reality?


[Jaume:] “Moreover, how can we perceive identity in two different particulars?

”My answer: because we define the concept identity from a real, unmaterial identity that is present both particulars. My answer: because we define the concept identity from a real, unmaterial identity that is present in both particulars.


[Regi:] “I think the problem here is the meaning of the term "identity," which I am afraid even Ayn Rand did not pay enough attention to. Every existent has an identity which consists of all its "essential" qualities (characteristics and attributes). Essential qualities are those which an existent cannot be the existent it is without and having them, but having them cannot be any other existent. With that understanding, A is A, only means, every existent has the qualities it has and no others.

”Now how, "an existent has the qualities it has and no others" can be "in" anything, much less "in" more than one thing, you will have to explain.\i{”

My question is still not responded by you; to put it (roughly) in your own words:

1.- \i{how
can we perceive the same essential quality (or qualities) in 1 and in 1, if they are two different particulars, i.e., they are two different ones?

2.- How} is correct to consider 1+1 equal to 2 for ever}, independently of the “knower”?

Regards,

Jaume

Post 62

Monday, December 1, 2003 - 10:30amSanction this postReply
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[Regi:] “Without humanity, there is no law of identity.

[Jaume:] “I think that without humanity, the law of identity existed. Thats why we are able to describe and to acquire knowledge from prehuman events, events that necessarily left the law of identity inviolated.

[Regi:] “If I have understood you, I think you are making a mistake between the nature of things and our understanding of them.

One of my intentions is to understand how is that the nature of things is intelligible.


[Regi:] “Everything that exists has a specific nature.

Sure. Still, identical things have something identical. And that was the core of my question.


[Regi:] “As we discover aspects of the nature of things, we call that discovered knowledge ‘laws,’ but it is never absolutely complete, and often has inaccuracies.

Under your view, is 1+1=2 is not complete? and is innacurate?


[Regi:] ”This does not make them any less real knowledge. For example, Newton's laws of physics were the best possible knowledge of the nature of the behavior of physical existence at that time. Later, Einstein and company discovered more about the nature of physical existence and developed news laws we call relativity and quantum mechanics.

”But relativity and quantum mechanics did not supplant Newtonian physics, as the post modernists and other anti-intellectuals would like to maintain. The "new" physics is only a refinement of Newtonian physics and would have been impossible without Newton's discoveries.


On my opinions about philosophy of science, you may see the further evolution (from the moment you left it) of the discussion of Russell Madden’s paper with title “You Might Be a Fascist”.


Obviously these laws do not exist in reality itself, because they would otherwise not be subject to change.

My point is that (real) science, (real) philosophy, and (real) knowledge are not subject to change. Or is perhaps the result of 1+1 subject to change? And why should it be different in reference to less “obvious” patterns of reality?


[Jaume:] “Moreover, how can we perceive identity in two different particulars?

”My answer: because we define the concept identity from a real, unmaterial identity that is present both particulars. My answer: because we define the concept identity from a real, unmaterial identity that is present in both particulars.


[Regi:] “I think the problem here is the meaning of the term "identity," which I am afraid even Ayn Rand did not pay enough attention to. Every existent has an identity which consists of all its "essential" qualities (characteristics and attributes). Essential qualities are those which an existent cannot be the existent it is without and having them, but having them cannot be any other existent. With that understanding, A is A, only means, every existent has the qualities it has and no others.

”Now how, "an existent has the qualities it has and no others" can be "in" anything, much less "in" more than one thing, you will have to explain.\i{”

My question is still not responded by you; to put it (roughly) in your own words:

1.- \i{how
can we perceive the same essential quality (or qualities) in 1 and in 1, if they are two different particulars, i.e., they are two different ones?

2.- How} is correct to consider 1+1 equal to 2 for ever}, independently of the “knower”?

Regards,

Jaume

Post 63

Tuesday, December 2, 2003 - 7:49amSanction this postReply
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David,

Thank you for your comments.

I think we can even infer the rule A is A by examining facts; a pen cannot be anything else at the same time, a ball cannot be anything else at the same time... nothing can be what it is and something else at the same time. These rules are necessarily because of what our reality is, but we cannot infer everything about reality from them.

I'm not certain exactly what you are getting at, but these two thoughts immediately occur to me. Of course we cannot infer everything about reality from the law of identity alone, else we could quit science and simply think about things. That was Aristotle's mistake. He thought men could do science the same way they do philosophy, but in science you have to actually examine the things you want to understand. Aristotle only thought about them and got most of them wrong. For example, he assumed women had fewer teeth than men, which mistake he could have corrected by asking Mrs. Aristotle to open her mouth and counting her teeth.

