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Truth

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RJG
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Re: Truth

Post by RJG » December 14th, 2018, 1:37 pm

Fooloso4 wrote:While it is certain that I experience, experience can tell us nothing certain about the world.
The (absolute) certainty is "experiencing happens/exists". The "I" is logically derived, and therefore is only a 'logical certainty', (...as it is impossible to directly experience the "I" himself). The ONLY way we can know we (or "I") exist is by logically deriving it.

To know 'certain' "things about the world", we must use 'logic', which yields 'logical certainties/truths'. Experiential truths (aka "science") is not trustworthy to yield true knowledge.

Fooloso4 wrote:And this is why Descartes is correct when he says “I think therefore I am”. Thinking includes but is not limited to experience.
And that was his fatal error! -- For he can only 'experience' thoughts. That's it! Nothing more. Assuming something 'more' was his fatal/fateful error.

Fooloso4 wrote:The reason is simple - experience is not deductive, there is no therefore in experience, nothing is derived from experience itself.
To clarify -- Experiencing is NOT logically ("deductively") derived. It requires no supporting premise to vouch for its truthfulness. It is therefore an ABSOLUTE undeniable/undoubtable truth.

Fooloso4 wrote:Doubt is not part of experience itself, but part of judgment.
If we experience 'doubting' and 'judging' then they are experiences.

Fooloso4 wrote:We cannot logically derive the “I” from experience without the ability to think logically. We do not "experience" logic, we use it.
Good point. I don't disagree.

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Re: Truth

Post by Eduk » December 14th, 2018, 1:47 pm

@RJG So you are saying that 3 is 1? Using your above truth hierarchy.
Interestingly just by asking if I doubt whether I doubt you have raised some doubts with me.
Unknown means unknown.

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Re: Truth

Post by RJG » December 14th, 2018, 1:57 pm

RJG wrote: Truth hierarchy:
1. Absolute truth -- undeniable/undoubtable (…Descartes foundation of all knowledge)
2. Objective truth -- logically derived - via logic/math (a priori; pre-experiential)
3. Subjective truth -- experientially derived - via subjective experiences (a posteriori; post-experiential)
4. Religious truth -- via blind faiths
5. Non-truth -- via logical impossibilities
Eduk wrote:So you are saying that 3 is 1? Using your above truth hierarchy.
No. Experientially derived truths are not Absolute truths. Although we can be absolutely certain of "experiencing" itself, the experiential 'content' (objects) of our experiences cannot necessarily be known as certain (or real).

For example, one can experience a vision of pigs flying around. It is the vision (mental impression) that is real/certain, and not necessarily the flying pigs, themselves.

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Re: Truth

Post by Eduk » December 14th, 2018, 2:28 pm

Do you experience experiencing?
Unknown means unknown.

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Re: Truth

Post by Fooloso4 » December 14th, 2018, 2:44 pm

RJG:
Absolutely true is put in parenthesis because it refers to RJG’s definition - undeniable/undoubtable
Well, Mr. Fooloso4, if only you read what I wrote, then you would know that "absolute truth" refers to Descartes "first principle" of an undeniable/undoubtable truth. But if you didn't read what I wrote, then I'll excuse your ignorance.
Are you denying that you have defined absolute truth as undeniable/undoubtable?

From Descartes Principles of Philosophy:
… we must commence with the investigation of those first causes which are called Principles. Now these principles must possess two conditions: in the first place, they must be so clear and evident that the human mind, when it attentively considers them, cannot doubt of their truth; in the second place, the knowledge of other things must be so dependent on them as that though the principles themselves may indeed be known apart from what depends on them, the latter cannot nevertheless be known apart from the former. It will accordingly be necessary thereafter to endeavor so to deduce from those principles the knowledge of the things that depend on them, as that there may be nothing in the whole series of deductions which is not perfectly manifest.
The question is what can be deduced from first principles? What can be deduced from what you see as the correct first principle: “Experiencing exists, therefore I (the experiencer) exist.”?

