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What is the Virtue of Admitting Ignorance?

 
 
MattDavis
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Feb, 2013 12:15 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Quote:
Have you noticed no matter what we can think or come up with as being false or not true one always recurs to true parts or little bits or pieces of true things, to build the mosaic of what is not the case ?
I think you may be hinting at a selection bias.

With regards to truthiness:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy_of_the_excluded_middle
I find it quite interesting that the fallacy of the excluded middle can be proven even within an axiomatic system whose axioms include an excluded middle.
Grant the hypothetical exists as in binary logic.... prove via Godel's Incompleteness Theorem that something other than just true or just false must exist.
http://able2know.org/topic/207948-1#post-5248138

Quote:
there we go with languages and fields and ranges..."false" describes normally a construction or cross sections between different miss arranged fields or levels of language a mix of components which doesn't quite match...deconstructionism falls exactly in the same problem constructivism is in...exactly why I ultimately appeal for the phenomena itself as foundation.

Yes but it is so much easier to flip it around and feel like consciousness causes the phenomena than phenomena causes the consciousness. Feels much more spiritual. Wink
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Feb, 2013 12:18 am
@MattDavis,
....yep you went straight to the point there !
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Feb, 2013 03:07 am
@reasoning logic,
Attempts at brevity can admittedly appear cryptic.

My interpretation of Socrates' "wisdom" was that he had an intuitive grasp of Godels incompleteness theorem, which in simplistic terms might read "we cannot establish the ultimate truth of anything, since all axioms involve further axioms ad infinitum.

Now the concept of "intuition" is by definition "metalogical" insofar that it does not derive from axioms...it postulates them. On the basis of the postulation of "the ether" (an invisible fluidic medium for wave transmission) James Clerk Maxwell was able to derive equations which successfully predicted the behavior of electro-magnetic waves, and those equations are still used today. Later experiments (Michelson -Morley etc) led to the rejection of the "reality of the ether" despite its previous axiomatic role in the derivation of wave mechanics.

So this leads to the pertinent question what is this stuff "knowledge" and its relationship to the word "ignorance". Should teachers of Maxwell's equations point out the "fictitious nature" of their derivation or "ignore" it ? The fact that the equations can be accounted for by later (relativistic and quantum) developments glosses over the point that such further intuitive developments were themselves prompted in the context of the "reality" of using those equations.

The philosophical conclusion which makes sense to me is that "knowledge"
(like "truth") is "what works", and to ask the question "why it works" leads to an inevitable infinite regress. So to claim "ignorance" of "why" is vacuous, and may be educationally inhibitive, even though it appears "wise" to the philosophically unsophisticated.
MattDavis
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Feb, 2013 10:39 am
@fresco,
Quote:
The philosophical conclusion which makes sense to me is that "knowledge"
(like "truth") is "what works", and to ask the question "why it works" leads to an inevitable infinite regress. So to claim "ignorance" of "why" is vacuous, and may be educationally inhibitive, even though it appears "wise" to the philosophically unsophisticated.

I do agree in some sense that when looking at things from an epistemological perspective any "why" question is circular and vacuous. The how of understanding is what can be more meaningfully answered.

However, looking at things from an ontological perspective the "why"/"how" distinction becomes a little muddier.
From my perspective deconstruction seems to offer a "why" answer to reality. Experience is all that there is. Why? Because experience is all that we know.

I feel more biased toward "how" ontological answers. How can a phenomenological experience be created from simple axioms leading to an unfolding reality.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Feb, 2013 10:45 am
@MattDavis,
Quote:
From my perspective deconstruction seems to offer a "why" answer to reality. Experience is all that there is. Why? Because experience is all that we know.


yeah the point and to some extent the innovation being that we shouldn't even try to categorize or extrapolate anything about what "we" or the "I" refers to...that's the distinction with Cartesian thought...for all that I care "Conscience" is just yet more phenomena.

"No mind never matter"...
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Feb, 2013 11:01 am
@MattDavis,
You are assuming that a"phenomenological experience" can be separated from the "experiencing agent". Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty and others would argue this is not the case. There is no separate "world out there". Ontology is a matter of the co-naming of "self" and "things relative to that self". The concept of permanent things is as nebulous as the permanence of "self" (Neither "you" nor "your car" has identical molecules relative to yesterday). Permanence resides in repetitive co-functionality as captured by abstract words. Words are not representational of permanence, they evoke it ! Maturana even argued there is no such thing as "observation" without verbalization. What we call "experience" is reported with those words (=structuring tools).
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Feb, 2013 11:05 am
@fresco,
Quote:
There is no separate "world out there".


I just love the way you are so sure of stuff that almost certainly is beyond your ability to know.

