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Old 3rd November 2019, 11:35 AM   #441
phiwum
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
It isn't that these perceptions, these thoughts don't exist is that you don't know what they are. You are assuming they are somehow tied to an "I" that you assume exists. It is all assumptions.

Your perceptions tell you absolutely nothing without presuming that you exist, that you are indeed an "I".
The perceptions themselves are undeniably present. Whether I can conclude that these perceptions are present to some "me" or I should conclude only that they are present themselves, requiring no further observer, is a matter of some dispute, to be sure (essentially Berkeley's position against Hume's).

If you are to deny that there is currently a sound of typing (I want to say that I hear a sound of typing, but that would be to dismiss Hume's argument), then I've no idea what to say. There is no doubt in the world, far as I can figger, that this sound is occurring.

The bare experiences are taken as what is given as far as empiricism is concerned. I guess you can deny that even such experiences occur, but I don't know how to do so in any coherent manner.
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Old 3rd November 2019, 11:40 AM   #442
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Again I'm not going down into the weeds with Philosophy's fetish for the "air gap" between our sense and reality.

The chair is in the room. Photons on the chair hitting your retina is what causes you to see the chair. When the chair squeaks when someone sits in it vibrations in the air caused by the movement of the chair hitting your inner ear is what causes you to hear the chair. And so on and so forth. If the chair isn't there you aren't going to see and hear a chair. If the chair isn't there you aren't going to see and hear the chair.

The existence of the chair in real physical space is what causes your perceptions to happen. Sure this process is not 100% flawless but to jump straight from "Things like hallucinations are a thing that can sometimes happen" to "Therefore perception is less doubtable (that needs to be a word) then reality" is inane.






"Purely academic exercise" is trying to make "meaningless question with no answer" into something worthwhile.



Because it's a thought terminating cliche that once thrown into a discussion prevents the discussion from going anywhere.

After any variation; no matter how sideways it approaches it or how many layers of forced obtuseness it tries to hid it in; of the "But prove to me reality is real" card gets thrown out we're left with nowhere to go but sit at the table that may not exist, twiddling our thumbs that may not exist, listening to people who may not exist.




You keep coming back to some variation on "The debate is valid because the answer doesn't matter" and that makes no sense.

One I don't buy it. You show me 10 "Idealists" and I'll show you at least 9 people playing the "Oh you can't prove reality is real so you can't tell me Bigfoot didn't shot Kennedy to cover up the Roswell Crash" card.

I have an deep distrust of anyone playing the "It's vitally important I be allowed to keep making this distinction without difference" argument. It almost always comes from people for whom the distinction is very, very important.

If Idealism Vs Materialims is a hill you just have to die either defending, I don't buy it isn't for reason.
I don't see any particular reason to carry on further when you start your response with the presumption that there is material stuff causing our impressions. You refuse to even entertain doubt in this conclusion. It is no wonder, then, that you are unconvinced by any arguments.

I should be curious what sort of devious scheme you have in mind for the highlighted bit. Defending idealism in the context in which it was historically raised for the sinister, hidden goal to do what?

Yes, yes, I know. You think that I'm a deep cover woo agent or something. This many years in, surely it should be time for my dastardly plan to come to fruition soon. Personally, I can't wait to discover what it is.

Give me a hint, won't you?
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Old 3rd November 2019, 12:29 PM   #443
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
I don't see any particular reason to carry on further when you start your response with the presumption that there is material stuff causing our impressions. You refuse to even entertain doubt in this conclusion. It is no wonder, then, that you are unconvinced by any arguments.
Again this is a Jabba game of "You have to agree I'm correct before I'll start the conversation."

Yes. I don't accept the Idealism/Materialism debate as valid. You understand I'm allowed to do this right?

You're trying to bait me into defending Materialism when what you are utterly failing to grasp is that what I'm trying to tell you is that I'm dismissing the distinction as meaningless at best.

You're refuse to believe I don't want to debate whether a dog has four legs or five if we call a tail a leg. You think that the only option is to stand firm on the "Dog has four legs" or "Dog has five legs" hill when I'm screaming "This isn't a valid question because the two sides are using two different definitions of 'leg' and pretending that's not what they are doing.

The Idealists and Materialist don't both agree that the chair exists, they just both use the same word to mean radically different things. You pointing at "See! See! They both agree!" is dishonest.

Yes, cards on the table, I see a huge ulterior motive likely in every possible variation of "Sure the chair exists..... but." Not necessarily a backdoor to Woo, but certainly a backdoor to leaving the possibility of it open.

The chair exists. (G)Your "perception" of the chair is a direct result of the chair existing. My point isn't where the "correct" direction to further take that train of thought but that the question can just stop there.

I wager you're going to defend splitting the pointless semantic hairs via the same old tired "But it's been a valid philosophical debate so long so we have to give it respect" but I don't buy that.

We don't have to keep every debate that every Greek, Roman, or Enlightenment bored old rich white guy started forever in perpetuity out of some respect for philosophy.

Sometimes debates end when we have an answer. Sometimes debates end when we realize the question was never valid. Yes even in philosophy.
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Old 3rd November 2019, 12:40 PM   #444
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Again this is a Jabba game of "You have to agree I'm correct before I'll start the conversation."

Yes. I don't accept the Idealism/Materialism debate as valid. You understand I'm allowed to do this right?

You're trying to bait me into defending Materialism when what you are utterly failing to grasp is that what I'm trying to tell you is that I'm dismissing the distinction as meaningless at best.

You're refuse to believe I don't want to debate whether a dog has four legs or five if we call a tail a leg. You think that the only option is to stand firm on the "Dog has four legs" or "Dog has five legs" hill when I'm screaming "This isn't a valid question because the two sides are using two different definitions of 'leg' and pretending that's not what they are doing.

The Idealists and Materialist don't both agree that the chair exists, they just both use the same word to mean radically different things. You pointing at "See! See! They both agree!" is dishonest.

Yes, cards on the table, I see a huge ulterior motive likely in every possible variation of "Sure the chair exists..... but." Not necessarily a backdoor to Woo, but certainly a backdoor to leaving the possibility of it open.

The chair exists. (G)Your "perception" of the chair is a direct result of the chair existing. My point isn't where the "correct" direction to further take that train of thought but that the question can just stop there.

I wager you're going to defend splitting the pointless semantic hairs via the same old tired "But it's been a valid philosophical debate so long so we have to give it respect" but I don't buy that.

We don't have to keep every debate that every Greek, Roman, or Enlightenment bored old rich white guy started forever in perpetuity out of some respect for philosophy.