The second thought is, there is only one reality, the one that can be known, that is, the one we are conscious of. Even though we are only conscious of very little of reality directly, and are conscious of most of it indirectly, by means of its behavior and the interaction of its components, (all of sub-atomic physics, for example), we are aware of them because they really are part of our reality. If there were something that we could not be conscious of in any way whatsoever, not indirectly, not by extrapolating from what we can be conscious of, it would not be real. If anything exists at all, it has to have some relationship with everything else that exists, there must to be some kind of interaction. If something had no relationship at all with real existence, no interaction of any kind, even if it were possible, how could such a thing matter? (It is not possible, however).

... if our consciousness is conscious of a Matrix type world, or if we are conscious of a dream world, or some other world.

These kinds of conjectures all commit the fallacy of the "stolen concept." Please check the link that even describes one of the most common examples you used, the "dream." I will be glad to discuss this further, because it is a common question, but I think you will see the answer for yourself.

There is no reason to hold consciousness does not or cannot exist in a dream or some other 'fantastic' form. We are still conscious of something, and it is not consciousness, so there is no contradiction. And I suppose it fits into the definition of an objective reality, and these 'realities' would probably be better labeled 'perceptive illusions' then actual realities.

I think we already know what is not correct here. But there is one other comment that needs to be made. There are those whose consciousness is disconnected from reality. We know how that works however. Dreams, fantasies, delusions, and hallucinations are made of material originally derived perceptually, and stored in memory. We use this same memory material when "picturing" things, as in "imagination." When that process is sometimes disconnected from volitional control, it results in all the kinds of pathologies we just described. But they are just that, pathological.

... I do wonder how many 'subjectivists' are only subjective in that they think that our perceived reality might be a part of something larger, like the dream or matrix existence.

All of them, but not everyone who believes our reality is part of a larger reality is a subjectivist. There are some religious people who believe the material existence we perceive (the natural world), for example, is a subset of a larger reality called the supernatural world. This is not a subjectivist view, because they believe our consciousness of the natural world is consciousness of the supernatural world, only imperfectly.

Of course to claim that you know what this bigger reality is would be impossible; neither atomic physics nor metaphysical deliberation can unveil this.

Exactly, and that should be your clue. If it cannot be known at all, it does not exist.

Regi

Post 64

Tuesday, December 2, 2003 - 8:54amSanction this postReply
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Jaume,

Thanks for the comments and questions.

One of my intentions is to understand how is that the nature of things is intelligible.

[Regi:] “Everything that exists has a specific nature.”

Sure. Still, identical things have something identical. And that was the core of my question.


Again, I think you are confusing existents with their attributes, qualities, or properties. No two existents are identical. If two existents have exactly the same qualities in every way, they are not two, they are the same existent. Everything that exists must be differentiated in some way from everything else that exists, which means, it must have some quality or attribute that differentiates it from all other existents. (Relative qualities are real qualities by the way, so that existents like atoms, which are identical in every other way are still differentiated by their positional qualities.)


[Regi:] “As we discover aspects of the nature of things, we call that discovered knowledge ‘laws,’ but it is never absolutely complete, and often has inaccuracies.”

Under your view, is 1+1=2 is not complete? and is inaccurate?


"Under my view," 1+1=2 is not an aspect of the nature of things, which having been discovered we call a law. 1+1=2 does not describe any attribute of any existent. This is a great mistake begun by Pythagoras, and is even smuggled into Ayn Rand's Objectivism as part of her epistemology.

Ayn Rand correctly identified the fact that mathematics is a method. The concepts of mathematics pertain only to the proper use of that method, not to any fact of physical existence. Number is not a quality of any material existent. No material existent has the quality three, or five, or 282.

As a method, mathematics can be used to absolutely determine the nature of countable collections, and approximately determine the nature of measurable attributes. The facts mathematics enable us to understand are only relationships. Numbers are not qualities or attributes of any existent. 'Five," is not a quality of a cow, or even five cows. Five is a quality of our concept of the nature of a group. It does not extend to physical existents (or any existent that is being counted).


[Regi:] ”This does not make them any less real knowledge. For example, Newton's laws of physics were the best possible knowledge of the nature of the behavior of physical existence at that time. Later, Einstein and company discovered more about the nature of physical existence and developed news laws we call relativity and quantum mechanics.

My point is that (real) science, (real) philosophy, and (real) knowledge are not subject to change. Or is perhaps the result of 1+1 subject to change? And why should it be different in reference to less “obvious” patterns of reality?