You ignore the lacuna between experiencing and deducing.
We cannot logically derive the “I” from experience without the ability to think logically. We do not "experience" logic, we use it.
Good point. I don't disagree.
Good. Perhaps you are beginning to see the problem. “Experiencing exists, therefore I (the experiencer) exist” cannot be a first principle because nothing can be derived from it without the ability to deduce. We must not only exist or exist as experiencers. Without thinking there is no therefore. Without reasoned thought there is then no first principle.

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Re: Truth

Post by RJG » December 14th, 2018, 3:21 pm

Eduk wrote:Do you experience experiencing?
No. Technically I only experience 'experiences', which (the action) is called "experiencing".

Fooloso4 wrote:The question is what can be deduced from first principles? What can be deduced from what you see as the correct first principle: “Experiencing exists, therefore I (the experiencer) exist.”?
You ignore the lacuna between experiencing and deducing.
Not so.
The first principle (premise seed) = "Experiencing exists"
The "deduced" (logically derived) = "Experiencer (called "I") exists"

Fooloso4 wrote:We must not only exist or exist as experiencers. Without thinking there is no therefore. Without reasoned thought there is then no first principle.
Let's see if I follow what you are saying -- To get from "experiencing happens" to an "experiencer exists" requires 'logic'. But, as you seemingly claim, the use of logic then requires something 'more' than just an entity that 'experiences' thoughts. It requires, for lack of better word, a 'composer' of these thoughts. ...am I interpreting you correctly?

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Re: Truth

Post by Fooloso4 » December 14th, 2018, 3:55 pm

RJG:
The first principle (premise seed) = "Experiencing exists"
A premise is not a principle. That experience exists is deduced from your own experience which could not be experienced if you did not exist, therefore experiencing exists cannot be your first principle.
Let's see if I follow what you are saying -- To get from "experiencing happens" to an "experiencer exists" requires 'logic'.
The condition for experiencing happens is the existence of an experiencer. To see that this is so requires logic.
But, as you seemingly claim, the use of logic then requires something 'more' than just an entity that 'experiences' thoughts.
Yes, it requires an entity that actively thinks, reasons, uses logic, deduction, and establishes principles.

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Re: Truth

Post by RJG » December 14th, 2018, 4:05 pm

RJG wrote:But, as you seemingly claim, the use of logic then requires something 'more' than just an entity that 'experiences' thoughts.
Fooloso4 wrote:Yes, it requires an entity that actively thinks, reasons, uses logic, deduction, and establishes principles.
Firstly, why do you assume that the 'experiencing' of these thoughts require an 'active' thinker (a conscious causer) of these thoughts? And why do you assume that this "active thinker" is YOU, and not something else? Does 'experiencing' something automatically mean 'causing' this something?

Secondly, do you agree that we can only experience the 'finished product'; the composed (already scripted) thoughts, and never the actual "composing" (or manufacturing) of these thoughts themselves. …agreed? (...or if you disagree, then tell me which thought that you are conscious of, that you are not yet conscious of).

So then how does one make the 'connection' from the 'experiences' of these thoughts to the 'causation' or composing of these thoughts?

1. Experientially -- the connection is not there.
2. Logically -- the connection is not there.
3. Blind faith -- this is the only means to make a 'connection' between experiencing X to the causing of X. -- this is Descartes error. He falsely believed his experiencing of thoughts meant that he was the "thinker" of his thoughts, which resulted in his flawed dualistic perspective of res cogitans (mind) and res extensa (body).

Fooloso4 wrote:Without reasoned thought there is then no first principle.
Experiencing a "reasoned thought" does not mean 'causing' a reasoned thought.

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Re: Truth

Post by Fooloso4 » December 14th, 2018, 5:54 pm

FJG:
Firstly, why do you assume that the 'experiencing' of these thoughts require an 'active' thinker (a conscious causer) of these thoughts?
Because I see no reason to assume that I do not think, that my come to me or are imposed on me from somewhere other than myself. I am not simply a receiver of thoughts.

