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L&FP, 56: Can we invent or define a nine-sided hexagon?

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One of the many fundamental errors of nominalism is to confuse labels with logic of being substance.

To clarify the matter, let us ponder:

As was noted in the ongoing defending thread:

KF, 839: As a start point for rethinking, please, show us a nine sided hexagon.

(What, you can’t, isn’t the term hexagon just a word we can apply as we please, rewriting the dictionary at will, there is no such thing as a nature so there is no difference. So, on such radical nominalism, there is no difference between truth and error, truthfulness and willful deceit, justice and injustice, male and female, knowledge and myth, indoctrination and education, acquitting the innocent and knowingly condemning such, sound policing and the gestapo. See the nihilistic pattern?)

Believe it or not, there are many otherwise vexed issues that resolve themselves once we recognise this issue. END

127 Replies to “L&FP, 56: Can we invent or define a nine-sided hexagon?

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    L&FP, 56: Can we invent or define a nine-sided hexagon? Or, can we soundly say 6 + 3 = 6?

  2. 2
    Viola Lee says:

    I have very temporarily returned to say that this is the stupidest OP I have ever seen. Hexagon is a clearly and unequivocally well-defined term for a six-sided polygon, and there is nothing mysterious about the non-existence of a nine-sided hexagon. A simple proof by contradiction shows that.

    All those other words KF mentions are not analogous in the least bit.

    Stupidity, making up windmills to have something to tilt at.

    Bye again.

  3. 3
    JHolo says:

    KF: June 11, 2022 at 7:48 am
    I have very temporarily returned to say that this is the stupidest OP I have ever seen.

    I agree. This is just the latest trope that KF has been using to define an argument he disagrees with but can’t provide a sound counter-argument. In the same way that he uses the terms ‘strawman’, ‘red herring’ , ‘rhetorical talking points’, ‘turnabout projection’, ‘speaking in disregard to truth’ and a few others. Whenever I receive one of these, I know I am on the right track.

  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:

    VL & JH, I deliberately used an extreme case to make a point. Thanks for condemning ever so many violations of soundness all across our civilisation promoted by powerful, nihilistic factions; things which, apart from propagandistic indoctrination are as clear as the difference between six and nine sides of a polygon. Observe the list in the OP. KF

    PS, 2700 years ago, one of Judea’s nobility spoke to the problem, which he saw in the decadence of his day:

    Isa 5: 20 Woe to those who call evil good
    and good evil,
    who put darkness for light
    and light for darkness,
    who put bitter for sweet
    and sweet for bitter!

    21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
    and shrewd in their own sight!

    22 Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine,
    and valiant men in mixing strong drink,
    23 who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
    and deprive the innocent of his right!

    24 Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble,
    and as dry grass sinks down in the flame,
    so their root will be as rottenness,
    and their blossom go up like dust;
    for they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts,
    and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

    PPS, pretending that corrected fallacies have not been substantially corrected does not make the errors or worse go away. Doubling down on fallacies and shooting at the messenger who has provided correctives only makes it harder to climb down. Indeed, JH, you just set up and knocked over yet another strawman.

  5. 5
    ET says:

    Context is meaningless to them, KF.

  6. 6
    jerry says:

    I know I am on the right track

    I doubt that.

    Kf is often convoluted, uses arcane references and lacks basic English clarity but is usually correct.

  7. 7
    chuckdarwin says:

    VL/2
    It’s like W.C. Fields said many years ago “if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with []”
    You will be missed….

  8. 8
    jerry says:

    if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with []

    Are you referring to yourself?

  9. 9
    Querius says:

    The Zero Imagination Cynics here (ZICs) naturally are unable to generate any new thinking from additional data. That’s precisely why they’re trapped by a 19th century theory that justifies racism and colonialism.

    The new parameters require a hexagonal shape to incorporate 9 linear edges. We can *easily* create this shape by following these steps:

    1. Draw a hexagon on a piece of paper with a pencil and a ruler.
    2. Use scissors to cut out the hexagon. The hexagon incorporates six (6) lines.
    3. Choose one vertex of the hexagon and draw three straight lines to the opposite (non-adjacent) vertexes.
    4. Fold the hexagon along those lines origami style. The hexagon now incorporates nine (9) lines.

    Ta-da!

    However, one must first be (a) willing and (b) imaginative enough to think outside the box . . . or in this case, outside the hexagon.

    -Q.e.d.

  10. 10
    chuckdarwin says:

    Hey, Querius
    “Zero Imagination Cynics (ZICs)” I like it, fits well….

    George Bernard Shaw once said that “the power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who do not have it.”

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:

    CD, evading the import of the law of distinct identity is a losing proposition if ever there was one. KF

  12. 12
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF is referring to nominalism – far from an irrelevant or nonsensical topic.

    So, on such radical nominalism, there is no difference between truth and error, truthfulness and willful deceit, justice and injustice, male and female, knowledge and myth, indoctrination and education, acquitting the innocent and knowingly condemning such, sound policing and the gestapo

    No difference between male and female. Or postmodernist deconstruction – “the truth does not exist”. I recall a debate here on UD among people who opposed the idea that “we have a duty to the truth”.
    The question that KF is raising is “why should we adhere to reason and logic?” Or another would be “why should the definition of hexagon be an absolute?”
    Anti-IDists will think that we must adhere to the Law of Identity, but that actually contradicts evolution. Logic only has value if it contributes to fitness. If the human species can survive and reproduce more successfully by being irrational and immoral, that’s what evolution will select and that will be “success” in evolutionary terms.
    The fact that evolution already, supposedly, selected anti-moral behaviors, irrational thinking and lying should mean that those things have good fitness value.
    The anti-ID position can really have nothing to say about it and just calling this OP “stupid” reveals some hidden (pro-ID) assumptions that should be questioned.

  13. 13
    StephenB says:

    Viola Lee:

    I have very temporarily returned to say that this is the stupidest OP I have ever seen.

    Remedial education is never “stupid,” but those who resist it often are.

    All those other words KF mentions are not analogous in the least bit.

    A definition describes what is. The *definition* of a hexagon, for example, is analogous to the *nature* of a thing., A hexagon has six sides, which rules out the proposition that it has can have nine sides. The *nature* of a human being is that it is either male or female, which rules out the proposition that it can be either or both.

    It is important to understand the relationship between language and logic. We now have a woman on the United States Supreme Court who is incapable of reasoning in the abstract. When Senator Marsha Blackburn asked Judge Ketanji Jackson is she could define the word “woman.” the latter said, No, I cannot. I am not a biologist.”

  14. 14
    Querius says:

    To Kairosfocus’ point, I do recognize the difference between logical truth and political truth.

    Political truth is only applicable for the moment in a specific situation to advance a political goal. It’s never meant to be a principle that’s applied elsewhere.

    – People committed to logical truth argue logic and are disturbed by inconsistencies.

    – People committed to political truth use throwaway arguments to advance their goals and are disturbed by deviations from strict orthodoxy of the moment.

    – People committed to logical truth look for cause-effect relationships.

    – People committed to political truth look for rationalizations.

    – People committed to logical truth are open to the underlying facts.

    – People committed to political truth recognize that truth is determined only by the loudest and most pervasive communication.

    So, if you want to destroy a political animal, don’t accuse them of poor logic, cluelessness, or disastrous results. Instead, you must accuse them of political heresy. They realize that should the charge stick, they will be terrified of being marginalized, which means that they will actually cease to exist!

    Thus, a hexagon has as many sides as it needs for it to be anti racist and pro transition as discovered by those they follow. This is also why Darwinism, although it’s clearly racist, genocidal, and colonialist doesn’t bother its unquestioning adherents.

    -Q

  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    What is 2 + 2 Winston [Smith]? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJz77y4d_JA

    PS, VL, JH et al:

    >> truth and error,>>

    Milada Horakova and others were destroyed through falsehood presented as truth which many may well have been misled to believe

    >> truthfulness and willful deceit, justice and injustice,>>

    MH and others were victims of a show trial, during which untruth and half truth doubtless were foundational to gross injustice: judicial murder so blatant that once the communist yoke was removed, surviving members of the prosecution were tried, sentenced and IIRC gaoled

    >> male and female,>>

    MH was a woman and a mother, her family was robbed of the dignity of returning her body. In humans, the XY sex determination system writes sex into our genes and cells, relatively rare malfunctions are just that, rare and malfunctions. We treat such with compassion without destroying recognition of basic realities. We are not like Grouper fish that do change sex through a different system.

