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Thread: What Part Does Logic Play In Philosophy?

  1. #1 What Part Does Logic Play In Philosophy? 
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    Suppose you have a philosophical point of view (let's call it P) on some issue, and in discussing P you presented some logical argumentation (which I shall call L) in support of P. Then someone points out that your argumentation is perhaps not quite as logically well-founded as you might have hoped. Would that encourage you to change your mind about P?

    In other words, which of the following roles does L play in your belief in P:

    1) L is for your benefit, to give you comfort that your belief in P is justified. It does not matter if anyone else is persuaded by L, you find it convincing.

    2) L is not essential to your belief in P, but was composed to persuade your correspondent. If he is not persuaded, L can be discarded without affecting your belief in P.

    3) L is the reason you subscribe to P. Without the truth of L you cannot subscribe to P.

    4) This situation does not apply to you because your definition of philosophy does not require logical argumentation, and you are not persuaded in your views by the logic of others.

    Feel free to combine the above in various combinations, or to add others as you see fit.

    I appreciate that this is a highly generalised question and that many will rely on logic to differing degrees with regard to different topics. But the situation I presented was that you gave L in support of P in the first place, so just apply it to topics for which you might have done that.


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    In a question as illogical alike this, the logical thing to do is to aprroach it illogically. With a choatic approach.

    OK. I'll introduce by belief of time travel into what you have suggested:

    1) L is for your benefit, to give you comfort that your belief in P is justified. It does not matter if anyone else is persuaded by L, you find it convincing.
    Belief in time travel is for my benefit to give me comfort that my belief to help people and feel free is justified. It does not matter if anyone else is persuaded by time travel. I find it convinvcing, knowing I'm doing good whether people agree or not.

    2) L is not essential to your belief in P, but was composed to persuade your correspondent. If he is not persuaded, L can be discarded without affecting your belief in P.
    Belief in time travel is not essential to my belief in wanting to help people and feel free, but was composed to persuade my correspondent, by giving me the thought I actually could get the ability to help people.

    3) L is the reason you subscribe to P. Without the truth of L you cannot subscribe to P.
    Belief in time travel is the reason I subscribe to helping people. Without the truth of time travel I cannot subscribe to helping people and feeling free.

    Hmm, that makes me think here.

    4) This situation does not apply to you because your definition of philosophy does not require logical argumentation, and you are not persuaded in your views by the logic of others.
    I disagree that my definiton of philosophy does not require logical argumentation, because it is needed in order to help me justify beleifs that I need to feel secure in them, so I don't end up in a loop of questioning. Logic of others does persuade me in some ways because time travel is a hot topic of belief, and I am open to what others would or would not think is or is not logical in this belief.


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    It is not clear to me whether you are joking or you genuinely think my question is illogical.

    Could you please explain why you think it illogical to even ask what role logic plays in philosophy?
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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    It is not clear to me whether you are joking or you genuinely think my question is illogical.

    Could you please explain why you think it illogical to even ask what role logic plays in philosophy?
    I did not say your question is illogical and I don't mean a joke. I approached how you used the letters to convey a meaning and substituted them with a belief of mine. But to answer directly, logic, I believe plays no real role in philospohy because although a matter of thought may be approached logically, the logic iteself limits the perception of that philosophy.

    Many philosophies (especially if we look at the past), never were really any logical (one I like to quote being for example the philosophy that the Earth is not flat, for the time that was outrageous and far from logical). The approach may have intended to be, from the eye of the inquisitor, but others the logic becomes a relative interpretation.

    I don't think however that it is illogical to ask what role logic plays, I believe that it is logical to ask what role being illogical plays in philosophy.

    I know that sounds a tad hazy and muddled, but I believe the matter here is like a dog chasing its own tail. Its head being logic and its tail being illogic. Eventually the position of both swap places, but you'll never catch the other together.

    So having said that I have just thought that this may be the answer:

    Logic plays this role in philosophy:

    Logic allows one to see the paths one can take to approaching philosophical questions, in a way that may help one find answers. However, the more questions that arise, the harder logic is to maintain. Thus evenually, using logic becomes illogical because it cannot aid answering all questions, they then become unanswerable using logic, and thats where you get the paradox. Things become illogical using logic eventually because all questions you ask may be logical and proven, with their methods to all of them, but there will always be questions that you don't know how to approach, and logic and illogic are equal ways of appraoching them. Neither has a viable result that we know of before asking the question.

    It's basically the same as this expression: "You can fool some of the people some of the time. But you can't fool all of the people all of the time". Just substiute fool with answer and people with questions.


    Phew. Thats enough brain racking for one day I think.
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    "P" is an identity, and L is the means to reach that identity. It doesnt matter what L is, as long as it =P in the persons mind. We are talking about philosophy, so I believe it doesnt matter if it is considered ill-logical to others as long as the person subscribing to L believes in it. The worst thing you can do is discount your beleifs because of others opinion of it.
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    did I kayak did I.
    Your palindrome is a little out of whack. Just thought I'd point that out.
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    how so ?
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    bob did sis
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    I just thought of this question in reverse and it sounds quite interesting "What role does philosophy play in logic". How does your philosophy for example determine what you view as logical.
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    One's philosophy is certainly dependent upon his line of reasoning, whether or not he can explicitly describe it (his reasoning) or not. If the philosophy doesn't change in the light of a seeming conflict with his best description of his logic, then the logic is modified (either conciously or otherwise- eg through emotion) to get around dissonance. If he maintains the line of reasoning, then the philosophy will change.

    This topic reminds me of a thought that I recently had about observing reality vs. maintaining consistency of our concepts that organize our perceptions of reality.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    This topic reminds me of a thought that I recently had about observing reality vs. maintaining consistency of our concepts that organize our perceptions of reality.
    This is starting to get close to what I was thinking about when I asked the original question. You refer to "observing reality" and "perceptions of reality" but don't offer any explanation for how you know that what you observe or perceive is "real".
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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    This topic reminds me of a thought that I recently had about observing reality vs. maintaining consistency of our concepts that organize our perceptions of reality.
    This is starting to get close to what I was thinking about when I asked the original question. You refer to "observing reality" and "perceptions of reality" but don't offer any explanation for how you know that what you observe or perceive is "real".
    I knew someone was going to say something about those phrases. I just got lazy. In that post, I used them to have the same meaning.

    Whether or not we actually and accurately observing reality is really off the original topic. The question was about an individual's personal philosophy and reasoning skills which doesn't necessarily have anything to do with reality.
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    Two questions for Numbers...

    Suppose you had a certain philosophical point of view and you gave a logical explanation to express it. Then someone points out that your argument was not well-founded in logic. Would that cause you to change your mind?


    Why do you "P" and why do you "L"
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    I would say mainly #3.

    I hold everything to logic. I do not abide by consensus theory in the slightest. I will not accept something unless it makes sense to me. And telling me all the people in the world said so does not count.
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    Quote Originally Posted by milum
    Suppose you had a certain philosophical point of view and you gave a logical explanation to express it. Then someone points out that your argument was not well-founded in logic. Would that cause you to change your mind?
    Yes, it would.

    In the language of the examples I gave in the OP I am (or tend largely to be) the sort who uses reason 3) for having logical explanations for my philosophy. I decide my philosophical position based on a rational explanation, then if it is later pointed out to me that my supposedly rational reason or logic is not so rational or logical, I move my position.

    The reason I asked the original question was because I had a conversation with some folks (who I shall call post-rationalists) on another website who all subscribed to the idea that we make our decisions first and then rationalise them to ourselves after the event. This makes no sense to me at all.

    I can see how we sometimes make decisions based on very little or possibly even no information at all, but I can't accept that we do that all the time.

    Some Examples:
    How do you decide whether to ask your girlfriend to marry you? There is no rational, logical answer to this, you just ask her because it feels right and if she says yes then well done.

    Lots of young people make their choice of a future career based on a very limited amount of information; they just like the idea of being a fireman or an accountant or whatever and go for it. Sometimes it works out and sometimes not, but trying to rationalise your choice after the event isn't something I see a lot of people doing.

    A counter-example:
    I have spoken to folks who think morality is absolute and they find their reasons for thinking this quite credible. I have also spoken to folks who think morality is relative and they also find their reasons for thinking this quite credible. What I cannot imagine is someone just randomly choosing a position on this without having thought about it first. Having thought about it they then have reasons for their position, and therefore the justification came before the event.

    To me, it would make sense in that situation for someone to change their mind if their reasons were invalidated. But according to the post-rationalists we make our choice first and then dream up the rationalisation afterwards which would seem to indicate that if your reasoning is subsequently invalidated you can just dream up a new validation without the need to change positions.

    I was interested to see if anyone else had thoughts on this but the limited response to my question seems to indicate that it is not sufficiently interesting to other folks.

    I did, incidentally, find it quite amusing that someone should try to tell me I don't know the topic of my own question.
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  17. #16  
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    Nietzsche has said it best
    "Logic, too, also rests on assumptions that do not correspond to anything in the real world."
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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    The reason I asked the original question was because I had a conversation with some folks (who I shall call post-rationalists) on another website who all subscribed to the idea that we make our decisions first and then rationalise them to ourselves after the event. This makes no sense to me at all.
    There are a number of psychological studies that show how people 'make up' stories to explain their behaviour. (I think I may recently have mentioned this on some other thread here or hereabouts.)

    One of the most fascinating, I find, is that of people who are 'blind' to one side of their field of vision, ie, thanks to a particular form of brain damage they literally ignore anything that appears on, say, the left hand side of their field of view.

    When asked to draw a clock, say, they produce something like a cirle, but squeeze all the numebrs into the right hand side, (or draw a daisy with all its petals on one saide of the flower and so on).

    Yet, when asked why they've done this, they provide all sorts of fanciful explanations: "It was facing that way", "I just like the right more", "I was in the mood to do that", "The reflection from the window distracted me" and so on.

    This lends credence to th notion that we humans are very prone to making uo stories to 'justify' our behaviour, and therefore should not place too much reliance on our ability to be rational and to follow the dictates of logic.

