How do you define God and Self?

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Fooloso4
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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Fooloso4 » February 24th, 2018, 7:51 pm

T:
I would say that the 'I', being “metaphysical”, point-like, without internal properties ...
I know of no such ‘I’, nor do I see any reason to think that there is any such a thing.
I tend to disagree with W. on the transcendental nature of ethics and its independence of facts.
So do I. I think that W. too came to see things differently.
what we are as experiencing subjects is the clue and essence of everything there is
I think that what we are as experiencing subjects is the clue and essence of everything there is for us. I do not think humans so important that the very existence of what is depends on us.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Tamminen » February 25th, 2018, 5:13 am

Fooloso4 wrote:
February 24th, 2018, 7:51 pm
I know of no such ‘I’, nor do I see any reason to think that there is any such a thing.
I think Wittgenstein was a bit metaphorical about this and spoke of the transcendental precondition of there being a world, because "the world is my world", and I think he was right here. Of course there is no "thing" called 'I'.
I think that what we are as experiencing subjects is the clue and essence of everything there is for us. I do not think humans so important that the very existence of what is depends on us.
Here I disagree. But it is not only humans that are necessary for the being of what is, but the being of subjectivity in general. I think Wittgenstein was right on this.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Tamminen » February 25th, 2018, 9:31 am

Fooloso4:
Here we come to the crux of both ontology and epistemology, or, to put it differently, it is here that we see that ontology must be epistemology. Someone might argue that ontology is about what is and epistemology about what we know, but what we say about what is cannot be separated from what we know about what is (‘know’ in the sense of what we take to true based on other things we take to be true).

I think Parmenides is correct in that we cannot separate being from thinking, but we should not conclude that there is any necessary connection between what we think or say and what is.
What is can always be taken as various ways, it is not transparent in this sense. That is why there is such a thing as science. What is transcends what we know. The world is transcendent. Ontology, if it does not coincide with epistemic idealism, recognizes this. But ontological idealism is not in conflict with epistemic realism. Even if there is something we never know, it is there in relation to a subject that experiences something here and now. It is outside of this “here and now”, but this “here and now”, this present experience must exist for there to be something outside of it.

We are individual subjects and we are not eternal, so the world is independent of our personal existence, but its being depends on the present experience of a subject, whoever or whatever that subject happens to be. I have used the terms 'subjectivity' and 'the subject' as synonyms to denote the experiencer as opposed to an individual, empirical subject with this particular body and these particular memories, and it is on this subjectivity that the being of the world depends on, not on me as an individual person.

And if we like going into metaphysical speculation, as I do, we can think of what connects individual subjects to subjectivity in general and to each other. But that is another story.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Fooloso4 » February 25th, 2018, 11:24 am

T:
I think Wittgenstein was a bit metaphorical about this and spoke of the transcendental precondition of there being a world, because "the world is my world", and I think he was right here.
The transcendental condition of there being a world, according to the early W. is logic. The transcendental condition of my world is the ‘I’. The world is my world does not mean that I am the transcendental condition for there being the facts that are the world. It means that my relationship to the world is as my world/my life.
Of course there is no "thing" called 'I'.
The metaphysical ‘I’ describes my relationship to the world, which, in accord with this relationship, is my world. The ‘I’ is not “point-like” and does not lack “internal properties”. A point-like ‘I’ without internal properties lacks will and cannot see or picture or experience the world or discover meaning. It is not “the permanent reference point of the world” but rather a temporal reference point that is able to see the world sub specie aeternitatis.
But it is not only humans that are necessary for the being of what is, but the being of subjectivity in general. I think Wittgenstein was right on this.
Wittgenstein is quite clear that logic is the condition of the world and that the world is the logical arrangement and interaction of simples, neither of which is dependent on subjectivity.
Even if there is something we never know, it is there in relation to a subject that experiences something here and now.


I would say that a relationship is established if and only if a subject is aware of the existence of the thing. There may, however, be things that we will never become aware of, things that cannot be experienced because of the limits of our natural senses and our instruments of perception. The same limits apply to any other subject, unless you are claiming that there is an omniscient subject. I see no reason to assume that there must be a subject capable of such an experience, and so, no reason to claim that there is a relationship between things that will never be known and subjects who will never know them.
We are individual subjects and we are not eternal, so the world is independent of our personal existence, but its being depends on the present experience of a subject
If you define ‘being’ as that which is experienced, then it follows that being depends on a subject, but then ‘being’ no longer means what is. Or are you claiming that only what is experienced is, and that there is nothing that has not been experienced by some subject?
I have used the terms 'subjectivity' and 'the subject' as synonyms to denote the experiencer as opposed to an individual, empirical subject with this particular body and these particular memories, and it is on this subjectivity that the being of the world depends on, not on me as an individual person.
There is no experiencer in distinction from someone who experiences and whose experiencing is dependent on the particulars of the individual’s way of experiencing.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Tamminen » February 25th, 2018, 11:51 am

