quote:Originally posted by robinrohan: I think what this is all about is that you just hate pinning something down and having something to say
BS. I dislike your thinking you have something to say when actually, you are more confused than you could ever imagine.
quote:you want the possibility of that other no-name reality being out there somewhere possibly. Fine.
You really really really need to actually study what you are debating.
quote:We have to go on what we know now.
Well, that would be Hume. Where would you like to go from there?
quote:And all we know is that the traditional metaphysical philosophies can be boiled down to 3.
I beg you.... please please please submit your work as a term paper in an upper level philosophy class at a reputable university.
quote:If you want to add a forth and call that "God knows what," go ahead.
You may think you are jabbing at me, but you are actually jabbing at one of the most influential minds of the last 500 years-- Kant. And at the same time demonstrating your utter ignorance of his metaphysics. Interesting...
quote:Are there differences in detail between the various idealistic philosophers?--of course there are.
Bet you don't know what they are. Bet you can't even tell me the variations are on the use of the term (without looking it up).
quote:I wasn't talking about details--I was talking about what they had in common.
Fine, but comparing commonality isn't the same as boiling them down to the same thing. To do that, YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT DETAILS.
quote:Here's something that all idealists have in common--they think that the physical world is--in some sense or other--an illusion. Kant calls it "phenomena"; Plato called it an imperfect copy of the ideal; the Hindus call it "maya" (a veil). Surely you can see that all these philosophies have something in common, and that's why they are all idealists.
hmmmm.... now we are talking about idealism. Did this not start off being about mind, physical and dual?
You are equivocating again. That's what happens when you don't pay attention to detail.
quote:Originally posted by robinrohan: John, how all this started was that I very innocently (I thought) named the 3 traditional metaphysical beliefs (it's not like I made this up)
More like deified 3 traditional metaphysical beliefs. My initial response was to the dogmatic tone of your post.
What you've done is latch onto some very fuzzy definitions of pretty much every 'class' of metaphysic you've mentioned. Your definitions change as you go, even. "Idealism" has meant numerous different things. You gallop happily right over that, mixing and matching as you go.
What you want, I think, is to divide metaphysics into perceptions-are-illusory and perceptions-are-real. This isn't the division between idealism and materialism-- the terms have had too many incarnations for this to be meaningful.
quote:and you jumped on me like I had committed a sin against the holy ghost of Hume.
Little Davy made a pretty good mess of things. But actually I think you've committed as sin against every philosopher whose work you've distorted via lumping.
quote:And then you started telling me that I can't submit a paper to the graduate department of philosophy
I challenged you to submit a paper.
quote:and that I am ignorant of the detailed arguments of these philosophers and that I am equivocating and so forth.
Which, by your own admission, you are.
quote:Well, I would agree with the submitting of the paper, and I probably don't know a whole lot about some of these philosophers you mention
But you feel qualified to lump them together? Why does this not strike you as absurd?
quote:it's not like I am expert or anything
Glad that you are waking up to that.
quote:and claim that your method of argument is much worse than mine
What method is that? The one involving actually having read the philosophers I discuss?
quote:and that you have yet to provide evidence of a 4th alternative to mind, matter, or both.
You have yet to provide evidence of mind or matter. Thus far, all you have made are assertions. And I have provided numerous examples of alternative conceptions of reality. Your replies are to simply reassert your premises. It isn't very convincing. Tell me why, for example, a Platonic Form is an invalid conception? Or is more invalid than that of mind?
Thus we eliminate mental from your statement above, leaving spiritual. We add physical, which option the Forms are not. Then we add back mental, which a Form is not. This gives us three worlds, not two. This gives us seven possibilities. Each world standing alone and the four permutations of those universes disallowing reversals of order. This is significantly more than three-- mental, physical, dualistic.
If you wish to argue that spiritual and mental are the same, then then we must eliminate the joint mental/physical world leaving us only with the physical and the Form world -- not physical and not mental/spiritual. Again the options work out to more than three. In fact, the numbers work out to just what we had above.
quote:Originally posted by robinrohan: What did the encyclopedia say the Form was? You just quoted what it was not. Just curious.
For Plato, the Forms were Reality with a capital R. They were what truly is, just as some folks think that the physical world is what truly is. The world we live in is an imperfect reflection of this Form-World. You can complain that the world of Forms is a pretty fuzzy idea, and I'd agree, but no more fuzzy than the ideas of mind, substance, or just about anything else. Writing it off because it is fuzzy just isn't fair if you write in equally fuzzy concepts.
Latter derivations of the theory of forms by christian theologians made them into ideas in the mind of god, amongst other variations.
quote:Originally posted by robinrohan: I think there are degrees of fuzziness, and that "mentality" and "physicality," though problematic, are a lot less fuzzy than Platonic forms.
Is this an appeal to how your brain works?
quote:We have experience or apparent experience with mentality and physicality, but I have no conscious experience, real or apparent, with the world of Forms.
