Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby A_Seagull on February 9th, 2019, 4:56 pm 

charon » February 10th, 2019, 4:25 am wrote:[The essential difference, of course, is that moon is actual

No, that is just an idea!
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby Serpent on February 9th, 2019, 5:01 pm 

If ideas are everything, right down to atoms, then there can be no beginning to go back to, and nothing to philosophize about, except the self-generated ideas of a self-generated philosopher who can't even presume that he himself is real. If you gaze at your navel too long, there is a danger of falling in.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby A_Seagull on February 9th, 2019, 5:03 pm 

TheVat » February 10th, 2019, 2:47 am wrote:
A_Seagull » February 9th, 2019, 12:20 am wrote:
charon » February 9th, 2019, 3:46 pm wrote:No, that's just an idea. Ideas aren't the answer.


Perhaps not, but as suggested in the OP: in philosophy, ideas are everything.

An atom is an idea, even reality is an idea. Without those ideas no one would have any idea (or knowledge) that they existed.


Isn't there a reality which exists independently of our ideas about it? A physicist at CERN isn't firing two beams of idea at each other. And science works so well (when you board a jet, or undergo medical procedure you seem to accept this) because it refines our perceptions of the regularities in that reality.
Few are interested in solipsism.


I am not interested in solipsism either.

There is a difference between the phenomena and the noumena. And it is perfectly acceptable for scientists and non-philosophers to accept the reality of the noumena.

However for philosophers the distinction is both significant and important. The noumena is an inference from the phenomena.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby A_Seagull on February 9th, 2019, 6:21 pm 

My position is pretty much summed up in the brief article I wrote for a recent edition of 'Philosophy Now' magazine in response to the question: "Is the world an illusion?"
https://philosophynow.org/issues/129/Is ... n_Illusion

I reprint it in full here:

Is the world an illusion? I will first examine what is meant by ‘world’, and subsequently what is meant by ‘illusion’. People typically do not differentiate between ‘the world’ and its perception. This is called ‘naïve realism’. But in the domain of philosophy it is essential to distinguish between Immanuel Kant’s noumenon (mind-independent reality) and the phenomenon (the sensory appearance of the world). All that is perceived is the phenomenon; the noumenon is an hypothesis used to explain the existence of the phenomenon. The sum total of the perceptions of the world constitute a model of the world; all that one knows of the world is a model. The logical processes by which perceptions can be combined to create this model are based upon pattern identification of the sense-data. (I discuss these processes in detail in my book The Pattern Paradigm.)

So when one refers to ‘the world’ one is really referring to one’s model of the world. And while this model is only a model, it does enable one to interact effectively with the world (or model of the world) in order to meet one’s basic needs (and also, one’s not-so-basic needs). In this way the model of the world can be considered to be ‘real’ [Kant’s term for this is ‘empirically real’, Ed]. While everyone’s model of the world is different from everyone else’s, there is enough commonality for meaningful communication to take place.

An illusion is created through having a temporary fault with the sense organs resulting in faulty sense-data, or by utilising a pattern from the sense-data that is significantly less than optimum. Such an illusion would not allow for effective interaction with the world, and hence not enable one's needs to be met. This is how it can be identified as an illusion and be distinguished from one's useful model of the world. So there is a qualitative difference between a model of the world and an illusion that is sufficient to conclude that the world, or at least one’s model of the world, is not an illusion.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby PaulN on February 9th, 2019, 6:36 pm 

Pre-Kantian noumenon is not much favored by scientists, because it's the noumenon of the Platonists.

Post Kant, it is defined more in terms of perceptual limitation and the effort to pull the veil back a little with instruments that extend the senses and delve into unseen realms like the subatomic and the quantum state.

Scientists understand that illusions are a sound concept because they tend to be metaphysical realists, i.e. you can only identify illusions if you already succeed in identifying reality. That is, your shared models of an external world are effective and predictive.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby charon on February 9th, 2019, 7:30 pm 

Seagull -

This is a critique of the article you posted.
People typically do not differentiate between ‘the world’ and its perception.


Okay.

The sum total of the perceptions of the world constitute a model of the world; all that one knows of the world is a model.


Agreed.

So when one refers to ‘the world’ one is really referring to one’s model of the world. And while this model is only a model, it does enable one to interact effectively with the world (or model of the world) in order to meet one’s basic needs


Disagree. One doesn't think of 'the world' day to day, one just gets on with life, but it's not just basic needs. Living is everything one does - work, relationships, the whole complexity of life.