    This is good psychology, but is it good philosophy?

    Well.... philosophy itself is bedevilled with the problems of foundations. In despite of the absolute moralists you may have encountered, their view will not be shared by all, and as Ayer and others have pointed out, once the logical underpinning of a moral position have been exposed for all too see, the basis of the morality genuinely becomes an emotional issue, a 'credo', rather than something that can be argued for. This does ot make all moral thinking redundant - after all too many moral arguments contain hidden assumptions ("What is natural is good" etc) that need exposing before people can think clearly about them. It does mean, however, that hopes of a 'final' morality are probably doomed.

    Similarly, the foundations of logic itself can be questioned in philosophical mode, but, if one accepts that logic is simply a formal way of reducing inconsistency, then philosophical discussion is impossible without logic. It does not guarantee the arrival at sound, or true, ideas, but at least it makes conversations about them possible.

    I wish there were something firmer I could offer to this question of yours, but hey, I'm one of those coherentists who's happy to keep mending my leaky philosophical ship in the middle of the water, with never any prosepect of firm, dry land...
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    Quote Originally Posted by milum
    Suppose you had a certain philosophical point of view and you gave a logical explanation to express it. Then someone points out that your argument was not well-founded in logic. Would that cause you to change your mind?
    No.
    If a have a belief about something, simply stating that my belief isn't well founded in logic doesn't do anything. If I have belief that X is true. There are only 2 ways I would change that.
    1. I would be compelled to believe that X is false.
    2. I would be compelled to a position of inconclusion. Not having any conclusion of whether X is true or false.

    But simply stating that my logic is flawed might not do much for a person. If you show me the flaws, I must still decide whether or not you are mistaken. I might say you're right, and it is a flaw. Or I might say you are wrong and proceed to clarify.
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    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey
    Nietzsche has said it best
    "Logic, too, also rests on assumptions that do not correspond to anything in the real world."
    Sounds like a pure subjectivist position. I have to disagree with it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey
    Nietzsche has said it best
    "Logic, too, also rests on assumptions that do not correspond to anything in the real world."
    Sounds like a pure subjectivist position. I have to disagree with it.
    Could you elaborate?
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    [quote="samcdkey"][quote="Kaizen"]
    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey

    Could you elaborate?
    First it seems like he's using logic to invalidate logic, which immediately devalues the statement.

    By saying that logic isn't based in reality, it appears to suggest that its created arbitrarily by the individual, hence the subjective position. Extreme subjectivism is debatable IMHO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen

    First it seems like he's using logic to invalidate logic, which immediately devalues the statement.

    By saying that logic isn't based in reality, it appears to suggest that its created arbitrarily by the individual, hence the subjective position. Extreme subjectivism is debatable IMHO.
    Let me post the few sentences that succeed the quote for clarification.

    "Logic, too, also rests on assumptions that do not correspond to anything in the real world, e.g., on the assumption that there are equal things, that the same thing is identical at different points in time: but this science arose as a result of the opposite belief (that such things actually exist in the real world). And it is the same with mathematics, which would certainly never have arisen if it had been understood from the beginning that there is no such thing in nature as a perfectly straight line, a true circle, and absolute measure."
    Do you disagree with this?
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    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen

    First it seems like he's using logic to invalidate logic, which immediately devalues the statement.

    By saying that logic isn't based in reality, it appears to suggest that its created arbitrarily by the individual, hence the subjective position. Extreme subjectivism is debatable IMHO.
    Let me post the few sentences that succeed the quote for clarification.

    "Logic, too, also rests on assumptions that do not correspond to anything in the real world, e.g., on the assumption that there are equal things, that the same thing is identical at different points in time: but this science arose as a result of the opposite belief (that such things actually exist in the real world). And it is the same with mathematics, which would certainly never have arisen if it had been understood from the beginning that there is no such thing in nature as a perfectly straight line, a true circle, and absolute measure."
    Do you disagree with this?
    I knew the context was going to come up. I just got lazy to ask about it because I'm typing this from my phone.

    I disagree with the definition of logic as its being used in this paragraph.
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    You have a definition of logic that departs from inferential reasoning?
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    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey
    You have a definition of logic that departs from inferential reasoning?
    Nope. But we can't maintain previous conclusions in the light of new conflicting evidence- given that the conflicting evidence is significant enough to reconsider those conclusions. Science is a result of a logical process, not of an ideological preconception of what logic is "supposed" to be.

    It seems to me that Neitzche(spelling?) is suggesting that science is a result of what people considered to be illogical prior to what was discovered. That's fine, its a common occurance to predict incorrectly when the predictions were made on insufficient info.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey
    You have a definition of logic that departs from inferential reasoning?
    Nope. But we can't maintain previous conclusions in the light of new conflicting evidence- given that the conflicting evidence is significant enough to reconsider those conclusions. Science is a result of a logical process, not of an ideological preconception of what logic is "supposed" to be.

    It seems to me that Neitzche(spelling?) is suggesting that science is a result of what people considered to be illogical prior to what was discovered. That's fine, its a common occurance to predict incorrectly when the predictions were made on insufficient info.
    Thats what he's referring to as well. That logic is based on assumptions that do not correspond to the real world, since new or conflicting evidence invalidates the "logical reasoning" that preceded it. ie the assumptions on which the reasoning was based, though logical were not real.
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    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey
    You have a definition of logic that departs from inferential reasoning?
    Nope. But we can't maintain previous conclusions in the light of new conflicting evidence- given that the conflicting evidence is significant enough to reconsider those conclusions. Science is a result of a logical process, not of an ideological preconception of what logic is "supposed" to be.

    It seems to me that Neitzche(spelling?) is suggesting that science is a result of what people considered to be illogical prior to what was discovered. That's fine, its a common occurance to predict incorrectly when the predictions were made on insufficient info.
    Thats what he's referring to as well. That logic is based on assumptions that do not correspond to the real world, since new or conflicting evidence invalidates the "logical reasoning" that preceded it. ie the assumptions on which the reasoning was based, though logical were not real.
    I'm probably not in the best position to argue against Neitzche since I haven't studied is his stuff.

    But from what I can tell based on these posts, I still disagree with him that logic is not based in reality. Logic is a process that naturally becomes evident as a result of experiencing life, not in spite of it. New information adds to the logical process that's already there.
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    So you define perception as reality? I think Nietzsche is right. At any given point, we can only infer from what we know. And we consider what we know to be representative of what is real. e.g. the ground does not move. Reality may be different [the earth does move, we cannot perceive it moving]. Similarly we look "up" even at the South Pole, but thats okay, because North and South are arbitrary too. For all we know, its the Northerners who are upside down.


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    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey
    So you define perception as reality? I think Nietzsche is right. At any given point, we can only infer from what we know. And we consider what we know to be representative of what is real. e.g. the ground does not move. Reality may be different [the earth does move, we cannot perceive it moving]. Similarly we look "up" even at the South Pole, but thats okay, because North and South are arbitrary too. For all we know, its the Northerners who are upside down.
    I don't think that we percieve is reality, that would be subjectivist. I think we percieve an objective reality. I agree that we can only infer from what we know, but I don't see how that proves that logic is not founded upon reality. Could you help me understand how that works?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    I think we percieve an objective reality.
    Going back to the point I tried to make earlier but which you told me then was off-topic. Because you think that what you perceive is an objective reality, for you, logic is based in reality and you are not able to agree with Nietzsche. While for Sam, what he perceives might not be objectively real so he can agree with Nietzsche in concluding that logic might not be based in reality.

    The net conclusion that you have both been skating round, and which the OP was designed to elucidate, is that logic is based in our perception of reality. And, since we are all open to our own interpretation of what is objectively real there is no universal logic that applies to us all.

    Does that make sense?
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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    I think we percieve an objective reality.
    Going back to the point I tried to make earlier but which you told me then was off-topic. Because you think that what you perceive is an objective reality, for you, logic is based in reality and you are not able to agree with Nietzsche. While for Sam, what he perceives might not be objectively real so he can agree with Nietzsche in concluding that logic might not be based in reality.

    The net conclusion that you have both been skating round, and which the OP was designed to elucidate, is that logic is based in our perception of reality. And, since we are all open to our own interpretation of what is objectively real there is no universal logic that applies to us all.

    Does that make sense?
    To be clear, I'm not necessarily saying that what I percieve is accurate, but that its based in reality.

    Logic actually appears to be universal. The problem lies in determining which line of reasoning is accurate. The fact that we can communicate about this suggests that we've already made some progress as a species. So I don't think there's sufficient reason to jump to the coclusion that we'll never achieve coming to some consensus about this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen

    I don't think that we percieve is reality, that would be subjectivist. I think we percieve an objective reality. I agree that we can only infer from what we know, but I don't see how that proves that logic is not founded upon reality. Could you help me understand how that works?
    Sure, my perception is filtered through my senses and cognition. So its my perspective of what I think I perceived.

    e.g.

    Several studies have been conducted on human memory and on subjects’ propensity to remember erroneously events and details that did not occur. Elizabeth Loftus performed experiments in the mid-seventies demonstrating the effect of a third party’s introducing false facts into memory.4 Subjects were shown a slide of a car at an intersection with either a yield sign or a stop sign. Experimenters asked participants questions, falsely introducing the term "stop sign" into the question instead of referring to the yield sign participants had actually seen. Similarly, experimenters falsely substituted the term "yield sign" in questions directed to participants who had actually seen the stop sign slide. The results indicated that subjects remembered seeing the false image.
    What is the "objective reality" here?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    To be clear, I'm not necessarily saying that what I percieve is accurate, but that it's based in reality.
    Not really. To be accurate, what you mean is that you choose to believe that what you perceive is real. You are intelligent enough to acknowledge that you might be wrong, but the assumption makes the most sense to you most of the time.

    If you want to claim that your perception is "based in reality" then you would in fact be claiming that you, alone of all 6 billion people on Earth, actually knows what reality is. I am quietly confident you don't actually claim that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    Logic actually appears to be universal.
    That does not seem to be the proper conclusion to draw here.

