Are facts contingent with human existence?

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Molehe
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Are facts contingent with human existence?

Post by Molehe » October 13th, 2017, 10:42 am

I do not have any doubt that our knowledge about reality depends on time. We might not know about properties and charectristics of an object say "X" but later discover them by appealing to science as method of inquiry, for instance.

The question that knocks me off my chair is: "Does facts gathered so far depend on human existence ?

Your thought?

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Re: Are facts contingent with human existence?

Post by Steve3007 » October 13th, 2017, 1:17 pm

Does[sic] facts gathered so far depend on human existence?
I'm still on my chair right now, at least. What do you mean by this? Are you talking about not knowing for sure what happens before you're born? Something like that? Hard to tell.

I may yet fall off my chair once I understand the point you're trying to make.
"When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea." - Eric Cantona.

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Greta
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Re: Are facts contingent with human existence?

Post by Greta » October 13th, 2017, 5:04 pm

I am also still on my chair (cross legged like a bad yogi).

Given the billions of potentially habitable planets in the universe, facts probably are not contingent on human existence. Also, other social animals have their own facts - the water hole is over there, X is the dominant male, Y is next in line, A and B are sexually receptive females, etc.

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Molehe
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Re: Are facts contingent with human existence?

Post by Molehe » October 14th, 2017, 11:15 am

Thank you Steve. I am referring to facts we know. For instance: 'The sky is blue', '1+1=2', bachelor is unmarried man', etc.

Do these facts exist even if human beings cease to exist?

Thanks Greta for your input . Lets just consider human beings since I believe our scope of facts is much interesting and bigger. Let's suppose we as human beings annihilate. Will our facts remain?

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Re: Are facts contingent with human existence?

Post by Chili » October 14th, 2017, 7:48 pm

There are an infinite number of true statements. Not all have been explicitly known by any person. Certainly many are known and then later forgotten.
Here is just a start.

1+1 = 2
1+1+1 = 2+1
1+1+1+1 = 2+1+1

and so on to infinity. Are they true without people?

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Molehe
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Re: Are facts contingent with human existence?

Post by Molehe » October 15th, 2017, 3:54 pm

I think that the rules and laws of Algebra are not discovered facts but are rather invented. Simply because their use and applications pre-supposes and appeals to rational mind(s).

If people cease to exist I think these ideas will not flourish let alone their binary positions of whether they are true or :roll: false.

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Re: Are facts contingent with human existence?

Post by Gulnara » November 3rd, 2017, 8:51 pm

All the facts are tied up to human evolution and human condition at the time. There are also differences in facts as seen by different nations or ethnicities. People of China considered blue and green colors to be one color, they could not differenciate. Color blind people see colors differently. Blind people do not know what color is. Deaf people do not know what sound is. Baby in a womb does not know the world outside the womb. Breastfed baby does not know the taste of real food. Uneducated person does not know how to read or use computer. Facts are not distributed evenly among populations. Also, the world of information is full of false facts, of facts that become obsolete, outdated, changed. If facts would remain after humans are gone, then animals should be the once who will inherit them and understand them. This is not something that is going to happen. Animals run on drastically differents set of facts specific to their species.

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Re: Are facts contingent with human existence?

Post by Greta » November 4th, 2017, 12:05 am

Molehe wrote:Thank you Steve. I am referring to facts we know. For instance: 'The sky is blue', '1+1=2', bachelor is unmarried man', etc.

Do these facts exist even if human beings cease to exist?

Thanks Greta for your input . Lets just consider human beings since I believe our scope of facts is much interesting and bigger. Let's suppose we as human beings annihilate. Will our facts remain?
Oh, I think many human facts are about as prosaic as those of other animals. It's just that narrow band of knowledge pertaining to human adult experts, analysts and philosophers that interests you :)

There will be presumably other intelligent beings in other parts of the universe, so we humans won't have exclusive access to or creation of facts. Further, if humans all die out then if another intelligent species examined the Earth they could theoretically could uncover our knowledge via forensics.

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Re: Are facts contingent with human existence?

Post by Spectrum » November 4th, 2017, 12:33 am

Molehe wrote: "Does facts gathered so far depend on human existence ?
Your thought?
Your philosophical question is related to this philosophical issue, i.e.
Philosophical Realism versus Philosophical Anti-Realism.
Wiki wrote:Realism (in philosophy) about a given object is the view that this object exists in reality independently of our conceptual scheme. In philosophical terms, these objects are ontologically independent of someone's conceptual scheme, perceptions, linguistic practices, beliefs, etc.

Realism can be applied to many philosophically interesting objects and phenomena: other minds, the past or the future, universals, mathematical entities (such as natural numbers), moral categories, the physical world, and thought.

