An Analogy, From Physical To Mind

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RCSaunders
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An Analogy, From Physical To Mind

Post by RCSaunders » Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:47 pm

The nature of life can be described, as I have done, but it is very difficult to explain how life can be both a perfectly natural attribute of existence, just as the physical attributes are, but not itself a physical attribute or something that arises from the physical. That is the purpose of this article.

The Personal Reason For This View

The three articles, "The Nature Of Life," "The Nature Of Consciousness," and "The Nature of Mind," describe life, consciousness, and mind in a way not quite like they are described anywhere else. It is how I understand they must be if there is one objective knowable existence.

Early in my own philosophical inquiries it became obvious to me that none of the supernatural or mystical explanations for the nature of existence were possible. One of the earliest things I learned was that I could not simply believe anything if the only evidence was the word of someone else, especially some so-called authority. Most of what I know, I have learned from others, because I have neither the resources or ability to discover everything for myself, but I never simply accept anything anyone claims unless it can be demonstrated by evidence I can examine for myself or explained in terms of reason I can understand myself with no contradiction of anything I already know.

Since there is no evidence or sound reason for any supernatural or mystical explanation of existence, existence must be exactly what it seems to be, exactly as I am conscious of it, the world I see, hear, feel, smell, and taste. Others who have come to the same or similar conclusion simply assumed that means the physical existence we consciously perceive is all there is.

Since I regarded existence to be all that is, the way it is, independent of what I or anyone else knows or is aware of regarding that existence, the physical, which certainly exists and certainly has a specific nature verified by the physical sciences, seems to fill the bill.

EXCEPT! There is one thing I can observe that cannot be explained in terms of the physical. That one thing is physical, but it has one attribute or characteristic that distinguishes it from all other physical things and defies explanation in terms of any physical laws or principles. I see those exceptional physical entities every day. They are called organisms.

The behavior of living organisms is so profoundly different from the behavior of any merely non-living entities that to deny it, for me, would require me to deny the evidence of my own eyes and experience.

While I cannot deny the obvious uniqueness of life, I cannot accept that there is any possible kind of supernatural or mystical explanation for that uniqueness. If life cannot be explained in terms of the physical attributes, and cannot be explained in terms of the supernatural, life must be a perfectly natural attribute of physical entities, even if not a physical one.

I had a prejudice against the idea that there could be an attribute of existence that could not be explained in terms of the physical attributes and it wasn't until I began to realize it was and that my insistence that everything must be explained in terms of physical attributes was a kind of faith like any religious superstition. There is nothing that dictates that physical properties or attributes are the only attributes entities can have. When I admitted to myself I had no grounds for insisting that the only attributes entities could have were physical attributes, the mystery of the uniqueness of life was solved. Life is a perfectly natural attribute possible to some physical entities which enables them to be living.

From that conclusion it was easy to deduce that consciousness, which is only possible to living organisms is simply another natural attribute of some organisms, and that mind, which is only possible to conscious organisms was another natural attribute of some conscious organisms, (human beings).

Since I still regard existence as that which is and has the nature it has and is not contingent on anything else, including anyone's awareness or knowledge of it, I had to expand my concept of material or ontological existence to include everything with physical attributes as well as the attributes of life, consciousness, and mind, which all exist independently of anyone's knowledge or awareness, with the exception of one's own consciousness and knowledge, of course.

The following is an attempt to illustrate what material existence is. Beginning with the physical properties and how all the properties of material existence are related, how the attributes of life, consciousness, and mind are perfectly natural and compatible with the physical is illustrated.

The Analogy

Physical existence is all that can be perceived by direct perception, that is, all that can be seen, heard, felt, tasted, or smelled, as well as all that can be perceived indirectly by means of instruments (microscopes, telescopes, and a plethora of electronic devices) or known by means of perceptual information, i.e., the physical sciences.