    Since you choose to believe that what you perceive is real, to you, logic is based in your version of reality, what you perceive.

    Since I am with Sam in being not certain that what I perceive is real, to me, logic might not be based in reality, but in whatever it is that I perceive.

    These two interpretations of logic are mutually exclusive and are therefore not universal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    I don't think there's sufficient reason to jump to the conclusion that we'll never achieve coming to some consensus about this.
    Coming to a consensus simply means reaching an agreement, it has nothing to do with having universal logic. We can easily arrive at a consensus that logic is not universal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    I think we percieve an objective reality.
    Going back to the point I tried to make earlier but which you told me then was off-topic. Because you think that what you perceive is an objective reality, for you, logic is based in reality and you are not able to agree with Nietzsche. While for Sam, what he perceives might not be objectively real so he can agree with Nietzsche in concluding that logic might not be based in reality.

    The net conclusion that you have both been skating round, and which the OP was designed to elucidate, is that logic is based in our perception of reality. And, since we are all open to our own interpretation of what is objectively real there is no universal logic that applies to us all.

    Does that make sense?
    No Numbers, that doesn't make any sense. If we conceptulize any aspect of a percieved "reality" we do so as a single aspect of a larger creature moving through time, ie. the tribe, the community, the milum, etc.

    Get it? The very act of verbally communicating our perception of anything with other folks unites our precepts with the perceptions of other folks.

    Get it? Logic is a device of language and not of perception.
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    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey
    So you define perception as reality? I think Nietzsche is right. At any given point, we can only infer from what we know. And we consider what we know to be representative of what is real. e.g. the ground does not move. Reality may be different [the earth does move, we cannot perceive it moving]. Similarly we look "up" even at the South Pole, but thats okay, because North and South are arbitrary too. For all we know, its the Northerners who are upside down.


    Wow. I never seen that. I'd like one of those for my wall.
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    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen

    I don't think that we percieve is reality, that would be subjectivist. I think we percieve an objective reality. I agree that we can only infer from what we know, but I don't see how that proves that logic is not founded upon reality. Could you help me understand how that works?
    Sure, my perception is filtered through my senses and cognition. So its my perspective of what I think I perceived.

    e.g.

    Several studies have been conducted on human memory and on subjects’ propensity to remember erroneously events and details that did not occur. Elizabeth Loftus performed experiments in the mid-seventies demonstrating the effect of a third party’s introducing false facts into memory.4 Subjects were shown a slide of a car at an intersection with either a yield sign or a stop sign. Experimenters asked participants questions, falsely introducing the term "stop sign" into the question instead of referring to the yield sign participants had actually seen. Similarly, experimenters falsely substituted the term "yield sign" in questions directed to participants who had actually seen the stop sign slide. The results indicated that subjects remembered seeing the false image.
    What is the "objective reality" here?
    The object reality is in the phrase"...participants had actually seen".

    So I can understand correctly here, what exactly are you "filtering"?
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    How do you know the difference between what you actually saw and what you think you saw?
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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    To be clear, I'm not necessarily saying that what I percieve is accurate, but that it's based in reality.
    Not really. To be accurate, what you mean is that you choose to believe that what you perceive is real. You are intelligent enough to acknowledge that you might be wrong, but the assumption makes the most sense to you most of the time.

    If you want to claim that your perception is "based in reality" then you would in fact be claiming that you, alone of all 6 billion people on Earth, actually knows what reality is. I am quietly confident you don't actually claim that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    Logic actually appears to be universal.
    That does not seem to be the proper conclusion to draw here.

    Since you choose to believe that what you perceive is real, to you, logic is based in your version of reality, what you perceive.

    Since I am with Sam in being not certain that what I perceive is real, to me, logic might not be based in reality, but in whatever it is that I perceive.

    These two interpretations of logic are mutually exclusive and are therefore not universal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    I don't think there's sufficient reason to jump to the conclusion that we'll never achieve coming to some consensus about this.
    Coming to a consensus simply means reaching an agreement, it has nothing to do with having universal logic. We can easily arrive at a consensus that logic is not universal.
    I gotta say, I'm not sure if its intentional but the phrasing that you're using in these posts are coming off as a little presumptive.

    I'm being lazy in my posts because I'm typing from my phone. When I said that my perceptions are based in reality, I was referring to the fact that existence exists outside of my input and that my perception is dependent upon reality. Whether or not that perception is accurate is a different story altogether. Since reality preceeds consciousness, consciousness must operate within the frame work of objective reality. Its in this sense that I'm saying that my (and everyone else's) perceptions are based in reality.

    What basis are you relying on to determine that there will never be a "universal logic"? Also could you give a brief definition of universal logic?
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    [quote="Kaizen"][quote="samcdkey"]
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey

    Could you elaborate?
    First it seems like he's using logic to invalidate logic, which immediately devalues the statement.

    By saying that logic isn't based in reality, it appears to suggest that its created arbitrarily by the individual, hence the subjective position. Extreme subjectivism is debatable IMHO.
    I agree that it is illogical to attempt to use logic in order to invalidate logic. Logic is a necessary framework.

    In order for an observer to arrive at a conclusion, that observer might use any method under the sun. Logic however is the necessary framework for any method the observer uses.

    Regardless of what method an observer uses to arrive at a conclusion, within logical framework, that observer can only have 2 possible conclusions. That is true or false.

    Furthermore, within logical framework, an observer can only either be in a state of inconclusion (ob has not arrived at conclusion on a matter) or be in a state of belief (ob has arrived at conclusion on a matter).

    The question in this thread about what part does logic play is not difficult to answer. Logic is everything. Everything sits on the foundational framework of logic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lixluke
    I agree that it is illogical to attempt to use logic in order to invalidate logic.
    What would you suggest we use to investigate logic, flower power? How about astrology, or rune stones? You make a suggestion.

    Quote Originally Posted by lixluke
    Logic is a necessary framework.
    Which does not exist on its own in a vacuum. You cannot just "suppose" that logic exists, readymade for your use. It has to be based in something. You have to have some concept of what "true" means. Only then can you have logic.

    Quote Originally Posted by lixluke
    That is true or false.
    Exactly. You need to be able to determine what "true" means. And, relevant to the discussion in this thread, since each observer has his own opinion about what is "real" he similarly has his own interpretation of what is "true". These two concepts, truth and reality are linked, they are interdependent.

    Quote Originally Posted by lixluke
    The question in this thread about what part does logic play is not difficult to answer. Logic is everything. Everything sits on the foundational framework of logic.
    Yes. But on what does the "foundational framework" of logic sit?
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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Quote Originally Posted by lixluke
    I agree that it is illogical to attempt to use logic in order to invalidate logic.
    What would you suggest we use to investigate logic, flower power? How about astrology, or rune stones? You make a suggestion.

    Quote Originally Posted by lixluke
    Logic is a necessary framework.
    Which does not exist on its own in a vacuum. You cannot just "suppose" that logic exists, readymade for your use. It has to be based in something. You have to have some concept of what "true" means. Only then can you have logic.

    Quote Originally Posted by lixluke
    That is true or false.
    Exactly. You need to be able to determine what "true" means. And, relevant to the discussion in this thread, since each observer has his own opinion about what is "real" he similarly has his own interpretation of what is "true". These two concepts, truth and reality are linked, they are interdependent.

    Quote Originally Posted by lixluke
    The question in this thread about what part does logic play is not difficult to answer. Logic is everything. Everything sits on the foundational framework of logic.
    Yes. But on what does the "foundational framework" of logic sit?
    The ideal and the real are not interdependent. The real fully depends on the ideal. You don't have to have any concept of nothing. Logic exists in the ideal independent of what you or anybody's claims about what true is.

    Logic is the framework to which the human mind operates. True/false are qualities of actuality. These are facts. Interpretation does not affect the absolute. If one person has interpretation X, and the other person has interpretation not X, then only one of them can have the correct interpretation, and only one of them must have the correct interpretation.
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    If one person has interpretation X, and the other person has interpretation not X, then only one of them can have the correct interpretation, and only one of them must have the correct interpretation.
    So if the same person thinks murder is both right [capital punishment] and wrong [genocide] what is the logically "correct interpretation"? What is the reality?
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    Quote Originally Posted by lixluke
    Logic exists in the ideal independent of what you or anybody's claims about what true is.
    Some people operate under the impression that what their senses tells them is real; If I can "feel" this cup it exists.

    While some other people see no reason to make this assumption; How do I know I am not living in a simulation?

    Because there are two different ways of looking at this, we can conclude that there is no such thing as "objective reality". So, if you ask one of the first type of people, "Are you real?" and he says, "Yes", is that objectively true, or not?

    My suspicion is that it is not objectively true. It is just his opinion based on his acceptance of what his senses are telling him. So, since there is no "objective truth" what does logic depend on for knowing whether a statement be true or not? How does logic deal with a statement that is only "potentially true"?

    Quote Originally Posted by lixluke
    ...only one of them can have the correct interpretation, and only one of them must have the correct interpretation...
    So how do we deal with wave/particle duality? One man wins a Nobel prize for proving that light is a wave, and another man wins a Nobel prize for proving that light is a particle. According to you, there is only one correct interpretation and one of these Nobel prizes should be handed back. So who hands his prize back?
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    Wave/particle duality has nothing to do with it. It doesn't matter what the person's opinion is, if a person has an opiion, or if a person has no opinion. If you are attempting to claim there is no ojective truth simply because people can have different opinions, it will not work.

    FACT:
    Truth is independent of human perception/observation/acknowledgement. It is logically unsound for truth to be dependent on the observer.
    The fact still remains that when there are 2 opposing beliefs, only one of them is correct. Wave/particle duality or not, these facts remain. There is no such thing as potentially true. There is only true and not true. Logic is based on true/not true. That is how knowledge works. Truth is absolute. Logic is the framework we use to apprehend truth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lixluke
    If you are attempting to claim there is no objective truth simply because people can have different opinions, it will not work.
    What, exactly, does "it" refer to here? You say "it" will not work but it isn't obvious to me what "it" refers to.

