Epistemology, Concepts

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Epistemology, Concepts

Post by RCSaunders » Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:00 pm

Epistemology is the philosophical discipline that explains the nature of knowledge and identifies the principles by which knowledge must be gained, held, and used if it is to be true knowledge.

Epistemology, like all other disciplines, such as language, mathematics, the sciences, and all of philosophy, is a human developed method. There is no authority dictating the principles of epistemology. Like all other principles, the nature of epistemology must be discovered. What ultimately determines if epistemology is correct or not, is reality itself. Only an epistemology that explains how knowledge of reality is achieved, and makes it possible to know and understand that reality is a correct epistemology.

[NOTE: To "know and understand reality" does not mean to know and understand all of reality or everything about it. It does not mean omniscience or infallibility. It only means that which exists can be identified and understood and one's knowledge consists of all that one has identified and understands about that existence.]

What Is Knowledge?

The whole of epistemology would be required to answer the question of what knowledge is. Here the question only refers to what knowledge, in the epistemological sense, refers to.

The word knowledge is used to identify many different concepts, such as developed skills and abilities (he knows how to drive, she knows how to type, he knows how to play the piano), things one has experienced (I know what cinnamon tastes like) or is acquainted with (he knows where the library is) or even for things animals can do (Rex knows his way home).

Knowledge, in epistemology, refers only to the kind of knowledge possible to human beings, knowledge held by means of language. Language is a system of symbols called words which stand for concepts.

Knowing a language is not just being able to respond to a few sounds, signs, or symbols. Knowing a language means capable of forming, speaking, writing and understanding complete sentences. Knowing a language means being able to think, read, write, ask questions, and understand verbal explanations in that language.

The primary purpose of language is to gain and hold knowledge and to use that language to think, and make choices. A secondary derivative purpose of language is communication.

[NOTE: The primary purpose of language is not communication. The purpose of language is knowledge and thinking. One must know something before it can be communicated and must think it before it can be written or spoken. Since human beings are volitional beings they must consciously choose to think, write, or speak.]

The Purpose Of Concepts

Words, in any language, represent concepts. Concepts have a single function which is to identify existents. Existents are anything that exists, ontologically (materially), or epistemologically. Material existents (entities) and epistemological existents are all that exists.

The Structure Of Concepts

A concept consists of two components a "perceivable existent," and a "specification." The, "perceivable existent," is a symbol, usually a spoken or written word. The "specification" is a definition which specifies or indicates the existent or existents the concept identifies.

The word (or other perceivable symbol) for a concept is not the concept. The word is our means of being conscious of the concept. The concept is the identification of an existent. The definition of a concept indicates what existent a concept identifies.

Words

We can only directly perceive the physical—things that can be seen, heard, felt, smelled or tasted or experienced internally. We can see written words, hear spoken words, and feel words in Braille. Once we have seen, heard, or felt a word, that percept is stored in memory and we can recall it to perceive it without an 'external' source.

Though words can be written and read, spoken and heard, even signed and recognized, words, as components of concepts, are usually "mental" words, words as we think them recalled from memory. Written and spoken words are only marks on paper or sounds that represent the words we think. We first have to think a word before we can say or write it and a written or spoken word only has meaning if someone reads or hears it and mentally recognizes it. The marks on the paper and sounds in the air do not have any meaning. Their only function is to enable the reader or hearer to recall the meaning from memory.

Written and spoken words are symbols for the words we think, but words, as we think them, (except when we are thinking about them as words, their spelling for example), are part of concepts. It is words that provide the part of a concept we can be conscious of.

[NOTE: Concepts do nothing except identify existents. They do not represent existents, describe existents, or indicate anything about the existents identified. It is necessary to emphasize this to prevent criticisms of knowledge based on a wrong understanding of what concepts are. Statements, like, "we can never know anything completely because concepts are only incomplete abstractions representing actual things." Concepts are not abstractions, not "stand-ins" for existents, they are identifications of actual existents with all their qualities and all that can be known about them.]

How Concepts Identify Existents

If asked what he would like, a young boy wanting an apple might point to the apples in a bowl and say, "I'd like one of those, please." If there are no apples in plain sight, however, he might say, "I'd like an apple, please." The pointing and using the word apple have performed the same function—they have identified the kind of thing the boy wants.

It is not the word apple, but "using the word apple," that is the identifying action, because a spoken or written word is only a symbol, and it is the concept (symbol plus definition) that does the identifying. When the boy uses the word apple, he has already identified apples mentally before saying the word, else he could not say it. It is also not the spoken word that identifies an apple for the listener but the concept, apple, which hearing the word recalls to the listener's mind.

The identity of the apple is independent of anyone's knowledge or understanding of it. The apple's material identity is an ontological fact consisting of all an apple's qualities and attributes, known or unknown. To identify an apple by means of the concept "apple" does nothing more than pointing and saying, "one of those," does. The obvious advantage of a concept is that identifying an apple does not depend on the presence of a physical one, because we can identify an apple anytime by means of the concept, we do not have to have any apples before us to think about them.

