Disagree with me.

For all things philosophical.

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ubermensch
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 8:16 pm

Disagree with me.

Post by ubermensch »

I subscribe to the notion I first read articulated by John Stuart Mill: ideas are strengthened, indeed only truly understood, having been subjected to an open criticism and debate. Only then do we properly know the objections of our viewpoint and its retorts.

Thats being said:

A chair is only a chair because I call it a chair.

Disagree?





P.s.

Read my blog at:

www.singtoyoursoul.wordpress.com
Ginkgo
Posts: 2606
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:47 pm

Re: Disagree with me.

Post by Ginkgo »

ubermensch wrote:I subscribe to the notion I first read articulated by John Stuart Mill: ideas are strengthened, indeed only truly understood, having been subjected to an open criticism and debate. Only then do we properly know the objections of our viewpoint and its retorts.

Thats being said:

A chair is only a chair because I call it a chair.

Disagree?





P.s.


Read my blog at:

http://www.singtoyoursoul.wordpress.com


Yes and no. As a major event organizer my idea of a chair is probably different to a furniture salesman's idea of a chair.
mickthinks
Posts: 794
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 1:10 am
Location: Augsburg

Re: Disagree with me.

Post by mickthinks »

A chair is only a chair because I call it a chair.

No, because that takes no account of the reasons why you call it a chair. We are not free in the names we apply to things.
Ginkgo
Posts: 2606
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:47 pm

Re: Disagree with me.

Post by Ginkgo »

mickthinks wrote:A chair is only a chair because I call it a chair.

No, because that takes no account of the reasons why you call it a chair. We are not free in the names we apply to things.
Similar to my point. A physicists idea of an atom may be different to a chemists idea of an atom. The reason they are not free to apply names to things is because the physicist and the chemist work within different paradigms.
ubermensch
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 8:16 pm

Re: Disagree with me.

Post by ubermensch »

Okay, so I'm picking up two stems of thought:

Gingko: (tell me if i have misrepresented you) you're coming at it from a structuralism perspective, a chair can only be meaningfully discussed with the context of the words use in mind- that is why a a physicist and a salesman can both talk about a chair.

i think you're admitting two positions:

Man as the measure of all things; it is we who assign a chairs meaning (which accounts for why are perspective/the context of our use matters- it has an effect)

Meaning is forged through use/context. You're throwing in with the big boys of language.

Micthinks: could you be dropping some plato on us? Do you mean that there is a reason we call it a chair in the sense that every chair has some sort of essence or shared characteristic, for us to acknowledge these different chairs with the same word?

But here is the thing:

Central to both of your positions is the human: the context of the human; the reason of the human.

Without man to perceive and ascribe meaning to an otherwise jumble of atoms, a chair would not exist as a chair.
If this chairs existence is dependent on a human to experience it, the chair does not exist (in any meaningful way that we speak of it) without me perceiving it.

Now, i evoke the right as the value creator- the conceiver of the chair- to call whatever i create, anything i want.

We cant look at a brand new painting, ask the painter its title and then change it. Thus, anything i call a chair, will be a chair. :twisted:

But if no-one accepts my creation as a chair, it holds no linguistic weight...

So first, i must dominate the world.

BUT

Suppose i did and everyone agreed that whatever i saw and called a chair, was in fact a chair......

Is it a chair?
mickthinks
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Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 1:10 am
Location: Augsburg

Re: Disagree with me.

Post by mickthinks »

Do you mean that there is a reason we call it a chair in the sense that every chair has some sort of essence or shared characteristic, for us to acknowledge these different chairs with the same word?

No, that's not what I mean.


Now, i evoke the right as the value creator- the conceiver of the chair- to call whatever i create, anything i want.
[...]
So first, i must dominate the world.


Your thought experiment mixes (confusingly, I think) two different circumstances—that you the inventor of the chair, and that you are some kind of World President.

In the case that you were World President and the inventor of the chair, I agree, it would only be a chair because that's what you called it.

(But neither you nor I nor anyone else knows what, in that case, "chair" would mean.)
Impenitent
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Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:04 pm

Re: Disagree with me.

Post by Impenitent »

Image

he did it his way...

-Imp
Ginkgo
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Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:47 pm

Re: Disagree with me.

Post by Ginkgo »

ubermensch wrote:Okay, so I'm picking up two stems of thought:

Gingko: (tell me if i have misrepresented you) you're coming at it from a structuralism perspective, a chair can only be meaningfully discussed with the context of the words use in mind- that is why a a physicist and a salesman can both talk about a chair.

i think you're admitting two positions:

Man as the measure of all things; it is we who assign a chairs meaning (which accounts for why are perspective/the context of our use matters- it has an effect)

Meaning is forged through use/context. You're throwing in with the big boys of language.

