What is truth?

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Londoner
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Re: What is truth?

Post by Londoner » Fri Nov 11, 2016 3:12 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:
Londoner wrote:If we start with an analogy then these sorts of problems are inevitable. To be clear, I do not think the visible light taken in by the eye is any part at all of those distant galaxies. The visible light is simply what it is, a photon is a photon. That we interpret it as representing distant galaxies is something we do, it is all in our heads. We could equally interpret the same phenomena as 'holes in the dome of the sky' or 'angels inside our consciousness'.
All I want to solve at the moment is if you understand that no one is saying anything about the "entirety" or anything, and that no one is saying "nothing but" anything. And I want to make sure that you understand that so that we do not need to go over it again, so that you won't suggest it again, etc.
OK, so is anyone, i.e. you, saying 'something'?

Because if so, I disagree.

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Terrapin Station
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Re: What is truth?

Post by Terrapin Station » Fri Nov 11, 2016 3:58 pm

Londoner wrote:
Terrapin Station wrote:
Londoner wrote:If we start with an analogy then these sorts of problems are inevitable. To be clear, I do not think the visible light taken in by the eye is any part at all of those distant galaxies. The visible light is simply what it is, a photon is a photon. That we interpret it as representing distant galaxies is something we do, it is all in our heads. We could equally interpret the same phenomena as 'holes in the dome of the sky' or 'angels inside our consciousness'.
All I want to solve at the moment is if you understand that no one is saying anything about the "entirety" or anything, and that no one is saying "nothing but" anything. And I want to make sure that you understand that so that we do not need to go over it again, so that you won't suggest it again, etc.
OK, so is anyone, i.e. you, saying 'something'?

Because if so, I disagree.
How can we possibly have a conversation if we can't tackle something so simple and straightforward?

It seems like what happens is that interaction gets to a point where folks refuse to agree with or cooperate on anything, but then I don't see how a conversation is even possible under those conditions.

You'd probably not even give me a straightforward "Yes" at this point if I were to ask you if your nickname here is "Londoner." You'd either argue that it's not or find some way of avoiding answering.

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A_Seagull
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Re: What is truth?

Post by A_Seagull » Fri Nov 11, 2016 5:23 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:
A_Seagull wrote:Ok I take your point, but no one has been able to prove convincingly that they are not a brain-in-a-vat;
I agree with that, but it's a phil of science/science methodology 101 mantra that empirical claims are not provable, period. The upshot of that is that no one worries about whether we can prove some empirical claim or other--none of them are provable.

So two tracks commence from that point:

One, the issue becomes non-proof-oriented reasons that we'd believe one possibility over another. We can't prove that we're not brains in a vat, and we can't prove that we are. Well, so if we're going to believe one possibility rather than the other, it can't be about proof. What are the other reasons that we'd believe one or the other?

And two, we get on with doing philosophy about stuff like perception anyway, because there are interesting philosophical issues to tackle without just constantly focusing on the most fundamental epistemological questions.
Proofs only exist in abstract systems where axioms and processes of inference are clearly laid out. Proofs do not relate to things of the 'real world' of sense-data. Proofs that portend to be of the real world are invariably foundationless and hence delusional.

So your track one is the obvious choice. And within that track one can believe one possibility rather than another because it constitutes a more 'efficient' pattern and has pragmatic benefits. Thus it makes more sense and it has better pragmatic outcomes to believe in naive reality than it does to believe one is a brain-in-a-vat.

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Re: What is truth?

Post by Terrapin Station » Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:04 pm

A_Seagull wrote:
Terrapin Station wrote:
A_Seagull wrote:Ok I take your point, but no one has been able to prove convincingly that they are not a brain-in-a-vat;
I agree with that, but it's a phil of science/science methodology 101 mantra that empirical claims are not provable, period. The upshot of that is that no one worries about whether we can prove some empirical claim or other--none of them are provable.

So two tracks commence from that point:

One, the issue becomes non-proof-oriented reasons that we'd believe one possibility over another. We can't prove that we're not brains in a vat, and we can't prove that we are. Well, so if we're going to believe one possibility rather than the other, it can't be about proof. What are the other reasons that we'd believe one or the other?

And two, we get on with doing philosophy about stuff like perception anyway, because there are interesting philosophical issues to tackle without just constantly focusing on the most fundamental epistemological questions.
Proofs only exist in abstract systems where axioms and processes of inference are clearly laid out. Proofs do not relate to things of the 'real world' of sense-data. Proofs that portend to be of the real world are invariably foundationless and hence delusional.

