11
   

Reality - thing or phenomenon?

 
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jul, 2013 02:22 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Another contradiction by Frank.
Quote:

Can you get it through you head that what may not be permanent...is human perceptions and comprehensions of REALITY.

I have no idea of what the REALITY is...an I strongly, strongly suspect you don't either.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jul, 2013 02:24 pm
@cicerone imposter,
cicerone imposter wrote:

Another contradiction by Frank.
Quote:

Can you get it through you head that what may not be permanent...is human perceptions and comprehensions of REALITY.

I have no idea of what the REALITY is...an I strongly, strongly suspect you don't either.



One...there is absolutely NO CONTRADICTION THERE...

...and two...I thought you stopped reading what I write.

Back to one: What on earth do you see as a contradiction?
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jul, 2013 02:32 pm
@Frank Apisa,
I never said I stopped reading your posts. What I said was I'm not going to discuss anything with you. Further questions to me will be ignored.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jul, 2013 02:36 pm
@cicerone imposter,
cicerone imposter wrote:

I never said I stopped reading your posts. What I said was I'm not going to discuss anything with you. Further questions to me will be ignored.


Thank you for discussing that point with me.
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  3  
Reply Tue 2 Jul, 2013 02:46 pm
@JLNobody,
Quote:
When I refer to the yin-yang structure of the world my reference is not ontological, it's epistemological. As Fresco noted, most thinking is with reference to the poles of a dualistic perspective. Permanence and impermanence, truth and falsity, reality and illusion, etc.etc. are not descriptive of experience itself (meditate and you'll eventually realize that); but we feel that they are good to think with.

Anything we talk about is our perception of things. Ontology is a fool’s errand, as we have no way of understanding the essence of things as they are. And that’s in this epistemological sense too that I said that a mix of permanence AND impermanence is the best way to describe the world. There’s no good reason to focus on only one of these two polar opposites, as they are part of the same dimension, or concept if you prefer.

The real reason we keep disagreeing is that you (and Fresco and igm - I'll indulge in a broadside attack here) seem to think that you have advanced so far ahead of others, while in fact you have just verbalized more or less the same things in a different, e.g. buddhist, language. It’s a question of attitude, of lack of intellectual modesty and honesty. For instance, calling others “naïve realists” doesn’t help your cause, because you then fail to realize the naiveté of your own positions.

Notice how easily I pointed out that permanence and impermanence are part of the same dimension? Like people who think of the world in black and white, you thought of reality as either static or in constant flux… not realizing that change can be predictable, can hide underlying permanence, can slow to a halt; not thinking that permanence and static are two different concepts, not thinking that permanence and impermanence are simply the two extremes of the same scale... Your focus on impermanence alone was simply naïve; you were not looking at the big picture.

And there is nothing naïve about believing that there is a real reality independent of observation. Are you naive wen you search your keys and say things like: "I know I had them when I came in, and now can't find them"? And guess what, most of the time you find them somewhere. They had not in actual fact disappeared while you were not observing them...

There’s nothing particularly novel and thought-provoking either about language being both a medium for exchange and a form of mental prison. Fresco has used the phrase "modern philosopher" to describe stuff put forward by Ferdinand de Saussure at the end of the 19th century, for heavens' sake. Poets have been cursing words about the impossibility to express the ineffable since there are poets… Whoever comes here and uses language to pontificate others about the limitations of language is either a fool or a charlatan. If words are useful to understand the world, then they are useful for everybody, and if they are not, then why are you talking???
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Tue 2 Jul, 2013 02:59 pm
@Olivier5,
amen a million times. Mr. Green
I especially like what you said,
Quote:
that permanence and impermanence are simply the two extremes of the same scale..
0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jul, 2013 02:59 pm
@Olivier5,
In a sentence:
Yes words do REALLY work ! (I suggest naive idealists go read what "work" stands for) Wink
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jul, 2013 03:01 pm
@igm,
Quote:
when the sun sets do you really believe that the same exact sun rises in the morning? It's temperature, size, luminosity, age, distance from earth etc. etc. have all changed and will never be the same again.

Allow me to pick on this example, because some things are better conveyed by example.