I could begin the analogy by pointing out that all that is known about physical existence can be reduced to three principles: position, motion, and acceleration. Scientists may instantly see why this is true, but it is not obvious. Nevertheless, it is those three attributes of physical reality that will be used to explain the analogy.

Position, motion, and acceleration are all relative attributes. Everything that exists has a positional relationship (location relative) to everything else and we describe those relationships by means of two metrics, direction (the direction one thing is from another) and distance (how close or far away one thing is from another). If a static world were possible, the only attributes that would be possible would be positional relationships.

If we try to imagine a static world, where everything has some positional relationship to everything else, it is a world without events. Everything (whatever everything might be in such a world) would do nothing. Of course such a world is not possible. The real world is dynamic.

If we begin with our imaginary static world there is no way to arrange or organize it to produce motion. No matter how the static elements of the static world are arranged, no arrangement of elements that have only positional relationships to each other will ever move. In order for there to be motion something in addition to positional attributes is required. We call that additional something, "change." The introduction of change in the static world makes motion possible; Motion is, "change of position."

Even in a dynamic world, things will move relative to each other, but their motion will always be the same. Everything will move in a single direction at a specific speed. Notice that in a world with only the attributes position and motion, no interaction between entities is possible.

No matter how the entities in a world with only the attributes of position and motion are arranged, or what kind of motion they have (what speed or direction), they will never interact. In order for them to interact a different kind of attribute must be possible, another change, a change in motion, that is, acceleration. The change in motion that is acceleration is a change in speed, direction, or both to produce velocity.

For the point of the analogy, motion cannot arise from any arrangement of positions. There can only be motion if there is a different kind of attribute, change of position. The physical property of position alone cannot produce its own change. In the same way acceleration cannot arise from any arrangement or organization of motions. There can only be acceleration if there is a different kind of attribute, change of motion. The physical property of motion alone, however organized, cannot produce its own change.

The analogy is this: just as acceleration cannot be produced by any arrangement of motions, life cannot be produced by any arrangement of the other physical attributes. In order for there to be life, there must be a different kind of attribute. Whether that attribute can rightly be called change does not really matter, but the life attribute follows the same pattern as the physical attributes.

The fundamental attributes of existence form a hierarchy, each dependent on the more fundamental one. You cannot have motion without positional attributes to change; you cannot have acceleration without motion attributes to change; you cannot have life attributes without all the previous physical attributes in the hierarchy for life to modify.

Though in the real world you cannot have only position or motion attributes for example, even at the physical level the attributes and changes, position, motion, and acceleration, differentiate between possible levels of existence. Life is another, though perfectly natural differentiation of existence. It is not physical and the physical cannot give rise to it, any more than motions alone can give rise to acceleration without another level of differentiation.

The purpose of this analogy is to demonstrate that life is not generated or produced by the physical, but that the physical is raised to the level of living by a differentiation of the physical by the natural attribute, life, another level of existence above the physical levels of position, motion, and acceleration.

In the same way, consciousness is a differentiation of material reality, just as position, motion, acceleration, and life are, and the human mind is an addition differentiation of material reality, just as position, motion, acceleration, life, and consciousness are. These are all hierarchically dependent. There cannot be human minds without consciousness, or consciousness without life, or life with the physical attributes of acceleration which makes living behavior possible, and you cannot have acceleration without motion attributes to change, and you cannot have motion without position attributes to change.

One other very important point, at each level of the hierarchy, no higher level cancels or changes any aspect of any lower level. Acceleration does not cancel or contradict any aspect of motion or position, it depends on them. Life does not cancel or contradict any of the physical aspects of an organism, it depends on them, as do consciousness and mind.

This is only an analogy to illustrate the relationships between the various kinds of attributes of material reality. I must emphasize that a thing's attributes do not make a thing what it is, they are what a thing is. Position, motion, and acceleration do not make things physical, they are what is physical. Life is not something added to a physical entity to make it an organism, the life of an organism exists because it is living, and cannot exist independently of the organism.