I think we make too much of it. Yes, one needs to interact with the world but that's how we operate. So long as we can act sanely the physical processes are not an issue. Psychologically it's the same. Only when something goes wrong, like falling out with somebody or a traumatic event, is there an issue.

In this way the model of the world can be considered to be ‘real’.


Only up to a point. Beyond that any change is noted and adjustments made so one's perception of the things around us are in constant flux. Nothing is static, ever, so there's no rigid model.

While everyone’s model of the world is different from everyone else’s, there is enough commonality for meaningful communication to take place


There's a great deal of commonality, I'd say more than there is difference. The percentage of difference is very, very small. With normal people, that is.

An illusion is created through having a temporary fault with the sense organs


Not at all, it's a psychological issue. If my eyesight gets bad, or I go deaf, that is a problem with the sense organs - and it may not be temporary. But if I'm prone psychologically to various delusions, and many of us are, that's another thing altogether.

This is how it can be identified as an illusion and be distinguished from one's useful model of the world.


But the two are together. What we see as the world is coloured by our thinking processes, moods, and so on. Like time zooms by or drags according to mood.

When the writer says distinguish illusion from model the illusion isn't separate from the model. They're both part of the same psychological process.

So there is a qualitative difference between a model of the world and an illusion that is sufficient to conclude that the world, or at least one’s model of the world, is not an illusion.


Not at all, one's model of the world may be all right on a basic level. Mental cases can get up, dress themselves, and function fairly normally on a day to day basis. But they may be completely screwed mentally. They might be depressed or paranoid and think people mean them harm them, etc etc. Or want to kill others, like serial killers. In other words they still see the sky, the clouds, the cars and the people as we all do, but interaction with the world is much more complex than that.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby A_Seagull on February 9th, 2019, 11:39 pm 

Serpent » February 10th, 2019, 9:01 am wrote:If ideas are everything, right down to atoms, then there can be no beginning to go back to, and nothing to philosophize about, except the self-generated ideas of a self-generated philosopher who can't even presume that he himself is real. If you gaze at your navel too long, there is a danger of falling in.


\What I said was that philosophy is about ideas and that the idea of an atom is an idea.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby Serpent on February 10th, 2019, 12:43 am 

A_Seagull » February 9th, 2019, 10:39 pm wrote:\What I said was that philosophy is about ideas and that the idea of an atom is an idea.

What you said was:
Perhaps not, but as suggested in the OP: in philosophy, ideas are everything.

An atom is an idea, even reality is an idea. Without those ideas no one would have any idea (or knowledge) that they existed.

Okay. So you have the idea of reality.
Show me how you go about testing it.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby A_Seagull on February 10th, 2019, 1:43 am 

Serpent » February 10th, 2019, 4:43 pm wrote:
A_Seagull » February 9th, 2019, 10:39 pm wrote:\What I said was that philosophy is about ideas and that the idea of an atom is an idea.

What you said was:
Perhaps not, but as suggested in the OP: in philosophy, ideas are everything.

An atom is an idea, even reality is an idea. Without those ideas no one would have any idea (or knowledge) that they existed.

Okay. So you have the idea of reality.
Show me how you go about testing it.


Two ways really:

1. Is it the best theory to fit the available data? It shouldn't be too hard to argue , for example, that the concept of a real exterior world is superior to both virtual reality and a brain-in-a-vat.

2. Pragmatic considerations. Does the belief in the reality of an exterior world facilitate the fulfilment of one's basic needs (and other needs come to that)? I rather suspect that a non-belief in the reality of an exterior world might severely hamper this.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby Serpent on February 10th, 2019, 9:55 am 

A_Seagull » February 10th, 2019, 12:43 am wrote:
[testing an idea of reality,]

Two ways really:

1. Is it the best theory to fit the available data?

As compared to what? Data available, how? You start from an idea - one idea: that there is such a thing as reality. You've discounted all presumptions and assumptions. You have nothing to measure against.

It shouldn't be too hard to argue ,

On what grounds? Several of us already argued that there is an external reality and got shot down. If you're not trusting sensory input or reality-based language, where do you get material to argue about - or words to argue with?
for example, that the concept of a real exterior world is superior to both virtual reality and a brain-in-a-vat.

Superior on what standard? Without an external reality, there is no judgment of value.

