As I've already said, the "bank" is composed of things learned from parents, culture and personal experiences...whether or not we should add to that the innate is a good question, but most psychologists now accept routinely that we do come with some innate and instinctual content as well.RCSaunders wrote: ↑Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:51 pmWhat bank? And how did we get it? Or do you believe we are born with some kind of innate knowledge?Immanuel Can wrote: ↑Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:55 pmI understand. What I'm pointing out is that it is not really "the same existents" (the specific existents you had in your mind) that are being assimilated into the mind of the hearer: it's only a comparable existent, drawn from his or her "bank."In my view of concepts there is no corresponding conscious experience reflecting or representing existents. The only purpose or function of a concept is to identify existents the concept refers to.
I would suggest the opposite. The vast majority of concepts we have relate to specific things. After all, there is only one general concept necessary for each category of many, many particular concepts. So the general concept of "apple" (the fruit) covers many particular concepts, such as "green apples," "red apples," "underripe apples," "large apples," "yellow apples"...and so on.Most concepts, except for proper names or specific individuals (particular concepts), are universal concept
Take out the words "kind of," and I'd agree. (I assume by "necessary," you don't mean the ontological term) "Kinds of" things are categories, and are broad. The things-themselves are individual items within the category.What makes any existent the kind it is are all its necessary qualities, that is, the qualities it must have to be the kind of existent it is, and without which it would not be that kind of existent.
The general category may not have to contain any "real" existents at all, actually -- the general category could be a sort of "ideal form" of the Platonic kind, and not any "apple" in particular...a kind of conception of vague and general "appleness" that one attached to many different particulars, and allows you to recognize new "apples" you have never seen before. That's possible. But maybe it's just the similarities among particulars we're identifying, not any general category at all. That's also possible.
But again, to say "same kind of" is very different from saying just "same." A green apple and a red one are the same kind of fruit, but not the same piece of fruit...not the same precise existent.The referents of a concept are not, "comparable existents," or "similar existents," they are the very same kind of existents identified by the concept.
That's a very Platonic view. There, you've almost got a collection of "different attributes" that are not possessed by any particular fruit, but only by all such fruits in common.Every existent is different in some way from every other existent, even existents of the same kind. There will be differences in every single actual apple (color, size, shape, etc.). It is those differences that make them unique individual existents, but every apple will have the same attributes that all apples must have to be apples, no matter what other different attributes they have. Any existent that has an apple's necessary qualities is an apple, period.
Oh, I would say that you very likely do.I wasn't going to address this at all until I realized I've been making notes about this very subject in another place. It was your words, "our own impressions of existents are mediated by our own sensory apparatus, our own "bank" of interpretations," that reminded me that this is only an assumption on your part, which does not apply to me at all. Perhaps your sensory apparatus is a cause of distortion, mine is the means to accurate perception of reality, and I have no such, "bank of interpretations."
Kant was perhaps the first but not the only philosopher to note that none of us has unmediated access to things-in-themselves. The problem is that we may well mistake some item from our own "bank" as the universal, Platonic example, and imagine we have no "bank" at all. But I don't imagine that's true, unless humanity comes in radically different forms.
And yet, that claim will be warranted unless you can show that your own perceptive abilities are radically superior to those of normal human beings. And I find that an improbable claim -- so vastly improbable, as a matter of fact, that it comes as close to certainly untrue as one can come in an epistemologically probable estimate.While I must accept the possibility that some people's consciousness is some kind of confusion or illusion that is incapable of perceiving reality as it actually is, those who claim their own inability to perceive reality assume everyone suffers from the same deficiency they do. Since they cannot possibly know how or what anyone else consciously perceives, there is no basis for their assumption that what they cannot do, no one can do. They are not content to make the claim for themselves, they make it for everyone and always express it as, "we," cannot perceive reality as it actually is, and, "we," only believe what we see is really as it appears, even though they cannot possibly know that.
Well, that suggests two possibilities: either, as I say above, that your humanity and your epistemological powers are superhuman, or that you are not correct when you suppose that you are seeing things-in-themselves. I suppose it's clear which thesis is the most probable.So I'll take your word for it that you do not perceive reality as it actually is if you'll refrain from assuming you know what the nature and accuracy of my perception is. [The truth is I really don't care if you want to make that assumption, or any other about me. I'm not at all offended only a little intellectually bewildered.]