Fooloso4:
There is, in my opinion, no “logos” in us, no independent realm of truth which guides us and to which we can appeal.
By logos I mean our immanent ability to make sense of our existence and the world around us. Science can only produce facts and put them into a logical framework, although it belongs to the same ability. But, as Wittgenstein says in Tractatus:
6.52 We feel that even if all possible scientific questions be answered,
the problems of life have still not been touched at all. Of course
there is then no question left, and just this is the answer.
Science cannot help us understand our existence: why are we here, why is there a world at all, what is consciousness and so on. I do not know if 'logos' is the proper concept here, but I mean something that gives us transparency of our existence so that we end up seeing that our being in the world does not need an explanation any more. Reality is causa sui.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Tamminen » February 25th, 2018, 2:34 pm

Fooloso4:
The transcendental condition of there being a world, according to the early W. is logic. The transcendental condition of my world is the ‘I’. The world is my world does not mean that I am the transcendental condition for there being the facts that are the world. It means that my relationship to the world is as my world/my life.
But it is absurd to think of a world with its logic without an 'I'. And W. says that logic does not precede the “what”, only the “how”. And how can there be logic without the subject?
The metaphysical ‘I’ describes my relationship to the world, which, in accord with this relationship, is my world. The ‘I’ is not “point-like” and does not lack “internal properties”. A point-like ‘I’ without internal properties lacks will and cannot see or picture or experience the world or discover meaning. It is not “the permanent reference point of the world” but rather a temporal reference point that is able to see the world sub specie aeternitatis.
However:
5.64 Here we see that solipsism strictly carried out coincides with
pure realism. The I in solipsism shrinks to an extensionless
point
and there remains the reality co-ordinated with it.
5.641 There is therefore really a sense in which in philosophy we can
talk of a non-psychological I.
The I occurs in philosophy through the fact that the “world
is my world”.
The philosophical I is not the man, not the human body or
the human soul of which psychology treats, but the metaphysical
subject, the limit—not a part of the world.
Fooloso4:
I would say that a relationship is established if and only if a subject is aware of the existence of the thing...
...no reason to claim that there is a relationship between things that will never be known and subjects who will never know them.
My ontological standpoint is that the being of the subject is fundamental and that the subject manifests itself as individual subjects. And an individual subject need not be aware of everything for there being the basic subject-object relation.
There is no experiencer in distinction from someone who experiences and whose experiencing is dependent on the particulars of the individual’s way of experiencing.
I think the word 'I' denotes two things: an individual, empirical subject and the transcendental subject that only happens to be this empirical subject.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Tamminen » February 25th, 2018, 5:26 pm

Fooloso4 wrote:
February 25th, 2018, 11:24 am
Wittgenstein is quite clear that logic is the condition of the world and that the world is the logical arrangement and interaction of simples, neither of which is dependent on subjectivity.
I interpret W. so that the world is there with its logic and always with an 'I' whose world it is. So it is independent of some particular empirical subject but depends on subjectivity because the world is always my world, whoever that 'I' happens to be. The being of the world, the being of logic and the being of the metaphysical subject are equiprimordial.
If you define ‘being’ as that which is experienced, then it follows that being depends on a subject, but then ‘being’ no longer means what is. Or are you claiming that only what is experienced is, and that there is nothing that has not been experienced by some subject?
No, the world is transcendent and some parts or features of it may remain unknown for ever, but even if they remain unknown, they remain unknown for immanence, for subjectivity, for us, whoever is experiencing something in the world. A universe without subjects who bring meaning to it would be something that is impossible to think about without contradicting oneself. Its impossibility can be proved with reductio ad absurdum.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Fooloso4 » February 25th, 2018, 7:07 pm