2. Pragmatic considerations. Does the belief in the reality of an exterior world facilitate the fulfilment of one's basic needs (and other needs come to that)? I rather suspect that a non-belief in the reality of an exterior world might severely hamper this.

Pragmatism? External? Facilitate? Fulfilment? Needs? That's an awful lot of presuming outside the scope of ideas at large and waa-ay outside the single idea of reality!
It brings you right back to the materialistic attitude that makes me a non-philosopher: taking physical reality as the base from with to project ideas, rather than the other way around.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby charon on February 10th, 2019, 10:05 am 

Seagull -

What I said was that philosophy is about ideas and that the idea of an atom is an idea.


No, you said an atom was an idea. If you'd said the idea of an atom is an idea I'd have agreed with you, obviously. When I said the moon was actual you said that too was just an idea.

I think things are getting a bit confused. We all know what you mean but it's not being expressed properly.

The word 'moon' is just a word. Any concept one may have of the moon is, naturally, a concept. But when you look up in the sky at night that big silver round thing up there is not a concept, it's an actuality, call it by whatever name you like.

I hope!
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby Serpent on February 10th, 2019, 10:40 am 

You can presume more than that! The word for moon came from the concept; the concept came from the observation. The word was required only so that independent observers could exchange their perception of a reality outside of all of them, compare data and settle on a consensus.

There is no such thing as "just" a word. Words are vital to our understanding of anything at all: they are our only means of external verification, correction and validation of our own perceptions.

The theory of a brain in vat presumes the physical - external, independent of ideas - existence of vats and brains. The theory of "virtual reality" presumes the external, independent existence of a real (from which to differentiate virtual) reality and the intelligence to imagine an alternative to it.

Any way you twist it, reality had to be established - granted without reservation - before anyone could question or speculate about it. Some aspects of perception can and should be questioned, but we are simply incapable of starting at the beginning. We didn't come in till close to the end: so much was already here long before us that we have no choice but to accept.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby charon on February 10th, 2019, 12:27 pm 

Serpent -

The moon, or anything else, is a reality unless one is mad. The word, the idea, the concept, the explanation, the description, is something else entirely. If one can't tell the difference, too bad.

Our minds are very clever, they can invent anything. One of these things is this brain-in-a-vat idea. It's brilliant, it's unprovable. Except for one thing, our mind has invented it. So it's a thing of the mind which can invent something.

That's the reality. What minds invent, however clever, is not reality. And reality matters more than any invention.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby Serpent on February 10th, 2019, 1:12 pm 

charon » February 10th, 2019, 11:27 am wrote:Serpent -

The moon, or anything else, is a reality unless one is mad. The word, the idea, the concept, the explanation, the description, is something else entirely. If one can't tell the difference, too bad.

My point wasn't that you can't tell the difference between the word and the thing. It's that the word, and the idea, exist because the thing is real - can exist and needs to exist only because the thing is real. The perception>idea>word>communication (encoding and transmission of idea) are part of the relationship between a real thing and a real intelligence. The thing can exist independently of the idea and the intelligence that generates ideas. The intelligence can exist independently of that thing and that idea. But the perception, the idea and the word link the intelligence to the thing.
The word is how an intelligence transmits its experience of the thing to another intelligence. Reality can exist quite happily without ideas and words, but it can't be discussed without words.
That's why the integrity of words is crucial to productive thought.

Our minds are very clever, they can invent anything. One of these things is this brain-in-a-vat idea. It's brilliant, it's unprovable. Except for one thing, our mind has invented it. So it's a thing of the mind which can invent something.

You've just proved that our minds don't invent anything. A brain exists. A vat exists. You can imagine putting them together in a configuration that hasn't been actualized (yet), but you haven't invented a new thing that's not from reality-as-found.
The early peoples who had yet to hollow out a gourd for carrying water could not have imagined a brain in a vat. They'd eaten brains, but they hadn't yet elaborated vessel-making to a vat. They could maybe think of brain-in-beaver-pelt.
That's why mythical beasts are part-this and part-that. Jackal's head on a man. Goat's feet, raven wings, bodies of flame.... We didn't invent any of those things; we just transposed bits of reality.
All we do is take our observations of the real, dissect and recombine them. With words, we can then relate to one another the "new" things we had imagined. With ingenuity, we can turn some of those clever imaginings into inventions, art, narrative and artifacts.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby A_Seagull on February 10th, 2019, 6:25 pm 

charon » February 10th, 2019, 11:30 am wrote:Not at all, one's model of the world may be all right on a basic level. Mental cases can get up, dress themselves, and function fairly normally on a day to day basis. But they may be completely screwed mentally. They might be depressed or paranoid and think people mean them harm them, etc etc. Or want to kill others, like serial killers. In other words they still see the sky, the clouds, the cars and the people as we all do, but interaction with the world is much more complex than that.


