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No Reality Outside Our Own Existence

 
 
David Henry
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 May, 2004 11:32 am
[quote="Steve (as 41oo)
gimme a sec to think on this David[/quote]

LOL....I recommend to anyone interested in the truth, that they at least aquaint themselves with objectivist epistemology and scan some of what we can call rational quantum views.

Just be aware that Objectivists{especially in my experience} will give you x amount of time to come round to their way of thinking before banning you or ignoring you as that's what their mentor Ayn Rand told the little darlings to do.
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David Henry
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 May, 2004 11:37 am
fresco wrote:
David Henry

The implication is that discussions of "reality" must rest on "coherence" not "logical validity", and that such "discussions" must pay particular regard to "language games" in the Wittgensteinian sense.


Not entirely sure what that means but obviously a logically valid conclusion reached using a flawed premise will be incoherent in the truth stakes.
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David Henry
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 May, 2004 11:57 am
Quote:
Furthermore, we can never establish that the entire world is sensible, since that is not a priori true. Thus, we are left with saying that all that is sensible is knowable through sense perception, and all that is insensible is knowable, if at all, solely through logic.


Joe.

Whatever we are going to know about the physical realm will be via our senses....we don't have to know it all in our lifetimes, we aren't omniscient, and as such NEED to factor in certainty as that which we know unless given reason to doubt, IOW, my certainty is truth, although I cannot physically deny reality and not suffer the consequences, so ultimately reality arbitrates truth to conscious beings.

Quote:
Frankly, I don't think Kant really cared one way or the other about noumena. Although he spent a good deal of time discussing them, he consistently maintained in the Critique of Pure Reason that we simply cannot know anything about them.


My many objectivist friends tell me that Kants positing of the noumena was positing a belief in the supernatural with the intent to uphold faith....now, as I'm sympathetic to the idea of a supernatural realm as a necessary inference to explain things otherwise unexplained, I don't have a problem with the notion of a noumenal/supernatural realm{same thing as far as I can tell}.

But my readings of criticisms of kant and the manner in which cosmology/Hawkings/the Quantum guru's conduct themselves forces me to agree with objectivists views that Plato initially and Kant lately are the influential figures that enable the quantum absurdities to exist by virtue of mathematical formalism{no physical referent, ie, abstract propagating more abstract and passing this off as the best science mankind can ever hope to achieve}

Quote:
If you define "all that exists" as "all that is sensible," then that's nothing more than question-begging.


If all that exists{within the physical realm} isn't knowable via the senses, how can it be known?
I'm not suggesting that anyone knows all of it NOW, only that whatever progress relating to knowledge of the physical realm will be via the senses as that's how we know reality.
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JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 May, 2004 12:15 pm
Very good discussion, and so far wonderfully civil. I guess I am both an objectivist (but not in the Ayn Randian sense, I hope) and an idealist in the neo-Kantian sense. I share with the Hindus a sense that there "must be" a Reality that transcends my (and my species') efforts to know in any absolute sense (this would refer, of coruse to Brahma--the Ultimately Real). This would correspond, I presume, to Kant's Noumena, which IS in itself, but IS NOT a part of our phenomenal or conceptual experience. At the same time, I also sense that MY world is constructed by me (as expression of the workings of my neurology, historical position, cultural conditioning, individual capacity for invention of culture and its transcendence, etc. etc.). It does not bother me a bit that we cannot "know" ultimate Reality, because in this sense "knowing" is attaining satisfying or useful answers to my questions. I cannot even form questions about Ultimate Reality, only my experienced world--but it is comforting to know that I AM that reality.
David Henry is presenting the objectivist perspective in a very interesting manner. His empiricist metaphysic is a real challenge to my idealist metaphysic. He puts it with refreshing clarity, that "Knowledge is the integration of our SENSE data, we use the tool of logic to do that...and our sense data is NEVER wrong, as reality is as it is...our interpretations might be incorrect or incoherent, but the sense data is always accurate as its reflection of nature as it is, nature/reality is never wrong, contains no contradictions."
It seems to me that the realm of logic and contradictions has, obviously, only relevance to our cognitive activities. Knowledge is, as DH notes, the logical integration of our sense data, which itself is never wrong. But this seems to ignore the phenomena of illusions (e.g., mirages) which are not in themselves errors, only to the extent that we do not recognize their true nature (e.g., mirages): a mirage is real--as a real mirage, but not a body of water. Sense data is philosophically/cognitively useless in itself. It is "data" only in its relevance to questions, as it were. The primacy here, it seems to me, is in the cognitive process. It defines the questions, it defines what is data and what is mere sensory noise. The "errors are contained," as DH correctly notes, "in the epistemology of humans", but so does the attainment of knowledge. We must always remember that Knowledge is a function of the Knower. Knowledge for humans is relevant only to humans, not to dogs, bugs, or gods.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 May, 2004 12:21 pm
David Henry wrote:
Whatever we are going to know about the physical realm will be via our senses....we don't have to know it all in our lifetimes, we aren't omniscient, and as such NEED to factor in certainty as that which we know unless given reason to doubt, IOW, my certainty is truth, although I cannot physically deny reality and not suffer the consequences, so ultimately reality arbitrates truth to conscious beings.