    Do you mean: The claim that there is no objective truth, is not a true claim?
    Do you mean: There is no objective truth, but this does not affect how logic works?

    If you mean the first, can you prove that you exist?

    If you mean the second, could you possibly explain how any statement reliant on the truth of my existence can be logically proved? For example, if we have the logical sequence:

    All husbands are men.
    I am a husband.
    Therefore I am a man.

    If there is no objective truth to the statement "I exist" how can the statement "I am a man" be logically true?

    Ah, hang on a minute. Are you saying that the statement can be "logically true" without having to be literally true? In other words, you see a difference between logical truth and objective truth?

    In this view the statement "I am a man" can be "logically true" even if my existence cannot be objectively proven? (asks question)

    Quote Originally Posted by lixluke
    It is logically unsound for truth to be dependent on the observer.
    If you thought it necessary to say this then I have obviously not made my point very well, because I thought this was a given.

    Quote Originally Posted by lixluke
    The fact still remains that when there are 2 opposing beliefs, only one of them is correct.
    Agreed. But we do have to know which one. Simply knowing that one of A or B is true doesn't get us very far unless we know which one. I am failing to grasp how we can make logical inference from this without knowing which one is true.

    Quote Originally Posted by lixluke
    There is no such thing as potentially true.
    I didn't explain this very well. What I meant was a statement that has the potential to be either true or false, but we don't yet know the answer. Imagine you are playing roulette, and have placed a bet on the number 7. After the croupier spins the wheel and tosses the ball in, your statement, "I've won" has the potential to be true but we do not yet know it's truth value. So I see this statement as being "potentially true".

    Quote Originally Posted by lixluke
    Logic is based on true/not true. That is how knowledge works.
    Agreed. But we can only get that knowledge by determining the objective truth of the statement "I exist", until we can do that all other truths about me are only "potentially true" (as defined above).

    Quote Originally Posted by lixluke
    Logic is the framework we use to apprehend truth.
    Sorry, but I don't see this as being possible.

    Logic (or at least one way of looking at it) is a process that we apply to premises and conclusions. We determine the validity of the conclusion by assessing the truth value of the premises. Therefore, we need first to know what truth is, then we can apply some logic to test the validity of the conclusion.

    Truth first, then logic can follow.

    What am I missing here?
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    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey
    If one person has interpretation X, and the other person has interpretation not X, then only one of them can have the correct interpretation, and only one of them must have the correct interpretation.
    So if the same person thinks murder is both right [capital punishment] and wrong [genocide] what is the logically "correct interpretation"? What is the reality?
    This question doesn't seem to work. There's reason that you gave two different definitions for murder here, you're talking about two different words.
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    Numbers & samcdkey,

    Existence is an objective reality. Do you disagree with this statement?
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    Heres something that will give this thread an actual practical meaning. People only accept logic if it doesnt interfere with their point of view or philosophical beliefs. If a person will not accept something, he will not accept it no matter how logical. So there will never be a broad consensus between all humans on anything. So why continue this thread ?
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    And by broad consensus what I really meant was complete, 100 % consensus.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AeDeAeMn0886
    Heres something that will give this thread an actual practical meaning. People only accept logic if it doesnt interfere with their point of view or philosophical beliefs. If a person will not accept something, he will not accept it no matter how logical. So there will never be a broad consensus between all humans on anything. So why continue this thread ?
    Do you honestly think that this is some kind of profound wisdom? Are you seriously saying that because the entire population of the world cannot come to an agreement on something that there's no value in developing an individual's philosophy? I'm not sure if this post deserves a serious response.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    Existence is an objective reality. Do you disagree with this statement?
    I'm not sure that I disagree with the statement, but neither would I be able to claim that it agrees with my philosophy.

    I am not convinced that anyone can claim to know that what their senses are telling them is real. If you have some other way of showing that existence is real then I am open to your demonstration. But if your sole criteria for determining "existence" is "I can see it, feel it, smell it" then I am not in agreement with you.

    I do, however, totally accept that making that assumption makes living my daily life a whole lot easier. Having breakfast this morning, it made buttering my toast jusy waaay easier by assuming the toast actually existed. But I can't get over the idea that it is only an assumption.

    Does that answer your question?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    Quote Originally Posted by AeDeAeMn0886
    Heres something that will give this thread an actual practical meaning. People only accept logic if it doesnt interfere with their point of view or philosophical beliefs. If a person will not accept something, he will not accept it no matter how logical. So there will never be a broad consensus between all humans on anything. So why continue this thread ?
    Do you honestly think that this is some kind of profound wisdom? Are you seriously saying that because the entire population of the world cannot come to an agreement on something that there's no value in developing an individual's philosophy? I'm not sure if this post deserves a serious response.
    I dont think an individuals philosophy should be developed. In a perfect world it would strictly be "for the group" thinking, and everyone would be 1. But it aint a perfect world now is it ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by AeDeAeMn0886
    I dont think an individuals philosophy should be developed. In a perfect world it would strictly be "for the group" thinking, and everyone would be 1. But it aint a perfect world now is it ?
    You're essentially saying that you don't think that it's important to think. In a perfect world, you wouldn't be older than 15.
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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    I'm not sure that I disagree with the statement, but neither would I be able to claim that it agrees with my philosophy.

    I am not convinced that anyone can claim to know that what their senses are telling them is real. If you have some other way of showing that existence is real then I am open to your demonstration. But if your sole criteria for determining "existence" is "I can see it, feel it, smell it" then I am not in agreement with you.

    I do, however, totally accept that making that assumption makes living my daily life a whole lot easier. Having breakfast this morning, it made buttering my toast jusy waaay easier by assuming the toast actually existed. But I can't get over the idea that it is only an assumption.

    Does that answer your question?
    I think there's some confusion here. You're saying that you don't think you can trust what your senses are telling you. There's an assumption that you have senses to guide or misguide you. I'm not saying that "existence is what we sense it to be" in that statement. I'm merely saying that existence is. In order for you to be able to sense or interpret reality accurately or inaccurately, you must first exist. Anything that you try to do or not do must work within the framework of existence. Do you agree with this?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    Quote Originally Posted by AeDeAeMn0886
    I dont think an individuals philosophy should be developed. In a perfect world it would strictly be "for the group" thinking, and everyone would be 1. But it aint a perfect world now is it ?
    You're essentially saying that you don't think that it's important to think. In a perfect world, you wouldn't be older than 15.
    No, Im essentially saying its not important to think individually, but it is important to think with the common good of the whole population in mind. If everyone did that we would have zero problems on earth. But this aint a perfect world now is it ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    In order for you to be able to sense or interpret reality accurately or inaccurately, you must first exist.
    Are you familiar with Descartes expression, "I think, therefore I am" ?

    This was the conclusion he reached after conducting a thought experiment. He reduced everything, including his five senses, to only those elements he absolutely knew had substance. The conclusion he reached was that the only part of what he perceived that he could be absolutely sure of, was the fact that he was able to think, his brain had activity, therefore there must be an "I" to ask the question.

    Many people I have spoken to, both here and elsewhere, have formed the opinion that the conclusion Descartes drew from this experiment was that the "I" that does the thinking has existence. They read the line, "I think, therefore I am" as confirmation of their own existence, they interpret the words, "I am" as meaning that they have real existence.

    This is not the conclusion Descartes drew from the experiment and it is not the conclusion I draw from the experiment.

    I interpret the experiment as demonstrating that the only part of my "existence" that I can be sure of is what is going on inside my head. Simply touching an object, a cup, say, does not prove the existence of either myself or the cup. Although Descartes would not have thought of it in these terms, the modern way of thinking about this is to phrase the question: How do I know that I am not simply a brain in a vat? That when I "touch" that "cup", I am not simply having my brain stimulated by some super-computer running a simulation of my world?

    Please note, I am not saying, "I live in a simulation". I am saying, "I cannot know that I do not live in a simulation."

    So, going back to your line I quoted above, I agree that for me to sense reality accurately I must first exist. However, the interesting questions are:

    1) Do I actually exist?
    2) Is what my senses reveal reality?
    3) Are my senses providing an accurate view of that reality?

    These can all be reduced to the one main question:

    Is there a reality to be experienced?

    For example, you said: Existence is, while I ask: Is it?

    Nothing you have said so far is necessarily "wrong" per se, but you give me the impression that you have not come across this idea before and therefore all your statements have been from the point of view that there is a reality to be experienced. Are you ready to examine that assumption?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    There's an assumption that you have senses to guide or misguide you.
    I think here you have misunderstood what I said, which may be my fault. What I meant was, that in order for each of us to make sense of what is going on around us on a daily basis, we make the assumption that what our senses are telling us is real. Imagine waking up in the morning and being forced to decide whether your bed exists, can I actually get out of bed if my bed does not actually exist in the first place? Much easier to just assume that your bed exists and behave accordingly. This works when talking about beds and toast, and jobs and friends. There are, however, areas in which it may be productive to examine this assumption and at least acknowledge that we are making an assumption.

    I prefer not to think that my senses are intentionally misleading me, or that that is what my senses are for, or that any lack of clarity regarding my existence is in any way deliberate. To me, this would imply the existence of something to have that intent and if that were true the question would be answered. I therefore prefer not to think of this as the task being deliberately designed to be impossible, but rather of this as being a human failing, we are not yet up to the task.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    Anything that you try to do or not do must work within the framework of existence.
    One of the interesting consequences of what I am for the moment going to call my philosophy, is that this statement of yours is not true. Consider that up to this point I still do not know whether I "exist", but it still seems that the things I do "work". I butter my toast, I pour my coffee, I iron my shirt, and when I experience myself doing these things, these things get "done" in the sense that my world has a coherent picture of these things happening. But I still do not know whether I exist; everything I "do" might just be a figment of my imagination. So there is no imperative correlation between what I "do" and what actually happens, there is only an imperative correlation between what I "do" and what I perceive to be happening. This means I would re-write your statement to say:

    Anything that I try to do or not do seems to work within the framework of my perception.