T:
By logos I mean our immanent ability to make sense of our existence and the world around us.
There are various ways in which we can make sense of our existence and the world around us.
Science cannot help us understand our existence: why are we here, why is there a world at all, what is consciousness and so on.
We may create various stories as to why we are here or why there is a world at all, but they are only stories. When we accept a story we fool ourselves if we think we have gained understanding. The question of consciousness, is, I think, a different kind of question, one that may yield to scientific inquiry; but, of course, this may depend on what one thinks consciousness is, whether it requires an organism that is sufficiently developed to be conscious or if consciousness is a fundamental property of the universe. And this in turn has bearing on the question of the subject.
I mean something that gives us transparency of our existence so that we end up seeing that our being in the world does not need an explanation any more. Reality is causa sui.
One might think an explanation is no longer needed because we now have that explanation (causa sui) or because such questions are about something that stands outside the logical nexus of explanation. Is causa sui an explanation or is just a way of saying that things are as they are without anything above or beyond, without anything transcendent being the cause?
But it is absurd to think of a world with its logic without an 'I'.
It is self-contradictory. To think requires a thinker. There is, however, no logical contradiction in a world without an ‘I’, no logical necessity that there be an ‘I’.
And how can there be logic without the subject?
The subject is only needed to provide a picture, that is, to represent the logical relations that exist between facts. Those relations are not the result of the subject who represents them in language.
The philosophical I is not the man, not the human body or the human soul of which psychology treats, but the metaphysical subject, the limit—not a part of the world.
The metaphysical subject is an abstraction. A way of describing the relationship between me and the world. It is like the analogy of the eye. The eye that sees is not the eye that can be seen. It is the difference between seeing and what is seen.

Wittgenstein:
The I in solipsism shrinks to an extensionless point and there remains the reality co-ordinated with it.
What is at issue here is that the I and world form a coordinate reality.

Wittgenstein:
The I occurs in philosophy through the fact that the “world is my world”.
In solipsism “strictly carried out” the ‘I’ recedes and what remains is my world. In the Investigations he says:
Only of a living human being and what resembles (behaves like) a living human being can one say: it has sensations; it sees; is blind; hears; is deaf; is conscious or unconscious. (281).
To what extent this is a departure from the Tractatus must be viewed in light of the changes in his understanding of language, privacy, and intersubjectivity. In any case, I do not see what he says as support for your claim that the subject manifests itself in the individual subject.
I think the word 'I' denotes two things: an individual, empirical subject and the transcendental subject that only happens to be this empirical subject.
I agree that the metaphysical or transcendental subject is not an individual, but not with the distinction between the empirical subject and the transcendental subject. There is no empirical subject. Fooloso4 and Tamminen are not empirical subjects, although we can be empirical objects.
The subject is transcendental in the Kantian sense, that is, part of the condition that makes possible my world.

Wittgenstein says:
Ethics must be a condition of the world, like logic.
It is through the actions of my will my world comes to be as it is for me. The ‘I’ does not make empiricism possible, logic does. Logic is the structure that underlie both what exists in the world and empiricism.

T:
I interpret W. so that the world is there with its logic and always with an 'I' whose world it is. So it is independent of some particular empirical subject but depends on subjectivity because the world is always my world, whoever that 'I' happens to be. The being of the world, the being of logic and the being of the metaphysical subject are equiprimordial.
That the world is always my world is true only for subjects and only with regard to the meaning of the world. Wittgenstein does not posit hypothetical subjects for whom the world would still be their world even if there were no humans or human like creatures. He does not rule out a lifeless world without subjects as illogical, only it is not what is the case.
The facts in logical space are the world (T 1.13)
The metaphysical ‘I’ is not a fact and is not in logical space. The metaphysical 'I' is in ethical space.
What is the case, the fact, is the existence of atomic facts. (2)
The totality of existent atomic facts is the world.(2.04)
The existence and non-existence of atomic facts is the reality. (2.06)
The total reality is the world (2.063)
T:
A universe without subjects who bring meaning to it would be something that is impossible to think about without contradicting oneself.
A world without subjects is meaningless but not contradictory. The contradiction lies only in the fact that it is impossible to think without a subject that thinks. There is nothing logically impossible about a meaningless world. We cannot posit a world without subjects because we are subjects. We have no evidence or reason to conclude, however, that because we are subjects that the metaphysical 'I' is primordial. Subjectivity may be the exception, an anomaly, or something that occurs in some places but not others.
Its impossibility can be proved with reductio ad absurdum.
Please demonstrate.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Namelesss » February 25th, 2018, 11:23 pm

StayCurious wrote:
January 11th, 2018, 6:52 pm
How do you define God and Self?
It is not possible to 'define' (bind, limit into the world of thought/duality) that which is transcendental.
One can say that We are 'ALL inclusive, One, Omni-, no 'other', Universal, Nature, Consciousness, Mind, etc... None is a 'definition.
To even speak/think is to lie! Thus, no 'definition' (and because there is no 'context', nothing separating 'this' from 'that')!