So your track one is the obvious choice. And within that track one can believe one possibility rather than another because it constitutes a more 'efficient' pattern and has pragmatic benefits. Thus it makes more sense and it has better pragmatic outcomes to believe in naive reality than it does to believe one is a brain-in-a-vat.
Well, and quite couple other things for me is that (1) things seem a certain way--I seem to have phenomena are "purely" mental, and phenomena that are clearly a perception of something external to me, where the two are quite qualitatively different, and (2) with respect to idealism and the like, I don't believe that those stances even make sense unless we assume the realist picture of things first.

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Re: What is truth?

Post by Londoner » Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:17 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:
How can we possibly have a conversation if we can't tackle something so simple and straightforward?

It seems like what happens is that interaction gets to a point where folks refuse to agree with or cooperate on anything, but then I don't see how a conversation is even possible under those conditions.

You'd probably not even give me a straightforward "Yes" at this point if I were to ask you if your nickname here is "Londoner." You'd either argue that it's not or find some way of avoiding answering.
How have I avoided anything? You have said:
All I want to solve at the moment is if you understand that no one is saying anything about the "entirety" or anything, and that no one is saying "nothing but" anything. And I want to make sure that you understand that so that we do not need to go over it again, so that you won't suggest it again, etc.
And I have replied that I don't think it is the 'entirety' either - I don't think it is any part/something at all.

Far from avoiding answering, I am repeating what I have already said:

To be clear, I do not think the visible light taken in by the eye is any part at all of those distant galaxies. The visible light is simply what it is, a photon is a photon. That we interpret it as representing distant galaxies is something we do, it is all in our heads. We could equally interpret the same phenomena as 'holes in the dome of the sky' or 'angels inside our consciousness'.

What bit of those remarks do you find evasive?

By contrast, when I asked you if by saying it wasn't the 'entirety' you were saying it was 'something', you respond as above, i.e. by not addressing the question at all. Just as you rarely respond to any of my points, for example those concerning the difficulties raised by Kant. You just declare you don't agree with Kant, or won't kow-tow to him. What is that, if not avoiding the question?

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Re: What is truth?

Post by Terrapin Station » Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:47 pm

Londoner wrote:...
What I was asking you to do was explicitly confirm that you understand that no one is saying anything about the "entirety" or anything, and that no one is saying "nothing but" anything. I wouldn't normally do that, but I had already explained this to you, yet you brought it up again. So I want to make sure that you understand that no one is saying that.

Re your question, what you actually wrote was just this:

"OK, so is anyone, i.e. you, saying 'something'?"

At first I thought you were being facetious.

If you mean to ask, "Is anyone saying that we perceive some aspects of the objects etc. that we perceive?" then of course the answer is "Yes," and the answer is "Yes" for everyone on any side of a philosophy of perception discussion, because otherwise, we'd not be talking about perception.

What's at issue isn't whether we perceive some aspects of the objects etc. that we perceive. It's what the relations are between the objects that we're perceiving and our perception.

If you'd disagree, as you claim, and thus say that we don't even perceive some aspects of the objects etc. that we perceive, then you'd simply be arguing that we don't in fact have any perception. Because otherwise, what would "perception" even be referring to? You wouldn't have to agree that perception involves any direct relation between the object we're perceiving and our perception of course, but if you don't think that we at least perceive some aspect of the objects we perceive indirectly (and the answer there is usually representationally), then I'd have no idea what you might be talking about if you'd still choose the word "perception" to name something.

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A_Seagull
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Re: What is truth?

Post by A_Seagull » Sat Nov 12, 2016 6:02 am

Terrapin Station wrote:
A_Seagull wrote:
Terrapin Station wrote:I agree with that, but it's a phil of science/science methodology 101 mantra that empirical claims are not provable, period. The upshot of that is that no one worries about whether we can prove some empirical claim or other--none of them are provable.

So two tracks commence from that point:

One, the issue becomes non-proof-oriented reasons that we'd believe one possibility over another. We can't prove that we're not brains in a vat, and we can't prove that we are. Well, so if we're going to believe one possibility rather than the other, it can't be about proof. What are the other reasons that we'd believe one or the other?

And two, we get on with doing philosophy about stuff like perception anyway, because there are interesting philosophical issues to tackle without just constantly focusing on the most fundamental epistemological questions.
Proofs only exist in abstract systems where axioms and processes of inference are clearly laid out. Proofs do not relate to things of the 'real world' of sense-data. Proofs that portend to be of the real world are invariably foundationless and hence delusional.