Definitions

While identifying an apple by pointing at it, accompanied by the word apple, is referred to as an ostensive definition, and is most likely the way our earliest concepts are learned and defined. For adults, most concepts are defined verbally.

A verbal definition must specify what existent a concept identifies. For all entities it is the entities material (ontological) nature that determine how a concept for those entities is defined. Since, ontologically, an existent is all its qualities, it is its qualities which are its identity. [See, "Ontology Introduction."]

It would be impossible to list all of an entities perceived qualities, physical qualities, relationships, and behavior both because there are too many and, most likely, not all are known. It is not necessary, however to list every possible quality of an existent to identify it. It is only necessary to identify those qualities that are unique to that entity that differentiate it from all others, within the context of one's present knowledge.

How different kinds of concepts are defined will be explained under, "Kinds Of Concepts." It is not words that are defined, but the concepts the words stand for. The words, 'home,' 'domocile,' 'residence,' 'abode,' 'casa,' (Spanish), 'maison,' (French), 'spiti,' (Greek), and 'ban,' (Thai) all have the same definition because those different words all stand for the same concept. It is not the symbols or words for concepts that have meaning, but the concepts the symbols represent.

What A Concept Means

What concepts mean are the actual existents they identify. The existents identified by concepts are called a concept's referents, units, particulars, instances, or specimen.

The concept "apple" means any apple there has ever been, is now, or ever will be. As the identifier of apples, what it identifies is the entire ontological nature of any apple in its entire ontological context, because that is what any apple is. That nature and context are not part of or in any way contained in the concept, apple. The nature and context pertain only to what the concept identifies, that is, individual apples themselves. Therefore, what the concept apple means is any apple or apples with all their qualities and attributes and all that can ever be known about them, whether it is known or not.

The concept, apple, used by a child who knows little more about apples than what they look and taste like, or the same concept used by a botanist specializing in the study of apples, means exactly the same thing, actual apples. Neither the child's limited knowledge or the botanist's extensive knowledge is about the concept apples or part of the concept apples; the knowledge is about that which the concept identifies for both the child and the botanist, apples themselves.

Kinds Of Concepts

All concepts of any kind have the same basic function or purpose—to identify existents. Because existents are all different with different natures, there are different ways of forming and defining concepts, some more suitable than others for specific existents and purposes.

Six of the most common ways of classifying concepts are the following:

1. Material (or ontological) versus epistemological.
2. Particular versus universal.
3. Intrinsic versus extrinsic.
4. Analytic versus synthetic
5. Complex (anthropological) concepts
6. Concepts for categories, existents, qualities, actions, and relationships

Those categories that are contrasted (intrinsic versus extrinsic, for example) are exclusive of each other, but otherwise these categories are not exclusive and most concepts belong to more than one class of concept.

Material (or ontological) versus epistemological.

Everything that exists is either material or epistemological. All concepts that identify material existents, called entities, are material concepts. All concepts that identify non-material existents are dependent for their existence on the human mind and knowledge and are called epistemological concepts.

All concepts for physical entities, including all living physical entities (organisms), all conscious organism, all intellectual organisms (human being) and their qualities, behavior, and relationships are material concepts.

All concepts for human intellectually developed methods and knowledge including language, the sciences, mathematics, logic, history, philosophy, religions, and arts are epistemological concepts.

Particular versus universal.

A particular concept identifies a single existent. Most particular concepts are proper nouns or identified as individual referents of a universal concept.

A universal concept identifies a class or category of existents. Most concepts are universal concepts. By class or category of existents is meant indefinite (open ended) collections of the same kind of existent.

Since it is an existent's qualities that are what an existent is, it is an existent's qualities that determine the kind of existent it is. Existents of the same kind are those with some of the same qualities.

If the existents are entities (material) the fact that some entities have some same qualities is an ontological fact, but that they are the same kind of entities is only an epistemological fact, based on the observation of the entities ontological nature.

Intrinsic versus extrinsic.

The intrinsic versus extrinsic classification of concepts pertains only to universal concepts and is based solely on how concepts are defined. Intrinsic concepts are defined on the basis of an exitent's nature, the actual qualities that are intrinsic to that existent. Extrinsic concepts are defined on the basis of what is known about an existent, extrinsic to the actual existent. The referents of extrinsic concepts, if material, also have intrinsic qualities.

For universal concepts of things that are members of the same category because of something inherent in the existents themselves, like dog, planet, rock, or elephant, it is their very nature that is the same—they are intrinsic concepts. For universal concepts like Athenian, cook, or trinket, the sameness is something external to the existents identified by the concepts and is determined by things such as where one lives, what one does for work, or what something is used for—they are extrinsic concepts.

Analytic versus synthetic

Analytic concepts, are those concepts whose definition is the result of analyzing the existents identified to discover the qualities that best describe, differentiate, or define them. Analytic concepts are all material concepts.

Synthetic concepts are created by combining qualities, actions, and relationships from actual existents (identified by analytic concepts). All creation, invention, hypothesis, and planning proceed by means of synthetic concepts. Synthetic concepts are all epistemological concepts.