Micthinks: could you be dropping some plato on us? Do you mean that there is a reason we call it a chair in the sense that every chair has some sort of essence or shared characteristic, for us to acknowledge these different chairs with the same word?

But here is the thing:

Central to both of your positions is the human: the context of the human; the reason of the human.

Without man to perceive and ascribe meaning to an otherwise jumble of atoms, a chair would not exist as a chair.
If this chairs existence is dependent on a human to experience it, the chair does not exist (in any meaningful way that we speak of it) without me perceiving it.

Now, i evoke the right as the value creator- the conceiver of the chair- to call whatever i create, anything i want.

We cant look at a brand new painting, ask the painter its title and then change it. Thus, anything i call a chair, will be a chair. :twisted:

But if no-one accepts my creation as a chair, it holds no linguistic weight...

So first, i must dominate the world.

BUT

Suppose i did and everyone agreed that whatever i saw and called a chair, was in fact a chair......

Is it a chair?
I would say this is why a physicist and a sales person can't talk about a chair in the same way when it comes to their profession. By "paradigm" in roughly mean the professions own private language. The exception is of course when they find themselves enjoying a social evening together at the pub.

If the physicist said to the sales person, "Pull up a bucket and we will sit that this table" The sales person would correct the physicist and tell him that these particular objects scattered around the room used for sitting on are called "chairs".

Now the physicist might not believe the salesperson but over time he will come to realize by a process of being corrected all of the time that these objects are commonly know by a majority of the population as "chairs". In this particular case their is no private language or paradigm.

A chair is a chair because everyone calls it a chair.
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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk »

"A chair is only a chair because I call it a chair."

'Chair' is a placeholder, a symbol, for a particular class or group of items.

'Chair' became the placeholder, the symbol, for this class or group of items by way of a meandering, linguistic, dumb luck that was adopted by folks across stretches of time

Coulda just as easily been 'watermelon' as it is 'chair'.

*shrug*
Ginkgo
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Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:47 pm

Re:

Post by Ginkgo »

henry quirk wrote:"A chair is only a chair because I call it a chair."

'Chair' is a placeholder, a symbol, for a particular class or group of items.

'Chair' became the placeholder, the symbol, for this class or group of items by way of a meandering, linguistic, dumb luck that was adopted by folks across stretches of time

Coulda just as easily been 'watermelon' as it is 'chair'.

*shrug*
Yes, that's what I would have said.
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Immanuel Can
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Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Re: Disagree with me.

Post by Immanuel Can »

Ubermensch:

It seems that language is in one sense arbitrary: as you point out, chair -- watermelon -- whatever. Fair enough.

On another level, language is a shared construct. If "watermelon" it is, then for our language to function we must recognize (and sit on) the same "watermelon." If not, language ceases to function qua language, meaning that it ceases to convey any common understanding capable of governing coordinated action.

If language, then, were completely atomistic and individualized, why would anyone ever speak at all? No one would be capable of understanding.

Now, just to be an "angel's advocate"...

Can the identity of an object be fixed, but the name applied be contingent? If so, what information is gained by saying the name could be otherwise? The object's the same.

In sum, I appear to be missing your point: can you help me?
Skip
Posts: 2553
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:34 pm

Re: Disagree with me.

Post by Skip »

A chair is only a chair because I call it a chair.
No. A chair's identity and nomenclature predates you and is independent of you. It would still be a chair if you called it une chaise or una sandia. It would go right on being a chair, regardless of what you said about it, so long as it met the criteria: man-made functional object, subcategory furniture, for sitting on. We have no problem identifying a chair without any linguistic aids... unless a really weird artsy modern one, maybe.
ubermensch
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 8:16 pm

Re: Disagree with me.

Post by ubermensch »

" There once was a man who said, God
Must find it exceedingly odd
If he finds that this tree
Continues to be
When there's no one about in the quad"
Ginkgo
Posts: 2606
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:47 pm

Re: Disagree with me.

Post by Ginkgo »

ubermensch wrote:" There once was a man who said, God
Must find it exceedingly odd
If he finds that this tree
Continues to be
When there's no one about in the quad"
Yes, this would sum up Berkeley's positive theory pretty well. Berkeley argues that for these events to be true there must exist some other mind that brings about the existence of such things.
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Immanuel Can
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Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Re: Disagree with me.

Post by Immanuel Can »

Dear Sir, Your astonishment's odd:
I am always about in the Quad.
And that's why the tree
Will continue to be,
Since observed by Yours faithfully, God.

-- authorship unknown
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