So your track one is the obvious choice. And within that track one can believe one possibility rather than another because it constitutes a more 'efficient' pattern and has pragmatic benefits. Thus it makes more sense and it has better pragmatic outcomes to believe in naive reality than it does to believe one is a brain-in-a-vat.
Well, and quite couple other things for me is that (1) things seem a certain way--I seem to have phenomena are "purely" mental, and phenomena that are clearly a perception of something external to me, where the two are quite qualitatively different, and (2) with respect to idealism and the like, I don't believe that those stances even make sense unless we assume the realist picture of things first.
The realist picture is, for most people, the 'best pattern' that fits the available and relevant data and so it is labelled as 'true'. The perception of mental phenomena and the perception of things external to oneself are all based on pattern identification.

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Re: What is truth?

Post by Londoner » Sat Nov 12, 2016 10:35 am

Terrapin Station wrote: What I was asking you to do was explicitly confirm that you understand that no one is saying anything about the "entirety" or anything, and that no one is saying "nothing but" anything. I wouldn't normally do that, but I had already explained this to you, yet you brought it up again. So I want to make sure that you understand that no one is saying that.

Re your question, what you actually wrote was just this:

"OK, so is anyone, i.e. you, saying 'something'?"

At first I thought you were being facetious.

If you mean to ask, "Is anyone saying that we perceive some aspects of the objects etc. that we perceive?" then of course the answer is "Yes," and the answer is "Yes" for everyone on any side of a philosophy of perception discussion, because otherwise, we'd not be talking about perception.
I'm sorry if this comes as a shock, but no they don't.

To say we 'perceive' something is to say we think our idea has an external cause, (as distinct from 'imagine' something, say). But the content of our idea and the nature of the cause need not be the same, not in any respect.

You say ' otherwise, we'd not be talking about perception'. I went to a lot of trouble trying to tease out what you meant by 'perception' - difficult because you shift your ground or change the subject as soon as your meaning starts to harden. So you cannot simply prove your point via imposing a definition of 'perception', especially since you won't clearly define it.
What's at issue isn't whether we perceive some aspects of the objects etc. that we perceive. It's what the relations are between the objects that we're perceiving and our perception.
Which may be none at all. That is what I wrote, and yet you judged that to be avoiding the question.

It is you that avoids the question. You do it by always avoiding clarity over what you mean by 'relations'. Yes, a claim of perception is a claim of a relationship, in the sense of being a cause of an idea. But no, it is not (necessarily) a claim of a relationship in the sense that our idea resembles that cause.
If you'd disagree, as you claim, and thus say that we don't even perceive some aspects of the objects etc. that we perceive, then you'd simply be arguing that we don't in fact have any perception. Because otherwise, what would "perception" even be referring to? You wouldn't have to agree that perception involves any direct relation between the object we're perceiving and our perception of course, but if you don't think that we at least perceive some aspect of the objects we perceive indirectly (and the answer there is usually representationally), then I'd have no idea what you might be talking about if you'd still choose the word "perception" to name something.
You write above:

we at least perceive some aspect of the objects we perceive indirectly (and the answer there is usually representationally)

We can leave aside the mystery of whatever you might mean by 'indirectly' or 'representationally', because the key words there are 'at least' and 'some'.

Either you have a test or you don't. If you are uncertain about which aspects are 'perceived indirectly', then you cannot know that any are 'perceived indirectly'. Likewise 'usually representational'; you can either distinguish the representational from the not-representational or you can't. If you can't, then you don't know if any, or none, are 'representational'.

You are like an eye-witness in court who says; 'I know some of the things I see are hallucinations, and I don't know which, but I am certain that I am a reliable witness of something'.

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Re: What is truth?

Post by Terrapin Station » Sat Nov 12, 2016 12:24 pm

Londoner wrote:I'm sorry if this comes as a shock, but no they don't.
Yes they do.
To say we 'perceive' something is to say we think our idea has an external cause, (as distinct from 'imagine' something, say). But the content of our idea and the nature of the cause need not be the same, not in any respect.
Believing that we're perceiving at least a part of something external does not imply that the perception is the SAME as the external. You can think that the perception is or is not "the same." ("The same" being in quotation marks because what that would really amount to is that the perception is correlated in a particular way with what's being perceived, not that it's logically identical with what's being perceived.) In both cases, what's believed is that we're perceiving at least part of an external.

Again, it's as if you're talking about perception so that it's not perception at all. It's as if you believe that we're talking about whether external things are literally in one's mind, or at least in direct contact with one's sensory apparatuses, as if when we're observing the moon, naive realists would be saying that we'd wind up with moon dirt in our eye, because the moon is directly touching our eye (if not "the moon is literally in our brain"). No one is saying that. It would be incredibly stupid to say that, and it's just as incredibly stupid to believe that anyone is saying that.

We're talking about perception.

Is this much clear before I go on, and I need an explicit answer, "Yes, that is clear" or whatever, because I'm not going to keep typing the same things over and over.