The most likely hypothesis is that you've been bitten by the Common Sense Realism bug, and suppose that unmediated access to things-in-themselves is possible. But maybe it's not true.
Okay, but let's unpack that word "means." Is the concept something that actually exists, the thing-in-itself, or is it merely the "means" by which you are able to assimilate knowledge of the thing-in-itself? I would say it's the latter.I did not say a concept "is" the actual existents, I said it, "means," the actual existents.
No. But concepts can be made out of pies.Pies cannot be made out of concepts.
The concept is the large category, (say, "baked goods") and "pie" a subcategory, and "this blueberry pie" a thing-in-itself.
If it's not, our present exercise would be hopeless. Brains are "inhabited" by minds (don't put too much emphasis on the word choice there). Minds do all the real work. The brain itself is just meat."... to one's brain? Do you think the brain is conscious? I know physicalists think that, but I'm surprised if you to. I don't, so 'communicating with the brain' is pure nonsense to me.
Well, as I said, this suggests two possible theses, one of which is vastly more probable than the other. But admittedly, though vastly improbable, the other thesis could conceivably be true. I just don't suppose it is.And as I said, I'm sorry you have this self-avowed deficiency of perception. I do not.
Again, you resort here to the phrase "kind of."Most concepts held by most people are the same concepts held by other individuals. What makes them the same concepts is that the referents of those concepts are the same existents or same kind of existents.
But to say that something is "kind of" the same, or is "of the same kind" is not to say it's the thing-in-itself. So again, you don't have an argument for certain knowledge of things-in-themselves unless you are prepared to drop the "kind of" out of your sentences.
But the term "book" is used to describe everything from papyri to e-books. There is no "sameness" to those conceptions -- only a general, floating set of criteria, perhaps, such as "things that can be held and read." No book-in-itself is being understood there.The concept represented by the word, "book," is the same concept, no matter how few or many have that concept, or however it is held in each individual mind, because it is not how a concept is mentally conceived that makes them the same, but the actual existents the concepts refer to.
Sure. But by a non-particular criteria set, not by any specific book-in-itself.Do you believe there are such things as books? Do you know what books are? If there are books, do you know what makes them books rather than cupcakes or bananas?
Not "the same". Only similar by way of criteria.Everyone who knows there are books, and what books are and what makes them different from all other existents has the very same concept for the very same existents and knows what it means.
Okay.I think it would be too. So:
What I mean by truth is an attribute or quality that pertains only to propositions. What determines whether a proposition is true or not true is reality itself. If a proposition asserts something about any aspect of reality and that aspect is really what is asserted, the proposition is true. If that aspect of reality is not what is asserted the proposition is not true.
That does seem to invoke a kind of Scottish Common Sense Realism. For to know whether or not something is "true," then, you would have to be able to check it against a completely inerrant encounter with "reality." And so you would have to suppose that's what human beings have.
I do not think they do. I do not deny that reality is the touchstone of truth; that which is genuinely so determines whether or not a claim about it is true. But I insist that epistemologically, from our human standpoint, our estimations of the reliability of our grasp of truth is probabilistic, not absolute and certain. The truth is "out there," to be sure; but it is not at all evident to me that we have more than a probabilistic basis for thinking we've seized upon it.
I think that does get to the heart of the matter. We're agreeing that perception is not reality, and truth is tied to reality, not merely to perception. So far so good. But at the epistemological level, we're different: you see epistemological access to reality as untroubled. I see the human position as always somewhat uncertain. As Kierkegaard said, we invest ourselves in our truth claims "with fear and trembling," meaning that we don't KNOW FOR CERTAIN that we're right, but we really, really think we are, and our perception of the situation leads us to make that final leap of faith and say, "I think I know that X."
Sometimes we're wrong, actually. And if unmediated, unproblematic access to the truth of things-in-themselves were our lot, then we would not make any mistakes at all.
Worth thinking about?
Talk to you soon.