Yes illusions can also be created by a wilful withdrawal from the world of reality to the world of fantasy.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby A_Seagull on February 10th, 2019, 6:34 pm 

Serpent » February 11th, 2019, 1:55 am wrote:
A_Seagull » February 10th, 2019, 12:43 am wrote:
[testing an idea of reality,]

Two ways really:

1. Is it the best theory to fit the available data?

As compared to what? Data available, how? You start from an idea - one idea: .


No, you start with a number of possible ideas which you then compare with each other based upon the purely logical criteria of simplicity and accuracy.

The simplicity of the idea or theory can be determined by the amount of data needed to describe it.

The accuracy of the theory can be determined by how well it can recreate the data and how that compares with the actual data.

If one of the theories is not optimal in both of these categories, then one can either use some sort of weighting system to combine them or defer reaching a conclusion until more data is accumulated or other theories are postulated.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby charon on February 10th, 2019, 6:49 pm 

Serpent -

My point wasn't that you can't tell the difference between the word and the thing. It's that the word, and the idea, exist because the thing is real - can exist and needs to exist only because the thing is real. The perception>idea>word>communication (encoding and transmission of idea) are part of the relationship between a real thing and a real intelligence. The thing can exist independently of the idea and the intelligence that generates ideas. The intelligence can exist independently of that thing and that idea. But the perception, the idea and the word link the intelligence to the thing.
The word is how an intelligence transmits its experience of the thing to another intelligence. Reality can exist quite happily without ideas and words, but it can't be discussed without words.


Okay, but you've only described what we know goes on anyway. It's not new ground. You're just describing a known process, like describing how a computer works.

That's why the integrity of words is crucial to productive thought.


That I'd go with absolutely. Extremely important.

You've just proved that our minds don't invent anything. A brain exists. A vat exists. You can imagine putting them together in a configuration that hasn't been actualized (yet), but you haven't invented a new thing that's not from reality-as-found.


You're putting a different spin on the word invent. We do invent things, obviously. I'm not saying we take them from anywhere unknown. We can't, obviously, the brain simply re-configures known things.

But you haven't really answered the brain-in-a-vat riddle, that's the point. It's quite right to point out that everything we're experiencing might be an illusion of a brain in a vat or a simulation of some kind. It might be, and the point of it is that we wouldn't know, right? It's an insoluble puzzle.

What I'm saying is that it's not insoluble if one's aware of the way the brain operates subjectively. If I know that my mind is creating things which aren't factual they cease to have any importance. Lunacy begins when we start taking our own mental concepts seriously, especially harmful ones.

Put it this way, if no one ever thought about the brain-in-a-vat it wouldn't exist. Simple as that really.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby charon on February 10th, 2019, 6:50 pm 

Seagull -

Yes illusions can also be created by a wilful withdrawal from the world of reality to the world of fantasy.


Exactly, that's all.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby Serpent on February 10th, 2019, 6:54 pm 

A_Seagull » February 10th, 2019, 5:34 pm wrote:
No, you start with a number of possible ideas which you then compare with each other based upon the purely logical criteria of simplicity and accuracy.

The simplicity of the idea or theory can be determined by the amount of data needed to describe it.

The accuracy of the theory can be determined by how well it can recreate the data and how that compares with the actual data.

Actual data - in my world-view, anyway - come from external reality.
Where does your testing information come from?
Have you not, simply by using the words 'actual' and 'data', presumed the existence of an objective reality?
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby Serpent on February 10th, 2019, 7:14 pm 

charon » February 10th, 2019, 5:49 pm wrote:Okay, but you've only described what we know goes on anyway. It's not new ground. You're just describing a known process, like describing how a computer works.

I didn't intend it to be new. I intended it to be clear, and to make absolutely sure I wasn't confused with someone who thinks ideas are realer than reality.

You're putting a different spin on the word invent. We do invent things, obviously. I'm not saying we take them from anywhere unknown. We can't, obviously, the brain simply re-configures known things.