OK.

David Henry wrote:
My many objectivist friends tell me that Kants positing of the noumena was positing a belief in the supernatural with the intent to uphold faith....now, as I'm sympathetic to the idea of a supernatural realm as a necessary inference to explain things otherwise unexplained, I don't have a problem with the notion of a noumenal/supernatural realm{same thing as far as I can tell}.

You need to derive your understanding of Kant from a reading of Kant, not from the second-hand information that you get from your objectivist friends.

David Henry wrote:
But my readings of criticisms of kant and the manner in which cosmology/Hawkings/the Quantum guru's conduct themselves forces me to agree with objectivists views that Plato initially and Kant lately are the influential figures that enable the quantum absurdities to exist by virtue of mathematical formalism{no physical referent, ie, abstract propagating more abstract and passing this off as the best science mankind can ever hope to achieve}

Again, I admonish you: read Kant before you criticize Kant.

David Henry wrote:
If all that exists{within the physical realm} isn't knowable via the senses, how can it be known?

Kant would respond: "through logic."

David Henry wrote:
I'm not suggesting that anyone knows all of it NOW, only that whatever progress relating to knowledge of the physical realm will be via the senses as that's how we know reality.

OK.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 May, 2004 12:21 pm
David Henry,

The "meaning" of the quotation lies in the references above it. "Truth" doesn't come into it because "truth" is merely a probability value (1.0) within THAT language game. No reference to "facts" is implied which is another language game played by "naive realists"(etc)
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JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 May, 2004 01:09 pm
David Henry, I don't see the notion of the Noumena as necessarily a reference to the SUPERnatural. If anything, it refers to an INFRAnatural reality. The Randians ascribe religious attributes to the Noumena in order to discredit what is probably the biggest opposition to their naive realist position. Indeed, all of the great German Neo-Kantians oppose their metaphysic. The only way I can sympathize with the Randians' position here is the assumption that the Noumena cannot be known IN PRINCIPLE. Particle physics deals with a level of reality that cannot be observed directly, but can be known IN PRINCIPLE. Inferences from indirectly obtained empirical evidence are, nevertheless, no less "INFRA" than is Kant's noumena.

(edited)
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David Henry
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 May, 2004 09:37 am
Ladies and gentlemen.

Unless I'm mistaken, Kant says that the noumena is the external source of sense impressions and that phenomena is the sensation, ie, we only know of the phenomena{sensations} but don't directly access the noumena, although we must assume it's existence to explain our sensations.
If this accurate?
If it isn't, surely one of you kant fans can type a little paragraph correcting my interpretation.

It would seem reasonable to assume that any realm, no matter it's name, can be considered supernatural if it is beyond our perceptions.
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David Henry
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 May, 2004 09:45 am
Quote:
This would correspond, I presume, to Kant's Noumena, which IS in itself, but IS NOT a part of our phenomenal or conceptual experience.


JLN

I consider the supernatural as conceptual, that's the only way I can know it as I have no perceptual access to it...but it has conceptual validity, whereas you seem to be saying you know of a realm but have neither perceptual nor cognitive access to it.