[NOTE: Concepts for potential inventions are synthetic until and unless the invention is actually created. Once an invention actually exists, if it is a material entity, the concept for it is an extrinsic concept, though the physical entity itself and the substances it is made of are identified by intrinsic concepts and the substances by analytic concepts.

The characters, places, and objects created for a work of fiction are all synthetic concepts and remain synthetic concepts even after the work of fiction is published. If published in the form of books, the books are identified by extrinsic concepts, but the material the books are made from are identified by intrinsic analytic concepts.]

Since synthetic concepts are synthesized from attributes of other concepts, their definitions consist of the attributes or qualities they are created from. They cannot be discovered by either science or philosophy. It is the reason why no language, logic, mathematics, or other man-made method can be discovered, but must be either learned from others, from recorded knowledge of these things, or invented.

Complex (anthropological) concepts

Concepts that identify things which have no existence or meaning separate from human knowledge, interests, activities, or concerns and consist of ideas that must be defined by two or more propositions identifying the human element the existent relates to and the nature of that relationship.

Some examples of complex concepts are: meaning, principle, possible, necessary, problem, mistake, urgency, emergency, success, failure, important, interest, critical, vague, ultimate, tenuous, implied, passion, threat, excellence, dignity, honesty, news, lost, hope, boredom, and nostalgia.

Concepts for 1. existents, 2. categories of existents (universals), 3. qualities, 4. actions (or behavior), and 5. relationships.

All five of these concepts—individual existents, categories of existents (universals), qualities, actions (or behavior), and relationships—identify existents. The first two—individual existents and categories of existents—identify existents in themselves, including whatever their qualities, actions, or relationships are. The existents identified by the last three—qualities, actions, and relationships—have no existence separate from the existents they are the qualities, actions, or relationships of; nevertheless, they exist, and are identifiable by their own qualities.

These five kinds of concepts are all the concepts there are. Each of all other kinds of concepts is also one of these. Each of these identify existents of an indefinite number and variety.

[NOTE: Existents and their qualities, actions (or behavior), and relationships are all that exists. This is a metaphysical fact.]

[NOTE: Some existents will have qualities we refer to as states, which are conceptually subsumed under qualities or actions. Measurements are qualities.]

Kinds of Things and Essence

Most concepts are universal concepts. A universal concept identifies categories or classes of existents or existents of the same kind.

What makes things the same kind of things? More importantly, what makes anything the kind of thing it is? The answer to the first question is their essence; everything with the same essence is the same kind of thing. It is the answer to the second question that is the explanation of what essence is.

Essence and Qualities

From ontology we know the identity of every existent is determined by three necessary conditions: 1. it must have some qualities, 2. it must be different in some way from all other existents; therefore, it must have some quality or qualities that are different from those of all other existents, and 3. every existent has some relationship to all other existents; therefore, it must have some quality or qualities it shares with all other existents.

Every existent identified by a universal concept has two kinds of qualities: necessary and possible.

Necessary qualities are all those qualities of an existent that it must have to be identified as the same kind of existent, and without which it would not be that kind of existent. The "necessity" only pertains to the epistemological recognition of those qualities and only means qualities an existent must have to be included as a referent of the concept.

Possible qualities are all the qualities an existent may have, but will be the same kind of existent whether it has those qualities or not. Every individual supposition of a universal concept must have some quality or qualities that are different from the possible qualities of all other referents of the same concept.

A dog is a physical entity, a living organism, an animal, a mammal, and a canine. Physical, living, animal, mammal, and canine are all necessary attributes of the concept dog. If something had all these attributes except one, it would not be a dog.

A dog can have short hair, long hair, or no hair, a tail, no tail, be very big, or very small and exhibit individual patterns of behavior. Hair, tails, a certain size and variations of behavior are all possible attributes of a dog, but none are necessary; a dog will be a dog with or without them.

Obviously it is an existent's necessary qualities that determine the kind of existent it is and equally obvious that every existent with the same necessary qualities is the same kind of thing.

The essence of a thing, therefore, consists of all its necessary qualities. A dog is a dog because it shares with all other dogs the same necessary qualities, that is, those that are a dog's nature or identity.

The difference in existents of the same kind must be differences in possible qualities.

Every dog has some possible quality or qualities that are different from the possible qualities of every other dog. No two dogs can have exactly all the same possible qualities. (The differences can be pronounced or very slight.)

[NOTE: Essence is strictly epistemological. There are no ontological or material essences. Material entities which are referents of the same concept are recognized as the same kind of entities because they share some same (necessary) qualities. Those same qualities are identified epistemologically and are called the essence of the entities identified by the concept. Ontologically, they really have those same qualities but ontologically those same qualities do not constitute an attribute of those entities called an essence.]

[NOTE: The observation that many material entities have some of the same qualities is the basis for much scientific research to discover the exact nature of those similarities and the reason for and relationship between those entities. That research has led to the discovery of the nature of the chemical elements, biochemistry, diseases, heredity, the laws of physics, and much more.]