    >> knowledge and myth, indoctrination and education,>>

    Ask those who, once they were free, took steps to reverse the reichstag fire incident tactics used to judicially murder MH and others. Denial of objective truth tied to warrant on right reason destroys justice and contact with reality. Truth says of what is that it is and of what is not that it is not as Ari pointed out

    >> acquitting the innocent and knowingly condemning such, sound policing and the gestapo>>

    This judicial murder is a yardstick case in point

  16. 16
    kairosfocus says:

    Q, Political truth/correctness is another way of saying, lying or enabling lying in pursuit of a power driven end. If for example a rights or identity or history or legal claim, if imposed would force others to habitually lie, yield to or enable a lie, then it is both willfully deceptive and oppressive. Hence, 1984. KF

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:

    PS, to lie, is to speak with disregard to truth, in hope of profiting from what is said or suggested being taken [or, treated] as true. Truth says of what is, that it is; and of what is not, that it is not [Ari].

  18. 18
    Viola Lee says:

    I will respond to a few points.

    1. KF writes, ” I deliberately used an extreme case to make a point”

    No, you used an irrelevant case. As I said earlier, “Hexagon is a clearly and unequivocally well-defined term for a six-sided polygon…All those other words KF mentions are not analogous in the least bit”

    There is no clear definition or any other criteria that unambiguously divides truth from error, justice from injustice, indoctrination from education, or any of the other things KF mentioned. The impossibility of a nine-sided hexagon is not relevant to whatever political point you are trying to make about divisions in society about numerous contentious issues.

    2. KF uses the phrase “radical nominalism” and SA reinforces that KF is referring to that. However, KF seems to imply that nominalism implies that words have no meaning, or we can make them mean whatever we want, and that is not true. Before I say more about nominalism, let me quote KF from the OP:

    One of the many fundamental errors of nominalism is to confuse labels with logic of being substance.

    KF, I hope you can not confuse the label “nominalism” with substantial issues. Like all labels about philosophical perspectives, “nominalism” refers to a set of ideas with many nuances and lots of disagreements: see Wikipedia or the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, for instance. So let’s talk about the issues without worrying too much about the labels.

    3. As I said above, nominalism does not mean that words have no meaning, or that we can make them mean whatever we want. Here’s the general idea as I understand it.

    3a. The world is made of particular things: there are tree and rocks and human beings who say and do things, and so on. The premier skill of our cognitive rationality is to create abstract understandings by observing the commonalities and ignoring the differences between things. We embody these abstractions with language, first with words and then with written symbols.

    We also build levels of abstractions: we distinguish maple trees from other types of trees, trees from other types of plants, plants from animals, living things from non-living things and so on.

    3. The key idea to me is that our abstractions exist in our minds, and are shared with other humans, but they do no exist in any other sense apart from their existence in the minds of those who understand them. There is no “treeness” that exist independently from human beings who understand that abstraction. “Treeness” has no independent existence.

    Although the distinctions get quite abstract, this sentence from Wikpedia says this well, I think. “Most nominalists have held that only physical particulars in space and time are real, and that universals exist only post res, that is, subsequent to particular things.”

    4. There is nothing here that says, or implies, the negative things that KF mentions. Words (labels) and the abstractions they refer to are the most important tools we have for understanding. It is vitally important that we delineate their meanings well, and strive to make them accurately reflect the particulars to which they refer in the world.

    5. To be more specific about a couple of points.

    KF writes, “Thanks for condemning … nihilistic factions; things which, apart from propagandistic indoctrination are as clear as the difference between six and nine sides of a polygon. Observe the list in the OP”

    Absolutely false. The distinction between education and indoctrination is fraught with ideological differences and is in no way as clear as the difference between six and nine. The fact that KF could even offer such a preposterous assertion is a example of our ideological perspectives can warp clear thinking.

    Similarly, StephenB writes, “A definition describes what is. The *definition* of a hexagon, for example, is analogous to the *nature* of a thing. A hexagon has six sides, which rules out the proposition that it has can have nine sides. The *nature* of a human being is that it is either male or female, which rules out the proposition that it can be either or both.”

    No, not analogous. I don’t want to get into the cultural issue here. I do want to point out that there are enough exceptions, albeit rare, from the clear and common differences between men and women that there is no definition that is analogous to the unequivocle difference between six and nine. People may decide on a set of criteria to divide humans into two disjoint subsets, male and female, or people may argue that such division is not realistic nor fair, but there is no analogous issue with six vs. nine.

    I will respond to serious responses to the points I’ve made here. I’m not interested in the political or social commentary.

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, I will make a first fast comment; maybe later on I will speak to more. Please, read Milada Horakova’s story; I assume you have read or viewed 1984 which as a book was done just two years before the show trial and judicial murder. You will learn from it the central point that the demonstration case that abstract natures are real not merely names, extends to vital cases pivotal to preserving real justice; nominalism, though a commonplace today, is false, dangerous and an opening to nihilism and oppression up to and including judicial murder. This, I have noted point by point at 15. On the contrary to your immediate reaction, my point hits hard BECAUSE it is vitally relevant, there are in fact self evident truths bound up in the cases, attempted denials instantly land in absurdities, even horror stories. KF

    PS, have you ever seen or touched, polygon, or hexagon, or for that matter, nonagon, 6, 3, 9, { }, equality, addition, truth, error, justice, etc? Does that reasonably imply that these and other abstracta or universals are lacking in reality above being labels? [What about the abstract relation [SYMBOL] –> [REPRESENTS] –> {ENTITY OR STATE OF AFFAIRS ETC]? Thus, the possibility of verbal or graphical symbolic communication thence language, shared meaning and community? See some of the lurking issues in that pictorial, seemingly simple and allegedly irrelevant case?]

    PPS, judicial murder is a particular state of affairs that is horrific, all too real [I bear the name of a victim] and brims over with abstracta and universals.

  20. 20
    Viola Lee says:

    There were lots of little mistakes in 18. Here’s a cleaned up version of the same post. I work too fast and don’t proofread well.

    I will respond to a few points.

    1. KF writes, “I deliberately used an extreme case to make a point”

    No, you used an irrelevant case. As I said earlier, “Hexagon is a clearly and unequivocally well-defined term for a six-sided polygon… All those other words KF mentions are not analogous in the least bit”

    There is no clear definition or any other criteria that unambiguously divides truth from error, justice from injustice, indoctrination from education, or any of the other things KF mentioned. The impossibility of a nine-sided hexagon is not relevant to whatever political point you are trying to make about divisions in society about numerous contentious issues.

    2. KF uses the phrase “radical nominalism” and SA reinforces that KF is referring to that. However, KF seems to imply that nominalism implies that words have no meaning, or we can make them mean whatever we want, and that is not true. Before I say more about nominalism, let me quote KF from the OP:

    One of the many fundamental errors of nominalism is to confuse labels with logic of being substance.

    KF, I hope you can avoid confusing the label “nominalism” with substantial issues. Like all labels about philosophical perspectives, “nominalism” refers to a set of ideas with many nuances and lots of disagreements: see Wikipedia or the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, for instance. So let’s talk about the issues without worrying too much about the labels.

    3. As I said above, nominalism does not mean that words have no meaning, or that we can make them mean whatever we want. Here’s the general idea as I understand it.

    3a. The world is made of particular things: there are tree and rocks and human beings who say and do things, and so on. The premier skill of our cognitive rationality is to create abstract understandings by observing the commonalities and ignoring the differences between things. We embody these abstractions with language, first with words and then with written symbols.

    We also build levels of abstractions: we distinguish maple trees from other types of trees, trees from other types of plants, plants from animals, living things from non-living things and so on.

    3b. The key idea to me is that our abstractions exist in our minds, and are shared with other humans, but they do not exist in any other sense apart from their existence in the minds of those who understand them. There is no “treeness” that exists independently from human beings who understand that abstraction. “Treeness” has no independent existence.

    Although the distinctions get quite abstract, this sentence from Wikpedia says this well, I think. “Most nominalists have held that only physical particulars in space and time are real, and that universals exist only post res, that is, subsequent to particular things.”

    4. There is nothing here that says, or implies, the negative things that KF mentions. Words (labels) and the abstractions they refer to are the most important tools we have for understanding. It is vitally important that we delineate their meanings well, and strive to make them accurately reflect the particulars to which they refer in the world.

    5. To be more specific about a couple of points.

    KF writes, “Thanks for condemning … nihilistic factions; things which, apart from propagandistic indoctrination are as clear as the difference between six and nine sides of a polygon. Observe the list in the OP”

    Absolutely false. The distinction between education and indoctrination is fraught with ideological differences and is in no way as clear as the difference between six and nine. The fact that KF could even offer such a preposterous assertion is a example of how ideological perspectives can warp clear thinking.

    Similarly, StephenB writes, “A definition describes what is. The *definition* of a hexagon, for example, is analogous to the *nature* of a thing. A hexagon has six sides, which rules out the proposition that it has can have nine sides. The *nature* of a human being is that it is either male or female, which rules out the proposition that it can be either or both.”