If it isn't part of anyones phenomenal/conceptual experience, then it has no existence in any manner.
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David Henry
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 May, 2004 09:52 am
fresco wrote:
David Henry,

The "meaning" of the quotation lies in the references above it. "Truth" doesn't come into it because "truth" is merely a probability value (1.0) within THAT language game. No reference to "facts" is implied which is another language game played by "naive realists"(etc)


Huh?

It would seem to me there is one reality dictating a variety of mental constructions to those of differing levels of experience and intelligence, but ultimately, it will be the most intelligent/experienced who can "best" decipher the absolute truth that external reality exposes to us in non-contradictory form.
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rufio
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 May, 2004 11:15 am
The one thing I don't like about Ayn Rand is the whole elitism thing. But don't get that mixed up with the philosophy. And I have to say that JL's characterization of it as "naive realism" is an oxymoron.
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David Henry
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 May, 2004 11:20 am
rufio wrote:
The one thing I don't like about Ayn Rand is the whole elitism thing. But don't get that mixed up with the philosophy. And I have to say that JL's characterization of it as "naive realism" is an oxymoron.


Any Rand is not objectivism, she was just its most famous and persuasive intellectual...objectivism is a defined philosophy, you accept it tenets or you aren't a objectivist.

I've accepted some of its tenets as they made sense, so that makes me a worthless philosopher and white trash that should be banned for attempting to show the biased aspects of their philosophy to them.

I was banned from an Objectivist forum for telling the TRUTH!!
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rufio
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 May, 2004 11:32 am
I was banned from a forum too, and I was a moderator on that forum. Boo ******* hoo. I think you take the internet too seriously.

I don't try to claim to represent any "ism", but I like Ayn Rand, for the most part. Whatever you want to define as "objectivism" there are bound to be countless different versions of it elsewhere (so I guess it isn't "objective".... heh).

And what "truth" were you banned for telling? That Ayn Rand was elitest?
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David Henry
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 May, 2004 11:45 am
I was telling them the truth about Global warming...and this conflicted with their hardcore capitalistic mentalities.
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rufio
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 May, 2004 11:48 am
And global warming has what to do with objectivism or capitalism?
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David Henry
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 May, 2004 11:57 am
rufio
The truth about global warming shouldn't threaten any secure philosophical doctrine, therefore it's safe to assume that these "particular" group of objectvists were insane.

GW suggests that we reconsider whether endless growth in a finite and fragile biosphere makes sense anymore.
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rufio
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 May, 2004 12:07 pm
Global warming isn't a philosophy though. It's a state of the objective world that either is or isn't. If it is, it's perfectly objectivist to say so, and if it isn't, it's perfectly objectivist to say so. But no one knows one way or the other, so objectivism doesn't even come into it.
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David Henry
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 May, 2004 12:11 pm
rufio wrote:
Global warming isn't a philosophy though. It's a state of the objective world that either is or isn't. If it is, it's perfectly objectivist to say so, and if it isn't, it's perfectly objectivist to say so. But no one knows one way or the other, so objectivism doesn't even come into it.


Nahhhh, GW is a scientific issue, and I discussed it in THEIR science forum.
How would you know whether it's true or not?
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rufio
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 May, 2004 12:13 pm
We don't know, whether we're scientists or not. We only have knowledge, of, at most, the last 80 or so years. Meteorological data isn't neccessarily available or accurate for time out of memory. And even so, that's only the effects, not the cause. Until we know the cause, how can we predict the future based on a philosophy?
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David Henry
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 May, 2004 12:18 pm
rufio wrote:
We don't know, whether we're scientists or not. We only have knowledge, of, at most, the last 80 or so years. Meteorological data isn't neccessarily available or accurate for time out of memory. And even so, that's only the effects, not the cause. Until we know the cause, how can we predict the future based on a philosophy?


You're being illogical and ignoring the notion of the precautionary principle.
And the cause is the increase of co2 molecules entering the atmosphere and enhancing the internal climate mechanism known as the atmospheric composition.

If you have a superior quantifiable theory to over-rule our eixsting knowledge, then lets have it.
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