[NOTE: Universal concepts are not abstractions. Universal concepts identify existents that have some qualities that are the same (necessary qualities). Such existents are considered belonging to the same category or class of existents, because they all have the same "necessary" qualities. All the members of a universal class or category also have qualities that are unique (possible qualities) to each individual existent (called referents of the concept) else they would not be different existents. The different qualities are not, "left out," or, "abstracted," they are included by implication and included explicitly in each instantiation of the concept.]

"Referents" of Universal Concepts

A referent or referents of a universal concept will all have the same necessary qualities. The identity of any individual referent of a concept is all the qualities it has at any moment, both necessary and possible.

Individual (particular) existents also have both necessary and possible qualities. A particular existent's necessary qualities are all the qualities it has at any moment. A particular existent's possible qualities are those that can change over time; it's necessary qualities are those that cannot change without that existent becoming a different existent or different kind of existent.

For any individual existent, at least one of its necessary qualities, as that existent, must be a possible quality of all other existents identified by the same concept, and it must be different from the actual possible qualities of all other units of that concept.

All of an individual existent's necessary qualities are its essence as an individual existent.

Intrinsic And Extrinsic Universals

For all intrinsic concepts of material entities, the essence is defined in terms of the ontological or material identities of those entities.

For all extrinsic concepts, the essence is epistemological (based on what is known about the existents, such as their purpose, use, function, membership in some collection, residence or relationship to other things). If the units of an extrinsic concept are material, the material aspects themselves have intrinsic essences, but as units of an extrinsic concept, the units intrinsic material qualities, are only necessary qualities if they cannot be different (e.g. a Musician's human attributes are necessary qualities) but are possible qualities if they can be different in different units or referents of the concept (e.g. a drinking cup may be glass, ceramic, plastic, or some other material).

For example, I have many different kinds of spoons. They are all units or referents of the concept, "spoon." Their essence as spoons is, "a shallow bowl on a handle used to prepare, serve, or eat food." The necessary qualities are, "bowl," "handle," with the function of being used "to prepare, serve, or eat food." I'll call this essence, "spoonness."

The essence,"spoonness," is strictly epistemological. While bowls and handles are physical entities and those qualities are necessary to spoons, "spoonness" is not intrinsic to spoons, because there are other existents with bowls and handles, such as certain oars, fishing lures, and golf clubs. It is the function, "to prepare, serve, or eat food with," that differentiates spoons from all other things with similar physical characteristics.

I have spoons that are made of wood, others made of metal, and still others made of plastic. Wood, metal, and plastic are all intrinsic concepts; the essences of wood, metal, and plastic are material attributes, the necessary attributes of these substances are physical. As any of these essences is instantiated in spoons, they are only possible qualities, however, because spoons can be made from many different substances and still be spoons.

Most individual existents are identified as referents of universal concepts. A liquid or some liquid is a referent of the concept liquid. A corpse is a referent of the concept corpse. A house, a cow, a memory, a lie, and a verb are all referents of their respective concepts house, cow, memory, lie, and verb. This may seem obvious for nouns, but it is true for all universal concepts, such as modifiers (adjectives and adverbs). Whenever something is described as difficult, difficult is a referent of the concept difficult. When anything is described as dangerous, red, mysterious, important, those modifiers are referents of their respective concepts dangerous, red, mysterious, and important. This is also true for concepts of actions (verbs). Whenever something is said to jump, run, lie, love, or desire, those verbs are referents of their respective concepts jump, run, lie, love, and desire.

Concepts And Knowledge

Concepts identify the things all our knowledge is about. A concept, by itself, is not knowledge, however. A concept's only function is identification.

All human knowledge consists of propositions. A proposition is a statement that asserts something about an existent or class of existents. Knowledge is about things: about existence itself, about the existents that are existence, and about their nature, their attributes, their actions, and their relationships to each other. It is by means of propositions that state what is true about existents, their nature, attributes, actions, and relationships to each other that all knowledge is formed and held.

All supposed knowledge must be either true or false. Except by implication, no concept is either true or false. Concepts can be good or bad, that is, they may identify confused ideas, or be vague and poorly defined, or may identify what does not really exist, (as though it did), as most mystical concepts do. What those concepts identify are fictions, but the concepts are neither true nor false. A concept only identifies things, and is just as valid when identifying fictional things as when identifying actual things.

Only propositions can be true or false. For example, "Zeus is a god worshiped by the ancient Greeks," asserts something about Zeus. If what is being asserted is correct, the proposition is true; if what is being asserted is incorrect, the proposition is false. The assertion, in this case, is correct, therefore the proposition, is true, even though the concept "Zeus" identifies a fictional existent. The same concept can be use in both true and false propositions. "The phoenix is a common bird found in the forests of Colorado," is false, but, "the phoenix is a mythical bird of ancient Egypt," is true.

Since only propositions can be true or false, knowledge consists entirely of propositions; but all propositions are constructed of concepts, without which no knowledge would be possible. Concepts identify the existents all our knowledge is about. Technically, concepts are not knowledge, but a definition, if correct, is knowledge because it is stated as a proposition.

