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Trick of the Language?

 
 
medium-density
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Feb, 2013 02:09 am
@georgeob1,
Quote:
Do you then believe the universe had an intelligent, knowing creator, who brought it into existence ? If not what is the ultimate cause of our existence?


No, and I don't know. Nobody does.

Quote:
You haven't yet defined free will, but you suggest my implied definition is inadequate. What then is yours?


We probably should have got around to defining our terms earlier. However, I actually can't imagine a version of free will that I could accept as true. Whichever way you examine it free will ultimately postulates an uncaused event, requires magical thinking, and/or posits a ghost in the machine between our experiences and genes which could account for unconstrained choice.

And there's another thing: unconstrained choice must surely be impossible? That's written into the definition of the word. It's a non-starter, free will.

Quote:
How could one objectively distinguish independent autonomy in such a system from chaos??


Interesting question, which I'm not fit to answer. However I still think that chaos is not equivalent to freedom -the only way I can see to split the difference between the two would be to ask whether a given outcome was intended -an impossible question to pose objectively. Though there may not be a way to answer (or even pose) this question at the moment this doesn't prevent it from answerable in principle. I think we instinctively know the difference between chaos and freedom, even if we cannot prove the difference objectively.

Perhaps someone else can think of a way around this?
medium-density
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Feb, 2013 02:14 am
@Lola,
Quote:
But I still think that there is sometimes more than one avenue, several Ys in the road, and we do actually choose which one to take. Why not?


The point about choice is there's always a reason for that choice, and that reason removes freedom from the picture. We do what we do because we think that choice suits us best in that moment- why? Because of who we are- something we have no control over.

Freedom is ultimately meaningless. We are only free to be who we are.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Feb, 2013 06:46 am
@medium-density,
I am making the point that "existence" is always relative to an observer. "Things" and "thingers" are co-extensive.

Note that Heidegger is even more stringent when he confines Existenz to the human observer contemplating an interruption to a flow of interaction. In his "hammering example" neither the hammer, nor the self "exist" until the hammering goes wrong and they are instantaneously "evoked" via an internal or external verbalization. Interestingly, Maturana independently comes to a similar conclusion regarding the activities of non-human species. There is no "cat" pursuing "a mouse" from the point of view of either. There is only "a pursuing" which a human reporter verbalizes(observes) anthropomorphically.

medium-density
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Feb, 2013 07:18 am
@fresco,
I see that you are not terribly interested in conversation.

Why do you go on with this argument from the philosophical standpoint? I understand what you are saying, I do not accept the argument for the reasons I gave earlier. Please don't just restate your position. Either engage with the subject at hand or start your own thread on the tenuous nature of the existence of reality beyond the observer.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Feb, 2013 08:58 am
@medium-density,
I understood that this topic was about the the concepts of "free will" and "language". I have answered already at one level...that of contextually bound semantics...and I have now moved to possibly a "deeper" level which you may have not considered ....that of the existentialists... who judged "will" and "language" as the central philosophical issues. If you or other respondents do not wish to engage at that level, I will certainly not pursue it further.
MattDavis
 
  0  
Reply Mon 18 Feb, 2013 09:27 am
@fresco,
I wouldn't mind an explanation of the issue of will or language as it relates to the existentialists.
[ In all fairness, if this is off topic, I would not mind changing venues if ANY party so wishes. Without judgement and without resentment. ]
Do you feel as though existentialism is "built up" from an a-priori concept of free will?
Or can a concept of free will be derived in existentialism?
fresco
 
  2  
Reply Mon 18 Feb, 2013 10:01 am
@MattDavis,
Well we need to go back to Nietzsche who argued that "will to power" was one of the main defining characteristics of humans. Irrespective of the social implications of that, my own interest is in "power over the physical world" which manifests as "prediction and control" largely via what we call "science".
Clearly on this point, language is central in segmenting "the world" because the lowest level of scientific measurement is "nominal" (naming of the identity of a "thing").

Heidegger's development of the "will" theme, manifested in his concepts of "existence" and "authentic living". As stated above, for Heidegger, "existence" is a transient state when humans are "self aware" and aware of "a segmented world". That world contained two classes of objects "present at hand" and "ready to hand" which are clearly observer defined in terms of their functional attributes. (i.e objects do not possess properties in their own right) The "taking stock of oneself with the power to act and choose", and the pursuit and selection of such choice was what he meant by "authentic living", as opposed to somnolent following of one's conditioning.

Later, Heidegger shifted his focus to the power of language as a conditioning agent which could effectively curtail the choices of "will". That shift is epitomized by his statement "Language speaks the man". (Social determinism perhaps ?)

The focus on language as the central issue in restricting paradigms of thinking ( the Sapir Whorf hypothesis) was similarly investigated by Wittgenstein, and later Rorty and the post-modernists such as Foucault and Derrida. In particular, Derrida concerned himself with debunking dichotomous thinking ( like free will versus determinism) and argued that each pole of a dichotomy necessarily implied the "existence" of the other.


