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Is Reality a Social Construction ?

 
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Feb, 2009 12:20 pm
@JLNobody,
But, that can cut both ways. I believe that a very "simple" life may be the most rewarding one.
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Feb, 2009 02:50 pm
not to mention that we all find joy in different things. does not make anyone smarter or stupider. just different.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Feb, 2009 03:00 pm
@dagmaraka,
Yup!
0 Replies
 
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Feb, 2009 05:14 pm
@fresco,
Fresco/JL:
Do you think that Wittgenstein has any advance over Nietzsche when it comes to understanding things of this nature?
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Feb, 2009 06:20 pm
@fresco,
Fresco asserts that "We can never place ourselves inside the body of the other."
I beg to differ. It's one of the joys of life.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Feb, 2009 07:05 pm
@JLNobody,
ahmen!
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Feb, 2009 07:13 pm
@JLNobody,
Laughing Laughing Laughing
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Feb, 2009 10:20 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
PQ, in my opinion, Wittgenstein had a more narrow or specialized focus on the role of language for human thought (epistemology was his bag*) while Nietzsche's perspective was very broad. He has been claimed by analytical philosophy, philologists, existentialists, pragmatists, and although he rejected "metaphysics" (when it referred to "other worlds" like religion's "after life" or Kant's "thing in itself") his most fundamental notion, his ontological foundation for Reality, the Will to Power, is metaphysical. Nietzsche is often referred to as the most influential Post Modern Philosopher (and he was of the 19th century (1844-1900).

* Fresco knows much more about W than I do.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Feb, 2009 02:11 am
@JLNobody,
Pentacle Queen,

Your interest in Wittgenstein is apparent from this and a recent thread. It is difficult to compare philosophers on a lay concept like "nature" because they themselves tend to deconstruct the very act of conceptualization according to their different analysis systems. Wittgenstein would probably (and might have) pointed out that speakers who have an animated or religious view of "nature" would be talking past reductionists who see it in as deterministic in terms of cause and effect. For Wittgenstein it was not the merit in either view that mattered, it was "the talking past", thus the purpose of philosophy was not evaluative, it was "therapeutic".

However another way to look at Wittgenstein is to see his focus on language as shifting "reality" from on ontic independence, to a de[endence on inter-relationships between language users. Thus the language community becomes the philosophical a priori. This can then go two ways, either "upwards" towards "group consciousness" or "downwards" towards languge as an epiphenomenon of "the general life process". in neither case are "individual minds" a consideration.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Feb, 2009 11:50 am
@fresco,
Fresco, I do see Wittgenstein as a language therapist. Language, like philosophy--and culture in general--is behavior, sometimes nutritious, sometimes toxic.
I do see Nietzsche as one who has a (non-religious) "animated" view of "nature", somewhat like Schopenhauer (with his "will in nature"), but, except for Nietzsche's positivistic/analytical "middle period", he was critical of the West's cultural committment to determinism, i.e., our presuppositional dissection of the world into discrete "causes" and "effects." Is that reminiscent of Wittgenstein? Was Nietzsche also a philosophical physician?
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Feb, 2009 12:16 pm
@JLNobody,
JLN,

You might like to read this regarding the comparison.

http://sillimandoc.blogspot.com/2005/10/wittgenstein-and-dissolution.html
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Feb, 2009 04:26 pm
@fresco,


Thanks, Fresco. W's "dissolution principle" reminds me of the zen master's treatment of the monk's problematical approach to living. He leaves him with no answers or solutions, only with a dissolution of the pseudo problems implicit in dualism (e.g., the issue of the agent's choices and the causal structure of the world).
0 Replies
 
vori1234
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 May, 2009 05:45 pm
Fresco directed me to this thread so I hope you all wouldn't mind if I give my own view of the subject Smile

The contents of "thought" IS NOT mediated by "language".
Language comes after the thought was created.
Another process maps your thought into words and senteces which you can then comunicate to other people or even have an internal conversation with yourself.
When I am programming or trying to solve some other problem I am not talking to myself although words might often pop in my mind here and there. Electrical impulses run around my brain solving problems, processing data just like computer does. Computer uses no words to solve problems or to think. It simply follows predefined set of rules processing input values and giving ouput values all in the bounderies of laws of physics. The very same thing goes on in our brain which is just a version of simple computer. At some point those output values can be words and sentences just like you can upgrade an existing computer program twhich already does some usefull calculations and add an extra function which would be capable of presenting such results as stream of words either by writing them on the creen or by creating sound waves, or using any other means of communitcation which might be consited of something else but words.

In time of the dynosours there were no humans but reality seams to have existed. Light that was traveling milions of years to get to use was created by some sort of reality when there were no humans.

If those two things are also just the product of our mind this theory might be considered as interesting view on the world but if this "view" is all this theory has to offer and there are no details, exepriments, rules, processes that in detail explains how this acctually functions, how EXACTLY is reality a social construction, then this becomes just one of many theories that holds no ground adn we would be much better off choosing some other theory that is able to explain its mechanism in detail and support it with numeros scenarios, experiments that all make sense inside the bounderies of that theory.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 May, 2009 11:06 pm
@vori1234,
It seems to me that reality is both objective and subjective. The objective physical world studied by scientists is identified in terms of ideas, ideas learned both in the scientists' training and general culture. The world is my idea, said Schopenhaur. I take this to refer to the MEANINGFULNESS of experience, a private subjective and social/cultural intersubjective process.
I do not just think in terms of words; most often there are vague but meaningful aesthetic formations that precede but eventually find expression in words--and I suppose they are formed to some extent with reference to my linguistic conditioning. I believe that my statement is a subjective formation, and that's an objective fact.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 May, 2009 11:48 pm

Is society a fictional construction of individuals ?
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 12:50 am
@OmSigDAVID,
No more than "self" is, because much of the meaning of "self" is its relationship to "others"
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 03:08 am
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

Quote:
No more than "self" is, because much of the meaning of "self" is its relationship to "others"

In my home now, I am by myself.
My self did not become less than it was, when I became alone.





David
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 05:51 am
@OmSigDAVID,
Try to actually observe the formulation of a "thought" like the last one you posted and you will see that it is done so through language...the social exchange currency. It is through the acquisition of language that we see "the world" in terms of "agents" (subject) "operating" (verb) on it (object), and within the set of agents we acquire a concept of"self" as a member of "the set of agents" (others). so with respect to the currency analogy, "self" is like "the dollar" which has no meaning in its own right...only it terms of its utility in transactions.

The philosopher Dennett put in another way. He used the analogy of "self" as a "centre of gravity" in a spinning narrative. i.e. A hypothetical point about which dialogue revolved. Other philosophers have also questioned the continuity of self as an integrated entity. Heidegger pointed out that "self" was not actually present in consciousness when things were going well without the need for dialogue. When hammering a nail, for example we are not gengerally conscious of either "self" or "hammer"...there is just the flow of hammering...until perhaps we hit our finger...and the "self" is brought into being to swear at "the hammer".
Ashers
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 08:44 am
There's this idea of territory and maps isn't there, and how life, while in representational "form" is nothing but an infinite regress of maps with the territory never being reached. And then on top of that, representation being fundamental to communication you see that maps are "about themselves" rather than the territory. Does that make sense? Communicable quality rather than that which the sign points to.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 09:31 am
@Ashers,
Yes, that makes perfect sense from a phenomenological perspective.
As Maturana put it (I think) language is about the co-ordination of co-ordination.
0 Replies
 
 

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