One might say, all correctly defined concepts constitute a kind of knowledge, but notice, it is really only the definitions that are the knowledge, not concepts as identifiers, which is their only function. Concepts imply knowledge, and most concepts would be impossible without knowledge, but attributing knowledge to concepts themselves is an epistemological mistake. It is that mistake that is the source of such confused ideas as those that suggest knowledge somehow changes the meaning of concepts, so that what a child means by an apple, and what a botanist means by an apple are different things.

Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Epistemology, Concepts

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:46 am

I have read the above post and among all the various terms introduced, your whole piece is reducible to Philosophical Realism, i.e.
In metaphysics, Philosophical Realism about a given object is the view that this object exists in reality independently of our conceptual scheme. In philosophical terms, these objects are ontologically independent of someone's conceptual scheme, perceptions, linguistic practices, beliefs, etc.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_realism
This is reflected in your;
The identity of the apple is independent of anyone's knowledge or understanding of it.
How Concepts Identify Existents
Thus in terms of Philosophical Realism,
In metaphysics, Philosophical Realism about a given object [the apple] is the view that this object [the apple] exists in reality independently of our conceptual scheme.

If you can defend Philosophical Realism as a tenable realistic theory, then it would have saved you writing the whole article if not at least support your views therein.

Here is where your premise cracks your whole argument;
A verbal definition must specify what existent a concept identifies. For all entities it is the entities material (ontological) nature that determine how a concept for those entities is defined. Since, ontologically, an existent is all its qualities, it is its qualities which are its identity. [See, "Ontology Introduction."]

It would be impossible to list all of an entities perceived qualities, physical qualities, relationships, and behavior both because there are too many and, most likely, not all are known. It is not necessary, however to list every possible quality of an existent to identify it. It is only necessary to identify those qualities that are unique to that entity that differentiate it from all others, within the context of one's present knowledge.
Your phrase
"It would be impossible to list all of an entities perceived qualities, physical qualities, relationships, and behavior both because there are too many and, most likely, not all are known."
is a cheapo escape clause for you to ignore reality.

When we do not identify the full facts of an object, the apple in this case, we are compromising reality and the truth.

Identifying the qualities of the apple with certain the typical concepts, like round, green/red/yellow, sweet, sour, crunchy etc. is merely a convenience where the reality of that object [the apple] compromised.

There are many perspectives and degrees of truth to that object identified as 'the apple'.

If we can identify the exact types and number of molecules of the apple, surely, that would be more factual, accurate and has a higher degree of truth than merely seeing it a physical apple fruit.
Further if we can identify the exact number and types of atoms, protons, and electrons that apple is made of, that would be a higher degree of truth.

To get into the deeper more accurate truth, we can measure the number of wave or particle that the particular "apple" is made of.
But then we are faced with a scenario where 'what is particle or wave' is dependent on the observer, i.e. the wave collapse function.

Thus the ultimate truth of what is the apple is not independent of the human conditions, i.e. it contradict what the Philosophical Realists' claim as stated above.

Essence and Qualities

From ontology we know the identity of every existent is determined by three necessary conditions:
1. it must have some qualities,
2. it must be different in some way from all other existents; therefore, it must have some quality or qualities that are different from those of all other existents, and
3. every existent has some relationship to all other existents;
therefore, it must have some quality or qualities it shares with all other existents.
Since the apple is quite a large object, let say we take a drop of water where we can measure the number of H20 molecules therein.

A water droplet at room temperature will have the appearance of constant state as a water droplet which can be scientifically verified and confirmed by observation.
  • 1. At t1 lets say the water-droplet -X is made of 1000 H20 molecules, i.e. 1000-H20-molecules-water-droplet.
    2. But we know even at a constant room temperature, some H2O molecules will evaporate without any noticeable change to its state as a water droplet.
    3. Thus at t2, while still appearing as a water droplet, 10 H2O molecules evaporated into the air.
    4. In this case, the water droplet is a 990-H20-molecules-water-droplet.
    5. Because the 990-H20-molecules-water-droplet is now different from the previous 1000-H20-molecules-water-droplet, it cannot be the same water droplet-X in truth and reality, even though it appear to our eyes to be the same. We have to call this water-droplet Y to reflect it as a different 990-H20-molecules-water-droplet.
    6. At different times from t3 to tn, the number of H20 molecules will continue to evaporate. The reality is, in its t-instances it is truly, factually and realistically a different water-drop even though in appearance there is no 'change'.
Note the counter to your philosophical realists' position by the Philosophical Anti-realists, Heraclitus'
  • "No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man."
Because as Hume stated, man is only a bundle of activities [energy] that is changing at all times.

Thus from the above, your whole post is compromising and ignoring really-real-reality due to convenience and as Hume would have implied that convenience is driven by an inherent psychology.
Your whole post is dealing with crude reality. It has some degree of truth and reality in it but it is very gross truth and reality.
All the terms you used, e.g. concepts, knowledge, existents, referent, etc. are crude and are in shambles and do not represent reality and truth is a more refined manner.