We have experience of perceptions alone. Anything more involves assumption. This is the realization Hume had. There is no mind, no substance, no spirit, nothing, in fact that is directly observable but the perceptions themselves. This puts pretty much everything on the same playing field.
It may seem obvious to you that we have a mind or that there is a physical world, but they are assumptions nonetheless. This is the reason I asked if you were appealing to the way your brain works. That you think something is obvious, does not make it so and it certainly does not add anything to its truth value.
quote:Originally posted by robinrohan: John,It may seem obvious to you that we have experience of perception alone (whatever that means), but that is an assumption.
It is observation WITHOUT assumption. Imagine a red screen filling you field of vision. Do you see a red wall, or do you see 'red'? When you type a letter do you feel the key, or do you feel a sensation? It is assumption to say that the key is a thing. All you have is the sensation. It could be a phantom, like the phantom pain felt by people who have lost a leg. It isn't me making assumptions.
quote:Don't expect everybody else to have your assumptions.
Why not robinrohan, this is precisely what you expect?
quote:Originally posted by robinrohan: My point is this:
This was your point was it?
quote:your pose of radical empiricism is just that: a pose.
Scanning back through your posts I notice that you have addressed very little head on, but mostly just restate the argument you had when you got here. You have also demonstrated a rather profound ignorance of the ideas you sweep under the rug. So I am not very inclined to care what you think of my position.
quote:Radical empiricism is impossible.
Actually, its not impossible. It is damned easy actually, but you end up with virtually no knowledge.
quote:If you like, I will explain why.
Does this explaination consist of more than stating your opinion and stamping your foot really really hard? If so, do tell. You'll be famous for it.
quote:Originally posted by robinrohan: I keep coming back to the idea that, as you explained, we have an unified image in an electrical but not in a pictorial sense. So it looks to me like a leap from the electrical to the pictorial. That leap we call the "mental."
Do computers also have a mental leap when an image goes from a binary file on your hard drive to a picture on your screen?
quote:Originally posted by robinrohan: No, computers don't. They produce a pictorial image. Are you suggesting that the brain produces a physical pictorial image?
I was responding to this:
quote: I keep coming back to the idea that, as you explained, we have an unified image in an electrical but not in a pictorial sense. So it looks to me like a leap from the electrical to the pictorial. That leap we call the "mental."
It very much implies the production of a pictorial image. It is not I suggesting the brain produce a pictorial image. It looks to me like what you are saying is that we have electrical patterns in our brain that represent images. When we remember these images the mind, not the brain, sees these patterns as pictures-- translates these patterns to pictorial images. What is this mental leap?
quote:I've already talked about this with Obsidian and Quetval and they agreed that the brain does not produce a pictorial image, only an electrical image.
Kind-of obvious really....
quote:What that means is the comparison with computers does not hold.
There are lots of reasons a brain is not like a computer. But you claimed to have found 'mental' in the jump between electronic patterns and pictorial images. Computers make that jump all the time.
Just trying to find out what you are talking about.
Nonetheless we have imaginary pictorial images--the "monitor" is the mind.
As Zhimbo has pointed out, from the computer's point of view-- this is the view we have to take for the sake of the analogy-- what the monitor displays to the outside is not relevant. For the computer it is still just electrons. ( The monitor's display would be, say, our facial expressions. ) As you trace those signals back from the screen through the wires and circuits, there is no 'jump' of mentality. Yet, the electronic patterns are meaningful to the machine-- meaning, it can manipulate them to provide the external display.
Of course, computers lack self-reflection -- as is painfully obvious if you've ever tried to force a program to not only generate a variable's values on the fly but to generate the variables as well.
quote:Originally posted by robinrohan: Nonetheless we can visualize pictorially. When we imagine we don't in our imagination "see" a network of neurons. We see a picture.
When you see a painting on the wall, you don't, if we are to believe the rumors, see the painting. Light hits your retinas and is converted into electronic signals which travel to your brain and are interpretted by the brain into the image we think is external to us.
Imagining is the same process minus the retinas. Is all vision a jump of mentality?
quote:Originally posted by robinrohan: John, what do you mean we don't "see the painting"? Are you suggesting that what I see is an illusion? If so, that illusion is the leap of mentality.
You don't 'see' the picture. Think about the sequnce of events.
You got the thing-in-itself-- the picture.
1) Light hits the picture. Some of the light is absorbed, some is reflected. So we are at the 'reflected light' stage, one step removed from the picture.
2) The reflected light hits the eye and travels to the retina. As it passes through the eye it is distorted. This distortion we call 'focusing' We are now at the 'focused-reflected light stage' and are two steps removed from the picture.
3) The light is converted to electronic signals by cells in the retina. We are now three steps removed.
4) The electronic signals travel through the optic nerves to the appropriate part(s) of the brain where it is converted into the images we see. Four steps removed, and all, so far physical processes.
If I read you right, you are saying that what reads these interpretations is 'Mind'?