    No, not analogous. I don’t want to get into the cultural issue here. I do want to point out that there are enough exceptions, albeit rare, from the clear and common differences between men and women that there is no definition that is analogous to the unequivocal difference between six and nine. People may decide on a set of criteria to divide humans into two disjoint subsets, male and female, or people may argue that such division is not realistic nor fair, but there is no analogous issue with the distinction between six and nine.

    I will respond to serious responses to the philosophical points I’ve made here. I’m not interested in the political or social commentary.

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:

    PPPS, I should note that reality, truth that accurately represents or describes it, knowability and being known to a particular individual or community on a given warrant with utter precision . . . not to mention, being acknowledged as known . . . are quite distinct states of affairs or entities. This is part of why, once we are wise, we move from the simple and clear — which removes both the universal denial and the suggestion of vacuous, empty clusters . . . to the more complex and debated.

  22. 22
    ET says:

    Viola Lee:

    “Hexagon is a clearly and unequivocally well-defined term for a six-sided polygon…

    One of the points is that words can mean whatever someone wants them to mean. That definitions can be changed.

  23. 23
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus @16,

    Q, Political truth/correctness is another way of saying, lying or enabling lying in pursuit of a power driven end. If for example a rights or identity or history or legal claim, if imposed would force others to habitually lie, yield to or enable a lie, then it is both willfully deceptive and oppressive. Hence, 1984. KF

    Maybe there’s another way to look at it.

    Maybe the people who embrace “political truth,” don’t see themselves as lying at all. Instead, they see themselves as bringing their desired truth into existence from within a sea of chaotic information, propelled and justified by their (a) good intentions and (b) identifying with a recognized victimhood class.

    Their good intentions serve as a sort of Holy Spirit in their lives, while their victimhood serves as a sort of Christ hanging on a cross. From this position, they are unassailable, morally or intellectually.

    Thus, anything you present that challenges either (a) or (b) is by definition false.

    So how do such people battle each other when they inevitably clash?

    1. I have better intentions than you.
    2. I’m more of a victim than you (smaller recognized minority groups have priority, membership in multiple recognized minority groups trumps all others).
    3. You’re not as orthodox as I am.

    This is why, for example, transgender biological males are now allowed by the media and the judiciary to destroy women’s sports and almost everything else women have worked for, including women’s identities as women.

    And this is why Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech has been tragically forgotten. And this is why Billy Graham’s work for desegregation is never mentioned.

    Billy Graham’s Friendship with Martin Luther King Jr.
    https://youtu.be/Uivk1uhIAWM

    -Q

  24. 24
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    🙂 Worth 5 minutes from our time:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Msyu_zjRUh4

  25. 25
    kairosfocus says:

    Q, classic crooked yardstick thinking. Johnny, who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? KF

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, I see some doubling down, starting with the irrelevancy claim. I still say, look at the case of Milada Horakova, as I commented in 15 and 19 above. KF

  27. 27
    Querius says:

    Johnny sez,

    I did not steal the cookie from the cookie jar!

    Yes, there was a cookie there, but my intention was to share the cookie with Timmy.

    Did I mention that Timmy’s mom has cancer? She doesn’t have the energy to bake cookies for Timmy, and with all her treatments, they can’t afford buying any cookies. Also, their family are Rom and you know how Gypsies have always been persecuted in Europe. So, it’s important to do nice things for them.

    So, I went over to Timmy’s house with the cookie, but nobody was home. I’d already touched the cookie, so I really couldn’t put it back into the cookie jar. The only reasonable thing left for me was to mindfully partake of the cookie in Timmy’s honor. Surely, I don’t deserve to be punished for my thinking of Timmy and his situation.

    -Q

  28. 28
    StephenB says:

    Viola Lee:

    There is no clear definition or any other criteria that unambiguously divides truth from error, justice from injustice, indoctrination from education, or any of the other things KF mentioned. The impossibility of a nine-sided hexagon is not relevant to whatever political point you are trying to make about divisions in society about numerous contentious issues.

    Not true. One can discern the difference between a fundamental truth and a fundamental error by recognizing that Essentialism (realism) is true and nominalism (anti-realism) is false. Realism says that there is such a thing as “appleness” and every apple has it. That is just another way of saying that the *universal* (the essence of an apple) exists just as the *particular* (this apple or that apple) exists. This existence is present subjectively in the mind and objectively in nature.

    Nominalism says that “apple” is just a word that we use to describe our sense experience with a something or other to which we apply that name, when, as the story goes, no such thing as an apple exists. Using the same logic, a “strawberry” is just another something or other, experienced by our senses, that has nothing in common with other so called “strawberries.”

    On the other hand, when we understand that universals really do exist (realism), and that observing them is more than just a sense experience, it is a road to knowledge. We also know that it is an error to say that an apple is (or can be) a strawberry. The radical nominalists, relying solely on sense experience or sentiment, have no way of differentiating one class of things in nature from another class of things; they cannot say that the essence of the apple is different from the essence of a strawberry because they reject the very existence of essences.

    As I said above, nominalism does not mean that words have no meaning, or that we can make them mean whatever we want.

    Try to define the difference between a fish and a frog without appealing to objective universals or essences, that is, without explaining what all frogs or all fish have in common.

    The world is made of particular things: there are tree and rocks and human beings who say and do things, and so on.

    This is not what you have been arguing. Your claim is that the world is made up *solely* of particulars and that objectively ordered universals (categories in nature) do not exist at all.

    The premier skill of our cognitive rationality is to create abstract understandings by observing the commonalities and ignoring the differences between things.

    If you are “observing” what one apple has in common with another apple, then you are not “creating” an abstract understanding, you are identifying and recognizing commonality – the apple’s essence or form – that which makes an apple what it is. That form existed prior to your mental abstraction of it. If it didn’t, you would have nothing to abstract.

    There is no “treeness” that exists independently from human beings who understand that abstraction. “Treeness” has no independent existence.

    No doubt you apply this same error to “human nature, saying, in effect, that human nature has no independent existence apart from our conception of it. Obviously, this subjectivist conception rules out the prospect for a morality of human nature, the natural moral law, and the “inherent dignity of the human person, which leads to tyrannical abuse.

    There is nothing here (in Wikipedia) that says, or implies, the negative things that KF mentions.

    All the consequences of radical nominalism are negative. If there are no essences, then humans are not entitled to human rights, there is no such thing as justice, and morality is relative.

    People may decide on a set of criteria to divide humans into two disjoint subsets, male and female, or people may argue that such division is not realistic nor fair, but there is no analogous issue with the distinction between six and nine.

    Both are binary choices. In the world of objective truth, a man cannot also be a woman and six cannot also be nine. “What people may decide” has nothing to do with it.

    I’m not interested in the political or social commentary.

    I can understand why you would not want to face the logical consequences of your subjectivist philosophy, but the important point remains: Ideas have consequences. Our culture desperately needs remedial education. I don’t challenge your philosophical errors because it is fun. I challenge them because they contribute to the cultural decline.

  29. 29
    Upright BiPed says:

    .
    Good to see you SB, I hope all is well.

  30. 30
    Querius says:

    StephenB @28,

    Nicely articulated and I agree in general. There’s a weakness present in “objective truth.” It’s even worse with subjective truth. It’s that we necessarily make our judgments on limited information.

    The appleness of an object is falsified if we bite into it and discover it to be a scented wax apple. Or if we’re blindfolded and smell an slice of apple as we unknowingly bite into a slice of onion (try this).

    -Q

  31. 31
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, who judges the meaning of a serious or philosophical response? On what objective basis, where in the recent past, you have objected to warrant as core of objectivity and to the self evident ciceronian pervasive first duties of reason. You have actually undercut any basis for a serious exchange in so doing. Please ponder that track record, and that of those you clearly sided with. KF

    PS, Notwithstanding, for record, I note on excerpted points from your latest version:

    >>1. . . . you used an irrelevant case. As I said earlier, “Hexagon is a clearly and unequivocally well-defined term for a six-sided polygon… All those other words KF mentions are not analogous in the least bit”>>

    1: A demonstration of existence on a simple unambiguous case is undeniable, you have rhetorically sought to limit its effect.

    2: and yet, it establishes that there is good reason to accept the reality of various abstracta, and of universals, without which we cannot reason or communicate. That is, logic of being is pivotal.

    3: Further, demonstration that a category is non empty removes us from the modern logic opposition of vacuous cases, into the firmer ground of updated classical square of opposition.

    >>There is no clear definition or any other criteria that unambiguously divides>>

    4: Translated, if I object I can impose selective hyperskepticism and willful obtuseness as criteria, ignoring that the structure of arguing and communication at work pivot on implicit acceptance of abstracta, universals and first duties.

    >> truth from error,>>

    5: In effect, if I can identify any case where we do not know or disagree I sweep away the whole. Absurd, what we may not know cannot be allowed to control what we do know. On adequate warrant using means of observation, reflection, reason, prudence etc.