Sometimes debates end when we have an answer. Sometimes debates end when we realize the question was never valid. Yes even in philosophy.
I am perfectly happy to let yours be the last word on this matter between us.

I will nonetheless be also happy to continue the discussion with others who are willing to look at the arguments in context and evaluate them for what they are.

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Old 3rd November 2019, 12:44 PM   #445
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
I am perfectly happy to let yours be the last word on this matter between us.

I will nonetheless be also happy to continue the discussion with others who are unwilling to look at the arguments in context and evaluate them for what they are.
Dude we're not in a "Who's gonna 'Agree to Disagree' First Mexican stand-off" here.

You've already threatened to "drop it" like 3 times now. Nobody's stopping you.
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Old 3rd November 2019, 01:00 PM   #446
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Er, Joe, I was just saying that your last post would serve as the last word.
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Old 3rd November 2019, 03:48 PM   #447
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phiwum, it's not clear to me, now, what your position is, exactly. You told me you don't think all ontologies are equally valid, that you aren't ontology-agnostic, and I took you at your word. But you seem, subsequently, to be arguing for some kind of validity for idealiam here.

Let me ask you directly: Do you think idealism is a valid ontology? Why, or why not?

And a couple more questions, if I may:

You'd said that all ontologies aren't equally valid: Well, why not? Would the answer to that "why not" be Occam's Razor? If it isn't the parsimony thing, if you have other reasons, then perhaps you could discuss them.

Finally: Is there any ontology, other than materialism, that you think is valid? (I'm assuming you do think materialism is valid. Correct me, please, if that assumption is incorrect.)
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Old 3rd November 2019, 03:59 PM   #448
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
If each individual is not a distinct parcel of experience (which I agree with, by the way), then you need an explanation of why we experience otherwise. And though you then might not need an explanation of why we share patterns, you still need an explanation of where the patterns we experience come from.

So please, just once for the record: why do we consistently experience thirst when and only when we have not recently experienced drinking water?

Again, if you don't care about explaining what we experience, then you don't need the added elements and uncertainties of such explanations. That's kind of like hanging out at a track meet, not entering any events, then congratulating yourself for perspiring less than the runners and pole vaulters do.
Sorry, I don't understand the question. Reads to me like you are asking the question couched in Materialistic terms: If we assume there is a physical world that makes things work, then take that world away, how do things work?
If I and my perceptions, and you and your perceptions, are made of the same consciousness, then I would expect there to be patterns. How these patterns arise in consciousness, and how patterns have consequences (thist) - - I do not know.
Note: I cringe as I write the above paragraph - it's a concession to having a conversation.
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Old 3rd November 2019, 05:21 PM   #449
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
phiwum, it's not clear to me, now, what your position is, exactly. You told me you don't think all ontologies are equally valid, that you aren't ontology-agnostic, and I took you at your word. But you seem, subsequently, to be arguing for some kind of validity for idealiam here.

Let me ask you directly: Do you think idealism is a valid ontology? Why, or why not?

And a couple more questions, if I may:

You'd said that all ontologies aren't equally valid: Well, why not? Would the answer to that "why not" be Occam's Razor? If it isn't the parsimony thing, if you have other reasons, then perhaps you could discuss them.

Finally: Is there any ontology, other than materialism, that you think is valid? (I'm assuming you do think materialism is valid. Correct me, please, if that assumption is incorrect.)
When Berkeley was writing, the aim was to apply Descartes's rule: anything which can be doubted, no matter how probable, should be rejected. In this context, idealism was a much more plausible position that Descartes's dualism. Berkeley starts from the position that our perceptions are given. We are aware of them, they exist. From that position, he will draw no inferences that are not entirely certain.

This was a reasonable first step. If this is the program (if anything doubtable should not be affirmed), then idealism is a pretty good advance.

But, of course, this standard leads to a very meager amount of affirmations. It was never intended to be the standard for practical life (well, Berkeley may or may not disagree, not sure), but even as the standard for philosophical discussions, it is much too strict. We learn the limits of certainty, but those limits are so extreme that we come away feeling that certainty is the wrong standard for accepting a belief.

I don't really concern myself with these various theories, aside from historical interest and a love of novel arguments. I'd say I'm a materialist, I suppose, though it's hard to see how it matters at all. These are purely academic concerns, something that I like to think about only superficially. I really ain't got a dog in this fight.

So, in short, idealism is not quite valid even in the context in which it was proposed, due to Hume's criticism that need not concern us here. It was an advance from dualism, which can't seriously be supported while applying Descartes's standard. I don't see how materialism would possibly be a reasonable position under that standard either. Probably only the minimal ontology (certain perceptions exist) is consistent with this standard.

As far as "are there any ontologies 'valid' regardless of Descartes's rule?" I don't know how to answer that question. I'm not sure what it would mean, to be honest. All of these questions appear meaningless according to one well-known school (logical positivism) and I have some affection for their definition of meaning.
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Old 4th November 2019, 06:27 AM   #450
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
When Berkeley was writing, the aim was to apply Descartes's rule: anything which can be doubted, no matter how probable, should be rejected. In this context, idealism was a much more plausible position that Descartes's dualism. Berkeley starts from the position that our perceptions are given. We are aware of them, they exist. From that position, he will draw no inferences that are not entirely certain.

This was a reasonable first step. If this is the program (if anything doubtable should not be affirmed), then idealism is a pretty good advance.

But, of course, this standard leads to a very meager amount of affirmations. It was never intended to be the standard for practical life (well, Berkeley may or may not disagree, not sure), but even as the standard for philosophical discussions, it is much too strict. We learn the limits of certainty, but those limits are so extreme that we come away feeling that certainty is the wrong standard for accepting a belief.

I don't really concern myself with these various theories, aside from historical interest and a love of novel arguments.

Heh, you know, I myself tend to find Joe's methods kind of brusque at times, and have taken issue with him about this in the past despite generally agreeing with his larger argument. But you know, seeing posts like this gets me to see where he's coming from, to sympathize with his general impatience.

Thing is, these things are all interesting enough in their own right, but when you ask someone what they think, and they keep saying PhilosopherX said X, and PhilosopherY countered that with Y, and so on and on, well, one does wonder ...

Just a general, half-in-jest observation, not a complaint per se, not really, since you do, after saying all this, actually get down to answering what I'd asked directly. Just, perhaps you see my point in saying this? (I've had the dubious pleasure of experiencing this kind of thing in the past as well, and not always with the saving grace of clear explanations afterwards. We all have, I think. -- And no, that past experience does not refer to you, at least not in my case!)