In seeking for higher and higher truth and reality one will end up with the Philosophical Anti-Realist position, i.e.
  • In metaphysics, Philosophical Anti-Realism about a given object is the view that this object exists in reality interactively with our [human] conceptual scheme.
My preference is Kant's Philosophical Anti-Realism, which is Empirical Realism.

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RCSaunders
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Re: Epistemology, Concepts

Post by RCSaunders » Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:08 pm

Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:46 am
I have read the above post and among all the various terms introduced, your whole piece is reducible to Philosophical Realism, i.e.
I'm sorry it didn't do you any good. There are only three other philosophers in the history of philosophy with an epistemology similar to the one I outlined in that article. None of them were philosophical, "realists," and neither am I.

Any epistemology says a word means its definition is wrong and useless. It's the epistemology of Kant, and subsequently every bad philosophy that followed him.

Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Epistemology, Concepts

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Tue Mar 03, 2020 6:56 am

RCSaunders wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:08 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:46 am
I have read the above post and among all the various terms introduced, your whole piece is reducible to Philosophical Realism, i.e.
I'm sorry it didn't do you any good. There are only three other philosophers in the history of philosophy with an epistemology similar to the one I outlined in that article. None of them were philosophical, "realists," and neither am I.

Any epistemology says a word means its definition is wrong and useless. It's the epistemology of Kant, and subsequently every bad philosophy that followed him.
No counters to the points I raised on your very flimsy article?
Is you best philosophical approach that of merely hand-waving and crudely brushing off the counters of others?

You have to explain why your preferred philosopher are not realists in respect of the theories they hold. IF they are not realist then they are anti-realists.

If I am not mistaken you are a fan of Aristotle, he was fundamentally a philosophical realists.
Aristotelian realism is the view that the existence of universals is dependent on the particulars that exemplify them.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_realism
You mentioned John Locke. I understand his stance of truth is re the Correspondence Theory of Truth;
Historically, most advocates of correspondence theories have been metaphysical realists; that is, they believe that there is a world external to the minds of all humans.
This is in contrast to metaphysical idealists who hold that everything that exists exists as a substantial metaphysical entity independently of the individual thing of which it is predicated, and also to conceptualists who hold that everything that exists is, in the end, just an idea in some mind.

However, it is not strictly necessary that a correspondence theory be married to metaphysical realism. It is possible to hold, for example, that the facts of the world determine which statements are true and to also hold that the world (and its facts) is but a collection of ideas in the mind of some supreme being.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correspon ... y_of_truth
Some philosophers may have some degree of idealist views but fundamentally and ultimately they are determined to be a philosophical realist.

If you are on the fence or claim neither be a realist or idealist, it only indicate you don't have the philosophical depth to discern and 'Know Thyself' on where you really stands.

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Re: Epistemology, Concepts

Post by Skepdick » Tue Mar 03, 2020 8:46 am

Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 6:56 am
IF they are not realist then they are anti-realists.
False dichotomy. The third option is those who outright reject the real/not-real distinction.

For the sake of naming things: indifferealists.

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Re: Epistemology, Concepts

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Tue Mar 03, 2020 8:56 am

Skepdick wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 8:46 am
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 6:56 am
IF they are not realist then they are anti-realists.
False dichotomy. The third option is those who outright reject the real/not-real distinction.

For the sake of naming things: indifferealists.
Show me how one can stand on neither Philosophical Realism nor Philosophical Anti-Realism IF they are doing philosophy.
In metaphysics, [Philosophical] Realism about a given object is the view that this object exists in reality independently of our conceptual scheme. In philosophical terms, these objects are ontologically independent of someone's conceptual scheme, perceptions, linguistic practices, beliefs, etc.
Yes, the can be indifferent but only if they are indifferent to philosophy in general, i.e. they are babies, infants, in coma, or just neglect to think or take any stance in humanity or philosophy.
Note common sense is fundamentally a philosophical realist position, i.e. things exist externally and is independent of the human person.

Even Basic Science which is based on intersubjective consensus ASSUMEs an independent reality thus that is assumed as a philosophical realist position. However the more advance Science [QM] where it is acknowledged the observer is inevitable part and parcel of the scientific theory, that is ultimately a philosophical anti-realist position.

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Re: Epistemology, Concepts

Post by Skepdick » Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:04 am

Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 8:56 am
Show me how one can stand on neither Philosophical Realism nor Philosophical Anti-Realism IF they are doing philosophy.
Sure. Stephen Hawking's Model-dependent realism.

Realists say that "model-dependent realists" are anti-realists.
Anti-realists say that "model-dependent realists" are realists.

Model-dependent realists think that both camps are filled with morons who only think in dichotomies, so they formed their own philosophy.

I don't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member. Sincerely yours, Groucho Marx.