    6: Instead, we follow Ari in Met 1011B, truth says of what is that it is; and of what is not, that it is not. Falsehood fails this criterion, and two key cases are error [truth is intended, there is innocent failure], and lying [intentional falsehood said or suggested to deceive and gain advantage].

    >> justice from injustice,>>

    7: I have already given a yardstick case on the critical distinction. Skepticism about justice on your part does not remove duty to justice from self evident certainty and crucial civilisational importance.

    8: Where, justice is best and most easily understood in terms of the civil peace exhibiting due balance of rights, freedoms, duties. Where, none may justly claim a right or freedom that forces others to do wrong or uphold one in wrong.

    9: To soundly claim a right, the claim must rest on being in the right, consistent with the due rights of others, and my freedom cannot soundly extend to imposition on or oppression of others, i.e. duty to neighbour emerges as the underlying issue as we saw from the ciceronian first duties you and others — inevitably, inconsistently — objected to.

    >>indoctrination from education, or any of the other things KF mentioned.>>

    10: The refusal to acknowledge first duties of reason here robs of ability to pose sound education ethics and policy. This is educational nihilism by implication, truth, right reason, warrant, knowledge and prudence being set at nil, education becomes will to power imposition of a reigning orthodoxy.

    11: See, Plato’s parable of the cave, to the contrary. Such things were answered nearly 2400 years ago. Just, ignored by those with agendas that cannot stand the light of day.

    12: As for other things, the same pattern obtains.

    >>The impossibility of a nine-sided hexagon is not relevant to whatever political point you are trying to make about divisions in society about numerous contentious issues.>>

    13: Notice, the tendentious imposition of a false accusation that I am merely pushing politics, I cannot have any valid philosophical point, never mind that my point from outset of the OP is a philosophical issue, nominalism, tied to another, the rise of nihilism, which does have civilisational import, as Plato warned against long ago.

    14: Might and/or manipulation make right, rights, justice, truth, knowledge, soundness of reasoning, etc is self evidently false.

    >> KF seems to imply that nominalism implies that words have no meaning, or we can make them mean whatever we want, and that is not true.>>

    15: Of course, we may readily see that on the contrary, nominalism has a known framework, which we may outline from a handy discussion:

    Nominalism is a type of metaphysical anti-realism. It holds that things like universals, essences, and abstract objects do not exist at all. Instead, these things “exist” simply as names given to physical (concrete) particulars. As mentioned above, an example of an essence or universal would be “Man” or “Blue.” For the nominalist, “Man” and “Blue” are simply naming conventions given to physical things. In nominalism, there is no such thing as the color blue or mankind. When he says that “the water is blue,” the nominalist does not think that “blue” is anything real. If the nominalist says that “mankind” is depraved, “mankind” will not attach to or signify anything real. As an anti-realist view, nominalism is related to conceptualism. Conceptualism holds that universals exist as mental abstractions, but do not have extramental existence. There is no realm where “Blue” or “Man” exist. The conceptualist will hold that “blue” exists in his mind as an abstraction from water, whereas the nominalist will affirm only linguistic convention.

    . . . we can see Wikipedia’s admission:

    In metaphysics [–> hard core philosophy], nominalism is the view that universals and abstract objects do not actually exist other than being merely names or labels.[1][2] There are at least two main versions of nominalism. One version denies the existence of universals—things that can be instantiated or exemplified by many particular things (e.g., strength, humanity [–> try, woman, truth, justice, right, etc]). The other version specifically denies the existence of abstract objects—objects that do not exist in space and time.[3] [–> try here { } or N,Z,Q,R,C,R* for starters]

    Most nominalists have held that only physical particulars in space and time are real, and that universals exist only post res, that is, subsequent to particular things.[4]

    [–> and from above, as labels, not truths or realities, where of course one may change labels at will, truth/error, truthful/deceptive, knowledge/myth, education/indoctrination, a parasitical bit of tissue in an inconvenient place/ an unborn but living child a member of our race, or even man/woman or male/female grouper fish. The door to radical relativism and will to power nihilism yawns open.]

    However, some versions of nominalism hold that some particulars are abstract entities (e.g., numbers), while others are concrete entities – entities that do exist in space and time (e.g., pillars, snakes, bananas). [–> the versions, presumably, that deny universals rather than abstracta, falling into denying the one while affirming the many]

    Nominalism is primarily a position on the problem of universals, which dates back at least to Plato, and is opposed to realist philosophies, such as Platonic realism, which assert that universals do exist over and above particulars, and to the hylomorphic substance theory of Aristotle, which asserts that universals are immanently real within them. [–> that universals are immanently present in entities with relevant characteristics ties to the principle of distinct identity, thus the need for concrete undeniable instance]

    >>KF, I hope you can avoid confusing the label “nominalism” with substantial issues. Like all labels about philosophical perspectives, “nominalism” refers to a set of ideas with many nuances and lots of disagreements: see Wikipedia or the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, for instance. So let’s talk about the issues without worrying too much about the labels.>>

    16: See the attempt to beg and then dismiss the question? Kindly refer to 15 just above.

    >>3. As I said above, nominalism does not mean that words have no meaning,>>

    17: The actual issue is that some are pushing that, at will of power, words can be retargetted as labels, destroying meaning, as we have been seeing.

    >>or that we can make them mean whatever we want. >>

    18: Will to power.

    >>3a. The world is made of particular things: there are tree and rocks and human beings who say and do things, and so on. The premier skill of our cognitive rationality is to create abstract understandings by observing the commonalities and ignoring the differences between things. We embody these abstractions with language, first with words and then with written symbols.>>

    19: More properly, we are concrete beings with power of reasoning and communicating. We find that at the core of reason is distinct identity, that A is A, itself, i/l/o core characteristics. Where often, the characteristics reflect universal categories or abstracta. E.g., there are three red apples on the table in a bowl.

    20: Three is abstract (a member of N, cf von Neumann’s construction) and a necessary world framework being woven into the reality of any world, redness is a universal, apple as opposed to certain particular instances is a universal, in-ness and on-ness are relationships depicting spatial states of affairs and are abstract, apple vs bowl vs table mark distinct identity tracing to many core characteristics, etc.

    21: Where, that there are difficulties and debates will be true of any significant worldview position, therefore the issue is not objection but comparative difficulties.

    >>We also build levels of abstractions: we distinguish maple trees from other types of trees, trees from other types of plants, plants from animals, living things from non-living things and so on.>>

    21: We, who? The powerful, who may later decide to change categories at will? That is, abstracta and/or universals become arbitrary impositions?

    >>3b. The key idea to me is that our abstractions exist in our minds, and are shared with other humans, but they do not exist in any other sense apart from their existence in the minds of those who understand them.>>

    22: So, twoness, threeness and fiveness are arbitrary and 2 + 3 = 5 is not self evident but a convention. This immediately extends to the absurdity raised in the OP, we can redefine the label hexagon at will to include nonagon, etc. See the relevance now?

    >>There is no “treeness” that exists independently from human beings who understand that abstraction. “Treeness” has no independent existence.>>

    23: So, the properties of a mahogany tree that yields such excellent timber have no root in its nature, we are assigning labels and can call, say, a coconut tree a mahogany and insist the two timbers have the same characteristics at will. Nonsense.

    >>Although the distinctions get quite abstract, this sentence from Wikpedia says this well, I think. “Most nominalists have held that only physical particulars in space and time are real, and that universals exist only post res, that is, subsequent to particular things.”>>

    24: nope. We discover that mahogany trees make excellent ships [ask the Spanish], piles [I saw 6 ft piles that had been used to stabilise Belize City] and furniture. I defy you to take an old coconut tree trunk and make high quality furniture from it with the strength, structural stability and beauty of mahogany rightly used.

    >>4. There is nothing here that says, or implies, the negative things that KF mentions.>>

    25: on the contrary . . .

    >> Words (labels) and the abstractions they refer to are the most important tools we have for understanding. >>

    26: And so truth, reality and accurate representation must be respected i/l/o distinct identity.

    >>It is vitally important that we delineate their meanings well,>>

    27: By arbitrary imposition and redefinition at will or demand? How did the redefinition of justice work out in the case of Milada Horakova?

    >> and strive to make them accurately reflect the particulars to which they refer in the world.>>

    28: Duty to truth and right reason, of course.

    >>The distinction between education and indoctrination is fraught with ideological differences and is in no way as clear as the difference between six and nine.>>

    29: Your objection that a case is difficult and faces power games does not undermine the point that just as six-sidedness is naturally distinct from nine-sidedness, sound education that pivots on ciceronian first duties is radically and readily distinguishable from falsehood presented as truth that imposes crooked yardsticks.

    >>The fact that KF could even offer such a preposterous assertion is a example of how ideological perspectives can warp clear thinking.>>

    30: Personal attack substituted for sound analysis.