Quote:
I'd say I'm a materialist, I suppose,

Great. But why, exactly? I was curious about that, and had asked you up there. Would it simply be Occam's Razor? If so, we're in full agreement. Or might it be something else instead, or something else in addition?


Quote:
though it's hard to see how it matters at all. These are purely academic concerns, something that I like to think about only superficially.

I don't see why people keep saying this. If when faced with an everyday question -- as a scientist, as an engineer, as a doctor, as a general person navigating everyday life -- if you generally fall back, de facto, on material explanations, well, surely that materialism is pretty much of immediate import? (Albeit you may have so internalized it that you don't even notice it, that's a separate matter.) Contrast, for instance, with the idealist, who -- for example -- seeks "spiritual", "ineffable", other-worldly explanations and remedies to some/many of the things he encounters. Hardly inconsequential -- even though most us may have, like I said, internalized this de facto materialism, this operational materialism, this working model based on materialism, to the point of not even noticing it.


Quote:
I really ain't got a dog in this fight.

None of us do, I'm sure. I don't, at any rate. I mean beyond just commenting here, sure, makes no difference! (Like most of the things that are said here in these forums!)


Quote:
So, in short, idealism is not quite valid even in the context in which it was proposed, due to Hume's criticism that need not concern us here. It was an advance from dualism, which can't seriously be supported while applying Descartes's standard. I don't see how materialism would possibly be a reasonable position under that standard either. Probably only the minimal ontology (certain perceptions exist) is consistent with this standard.

As far as "are there any ontologies 'valid' regardless of Descartes's rule?" I don't know how to answer that question. I'm not sure what it would mean, to be honest. All of these questions appear meaningless according to one well-known school (logical positivism) and I have some affection for their definition of meaning.

I'll let this jargon pass. I don't mean to be dismissive, not in the least, but I'm, quite frankly, ignorant about all of this, and would need to keep googling at every stage to follow your no doubt spontaneous argument. I'm not saying the subject isn't interesting, but at this time I'd rather not take the trouble of diving into these things, unless they're essential to the limited points we're discussing now.
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Old 4th November 2019, 01:08 PM   #451
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Heh, you know, I myself tend to find Joe's methods kind of brusque at times, and have taken issue with him about this in the past despite generally agreeing with his larger argument. But you know, seeing posts like this gets me to see where he's coming from, to sympathize with his general impatience.

Thing is, these things are all interesting enough in their own right, but when you ask someone what they think, and they keep saying PhilosopherX said X, and PhilosopherY countered that with Y, and so on and on, well, one does wonder ...

Just a general, half-in-jest observation, not a complaint per se, not really, since you do, after saying all this, actually get down to answering what I'd asked directly. Just, perhaps you see my point in saying this? (I've had the dubious pleasure of experiencing this kind of thing in the past as well, and not always with the saving grace of clear explanations afterwards. We all have, I think. -- And no, that past experience does not refer to you, at least not in my case!)





Great. But why, exactly? I was curious about that, and had asked you up there. Would it simply be Occam's Razor? If so, we're in full agreement. Or might it be something else instead, or something else in addition?





I don't see why people keep saying this. If when faced with an everyday question -- as a scientist, as an engineer, as a doctor, as a general person navigating everyday life -- if you generally fall back, de facto, on material explanations, well, surely that materialism is pretty much of immediate import? (Albeit you may have so internalized it that you don't even notice it, that's a separate matter.) Contrast, for instance, with the idealist, who -- for example -- seeks "spiritual", "ineffable", other-worldly explanations and remedies to some/many of the things he encounters. Hardly inconsequential -- even though most us may have, like I said, internalized this de facto materialism, this operational materialism, this working model based on materialism, to the point of not even noticing it.





None of us do, I'm sure. I don't, at any rate. I mean beyond just commenting here, sure, makes no difference! (Like most of the things that are said here in these forums!)





I'll let this jargon pass. I don't mean to be dismissive, not in the least, but I'm, quite frankly, ignorant about all of this, and would need to keep googling at every stage to follow your no doubt spontaneous argument. I'm not saying the subject isn't interesting, but at this time I'd rather not take the trouble of diving into these things, unless they're essential to the limited points we're discussing now.
I apologize for not giving a simple answer previously.

My simple answer is this: I really don't think about metaphysics much at all. I am interested in the topic only because I like interesting arguments (and because I teach philosophy), but theories like materialism/idealism aren't something on which I really bother to reach a strong conclusion.

I'll say that materialism is the most plausible, but only with caveats that would complicate my answer.

Metaphysics really doesn't matter much to me. I know the arguments somewhat (I'm sure a Berkeley scholar would be horrified by my comments here) because I enjoy the arguments themselves. I like to think about whether they are successful or not in the context in which they were produced, but I don't actually care too much about the actual conclusion.

I suppose that's not terribly helpful, but that's how it is. I care about arguments regarding ethics, because ethics matters. Metaphysics doesn't really matter to me. (While ethics matters, it's very hard to find a persuasive argument in the interesting bits of the subject. I have opinions regarding ethics, but I regard these opinions as lacking sufficient argument to convince a reasonable person with different views. I am similarly dissatisfied with arguments reaching conclusion different from mine.)

The more I study philosophy, the less certainty I have on philosophical topics, but the better I have become in understanding and criticizing arguments. I settle for that.

ETA: I would dispute that doctors, etc., really are committed to materialism in the relevant sense at all. Metaphysical commitments yield no practical consequences at all. I would be happy to discuss that, but this unsatisfying response is long enough.

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Old 4th November 2019, 04:55 PM   #452
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Okay, I'll understand if you don't get drawn further into a subject that you say doesn't interest you -- and I suppose I can work this out for myself by googling a bit and reading a bit more (or perhaps it may not be that easily resolved) -- but I wonder if you can clear something up, at least your informed take on this:

A theist who references God at every step -- especially a "New Age" theist (which would, in some contexts and geographies, amount to a 'very ancient and pretty much classical' brand of theism) -- is clearly using non-material markers in his map of daily life. He's an idealist in the here-and-now. (And that was just an example, drawn from the actual living world.)

You (I presume) and me, on the other hand, while we may or may not have an interest in the ultimate nature of things, but our generally rational outlook leads us -- as it happens, de facto, not as some a priori point of faith -- to material causes and remedies. For example, when we're ill, we don't seek divine causes or ghostly or divine or energy-ish interventions, but look for material causes and material remedies.

This essentially utilitarian and de facto approach to life -- and clearly the two examples show two different approaches -- would you give it a name? Would you call them idealism or materialism?