By "subject to change," I no not mean those facts we have established can change, but the fact that we can never know everything, and we know some things only approximately. Therefore, we are always adding new knowledge, and refining our approximations.

For example, we have a pretty good idea how far the sun is from the earth, but these kinds of measurements are always approximations, in that we must say, the earth is x + or - y distance from the earth. Within the limits of the + and -, the measurement is definite knowledge. We know absolutely the sun is not further than x+y, nor closer than x-y. Still, there can be a change in that knowledge, in that we can make it more precise. That does not mean the certainty of the knowledge we have now is any less.

I think what you are saying is that the sun is some exact distance from the earth, which we cannot exactly determine, and it is that exact distance that must be known before the science of that measurement is really science. You may take the position, but must understand, it is not what science means. You might be interested in this article: If They Believe That - Science, which is actually about the perversion of science and pervasiveness of pseudoscience and junk science. At the beginning are four objective tests for science. I would be interested in your thoughts on those.

[Jaume:] “Moreover, how can we perceive identity in two different particulars?

...

My question is still not responded by you; to put it (roughly) in your own words:

1.- how can we perceive the same essential quality (or qualities) in 1 and in 1, if they are two different particulars, i.e., they are two different ones?


Maybe I do not understand the question. I thought I answered it, but apparently I haven't, else you would not still be asking it.

I frankly do not see the difficulty. If I see a red apple and I see a red book, the "red" that I "see" is the same experience for me in both cases. Why do you think I would have any difficulty in knowing that this experience "seeing red" when looking at the book is the same perceptual experience "seeing red" I had when looking at the apple.

The problem is the word, "same." The perceptual quality "red" of the apple and the book which I perceive as "red" in both cases is the same quality only in this sense that they have the same "identity," that is, are similarly defined. There is not some "thing" redness that is "in" both the apple and the book.

Here is what I mean. The color of the apple and the color of the book cannot be the same thing. To be the same thing, the apple and the book would have to be the same thing. The "red" of the apple is the color of the apple, not the color of the book. The "red" of the book is the color of the book, not the color of the apple. The color of the book could be blue. We would not say, in that case, the color of the apple and the color of the book are the "same thing."

If the color of a red apple and a blue book are the right shade of red and blue, the red apple and blue book, in a black and white photo or as seen by a color blind person might be the exact same shade of grey. Do we then say, the grey of the apple and grey of the book are the same thing? That would mean the grey is the same thing in the apple and the book, but the red and blue, which the grey represents are not the same thing. In fact we know the grey, is the same qualities as the red and blue, differently perceived. How can the same universal, grey, also be different universals, red and blue? There are no universals.

2.- How is correct to consider 1+1 equal to 2 for ever, independently of the “knower”?

Give me an example of 1+1 equalling 2 independent of a knower.

Two quick notes: 1. If all you mean by a, "universal," is something that is always "universally" true, that would be fine, but the term would be superfluous. 2. Most of your examples are not universals in the classical sense. Your examples, A is A, 1+1=2, are propositions. A universal is not a proposition.

Thanks for the interesting questions.

Regi

Post 65

Tuesday, December 9, 2003 - 7:18amSanction this postReply
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(Regi, sorry for the delay.)

[Regi:] "Everything that exists has a specific nature."

[Jaume:] "Sure. Still, identical things have something identical. And that was the core of my question."


[Regi:] "Again, I think you are confusing existents with their attributes, qualities, or properties. No two existents are identical. If two existents have exactly the same qualities in every way, they are not two, they are the same existent. Everything that exists must be differentiated in some way from everything else that exists, which means, it must have some quality or attribute that differentiates it from all other existents. (Relative qualities are real qualities by the way, so that existents like atoms, which are identical in every other way are still differentiated by their positional qualities.)"

Related to the strict materiality, we (of course) agree. Platonism is a sort of naďveté. But with your circumloque you still allow the possibility that two different non-material existents may have --at least-- one common feature.


"As we discover aspects of the nature of things, we call that discovered knowledge ‘laws,’ but it is never absolutely complete, and often has inaccuracies."

"Under your view, is 1+1=2 is not complete? and is inaccurate?"

"Under my view," 1+1=2 is not an aspect of the nature of things, which having been discovered we call a law. 1+1=2 does not describe any attribute of any existent."

Again, (I asume) you are strictly referring to materiality.

Universals are fearures of reality that are not material. Though you can form concepts from universals, they are not concepts itself, because no one invented them, and they will be valid for ever.