    31: I get it, you obviously can hardly stand that I am here and have thoughts that I communicate in a forum you obviously view as a threat and imagine that you can put me in my proper place as ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked. I suggest on the above that rethinking is in order and linked attitudes need reworking.

    >>Similarly, StephenB writes, “A definition describes what is. The *definition* of a hexagon, for example, is analogous to the *nature* of a thing. A hexagon has six sides, which rules out the proposition that it has can have nine sides. The *nature* of a human being is that it is either male or female, which rules out the proposition that it can be either or both.”>>

    32: Correctly so. There is accurate definition and there is false definition that takes us away from reality. That some things defy definition [life] does not change that.

    33: There is an XY chromosome based sex determination system that once it functions correctly, creates a boy or a girl, normally evident from many characteristics and central to procreation. That rarely it malfunctions does not change that reality and while we must be compassionate we must also be prudent to preserve what is central to survival of our race.

    >>No, not analogous. I don’t want to get into the cultural issue here. I do want to point out that there are enough exceptions, albeit rare, from the clear and common differences between men and women that there is no definition that is analogous to the unequivocal difference between six and nine.>>

    34: That allegedly unequivocal definition is only so as no power faction currently sees it as in its interests to overturn that inherently arbitrary label and notion.

    >> People may decide on a set of criteria to divide humans into two disjoint subsets, male and female, or people may argue that such division is not realistic nor fair, but there is no analogous issue with the distinction between six and nine.>>

    35: See the hidden imposition of power there and a notion of fairness thus justice that would force people to habitually lie and is presently destroying say women’s athletics as men have key differences rooted in maleness?

    >>I will respond to serious responses to the philosophical points I’ve made here.>>

    36: Implied right to determine what is philosophical/political at will.

    >> I’m not interested in the political or social commentary.>>

    37: Ditto, and claiming a right to side step the inconvenient.

    KF

  32. 32
    kairosfocus says:

    SB, there are strawberry guavas. Also pineapple guavas. KF

  33. 33
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Excellent response by SB

    VL

    You did a good job in outlining the issue at stake with nominalism. It’s a question of particulars and universals. As you rightly said, nominalism denies that there are universals – natures or essences and the like. But because of this, as SB highlighed – our understanding of reality is subjective and we can only speak of individual things. The fact that we have a “common agreement” on what something means is not an indication of what “the thing is in itself” but rather just something like “that’s what most people think” – like a popular vote or an appeal to “experts”.

    “Hexagon is a clearly and unequivocally well-defined term for a six-sided polygon…

    Right. Here’s the problem. A hexagon, in this view, is what it is because it has been “well defined”. It’s the name we give to various things, rather than the real, existing nature of a thing we know as “a hexagon”. That would be a universal – a thing existing as a concept. It’s not a particular thing that we analyze and decide-upon, but we know, we can visualize and we can discuss what a hexagon is because it exists as a universal. You can think of a hexagon and I can also – and in their essence, it’s the same thing. It’s not a particular object somewhere, but it’s something that exists beyond the subjective mind.
    It’s the same with man or woman. We do not need to know every particular object to know what a man is an what a woman is. It’s not a question of something being well-defined, but rather these things are universals. They’re like a tree or a dog or a house. But the subjective view will say that we don’t know what a woman is until we evaluate the particular object and apply the label to that object. The label only fits because we defined something – but we could arbitrarily define it any other way we want. We could say “this six sided thing is not a hexagon because it is in this place over here and any six-sided thing in that place we are saying ‘is not a hexagon’.” That’s just arbitrary based on particulars only – with no universal concept to define it.

    With universals, every six sided thing is a hexagon – by the nature (non-subjective essence) of the thing. With particulars, there’s no reason why a nine-sided object cannot be called a hexagon if we claim there are some exceptions to the rule or we just define some nine-sided objects as hexagons.
    It’s exactly the same with a man or a woman. A person can just say “I feel I am a woman” and supposedly that means the person is a woman – and we have no other way of validating what the person is.
    “I feel this 9-sided thing is a hexagon”. Why not accept that? In a world where there is no truth, then what the person feels or decides or defines is “true for that person” and therefore we would have to accept it. Or maybe, you will say “but I counted 9 sides” and the other person says, “so what? I only consider six of those to be real sides”.
    Subjectivism is endless with this kind of absurdity. Realist philosophy points to objects existing outside of the personal, individual mind. A triangle is a real thing as a concept. It’s different from a hexagon.

    There is no clear definition or any other criteria that unambiguously divides truth from error …

    You’re appealing to an definition of what truth is here. You cannot proceed with your argument unless we have a high-degree of certainty about what the truth is. The fact that there may be aspects of reality which are mysterious or ambiguous does not destroy the meaning of truth.

    The impossibility of a nine-sided hexagon is not relevant to whatever political point you are trying to make about divisions in society about numerous contentious issues.

    You’re using a term that conflicts with your statement that we don’t have an unambiguous definition of truth when you say “the impossibility of”.
    In the subjective view of nominalism, the term “impossible” would be a universal and therefore meaningless. There could be no way to summarize all of reality and decide “this is impossible” since universal concepts like a hexagon are really just particular objects.
    Therefore, unless one examined every particular object you could not say that it’s impossible for a nine-sided object to be a hexagon. You’d have to evaluate each one. In fact, even referring to “a nine-sided object” is appealing to a universal. You’d be assuming that other people know what you mean by “a nine-sided object” and if they don’t – they could define it differently.

    As SB stated, this is highly-relevant for politics and morality because in nominalism we cannot refer to human nature or apply things like rights to human beings, since there is nothing we can call “human beings”. There’s only particular “things” that we label human or not-human, and that’s dependent on whatever definition we want to give something.
    That’s exactly the problem with people claiming to be man or woman, and the reason why a Supreme Court justice can say she can’t define what a woman is.

  34. 34
    kairosfocus says:

    Q, BTW, polygons are multi sided figures in the Euclidean plane bounded by straight lines, or if you go 3-d in a plane in the space. Having a plane that can be converted by folding or bending, stretching etc into a non planar feature, fundamentally changes what is going on, e.g. we could superpose otherwise distinct points [or convert a toroid into a coffee mug’s shape] or change a straight line into something else, recall sheets of paper are not strictly planes, only generally good approximations. Let us stick to the plane. KF

  35. 35
    Viola Lee says:

    I started to reply to the comments addressed to me, but quickly decided that the gulf between our perspectives is too great, and the subject quickly expands into various different topics that we’ve been over before and would be be no different addressing again. My intention was/is to permanently leave this site, but I backslid and responded to the OP. That was my mistake. I’ll try again.

  36. 36
  37. 37
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    Another way to look at it is that if people have not understood or accepted your argument yet, perhaps you can develop a new and different way to present it, or different aspects that could gain a better hearing. That’s how we can improve our communication with one another.

  38. 38
    William J Murray says:

    StephenB said:

    Not true. One can discern the difference between a fundamental truth and a fundamental error by recognizing that Essentialism (realism) is true and nominalism (anti-realism) is false.

    Unfortunately, realism has been proved false by decades of scientific experimentation.

  39. 39
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, is that claim real or not? KF

  40. 40
    StephenB says:

    Upright Biped, thank you.

  41. 41
    StephenB says:

    Silver Asiatic,

    Thank you.

  42. 42
    StephenB says:

    William J. Murray writes,

    Unfortunately, realism has been proved false by decades of scientific experimentation.

    Scientific experimentation does not have the conceptual reach to affect the essence of a can opener or our capacity to understand what it is, what it is not, and what it was made for.

  43. 43
    Seversky says:

    It sounds like essence is a conceptual abstraction rather than a physical property so we should not expect to find it accessible to science.

  44. 44
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Yes, essences are conceptual abstractions and are not physical things. Science cannot empirically study them, but science requires those concepts to categorize thought. Otherwise, every observation would have nothing in common with anything else. That’s the problem of nominalism. Each thing (can’t even group them as “things”) is an independent instance; a particular thing with no essence or nature that links it with others.
    So, you observe something round and red and edible – you give it the name “apple”. There will never be another one of those in existence again. So, you could call it anything you want.
    You then see another thing that is round and red and edible. You could label it with the term “apple” or with any other term since it does not have qualities that “make it what it is” (biological organism, plant life, fruit). Things have a nature, not because we name them but because they are real things that share essences.

    1. Everything physical is particular (this apple, that laptop, this triangle drawn on the board, that triangle drawn next to it).
    2. However, some thoughts are universal (triangularity – we grasp what a triangle is without reference to a particular triangle)
    3. Therefore, some thoughts are not physical

  45. 45
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus @34,

    Ok, then take a pair of scissors (actually, one will do), and cut along the three lines instead of folding. It will remain planar, but there will be 9 edges present on the hexagon, arguably more depending how you define an edge.

