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Dismantle syndrome

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Whitedragon
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Dismantle syndrome

Post by Whitedragon » November 19th, 2018, 5:54 am

When we study the universe, "take it apart," we gain a better understanding of the things around us and how to influence them. Yet, the moment we manage to take something apart and understand it, we for some reason think that's it. We name things according to our understanding and think we own it somehow. Though, when we look at simple things, or at least I, I still have to admit "I don't know what that is." Despite all our knowledge about a matter can we truly say what something is just by dismantling it? Hence the term "Dismantle Syndrome."

Do we suffer from this, excluding all other possible alternatives, due to our subjective perception? Can we truly say we know something?
We are a frozen spirit; our thoughts a cloud of droplets; different oceans and ages brood inside – where spirit sublimates. To some our words, an acid rain, to some it is too pure, to some infectious, to some a cure.

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Re: Dismantle syndrome

Post by Steve3007 » November 19th, 2018, 5:59 am

I think a more common term for what you're calling "Dismantle syndrome" is Reductionism. The complexity of the world makes it essential as a tool for understanding. But, as you've said, it has its drawbacks for systems that can't simply be viewed as the sum of their constituent parts.

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Whitedragon
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Re: Dismantle syndrome

Post by Whitedragon » November 19th, 2018, 6:03 am

Steve3007 wrote:
November 19th, 2018, 5:59 am
I think a more common term for what you're calling "Dismantle syndrome" is Reductionism. The complexity of the world makes it essential as a tool for understanding. But, as you've said, it has its drawbacks for systems that can't simply be viewed as the sum of their constituent parts.
So should we be more open-minded then?
We are a frozen spirit; our thoughts a cloud of droplets; different oceans and ages brood inside – where spirit sublimates. To some our words, an acid rain, to some it is too pure, to some infectious, to some a cure.

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Re: Dismantle syndrome

Post by Steve3007 » November 19th, 2018, 8:57 am

Open-minded about what?

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Re: Dismantle syndrome

Post by Fooloso4 » November 19th, 2018, 3:44 pm

The correct term is analysis.

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Hereandnow
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Re: Dismantle syndrome

Post by Hereandnow » November 19th, 2018, 4:24 pm

Ah, dismantle syndrome: but language cannot be so reduced, because the reduction is done IN language, and, of course, science and all knowledge claims are constructed in language. Knowledge cannot analyze itself, so what happens to the grand claims of our empirical scientists that so dominate our apprehension of what is true and real? Welcome to postmodern thinking.

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Re: Dismantle syndrome

Post by Hereandnow » November 19th, 2018, 4:30 pm

But just to complete the thought: Welcome to postmodern thinking; but then, there is this assault of the real that cannot be denied. You can't say it, but do you not therefore "know" it? What if knowledge is just familiarity?

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Re: Dismantle syndrome

Post by Whitedragon » November 20th, 2018, 5:52 am

Hereandnow wrote:
November 19th, 2018, 4:30 pm
But just to complete the thought: Welcome to postmodern thinking; but then, there is this assault of the real that cannot be denied. You can't say it, but do you not therefore "know" it? What if knowledge is just familiarity?
And what of those who will never climb a mountain, how can they be familiar with it?
We are a frozen spirit; our thoughts a cloud of droplets; different oceans and ages brood inside – where spirit sublimates. To some our words, an acid rain, to some it is too pure, to some infectious, to some a cure.

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Re: Dismantle syndrome

Post by Hereandnow » November 20th, 2018, 11:02 am

Why of course, vicarious familiarity through movies and tv. But even the mountain one does climb, does one know it beyond the event merely transpiring before their eyes? Does knowledge ever go deeper than this?

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Re: Dismantle syndrome

Post by Eduk » November 20th, 2018, 1:42 pm

What grand claims. Which scientists. What assault of the real. Please give some examples.
Even if I wanted to agree with you I couldn't.
Unknown means unknown.

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Re: Dismantle syndrome

Post by Fooloso4 » November 20th, 2018, 4:03 pm

Is Whitedragon asking about analysis, reductionism, or something else? Analysis means literally to take apart. Reductionism is the assumption that we have gotten at some fundamental level of explanation, that some or even all sets of things are reducible to something else more basic. Whitedragon says:
Yet, the moment we manage to take something apart and understand it, we for some reason think that's it.
One obvious question is at what level does one think that something has been taken apart? Another is whether we can any longer be able to understand the thing from the understanding of its parts. Do we understand what a human being is if we examine hands and feet and skin and hair, or at the molecular, atomic, or subatomic level? At what level do we no longer know that the parts are the parts of a human being? On the other hand, would an alien species understand a human being taken in isolation from its activities and associations?

If I want to understand a clock I might take it apart to see how the gears and levers mesh, but if I have no concept of time or its measurement I do not understand what a clock is, even if I can take it apart and put it back together or fix it when it is broken.

Mereology, the study of the relationships between parts and wholes, is not something new or something neglected in philosophy.


Whitedragon:
Do we suffer from this, excluding all other possible alternatives, due to our subjective perception?
What alternatives do you propose?
Can we truly say we know something?
Yes, but we use the term ‘know’ in different ways. I know what a horse is, in that I am able to identify the thing I see as a horse. At some level of dis-integration, however, I may not know that what is see is a horse taken apart. A molecular biologist knows a horse in a way I do not. It is possible, however, that the molecular biologist may not know that the animal standing in the field is a horse. Someone else may know the horse in the sense of knowing its habits, what it likes to eat, and how to handle it, all ways in which I do not know a horse.