An active thinker and a conscious causer are two different things.
Does 'experiencing' something automatically mean 'causing' this something?
That depends on what one means by ‘cause’. The ability to experience requires neurological activity. Without that activity I would not experience anything.
Secondly, do you agree that we can only experience the 'finished product'; the composed (already scripted) thoughts, and never the actual "composing" (or manufacturing) of these thoughts themselves. …agreed?
We have been through this before. As I think about how to answer you I am composing and editing. I am connecting and combining ideas and illustrations. I am accepting and rejecting various possibilities. I make use of a language I did not invent, and so, there is a shared or public aspect to my thoughts. I make use of ideas I have learned. Sometimes things occur to me when I look at the problem this way rather than that way.

@ktz suggested that you lifted your Descartes critique and premise on agency, or lack thereof, from Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil. I do not know if this is true or not but it may be helpful to consider what Nietzsche had to say on this. For anyone who does not want to go through the whole thing see my closing paragraph.


I’ll start with the section he cited. I posted this in the other thread:
With regard to the superstitions of logicians, I shall never tire of emphasizing a small, terse fact, which is unwillingly recognized by these credulous minds—namely, that a thought comes when "it" wishes, and not when "I" wish; so that it is a PERVERSION of the facts of the case to say that the subject "I" is the condition of the predicate "think." ONE thinks; but that this "one" is precisely the famous old "ego," is, to put it mildly, only a supposition, an assertion, and assuredly not an "immediate certainty." After all, one has even gone too far with this "one thinks"—even the "one" contains an INTERPRETATION of the process, and does not belong to the process itself. One infers here according to the usual grammatical formula—"To think is an activity; every activity requires an agency that is active; consequently"... It was pretty much on the same lines that the older atomism sought, besides the operating "power," the material particle wherein it resides and out of which it operates—the atom. More rigorous minds, however, learnt at last to get along without this "earth-residuum," and perhaps some day we shall accustom ourselves, even from the logician's point of view, to get along without the little "one" (to which the worthy old "ego" has refined itself).(BGE 17)
He is not denying that we think: “ONE thinks”. What he rejects is an “interpretation of the process” by which “the ‘one’” “does not belong to the process itself”.

This is easier to understand if we look an earlier section:
Boscovich has taught us to abjure the belief in the last thing that "stood fast" of the earth--the belief in "substance," in "matter," in the earth-residuum, and particle- atom: it is the greatest triumph over the senses that has hitherto been gained on earth. One must, however, go still further, and also declare war, relentless war to the knife, against the "atomistic requirements" which still lead a dangerous after-life in places where no one suspects them, like the more celebrated "metaphysical requirements": one must also above all give the finishing stroke to that other and more portentous atomism which Christianity has taught best and longest, the SOUL- ATOMISM. Let it be permitted to designate by this expression the belief which regards the soul as something indestructible, eternal, indivisible, as a monad, as an atomon: this belief ought to be expelled from science! (BGE, 12)
But if we stop there we will not understand him. He continues:
Between ourselves, it is not at all necessary to get rid of "the soul" thereby, and thus renounce one of the oldest and most venerated hypotheses--as happens frequently to the clumsiness of naturalists, who can hardly touch on the soul without immediately losing it. But the way is open for new acceptations and refinements of the soul-hypothesis; and such conceptions as "mortal soul," and "soul of subjective multiplicity," and "soul as social structure of the instincts and passions," want henceforth to have legitimate rights in science. In that the NEW psychologist is about to put an end to the superstitions which have hitherto flourished with almost tropical luxuriance around the idea of the soul, he is really, as it were, thrusting himself into a new desert and a new distrust--it is possible that the older psychologists had a merrier and more comfortable time of it; eventually, however, he finds that precisely thereby he is also condemned to INVENT--and, who knows? perhaps to DISCOVER the new. (BGE 12)
He is not critical of Descartes' “I think” but of the notion of a thinking substance, which Descartes identifies with his immortal soul. The soul is not something we have. In his refinement of the soul-hypothesis Nietzsche posits a “soul of subjective multiplicity”. This solves the problem of the seeming mystery of a thought that comes when it wishes rather than when I wish. It is not that the thought has some kind of independent existence and comes to me from elsewhere, but simply that there is not something within me, an “I” or “ego” or “little ‘one’” that is the agent of my thoughts. This is not a denial of agency, it is a denial of something within me, some substance or soul-atom that is the agent.