Realism can also be a view about the nature of reality in general, where it claims that the world exists independent of the mind, as opposed to anti-realist views (like some forms of skepticism and solipsism, which deny the existence of a mind-independent world). Philosophers who profess realism often claim that truth consists in a correspondence between cognitive representations and reality.[1]

Realists tend to believe that whatever we believe now is only an approximation of reality but that the accuracy and fullness of understanding can be improved.[2] In some contexts, realism is contrasted with idealism. Today it is more usually contrasted with anti-realism, for example in the philosophy of science.
I am with Philosophical Anti-Realism where facts gathered so far are interdependent with the human conditions. No humans mean no facts.
Greta wrote:Given the billions of potentially habitable planets in the universe, facts probably are not contingent on human existence. Also, other social animals have their own facts - the water hole is over there, X is the dominant male, Y is next in line, A and B are sexually receptive females, etc.
Point is the above statement of fact is conditioned by you [human] or any humans who agree with it.
Whatever the fact, ideas or opinion, we cannot take away the human factor.
If one [human] assert 'The moon preceded humanity' - this statement of fact has to be made by humans intersubjectively.
Therefore if there are no humans, there are no facts ultimately.

Reality is Spontaneous Emergent Reality where humans inherently are a part of.

As Wittgenstein stated,
"Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent." (Tractatus 7)

Absolute independent reality as in Philosophical Realism is a thing one cannot speak of with absolute certainty, thus one must be silent on such a principle.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: Are facts contingent with human existence?

Post by Steve3007 » November 4th, 2017, 4:37 am

Thank you Steve. I am referring to facts we know. For instance: 'The sky is blue', '1+1=2', bachelor is unmarried man', etc.

Do these facts exist even if human beings cease to exist?
This is a re-statement of the old "if a tree falls over in an empty forest does it make a noise?" classic.
"When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea." - Eric Cantona.

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Re: Are facts contingent with human existence?

Post by Consul » November 5th, 2017, 1:05 pm

It should be clarified first what a fact is:

1. fact1 =def actual or obtaining state of affairs (with "state of affairs" defined as "some thing's having a certain property, or two or more things' standing in a certain relation")

2. fact2 =def true proposition (statement/declarative sentence) (with "proposition" defined as "socially communicable and language-independent sentence-meaning")

3. fact3 =def known (true) proposition (piece of knowledge) [only true propositions ca be known!]

There is a fourth meaning of "fact" which gives philosophers and many linguists the creeps:

"Something believed to be true or real: a document laced with mistaken facts.

Usage Note: Since the word fact means "a real occurrence, something demonstrated to exist or known to have existed," the phrases true facts and real facts, as in The true facts of the case may never be known, would seem to be redundant. But "fact" has a long history of use in the sense of "an allegation of fact" or "something that is believed to be true," as in this remark by union leader Albert Shanker: "This tract was distributed to thousands of American teachers, but the facts and the reasoning are wrong." This usage has led to the notion of "incorrect facts," which causes qualms among critics who insist that facts must be true. The usages, however, are often helpful in making distinctions or adding emphasis."


https://www.ahdictionary.com/word/search.html?q=fact

– If "fact" is used in sense 1, the phrase "false/incorrect fact" is an ontological category mistake, since states of affairs are not the kind of things which (can) have a truth-value.

– If "fact" is used in sense 2 or 3, the phrase "false/incorrect fact" is a contradiction in terms, since there cannot be false true propositions or falsely known propositions. (To know a proposition is to know that it is true.)

So the only possible sense of "fact" in which "false/incorrect fact" is neither a category mistake nor self-contradictory is the following one:

4. fact4 =def (asserted/believed) proposition (with a proposition being a communicated sentence-meaning, a semantic message, a piece of semantic information)

A fact4 qua mere (communicated) proposition (or "thought" in Gottlob Frege's nonpsychological sense of the term) can certainly be false or incorrect.

As far as I'm concerned, I always hate it when "fact" is used in sense 4 (or misused, as I would say).



Now, as for the question of whether facts depend on (human) minds or languages:
Facts in sense 2, 3, or 4 depend on the existence of propositions; and propositions qua abstract sentence-meanings (semantic messages or contents) are arguably both mind- and language-dependent.

Note that by "language-dependent" I mean "generically language-dependent", i.e. "dependent on the existence of languages", rather than "rigidly language-dependent", i.e. "dependent on some particular language". For one and the same proposition is expressible by different sentences belonging to the same language or to different languages. That is, a proposition is differently expressible both intralinguistically and interlinguistically.

Also note that to say that facts2 = true propositions (truths) are mind- and (generically) language-dependent because propositions are is merely to say that true propositions depend for their existence on minds and languages. It is not to say that they depend for their truth on mental attitudes or beliefs, or that truth is a "social construction".

Facts1 qua states of affairs are mind- and language-independent—unless, of course, the facts1 in question are psychological, sociological, or linguistic states of affairs constituted by mental, social, or linguistic entities. But natural facts1, the ones constituting the subject matter of natural science, are mind- and language-independent.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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