    Whether my perception correlates with existence, remains to be seen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AeDeAeMn0886
    No, Im essentially saying its not important to think individually, but it is important to think with the common good of the whole population in mind. If everyone did that we would have zero problems on earth. But this aint a perfect world now is it ?
    I'm sorry, I can't take your posts very seriously. Besides, it seems like you've already convinced yourself that continuing to post is a waste of time. Why don't you do something better with your time?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    Quote Originally Posted by AeDeAeMn0886
    No, Im essentially saying its not important to think individually, but it is important to think with the common good of the whole population in mind. If everyone did that we would have zero problems on earth. But this aint a perfect world now is it ?
    I'm sorry, I can't take your posts very seriously. Besides, it seems like you've already convinced yourself that continuing to post is a waste of time. Why don't you do something better with your time?
    I will do something alot better then argue with you over a message board thats for sure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Are you familiar with Descartes expression, "I think, therefore I am" ?

    This was the conclusion he reached after conducting a thought experiment. He reduced everything, including his five senses, to only those elements he absolutely knew had substance. The conclusion he reached was that the only part of what he perceived that he could be absolutely sure of, was the fact that he was able to think, his brain had activity, therefore there must be an "I" to ask the question.

    Many people I have spoken to, both here and elsewhere, have formed the opinion that the conclusion Descartes drew from this experiment was that the "I" that does the thinking has existence. They read the line, "I think, therefore I am" as confirmation of their own existence, they interpret the words, "I am" as meaning that they have real existence.

    This is not the conclusion Descartes drew from the experiment and it is not the conclusion I draw from the experiment.

    I interpret the experiment as demonstrating that the only part of my "existence" that I can be sure of is what is going on inside my head. Simply touching an object, a cup, say, does not prove the existence of either myself or the cup. Although Descartes would not have thought of it in these terms, the modern way of thinking about this is to phrase the question: How do I know that I am not simply a brain in a vat? That when I "touch" that "cup", I am not simply having my brain stimulated by some super-computer running a simulation of my world?

    Please note, I am not saying, "I live in a simulation". I am saying, "I cannot know that I do not live in a simulation."
    I am familiar with the Descartes saying and I do agree with what's generally being said here.

    So, going back to your line I quoted above, I agree that for me to sense reality accurately I must first exist. However, the interesting questions are:
    Just for clarification here, I'm going to elaborate on what I was referring to. I was saying that in order for you to sense, perceive sensing, etc anything (accurate or inaccurate)- I'm saying that existence must exist, not necessarily that you must exist in the way that you probably perceive yourself to exist.

    1) Do I actually exist?
    2) Is what my senses reveal reality?
    3) Are my senses providing an accurate view of that reality?

    These can all be reduced to the one main question:

    Is there a reality to be experienced?
    Interesting questions indeed.


    For example, you said: Existence is, while I ask: Is it?
    Again, to clarify, I was saying that 'existence exists (in whatever form that it does exist)", not "existence is what we perceive it to be".

    I think here you have misunderstood what I said, which may be my fault. What I meant was, that in order for each of us to make sense of what is going on around us on a daily basis, we make the assumption that what our senses are telling us is real. Imagine waking up in the morning and being forced to decide whether your bed exists, can I actually get out of bed if my bed does not actually exist in the first place? Much easier to just assume that your bed exists and behave accordingly. This works when talking about beds and toast, and jobs and friends. There are, however, areas in which it may be productive to examine this assumption and at least acknowledge that we are making an assumption.

    I prefer not to think that my senses are intentionally misleading me, or that that is what my senses are for, or that any lack of clarity regarding my existence is in any way deliberate. To me, this would imply the existence of something to have that intent and if that were true the question would be answered. I therefore prefer not to think of this as the task being deliberately designed to be impossible, but rather of this as being a human failing, we are not yet up to the task.
    Agreed.

    One of the interesting consequences of what I am for the moment going to call my philosophy, is that this statement of yours is not true. Consider that up to this point I still do not know whether I "exist", but it still seems that the things I do "work". I butter my toast, I pour my coffee, I iron my shirt, and when I experience myself doing these things, these things get "done" in the sense that my world has a coherent picture of these things happening. But I still do not know whether I exist; everything I "do" might just be a figment of my imagination. So there is no imperative correlation between what I "do" and what actually happens, there is only an imperative correlation between what I "do" and what I perceive to be happening. This means I would re-write your statement to say:

    Anything that I try to do or not do seems to work within the framework of my perception.

    Whether my perception correlates with existence, remains to be seen.
    Once more I don't think we're disagreeing here and this is just a matter of clarifying our positions. I'm not saying that because you experience, you must exist. I'm saying that because there is experience, something must exist. Whether or not that's you or your life as you perceive it to be is a different discussion.
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    I am pleased to see that you are in general agreement with me but I want to make one special point. When you said:

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    I'm not saying that because you experience, you must exist. I'm saying that because there is experience, something must exist.
    Exactly. If "I" am only a figment of my imagination then I must exist in order to be able to imagine. On the other hand, if "I" am in a simulation then something is doing the simulating and hence the simulator exists. This is a crucial point which I have to admit I had not properly appreciated. Thank you for patiently reiterating this until I finally understood your point.

    So, are we ready to start examining the consequences of this idea?

    First, let's compare it with the philosophy of Bishop Berkeley, the noted Irish theologian and philosopher who, as far as I am aware, first developed a philosophy along these lines.

    Berkeley, being a theist, needed to find room for God in his philosophy, so although he agreed that objects are merely the consequence of his perception and may not have reality, he treated other people differently. He argued that since his knowledge of other people comes from them talking to him, which may stem from something other than an activity on his part, and since they report the world to be identical to the one he perceives, he had to accept that people have existence.

    I part from him here. I see no difference between a cup and a person in that they might both be simulations created for me to perceive or equally, figments of my imagination. I see the world as being coherent (in the sense that you see the door to your office as being in the same place as your colleagues see it) for one of two possible reasons: First, it actually is coherent because what we see is existence. Second, all the people in the simulated world see the same simulation they are in. So either way the world will appear to be coherent and we don't need a special explanation for why people appear to talk to you about things you perceive.

    This slight difference means I no longer need to invoke God (as Berkeley did) as the cause of my perceptions. I might simply be perceiving a simulation. It might be possible to argue that the creator(s) of that simulation will be indistinguishable from God, but I do not make that argument because I don't see it leading anywhere philosophically interesting. To me, this means that a theist can adopt this philosophy and invoke God as creator of the simulation if they so wish without the need to amend the basic philosophy.

    The most obvious (to me) consequence of this concerns science. Science is (in a certain sense) concerned with the properties of objects. How much does this particle weigh? How does this creature reproduce? and so on. Since, under this philosophy, science has to first assume the existence of the object before it can be measured, everything science has to say about the object is reliant upon the assumption of its existence. This means that what science says changes from:

    1) It is a verifiable fact that this object weighs a pound

    to

    2) Assuming this object exists, it weighs a pound.


    Are you with me so far?
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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    I am pleased to see that you are in general agreement with me but I want to make one special point. When you said:

    Exactly. If "I" am only a figment of my imagination then I must exist in order to be able to imagine. On the other hand, if "I" am in a simulation then something is doing the simulating and hence the simulator exists. This is a crucial point which I have to admit I had not properly appreciated. Thank you for patiently reiterating this until I finally understood your point.
    Thanks for acknowledging that.

    So, are we ready to start examining the consequences of this idea?

    First, let's compare it with the philosophy of Bishop Berkeley, the noted Irish theologian and philosopher who, as far as I am aware, first developed a philosophy along these lines.

    Berkeley, being a theist, needed to find room for God in his philosophy, so although he agreed that objects are merely the consequence of his perception and may not have reality, he treated other people differently. He argued that since his knowledge of other people comes from them talking to him, which may stem from something other than an activity on his part, and since they report the world to be identical to the one he perceives, he had to accept that people have existence.

    I part from him here. I see no difference between a cup and a person in that they might both be simulations created for me to perceive or equally, figments of my imagination. I see the world as being coherent (in the sense that you see the door to your office as being in the same place as your colleagues see it) for one of two possible reasons: First, it actually is coherent because what we see is existence. Second, all the people in the simulated world see the same simulation they are in. So either way the world will appear to be coherent and we don't need a special explanation for why people appear to talk to you about things you perceive.

    This slight difference means I no longer need to invoke God (as Berkeley did) as the cause of my perceptions. I might simply be perceiving a simulation. It might be possible to argue that the creator(s) of that simulation will be indistinguishable from God, but I do not make that argument because I don't see it leading anywhere philosophically interesting. To me, this means that a theist can adopt this philosophy and invoke God as creator of the simulation if they so wish without the need to amend the basic philosophy.

    The most obvious (to me) consequence of this concerns science. Science is (in a certain sense) concerned with the properties of objects. How much does this particle weigh? How does this creature reproduce? and so on. Since, under this philosophy, science has to first assume the existence of the object before it can be measured, everything science has to say about the object is reliant upon the assumption of its existence. This means that what science says changes from:

    1) It is a verifiable fact that this object weighs a pound

    to

    2) Assuming this object exists, it weighs a pound.


    Are you with me so far?
    I'm with you. I want to point something out without going too far off tangent because I'd like to see where you're going with this. Because something exists, I postulate that there's an objective reality. Please don't confuse this, I'm not saying that what we perceive is necessarily objective reality. Only that because we perceive/sense, we must work within the framework of existence, whatever that is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    Because something exists, I postulate that there's an objective reality.
    ...we must work within the framework of existence,...
    We agree that there is an objective reality, and we accept the possibility that we might not be in that objective reality. In light of what I am planning on saying in the rest of this post it would be helpful if you clarified what you mean by: ...work within the framework of existence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    I'd like to see where you're going with this.
    I have worked out some of the consequences that are important to me. Where I am going is twofold: First, I want to make sure my consequences actually are consequent upon this philosophy and not just misguided wish fulfillment. Second, I want to see if there are consequences I have missed.