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Tamminen » February 26th, 2018, 5:54 am

Fooloso4:
There is no empirical subject.
I agree that there is no separate empirical subject, only a manifestation of the transcendental subject which happens to have this body and these memories. I think memory is the crucial phenomenon that defines an individual.
He does not rule out a lifeless world without subjects as illogical, only it is not what is the case.
I rule it out, and I am not sure if this was not the case for W. also. There may be different interpretations of what he thought.
The metaphysical ‘I’ is not a fact and is not in logical space. The metaphysical 'I' is in ethical space.
My view is: the 'I' is in no space at all, because it is transcendental, but it is always there as an ontological precondition of the being of the world. And here I do not appeal to W.
Please demonstrate.
I expected this. For me it is self-evident and can be seen a priori in a phenomenological intuition, but difficult to express with words. I will come back to this.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Tamminen » February 26th, 2018, 8:59 am

Fooloso4:
Subjectivity may be the exception, an anomaly, or something that occurs in some places but not others.
When Wittgenstein says that the world is my world and logic is the precondition of the being of the world for me, he describes the concrete reality. If he had said that there is a world and logic is the precondition of its being, that would have been an abstraction. The world in itself is an abstraction, a prejudice of materialism. The concrete reality is my existence in the world or, if we bring intersubjectivity to the expression, our being in the world. If we remove the 'my' or 'our', nothing is left. Here is the absurdum. But I guess this does not satisfy you.

Here is a fragment from one of my earlier posts:
If by the world we mean the one and only universe there is, then the following syllogism should be valid:

1. To speak about the world, you must be in the world.
2. You cannot be in a world with no subjects.
3. Therefore you cannot say anything about a world with no subjects, not even that such a world is possible or impossible.

So, as I said earlier, a world without subjects vanishes away, loses all logic, and the "concept" of it becomes an absurdity when we try to think about it. But what can we infer from a reductio ad absurdum?
We must see the depth of this sentence from Tractatus:
6.431 As in death, too, the world does not change, but ceases.
Note that he does not say “...ceases for me”.

This is a fragment of my own text from the topic “What is being?”
That there cannot be an end of my existence, can be proved as follows:

1. If I did not exist, there would be nothing.
2. There is something, also after my death.
3. Therefore my nonexistence is impossible, also after my death.

As to the first premise: the existence of the world is put into "brackets", which is a common method in phenomenology. Then a question is asked: "What would be the state of the world if I did not exist?" And the answer is: "It would not exist, either." This is the key point. So in the first premise we ignore the obvious fact that the world will exist also after my death, which is expressed in the second premise. We are in front of a paradox, and the solution of the paradox is the conclusion attained in sentence 3 of the syllogism. Therefore we must make a distinction between the empirical subject and the transcendental Subject. The empirical, individual subject will vanish away, but the transcendental, metaphysical, absolute Subject is eternal. And all individual subjects are manifestations of this absolute Subject. It migrates through all of us.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Tamminen » February 26th, 2018, 11:00 am

To sum up: The world is transcendent. Transcendence is transcendence for us. Belief in transcendence in itself has no justification, because we are not in a position to say anything about it.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Hereandnow » February 26th, 2018, 11:51 am

fooloso4:
The ‘arete’ or excellence of a man is tied to a notion of human nature. Arete is the realization or actualization of man’s nature, to be what it is capable of being. Arete is often translated as virtue, but this should be heard in the sense of power, as in, when we say that it is by virtue of what something is that something is done or results, for example, it is by virtue of its flexibility that the tree does not snap in the wind.

