Londoner wrote:'Analytic' isn't a position, any more than 'logic' or 'science'. It consists of trying to get people to clarify what they mean. If you show they cannot do that, then you aren't taking a contrary position, you are showing they they never had a position for you to be contrary to!
As you may well know, there's actually a whole school of analytic philosophy with its own tradition. I remember Foucault saying "I'm not an analytic philosopher" and he obviously didn't mean that he was incapable of analyzing philosophical problems.
Londoner wrote:It isn't that they have been 'proven' to be independent of our subjectivity, it is that it would be self-contradictory to have 'subjective laws'. A law has to apply to everything, but to say something is subjective is to say that it only applies to the subject. And as far as my perception is subjective, a function of the accidental circumstance of my position in time and space, then it is not useful. A scientific observation thus requires that many people make many observations, so that we can identify and disregard the subjective aspects.
When saying that the subjective aspects can be disregarded by multiple independent observations, it is being acknowledged that physical laws can be proven to be independent of our subjectivity.
Londoner wrote:Winter is only OK to use in science if it is not treated as a general concept. The word has to relate to something measurable, and it has to be a particular thing since otherwise you could not compare one 'winter' to another. For example, you could have 'day length' or 'temperature' - but not both because they are measured in different ways. If it was to be useful in science we would need to know what we meant by 'winter' such that we could measure one winter against another, but if winter was some unspecified combination of two different factors we could not do this. Or, if we did specify a range of factors, in a sort of check-list, then the reason winter would be 'winter' is because we say it is! We would not be doing science, we would be making rules for language.
I completely disagree. Particulars are subsumed into general categories and it's not true that science does not move beyond particulars. It is generally agreed that science proceeds by induction, making inferences from particular cases to the general case. For example, the anatomy of particular horses is studied and then the conclusions are applied to all horses in general. In the case of winters, they are not singular, perfectly limited bodies, nor simple events, but composed of many things and many events, all of which conform the concept of winter, both the particulars and the general category. But going back to horses, if we followed your criteria, scientist could not deal with the anatomy of horses in general, but just the anatomy of particular horses, of which they could not make any inference. Even worst, as particular horses are composed of many physical parts, systems and processes, they couldn't be the objects of scientific research because we wouldn't find in the conventions of language the specified combination of factors that make a horse. You are obviously confusing single/complex dichotomy with particular/general categories.
Londoner wrote:What does the word 'capture' mean in that formulation? If I 'capture' a mouse then I have the mouse itself.
But if I have 'a mental concept (representation)' of a mouse then I do not have the mouse itself. Indeed, that 'mental concept (representation)' might be of Mickey Mouse, and thus have no connection at all with any real, noumenal, mouse.
I could only know if my 'mental concept (representation)' was connected to the real, noumenal, mouse if I could compare it; if I could put the 'captured' real, noumenal mouse alongside my 'mental concept (representation)' of the mouse and compare the two.
I do not think we can do this, we can only have the 'mental concept (representation)'. I am asking if that is your position, or do you think we can literally 'capture' the real, noumenal mouse? Or something else?
I think I made my point clear enough as to not even entertain the possibility of "getting the mouse itself".
It's not true that the only way to know if my mental representations are connected to reality is to somehow magically assimilate the object into my being and put it alongside the represented image. I can infer the reality of objects through my subjective experiences, validating my observations with the observations of other parties (observers or instruments).
Londoner wrote:I am not concerned with the meaning of objects; I do not think it makes sense to talk of objects having a meaning. I am concerned with the meaning of the words 'exist' or 'real' or 'objective' which are being applied to objects as if they described a quality of that object; as if saying 'the rock is hard' and saying 'the rock exists', or 'the rock is real' are all alike, because they have the same grammatical structure. If we confuse these sorts of statements it gets us into well known philosophical problems.
You can always go on and on making philosophical problems mere semantic problems: is it the same to say "the rock exists", than to say "the rock is", "the rock really exists", "the real rock exists", etc.? There's no useful path to follow there, at least to clarify things, but just to create smoke screens.
I do not understand what your 'realism' is. For example, are the criteria for something being real the sort you described earlier; that it relates to a measurable physical objects, that any observations are 'objective', i.e. confirmed by others and so on?
Be cautious not to confuse the criteria for knowing that something is real with the criteria for something to be real. Something could be real without me knowing it. Still it could be known by others.
Londoner wrote:In which case we certainly cannot 'perceive ourselves to exist' - I must tell you that although I can see the parts of your body I cannot confirm there is a 'self' inhabiting them. So, why don't you deduce that your perception of yourself is a 'delusion'?
Remember that it was you who put the burden on subjectivity as the cause of not knowing if things really existed. So it is you who has to explain why our subjective experience of our own existence wouldn't count as the same type of delusion.