None of the natural attributes of existence, physical, living, conscious, or mental exists independently of the organisms they are the attributes of.

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Re: An Analogy, From Physical To Mind

Post by PeteJ » Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:48 pm

It is not possible to make sense of philosophy by just stitching together opinions.
Since there is no evidence or sound reason for any supernatural or mystical explanation of existence, existence must be exactly what it seems to be...
I am genuinely baffled as to how anyone could think this. If you review the literature you'll see that those who reject 'mystical' explanations can NEVER make sense of philosophy. They can NEVER construct a systematic fundamental theory. They can NEVER find a solution of metaphysical problems. Under these circumstances it would surely be an odd thing to do to reject all theories except those that are known not to work.

I would predict that you have rejected 'mystical' ideas before examining them properly. If this prediction is wrong then you'll be able to explain what is wrong with the ideas you dismiss.

Do you actually know what mysticism says about the nature of Reality? It says that all positive or extreme metaphysical theories are false. The evidence is not hard to find. Most philosophers and all of those who persevere discover that Kant is correct, all selective conclusions about the world as a whole are undecidable. Why? Because extreme views are logically indefensible. This is basic stuff covered by Kant, Russell, Carnap, Wittgenstein et al. To say there is no evidence for any 'mystical' theory is to say you have not studied this issue.

Please note that I am not being rude. I am suggesting that unsupported opinions are not what philosophy is about. If you believe the quoted sentence above is correct then you should be able to defend it from objections. Otherwise it should be expressed more tentatively.

I don't want to argue here that the description of Reality given by the mystics is is correct, This is irrelevant. What matters is knowing what it is.

If you wish to engage in a polite discussion of mysticism I'd be up for it if you were to start a thread on the topic. If you wish to read about what the 'non-dual' description of Reality actually is I could PM a link to some of my efforts to explain this in Western philosophical terms, some of which are modestly published.

I wrote my first dissertation on this topic and know my onions. It deeply saddens me that so many trained philosophers know almost nothing about this area of research and I regard it as a major academic scandal. Fortunately, the internet has been invented and things are changing.

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Re: An Analogy, From Physical To Mind

Post by RCSaunders » Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:53 pm

PeteJ wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:48 pm
It is not possible to make sense of philosophy by just stitching together opinions.
If by philosophy you mean the corpus of all those identified as philosophers, I have no interest in attempting to make sense of that mass of nonsense. If by philosophy you mean the pursuit of understanding the nature of the reality and existence I am conscious of and live in, that is all I am interested in.

I do not regard the thoughts or works of others as evidence of anything other than the machinations of their own minds. I'm willing to examine anything anyone says, but will not accept anything solely on the basis that someone claiming to be an authority said it.
PeteJ wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:48 pm
Since there is no evidence or sound reason for any supernatural or mystical explanation of existence, existence must be exactly what it seems to be...
I am genuinely baffled as to how anyone could think this. If you review the literature you'll see that those who reject 'mystical' explanations can NEVER make sense of philosophy.
That's why you are baffled. You examine, "the literature," that is, what others have said about reality. I examine reality itself. I'd be baffled too if all I had to go by is what others have said.
PeteJ wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:48 pm
They can NEVER construct a systematic fundamental theory. They can NEVER find a solution of metaphysical problems. Under these circumstances it would surely be an odd thing to do to reject all theories except those that are known not to work.
If the purpose of philosophy were to, "construct a systematic fundamental theory," you are right that an objective view of reality could never do that. The purpose of any intellectual pursuit is not to "create theories" but to discover the truth of the nature of reality, which can only be done by studying reality itself, not literature.