I bring this up, again, because from this discussion here in this thread it appears to me that some of us see ontologies in this matter-of-fact, practical sense; while some of you philosophy-educated types tend to see ontologies as some rarefied thing that's one step removed from immediate cause and effect.

That, it seems to me, is at the heart of the entire disagreement in this thread, hence this question to you (who appear to hold views of that 'other' camp, if I may call it that purely to demarcate positions taken in this thread and not in some us-v-them tribal sense).


ETA:
The above contains one question. I'd like to add a second question, with hopes of a separate answer from the answer to the above. I've asked this before, more than once, and -- if you wouldn't mind my being so insistent -- I'd like to pin you down for a clear unambiguous answer.

You've professed a preference for materialism over idealism. The question is, Why? Is the answer, simply, the principle of parsimony? Or might you have some other answer instead of, or in addition to, Occam's Razor?

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Old 5th November 2019, 06:34 AM   #453
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Okay, I'll understand if you don't get drawn further into a subject that you say doesn't interest you -- and I suppose I can work this out for myself by googling a bit and reading a bit more (or perhaps it may not be that easily resolved) -- but I wonder if you can clear something up, at least your informed take on this:

A theist who references God at every step -- especially a "New Age" theist (which would, in some contexts and geographies, amount to a 'very ancient and pretty much classical' brand of theism) -- is clearly using non-material markers in his map of daily life. He's an idealist in the here-and-now. (And that was just an example, drawn from the actual living world.)

You (I presume) and me, on the other hand, while we may or may not have an interest in the ultimate nature of things, but our generally rational outlook leads us -- as it happens, de facto, not as some a priori point of faith -- to material causes and remedies. For example, when we're ill, we don't seek divine causes or ghostly or divine or energy-ish interventions, but look for material causes and material remedies.

This essentially utilitarian and de facto approach to life -- and clearly the two examples show two different approaches -- would you give it a name? Would you call them idealism or materialism?

I bring this up, again, because from this discussion here in this thread it appears to me that some of us see ontologies in this matter-of-fact, practical sense; while some of you philosophy-educated types tend to see ontologies as some rarefied thing that's one step removed from immediate cause and effect.

That, it seems to me, is at the heart of the entire disagreement in this thread, hence this question to you (who appear to hold views of that 'other' camp, if I may call it that purely to demarcate positions taken in this thread and not in some us-v-them tribal sense).
Fitting the views of armchair philosophers into classical terms is going to be a bit misleading, but I don't regard theists as being idealists in any real sense.

They take the stuff of the universe to include material things (tables and such) as well as spiritual things (souls, non-physical beings like angels or demons or ghosts, etc.). In this respect, they're dualists (like Descartes). The spiritual things are what we call mental substances, which are distinct from but interact with physical substances in some mysterious way.

As far as I can tell, anyone who believes in an afterlife or reincarnation must be committed to a kind of dualism. At least, if there's some way of reconciling the propositions that "everything (including life and consciousness) is physical" and "persons continues to exist after their physical deaths", I don't see it.
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Old 5th November 2019, 09:49 AM   #454
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
ETA:
The above contains one question. I'd like to add a second question, with hopes of a separate answer from the answer to the above. I've asked this before, more than once, and -- if you wouldn't mind my being so insistent -- I'd like to pin you down for a clear unambiguous answer.

You've professed a preference for materialism over idealism. The question is, Why? Is the answer, simply, the principle of parsimony? Or might you have some other answer instead of, or in addition to, Occam's Razor?
The reason that I've not answered clearly is because I don't see how these ontological alternatives would make any difference to my beliefs, actions, etc. The way the term "materialism" is used today is different than it would have been used in classical times (had anyone been an actual materialist, which I don't think is the case).

Materialism seems to mean essentially that everything which exists is fundamentally physical in nature. There is no separate realm of thought or spirit existing parallel to but distinct from physical stuff. Our own consciousness, for example, is an unremarkable (?) byproduct of the interaction of physical stuff.

That seems to me to be a good working hypothesis. You can call it parsimony if you'd like; it is a reasonable description of the reasoning. I do find it mysterious how mere matter can lead to consciousness, but not so mysterious that I feel one must decide that mental stuff is different in kind than physical stuff.

You can stop here, because I've answered your question, but I'd like to spin out some ideas that have been at the background of my posts. In particular, it explains why I don't take any strong position on materialism. It is nigh indistinguishable from idealism in its practical effects.

The classical authors started from the awareness of their thoughts and perceptions and tried to draw what inferences they could. Berkeley could well say that some of his perceptions are special. As I look at this table before me and compare it to the times I imagine a table, the current perception is clearer, more vivacious and seems to come independent of my will. As I compare it to the images I've seen in dreams, I see that it behaves more regularly and appears to be bound by laws (again independent of my will). In this way, my perceptions of certain things are special. This led Descartes to try to prove the existence of material objects distinct from physical, but for Berkeley, it leads only into a categorization of the different kinds of images we experience, not a different category of stuff.

We can call this special class of images "material", understanding that all we mean is that they are particular kinds of mental stuff, the mental stuff that is particularly vivacious and regular in our experiences. If we do this, the result is almost the same as materialism, with the exception that idealism is consistent with (but does not entail) an afterlife. Science still proceeds essentially the same, going from observations to hypotheses and experiments as before. There would be some finicky bits about how to properly express physical laws involving objects currently unobserved, and I don't deny that idealism would require some hacks to make scientific claims quite consistent with the underlying ontology, but aside from that I see no real differences.

Everything I've said about idealism above is meant to be derived from Berkeley's theory with the unnecessary argument regarding God excised. We are still left with the problem of induction, just as we are with materialism unless that theory sneaks in the assumption of uniformity by mere fiat. This is as it should be, since the problem of induction is orthogonal to these ontological issues as far as I'm concerned. Others may disagree, I suppose, and I may be misrepresenting what some folk take to be materialism.
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Old 6th November 2019, 09:59 AM   #455
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Fitting the views of armchair philosophers into classical terms is going to be a bit misleading, but I don't regard theists as being idealists in any real sense.

They take the stuff of the universe to include material things (tables and such) as well as spiritual things (souls, non-physical beings like angels or demons or ghosts, etc.). In this respect, they're dualists (like Descartes). The spiritual things are what we call mental substances, which are distinct from but interact with physical substances in some mysterious way.

As far as I can tell, anyone who believes in an afterlife or reincarnation must be committed to a kind of dualism. At least, if there's some way of reconciling the propositions that "everything (including life and consciousness) is physical" and "persons continues to exist after their physical deaths", I don't see it.