And the way you indulge in appeals to authority as confirmation that you "know" it ...is so beneath the obvious intelligence you have, I have trouble understanding how you can stomach doing it.
MattDavis
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Feb, 2013 11:08 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
I guess in more simplistic terms matter seems more fundamental.
I observe (phenomenologically of course) examples of non-conscious matter.
I observe (phenomenologically) what appear to be examples of minds in matter. The other humans I observe seem to also have minds similar to my own. They also seem to be composed of matter.
The only mind that could even potentially be (phenomenologically) incoherent to a realist interpretation is my own mind. For now, I just "take it on faith" that my mind is not fundamentally different than everyone else's.

Maybe the world doesn't revolve around my mind, anymore than the sun revolves around my world, or the universe expands away only from me.
0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  2  
Reply Sat 23 Feb, 2013 11:11 am
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

You are assuming that a"phenomenological experience" can be separated from the "experiencing agent". Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty and others would argue this is not the case. There is no separate "world out there". Ontology is a matter of the co-naming of "self" and "things relative to that self". The concept of permanent things is as nebulous as the permanence of "self" (Neither "you" nor "your car" has identical molecules relative to yesterday). Permanence resides in repetitive co-functionality as captured by abstract words. Words are not representational of permanence, they evoke it ! Maturana even argued there is no such thing as "observation" without verbalization. What we call "experience" is reported with those words (=structuring tools).


But then you would have to address the permanence of information structures and not necessarily the materials on themselves...repetitive co-functionality as captured by abstract words being the key here...mind you that the word used was captured.
Relative frames of reference for categorizing and communicating phenomena or different levels of language do not imply the "non existence" of such phenomena, but rather on the contrary their meta functionality depending on context. There is no reason the subject or the observer itself to not be questioned in the very same way...
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Feb, 2013 11:18 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
FA, I agree with you! We can't observe any change in our selves or our cars every minute or every day. In most cases, it takes years to see the changes.

The most dramatic change we can observe is when we know someone during childhood, don't see them for many decades, then meet them again as adults. Some times, they don't look like themselves - to us! But to them, they have seen the slow changes and understand what happened during those intervening years.

I go to Cuba frequently where they have many American made cars. Some are in mint condition, while others are run down and rusty. With humans, we can't hope to stay in "mint" condition over the years.

We apply words as of the present state, and we understand what is being proposed by others. Ideas do not change, but we do; we all exist in the same plane, but perceptions may change as an individual.
0 Replies
 
MattDavis
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Feb, 2013 11:19 am
@fresco,
Just going to move stuff over here(this thread) so I can keep track.
Matt wrote:
I feel like a major problem with the extreme Copenhagen/deconstructionist views requiring total reliance upon an observer, is that it does a very poor job of explaining the "how" of all the universe 'prior' to humans.
Have we(realists) "constructed" such an elaborate cosmological story in order to make our phenomenological existence coherent?
It seems to me more intuitive to postulate that something external to consciousness developed consciousness, and this consciousness is now how we view that external reality (and internal reality too).

fresco wrote:
See my answer on other thread. "Consciousness" can be taken as "that which experiences".

I think you mean this one:
fresco wrote:
You are assuming that a"phenomenological experience" can be separated from the "experiencing agent". Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty and others would argue this is not the case. There is no separate "world out there". Ontology is a matter of the co-naming of "self" and "things relative to that self". The concept of permanent things is as nebulous as the permanence of "self" (Neither "you" nor "your car" has identical molecules relative to yesterday). Permanence resides in repetitive co-functionality as captured by abstract words. Words are not representational of permanence, they evoke it ! Maturana even argued there is no such thing as "observation" without verbalization. What we call "experience" is reported with those words (=structuring tools).
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Feb, 2013 11:20 am
@Frank Apisa,
I am stating the views of cognitive scientists like Merleau-Ponty who was trying to account for the failure of naive realism in empirical studies of behavior. For this he used some of the intuitive concepts of Heiddeger in a similar way that Einstein used the intuitive concepts of non-Euclidean mathematicians like Riemann. Neither I, nor Merleau-Ponty, nor Einstein would be ridiculous enough to entertain your lay-concept of "truth". We would merely point to assessment of our views in terms of elegance and utility which unlike "truth" are the standard de facto criteria used by scientists.

As usual you appear to be incapable of understanding that point.
And do us all a favor by not wittering about "intuition =guess". Read a chunk of Wittgenstein if you want to understand the folly of that equals sign.
MattDavis
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Feb, 2013 11:30 am
@MattDavis,
I agree that the "separate world out there" is an assumption.
Here is why I think that it is a simpler one:
There are axiomatic models that do a crude but pretty good job of explaining 'reality'. These models are not yet precise but they are accurate in that they can model things like emergence and unpostdictability. Phenomena which we perceive "out there".
A reality built up around consciousness seems like not a simple explanation. We have to take as an axiom something so clever and complex as "consciousness". The problem I see with deconstructivism is that it is a complex explanation and it is unfalsifiable by the standards which it has set for itself.
MattDavis
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Feb, 2013 11:53 am
@fresco,
fresco wrote:
You are assuming that a"phenomenological experience" can be separated from the "experiencing agent". Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty and others would argue this is not the case. There is no separate "world out there". Ontology is a matter of the co-naming of "self" and "things relative to that self". The concept of permanent things is as nebulous as the permanence of "self" (Neither "you" nor "your car" has identical molecules relative to yesterday). Permanence resides in repetitive co-functionality as captured by abstract words. Words are not representational of permanence, they evoke it ! Maturana even argued there is no such thing as "observation" without verbalization. What we call "experience" is reported with those words (=structuring tools).