Science, which examines reality itself, works. Mysticism doesn't. When someone is sick with a infectious disease, the mystic prays and the patient dies, but the non-mystic gives the patient a shot of antibiotic, and the patient recovers. That's the difference between my view of philosophy and yours.
PeteJ wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:48 pm
I would predict that you have rejected 'mystical' ideas before examining them properly. If this prediction is wrong then you'll be able to explain what is wrong with the ideas you dismiss.
It is always dangerous to make predictions, especially about what others have done. I have studied Hinayana and Mahayana Buddhism, all of the Christian theologians from the early church fathers to the most modern, the Vedic Scriptures and most of the synchronistic varieties of modern religions, etc. What is wrong with all of them is that they depend on "magic" knowledge, (knowledge without an explanation like revelation or enlightenment, for example) and credulity (believing something is so with no evidence whatsoever).
PeteJ wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:48 pm
Do you actually know what mysticism says about the nature of Reality?
Which mysticism. There are endless varieties and they all disagree.
PeteJ wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:48 pm
It says that all positive or extreme metaphysical theories are false. The evidence is not hard to find. Most philosophers and all of those who persevere discover that Kant is correct, all selective conclusions about the world as a whole are undecidable. Why? Because extreme views are logically indefensible. This is basic stuff covered by Kant, Russell, Carnap, Wittgenstein et al. To say there is no evidence for any 'mystical' theory is to say you have not studied this issue.
Ah yes. They all do say that in some form or another, "all selective conclusions about the world ... are undecidable," "extreme views are logically indefensible," or, it is impossible to know the truth, so give up and accept whatever your mystic teachers tell you. You may believe that if you like, but I'm not surrendering my mind to those who admit they cannot know the truth.
PeteJ wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:48 pm
Please note that I am not being rude. I am suggesting that unsupported opinions are not what philosophy is about. If you believe the quoted sentence above is correct then you should be able to defend it from objections. Otherwise it should be expressed more tentatively.
I detected no rudeness, and I appreciate your reasonableness, else we would not be having this discussion. As for defending my views from objections, I see no reason why I must. I'm not interested in changing anyone else's mind, and don't mind if they object to mine. If I tell someone their car needs oil, and they object, I don't need to argue with them about it. When their engine seizes up, reality will make my point for me. If you are uncertain of your views you might want to express them tentatively. I'm certain of mine.
PeteJ wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:48 pm
I don't want to argue here that the description of Reality given by the mystics is is correct, This is irrelevant. What matters is knowing what it is.
I know what it is, or at least I know what a great many of them are. There is not just one mystic view of reality.
PeteJ wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:48 pm
If you wish to engage in a polite discussion of mysticism I'd be up for it if you were to start a thread on the topic. If you wish to read about what the 'non-dual' description of Reality actually is I could PM a link to some of my efforts to explain this in Western philosophical terms, some of which are modestly published.
I'm not really interested in discussing what I know is not true, and to do so would only legitimize what I believe is deceptive and self-destructive.
PeteJ wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:48 pm
It deeply saddens me that so many trained philosophers know almost nothing about this area of research and I regard it as a major academic scandal. Fortunately, the internet has been invented and things are changing.
Well here is a little bit of agreement. That fact that philosophers are regarded as trained (read academically brainwashed) is a big part of the problem with what is called philosophy.

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Re: An Analogy, From Physical To Mind

