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Author Topic:   Materialism
Dr Adequate
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Posts: 15960
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 5.6


Message 31 of 114 (738209)
10-06-2014 11:43 AM
Reply to: Message 26 by Faith
10-06-2014 12:09 AM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
OK velocity makes an interesting example. There must be others. However, to be accurate, velocity isn't a "thing."

Well, that would depend on what you mean by "thing". If you mean a material object, then no it isn't, that's the point. But in that respect isn't it like the other things (or not-things, pesky English language) that you mention, such as feelings? Is boredom (for example) a "thing" --- or is being bored something (pesky English language again) that my mind does, just as a car travels at 30 mph (or "has" a velocity of 30 mph)?

To take another example, consider inflation. It would sit uneasily on the tongue to say "There is no inflation" or "Inflation doesn't exist" --- that makes it sound like we're saying the inflation rate is 0%. But it is far from being a material substance. (It does have a material substrate, the exchange of physical things such as goods and money.) Might we not say that it stands in the same relation to the economy as an emotion does to my mind or brain?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by Faith, posted 10-06-2014 12:09 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
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Faith
Member
Posts: 26448
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 32 of 114 (738210)
10-06-2014 12:55 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by NoNukes
10-06-2014 11:11 AM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
You're right, it isn't always a distrust of people's honesty, but of their rationality or good judgment. In any case with spiritual phenomena where the only evidence is people's experiences you either believe them or you don't and materialists by definition don't.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Faith
Member
Posts: 26448
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 33 of 114 (738211)
10-06-2014 12:56 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by NoNukes
10-06-2014 11:32 AM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
I think including energy would make this subject far more complicated than it needs to be. I still like PaulK's definition: it's about what things are made of. We can get that one confused enough as it is.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by NoNukes, posted 10-06-2014 11:32 AM NoNukes has responded

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 Message 35 by NoNukes, posted 10-06-2014 1:51 PM Faith has responded

    
Faith
Member
Posts: 26448
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 34 of 114 (738212)
10-06-2014 1:07 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by Dr Adequate
10-06-2014 11:43 AM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
However, to be accurate, velocity isn't a "thing."

Well, that would depend on what you mean by "thing". If you mean a material object, then no it isn't, that's the point. But in that respect isn't it like the other things (or not-things, pesky English language) that you mention, such as feelings? Is boredom (for example) a "thing" --- or is being bored something (pesky English language again) that my mind does, just as a car travels at 30 mph (or "has" a velocity of 30 mph)?

To take another example, consider inflation. It would sit uneasily on the tongue to say "There is no inflation" or "Inflation doesn't exist" --- that makes it sound like we're saying the inflation rate is 0%. But it is far from being a material substance. (It does have a material substrate, the exchange of physical things such as goods and money.) Might we not say that it stands in the same relation to the economy as an emotion does to my mind or brain?

I would claim that some of the nonmaterial things are things but I think you are right to raise the question. Mind must be a thing in this context, but the products of mind may not properly be things, though I'm not sure I could say why not. Should ideas or concepts be considered things? But that would make mathematics a thing too, which PaulK convinced me it isn't. I don't think velocity should be considered a thing though. Why? I guess because it's an action. Neither should inflation but it's hard to say why not. Pesky English language for sure.

Having a physical substrate (mind-brain) doesn't make the mind a thing though, it's a thing because it's a thing. A nonmaterial thing.

Ghosts, angels and demons must be regarded as things for sure -- well, beings, but they have thing-ness in existing as objects.

I'm for going back to mind versus body/matter.

ABE: In any case I think the point has been made that not everything normally understood to be real has materiality, and mind seems to be the most undisputed example of that.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by Dr Adequate, posted 10-06-2014 11:43 AM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

    
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9993
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 35 of 114 (738213)
10-06-2014 1:51 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by Faith
10-06-2014 12:56 PM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
I think including energy would make this subject far more complicated than it needs to be. I still like PaulK's definition: it's about what things are made of. We can get that one confused enough as it is.