    We ended the previous post by noting that science now says: Assuming this object exists, it weighs a pound. So, in this philosophy (ITP) objects exist because we assume they do.

    Now suppose that you do not subscribe to this philosophy, let's make you a materialist instead. The materialist assumes that existence is revealed by his five senses. So to him, objects "exist" because of the assumption he has made that his senses are revealing existence. The materialist has made a slightly different assumption, but existence is still dependent on his assumption. This tells me that whichever philosophy you subscribe to, objects "exist" purely because we assume they do. It does not matter which philosophy you subscribe to, you have to assume something for objects to "exist", and that seems to be exactly equivalent to:
    Independent your philosophy, we do not live in an objective reality.

    In other words, there is an objective reality, but this is not it.

    I think that's surprising enough for one day.
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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    We agree that there is an objective reality, and we accept the possibility that we might not be in that objective reality. In light of what I am planning on saying in the rest of this post it would be helpful if you clarified what you mean by: ...work within the framework of existence.
    I'm glad to clarify but first let me comment on the bold section in this post. I don't think that we can "be out of" (objective) reality. Let's take the hypothetical scenario where we are actually in a simulation, but think we're in the life that we perceive. To be clear, I'm not suggesting that the hypothetical scenario is real. It's just to illustrate the point.

    If we sense that we're in an imaginary world, one that doesn't exist outside of that imagination in actuality, but we're actually just a brain getting stimulated in a box by a simulator, we still must exist within objective reality(in this case-brain/simulator), even though what we percieve is not an accurate representation of it (reality).

    I suspect that you won't disagree with this and it's just a matter of pointing out the difference here. So to modify the bold statement, I would say that "it's possible that what we perceive is not in line with objective reality- even though we must always be in objective reality."

    And this is what I meant by having to work within the frame work of existence. In the above scenario, regardless of what is perceived, we must work within the rules (if there are in fact any) of what truly exists. We are bound by the fact that we are brains getting fed the information.

    I have worked out some of the consequences that are important to me. Where I am going is twofold: First, I want to make sure my consequences actually are consequent upon this philosophy and not just misguided wish fulfillment. Second, I want to see if there are consequences I have missed.

    We ended the previous post by noting that science now says: Assuming this object exists, it weighs a pound. So, in this philosophy (ITP) objects exist because we assume they do.

    Now suppose that you do not subscribe to this philosophy, let's make you a materialist instead. The materialist assumes that existence is revealed by his five senses. So to him, objects "exist" because of the assumption he has made that his senses are revealing existence. The materialist has made a slightly different assumption, but existence is still dependent on his assumption. This tells me that whichever philosophy you subscribe to, objects "exist" purely because we assume they do. It does not matter which philosophy you subscribe to, you have to assume something for objects to "exist", and that seems to be exactly equivalent to:
    Independent your philosophy, we do not live in an objective reality.

    In other words, there is an objective reality, but this is not it.

    I think that's surprising enough for one day.
    I'm going to disagree here. This is treading on the "Whatever you believe will be true" new age line of thinking (if I understand you correctly). The problem that I see here is that not all assumptions are equal. I understand that this is coming from the position that my senses are accurate, but let me explain. The scientific method does indeed rely on certain assumptions (ie reality is logically consistent, etc). However, the scientific method is the most successful method of creating predictable results within this perceived reality (whatever that is). Black magic does not produce consistent results, especially when compared to the scientific method. So even if this is all just an illusion, there are certain ways of thinking that produces better results than others. This gives a geater probability of science being closer to truth than say palm reading.

    Please let me know if I'm misunderstanding your point here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    ...we still must exist within objective reality(in this case-brain/simulator), even though what we percieve is not an accurate representation of it (reality).
    Agreed. My choice of words was not that clever, and your proposed amendment is much better. Thank you.

    I am by inclination rather than by training, a scientist, in the sense that I prefer the scientific method to astrology, Voodoo, Black Magic or casting bones, runestones or dice. I do not subscribe to any of the conventionally popular conspiracy theories. I hold that Bigfoot does not exist, we are not visited by space aliens, the Loch Ness Monster is a mythical creature and the Zuiyo Maru Incident was a basking shark not a plesiosaur.

    I accept that someone does not first have to convert to communism in order to investigate the consequences of communism any more than someone has to become a Roman soldier in order to understand the history of Rome. So this thread is not me propounding a philosophy to which I necessarily adhere, all I am doing is investigating the consequences of it because I find it interesting to do so.

    I get the impression that you are a materialist but that you are finding the investigation equally interesting and that you are along for the ride as long as you find the ride interesting. I am happy to acknowledge that without you there wouldn't be a ride, so thank you for your invaluable contribution.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    Please let me know if I'm misunderstanding your point here.
    I don't know whether you misunderstand my point, but you certainly did not draw the conclusion I was hoping to steer you towards. So let's review some points. To make this discussion intelligible let's call this philosophy we are discussing Idealism.

    The Materialist Assumption is: My senses reveal reality.

    The consequence of his assumption is that reality "exists" because he assumes it does.

    The Idealist Assumption is: Objects have no "existence" beyond my perception.

    The consequence of his assumption is that reality "exists" because he assumes it does.

    They are making different assumptions but their assumptions have the same consequence.

    The conclusion the general philosopher draws is that these two lines of thought intersect at the point where an object "exists" because we assume it does. But we have previously concluded (the point you worked hard to get me to appreciate) that there must be an objective reality. There is a contradiction here.

    On the one hand we have an objective reality, whilst on the other hand we have objects "exist" only when we assume they do. The only logical way I can see to remedy the contradiction is to accept that what we perceive is not the objective reality; there is an objective reality, but what we perceive is not it. You are right to point out that we are in an objective reality, but the conclusion is that whichever philosophy you adhere to, objective reality is not the world we experience.
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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    I get the impression that you are a materialist but that you are finding the investigation equally interesting and that you are along for the ride as long as you find the ride interesting. I am happy to acknowledge that without you there wouldn't be a ride, so thank you for your invaluable contribution.
    I do enjoy the ride. Part of the reason I enjoy it so much is because I believe that the closer I can get to the truth (if there is an objective truth), the better my chances are of manipulating reality (or working within it) to get what I want out of it.

    I never took on the label "materialist" because I think they might be jumping the gun on a few conclusions.

    I don't know whether you misunderstand my point, but you certainly did not draw the conclusion I was hoping to steer you towards. So let's review some points. To make this discussion intelligible let's call this philosophy we are discussing Idealism.

    The Materialist Assumption is: My senses reveal reality.

    The consequence of his assumption is that reality "exists" because he assumes it does.

    The Idealist Assumption is: Objects have no "existence" beyond my perception.

    The consequence of his assumption is that reality "exists" because he assumes it does.

    They are making different assumptions but their assumptions have the same consequence.

    The conclusion the general philosopher draws is that these two lines of thought intersect at the point where an object "exists" because we assume it does. But we have previously concluded (the point you worked hard to get me to appreciate) that there must be an objective reality. There is a contradiction here.

    On the one hand we have an objective reality, whilst on the other hand we have objects "exist" only when we assume they do. The only logical way I can see to remedy the contradiction is to accept that what we perceive is not the objective reality; there is an objective reality, but what we perceive is not it. You are right to point out that we are in an objective reality, but the conclusion is that whichever philosophy you adhere to, objective reality is not the world we experience.
    Let me explain my position on how my senses play a role in what I believe is real. I think that I have no other way of taking in information to consider outside of what I perceive (or sense). So if there is an outside world that I'm not aware of or could never be aware of, then I see no value in trying to speculate about it. If there is a way to discover the truth of that world (reality), then I'm open to suggestions. I do have difficulty thinking of a way that we could determine that this outside world exists without relying on the senses and still holding a valid argument, but again, I'm always open to new information. If this is all an illusion but it's the only thing type of existence that we can ever be aware of, then I think we must make do and live within the illusion as if it was all there was because in all practical purposes, it is all there is. I'm looking at this more in terms of its utility to me.

    I'm having difficulty understanding what you mean by "They are making different assumptions but their assumptions have the same consequence.". If the Idealist in your example does not see a sniper aiming at his head, isn't he just as affected by the bullet than if he knew that it was coming? Maybe I don't fully understand what you mean.

    I'm having difficulty understanding how you make the conclusion that "all assumptions have the same consequence" and how you believe science is superior to voodoo and astrology. There appears to be a conflict in logic if you accept both. I'm sure I'm just misunderstanding something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    I'm looking at this more in terms of its utility to me.
    This particular point we have been looking at these past couple of days probably does not have any "utility" value on its own, but an understanding of it is critical to the more utilitarian parts to follow, so I will make one more try to clear up the two "difficulty understanding" parts in your last two paragraphs.

    Here's what I said before, but this time I have numbered the lines.
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    1) The Materialist Assumption is: My senses reveal reality.

    2) The consequence of his assumption is that reality "exists" because he assumes it does.

    3) The Idealist Assumption is: Objects have no "existence" beyond my perception.

    4) The consequence of his assumption is that reality "exists" because he assumes it does.

    5) They are making different assumptions but their assumptions have the same consequence.
    Line 1) and line 3) introduce the two positions. Line 2) and line 4) are their respective consequences. Line 5) just makes the observation that line 2) and line 4) are the same. Both the Materialist and the Idealist have to make an assumption that objects "exist".

    Suppose you assumed cheese was better than sugar while I assumed sugar was worse than cheese. The actual assumptions you and I have made are different, but their effect is identical. Same thing with the Materialist and the Idealist. They have made slightly dfferent assumptions but the net effect is identical to them both; objects "exist" only because we assume they do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    If the Idealist in your example does not see a sniper aiming at his head, isn't he just as affected by the bullet than if he knew that it was coming?
    Since they both have to assume that objects "exist", this statement is still true if you replace "Idealist" with "Materialist". The Materialist is just as dead whether he assumes the bullet "exists" or not. The Idealist is just as dead whether he assumes the bullet "exists" or not. The whole point is that the two positions are identical in this respect; they both have to assume that objects "exist".