Post by PeteJ » Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:13 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:53 pm
If by philosophy you mean the corpus of all those identified as philosophers, I have no interest in attempting to make sense of that mass of nonsense. If by philosophy you mean the pursuit of understanding the nature of the reality and existence I am conscious of and live in, that is all I am interested in.
I'm asking you to do sums. I agree that most of the philosophy you've read is a lot of nonsense. You will not find a more fierce critic of modern academic philosophy than me, all the way back to Plato. But I base all my arguments on logic and facts, never on conjectures or opinions. If you delved deeper you would not be a critic of academic philosophy, you would armed to teeth and could walk into any faculty staff-room and come out unscathed.
I do not regard the thoughts or works of others as evidence of anything other than the machinations of their own minds. I'm willing to examine anything anyone says, but will not accept anything solely on the basis that someone claiming to be an authority said it.
I would hope not. I might question your willingness to examine unwelcome ideas, and feel that while not accepting an idea on the basis of authority is common sense this is not the same as not being willing to examining it or denying that anyone has any authority.
That's why you are baffled. You examine, "the literature," that is, what others have said about reality. I examine reality itself. I'd be baffled too if all I had to go by is what others have said.
Look mate, I am not a idiot. You cannot win a philosophical argument by calling me one. I am not baffled by philosophy, this is what I'm trying to tell you, but by your approach to it.
If the purpose of philosophy were to, "construct a systematic fundamental theory," you are right that an objective view of reality could never do that.
This is not what I said. I said people who make certain assumptions about Reality can never construct a fundamental theory. I did not say it cannot be done. I'm trying to persuade you it has been done, and that the theory is well-known. It is one you have not examined.
The purpose of any intellectual pursuit is not to "create theories" but to discover the truth of the nature of reality, which can only be done by studying reality itself, not literature.
This is reason why the Perennial philosophy is a practice and not at all about theory-creation. But explanatory theories are helpful, and I' think you would be wise to examine the one that is presented by those who actually study Reality.
Science, which examines reality itself, works. Mysticism doesn't. When someone is sick with a infectious disease, the mystic prays and the patient dies, but the non-mystic gives the patient a shot of antibiotic, and the patient recovers. That's the difference between my view of philosophy and yours.
I would advise you to say little about these things. You give away your lack of interest, Yoga is the science that studies Reality, and for its practitioners it is a science as well as an art. The natural sciences study what can be observed. As this obviously is not the whole of Reality the discipline of metaphysics is required. But this is a science of logic, and logic cannot tell us what is finally true about Reality. So Yoga is required, the 'empirical' or 'first-hand' study of Consciousness and Reality. They report that Reality conform to a neutral metaphysical position.

Yet despite your avowed intention to avoid mere speculation discover the truth you reject the only explanation of reality that is said to be grounded in knowledge and prefer your own opinions. If you really are looking for truth this is most definitely not the way to find it. You have to start by acknowledging what you don't know. otherwise there's no room in your mind for the truth.
It is always dangerous to make predictions, especially about what others have done. I have studied Hinayana and Mahayana Buddhism, all of the Christian theologians from the early church fathers to the most modern, the Vedic Scriptures and most of the synchronistic varieties of modern religions, etc. What is wrong with all of them is that they depend on "magic" knowledge, (knowledge without an explanation like revelation or enlightenment, for example) and credulity (believing something is so with no evidence whatsoever).
This is very interesting. My guess is that you do not do any practice. In this case any understanding would require a close study of metaphysics. If you understand a neutral metaphysical theory then you will immediately see that this 'magic' you speak of is serious misunderstanding. Indeed. I'm amazed anyone could read this much and come away with such a view. Did you not notice that Nagarjuna explains all philosophical problems and refutes all theores other than his own? This was his intention. Did he fail and only you have noticed?
Which mysticism. There are endless varieties and they all disagree.
I would agree that people use this word in various ways. I should have said 'Perennial philosophy' or 'non-dualism'.

My reply has gone wrong from here on, perhaps because of the edits you made while I was writing it. I think the edits are an improvement, but still I feel I'm wasting your time. You do not come across in your posts as caring about truth.

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Re: An Analogy, From Physical To Mind

Post by Skepdick » Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:05 pm

PeteJ wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:13 pm
I base all my arguments on logic and facts
Which logic? We have invented so many.
PeteJ wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:13 pm
You cannot win a philosophical argument by calling me one.
There is a way to win a philosophical argument. It's intentional.

A strange game. The only winning move is not to play...