All distinctions/definitions are merely linguistic tools - they help communication. You are supposed to abandon them once the matter is elucidated and the communication session is wrapped up. Idiot-philosophers form tribes around definitions and defend them to the death.
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 8:56 am
In metaphysics, [Philosophical] Realism about a given object is the view that this object exists in reality independently of our conceptual scheme. In philosophical terms, these objects are ontologically independent of someone's conceptual scheme, perceptions, linguistic practices, beliefs, etc.
Yes, the can be indifferent but only if they are indifferent to philosophy in general, i.e. they are babies, infants, in coma, or just neglect to think or take any stance in humanity or philosophy.
Note common sense is fundamentally a philosophical realist position, i.e. things exist externally and is independent of the human person.

Even Basic Science which is based on intersubjective consensus ASSUMEs an independent reality thus that is assumed as a philosophical realist position. However the more advance Science [QM] where it is acknowledged the observer is inevitable part and parcel of the scientific theory, that is ultimately a philosophical anti-realist position.
All of the above is nothing but you constructing a model that agrees with your pre-suppositions.

You are a constructivist, but you are ignorant of it...

How many times do you need to go through this exercise before you figure out that you can argue over undistributed middles indefinitely?

QM is not anti-realism. QM is about inter-dependence - entanglement. The observer is inseparable from the observation. Quantum Information is a monist metaphysic.

Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Epistemology, Concepts

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:24 am

Skepdick wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:04 am
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 8:56 am
Show me how one can stand on neither Philosophical Realism nor Philosophical Anti-Realism IF they are doing philosophy.
Sure. Stephen Hawking's Model-dependent realism.

Realists say that "model-dependent realists" are anti-realists.
Anti-realists say that "model-dependent realists" are realists.

Model-dependent realists think that both camps are filled with morons who only think in dichotomies, so they formed their own philosophy.

I don't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member. Sincerely yours, Groucho Marx.
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 8:56 am
In metaphysics, [Philosophical] Realism about a given object is the view that this object exists in reality independently of our conceptual scheme. In philosophical terms, these objects are ontologically independent of someone's conceptual scheme, perceptions, linguistic practices, beliefs, etc.
Yes, the can be indifferent but only if they are indifferent to philosophy in general, i.e. they are babies, infants, in coma, or just neglect to think or take any stance in humanity or philosophy.
Note common sense is fundamentally a philosophical realist position, i.e. things exist externally and is independent of the human person.

Even Basic Science which is based on intersubjective consensus ASSUMEs an independent reality thus that is assumed as a philosophical realist position. However the more advance Science [QM] where it is acknowledged the observer is inevitable part and parcel of the scientific theory, that is ultimately a philosophical anti-realist position.
All of the above is nothing but you constructing a model that agrees with your pre-suppositions.

You are a constructivist, but you are ignorant of it...

How many times do you need to go through this exercise before you figure out that you can argue over undistributed middles indefinitely?

QM is not anti-realism. QM is about inter-dependence - entanglement. The observer is inseparable from the observation. Quantum Information is a monist metaphysic.
Re: Model-dependent realism
Model-dependent realism is a view of scientific inquiry that focuses on the role of scientific models of phenomena.[1] It claims reality should be interpreted based upon these models, and where several models overlap in describing a particular subject, multiple, equally valid, realities exist.
It claims that it is meaningless to talk about the "true reality" of a model as we can never be absolutely certain of anything.
The only meaningful thing is the usefulness of the model.[2]
The term "model-dependent realism" was coined by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow in their 2010 book, The Grand Design.
Since the only meaningful thing is the usefulness of the model [has to be made by humans], it conclusion inevitably cannot be independent of the human condition.
As such, this is a Philosophical Anti-Realism stance as defined.
How else?

Note the definition again;
In metaphysics, [Philosophical] Realism about a given object is the view that this object exists in reality independently of our conceptual scheme. In philosophical terms, these objects are ontologically independent of someone's conceptual scheme, perceptions, linguistic practices, beliefs, etc.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_realism
QM is not anti-realism. QM is about inter-dependence - entanglement. The observer is inseparable from the observation. Quantum Information is a monist metaphysic.
If it is about inter-dependence and the observer is inseparable, then that is Philosophical Anti-Realism by definition.

Note the definition again and again;
In metaphysics, [Philosophical] Realism about a given object is the view that this object exists in reality independentlyindependently of our conceptual scheme. In philosophical terms, these objects are ontologically independent of someone's conceptual scheme, perceptions, linguistic practices, beliefs, etc.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_realism
How can you be so dumb when the points are presented in front of you?
Last edited by Veritas Aequitas on Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

Skepdick
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Re: Epistemology, Concepts

Post by Skepdick » Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:29 am

Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:24 am
Since the only meaningful thing is the usefulness of the model [has to be made by humans], it conclusion inevitably cannot be independent of the human condition.
As such, this is a Philosophical Anti-Realism stance as defined.
How else?
It's not anti-realism, because anti-realism talks about mind dependence.
It's not realism, because realism talks about mind independence.

Model-dependent realism is neither of those because it talks about mind inter-dependence.

That is what makes your argument a false dichotomy. Inter-dependence is neither a dependence nor independence.

Category error.
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:24 am
Note the definition again;
I don't care about your definitions.