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    I'm having difficulty understanding how you make the conclusion that "all assumptions have the same consequence".
    I'm not surprised you are having difficulty understanding that, because I never said it. I did not say, nor did I intend to imply that "all assumptions have the same consequence". I pointed to one specific assumption being made by a Materialist and to one specific assumption being made by an Idealist and I said that these two specific assumptions are identical to each other in their effect.
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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    1) The Materialist Assumption is: My senses reveal reality.

    2) The consequence of his assumption is that reality "exists" because he assumes it does.

    3) The Idealist Assumption is: Objects have no "existence" beyond my perception.

    4) The consequence of his assumption is that reality "exists" because he assumes it does.

    5) They are making different assumptions but their assumptions have the same consequence.

    Line 1) and line 3) introduce the two positions. Line 2) and line 4) are their respective consequences. Line 5) just makes the observation that line 2) and line 4) are the same. Both the Materialist and the Idealist have to make an assumption that objects "exist".

    Suppose you assumed cheese was better than sugar while I assumed sugar was worse than cheese. The actual assumptions you and I have made are different, but their effect is identical. Same thing with the Materialist and the Idealist. They have made slightly dfferent assumptions but the net effect is identical to them both; objects "exist" only because we assume they do.
    Let's define "assume" for clarity. From Yahoo Education:

    Assume: To take for granted; suppose: assumed that prices would rise. See Synonyms at presume.

    Presume: To take for granted as being true in the absence of proof to the contrary

    Suppose: To believe, especially on uncertain or tentative grounds:

    These verbs signify to take something for granted or as being a fact. To presume is to suppose that something is reasonable or possible in the absence of proof to the contrary. To assume is to accept something as existing or being true without proof or on inconclusive grounds.

    For lines 1 & 2: The words "The consequence of his assumption" seem to presuppose that the individual is creating his experience, not logically deducing that he is. You can just as easily conclude that he is merely sensing what already exists without his existence. I'd say that the individual infers that he is independent of the reality and does not "assume" it.

    For line 3: The Idealist takes a much larger leap in logic and this is closer to an assumption IMHO.

    For line 5: Does that necessarily mean that their assumptions created that reality because they happen to have assumptions that appear to have the same consequence? Further, I fail to see why these necessarily need to be phrased "consequences of assumptions" over "assumptions/inferences/conclusion/etc, seemingly in line with what is observed." The former presupposes that the perceived reality is a result of the assumption and the latter gives a possibility that reality exists outside of the individual's input but does not presuppose it.

    Since they both have to assume that objects "exist", this statement is still true if you replace "Idealist" with "Materialist". The Materialist is just as dead whether he assumes the bullet "exists" or not. The Idealist is just as dead whether he assumes the bullet "exists" or not. The whole point is that the two positions are identical in this respect; they both have to assume that objects "exist".
    Question: Does a new born baby have assumptions? If so, then what about a human that's in the first stages of development in the womb, that's only about 8 days developed? How would the sniper scenario or any other scenario where they die, work?

    I'm not surprised you are having difficulty understanding that, because I never said it. I did not say, nor did I intend to imply that "all assumptions have the same consequence". I pointed to one specific assumption being made by a Materialist and to one specific assumption being made by an Idealist and I said that these two specific assumptions are identical to each other in their effect.
    I see, my mistake. Again, I'm seeing that the "assumptions having effects" is presupposed. Could you elaborate on why that is?
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    Attempts to define "assume", "for clarity" or otherwise are immaterial and deflect from the point. The Materialist knows that he cannot prove that what his senses tell him is true, so he performs some mental procedure or process that permits him to behave as though they do. Choosing to call this mental process to assume, to suppose or to potato soup is beside the point, he must act as though that which he chooses to believe is true. His "assumption" therefore has the consequence that his behaviour is directed by his choice to believe in his senses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    For lines 1 & 2: The words "The consequence of his assumption" seem to presuppose that the individual is creating his experience,...
    No they do not. The individual is simply trying to make sense of his observations. He does not claim that thinking about a cup creates that cup, but he does accept that his observation of a cup might (depending on his philosophy) imply that a cup exists.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    You can just as easily conclude that he is merely sensing what already exists without his existence.
    Not quite. The Materialist believes this to be true, but he knows he cannot prove it and that it is therefore just an assumption of his.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    I'd say that the individual infers that he is independent of the reality and does not "assume" it.
    The Materialist does not believe he is "independent" of the reality (at least I have never heard or read a Materialist claim this), he is a part of a reality which he detects with his senses. That means the Materialist supposes himself to be within the reality he detects, he is himself equally as real as the cup.

    Trying to claim a distinction between "infer" and "assume" is pathetic. IMHO


    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    For line 5: Does that necessarily mean that their assumptions created that reality...
    Neither one of them claims to have "created" anything. They are simply trying to make sense of their observations. The Materialist believes that what he senses is real. The Idealist does not believe this but nevertheless has to accept on some level that his food has an existence he cannot ignore. I said in an earlier post that the Idealist philosophy has interesting implications in realms other than those of toast, jobs, friends and beds. Forcing it to fit into the "material" realm is an accommodation borne of the necessity to navigate that world. The Idealist is "accommodating" material things but is well aware he has not "created" them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    The former presupposes that the perceived reality is a result of the assumption...
    Only in your mind does it do that. They are not claiming that "reality" results from their assumption, but conversely that their assumption is an attempt to explain their observation of "reality".

    Look at it this way. Rainbows are formed by some specific combination of light and moisture. When I see a rainbow I can assume that the required conditions obtain at that point. My assumption does not cause the conditions to occur, the conditions precede my observation which precedes the assumption. Same thing with the Materialist. He sees a cup, assumes his observation is of a real cup and that therefore the cup "exists". He does not claim or infer or suppose that his observation "caused" the cup to be real. He claims the cup IS real and his assumption makes sense of that (to him).

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    Question: Does a new born baby have assumptions? If so, then what about a human that's in the first stages of development in the womb, that's only about 8 days developed? How would the sniper scenario or any other scenario where they die, work?
    I refuse to believe this is a serious question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    I'm seeing that the "assumptions having effects" is presupposed. Could you elaborate on why that is?
    As previously stated, the person has to act on his assumptions. His behaviour is determined by the assumptions he makes. If I "assume" my senses are real that helps me decide whether to cross the road or not. Pretty obviously the assumption has the effect of preventing me from getting run over. Why is it even necessary to explain this?
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  70. #69  
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    Hey guys

    Not sure why this thread seems to be raising such strong feelings, but I like the discussions and ideas here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    For lines 1 & 2: The words "The consequence of his assumption" seem to presuppose that the individual is creating his experience, not logically deducing that he is. You can just as easily conclude that he is merely sensing what already exists without his existence. I'd say that the individual infers that he is independent of the reality and does not "assume" it.
    "Consequence of his assumption" could be taken many ways. In this case it is not in the sense that his assumption is causally efficient with creating a universe, but that his assumption is causally efficient in creating a further psychological state: the belief that there is a "real world" and that the phenomena experienced are relatively true reflections of this world. (With further physical consequences that will result from a person acting on certain beliefs and dispositions.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    For line 3: The Idealist takes a much larger leap in logic and this is closer to an assumption IMHO.
    Perhaps. But let us not forget that Idealism has, in some ways, an even more respectable pedigree than materialism and, while it has frequently been criticised through the ages, it has generally given as good as it got. Idealism (or its proponents) still makes demands of other worldviews, or ontological positions, with questions it claims to address far more satisfactorily than they. (For the record I do not think of myself as an idealist, but rather a half-hearted coherentist, but that's a different matter.)

    At least the idealist position addresses these matters (with which materialism, say, struggles):

    1. An explanation for the apparent universality of notions like 'pi'.

    2. More satisfying reasons for apparently transcendental mental states or phenomena than the materialist explanation of temporary delusion.

    3. An explanation for the phenomenon, that materialists cannot fully address, of the existence of illusions (optical, aural, dreams etc) that leave us unsettled regarding the fit between our phenomenal experiences and the "real world".

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    For line 5: Does that necessarily mean that their assumptions created that reality because they happen to have assumptions that appear to have the same consequence? Further, I fail to see why these necessarily need to be phrased "consequences of assumptions" over "assumptions/inferences/conclusion/etc, seemingly in line with what is observed." The former presupposes that the perceived reality is a result of the assumption and the latter gives a possibility that reality exists outside of the individual's input but does not presuppose it.
    See above where I point out that 'assumption' and 'consequences' can be taken in more than one way.

    It is generally considered to be a better philosophical attitude to try to interpret a writer in the way that is more sympathetic with his material, rather than with the arguments that you may wish to make against his position. This is not just a kind of professional courtesy, it also protects you from the possibility that he will clarify his terms and thereby provide an obvious and strong argument that you have not yet bothered to consider by your refusal to read his work sympathetically.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    Question: Does a new born baby have assumptions? If so, then what about a human that's in the first stages of development in the womb, that's only about 8 days developed? How would the sniper scenario or any other scenario where they die, work?
    This may be a relevant question in a different context, but when discussing the relationship between materialism, idealism and their ontological positions, it seems to come after the fact: this is after a question of psychology, but psychology (and developmental psychology) will be seen differently depending upon the initial ontological stance you take: for some it might be entirely irrelevant. (Consider a materialist who simply states that our brains are the product of evolution and so any innate concepts a baby may have, whether or not we can test for them, will simply be inherited tendencies. For this person it is irrelevant whether an infant has, strictly speaking, 'concepts' or not. If it does, they will be inherited tendencies. If it doesn't, it will learn them through inherited pathways. That's all.)