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Re: An Analogy, From Physical To Mind

Post by surreptitious57 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:37 pm

The aim should not be to win a philosophical argument but to make sure ones own argument is as rigorous as it can possibly be
The notion of winning should not even be contemplated as it could simply be no more than the triumph of style over substance
Furthermore philosophy is about making sure the right questions are being asked rather than the right answers are being given

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Re: An Analogy, From Physical To Mind

Post by RCSaunders » Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:31 pm

PeteJ wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:13 pm
But I base all my arguments on logic and facts ...
Fine. Name a single fact, which is not a human creation or thought, that is a logical basis for
your preferred version of perennialism.
PeteJ wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:13 pm
I do not regard the thoughts or works of others as evidence of anything other than the machinations of their own minds. I'm willing to examine anything anyone says, but will not accept anything solely on the basis that someone claiming to be an authority said it.
I would hope not. I might question your willingness to examine unwelcome ideas, and feel that while not accepting an idea on the basis of authority is common sense this is not the same as not being willing to examining it or denying that anyone has any authority.
I'm quite willing to examine any cogent explanation of any idea, but there are no authorities in matters of objective inquiry. The sciences and philosophy are disciplines of discovery, not authority. I do deny that anyone has any authority over any other individual or over matters of truth.
PeteJ wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:13 pm
That's why you are baffled. You examine, "the literature," that is, what others have said about reality. I examine reality itself. I'd be baffled too if all I had to go by is what others have said.
Look mate, I am not a idiot. You cannot win a philosophical argument by calling me one. I am not baffled by philosophy, this is what I'm trying to tell you, but by your approach to it.
I have no idea why you object to this. You said:
"I am genuinely baffled as to how anyone could think this. If you review the literature you'll see..."
PeteJ wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:13 pm
If the purpose of philosophy were to, "construct a systematic fundamental theory," you are right that an objective view of reality could never do that.
This is not what I said. I said people who make certain assumptions about Reality can never construct a fundamental theory. I did not say it cannot be done. I'm trying to persuade you it has been done, and that the theory is well-known. It is one you have not examined.
Here's what you said:
"... those who reject 'mystical' explanations can NEVER make sense of philosophy. They can NEVER construct a systematic fundamental theory. They can NEVER find a solution of metaphysical problems."

I didn't say it couldn't be done either, I said it couldn't be done by objective reason. What metaphysical problems are you talking about.
PeteJ wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:13 pm
This is reason why the Perennial philosophy is a practice and not at all about theory-creation. But explanatory theories are helpful, and I' think you would be wise to examine the one that is presented by those who actually study Reality.
What do they do (practice) and what do you mean by reality?
PeteJ wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:13 pm
Science, which examines reality itself, works. Mysticism doesn't. When someone is sick with a infectious disease, the mystic prays and the patient dies, but the non-mystic gives the patient a shot of antibiotic, and the patient recovers. That's the difference between my view of philosophy and yours.
I would advise you to say little about these things.
I bet you do. Funny how some people so dislike the truth.
PeteJ wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:13 pm
... Yoga is the science that studies Reality, and for its practitioners it is a science as well as an art.
You talking about Tantric yoga? Some science, but I'm sure the "practitioners" like it: "You may be able to naturally improve your sexual health through the practice of tantric yoga and sex. Tantric yoga features several exercises, including the powerful mix of asana, mantra, mudra, bandha, and chakra, that lead to a strong and blissful life. Tantric sex is a slow form of intimacy that may increase closeness and a mind-body connection that often causes strong orgasms."

I do not know how to comment on the rest of what you wrote, except this:
PeteJ wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:13 pm
you ... prefer your own opinions.
And whose opinions do you prefer?

Peter, there is nothing to win here. If I'm wrong, I'll suffer the consequences of my mistakes. It won't cost you a thing. But if you are wrong, it will cost you your life.