    Then, to your point, consider a set of similar triangles. The concept exists without being able to create all similar triangles in the set.

    -Q

  46. 46
    kairosfocus says:

    Q, cutting is even worse in changing properties and circumstances; you have transformed the hexagon into several neighbouring figures and each cut has imposed two edges not one. BTW, a Euclidean plane is an abstract entity of perfect flatness, zero thickness and infinite extent, A flat sheet of paper approximates two such surfaces. KF

  47. 47
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev & SA, essence is a synonym for nature, pivoting on core characteristics, e.g. a hexagon is a planar, polygonal figure with six sides. These define that something is a hexagon, it does not specify particular hexagons, but particular cases will fulfill the characteristics. The point in the OP is that such a cluster of distinct characteristics is embedded in distinct identity, and we could go further to stipulate an equal vertex angle, equal side case, similar to the outline of a typical nut. A further point is that what fails of relevant characteristics is not a hexagon, where said properties and even the figure and plane are strictly speaking abstract entities, with the generic framework identifying universals common to all and only hexagons. They are as abstract as the unique set { } which we refer to, but could not find on display in any museum in any world. Where of course von Neumann’s construction then leads to collections of abstracta that are necessary beings or entities framework to any possible world, giving core math its transworld, universal power: N,Z,Q,R,C,R*, etc. E.g. the simplest way to specify a Euclidean plane is to specify the plane implicit in C and set y as the i*x axis, KF

  48. 48
    William J Murray says:

    Everyone is all about the science until the science conflicts with their ideology. Realism has been scientifically disproved. This video sums it up, with references to the experiments and papers involved.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4C5pq7W5yRM

  49. 49
    kairosfocus says:

    Is it reality that realism is disproved?

  50. 50
    William J Murray says:

    KF, I know you think you’re making an insightful comment, but you have no idea what you’re talking about. In order to offer meaningful questions, you have to understand the concept of idealism from the perspective of those that propose it. You do not, and you’ve shown zero interest in trying to understand it.

    Idealism is not the proposition that nothing is real; it’s the proposition that reality is fundamentally different than what it is under the category of ontologies called “realism.” There are real principles of thought and experience, of which one – geometry – completely validates your “there are no 9-sided hexagons” perspective. This is because things like geometry, logic and math are rules of mind, and thus are rules of experience.

    The fact that the physical world cannot violate rules of mind is your first clue that mind is causing the experience of a physical world and it has no independent existence in itself.

  51. 51
    Silver Asiatic says:

    “The End of Materialism” wrongly equates materialism with external reality. The fact that we all must reference the same structure of reality in order to do quantum experiments and to communicate successfully with each other is evidence of a reality existing external to the subjective-individual mind.

  52. 52
    William J Murray says:

    SA,
    I understand that is what you believe; unfortunately, it has been demonstrated false. Like KF, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Your “evidence of external reality” is circular, because you are beginning with and thinking from that paradigm.

  53. 53
    William J Murray says:

    When someone says that communication and experimentation – with independently verified results – is something that can only exist if there is a world external of mind that has its own intrinsic qualities has apparently never had a dream, where you are apparently experiencing communication with other people who are validating your experience of what appears to be an external physical world you are all in.

    Mind/consciousness is necessarily fully capable of producing all of that, or else we could not experience it even if there was such an external world

  54. 54
    William J Murray says:

    It’s rather ironic. The hypothesis that there is a world of intrinsic, quantitative values external of experience is entirely a mental construct made in mind about mental experiences. It has taken that which is the basis for the hypothesis – qualitative experience – and has claimed that the theoretical is the cause of those experiences. It claims that the quantitative generates the qualitative, when the quantitative are just invented ways of describing, comparing and measuring the qualitative.

    Quantities do now produce qualities; they describe, measure and compare qualities. Even if there was a quantitative world “out there,” it has no qualia to provide us with.

    It’s a lot like the theory of gravity that has turned a model of phenomena into the cause of that phenomena. Gravity doesn’t cause anything to happen, gravity is the model by which we describe certain qualia. It is a quantitative description of aspects of qualia. Quantitative descriptions do not cause that which they are created to describe.

    “An external reality” is, and can only be, a quantitative description of qualia occurring in consciousness mind, made by mind, held in mind.

  55. 55
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    I understand that is what you believe; unfortunately, it has been demonstrated false.

    But what I’m saying is that “the act of demonstrating to me” refers to an external reality.
    You would be wanting to both prove something to me and at the same time say that what you’re demonstrating is entirely in my own mind.

  56. 56
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    When someone says that communication and experimentation – with independently verified results – is something that can only exist if there is a world external of mind that has its own intrinsic qualities has apparently never had a dream, where you are apparently experiencing communication with other people who are validating your experience of what appears to be an external physical world you are all in.

    If you could have a dream with me in it, where I experienced your dream with you – then you’d have a point. But if you conducted a scientific experiment and invited me to view it, I could see your observations and measurements – all of that is external and I can share it with you.
    The fact that I cannot share your dream (or maybe I can but I have never heard of anyone experiencing someone else’s dream simultaneously) is evidence that there is a big difference between the subjective-idealist world and the realist.

  57. 57
    jerry says:

    Murray lives in a small town in South Central Texas about 75-100 miles south of Dallas off of interstate Rt 35. It’s apparently very real to him.

    How do I know this. Because he has said so on this site.

  58. 58
    StephenB says:

    WJM:

    Realism has been scientifically disproved.

    Nonsense. Contrary to your model, materialism and realism do not belong on one side of a continuum with idealism on the other. In fact, materialism and idealism are the two extremes, and realism is the rational middle.

    Conistent with your references, you begin with an unrealistic premise by insisting that infallible first principles of metaphysics (not mere philosophical assumptions, which can be and often are proven wrong) must give way to scientific models and speculative interpretations, which are not infallible. Quantum physics has been demonstrated to be sound, as far as we know, but it is not the sole scientific and philosophical reality. It is important to understand the logical priorities involved: First principles inform the conclusions of science; the conclusions of science do not inform first principles. If you reverse those priorities, you are sure to wallow in error.

    Consider the task of conducting a scientific experiment and the methodological requirement to isolate variables. If there were no universal, formal, or essential identities, there would be no way of differentiating between the thing that is being isolated and the things from which it is being isolated. The point to remember is this: All scientific conclusions must be tested against metaphysical first principles. Otherwise, we end up calling on quantum mechanics to justify all kinds of logically impossible conclusions, such as the preposterous idea that causality has been abrogated, or that the law of non-contradiction no longer applies, or that universes can create themselves out of nothing.

  59. 59
    chuckdarwin says:

    WJM/53
    Since idealism (which is the historical label for your position) holds that reality is a mental construct, and as you survey the landscape, where do the various “objects” you construct ultimately come from? Since they are not “out there” in the realm of objective reality, what is their source?
    Understand that there is a basic distinction between the notion that the mind mediates our perception of a real, external world, i.e., through the senses and brain, and that the mind creates what appears to be an external world under your view.

  60. 60
    jerry says:

    that the mind creates what appears to be an external world under your view

    Murray doesn’t really believe any of this.

    He is similar to you, using nonsense to irk certain people on this site. You should understand the motivation.

    The interesting thing is that the people he wants to irk, reply to him in seriousness just as some reply to similarly. It’s been going on for a couple years.

  61. 61
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Like in the case of a code trinity (1.sign 2.decoder 3.function) our relation with external world is also trinitarian(1.sign: real object we see;2.decoder : our brain decode light into electrical image;3.function =our internal response to the electrical image ).
    Even if we don’t see the world directly( it’s impossible without decoding because our brain doesn’t know “foton language”) that doesn’t mean the world is inexistent. What produces the electrical images we see if not the external world? 🙂

  62. 62
    William J Murray says:

    Chuckdarwin asks:

    Since idealism (which is the historical label for your position) holds that reality is a mental construct, and as you survey the landscape, where do the various “objects” you construct ultimately come from? Since they are not “out there” in the realm of objective reality, what is their source?

    Mind, obviously.

    SA said:

    The fact that I cannot share your dream (or maybe I can but I have never heard of anyone experiencing someone else’s dream simultaneously) is evidence that there is a big difference between the subjective-idealist world and the realist.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/dream-catcher/201606/can-two-people-have-the-same-dream

    Sometimes the shared dream occurs at the same time for both people. In other cases, it does not. What is remarkable is that so much of the shared dream, sometimes including small details, are recalled as strikingly similar or even identical by the two people involved, regardless of the timing of their experiences.