I agree, your garden variety theist would be some species of dualist.

On the other hand, the specific kind of theist I referenced, the "classical" Advaitist, and the Advaitist's current day, "New Age" counterpart, the neo-Advaitist, would qualify as idealist (and/or solipsist).

Regardless of that detail, my point is, here you clearly have examples, real-life examples, of people whose "ontology" does impact some (or many, or most, as the case may be) decisions, real-life decisions, that they arrive at. So, not "academic" at all!

And the same can, I suggest, be said of the materialist as well. Except we've so internalized this that we take it for granted, we tend not to notice it all.

What I'm doing is contesting your view, and caveman1917's view, that these ontologies don't matter. I'm saying they do.

It seems to me that you see ontologies as some priori article of faith, overlaid so to say over our everyday working models. I'm suggesting that what we base our de facto working models of the world on, our de facto operational ontologies, if I may call them that, do carry real consequences.

I'm suggesting that the argument that ontologies are merely academic, is based on a redifinition of these ontologies at some rarefied, 'ultimate' level, while taking for granted the actual operational ontology that you base your actual everyday decisions on.

(And let me confess upfront, that I speak of "redifinition" largely from ignorance of how the different philosophers you quote have actually dealt with these terms, so the word "redefinition", while probably conveying this sense I meant to convey, may or may not be technically correct. [caveman1917 assures me it's not, and I have no reason, basis the posts I've exchanged with him, to doubt his technical knowledge on this subject.])
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Old 6th November 2019, 10:08 AM   #456
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
The reason that I've not answered clearly is because I don't see how these ontological alternatives would make any difference to my beliefs, actions, etc. The way the term "materialism" is used today is different than it would have been used in classical times (had anyone been an actual materialist, which I don't think is the case).

Materialism seems to mean essentially that everything which exists is fundamentally physical in nature. There is no separate realm of thought or spirit existing parallel to but distinct from physical stuff. Our own consciousness, for example, is an unremarkable (?) byproduct of the interaction of physical stuff.

That seems to me to be a good working hypothesis. You can call it parsimony if you'd like; it is a reasonable description of the reasoning. I do find it mysterious how mere matter can lead to consciousness, but not so mysterious that I feel one must decide that mental stuff is different in kind than physical stuff.

Well, to the extent that you base your preference of materialism over idealism on parsimony, to that extent you are clearly, if you think about it, now refering to the "operational" kind of ontology I spoke of earlier.

And to the extent that ontology refers to this kind of a de facto, operational ontology that obtains at a working-model level, to that extent it cannot but be important, it cannot but be essential, to your everyday decision-making.

Hardly merely academic, then, isn't it?
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Old 6th November 2019, 10:42 AM   #457
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
You can stop here, because I've answered your question, but I'd like to spin out some ideas that have been at the background of my posts. In particular, it explains why I don't take any strong position on materialism. It is nigh indistinguishable from idealism in its practical effects.

The classical authors started from the awareness of their thoughts and perceptions and tried to draw what inferences they could. Berkeley could well say that some of his perceptions are special. As I look at this table before me and compare it to the times I imagine a table, the current perception is clearer, more vivacious and seems to come independent of my will. As I compare it to the images I've seen in dreams, I see that it behaves more regularly and appears to be bound by laws (again independent of my will). In this way, my perceptions of certain things are special. This led Descartes to try to prove the existence of material objects distinct from physical, but for Berkeley, it leads only into a categorization of the different kinds of images we experience, not a different category of stuff.

We can call this special class of images "material", understanding that all we mean is that they are particular kinds of mental stuff, the mental stuff that is particularly vivacious and regular in our experiences. If we do this, the result is almost the same as materialism, with the exception that idealism is consistent with (but does not entail) an afterlife. Science still proceeds essentially the same, going from observations to hypotheses and experiments as before. There would be some finicky bits about how to properly express physical laws involving objects currently unobserved, and I don't deny that idealism would require some hacks to make scientific claims quite consistent with the underlying ontology, but aside from that I see no real differences.

Everything I've said about idealism above is meant to be derived from Berkeley's theory with the unnecessary argument regarding God excised. We are still left with the problem of induction, just as we are with materialism unless that theory sneaks in the assumption of uniformity by mere fiat. This is as it should be, since the problem of induction is orthogonal to these ontological issues as far as I'm concerned. Others may disagree, I suppose, and I may be misrepresenting what some folk take to be materialism.

I don't follow, I'm afraid, how "science still proceeds essentially the same".

These observations are explained by assuming a material reality. You can assume these other ontologies, true, but only if you assume that they act, despite not being material, exactly as if they were material, right? That's what it amounts to, right, at an operational level, that is?

Or am I missing something here?
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Old 7th November 2019, 01:19 PM   #458
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
I don't follow, I'm afraid, how "science still proceeds essentially the same".

These observations are explained by assuming a material reality. You can assume these other ontologies, true, but only if you assume that they act, despite not being material, exactly as if they were material, right? That's what it amounts to, right, at an operational level, that is?

Or am I missing something here?
Here's my thoughts.

Certain of our perceptions are vivacious, independent of our wills and regular in their behavior. Thus, they can be distinguished from those we call dreams, hallucinations (?) or willful acts of imagination. Let's call these perceptions "real".

Now let's take an example. I roll a ball down an inclined plane repeatedly, watching it each time, and I notice that the perception is quite regular. The ball retains its shape, color, etc., and changes position at a predictable rate. I infer some laws of motion from this observation.

I do the same experiment again, though this time I close my eyes for a moment during the roll. I observe that the periods observed are consistent with the ball obeying the previously observed laws while unobserved. Because I'm an idealist, I can't say that the ball actually existed in that time, since I cannot be certain. Sure, the hypothesis that it existed when unobserved would explain the regularity of the observations, but this fact does not entail with certainty that the hypothesis is true.

Thus, I must be committed to the conclusion that the real things I observe follow certain laws. These laws include the proposition that their behavior when they are observed is the same as it would be if they existed during the unobserved times.

This isn't, of course, wholly satisfying. Why is it that they act as if they existed when unobserved? Berkeley's desire to settle that question led to his "proof" that God exists and observes all, but this goes beyond Berkeley's actual experiences just as surely as the hypothesis that the objects causing these experiences actually exist independently of any mind. It was a poor argument.

Materialism doesn't really provide any fundamentally satisfying reason either. It presumes that the perceptions we have are caused by material objects, distinct from our perceptions themselves. But why should such objects persist? The answer that it is the nature of material objects to persist (or something similar) would be to beg the question. The things we perceive persist because it is the nature of such things to persist is not really an explanation at all. (This is to be expected. We should not expect an explanation for our fundamental physical laws. We investigate what these laws are, but surely the question "why these laws and not others or none at all?" is not something we can hope to discover.)