The problem with your take is that the question is complicated. The inherent sloppiness in defining materialism as "What things are made" is exactly the point of the OP.

We can talk about matter alone, but every interaction between material objects is about a transfer or a change in form of energy. I don't believe it is possible to talk with precision about the boundaries of materialism without acknowledging energy and forces.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by Faith, posted 10-06-2014 12:56 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by Faith, posted 10-06-2014 2:04 PM NoNukes has responded

    
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9993
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 36 of 114 (738214)
10-06-2014 1:55 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by Faith
10-06-2014 12:55 PM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
You're right, it isn't always a distrust of people's honesty, but of their rationality or good judgment.

Or just a matter of human limitation. We don't have to accuse people of having poor judgment every time they are mistaken about something.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by Faith, posted 10-06-2014 12:55 PM Faith has not yet responded

    
Faith
Member
Posts: 26448
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 37 of 114 (738216)
10-06-2014 2:04 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by NoNukes
10-06-2014 1:51 PM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
The problem with your take is that the question is complicated. The inherent sloppiness in defining materialism as "What things are made" is exactly the point of the OP.

I don't think it's sloppy at all, although it doesn't succeed in simplifying the problem as much as I'd hope it would.

We can talk about matter alone, but every interaction between material objects is about a transfer or a change in form of energy. I don't believe it is possible to talk with precision about the boundaries of materialism without acknowledging energy and forces.

Talking with precision about this is a remote objective at this point. it seems to me we should be trying to simplify it as much as possible, and as far as the Mind-Body Problem goes it doesn't require us to get into the scientific definitions. which weren't known to the philosophers who originally formulated the problem anyway, we should stick to intuitive categories as much as possible. Forces and energy in relation to matter aren't exactly intuitive, but "what things are made of" comes pretty close to such a definition.

Mind stretches the definition anyway: in what sense is it a "thing?" But I still like it because people agree that mind is real although it's nonmaterial. You apprehend your own mind and you see the effects of mind in others.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by NoNukes, posted 10-06-2014 1:51 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by NoNukes, posted 10-06-2014 9:18 PM Faith has responded

    
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9993
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 38 of 114 (738230)
10-06-2014 9:18 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by Faith
10-06-2014 2:04 PM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
Talking with precision about this is a remote objective at this point. it seems to me we should be trying to simplify it as much as possible, and as far as the Mind-Body Problem goes it doesn't require us to get into the scientific definitions.

Avoiding science is just your objective. But trading away what others might find to be minimal amounts of complexity for imprecision might not be what everyone chooses. For me saying materialism is about stuff and things, where things and stuff are undefined is not helpful.

Other people might consider mind to fall entirely within the material portion and find your dichotomy irrelevant. In any event, watching you struggle with concepts like velocity suggests that your proposal might be incomplete.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by Faith, posted 10-06-2014 2:04 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by Faith, posted 10-06-2014 10:16 PM NoNukes has responded

    
Faith
Member
Posts: 26448
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 39 of 114 (738231)
10-06-2014 10:16 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by NoNukes
10-06-2014 9:18 PM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
The Mind-Body Problem is not *my* dichotomy, this is a famous philosophical problem. Nobody finds mind to fall within the material, it's clearly not matter, or you could study it the way you study matter and you can't. The closest anyone comes to that is emphasizing the brain as its material substrate.

Skinnerian behaviorism treated the mind as a sort of nonentity, as an "epiphenomenon." I've always considered the mind to be more important than the brain myself, even more real than the brain in a way. long before I was a Christian too. We relate to each other's minds and personalities and never see each other's brains after all.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by NoNukes, posted 10-06-2014 9:18 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by NoNukes, posted 10-06-2014 10:43 PM Faith has responded

    
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9993
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 40 of 114 (738234)
10-06-2014 10:43 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by Faith
10-06-2014 10:16 PM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
The Mind-Body Problem is not *my* dichotomy, this is a famous philosophical problem.

Okay.