    Also, Bernardo Kastrup views individuals as DID alters in “universal mind.” Can alters in DID patients experience each other in an inner world? Yes.
    https://www.bernardokastrup.com/2019/10/the-many-in-our-dreams.html

    So what do we know about the dream life of a human DID patient? Can the patient’s different alters share a dream, taking different co-conscious points of view within the dream, just like you and I share a world? Can they perceive and interact with one another within their shared dream, just as people can perceive and interact with one another within their shared environment? As it turns out, there is evidence that this is precisely what happens, as research has shown (Barrett 1994: 170-171). Here is an illustrative case from the literature:

    “The host personality, Sarah, remembered only that her dream from the previous night involved hearing a girl screaming for help. Alter Annie, age four, remembered a nightmare of being tied down naked and unable to cry out as a man began to cut her vagina. Ann, age nine, dreamed of watching this scene and screaming desperately for help (apparently the voice in the host’s dream). Teenage Jo dreamed of coming upon this scene and clubbing the little girl’s attacker over the head; in her dream he fell to the ground dead and she left. In the dreams of Ann and Annie, the teenager with the club appeared, struck the man to the ground but he arose and renewed his attack again. Four year old Sally dreamed of playing with her dolls happily and nothing else. Both Annie and Ann reported a little girl playing obliviously in the corner of the room in their dreams. Although there was no definite abuser-identified alter manifesting at this time, the presence at times of a hallucinated voice similar to Sarah’s uncle suggested there might be yet another alter experiencing the dream from the attacker’s vantage. (Barrett 1994: 171)”

    SB said:

    Consider the task of conducting a scientific experiment and the methodological requirement to isolate variables. If there were no universal, formal, or essential identities, there would be no way of differentiating between the thing that is being isolated and the things from which it is being isolated. The point to remember is this: All scientific conclusions must be tested against metaphysical first principles. Otherwise, we end up calling on quantum mechanics to justify all kinds of logically impossible conclusions, such as the preposterous idea that causality has been abrogated, or that the law of non-contradiction no longer applies, or that universes can create themselves out of nothing.

    Inescapable rules of thought and experience still apply under idealism, but there’s a difference between how they apply under realism/materialism, and how they apply under idealism. For instance, it changes the nature of that which can be identified, and what it can be identified as, and under what conditions. Such as: Is it a particle? Is it a wave? Is it an experience within the mind of an observer? Is it immaterial information until measured by the act of observational measurement?

    IOW, the innate “table-ness” of something experienced as a table does not mean the table exists out there for all observers; it means that “table-ness is a quality of experience, not a quality that can be found in a world of quantities. You cannot examine the quantities and get the quality of table-ness, just as you cannot experience “red” by examining the numbers that describe it’s bandwidth location.

  63. 63
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    Can they perceive and interact with one another within their shared dream, just as people can perceive and interact with one another within their shared environment?

    The example that Kastrup cited from an event in 1994 did not illustrate what he proposed above.

  64. 64
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, a sidetrack of course but the point is reality is branch on which we all sit territory, ie what is the case antecedent to whatever we may know of it. Obviously reality is not plum pudding model atoms in space. The main point in the OP obviously remains valid. KF

  65. 65
    StephenB says:

    WJM:

    ,,,the innate “table-ness” of something experienced as a table does not mean the table exists out there for all observers; it means that “table-ness is a quality of experience, not a quality that can be found in a world of quantities.

    In this context. the word “experience” is too vague to mean much of anything. We can experience a great many things and know nothing. We can, for instance, have sense experience of a table’s weight, its hardness and its squareness, but until we have intellectual knowledge of what a table really is, our knowledge base is hopelessly incomplete. If abstract universals didn’t exist, we couldn’t know that a table falls into a specific category as a piece of furniture with a flat top and one or more legs, providing a level surface on which objects may be placed, and that can be used for such purposes as eating, writing, working, or playing games.

    We can grasp the idea of a universal or a category because those concepts actually mean something. Hence, we can have sense experience of the table’s weight, its hardness and its squareness, but until we know why a table exists, we are ignorant on the subject. The source of the table’s form is the builder who designed it, not the individual who sits by the finished product and meditates on it. In a broader sense, if we cannot grasp such universal concepts as “justice,” “human nature,” “dignitity,” etc., then we cannot know anything worth knowing.

    The idealist world view also has an adverse effect on our capacity to reason in the abstract. It is only because we know about the whatness of a table that we can know that it is not a chair. On the basis of comparing universal identities, we can form judgments about what is true or false. We can say, “this table is not a chair, and anyone who says so has made a false statement.” The take home point is that it is the form which is the primary object of our understanding.

  66. 66
    chuckdarwin says:

    WJM/62

    I disagree that it’s “obvious” that objects of perception, on idealism, arise in the mind. Let’s take your table. “[T]he innate “table-ness” of something experienced as a table does not mean the table exists out there for all observers.”
    Let’s, for the moment forget other “observers.” I am sitting at a table, leaning on the surface of the table on my forearms and reading this post on an iPad. What am I leaning on? What are my eyes focused on? What are my fingers touching to scroll the screen? To type these words?
    If reality is nothing but a mental construct, none of these things can happen except in my imagination, i.e., my “mind.” The existence of “things,” including people is nothing but an elaborate waking dream. If that’s the case, we should be able to alter our reality at will. I haven’t learned that trick, have you?

  67. 67
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Let’s look at the abstracta and universals involved in the case in point, thence logic of being issues:

    1 – A hexagon is a polygon, where polygon is a universal category and is abstract. There is no more a museum where one may see polygon on display as where one may see the null set, { }.

    2 – The hexagon is in the Euclidean plane [as opposed to the sketch on the screen, which is imperfect of course but helps us form the concept].

    3 – Six sided-ness as a polygon is reflecting six-ness [abstract quantitative property itself tied to members of various sets of quantities etc] and is associated with many polygon properties such as sum of angles at vertices related to count of sides, S = (n – 2) * pi, in rads. or * 180 in degrees.

    4 – We see here a-causal characteristics that express and constrain being, i.e. logic of being, distinct identity and core characteristics are deeply interconnected.

    5 – The hexagon is in a plane, typically the Euclidean plane: perfectly flat, no finite bounds on extent in two spatial dimensions, zero thickness. Again, inherently abstract but real.

    6 – The sides are of course line segments, where the lines are in the plane, are point sets forming a continuum, with straightness of the chain. All, abstract and interconnected.

    7 – The hexagon is a bounded figure with interior, boundary, exterior. Again, abstracta expressing core characteristics.

    8 – And more. Hexagons have many properties, regular hexagons are particularly interesting to explore. Try looking at sub figures and numerical relationships, you will soon see ratios and irrationals, bringing in the reals. The best way to specify a plane is to use complex numbers and relabel i*x as y. This builds on the property that three points not in a straight line imply a plane, a triangle property.

    9 – This brings out an introductory remark by my first Geometry Teacher, Fr R. headmaster at my school. Geometry teaches logical thinking. In recent years I have realised, not just to solve things obviously, but also help us understand logic of being, abstracta and universals.

    10 – of course, a nonagon has differing properties, but if abstracta and/or universals are simply nothing but — notice the set to zero game — labels, then it is a matter of politics why we don’t extend hexagon to enfold what we please. So, the nominalism invites factionalism and breackdown of recognition of intelligible reality expressed in truthful, accurate and representative, description.

    11 – This gives us an existence demonstration which by counter example exposes and corrects false universal denials. Which, note, inherently appeal to universals thus anstracta and saw off the branch on which they sit.

    12 – But other cases are ambiguous or fuzzy at the margins or we don’t have exact general definitions [etc] comes up. The sequence is

    REALITY > Truth describing it > Warrant conferring objectivity > knowledge > acknowledgement

    13 – Our lack of willingness to acknowledge, hyperskeptically dismissive willful ignorance, does not change reality, truth, warrant and resulting knowability. Knowledge being best understood in a weak form, defeasible sense that is commonplace: warranted, credibly true [so, reliable] belief. Yes, that embraces the strong form as a limit case.

    14 – And yes the common notion that faith and knowledge are opposites, is ill informed. Knowledge is a form of responsible, reasonable and even confident faith. Huge implications for worldviews and for restoring willingness to acknowledge built in first law, moral knowledge, logic of being, even theological knowledge.

    15 – We thus see nominalism keeping company with hyperskepticism, incoherence and nihilism. No wonder we see a pattern of consequences.

    KF

  68. 68
    William J Murray says:

    CD @66,
    I’m sorry I didn’t mean that it is obvious in that way. I meant that, under idealism, it is obvious because under idealism, all that is proposed to exist is consciousness, mind.

    If reality is nothing but a mental construct, none of these things can happen except in my imagination, i.e., my “mind.”

    Under idealism, “Imagination” is one subset of mental phenomena. It does not represent the entirety of mental phenomena.

    The existence of “things,” including people is nothing but an elaborate waking dream.

    Roughly correct.

    If that’s the case, we should be able to alter our reality at will.