If is precisely because I believe it is the same sun raising the next morning, that I can say: this star is now one day older. If it was aother sun, it would be brand new. Likewise, if I was a new person every day, I couldn't say: I am one day older today. So in this simple example, you can see that change (growing older) is premised on permanence (the thing that grows older has to stay the same thing, or it's not growing older). And vice versa: the idea of permanence is premised on the possibility of change.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jul, 2013 03:59 pm
@Olivier5,
Olivier, I appreciate your desire to defend the "naive realist" because we are all naive ontologists in our everyday life. "Naive realism" is a technical term for the formal position that chooses not to question question normative categories. It is a position that assumes the descriptive categories of everyday thought are as far as one need go, that they are adquately "philosophical"when in fact they are merely eufunctionally "cultural". The discipline of philosophy looks beyond or, in the case of the later Wittgenstein, behind, the everyday use of the culturally-taken-for-granted as problematical. There's no need to defend anyone against that.
Your reminder that change and stasis are "simply two extremes of a single scale" misses my point. I see, and said somewhere, that polar extremes are purely conceptual devices by which to (impressionistically) gaugue degrees on hypothetical scales of grey. The "impermanence" I refer to is not so much one of the two extremes; it is a formulation that transcends all scales and poles. But that is something one cannot easily introduce to our intellectual debates (we tend to do that with regard to discussions of the limiations of absolutism and dualism). I suggested earlier that IMPERMANCE is an aspect of Buddhist "enlightenment", referring to a state of mind poised beyond all categories. It may be stupid of me to introduce this to our discussions because it is not useful to do so, but not because it is too advanced for our common folk, as you have accused me of thinking. Pardon my passive aggressiion but a passing anger tempts me to accuse you of failing to realize the naivete (and aggressiveness) of your own position . But I will not do so because it sounds too intellectually immodest and dishonest. Do you think you are seeing "the big picture?"
By the way, I otherwise appreciate the constructive sophistication of most of your posts.




Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jul, 2013 04:27 pm
@JLNobody,
You and anyone defending your position ought to explain what is transacted phenomenally if phenomena themselves did not form ontic categories and proceed from them...any subjective experience needs itself to be an objective circumscribed fact or the experiencer will end up in a fuzzy noise chaos where nothing boils to be nothing or manifests anything...you and your friends can write a bible saying otherwise it wont change a dime on what actually is the case.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jul, 2013 04:30 pm
@Olivier5,
Olivier, I do not know if Heraclitus actually said it this way but a person cannot step in the river twice both because the river and the person are always changing. Just because "I" remain the same category-being, JLN, that does not guarantee ontological persistence philosophically.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jul, 2013 04:34 pm
@JLNobody,
That's where reading too many philosophy books gets you confused about the simple reasoning of reality and life!

How many people think "I can't step into that river twice, because the water is different, and I'm now a few minutes older?"

I spent the day at the public pool for two hours, and enjoyed myself in the cool water.

You can try to interpret that any other way, but that's simple communication of a simple event. Who gives a dam, the water and I changed? Who?
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jul, 2013 04:35 pm
@Olivier5,
Quote:
Ontology is a fool’s errand, as we have no way of understanding the essence of things as they are.

...or maybe only a fool would think that is what ontology is about.
Quote:
Your focus on impermanence alone was simply naïve

...hardly naive when permanence was acknowledged as agreed continued functionality.
Quote:
not thinking that permanence and impermanence are simply the two extremes of the same scale..

....as measured by humans, the only measuring animal as far as we know.
Quote:
And there is nothing naïve about believing that there is a real reality independent of observation

....but only .if you don't commune with the transcendent idea that "observation" is always verbal and that "reality" is about the abstract persistence of words implying functional relationships, not things.

(Not a contribution....merely a riposte).
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jul, 2013 04:37 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
I don't think phenomena automatically form ontic categories; they always end up being what we ascribe to them, and that's the function of our cultures.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jul, 2013 04:40 pm
@fresco,
Olivier5 wrote, Quote:
Quote:
not thinking that permanence and impermanence are simply the two extremes of the same scale..


You responded,
Quote:
....as measured by humans, the only measuring animal as far as we know.


What more is needed for human perception, reality and communication?

Keep it simple; that way the majority of us reading this thread will understand what you're trying to talk about.

Not many "study" Philosophy.


0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jul, 2013 04:45 pm
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

Quote:
Ontology is a fool’s errand, as we have no way of understanding the essence of things as they are.

...or maybe only a fool would think that is what ontology is about.
Quote:
Your focus on impermanence alone was simply naïve

...hardly naive when permanence was acknowledged as agreed continued functionality.
Quote:
not thinking that permanence and impermanence are simply the two extremes of the same scale..

....as measured by humans, the only measuring animal as far as we know.
Quote:
And there is nothing naïve about believing that there is a real reality independent of observation

....but only .if you don't commune with the transcendent idea that "observation" is always verbal and that "reality" is about the abstract persistence of words implying functional relationships, not things.

(Not a contribution....merely a riposte).


Lemme riposte your riposte.

Why do you put so damn much emphasis on what humans think or consider about REALITY? Do you have that same inflated opinion of planet Earth in the grand scheme of things?

C'mon, Fresco. Get off it. Get ahead of all those guys you think have the answers.

The ideas, notions, considerations, and opinions of humans MAY impact on REALITY...but they may be of absolutely no significance whatsoever.

You are talking about considerations and descriptions of REALITY...as though that is REALITY.