MattDavis
 
  0  
Reply Mon 18 Feb, 2013 10:11 am
@fresco,
Quote:
In particular, Derrida concerned himself with debunking dichotomous thinking ( like free will versus determinism) and argued that each pole of a dichotomy necessarily implied the "existence" of the other.

I can certainly sympathize with debunking dichotomy.
This was very nearly the topic I was trying to get to in my Nature of Paradox question in another thread. Do you see any relationship between this debunking and the pre-trans fallacy of Ken Wilber?

Would it be fair to say that the view that this post-modernist trend is going toward is a reality based solely upon relationships detached from any "objects". Pure system without component?
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Feb, 2013 10:54 am
@MattDavis,
I'm not familiar with Wilbur's opus of ideas to be really able to comment but from the Wiki article on him I don't at this point see the relationship you propose.

I believe there is now post-post modernism (!) but I am not sure of its trend. But it is certainly the case that "independent objects" have taken a severe knock from the quantum physics findings on "non-locality". Also, in recent cognitive science inter-level relationships (physiological-psychological-social) form a substrate to investigate those of observer and observed, and a "systems approach" involving multi-valued state transitions,(as opposed to binary dichotomous flip-flops) appears to be yielding results where assumptions of fixed set membership (observer independent identity) have failed.
MattDavis
 
  0  
Reply Mon 18 Feb, 2013 11:07 am
@fresco,
Quote:
But it is certainly the case that "independent objects" have taken a severe knock from the quantum physics findings on "non-locality".

What I was getting by "system without component", was more along the lines of could "relationship" serve as the sole quanta in building up a reality.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Feb, 2013 11:20 am
@MattDavis,
Insofar as the concept of "field" is a form of "relationship", you may certainly have a point.
MattDavis
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Feb, 2013 11:28 am
@fresco,
Hmm... I'll have to ponder that for a bit.
Thanks Very Happy
medium-density
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Feb, 2013 11:43 am
@fresco,
I started this topic by asking a question about our understanding of events, which seem open to influence and change right up to the instant before they happen, after which point they can be described as having been inevitable. This seemed like a tricky and interesting perception of reality, and I wanted to explore it. A discussion about free will arose quite naturally from this.

Your contributions, insofar as I understand them, have (in my opinion) focused too strongly on textbook definitions of the concepts "free will" and "determinism" -I said quite early on that I'd be happy to dispense with the word "determinism", and someone else noted that no-one had really defined what we meant by "free will". I preferred to talk without reference to any specific body of knowledge (like philosophy, which seems to be your bag) and simply use logical argument and reasonable assertions.

The thrust of what you've been arguing for a while seems to make nonsense of any discussions which aim to talk about matters of existence and what's real or true. I just don't think it terribly constructive to explode the terms of a discussion by introducing your favourite existentialist theories repeatedly throughout.

A discussion has its own course, of course, so this is all fine. I just want to talk about what I want to talk about without the requirement of a philosophy degree in order to understand it. You and MattDavis are starting to sound like two textbooks having a conversation (!) so I'd be happier if you could take that wing of your dialogue to another venue. However, do what you want Smile
MattDavis
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Feb, 2013 11:44 am
@MattDavis,
I guess I have a hard time reconciling relationship/fields as meaningful apart from time.
I feel as though pure relationship only leads to a static reality.
I have a hard time wrapping my head around being able to let go of a need for "change" in a reality.
0 Replies
 
MattDavis
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Feb, 2013 11:53 am
@medium-density,
No problem.
Thank you for your patience with our philosophical mutterances. Laughing
I will copy my last post to http://able2know.org/topic/208648-1#post-5256828
Fresco, if you care to continue, I'll look there for a response there.
Thanks to both of you. Very Happy
medium-density
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Feb, 2013 12:00 pm
@MattDavis,
That's very generous of you.

Bon chance Smile
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Feb, 2013 12:01 pm
@medium-density,
Fine. I will leave you with the thought that "events" require an observer to define them by selection of an "event window". Have fun .
0 Replies
 
MattDavis
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Feb, 2013 12:04 pm
@medium-density,
medium-density wrote:
Bon chance Smile

Clever Smile
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Feb, 2013 12:49 pm
@medium-density,
Quote:
However I still think that chaos is not equivalent to freedom -
That was also my instant reaction Med. I can't see how chaos gets around cause and effect, why unpredictability should confer freewill
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Feb, 2013 12:52 pm
@fresco,
Quote:
a "deeper" level which you may have not considered ....that of the existentialists... who judged "will" and "language" as the central philosophical issues.
I've labeled it "semantics" and maintain it's key to the issue just as you suggest. However I can't carry the argument much further than that for the simple reason that appropriate semantic tools evidently not yet available
0 Replies
 
 

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