Note the definition again and again;
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:24 am
How can you be so dumb when the points are presented in front of you?
How can you be so dumb, so as to come up with the wrong definition every time?

Dumb philosopher. The only way you know how to think is in definitions.
Last edited by Skepdick on Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

Veritas Aequitas
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Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:41 am

Re: Epistemology, Concepts

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:31 am

Skepdick wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:29 am
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:24 am
Since the only meaningful thing is the usefulness of the model [has to be made by humans], it conclusion inevitably cannot be independent of the human condition.
As such, this is a Philosophical Anti-Realism stance as defined.
How else?
It's not anti-realism, because anti-realism talks about mind dependence.
It's not realism, because realism talks about mind independence.

Model-dependent realism is neither of those because it talks about inter-dependence.
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:24 am
Note the definition again;
I don't care about your definitions.

Note the definition again and again;
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:24 am
How can you be so dumb when the points are presented in front of you?
How can you be so dumb, so as to come up with the wrong definition every time?
What?
You are just ignorant and dumb.
This definition is accepted by the philosophical community;
In metaphysics, [Philosophical] Realism about a given object is the view that this object exists in reality independentlyindependently of our conceptual scheme. In philosophical terms, these objects are ontologically independent of someone's conceptual scheme, perceptions, linguistic practices, beliefs, etc.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_realism
How else if otherwise?

Skepdick
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Re: Epistemology, Concepts

Post by Skepdick » Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:33 am

Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:31 am
What?
You are just ignorant and dumb.
This definition is accepted by the philosophical community;
The philosophical community is wrong. Eternally wrong.

You thought there are n categories. You thought n = 2. Realism, Anti-realism).
But there is at least n + 1 categories. So n = at least 3. Realism, Anti-realism, Model-dependent realism.

Off by 1 error
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:31 am
How else if otherwise?
3rd time you are making me repeat myself.

1. Mind independence (realism)
2. Mind dependence (anti-realism)
3. Mind inter-dependence (model dependent realism)

Veritas Aequitas
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Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:41 am

Re: Epistemology, Concepts

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:58 am

Skepdick wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:33 am
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:31 am
What?
You are just ignorant and dumb.
This definition is accepted by the philosophical community;
The philosophical community is wrong. Eternally wrong.

You thought there are n categories. You thought n = 2. Realism, Anti-realism).
But there is at least n + 1 categories. So n = at least 3. Realism, Anti-realism, Model-dependent realism.

Off by 1 error
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:31 am
How else if otherwise?
3rd time you are making me repeat myself.

1. Mind independence (realism)
2. Mind dependence (anti-realism)
3. Mind inter-dependence (model dependent realism)
Actually the proper word is not 'dependent' but rather related, part & parcel of and linked with, and the likes.

Thus 2 and 3 we merely used the terms related, part & parcel of and linked with, and the likes.

Veritas Aequitas
Posts: 4168
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:41 am

Re: Epistemology, Concepts

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:58 am

Skepdick wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:33 am
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:31 am
What?
You are just ignorant and dumb.
This definition is accepted by the philosophical community;
The philosophical community is wrong. Eternally wrong.

You thought there are n categories. You thought n = 2. Realism, Anti-realism).
But there is at least n + 1 categories. So n = at least 3. Realism, Anti-realism, Model-dependent realism.

Off by 1 error
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:31 am
How else if otherwise?
3rd time you are making me repeat myself.

1. Mind independence (realism)
2. Mind dependence (anti-realism)
3. Mind inter-dependence (model dependent realism)
Actually the proper word is not 'dependent' but rather related, part & parcel of and linked with, and the likes.

Thus 2 and 3 we merely used the terms related, part & parcel of and linked with, and the likes.

Skepdick
Posts: 4427
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Epistemology, Concepts

Post by Skepdick » Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:03 am

Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:58 am
Actually the proper word is not 'dependent' but rather related, part & parcel of and linked with, and the likes.
proper word? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Dumb linguistic prescriptivist
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:58 am
Thus 2 and 3 we merely used the terms related, part & parcel of and linked with, and the likes.
The 2 and 3 are 'merely' the distinction between your argument being a false dichotomy or not.

You insist that all philosophies fit neatly into 2 boxes.
I am showing you that you guessed the number 2 incorrectly.

Veritas Aequitas
Posts: 4168
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:41 am

Re: Epistemology, Concepts

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Wed Mar 04, 2020 6:23 am

Skepdick wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:03 am
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:58 am
Actually the proper word is not 'dependent' but rather related, part & parcel of and linked with, and the likes.
proper word? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Dumb linguistic prescriptivist
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:58 am
Thus 2 and 3 we merely used the terms related, part & parcel of and linked with, and the likes.
The 2 and 3 are 'merely' the distinction between your argument being a false dichotomy or not.

You insist that all philosophies fit neatly into 2 boxes.
I am showing you that you guessed the number 2 incorrectly.
Where is your 'third' fourth, fifth and more boxes?

All Philosophies are boxed into two main subsets, the rest are merely sub-subsets.

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