Yes. Reality pervades every thought. Reality is inescapable.

But you haven't really answered the brain-in-a-vat riddle, that's the point. It's quite right to point out that everything we're experiencing might be an illusion of a brain in a vat or a simulation of some kind. It might be, and the point of it is that we wouldn't know, right? It's an insoluble puzzle.

I didn't think that was anything more than an example of an idea. But, okay.
Even if I am a brain in a vat, hallucinating that I'm typing with live fingers, in my room, this existence would still require somebody outside the vat to have put me in it. If we're in a computer simulation, that still presupposes the existence of a real computer in a real world.
The real world exists, either way. Whatever I'm experiencing is a product of that real world. Whether I'm getting my experience first hand, or second, or third, or from a database, it's still experience of a real world, not a mere idea.

What I'm saying is that it's not insoluble if one's aware of the way the brain operates subjectively.

How do you find out?
Asking the other figments in your computer simulation won't help, as they're experiencing the same virtual reality you are, so they'll just confirm your perceptions.
If I know that my mind is creating things which aren't factual they cease to have any importance. Lunacy begins when we start taking our own mental concepts seriously, especially harmful ones.

So, what do you do? Discount all of your perceptions? How do you go about discovering whether you really saw what you saw or whether your wife and her lover are trying to drive you mad?
You must have some external reference to trust.
But if you are either in a vat or in a simulation, you have no access to outside.
Your existence - real or virtual - presupposes a real world, but there is no guarantee you'll ever know your own place in that world. At some level of the spiral (a world inside a world inside a), you have no more references to consult, no more data to compare with your perception. The world you live in is the one in which you must operate, so you may as well relax and accept that this is as real as you can get.

Put it this way, if no one ever thought about the brain-in-a-vat it wouldn't exist. Simple as that really.

It doesn't, probably. But it could. Also cars and slingshots.
But if no human thought of a tree, the giant sequoias would keep on growing just the same. All we do is re-configure the things we find in objective reality.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby charon on February 10th, 2019, 8:21 pm 

Serpent -

You're skipping round things and giving the rather silly brain/vat thing a conceptual reality. This is exactly what I'm talking about. Your post dealt with that more than anything else.

Finally, at the end, you said:

It doesn't (exist), probably. But it could.


No, it couldn't because it's not real. It's a game invented by the mind. We've done several posts now and got back to square one.

But, eventually you said:

How do you find out?


Obviously by being aware of you're thinking, which anyone can do. There's no mystery. The reality is: you have a brain. It thinks. Your thought starts thinking about the vat idea and can't see its way past it. Obviously not.

But the whole thing is self-invented. You presumably can't see that. Nothing the mind puts together is real. It can play with these kinds of riddles but it's meaningless. Life is going on while we waste time on this sort of thing.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby A_Seagull on February 10th, 2019, 10:42 pm 

Serpent » February 11th, 2019, 10:54 am wrote:
A_Seagull » February 10th, 2019, 5:34 pm wrote:
No, you start with a number of possible ideas which you then compare with each other based upon the purely logical criteria of simplicity and accuracy.

The simplicity of the idea or theory can be determined by the amount of data needed to describe it.

The accuracy of the theory can be determined by how well it can recreate the data and how that compares with the actual data.

Actual data - in my world-view, anyway - come from external reality.
Where does your testing information come from?
Have you not, simply by using the words 'actual' and 'data', presumed the existence of an objective reality?


No, all I have is the sense-data.

If the best way of making sense of the sense-data is to infer the existence of some external reality, then one can infer the existence of some external reality. But in that case the external reality is inferred and not previously presumed.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby Serpent on February 10th, 2019, 11:18 pm 

I presumably don't see either of those propositions.
Ah, well. Maybe next time.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby BadgerJelly on February 11th, 2019, 10:00 am 

Music is real. We understand what music is. Opinion is a concern of quality and belief is an force of your conviction in the quality of the music. Music is a reality though.

Maybe that analogy helps a little? Either way solipsism is an interesting perspective to take up, but it literally has no foundation so it’s use is hypothetical/exploratory.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby TheVat on February 11th, 2019, 10:43 am 

David Chalmers famous paper has been linked here in dozens of threads, when the BiaV hypothesis comes up, but it's worth posting again....

http://consc.net/papers/matrix.html
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby charon on February 11th, 2019, 11:39 am 

Looks like I've got to try this one again!