That may not be.
0 Replies
 
tomr
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jul, 2013 04:53 pm
1)Do you think that the concept "objective reality" must exist for objective reality to exist?

A)If Yes to (1), and if all the things that find meaning from the concept no longer exist then reality no longer exists.

B)If Yes to (1), and if only you do not exist, then because you no longer find meaning in the concept reality, and you do not have access to other things that find meaning in the concept "reality" reality no longer exists for you.
_____________________
I think that without the concept "reality" there can be no reality. Because "there is a reality" is then a meaningless thing. Does an insect find meaning in the concept "reality"? I am guessing it does not here. If only an insect is left to observe the universe then does objective reality exist? I don't think it does because that concept does not exist anymore. Whatever the insect is observing, it is not reality. It maybe something else depending on the properties of an insects existence but it is not a concept in our sense. And a concept is only meaningful while it exists.

I take a general view of what a concept can be to a human being. It is any perception(s), thought(s), or any mental phenomenon combined in a specific way, and very recently in our history associated with a word or other identifying symbol (which is not necessary but typical).

A tree is a concept. It brings to my mind various images, a book called A Natural History of North American Trees, tactile sensations of bark and leaves, places I've been. But if I did not exist would that particular understanding exist? Maybe. Now imagine no one existed. Would trees still exist? Who just asked that question? Who just asked that question? etc... The concept and the question are gone.

When you are imagining an objective reality outside yourself you are invoking yourself in that process. No matter how general you are being or specific (I always imagine a bunch of white point particles surrounded by a white to black gradient halo on a black background for some reason.)

We can imagine that in our absense there is a reality outside us that still exists, but that is easy to do. Try thinking about all this one day when you don't exist.
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jul, 2013 05:33 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Quote:
I remember the first time when I visited Russia in 2000 when the staff on the riverboat we were on were serviced by professionals such as doctors, professors, and lawyers who were multilingual. They earned more working on those boats then the practicing of their profession. I visited again on a similar cruise from Moscow to St Petersberg in 2006, and the staff on the boat were multi-lingual college students.

Russia is a good example of resistance to change, and long-term survival of social structures in spite of wholesale change: the economic system isn't centrally-planned, communist and collectivist anymore as it moved rapidely to capitalism in the 90s, but the economy is now an oligarchy still controlled by the Kremlin... And the guy in that Kremlin is an ex-KGB general. The "system" has survived the revolution, and is hidding in plain sight, but with new clothes on. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose...

Note that permanence is in this case the subtle aspect of the ying-yang, and change the obvious one. It's often the other way round.

Quote:
Look at what's happening in China and India - but their real progress to achieve any semblance of a standard of living that matches the already developed countries will be very slow.

China is progressing with leaps and bounds. Have you travelled there lately? Interestingly for development theorists, India is lagging behind in spite of it being democratic and China not.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jul, 2013 05:40 pm
@JLNobody,
Quote:
I do not know if Heraclitus actually said it this way but a person cannot step in the river twice both because the river and the person are always changing. Just because "I" remain the same category-being, JLN, that does not guarantee ontological persistence philosophically.

Yes he did, and I think Heraclitus was wrong.

Let's start with your conceptualisation of "sameness", if you don't mind -- happy to cook one up later myself. But yours seems a bit confusing: what is for you "ontological persistence"?
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jul, 2013 05:44 pm
@Olivier5,
The big cities have shown the most development, but there are demonstrations against the government in the small villages of which there are thousands. In addition to all that, Beijing is a basket case of pollution, and all their rivers are polluted.

I have visited China three times, but most often in Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. Yes, I've seen the "leaps and bounds" growth in China, but many factories have also closed this past year, because demand in the US and Europe has dropped.

Their demographics is also a big problem; the aging of their population, and corruption. This is the result of their policy of only one child per family that resulted in infanticide, and there are not enough women vs men.

Quote:
Opinion: Corruption as China's top priority
By Jaime A. FlorCruz, CNN
updated 9:52 PM EST, Sun January 6, 2013

Beijing, China (CNN) -- China's new paramount leader, Xi Jinping, is making the fight against corruption his No. 1 mission.
In several speeches since he took over the reins of the Communist Party last November, he has warned that corruption could lead to "the collapse of the Party and the downfall of the state."
Xi sees corruption as a threat to the party's legitimacy.
He exhorted fellow leaders to learn from the experience of other countries where "corruption has played a big role in conflicts that grew over lengthy periods, and ... led to popular discontent, social unrest and the overthrow of the political power."
He did not mention names, but clearly he was referring to Libya, Egypt and other authoritarian and corrupt regimes that have been overthrown in the wake of the Arab Spring revolutions.
China corruption exposed online China in transition
Xi urged officials to "build a clean government, show self-discipline and restrain their relatives and associates."
0 Replies
 
 

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