    Don't know if this helps clarify anything, but I think is quite a fruitful discussion you two have going on here and I couldn't help but add my tuppence.
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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Attempts to define "assume", "for clarity" or otherwise are immaterial and deflect from the point. The Materialist knows that he cannot prove that what his senses tell him is true, so he performs some mental procedure or process that permits him to behave as though they do. Choosing to call this mental process to assume, to suppose or to potato soup is beside the point, he must act as though that which he chooses to believe is true. His "assumption" therefore has the consequence that his behaviour is directed by his choice to believe in his senses.
    No they do not. The individual is simply trying to make sense of his observations. He does not claim that thinking about a cup creates that cup, but he does accept that his observation of a cup might (depending on his philosophy) imply that a cup exists.
    Not quite. The Materialist believes this to be true, but he knows he cannot prove it and that it is therefore just an assumption of his.
    The Materialist does not believe he is "independent" of the reality (at least I have never heard or read a Materialist claim this), he is a part of a reality which he detects with his senses. That means the Materialist supposes himself to be within the reality he detects, he is himself equally as real as the cup.
    Trying to claim a distinction between "infer" and "assume" is pathetic. IMHO
    This has all been merely a matter of me trying to understand what you have been explaining. Please refrain from using more immature comments if you want to continue this discussion with me. I don't care for straw man arguments, they're just a waste of everyone's time. My posts are sincere and based on how I read your posts.

    Neither one of them claims to have "created" anything. They are simply trying to make sense of their observations. The Materialist believes that what he senses is real. The Idealist does not believe this but nevertheless has to accept on some level that his food has an existence he cannot ignore. I said in an earlier post that the Idealist philosophy has interesting implications in realms other than those of toast, jobs, friends and beds. Forcing it to fit into the "material" realm is an accommodation borne of the necessity to navigate that world. The Idealist is "accommodating" material things but is well aware he has not "created" them.
    Only in your mind does it do that. They are not claiming that "reality" results from their assumption, but conversely that their assumption is an attempt to explain their observation of "reality".
    Look at it this way. Rainbows are formed by some specific combination of light and moisture. When I see a rainbow I can assume that the required conditions obtain at that point. My assumption does not cause the conditions to occur, the conditions precede my observation which precedes the assumption. Same thing with the Materialist. He sees a cup, assumes his observation is of a real cup and that therefore the cup "exists". He does not claim or infer or suppose that his observation "caused" the cup to be real. He claims the cup IS real and his assumption makes sense of that (to him).
    Now this is starting to make sense to me and I do agree. Although I do think there's value in clarifying the difference between assumptions and inferences.

    I refuse to believe this is a serious question.
    Again, that question was based on what I thought you were saying. I won't deal with attitudes.

    As previously stated, the person has to act on his assumptions. His behaviour is determined by the assumptions he makes. If I "assume" my senses are real that helps me decide whether to cross the road or not. Pretty obviously the assumption has the effect of preventing me from getting run over. Why is it even necessary to explain this?
    Looking back on your posts after now understanding what you've said, I agree with the following post:

    I don't know whether you misunderstand my point, but you certainly did not draw the conclusion I was hoping to steer you towards. So let's review some points. To make this discussion intelligible let's call this philosophy we are discussing Idealism.
    The Materialist Assumption is: My senses reveal reality.
    The consequence of his assumption is that reality "exists" because he assumes it does.
    The Idealist Assumption is: Objects have no "existence" beyond my perception.
    The consequence of his assumption is that reality "exists" because he assumes it does.
    They are making different assumptions but their assumptions have the same consequence.
    The conclusion the general philosopher draws is that these two lines of thought intersect at the point where an object "exists" because we assume it does. But we have previously concluded (the point you worked hard to get me to appreciate) that there must be an objective reality. There is a contradiction here.
    On the one hand we have an objective reality, whilst on the other hand we have objects "exist" only when we assume they do. The only logical way I can see to remedy the contradiction is to accept that what we perceive is not the objective reality; there is an objective reality, but what we perceive is not it. You are right to point out that we are in an objective reality, but the conclusion is that whichever philosophy you adhere to, objective reality is not the world we experience.
    Are you suggesting that what we perceive is completely off of what is objective reality or is there room for it to be at least partially perceived?
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  72. #71  
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior
    Hey guys

    Not sure why this thread seems to be raising such strong feelings, but I like the discussions and ideas here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    For lines 1 & 2: The words "The consequence of his assumption" seem to presuppose that the individual is creating his experience, not logically deducing that he is. You can just as easily conclude that he is merely sensing what already exists without his existence. I'd say that the individual infers that he is independent of the reality and does not "assume" it.
    "Consequence of his assumption" could be taken many ways. In this case it is not in the sense that his assumption is causally efficient with creating a universe, but that his assumption is causally efficient in creating a further psychological state: the belief that there is a "real world" and that the phenomena experienced are relatively true reflections of this world. (With further physical consequences that will result from a person acting on certain beliefs and dispositions.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    For line 3: The Idealist takes a much larger leap in logic and this is closer to an assumption IMHO.
    Perhaps. But let us not forget that Idealism has, in some ways, an even more respectable pedigree than materialism and, while it has frequently been criticised through the ages, it has generally given as good as it got. Idealism (or its proponents) still makes demands of other worldviews, or ontological positions, with questions it claims to address far more satisfactorily than they. (For the record I do not think of myself as an idealist, but rather a half-hearted coherentist, but that's a different matter.)

    At least the idealist position addresses these matters (with which materialism, say, struggles):

    1. An explanation for the apparent universality of notions like 'pi'.

    2. More satisfying reasons for apparently transcendental mental states or phenomena than the materialist explanation of temporary delusion.

    3. An explanation for the phenomenon, that materialists cannot fully address, of the existence of illusions (optical, aural, dreams etc) that leave us unsettled regarding the fit between our phenomenal experiences and the "real world".

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    For line 5: Does that necessarily mean that their assumptions created that reality because they happen to have assumptions that appear to have the same consequence? Further, I fail to see why these necessarily need to be phrased "consequences of assumptions" over "assumptions/inferences/conclusion/etc, seemingly in line with what is observed." The former presupposes that the perceived reality is a result of the assumption and the latter gives a possibility that reality exists outside of the individual's input but does not presuppose it.
    See above where I point out that 'assumption' and 'consequences' can be taken in more than one way.

    It is generally considered to be a better philosophical attitude to try to interpret a writer in the way that is more sympathetic with his material, rather than with the arguments that you may wish to make against his position. This is not just a kind of professional courtesy, it also protects you from the possibility that he will clarify his terms and thereby provide an obvious and strong argument that you have not yet bothered to consider by your refusal to read his work sympathetically.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    Question: Does a new born baby have assumptions? If so, then what about a human that's in the first stages of development in the womb, that's only about 8 days developed? How would the sniper scenario or any other scenario where they die, work?
    This may be a relevant question in a different context, but when discussing the relationship between materialism, idealism and their ontological positions, it seems to come after the fact: this is after a question of psychology, but psychology (and developmental psychology) will be seen differently depending upon the initial ontological stance you take: for some it might be entirely irrelevant. (Consider a materialist who simply states that our brains are the product of evolution and so any innate concepts a baby may have, whether or not we can test for them, will simply be inherited tendencies. For this person it is irrelevant whether an infant has, strictly speaking, 'concepts' or not. If it does, they will be inherited tendencies. If it doesn't, it will learn them through inherited pathways. That's all.)

    Don't know if this helps clarify anything, but I think is quite a fruitful discussion you two have going on here and I couldn't help but add my tuppence.
    Hi SW:

    Thanks for the clarification. Your post did help me understand what numbers was saying. I don't think my post was showing any strong emotions and I'm not sure what was wrong with numbers. Maybe he had a bad day.

    I wasn't attempting to slip in a straw man, as I mentioned in my last post. I don't like wasting my own time or fooling myself, so I have no need for them. I also have no problem admitting when I'm wrong. I was just typing based on what I thought he was saying.

    I don't have any formal education on philosophy or any other the various popular schools of thought in the field so you guys are going to have to excuse me for my ignorance on the subject.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    Now this is starting to make sense to me and I do agree. Although I do think there's value in clarifying the difference between assumptions and inferences.
    Well okay, let's do that then. For the purposes of most philosophical or ontological discussion the following definitions seem reasonable.

    Inference: the act or process of deriving a conclusion based solely on what one already knows.

    Assumption: a statement, the truth value of which is not known, but which is to be taken as true for the purpose of the argument which follows.

    The difference between them, then, is that the assumption would have to precede the inference. First, assume a truth. Second, infer something from that assumed truth. Referring back to our example we have the Materialist assuming his senses are revealing "reality", and from that inferring that the cup exists. Which would translate as the Materialist and the Idealist making different assumptions but arriving at the same inference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    Looking back on your posts after now understanding what you've said, I agree with the following post:
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    They are making different assumptions but their assumptions have the same consequence... <snip> ...objective reality is not the world we experience.
    From my perspective, the important point to have got out of the discussion so far is that the "existence" of objects is an assumption that we (regardless of our philosophy) make in order to help us make sense of our observations.

    I do, however, want to make sure that you have not only understood what I have said, but that you do not understand me to mean something (in particular) that I have not said.

    When a person makes the assumption that the cup "exists", all he is doing is making sense of his observations. He is not claiming that his assumption has any univeral truth value. Both sides, as far as I know, admit the potential for them to be wrong. An assumption is not a claim to "knowledge", it is merely a device for making sense of stuff. By this criteria, different ontological positions simply become the group of assumptions you are most comfortable with, and no one is claiming to be "right" about any of this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    Are you suggesting that what we perceive is completely off of what is objective reality or is there room for it to be at least partially perceived?
    I do not see any wiggle room. Whichever philosophy you adhere to, objective reality is not the world we experience.

    I mentioned that the Idealist position has interesting consequences in areas other than the material realm of jobs and friends and toast. To give some idea of where I am heading with this I want to link to an essay from the reknowned scientist Stephen Jay Gould whom I hope needs no introduction. We are not going to be discussing this essay specifically (unless you want to), just think of this as being a signpost along the route we are going to be taking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizen
    I don't have any formal education on philosophy...
    Me neither, so apologies not required, and I apologise for making you feel it necessary to do so.
    Everything the laws of the universe do not prohibit must finally happen.
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