There's only one truth. Either today is Monday or it's not. Either I'm a human being on earth or I'm not. I think we have to start somewhere.

I'm happy to accept that I'm here, in this world, and daily life is real. My body is real. Likewise my brain. The brain thinks, and that's the interesting thing.

It thinks from memory. I think that's been fully settled by most people. The brain, like the computer, stores experiences, knowledge, and the rest of it, and that forms the basis of thought. We're the result of the past, of the culture and education we've had. All the experiences we've had, good or bad, it's all there.

So we can't think outside of our knowledge. We can speculate, imagine, invent, but basically it's all a projection of our knowledge in different forms.

What am I in relation to those thoughts? Am I different from them? Is the 'I' an independent entity and the thoughts something else? Or am I the thoughts? To put it differently: would I exist if there were no thoughts, in other words no consciousness?

I'd say obviously not. So the fact that the brain is thinking, which is a reality, is the only proof of my own existence. Whatever I do is the brain in operation. Whatever I am, aside from the body, is the operation of the brain.

So now the philosopher comes along and says 'You could be a brain floating in a vat.' And one puzzles over this and has to agree. It can't be proved otherwise. And it can't. But it still the operation of the brain as thought which is a regurgitation of the past as knowledge.

That's all. That's the reality. It cannot be otherwise. If the brain was quiet and the thoughts stop the question disappears.

Then what is there? That's the real question and it obviously can't be answered by the thoughts. They can't know what it's like without them, that's another impossibility.

But there is something and we can call that reality, or the present, or the now... whatever we like. But whatever word we use is not that state.

So it doesn't matter whether we're brains in a vat or anything else because it's all an invention of the brain, of thought, of language, of culture, derived from knowledge which is the past in action.

It doesn't mean we shouldn't use thoughts where thoughts are necessary. One couldn't live daily life without them. I need them to do my job, cook a meal, say hello, and all the rest of it. But when they start cooking up strange theories about their own existence, I'd say that was a misuse of them. They're running amok and there's no end to it.

Reality isn't this side of the world of things, it's the other side. Our questions and the answers we seek are all this side. But to go up to, meet, and go into and through the 'door' of the world of things is something quite different. What we truly seek is on the other side and the only way to find out what that is is to do it. Then it's all over.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby BadgerJelly on February 11th, 2019, 12:29 pm 

Charon -

I think you make too ammy assumptions about the whole biv thought experiment ... it is a thought experiment.

To suggest that we are just a disembodied brain is untrue. The physical reality is the brain and body are one thing and if we could replicate all the required brain input (as suggested in this thought experiment and many others) we’d likely have no need to ask several thousand questions we have about human consciousness and brain function.

I’d add too that there is no “side” it just so happens that we human beings understand things in a dichotic way ... which is basically understanding itself. We’ve evolved to interpret whatever it is into binary terms because it is likely an efficient way to manage the data (efficient enough for us not to die out just yet at least!). Optimal? I doubt it. It is pretty much anyone’s guess HOW efficient and it is kind of a redundant question given that we’re limited to yes/no lines of questioning in the day-to-day manner that language functions and has functioned for as long as we’ve bothered to write it down (as far as I can tell).
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby charon on February 11th, 2019, 12:40 pm 

BadgerJelly -

I think you make too ammy assumptions about the whole biv thought experiment ... it is a thought experiment.


Of course it's a thought experiment, that's what I'm saying. To put it more crudely, it's a game, an amusement.

To suggest that we are just a disembodied brain is untrue


I'm not suggesting that, that's the premise of the experiment.

The physical reality is the brain and body are one thing and if we could replicate all the required brain input (as suggested in this thought experiment and many others) we’d likely have no need to ask several thousand questions we have about human consciousness and brain function.


I'll go for that, that could well be true.

I’d add too that there is no “side”


It's a metaphor.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby TheVat on February 11th, 2019, 2:06 pm 

Um, did you read the BiaV link I provided? It addresses several of your comments and questions quite well.

And is pretty much basic reading for anyone interested in this philosophic theme. Chalmers is one of the main go-to guys in this area.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby charon on February 11th, 2019, 2:43 pm 

Who was that post for, Vat?

If it was for me I have to say it hasn't changed anything. He's basically saying we wouldn't know if we in a vat or not so I'm not sure what the problem is.
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