I hope this illustrates why I think that an idealist's approach to science does not lead to fundamentally different theories than a materialist's. To be fair, the idealist must add a kludge, namely that "real" objects behave as if they exist at those times we doubt they exist. A working scientist doesn't really care about these esoteric differences of metaphysical theories. The laws they discover are fundamentally the same regardless of such abstruse topics.

(Aside: I learned from Wikipedia that Berkeley early on wrote an article arguing that we do not see objects but instead see light and color. I would guess that this observation led him to his idealist stance.)
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Old 7th November 2019, 01:56 PM   #459
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
I don't follow, I'm afraid, how "science still proceeds essentially the same".

These observations are explained by assuming a material reality.
The Material world is postulated, and properties of matter 'invented' to serve as an explantion ( for shared perceptions, etc.) . . . and then

Quote:
You can assume these other ontologies, true, but only if you assume that they act, despite not being material, exactly as if they were material, right? That's what it amounts to, right, at an operational level, that is?
Or am I missing something here?
. . . this definition of material is assumed to be true, and other ontologies are compared to this definition. Other ontologies should not have to conform to the contrived definition of matter, but should be evaluated by their utility in explaining perceptions. What's missing is that you are moving the goal posts.
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Old 7th November 2019, 03:48 PM   #460
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Here's my thoughts.

Certain of our perceptions are vivacious, independent of our wills and regular in their behavior. Thus, they can be distinguished from those we call dreams, hallucinations (?) or willful acts of imagination. Let's call these perceptions "real".

That's a pretty whimsical definition of "real" perceptions. And excluding hallucinations is simply begging the question, because you probably cannot define hallucinations without referencing the 'real reality' that the idealist is attempting to posit an alternative to.

But okay, let that pass for now ...


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Now let's take an example. I roll a ball down an inclined plane repeatedly, watching it each time, and I notice that the perception is quite regular. The ball retains its shape, color, etc., and changes position at a predictable rate. I infer some laws of motion from this observation.

I do the same experiment again, though this time I close my eyes for a moment during the roll. I observe that the periods observed are consistent with the ball obeying the previously observed laws while unobserved. Because I'm an idealist, I can't say that the ball actually existed in that time, since I cannot be certain. Sure, the hypothesis that it existed when unobserved would explain the regularity of the observations, but this fact does not entail with certainty that the hypothesis is true.

I don't think science deals in this kind of "certainty" at all, only working hypotheses. Which I suppose ids the point in what you're saying, so okay.

(And I guess closing your eyes is metaphor for ceasing all observations. I think QM makes a big deal of this. Seeing that my layman's grasp of QM is no more complete than my layman's grasp of philosophy, I suppose everything I say now will necessarily have to leave QM out of the reckoning. Although I suppose someone better versed in both can extend their argument to QM if they like.)


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Thus, I must be committed to the conclusion that the real things I observe follow certain laws. These laws include the proposition that their behavior when they are observed is the same as it would be if they existed during the unobserved times.

Ah, bingo! This is exactly what I was myself arguing. See the other two posts I addressed to you yesterday. Seen as working model of the world, any ontology other than materialism comes up short against the test of parsimony.

Like I was saying, like I was speculating, at an operational, working-model level -- which is the only level that carries consequences -- it is materialism that trumps other ontologies.



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This isn't, of course, wholly satisfying. Why is it that they act as if they existed when unobserved? ...

...Materialism doesn't really provide any fundamentally satisfying reason either. It presumes that the perceptions we have are caused by material objects, distinct from our perceptions themselves. But why should such objects persist? The answer that it is the nature of material objects to persist (or something similar) would be to beg the question. The things we perceive persist because it is the nature of such things to persist is not really an explanation at all. (This is to be expected. We should not expect an explanation for our fundamental physical laws. We investigate what these laws are, but surely the question "why these laws and not others or none at all?" is not something we can hope to discover.)

That additional explanation, of why/how things act as if 'real' despite not being real (real in the material sense) becomes unnecessary if you stay with materialism. Occam's Razor.

All of this seems to derive from the idealist's inability to rest content with the necessarily provisional, necessarily not cent per cent certain, model, that science provides us with. A lack they then make up for with speculation and fantasy.

And that "why" you ask of materialism, seems a meaningless question, teleology I think it's called, the child's never-ending series of why's -- except the idealist leaves out the "why" from his particular answer!


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I hope this illustrates why I think that an idealist's approach to science does not lead to fundamentally different theories than a materialist's. To be fair, the idealist must add a kludge, namely that "real" objects behave as if they exist at those times we doubt they exist. A working scientist doesn't really care about these esoteric differences of metaphysical theories. The laws they discover are fundamentally the same regardless of such abstruse topics.

My point exactly. We're all working scientists, in our limited spheres. Ontologies if limited to working models are best addressed by materialism.

And beyond that working level? Cue Carl Sagan's garage dragon, to keep it brief.
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Old 7th November 2019, 04:05 PM   #461
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Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
The Material world is postulated, and properties of matter 'invented' to serve as an explantion ( for shared perceptions, etc.) . . . and then



. . . this definition of material is assumed to be true, and other ontologies are compared to this definition. Other ontologies should not have to conform to the contrived definition of matter, but should be evaluated by their utility in explaining perceptions. What's missing is that you are moving the goal posts.

LarryS, this isn't in any shape or form a case of moving the goalposts.

True, materialism is no more than an invented explanation. But -- unlike Berkely's explanation, for example -- materialism isn't a random explanation we're latching on to. We're -- provisionally -- accepting this explanation precisely because it does such a good job of -- parsimonously -- explaining the world to us.


(If tomorrow we came across observations that some other ontology better explains, we'd happily embrace that, why not?

See my previous post, for my thoughts on working ontologies, and my reservations about QM.)
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Old 7th November 2019, 08:25 PM   #462
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
That's a pretty whimsical definition of "real" perceptions. And excluding hallucinations is simply begging the question, because you probably cannot define hallucinations without referencing the 'real reality' that the idealist is attempting to posit an alternative to.

But okay, let that pass for now ...
I agree that hallucinations (especially those that seem rule-bound) are a problem for the idealist. That's why I put the question mark after my mention of those.

Quote:
I don't think science deals in this kind of "certainty" at all, only working hypotheses. Which I suppose ids the point in what you're saying, so okay.

