raw_thought wrote:It is interesting listening to scientifically minded posters advocate a Platonic version of reality. They contradict their core beliefs by advocating that first forms exist and only then can we be aware of them. In other words , we DO NOT first empirically experience ( qualia ) a form ( triangle, or whatever) and then arbitrarily put it into a category. The scientifically minded posters at this site , do not believe ( if they are consistent in their beliefs) that triangles exist before we have a concept of what a triangle is!!!
That's a fair point (see, I don't disagree with everything you say) if you are referring to me. I did, for one, emphasize scientific method. And perhaps I showed my true colors, as Plato was my favorite as an undergrad and I wrote my thesis on one of his works. Also, I study(ied) mathematics and the question of realism vs. idealism (if those are the correct isms, it's been awhile) always lurks under the surface - i.e. 'do we discover mathematical truths or invent them?' I will point out though (this could be an interesting topic of conversation on its own) that being 'scientific' is not the same as being an Empiricist - I specifically criticized Locke and Hume and their heavy influence on contemporary philosophy.
Having said all that, though... These questions come up over and over and are open questions, no more for the 'scientifically minded' than the dualists, or whatever you would like to call yourself. I freely admit they are open questions and would not shy away from them in some dogmatic attempt to defend a particular point of view. I don't see grappling with a solution to such questions as 'contradict[ing my] core beliefs.' Paradoxes are by nature contradictory and attempting to find solutions to them is - well, you know - very difficult.
The problem is: do we need to have the concept of a triangle before we can imagine one? This is different from the question whether we must have concepts of things prior to perceiving. Imagining is different than perceiving, right? One is voluntary and the other comes, as Nietzsche pointed out in the context of criticizing Kant, 'whether we want it to or not.' You would admit that we need to have perceived a triangle and learned what one is before we can bring it before our imaginations, don't you? And that this is a very different situation from perceiving a triangle?
The more difficult question is whether we need to have learned what a triangle is before we can experience one. This is where the paradox comes in - perhaps best put here as the problem of induction. We certainly must experience many things prior to gaining the ability to discern what a triangle is. But prior to learning what a triangle is, I take the position that we do not experience a triangle - only in hindsight (after learning the concept) is it a triangle
we experience. And this is not just wordplay - I think the experiences are different in one case than in the other.