You make good points, and I appreciate you sticking by. I really do. I know I am stubborn and perhaps there is some fault my stubbornness keeps me from seeing - or more likely - appreciating in your point of view, but as I say I will keep this bull down to the ground until I either subdue it or it throws me. .. its laughter either way.
Notvacka wrote:Yes. It's perfectly possible to "relish pure perceptive experience". But without syntax of any kind, you can't communicate the experience. You can't even think about it. Thinking removes us one step from what we perceive. The problem I see with your reasoning, is that you proceed as if this step doesn't matter. What I find really strange, is that you acknowledge the step, as you repeatedly claim to keep categories and actual things separeate in your mind; you even find quotes that further explain this separation. Then you go right ahead confusing syntax with reality again, seemingly without even noticing. And when I point this out, you still don't see it.
I'm an artist, and poor (thank God) because of it. I'm too poor to even ply my trade to the satisfaction I often feel I need to gain from it. But I ask myself every now and then what it is I'm doing as an artist. Why is it important? and why don't I just knock out pieces that are marketable? It would be so easy, and I've had many chances to just treat it as if I were making bread or being a house-painter - you know, country scenes and things. I have the ability, but what holds me back is the sense of responsibility I feel in expressing a thing in a way that no-one ever expected it could be expressed; it may well be in a painting of a country scene, but there would be something else to it that would stand out as having never been expressed before. So perhaps there is something ingrained and habitual in me, after all these years, that is focussed on expressing inexpressible things. I don't see this happening with this very simple argument I put forth though. I have utterly no idea where in this argument you see me as confusing reality with syntax. Is it perhaps because you see the universe as a conceptual item with no reality except as a conceptual reality? I would have thought we had past this bar though, so will dismiss that notion.
Another tack I can take is to make it clear that I am only concerned with this argument in dealing exclusively only with items of syntax 1 in the quote, which says that things have a beginning, they develop and die. This is the syntax we all use.. must use.. to get on in the daily world. I initially asked the question; why do some people think that life had a beginning? I'm asking this because there is, according to my observation no beginning to things. It is often opined in one way or another, that God began everything or that the universe was the beginning of everything. I challenged that notion by saying that the observable universe, by right of the fact that it is observedly a thing, is therefore, like all things (you know the rest)... Now, my concern is that we have not been using the items of syntax 1 properly by positing that there was somehow a beginning to the existence of things, and before that there was nothing, when all the evidence we have ever had about things within the framework of syntax 1 is that things do not come in isolation but in multiples of like kind. I'm not interested here in getting beyond syntax 1 and into syntax 2 whilst syntax 1 displays a false picture, much less am I interested in getting beyond syntax altogether here. We get syntax 1 right then we move on.
I can"t answer that without knowing what you mean by "knowing" here. (Not as easy as it may seem.)
Knowing, as distinct from conceiving, is really about perceiving directly without syntax, from there we begin to form syntactical items through conceiving, and therein lies the birth of language and communication. We do this by refining or rearranging items that have become redundant somehow within the given syntax.
Yes, we can. But from within that state of unadulterated perception, we can't draw any conclusions. In order to draw conclusions, we must think, and in order to think, we must use some sort of syntax, which means that we are once again that important step removed from pure perception. Do you see it now?
Bernard wrote:"can we sustain coherent perception beyond the bindings of syntax of any kind?
My contention, which I think you may agree with, is that knowledge is free of syntax and needs no conclusions, but we must go ahead and use syntax as if knowledge needed conclusions because our syntax demands conclusions, and because we need to attempt to communicate what can't be communicated - knowledge - if only for a point of reference.