(And I guess closing your eyes is metaphor for ceasing all observations. I think QM makes a big deal of this. Seeing that my layman's grasp of QM is no more complete than my layman's grasp of philosophy, I suppose everything I say now will necessarily have to leave QM out of the reckoning. Although I suppose someone better versed in both can extend their argument to QM if they like.)
Yes, closing your eyes was a metaphor, as you say. And I don't have any comments about QM.

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Ah, bingo! This is exactly what I was myself arguing. See the other two posts I addressed to you yesterday. Seen as working model of the world, any ontology other than materialism comes up short against the test of parsimony.

Like I was saying, like I was speculating, at an operational, working-model level -- which is the only level that carries consequences -- it is materialism that trumps other ontologies.
Parsimony doesn't come into the question here, since your parsimonious hypothesis requires going beyond the experience to be explained. Remember, Berkeley's goal was to draw only those conclusions which are entailed by our perceptions. Presuming that there are physical objects causing these perceptions is not necessitated by the perceptions themselves, whether or not it is a simpler theory (and it is not obvious that it is simpler, since it requires the presumption that the universe is filled with "insensible" objects which cause the sensations we experience).

Ockham's razor is useful, insofar as it simplifies our theories, but there's no reason to think that a simpler theory is more likely to be true, much less that it is entailed by the data.


Quote:
That additional explanation, of why/how things act as if 'real' despite not being real (real in the material sense) becomes unnecessary if you stay with materialism. Occam's Razor.
What about materialism entails that material objects persist? Unless persistence is part of the definition of material object, then materialism provides no explanation. On the other hand, if the definition of material object includes persistence, then again we have explained nothing. It is as circular as saying that opium produces sleep because it has dormitive properties.

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All of this seems to derive from the idealist's inability to rest content with the necessarily provisional, necessarily not cent per cent certain, model, that science provides us with. A lack they then make up for with speculation and fantasy.

And that "why" you ask of materialism, seems a meaningless question, teleology I think it's called, the child's never-ending series of why's -- except the idealist leaves out the "why" from his particular answer!
The question idealism proposed to answer was, "What certainties do we know about the world?" The answer was, "Even less than idealism claims." Indeed, restricting oneself to certainty led to a dead end, but this fact was not clear from the start.

My defense of idealism is merely that it was a great advance over Descartes's dualism. The arguments in its favor were novel and correct as far as they went (ignoring the whole God thing). I'm not advocating that right-thinking folks should be idealists. (I vaguely recall meeting a living, breathingthinking idealist once, but I can't recall who or where.)

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My point exactly. We're all working scientists, in our limited spheres. Ontologies if limited to working models are best addressed by materialism.

And beyond that working level? Cue Carl Sagan's garage dragon, to keep it brief.
My claim was simpler. Scientists are not materialists by nature because they aren't metaphysicists.
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Old 7th November 2019, 08:39 PM   #463
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
LarryS, this isn't in any shape or form a case of moving the goalposts.

True, materialism is no more than an invented explanation. But -- unlike Berkely's explanation, for example -- materialism isn't a random explanation we're latching on to. We're -- provisionally -- accepting this explanation precisely because it does such a good job of -- parsimonously -- explaining the world to us.


(If tomorrow we came across observations that some other ontology better explains, we'd happily embrace that, why not?

See my previous post, for my thoughts on working ontologies, and my reservations about QM.)
I agree that Materialism can be latched on to provisionally, although I do not agree it is parsimonious. However when you claim that other ontologies do not explain how things behave as if they are material, that is taking the invented material world as 'truth, and effectively moving the goal posts.
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Old 9th November 2019, 02:42 AM   #464
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
I haven't kept up with Caveman's contributions. I think the information-theoretic approach he uses is somewhat interesting, but I would need to devote more time to understanding it before I have any comments. Roughly speaking, it seems to be looking for a hypothesis that efficiently accounts for all observations thus far. There is some merit to that. Though simplicity and truth are not necessarily the same thing, there are good reasons to prefer a simpler hypothesis over a more complex hypothesis that explains the same data.
It's not about truth, just think of it as a formalization of science. It gives a lot of vague heuristics in science a precise definition and interpretation. For example Occam's razor, but also the notion that a single contradictory experiment doesn't refute a theory but if such experiments keep adding up that at some point the theory gets abandoned or adjusted, or that first a theory is adjusted but if these adjustments keep adding up that at some point the theory gets abandoned for an entirely different theory, and so on and so forth.

It's not so much a metaphysical theory of truth but a formalization of the scientific enterprise.

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I don't know what his nihilist position is and I'm sorry to say that's a part of the conversation I'm not too interested in. No offense intended to Caveman, obviously.
My nihilist position isn't really anything but the notion that all ontologies are meaningless. Since Chanakya only seemed to want to argue which ontology is better I had to come up with a name for the position that all ontologies are meaningless so I called it "operational-nihilism."
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Old 9th November 2019, 07:17 AM   #465
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
It's not about truth, just think of it as a formalization of science. It gives a lot of vague heuristics in science a precise definition and interpretation. For example Occam's razor, but also the notion that a single contradictory experiment doesn't refute a theory but if such experiments keep adding up that at some point the theory gets abandoned or adjusted, or that first a theory is adjusted but if these adjustments keep adding up that at some point the theory gets abandoned for an entirely different theory, and so on and so forth.

It's not so much a metaphysical theory of truth but a formalization of the scientific enterprise.
It sounds like it is similar in some ways to learning theory, but learning theory is more concerned with the degree of success that a hypothesis may attain and the methods for achieving the maximal kind of success.

Is this an application of information theory found in the literature?

Quote:
My nihilist position isn't really anything but the notion that all ontologies are meaningless. Since Chanakya only seemed to want to argue which ontology is better I had to come up with a name for the position that all ontologies are meaningless so I called it "operational-nihilism."
A reasonable conclusion.
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Old 9th November 2019, 10:58 AM   #466
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
It sounds like it is similar in some ways to learning theory, but learning theory is more concerned with the degree of success that a hypothesis may attain and the methods for achieving the maximal kind of success.

Is this an application of information theory found in the literature?
The main problem in finding methods for achieving the maximal success is that Kolmogorov complexity is undecidable so there is no general solution for this. Finding the M such that "M;C" is the shortest compression of "D" is equivalent to deciding the Kolmogorov complexity of D. There are some solutions in specific cases but not a general one.
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Old 9th November 2019, 11:20 AM   #467
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
... Parsimony doesn't come into the question here, since your parsimonious hypothesis requires going beyond the experience to be explained. Remember, Berkeley's goal was to draw only those conclusions which are entailed by our perceptions. Presuming that there are physical objects causing these perceptions is not necessitated by the perceptions themselves, whether or not it is a simpler theory (and it is not obvious that it is simpler, since it requires the presumption that the universe is filled with "insensible" objects which cause the sensations we experience).