"1+1=2" obviously doesn't describe the material part of any existent, but, as I said in another article discusion, allows us to predict the result of a the sum of two material units before empirically proving their material existence, and even sometimes before their material existence.


"The facts mathematics enable us to understand are only relationships."

"Only"?

Mathematics (and logic) allow us to predict certain relationships between material existents, before seeing, touching, measuring them.. as I said before (and excuse me for the self-citation),

\c{I can predict the result of a sum I never have "seen" before, i.e., as a sum of apples, or of pencils, etc. To predict the result of the material sum of apples, I apply certain previously known rules. Maybe I have never seen those apples, maybe I have never imagined that exact number of apples, but anyway I predicted the result. [Discussion of Russell Madden's article "You Might Be a Fascist".]}

Isn't that prediction something not-strictly-material?


"My point is that (real) science, (real) philosophy, and (real) knowledge are not
subject to change. Or is perhaps the result of 1+1 subject to change? And why should it be different in reference to less "obvious" patterns of reality?"


"By "subject to change," I [d]o not mean those facts we have established can change, but the fact that we can never know everything, and we know some things only approximately. Therefore, we are always adding new knowledge, and refining our approximations."

And what about the something we know exactly? Could you tell me how I know the amount of apples I will have in a basket with one apple when you add one apple into it, when I never have seen those apples before?


"For example, we have a pretty good idea how far the sun is from the earth, but these kinds of measurements are always approximations, in that we must say, the earth is x + or - y distance from the earth."

We know --from astronomy-- that the distance from the Sun to the Earth is not a constant, but will be changing over time.


"I think what you are saying is that the sun is some exact distance from the earth, which we cannot exactly determine, and it is that exact distance that must be known before the science of that measurement is really science."

Regi, I am not saying that. That's not a universal. Some mathematics and logic laws we use to measure that distance are concepts of universals.


"There is not some "thing" redness that is "in" both the apple and the book."

Then, how you are able to grasp the same "perceptual quality red" (albeit in different "degree")?


"To be the same thing, the apple and the book would have to be the same thing."

Still, without being identical, the apple and the book share some identical feature; otherwise you hadn't used an identical word "red" to describe their color. For avoiding to see a problem in identifying the same "red" in different particular material existents, you simply need to consider the feature "redness" as an unmaterial reality (somehow) related to material reality. The concept "redness", unavoidably, refers to a real existent we could name "redness", being this real referent arguably unmaterial.


"In fact we know the grey, is the same qualities as the red and blue, differently perceived. How can the same universal, grey, also be different universals, red and blue? There are no universals."

I think (and your arguments play in favour of my view) that if universals don't exist, concepts --here you may take "red" or "grey"-- are unfounded. Personal limitations delay --or avoid-- our awareness on them, but we take (implicitly or explicitly) universals for granted. Color-blind people, too.

When somebody sustains that universals don't exist, that one reduces life to the level of an unfounded hypothesis.


Give me an example of 1+1 equalling 2 independent of a knower.

I go to the grocery store and I bring a bag there, which contains an apple, with me unaware of that. I put then a grocery store's apple into one of the lateral pockets of that bag, and go to the checkout counter.

The number of apples I have then in my bag is independent of my "apple-in-the-bag" awareness and, when I empty there the bag in order to pay the sum, the total number of apples i had in my bag can certainly bring me some problems.


"If all you mean by a, "universal," is something that is always "universally" true, that would be fine, but the term would be superfluous."

Whether you find them "fine" or not, it really don't bother my philosophical view. But I can't find them "superfluous", because without them I could not explain the existence of certainty.

Regards,

Jaume

Post 66

Sunday, December 28, 2003 - 4:46pmSanction this postReply
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Regi, I posted a reply to your last post on a different thread. It's under "Reality is NOT absolute (apparently)" in the general forum.
Thanks,
David

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Post 67

Sunday, February 26 - 5:26amSanction this postReply
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I am not sure how you can have good science without the premises of good philosophy.  David Harriman explores this in his book The Logical Leap.   Brett Holverstott does the same in Randell Mills and the Search for Hydrino Energy.  Without sound philosophical premises that guide thinkers regarding exactly what constitutes the dual philosophical foundations of metaphysics and epistemology, or reality and reason, science cannot even originate, much less progress.  To quote Ayn Rand:

 

"Philosophy studies the fundamental nature of existence, of man, and of man’s relationship to existence. As against the special sciences, which deal only with particular aspects, philosophy deals with those aspects of the universe which pertain to everything that exists. In the realm of cognition, the special sciences are the trees, but philosophy is the soil which makes the forest possible."



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