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Re: Truth

Post by jkim0231 » December 15th, 2018, 4:00 am

h_k_s wrote:
December 10th, 2018, 10:33 pm
I'm not sure that we totally resolved whether truth asserts existence or whether truth is merely a function of language interpretation.
I agree. I'm in my learning process from reading this forum too, which has been enjoyable.
Now on to your suggested starting point.
h_k_s wrote:
December 10th, 2018, 10:53 pm
A is B.

This strongly implies that A exists and that it possesses the quality of B.

A is not B.

This strongly implies that A exists and that it does not possess the quality of B.

In either case there is a strong suggestion of existence for A whatever A is.

A is an object. A must exist to possess any qualities at all, or even to lack them.

Here I will try my best to deduce the meaning of certain words as intended by you, h_t_z. If we do not agree on a definition, let me know.
When you stated in the initial posts that sun must be real regardless of whether there is language for it, I had a different view.
I defined existence as : to exist objectively

When Aristotle said truth is to say what is A to be A and what is not B to be not B, I think he was defining 'truth'. Not existence.

I don't think the statement "A is B", or "A is not B:, strongly implies the existence of A. If A is an object, say an orange, we must determine the following.
If Orange is sweet, and the Sun is bright. Does this strongly suggest the existence of the sun and orange?
Perhaps the existence of the sun and the orange as experience by the person can be said to exist.
But we cannot absolutely determine the existence of orange and the sun as objective bodies.

I think in philosophy, one tries to define and determine the state of things in an exacting manner. While (A)orange is (B) sweet) and (A)the sun is not (B)blue may be true sentences, they are not enough to make certain of their existence.
(A) must exist to have possess any qualities. Yes. But That we say that the orange of sweet do not confirm with certitude the existence of the orange. Rather, it reveals that some we experienced and orange that may or may not be an objective real thing. It could be, however absurd sounding, our minds conjuration of an orange. But we cannot, with absolute certitude claim to know of their existence as real bodies outside of our realm.

The explanation you have, h_t_z, on language(which was interesting) maybe accurate. However, I think you came from the stance where you believed that the sun existed with out much doubt. This is normal for most people, and I do too tend to believe that the sun exists too, since I like to look at it and feel it and such. However to determine with certitude that the sun, and for that matter all of reality that we can know exist in some objectively measurable manner is not possible it seems. We can kind of believe that they are there. But once again, philosophers would apply exact science in there approach to all of this, so I think they would be uncertain about the existence of anything. In ethics however, I would deduce that they would practice some engineering-esque rounding to make possible the process of thinking about what and how to live as humans.

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Re: Truth

Post by Tamminen » December 15th, 2018, 5:04 am

I think the Cartesian meditation consists of many levels of experience:

1. A simple experience, e.g. hearing a sound. No knowledge involved.
2. Reflecting on a simple experience: knowledge of the existence of that particular experience.
3. Generalization: knowledge that there are experiences. This is the cogito.
4. Understanding that all experiences belong to one and the same subject. This is the sum.

So 'cogito ergo sum' is a series of intuitions that reveals the ontological structure of reality.

Descartes started from doubting and from something that cannot be doubted inferred the existence of the ego, but his interpretation of the ego was not satisfactory. Husserl succeeded better. His version of doubting was the phenomenological reduction: a neutral standpoint regarding the existence of the world. What was left was pure subjectivity and its a priori.

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Re: Truth

Post by RJG » December 15th, 2018, 11:21 am

RJG wrote:Secondly, do you agree that we can only experience the 'finished product'; the composed (already scripted) thoughts, and never the actual "composing" (or manufacturing) of these thoughts themselves. …agreed?
Fooloso4 wrote:As I think about how to answer you I am composing and editing.
...but ALL these thoughts associated to "composing" and "editing" have ALREADY BEEN composed (scripted) for you, ...right?