I don't understand. You're speaking of the working model idea I myself spoke of, aren't you? Our 'map' of the world, our model explaining our observations of the world, is -- again, QM excepted -- most parsimoniously served by assuming a materialist ontology. Do you really disagree with this?

Sure, you can recede to a more remote 'level' of reality, than our everyday working model of the world, and sure, other ontologies do seem valid at that level. But: (a) it fails the test of parsimony, as far as explaining our observations and building for us a usable model of the world; and (b) the absurdity of treating the wild speculations of Messrs Berkely et al as anything other than wild speculation, is seen when we reflect that at that at-one-step removed level, the garage dragon is an equally valid ontology. (I've borrowed Carl Sagan's dragon and put it to a different argument than he strictly intended for it, but I think the dragon does the job well enough.)


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Ockham's razor is useful, insofar as it simplifies our theories, but there's no reason to think that a simpler theory is more likely to be true, much less that it is entailed by the data.

Agreed.

But the point is, provided the more complex model doesn't provide a richer, better explanation, there is no reason to choose it over the simpler one. Because where do you stop? Cue, one more time, the garage dragon. And no doubt we can think up even more elaborate and outre scenarios, each equally valid, if we stopped worrying about parsimony.


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What about materialism entails that material objects persist? Unless persistence is part of the definition of material object, then materialism provides no explanation. On the other hand, if the definition of material object includes persistence, then again we have explained nothing. It is as circular as saying that opium produces sleep because it has dormitive properties.

You see circularity because you introduce a second, unnecessary 'layer', a second and unanswerable -- and in that sense meaningless -- question.

Stop at the working level, and "persistence" will, I think, cease to trouble you. It will remain an assumption, in as much every explanation is at some level an assumption -- but it will be the best assumption, that is, the most parsimonious explanation. (I think St Occam would make a great patron saint for materialism! )


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The question idealism proposed to answer was, "What certainties do we know about the world?" The answer was, "Even less than idealism claims." Indeed, restricting oneself to certainty led to a dead end, but this fact was not clear from the start.

Sure, I can appreciate the historical context. Like studying the four-elements explanation of the ancients, or the ether hypothesis, or the weird theories and consequently weird practices in medicine, back when people knew no better. History is fine; but claiming validity for those historical ideas today, is ... not valid.

But I appreciate that at one time these were, not unjustifiably, thought valid. That much we can agree on.


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My defense of idealism is merely that it was a great advance over Descartes's dualism. The arguments in its favor were novel and correct as far as they went (ignoring the whole God thing). I'm not advocating that right-thinking folks should be idealists.

But what are you advocating, exactly? Simply studying the history of ideas, without claiming any validity for historical ideas, that seems reasonable to me. Is that all you're doing?


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... My claim was simpler. Scientists are not materialists by nature because they aren't metaphysicists.

That's fine as far as it goes, but the problem is this: Metaphysics started out as an attempt to explain the world, or so I'd imagine. (I'm guessing here, correct me please if I'm wrong.) In that capacity it was a valid exercise. But today, when better explanations are available, to fixate on those now-dead-and-pointless ideas -- while leaving unaddressed ontologies at a meaningful, operational level -- seems perverse.

In case my meaning isn't clear: There are people who, in their everyday lives, invoke materialistic, or dualistic, or idealistic, causes, to varying degrees. Ontological labels would, IMO, better serve to designate these categories.
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Old 9th November 2019, 11:50 AM   #468
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Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
I agree that Materialism can be latched on to provisionally, although I do not agree it is parsimonious.

Who are you "agreeing" with here, LarryS, when you say that materialism can be "latched on to" provisionally?

You got the "provisionally" right, but not the "latched on to", because, unlike e.g. Berkely's wild speculations, materialism, at a working level, directly follows our observations and experiences.

Heh, you seem to have taken exception to my referring to people "latching on" to idealism! While I agree, that phrase is -- unnecessarily -- dismissive, and the sense I intended to convey might have been more pleasantly expressed, nevertheless it's a fact that it is entirely possible to arrive at an materialistic ontology de facto, rationally; while other ontologies are simply accepted a priori, as an article of faith as it were, if at all they are embraced. "Latching on" seems a correct -- if less than complimentary -- description.


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However when you claim that other ontologies do not explain how things behave as if they are material, that is taking the invented material world as 'truth, and effectively moving the goal posts.

The invented material world isn't taken as "truth", whatever that means. At least, while conceivably it might, I myself amn't doing that. The invented material world is simply taken as the best and most parsimonious explanaion, map, model, of our world, that's all.

I question the very existence of any "truth" deeper than that. Questions about this "truth" are, IMO, meaningless -- because necessarily unanswerable (other than as unsupported speculation).
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Old 9th November 2019, 01:49 PM   #469
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Quran 46:3 We have created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them in Truth and for an appointed term.But those who disbelieve have turned away from what they were warned against.

Quran 29:44 God created the heavens and the earth with truth. In that is a sign for the faithful. (Universes are real)

Quran 6:7 If We had sent down to you a book already written on paper, and they touched it with their own hands, then those who have rejected would say, "This is but clear magic!" (pagans saying magic/illusion for matter, and they don't believe it's truth)

Quran 52:14 "This is the fire which you used to deny!" 52:15 "Is this magic, or do you not see?" (God asking to sinners/pagans, "is this (fire) magic/illusion too?"...)

Last edited by Emre_1974tr; 9th November 2019 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 9th November 2019, 05:30 PM   #470
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Is "is" is?
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Old 9th November 2019, 09:42 PM   #471
Gord_in_Toronto
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Originally Posted by Emre_1974tr View Post
Quran 46:3 We have created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them in Truth and for an appointed term.But those who disbelieve have turned away from what they were warned against.

Quran 29:44 God created the heavens and the earth with truth. In that is a sign for the faithful. (Universes are real)

Quran 6:7 If We had sent down to you a book already written on paper, and they touched it with their own hands, then those who have rejected would say, "This is but clear magic!" (pagans saying magic/illusion for matter, and they don't believe it's truth)

Quran 52:14 "This is the fire which you used to deny!" 52:15 "Is this magic, or do you not see?" (God asking to sinners/pagans, "is this (fire) magic/illusion too?"...)

Here. Have a pony.
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Old Yesterday, 02:36 PM   #472
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It's the matrix.
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