Nobody finds mind to fall within the material, it's clearly not matter, or you could study it the way you study matter and you can't.

I don't care whose dichotomy it is. Yes you can make progress applying empirical and material methods in studying the mind.

If you find it useful to define materialism in this way, then do so. I don't personally find it useful to do so, and I've given reasons for why I find this particular definition inadequate. So far I don't see any particular rebuttal from you addressing my reasons so perhaps discussion between you and I isn't going to be productive.

We relate to each other's minds and personalities and never see each other's brains after all.

People react with each other in ways that are entirely expressed through material means. Speech, seeing, contact etc. are all entirely physical and material phenomena. So the fact that we don't see each others brains is besides the point.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Faith, posted 10-06-2014 10:16 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by Faith, posted 10-07-2014 1:00 AM NoNukes has responded

    
Faith
Member
Posts: 26448
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 41 of 114 (738236)
10-07-2014 1:00 AM
Reply to: Message 40 by NoNukes
10-06-2014 10:43 PM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
Oh I dunno, I get a piece of your mind from your posts at EvC all the way across the country without seeing your lips move or hearing the sound of your voice. Mind is far more what we *are* than any of the material apparatus that houses and conveys it. IMHO. But OK, you're a materialist, my worthy opponent.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by NoNukes, posted 10-06-2014 10:43 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 42 by NoNukes, posted 10-07-2014 3:10 AM Faith has responded

    
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9993
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 42 of 114 (738238)
10-07-2014 3:10 AM
Reply to: Message 41 by Faith
10-07-2014 1:00 AM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
Oh I dunno, I get a piece of your mind from your posts at EvC all the way across the country without seeing your lips move or hearing the sound of your voice.

Yes. By reading what I write. No big mystery.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by Faith, posted 10-07-2014 1:00 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by Faith, posted 10-07-2014 7:05 AM NoNukes has responded

    
Faith
Member
Posts: 26448
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 43 of 114 (738240)
10-07-2014 7:05 AM
Reply to: Message 42 by NoNukes
10-07-2014 3:10 AM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
Don't even get to see you write it, see your fingers plunk the keys that make the little marks that I can read as words. No big mystery, yeah, but the point is that the physical agencies of all of this are performing quite incidental mechanical mindless actions, while the main thing is that you are conveying your mind to mine by these mechanical actions. You, your mind, not your fingers, etc. The material part is just a tool of your mind, the mind is really the main thing.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by NoNukes, posted 10-07-2014 3:10 AM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 44 by NoNukes, posted 10-07-2014 8:18 AM Faith has not yet responded
 Message 47 by Dr Adequate, posted 10-07-2014 12:02 PM Faith has responded

    
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9993
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 44 of 114 (738242)
10-07-2014 8:18 AM
Reply to: Message 43 by Faith
10-07-2014 7:05 AM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
Don't even get to see you write it,

Isn't the written word wonderful. You did not get to see anyone write the Bible either. In fact the authors are all dead. Yet when you read it and you understand the relationship ancient people had with their God.

You can get the same impression from reading "Cry, the beloved Country" but in that case you will be reading fiction and understanding the feelings of people who never existed all written by a deceased author.

If you have a point, this isn't the way to make it.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by Faith, posted 10-07-2014 7:05 AM Faith has not yet responded

    
1.61803
Member
Posts: 2718
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 45 of 114 (738251)
10-07-2014 10:18 AM


Music
Music is another interesting crossover.
The physical manifestation of music is material insofar as it moves air molecules in waves which is perceived as sound. But the music exist on the score as well and can be read and imagined by the mind.

Now you say well the score is paper and the ink is physical, but the music exist as a non physical idea like mathematics. The sounds not being necessary for the music to be heard.


"You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative" William S. Burroughs

Replies to this message:
 Message 46 by Dr Adequate, posted 10-07-2014 11:54 AM 1.61803 has responded
 Message 49 by PaulK, posted 10-07-2014 4:12 PM 1.61803 has acknowledged this reply

  
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