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Re: Dismantle syndrome

Post by Hereandnow » November 20th, 2018, 7:49 pm

Eduk:
What grand claims. Which scientists. What assault of the real. Please give some examples.
Even if I wanted to agree with you I couldn't.
Just ask, how does a person come to know the world? We were infants once, didn't know a tree was a tree. We looked out, saw the visual "blooming and buzzing," people around us were talking, pointing to those things and saying tree this, tree that, and eventually the connection is made, and WE start saying the word, using it in practical affairs, and so on. Now this does include a principled mind, one that can distinguish and generalize from particulars to universals and so on, but I see nothing here of an intimacy with the thing "out there" that is called a tree. The tree sticks around, we see again and again, as do people around us. What else is there besides familiarity that gives us the sense of what the read is?

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Re: Dismantle syndrome

Post by ktz » November 24th, 2018, 6:35 am

I am super interested in the core problem discussed here, and I rarely shy away from a chance to plug one of my favorite ideas, Viktor Frankl's dimensional ontology. He discusses this in his book, The Will to Meaning.

Frankl asks us to imagine a cylinder, and then draw two picture of that cylinder, one viewed from the bottom and then one viewed from the side. One picture will be a circle, and one will be a square. If you then show these two pictures to two different people, it may be pretty hard to convince them that they both were looking at the same object.

Conversely, if you are given a picture of a circle, you cannot be certain if that picture came from a sphere, a cone, or cylinder.

Frankl was a practicing psychiatrist, so originally his context for this problem was explaining the difficulty of sourcing a cause for depression. Just as a circle could come from a sphere, cone, or cyilnder, depression may have physical, psychological, or spiritual causes.

Like I said, I am very interested this core philosophical problem, which is probably not accurately described by the medically connotative term "Dismantle Syndrome" but matches a description of one kind of analytical technique that holds a central position in reductionism and logical positivism. I have very recently begun exploring the critical theorists coming out of the Frankfurt School and their rejection of Wittgenstein's positivism coming out of the Cambridge School of Analysis in the 30s. Because, while the original poster was talking about mountains and the universe, others were applying the tools of reductionism and analysis to things like the Jewishness of a person, and we all know how that ended up in Germany in the 40s. So if there's someone here who can provide me some guidance on the order that I should be reading guys like Horkheimer, Adorno, Habermas, Honneth, etc. I'd be very appreciative.

For newer philosophy enthusiasts, with in an interest in the problem and the history of available philosophical positions, I'd encourage them to check out entries from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on reductionism, positivism, and critical theory.

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Re: Dismantle syndrome

Post by Newme » November 25th, 2018, 2:45 am

A balance between thinking and doing is necessary. Thinking is never finished - never perfected. So understanding evolves and builds. Yet, if you spent all your time analyzing the many possible perspectives, you’d miss out on living - applying what you know. And then what you think you know may be impractical.

We live and act by faith - without knowing 100% of every possibility - and by lots of trial and error. But the alternative is analystical based paralysis.

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Re: Dismantle syndrome

Post by Newme » November 25th, 2018, 12:11 pm

Exploring this idea a bit further...
They say humans are walking binoculars - we zoom in and focus on one main perspective while ignoring everything else peripherally. And common tendencies are to engage in all-or-nothing logical fallacy (polarized thinking), jumping to conclusions, over-generalizations and other logical fallacies or cognitive distortions. This causes a distorted view. A solution would be to consider multiple - even conflicting perspectives - to sort of play devil’s advocate with ourselves. That is engaging in active thinking, a relatively rare phenomenon.

Let’s take an example of Moses saying “Thou shalt not steal” or kill, etc., and the parting of the waters, in briefly considering multiple perspectives.

Historically: Said to have been written on Mt Sinai in 1446 BC, and directly from God after Moses led many Hebrews out of Egyptian bondage. Some of the other laws of Moses are similar to another “code of Hammurabi” which had been prominent in that area for 300 years prior.

Religiously: Moses wrote the 10 commandments and other laws which Judaism, Islam and Christianity are based. Many religious adherents believe the story of the exodus etc as literal events and base many of their articles of faith on them.

Spiritually/Psychologically: The parting of the waters could be seen as allegory. Water represents subconscious. To escape the bondage of addictions and other enslaving aspects of this life, we must call on the higher GOoD within us to get to the root causes and solutions found in the subconscious.

Scientifically: Moses is said to have parted the waters to allow the Hebrews to escape bondage. “In 2010, a suggestion was made by researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the University of Colorado, showing how winds could have moved the waters creating passage for Moses. This theory, supported by a computer simulation, could have explained the biblical account of the Exodus.”

Philosophically: The belief in the Word, 10-commandments, and general belief in God are thought to be ingrained as the foundation of western thought, whether God is believed in now or not. Despite superficial criticism, belief in a higher GOoD is considered to be foundational to morality.

Socially: As a story believed by so many, the story of Moses was created in a movie, spreading the message even further through media.

Politically: Moses is honored in the US Capitol building as one of the most significant law-makers. Indeed, it may seem like common sense that it is against the law to not kill or steal - but once upon a time long ago - that sense was not so common.

Most people tend to focus on one aspect of one of the above frames of reference. Yet, isn’t truth found by exploring something more thoroughly?

What do you think? Do you really think?

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