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Re: An Analogy, From Physical To Mind

Post by RCSaunders » Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:36 pm

surreptitious57 wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:37 pm
The aim should not be to win a philosophical argument but to make sure ones own argument is as rigorous as it can possibly be
Absolutely!
surreptitious57 wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:37 pm
Furthermore philosophy is about making sure the right questions are being asked rather than the right answers are being given
It is partly that. A great deal of philosophy's failure is because it attempts answer invalid questions, like, "why is there something instead of nothing," or, "where did everything come from?" But if philosophy is not going to answer any questions, what's the point of asking them?

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Re: An Analogy, From Physical To Mind

Post by Skepdick » Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:41 pm

surreptitious57 wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:37 pm
The aim should not be to win a philosophical argument but to make sure ones own argument is as rigorous as it can possibly be
There's a mantra in my world - if you can't measure it, you can't improve it. From it the important question follows:

How do you measure the rigour of an argument?
RCSaunders wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:36 pm
It is partly that. A great deal of philosophy's failure is because it attempts answer invalid questions.
Or.... how do you measure the validity of a question?
RCSaunders wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:36 pm
But if philosophy is not going to answer any questions, what's the point of asking them?
And the most important question of all... Why? applied recursively to itself.

Why ask questions?

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Re: An Analogy, From Physical To Mind

Post by surreptitious57 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:58 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
But if philosophy is not going to answer any questions what is the point of asking them
I dont think its that philosophy cannot answer any questions but that it cannot answer them definitively
That however doesnt mean that answers cannot be found just that they cannot be accepted as absolute

The rigour and consistency in seeking an answer - even if it is ultimately only subjective - is I would say more important than the answer as such
To be able individually or collectively to find the most valid one to a problem through the use of logic or reason is something truly commendable

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Re: An Analogy, From Physical To Mind

Post by RCSaunders » Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:05 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:41 pm
Why ask questions?

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Re: An Analogy, From Physical To Mind

Post by surreptitious57 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:16 pm

Skepdick wrote:
How do you measure the rigour of an argument ?
You measure the rigour of an argument by taking it to pieces to make sure that it is as rigorous as is possible
So you find any imperfections and eradicate them until you have come up with the best argument you can :

Are the premises of the argument logically consistent with regard to each other ?
Does the conclusion of the argument follow logically from the premises ?
Even if the argument is sound or valid could it be improved in any way ?
Is it possible that the premises could give more than one valid answer ?
Does the argument contain any logical fallacies that may invalidate it ?

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Re: An Analogy, From Physical To Mind

Post by RCSaunders » Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:05 am

surreptitious57 wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:58 pm
To be able individually or collectively to find the most valid one to a problem through the use of logic or reason is something truly commendable
Three comments:
I do not regard solving problems the primary purpose of knowledge. The primary purpose of knowledge is to live successfully.
Minds are distributed one to an individual. There is no such thing as collective knowledge.
Logic and reason alone are useless without evidence.

I don't mean these as arguments, just a difference in point of view.

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Re: An Analogy, From Physical To Mind

Post by Age » Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:14 am

surreptitious57 wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:37 pm
The aim should not be to win a philosophical argument but to make sure ones own argument is as rigorous as it can possibly be
Could a sound, valid argument be refuted?
surreptitious57 wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:37 pm
The notion of winning should not even be contemplated as it could simply be no more than the triumph of style over substance
If some thing can be argued, then is it even worth arguing about it?

To me, there is absolutely nothing to be won or lost anyway, let alone something as ridiculous as a "philosophical argument".
surreptitious57 wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:37 pm
Furthermore philosophy is about making sure the right questions are being asked rather than the right answers are being given
Do you have any examples of 'right questions'?

If yes, then we can see just how simply and easily or not 'right answers' can be given and found.

Walker
Posts: 6718
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2015 12:00 am

Re: An Analogy, From Physical To Mind

Post by Walker » Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:34 am

RCSaunders wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:05 pm
Skepdick wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:41 pm
Why ask questions?
The proper question is half the answer.

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