I think it is possible to reject the notion of a fixed human nature and still retain the notion of arete or human excellence, only what we regard as human arete cannot be measured objectively against a fixed standard. We cannot say that he is a good man because he has realized/actualized the potential of human nature.
Right, that was what began the discussion. But this notion of arete is about people, knives and automobiles and their particular excellence which is contingent on observable properties puts the "good' of the thing within some given body contingency. The question here is is this a proper way to describe the ethical good? Put human nature out the thinking on this, because such terms cloud the issue when they are introduced without taking the matter of value as such up first.
I think that value like meaning is contingent. The sharp knife is valued because it does what we want it to do. The dull knife may also be valued because it does what we want it to do. The meaning of something is not limited to its utility. Its meaning may lie its significance, its importance, its value. On the other hand, its value may be tied to but is not limited to its utility.
I presume that when you say the meaning of something is not limited to its utility, you are referring to the pains and joys of some given affair. And you do want to make them into a single unit: the doing or making and the value. I never thought otherwise, but I give analysis to a part of this which is outside contingency, and this is the "goodness" and "badness" of value as such. My claim is that this is presence in human affairs of an absolute, as is argued above.
Value “as such” does not exist apart from valuation. The sharp knife loses its value if it becomes a stage prop and regains it when it is used to make lunch.It may, however, be valued for other reasons, for its significance, its importance, its meaning. It may be a family heirloom or previously owned by someone famous or was a gift from someone special. In this sense it may be more than just a knife, more valued than a higher quality knife.
But once the sharp knife's sharpness is no longer a virtue, we can see the sharpness altogether removed as an excellence. All things are like this, language is like this: a tool, the excellence of which varies according to circumstance (notwithstanding standard use). This is what contingency is about. Ethical goodness/badness is very difference for value is very different. Unlike sharpness as a virtue that is observed and appreciated according to utility, the value it is attached to is indeed fixed: the sharp knife in the chef's hand cuts the food well, and this brings a certain, albeit ordinary, pleasure to the chef. The chef may be processing stolen meat for the market and his position rendered ethically wrong thereby, but the good of the feeling is untouched. Frankly, it seems to me all goods are reducible to this kind of analysis, for all arete is grounded in instrumentality, and this begs the "instrument for what" question. At root, it is for some unassailable value.
am with Nietzsche and the revaluation of all values. We are, he says, esteemers. What has value is what we esteem. We all seek what is good, but there is no form “the good” by which we can measure what truly is and is not good. This is something we must work out by our own lights in the darkness.
One does have to put aside Plato's FOG, I think, and all other comers that would crowd the issue. The measure of the ethical good is in the pudding: the delights, the mmm's and ugh's; a splinter that goes deep hurts like hell. It has great utility as it teaches us to be careful about old wood, but this changes not one whit the nature of the pain as such.

I take this very seriously because the question that should haunt philosophical investigation across the board is, what is that? What is value? These flames licking the heretic's feet and the horrible sensation, the thrill of Celtic music, and so on. Evolution cannot say because this is an empirical science and value is a given presupposed by such inquiry.

Esteeming is question begging: Why is esteeming important?

A value-free existence would be one in which nothing is valued. Value is not something inherent in anything or everything that exists. There is value because we hold things to be of value, and there are various reasons why we may value them.I do not think that value is something that imposes itself on us.
Value is to experience as color is to a dot (to borrow Wittgenstein's example): one cannot think of experience without thinking of value. Such a thought would not be about a person. Caring is an integral part of being here, and it attends even the minutia of events. And caring is not caring without value. As I walk, blink my eyes, settle on some train of thought: value is part of it all, of utility, and language and thought are utilities.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Fooloso4 » February 26th, 2018, 1:09 pm

HAN:
The question here is is this a proper way to describe the ethical good?
I think Aristotle’s Ethics is the most comprehensive approach. In my opinion, the question of the good life should be foremost, and any answers provisional and limited. The question guides the examined life.
I presume that when you say the meaning of something is not limited to its utility, you are referring to the pains and joys of some given affair.
Pleasure and pain are a factor. It has to do also with our connectedness to it, with how it compels us, with its mattering.
I give analysis to a part of this which is outside contingency, and this is the "goodness" and "badness" of value as such.
Goodness and badness are, in my opinion, an assignment of value.
all arete is grounded in instrumentality
What is health good for? Is it for some end other than being healthy?
Esteeming is question begging: Why is esteeming important?
Why is it important that we value? What is the value of valuing?
…value is part of it all, of utility …
I think it is the other way around, utility is a part of value. I do not value my relationships with family and friends because they have proven to be of use. I do not study philosophy because of its utility. Perhaps Plato is right, that it is all a matter of desire, although we all desire what is good, what is good is not whatever it is we desire.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Hereandnow » February 26th, 2018, 1:52 pm

fooloso4
I know of no such ‘I’, nor do I see any reason to think that there is any such a thing.
I take, as you can gather, value-in-the-world to be what makes for truly foundational philosophy.

When analysis turns to reason and its function, its utility, its transcendental grounding, its overarching presence, I ask, Who Cares? None of these makes a single difference without the caring its concomitant value. Value is omnipresent in human experience; in indeed, one can make the case that affirming a world wtihout value would be pure metaphysics: it's never been witnessed.

As to the 'I': Having said this, it is, I have said, the extreme cases that are the most revealing. When hedonic calculator goes off the scale, as it has done countless times for people and animals, one is compelled to acknowledge agency: it is a Who that receives this. This is established by the understanding that neither the mere locality of an event like this, nor the great Wittgenstinian "book of all facts" can sufficiently account for the phenomenon of the pain being to one person, and that person suffering.

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