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Re: What is truth?

Post by Londoner » Sat Nov 12, 2016 1:34 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:Yes they do.
Rubbish. You really need to read some philosophy. I have referred you some, but I can't make you look.
In both cases, what's believed is that we're perceiving at least part of an external.
There is no point in your just repeating this stuff, because we both know you will never make it clear what you mean by 'perceiving', 'relations' and all the rest.
Again, it's as if you're talking about perception so that it's not perception at all. It's as if you believe that we're talking about whether external things are literally in one's mind, or at least in direct contact with one's sensory apparatuses, as if when we're observing the moon, naive realists would be saying that we'd wind up with moon dirt in our eye, because the moon is directly touching our eye (if not "the moon is literally in our brain"). No one is saying that. It would be incredibly stupid to say that, and it's just as incredibly stupid to believe that anyone is saying that.
Again, you stage a diversion, avoiding addressing anything I write. You do so by helpfully explaining what you aren't saying, while avoiding any clarity about what you do mean.
We're talking about perception.
No, you are avoiding talking about it.
Is this much clear before I go on, and I need an explicit answer, "Yes, that is clear" or whatever, because I'm not going to keep typing the same things over and over.
No, nothing is clear and it is plain you intend to keep it that way.

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Terrapin Station
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Re: What is truth?

Post by Terrapin Station » Sat Nov 12, 2016 1:46 pm

Londoner wrote:Rubbish. You really need to read some philosophy. I have referred you some, but I can't make you look.
Haha with the superiority crap. If you want to pull that, there's no way you have the background in philosophy that I do, and you make that continually clear when, as below, you can't even make sense of the term "relation." How could you have possibly done any logic involving statements such as "xRy" when you can't even make sense of what a relation is? And if you didn't do any logic of that sort, there's no way you'd have a degree in philosophy, or the equivalent self-education in it.
There is no point in your just repeating this stuff, because we both know you will never make it clear what you mean by 'perceiving', 'relations' and all the rest.
If you think that it's not clear what we're even referring to by those terms, how could we possibly proceed with a discussion about this topic?

Perception concerns the interaction between our minds and things external to our minds. When we perceive something we receive information or data that is somehow correlated with external objects, events, etc. The answer to "somehow"--and there are a wide variety of answers to that--leads to different views on philosophy of perception.

Do you agree with that/is that much clear to you?

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Re: What is truth?

Post by Londoner » Sat Nov 12, 2016 3:12 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:Haha with the superiority crap. If you want to pull that, there's no way you have the background in philosophy that I do, and you make that continually clear when, as below, you can't even make sense of the term "relation."
I cannot make sense of any of the words you use, and you can't either. See the example below.
Perception concerns the interaction between our minds and things external to our minds. When we perceive something we receive information or data that is somehow correlated with external objects, events, etc. The answer to "somehow"--and there are a wide variety of answers to that--leads to different views on philosophy of perception.

Do you agree with that/is that much clear to you?
How can something be 'clear' when you have just given me a definition full of 'concerns' and somehows' and 'wide variety of answers'?

We can generate any number of words with vague and contradictory meanings. It is not helpful; it is the direct opposite of doing philosophy.

If we were doing philosophy, we would go through this 'wide variety of answers' and see if any of them make sense. Because there is no reason why any of them should.

As it is, I'm being invited to say that I agree with something, but you can't say what. No thanks.

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Terrapin Station
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Re: What is truth?

Post by Terrapin Station » Sat Nov 12, 2016 4:20 pm

Londoner wrote:...
At this point I can only conclude that you have some sort of mental illness (and I do suspect that you're an Aspie, at least). Well, or you're a pretty dedicated troll.

Also, LOL (literally) re reading "concerns" as "contentious issues" or "worries" etc., and not as "has to do with."

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Re: What is truth?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Sat Nov 12, 2016 4:37 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:
Londoner wrote:...
At this point I can only conclude that you have some sort of mental illness (and I do suspect that you're an Aspie, at least). Well, or you're a pretty dedicated troll.

Also, LOL (literally) re reading "concerns" as "contentious issues" or "worries" etc., and not as "has to do with."
And with that terrapin station looses what little grasp of his side of the argument he had remaining.

Londoner
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Re: What is truth?

Post by Londoner » Sat Nov 12, 2016 6:24 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:At this point I can only conclude that you have some sort of mental illness (and I do suspect that you're an Aspie, at least). Well, or you're a pretty dedicated troll.

Also, LOL (literally) re reading "concerns" as "contentious issues" or "worries" etc., and not as "has to do with."
Yet another post with no philosophical content.

I'm quite happy to leave it to others to judge which of us has a problem.

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