And if you further claim that you composed and edited those thoughts that were then used to compose and edit these thoughts, then you are just avoiding the obvious. ...you are just kicking the can down the road, ...and proclaiming turtles (thoughts) all the way down!

The point is ...everything that we are conscious of, has already been 'scripted' (composed/authored/created) FOR us. So in this respect, we are not the "thinkers" (the knowing causers) of our thoughts, but instead, are just the 'experiencers' of the thoughts 'GIVEN' to us.

Descartes belief in "thinking" his thoughts (a "thinking thing"; res cogitans) is his error. Descartes, like all the rest of us experiential beings, can only experience thoughts, not "think" them (cause/compose/author/create them). We are just an 'experiential' res extensa (...just an experiential mass of reactive material!).

To put it very simply... Descartes cannot 'doubt' (as he falsely believed), he can only passively 'EXPERIENCE' doubt.

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Re: Truth

Post by Fooloso4 » December 15th, 2018, 11:48 am

RJG:
...but ALL these thoughts associated to "composing" and "editing" have ALREADY BEEN composed (scripted) for you, ...right?
No. I am not simply a passive receiver of thoughts. You may believe otherwise but nothing you have said leads me to think that may be the case.
The point is ...everything that we are conscious of, has already been 'scripted' (composed/authored/created) FOR us.
By thought? Consciousness? God? Descartes’ evil genius?

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Re: Truth

Post by RJG » December 15th, 2018, 12:49 pm

RJG wrote:The point is ...everything that we are conscious of, has already been 'scripted' (composed/authored/created) FOR us.
Fooloso4 wrote:By thought? Consciousness? God? Descartes’ evil genius?
Certainly not by "thought' or "consciousness', as these are not a logical possibility.

I suspect, the thoughts (and everything else) that we experience are just physical 'bodily reactions', ...similar to how everything else in this universe (seemingly) operates.

I further suspect, that the 'conscious experiencing', or the 'knowing' of our thoughts (and any other of our bodily reactions) is the result of the singular experience of 'recognition', made possible by 'memory'.

But then again, we may all just be a 'brain-in-a-vat', with our experiences being stimulated by a crazy electrode-wielding mad evil genius.

Bottom line -- we can only 'experience' experiences, not 'create' them. And everything we experience is still just an experience.

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Re: Truth

Post by Fooloso4 » December 15th, 2018, 2:05 pm

RJG:
I suspect, the thoughts (and everything else) that we experience are just physical 'bodily reactions', ...similar to how everything else in this universe (seemingly) operates.
You seem to have an overly simplistic, mechanistic notion of human neurophysiology. It is not just reactive, it is productive. This need not entail some form of dualism, but experience not simply what happens to us. Perception is not merely passive. Seeing something ‘as’ something is constructive. If, for example, you did not know what the alphabet was you would not see the marks as letters. What you are seeing is not simply a bodily reaction to stimulus. How you see a man standing in the park watching children play may be very different if you have heard stories of a pedophile in the neighborhood rather than stories of a man who stays home to raise his children. We "see" is not simply stimulus reaction, we attribute sinister or benign meaning to the man's smile.
I further suspect, that the 'conscious experiencing', or the 'knowing' of our thoughts (and any other of our bodily reactions) is the result of the singular experience of 'recognition', made possible by only those entities that possess 'memory' capability.
Memory is not passive. It is not a recording of past events. It is constructive. How I remember an event can change over time as I edit the event in my mind. I might make it seem as though I am less responsible and thereby less to blame or more responsible and thereby the hero to be praised.
But then again, we may all just be a 'brain-in-a-vat', with our experiences being stimulated by a crazy electrode-wielding mad evil genius.
And when you think about that possibility it is you who are thinking. It is you who create the images and scenarios. But, you might think: “How do I know that? Is it possible that my thoughts are being generated by electrode stimulation?”. As Wittgenstein said, the ability to doubt is not a good reason to doubt. You may not be able to prove that you are not a brain in a vat, but this does not mean that you have good reason to think you are.

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