I am also a little concerned that this answer seems to make a bit of a "straw man" out of permanence.
I think it is still meaningful to postulate a scientific realistic view that does not require permanence of "things". The scientific realistic view simply assumes that "things" have some existence/meaning absent an observer. I don't imagine that these "things" don't participate in a complex interplay of of ebb and flow. I simply imagine they do so whether I look at them or not. Of course "observing" has an effect in the sense that all observation requires physical interaction, but I don't claim some privileged place in this interaction by virtue of being 'conscious'. I believe that an electron tunneling microscope will have the same "collapsing the wave" effects whether or not a person is looking at the results of the scan.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Feb, 2013 12:18 pm
@MattDavis,
I agree I have used some standard criteria in the evaluation of the views above. However, there comes a point when we must ask about the nature of what we call a "satisfactory explanation" and whether that rests on those criteria alone.
At the point where our human attempts to predict and control what we take to be "the world" are themselves the focus of attention, it can be argued that we need to transcend or deconstruct those criteria. For example, ecologists have pointed out the chauvinistic folly of the "control" motive which turns out to have limited "success". In terms of my earlier answer "what works" may turn out to be socially negotiable and this necessarily involves a consideration of language and shared semantic fields as the covert substrate for considerations of of what we call "reality". And by extrapolation, terms like "elegance", "complexity", "simplicity" etc may be semantically incestuous with respect to each other and reveal nothing about "the reality" within which they operate.
In short, if we accept the general one-liner that "all is in flux "the gut feeling which leads to the abandoning naive realism is that we should be dealing not with what "is" but the process of "becoming" and "un-becoming".

Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Feb, 2013 12:36 pm
@fresco,
Quote:
In short, if we accept the general one-liner that "all is in flux "the gut feeling which leads to the abandoning naive realism is that we should be dealing not with what "is" but the process of "becoming" and "un-becoming".


Why not take a timeless perspective regarding the multiplicity of being in all its potential rather then the take of becoming and un-becoming which is fruitless...how come something that has worked in any context is any less true because it might not work in any other context ?
MattDavis
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Feb, 2013 01:00 pm
@fresco,
I appreciate the process view of reality, however ecology and systems analysis models still do rely upon a substrate of "agents" whether these be atoms, proteins, genes, or cells depending on perspective. You seem to want to make the leap that if the substrate can change depending on perspective, one can therefore assume no substrates are necessary. That leap seems unwise (to me).

I think this gets back to my earlier question on another thread "can you have system without component?".
You claim that the system doesn't "bottom out" at some basic component.
I don't think that claim is justified. The universe seems discrete on the level of Plank's constant at least per a certain (scientific paradigm).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planck_constant
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Feb, 2013 01:00 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
You've used the words "truth" and "any context" there. Try substituting the phrase "specifically contextually functional" and see if you reply makes sense.
I am denying "things" can work in any context.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Feb, 2013 01:12 pm
@fresco,
Quote:
Re: Frank Apisa (Post 5261445)
I am stating the views of cognitive scientists like Merleau-Ponty who was trying to account for the failure of naive realism in empirical studies of behavior. For this he used some of the intuitive concepts of Heiddeger in a similar way that Einstein used the intuitive concepts of non-Euclidean mathematicians like Riemann. Neither I, nor Merleau-Ponty, nor Einstein would be ridiculous enough to entertain your lay-concept of "truth". We would merely point to assessment of our views in terms of elegance and utility which unlike "truth" are the standard de facto criteria used by scientists.


What you are doing, Fresco...is what you have done constantly since you started posting here...attempting to solidify your guesses about REALITY by suggesting other people have asserted the same guesses. It is called appeal to authority...and that is a logical fallacy that you use more than any other person in the forum.

For you or anyone else to assert as fact "there is no separate world out there" is an absurdity to which you have apparently blinded yourself.

Sorry if my calling it to your attention makes you uncomfortable.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Feb, 2013 01:16 pm
@MattDavis,
Okay. Our differences seem to lie in what we see to be the transcendent substrate,
For me that is the macro- or social level ( despite the implications of the prefix "sub") In Gestaltist terms, the whole determines the parts. Particles etc at the micro-level are intuited to fulfill functions specified at higher levels. I am technically arguing that what we call "reality" is ultimately a social concept and its details are evoked to fulfill human social needs. (including fragmented "selves" having internal conversations with each other) .
 

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