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How do you determine something exists?

 
 
Huxley
 
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 02:52 pm
I'm mostly asking what the process you follow is. However, if you have a proscriptive outline, then by all means feel free to share.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 17 • Views: 14,791 • Replies: 197

 
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 02:58 pm
@Huxley,
Didn't Rene Descartes say "I think therefore I am"?

That would be the first and important aspect - to establish that you exist. Then you could establish whatever near you exist by the five senses and so on.
dyslexia
 
  0  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 03:00 pm
didn't sinatra say dooby dooby do?
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  3  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 03:03 pm
@Huxley,
Well it would depend on what it is. If it is a material object use my senses. If it is an abstract object like a number, then I use whatever methods are generally recommended. For example to discover whether there is a number that is the square-root of a given number, I use the method for finding square-roots. And so on. Obviously there can be no general answer to your question because so many different kinds of things exist. I should add, though, that the fact that different kinds of things exist does not imply in the least that these different kinds of things exist in different "ways" or "senses". They all exist is the same sense, but there are different way of deciding whether a particular kind of thing exists.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  3  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 03:06 pm
@talk72000,
Why would I have to establish that I exist in order to establish the something else exists? That Descartes thought so does not seem to me to be an adequate reason for thinking that. But you are right, Descartes seemed to think that kind of thing.
talk72000
 
  2  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 03:11 pm
@kennethamy,
If you are the one to determine if something exist you must first convince yourself that you exist or you could be a dream or someone else's dream. You need consciousness to make any kind of determination. If you are assuming someone else is determining the existence then you are accepting second hand information which is not as reliable as first hand experience.
ebrown p
 
  0  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 03:12 pm
Simple.

If it is on the Internet, it exists.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 03:22 pm
@talk72000,
Quote:
not as reliable as first hand experience
so the sun does rise in the east?
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 03:26 pm
@talk72000,
I really don't see why you think that. Certainly it is true that for me to determine anything at all, I have to exist to determine it. But why should that mean that any argument that shows that X exist must be someone's argument? Consider the argument: there is something that is the square root of nine because three multiplied by itself is nine. Now, that argument is perfectly sound even if no one exist, including you and me. No one has to make the argument for the argument to be a sound argument.
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 03:33 pm
@kennethamy,
It could exist without you but the question asked was 'How do YOU determine something exists'. I remember as a child if I existed.
HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 03:53 pm
@talk72000,
Excelent, then I can come and beat ya silly with a baseball bat, because I don't exist.

I generally consider "I think, therefore I am" the lowest kind of modern philosophy.
sometime sun
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 04:23 pm
@Huxley,
I feel it.

What is determinisation?
What is something?
What is existence?

How do I determine something exists?
I question it?
0 Replies
 
sometime sun
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 04:27 pm
@HexHammer,
No I think we both previously said something along the lines of 'I think there fore I am not' or 'I don't think there fore I am not'

(I miss you)
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  3  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 05:24 pm
@Huxley,
Huxley wrote:
I'm mostly asking what the process you follow is. However, if you have a proscriptive outline, then by all means feel free to share.

It depends on what it is I'm trying to evaluate. Sometimes all you have to do is poke it with your finger and see if it's there.
0 Replies
 
Owen phil
 
  3  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 05:53 pm
@Huxley,
E!x, iff, x exists .
E!x =df (some F)(Fx).
E!x <-> (some F)(Fx).
x exists, means, there is some property that x has.

If we can assert that x has a property then we can assert that x exists.

|-. Gx -> E!x.
If x has the property G then x exists.
|-. x=x -> E!x).
If x is self identical then x exists.
|-. E!x <-> Ey(x=y).
x exists, iff, there is some y such that x is equal to it.

|-. H(the x:Gx) -> (the x:Gx) exists.
If (the x such that Gx) has the property H, then, (the x such that Gx) exists.
|-. (the x:Gx)=(the x:Gx) -> E!(the x:Gx).
If, the x such that Gx is self identical then, (the x such that Gx) exists.
|-. E!(the x: Gx) <-> Ey((the x: Gx)=y).
The x such that Gx exists, iff, there is some y such that (the x:Gx) is equal to it.

|-. G(the x:Gx & Hx) -> E!(the x:Gx).
|-. E!(the x:Gx) <-> EyAx(x=y <-> Gx).

E!(the x: x=z) <-> E!z.



talk72000
 
  2  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 06:32 pm
@HexHammer,
Your answer is the lowest kind. You feel Rene Descartes is a low philosopher. He was also a great mathematician and scientist. He came up with the Cartesian system that Isaac Newton found so useful in his theories of gravity. Philosophy is just talk any. Science has taken over.
0 Replies
 
Huxley
 
  2  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 06:35 pm
Well, I will say this at least: If we're going to say that a Cartesian level of certainty is necessary to establish existence, then I wouldn't say that the existence of things follows from my own existence. After all, I may exist, but the objects of my senses may be caused by a Demon. I think you would have to somehow establish at this level of certainty, as Descartes does (if his argument is sound, anyways), that your senses correspond to existence.
talk72000
 
  2  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 06:48 pm
@Huxley,
Science deals with this world and existence. What occurs in your mind only occurs in your mind and may not exist. If you feel you were created by a demon so be it. Science deals with reality and the whole human society revolves around the discoveries of science not the musing of effete snobs who think manipulation of words, ideas and thoughts amount to much.
Even the early philosophers dealt with real world issues such as politic science. Not useless and time wasting questions whether one can determine something exists. You need science to establish it. You can go on musing but the fact remains it needs scientific methods to prove its existence.
There are all kinds of theories about multi-universes which are just ideas. Till they come up with proof with tests and data it is just speculation and philosophy just like Monads of a well known philosopher.
Huxley
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 07:25 pm
@talk72000,
All the things that science declares as existent are likely to exist, or be a pretty good approximation therein. Would that be a fair characterization of what you're saying?



Because of implications in your post, I'll note that science is largely a bourgeois pursuit for those with the leisure and privilege of a rich educational background and a supporting market that can support the effete snobs who generate the tests, proofs, and data for the existence of ideas on the world around them. In short, they're not very different from philosophers with respect to the resources they utilize and the conditions under which they flourish. (it may be arguable that they use more, due to experimentation, but we attach a greater value to physical technology than to "thought-technology" as a culture, so perhaps the scientific establishment's consumption evens out with respect to the philosophic establishment's consumption)
kennethamy
 
  2  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 11:42 pm
@talk72000,
I thought that question meant, how does one (not particularly me) determine that something exists. I have no special way (and neither do I think does anyone else).
0 Replies
 
 

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