18
   

A limit to understanding ?

 
 
dalehileman
 
  0  
Reply Thu 28 Nov, 2013 05:24 pm
@spendius,
Indeed Spend we males are losing our dominance, our principal job today to provide sperm and carry heavy objects. The former may become unnecessary with the development of new means of preservation

Quote:
…...a cultural echo of when it was fun.

……. and the latter when they learn about machinery
spendius
 
  0  
Reply Thu 28 Nov, 2013 06:15 pm
@dalehileman,
I don't think so. It only looks like it to anybody who watches too much TV or takes it too seriously.
0 Replies
 
Jpsy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Dec, 2013 01:47 am
@fresco,
Wikipedia sums up Wittgenstein's ideas on "A limit to understanding" quite well:

"An aim of the Tractatus is to reveal the relationship between language and the world: what can be said about it, and what can only be shown. Wittgenstein argues that language has an underlying logical structure, a structure that provides the limits of what can be said meaningfully, and therefore the limits of what can be thought. The limits of language, for Wittgenstein, are the limits of philosophy. Much of philosophy involves attempts to say the unsayable: "what we can say at all can be said clearly", he argues. Anything beyond that—religion, ethics, aesthetics, the mystical—cannot be discussed. They are not in themselves nonsensical, but any statement about them must be.[111] He wrote in the preface: "The book will, therefore, draw a limit to thinking, or rather—not to thinking, but to the expression of thoughts; for, in order to draw a limit to thinking we should have to be able to think both sides of this limit (we should therefore have to be able to think what cannot be thought)."[112]"

I disagree with him somewhat. Although many do not like evolutionary psychology, because of its implications, I think it really shines a light on how and why we evolved a moral faculty. I do, however, agree that the underlying logical structure of language puts a limit on what can be thought and understood. I would consider getting his book, but I heard it is almost impossible to understand.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Dec, 2013 02:04 am
@Jpsy,
Yes. The Wittgenstein "limits" quote does come from his Tractatus , However he rejected the bulk of its thesis (about logical positivism) in a reversal of his thinking in his later Philosophical Investigations. I suggest you refer to Rorty Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature if you wish to understand recent views on the philosophy of language including those of Wittgenstein.
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Dec, 2013 12:44 pm
@Jpsy,
Quote:
a structure that provides the limits of what can be said meaningfully, and therefore the limits of what can be thought
….a dualistic structure necessarily drawing hard line between the concrete and the abstract, preventing the realization that nothing is entirely anything…….thereby reducing Her existence or non- to a matter of semantics
0 Replies
 
Rickoshay75
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2014 06:57 pm
@fresco,
Put crudely, the Big Bang model implies that all of what we conceive of as material, energy, and even space-time suddenly appeared in what we measure as about 13 billion years ago.

Basing your life on theory will not help your knowledge, much better to learn things you can see and feel.
0 Replies
 
Romeo Fabulini
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2014 07:07 pm
Scientists also disagree with each other and sometimes re-write their textbooks according to the flavour of the month. For example for many years they told us the universe was expanding, and that the rate of expansion was decelerating under the effect of mutual gravitational attraction.
Now many are telling us it's NOT slowing down and that it's rate of expansion is accelerating!
And in one of Prof Stephen Hawking's books he says something like- "I've been wrong in the past but I find the best thing to do is to admit my mistake and move on"
The moral- we can't always look to scientists to give us an accurate picture..
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jan, 2014 01:01 am
@Romeo Fabulini,
"Accuracy" means successful description and prediction for particular purposes. Nothing more.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jan, 2014 04:38 am
@fresco,
What happens when scientists pull the wool over our eyes deliberately for a particular purpose and it works?
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jan, 2014 06:09 am
@Romeo Fabulini,
Science - proof without certainty
Religion - certainty without proof
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jan, 2014 06:31 am
@spendius,
The word "successfully" renders the concept of " deceit" irrelevant. The implication is that there are different descriptions for different purposes. "Success" is a function of social consensus or paradigmatic "goodness of fit".
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jan, 2014 07:04 am
@fresco,
Quote:
"Success" is a function of social consensus or paradigmatic "goodness of fit".


How is it measured?
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jan, 2014 07:21 am
@spendius,
Quote:
What happens when scientists pull the wool over our eyes deliberately for a particular purpose and it works?

A scientific hoax.
0 Replies
 
Romeo Fabulini
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jan, 2014 09:25 am
Dawkins is one of the biggest hoaxers around, for example he says the retina is badly designed because it's "back to front", and he CONTINUES to say it even though other scientists have pointed out his mistake as below-
"The idea that the eye is wired backward comes from a lack of knowledge of eye function and anatomy.
If the photoreceptors were not in contact with the choroid, as per the ‘superior’ design of Dawkins et al., they could not be regenerated efficiently.
Thus it would probably take months before we could drive if we were photographed with a flashbulb, as another ophthalmologist, Joseph Calkins, points out"
http://creation.com/book-review-of-dawkins-climbing-mount-improbable
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jan, 2014 09:53 am
@spendius,
Quote:
Man is the measure of all things

Protagoras circa450 BC
...and that includes what constitutes "a thing".
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jan, 2014 11:34 am
@Romeo Fabulini,
I don't know the specifics of that case, but anyone who is not a die-in-the-wool specialist should know better than point at any biological structure and start criticizing it from a 'design' view point. Even specialists won't feel comfortable doing so.
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jan, 2014 11:44 am
@fresco,
So it comes down to who or what has engineered the consensus?
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jan, 2014 11:56 am
@fresco,
Quote:
suggesting that the quest for a ToE (Theory of Everything) is futile
Fres no offense but such a negative approach might discourage research and speculation of all sorts. The Big Bang is an early approach to such theory, while others have extended its contemplation to suggest a Big Crunch to account for the permanence of Her existence in one form or another as a cyclic phenom; while recent discoveries involving interdependence of the constants hint at a sort of necessity to account for the basic fact of existence

Quote:
Wittgenstein's comment "the limits of my language are the limits of my world"
At present indeed its paucity and duality limit the scope of our conjecture. As Tim says,

Quote:
Did it ever happened to you to have some thoughts that were so different from your language scope that you could never formalize them?
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jan, 2014 12:35 pm
@spendius,
Quote:
So it comes down to who or what has engineered the consensus?

Who, not what . The "what" is defined by the "who".
But "engineered" implies intent. I don't think we can apply the word "intent" to social processes without being accused of confusing psychology with sociology.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jan, 2014 12:53 pm
@dalehileman,
The quest for a TOE is likely to give rise to potentially useful data irrespective of the viability of the goal. Is there not a saying to the effect "the journey is more important than the destination" ?

As for the relationship between "language" and "thought" some researchers (Sapir and Whorf) have argued that they are inextricable. And even if we extend the concept of language to include the metalanguage of mathematics, some researchers (Lakoff and Nunez) argue that the substrate (semantic domain) for all mathematics is the interaction of the human body with what we call "the world".

In short, it may be that we can never epistemologically transcend the limits of our physiology/neurology.
 

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