    Do you regularly alter reality “at will” in all of your dreams? I don’t. I don’t personally know anyone who reports being able to do that in a dream. In most of my dreams, I’m just some guy doing something in what appears to be an external 3D world with other people I interact with – pretty much like my waking life in that respect.

    Where do you get the idea that just because all of this is in mind, we should be able to alter it “at will?” Can you change everything in your mind “at will?”

    I haven’t learned that trick, have you?

    if you mean, change things I can’t normally effect via my body immediately upon deliberate, mental command, no. But, I think that’s a false test anyway. I have conducted decades of other personal experiments to test Idealism/MRT out. I have proven it at least to myself to my satisfaction and great personal benefit.

  69. 69
    William J Murray says:

    StephenB said:

    We can grasp the idea of a universal or a category because those concepts actually mean something.

    They “actually mean something” in idealism as well. They just don’t mean the same kind of thing as they mean under externalism (external realism.)

    The idealist world view also has an adverse effect on our capacity to reason in the abstract. It is only because we know about the whatness of a table that we can know that it is not a chair.

    The “whatness” difference between a table and a chair always resides in mind, consciousness, experience. Take that away, and there is no difference between a table and a chair. Quantities are abstract descriptions (measurements) of qualia.

    You are mistaking the map (theory of external reality) for the terrain (internal, conscious experience/qualia.) Qualia is everything. Nothing can be shown to exist outside of it. It’s literally impossible, and science has demonstrated this conclusively, even though it didn’t need to. It is an experiential absolute; a self-evident truth, a first principle nobody here can escape.

  70. 70
    William J Murray says:

    As I’ve said before, one of the difficulties in understanding Idealism is that most people cannot help but evaluate it from their a priori perspective of external realism.

    Questions along the line of “where the experience of a definitive chair, table or tree comes from if not from an external world of things with innate characteristics,” and “how is it other people agree with us,” all come from the assumption of an external reality to begin with.

    What is interesting is that many who argue against this also believe that everything that is postulated as being part of the world of external reality, including tables, chairs and trees, began as ideas or thought in the nonphysical mind of God. If ideas of things must come from an external physical reality, where did God get those ideas from? How was God able to form images of things in His mind that did not yet have existence?

    The materialist/external realist argument fails because quantum physics has demonstrated that perspective false by conducting research to prove some form of external realism, local or non-local was possible, and failed every time. They failed to show external realism was even theoretically possible.

    However it is that our mutual experiences of tables, chairs and trees occur, it is not occurring via any external medium of inherent (real) characteristics. It is true that multiple people are having largely mutual experiences in the category of personal qualia arena we mistakenly identify as “the external, physical, real world.” However that occurs, it cannot be because there is an actual, real, external medium delivering that experience to all of us.

    It may be difficult to imagine how mutually verifiable qualia can be occurring any other way, but IMO that is just because the habit of thinking in terms of external realism runs so deep. Understanding what the science shows, and correlating that with mutually verifiable qualia, may require rethinking what “individual personhood” is, what space-time is, the relationship of consciousness and mind to individual personhood, and why any individual is experiencing what they are experiencing and not something else.

    A lot of excellent minds in several different fields of study are addressing these questions and ideas wrt to idealist theory in several articles over at The Essentia Foundation website.

  71. 71
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, it should be called grand delusionism. KF

  72. 72
    William J Murray says:

    KF,
    You’re the one that believes in an unprovable, inaccessible, unnecessary domain of existence which cannot be evidenced even in theory. You’re the one ignoring 100+ years of conclusive scientific evidence to maintain your belief in that hypothetical world.

    However, I wouldn’t call your views a delusion. It’s just a common error in thinking.

  73. 73
    William J Murray says:

    Rational thought doesn’t require external realism, simply because all rational thought is necessarily about qualia and occurs in mind as qualia. Qualia is the universal currency of all experience, the only thing we directly know to be real. Everything else is hypothesis and conjecture. Not all qualia is the same. There are different kinds of qualia, as we all know, and the relationship between different kinds of qualia is what needs to be examined, identified usefully and rationally organized into a comprehensive theory of Idealism.

  74. 74
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, you know what F H Bradley showed 100 years ago. That who proposes that the world of things in themselves is unknowable to us, has claimed to know what he claims is unknowable. So, by self referential incoherence, collapse. Indeed, any species of grand delusionism implies the radical unreliability of senses and reasoning so defeats itself; sawing off the branch on which we sit. The sounder view is to acknowledge the fallibility but recognise there is good reason to believe our senses in general, save where shown to be erroneous. KF

  75. 75
    chuckdarwin says:

    WJM/in passim
    I appreciate your comments. For the time being, I will be mired in the more conventional view of the mind as the mediator between external and internal reality. To me, idealism simply doesn’t provide an explanation for objects “out there.”
    I’m not so crass and dismissive as to label idealism “delusional,” as does KF, any more than any other philosophical position; it has a long and respected history in philosophy, including a huge influence on 20th century German phenomenology.

  76. 76
    StephenB says:

    WJM:

    You are mistaking the map (theory of external reality) for the terrain (internal, conscious experience/qualia.)

    You often make this mistake by saying that those who criticize your world view do not understand it or are too invested in realism to analyze the matter on the merits. On the contrary, Idealism, which takes different forms, is not that hard to grasp and most people know what they are rejecting when they say that they don’t believe it. There is nothing sophisticated in the claim that “mind is everything.”

    However, you have quietly strayed from your original false claim that “scientific experimentation” has disproved realism and shifted the ground to a logical defense of idealism, which is a different project altogether. As I have already indicated, scientific models and experiments cannot make that stretch. To merely claim it be so, as your references do, will not suffice.

    Logical priorities matter. Scientific evidence does not inform first principles; first principles inform scientific evidence. Yet many scientists try to show that quantum physics has disproved the laws of causation, *identity,* and non-contradiction, all of which must be presupposed in order to do any science at all. Thus, skeptics tend to pervert the role of science to get it to do what they want it to do. When they analyze evidence, they often stack the deck to support a foregone conclusion rather than follow the evidence where it leads. Or, they just make stretches. In other words, they are infamously unreliable because they have no respect for truth.

  77. 77
    William J Murray says:

    KF,
    Then only way one can possibly know a thing for what it is, is if idealism is true. The only way reasoning can be trusted is if idealism is true. The only way our senses can be trusted to be giving us accurate information is if idealism is true.

    All this is because that it is only under idealism that qualia = reality and not a facsimile or simulation of a reality beyond our reach; a facsimile or simulation we can never, even in theory, validate for accuracy.

  78. 78
    relatd says:

    SB at 76,

    Well said. Sometimes, people will invent reasons to avoid the truth. To invent complex ideas to distract from it.

  79. 79
  80. 80
    William J Murray says:

    KF, yes. WJM

    All rational thought depends entirely on the proposition that some aspects of qualia are direct experiences of real things as they are, such as logic, math and geometry. This is why we can only discover logic, math and geometry, and not simply invent them however we want.

    What do we directly know these fundamental aspects of reason apply to? Other qualia, qualia that is of a different kind than those fundamental principles of thought. It doesn’t take a master of logic to understand that the only thing we can be doing is applying qualia to qualia – comparing qualia, sorting qualia out into different categories of qualia, using qualia as our tools.

    Even if there was an external reality, all we have to work with is qualia. You can argue until you are blue in the face that using qualia as a ruler to measure other qualia is a problem, but that doesn’t matter because it is an inescapable fact of sentient existence. Using the abstraction of a hypothesized “external world” only does one thing: it just adds another layer of qualia (the abstract theory) to the mix. You then apply the fundamental principle qualia (logic, etc) to the abstract theory of quantities (in a proposed external reality) as if that abstract theory has more “reality value” than the actual, experiential qualia the theory is abstracted from.

    It is exactly like saying the theory of gravity is what is really causing the phenomena it was abstracted to model. The theory of gravity is a model invented in qualia to describe certain aspects of qualia.

    Again, it doesn’t matter if there is an external reality or not; the only thing we can be applying logic and science to is qualia. If qualia being used to measure and validate qualia is, in your view, “delusional,” then there’s no escaping that delusion by imagining there is an external reality “out there” somewhere; that would make zero difference.

  81. 81
    William J Murray says:

    SB said:

    Yet many scientists try to show that quantum physics has disproved the laws of causation, *identity,* and non-contradiction, all of which must be presupposed in order to do any science at all.

    This is the kind of statement people make who do not understand current theories of idealism because they are presupposing external realism. Nobody has said causation has been disproved, or that any logical principles have been violated. Nobody is saying that logical principles are not inviolable under idealism, or that causation does not exist under idealism.

  82. 82
    relatd says:

    WJM at 80,

    “… it doesn’t matter if there is an external reality or not…”

    Please describe the interdimensional reality you live in. No one I know even thinks like this.

  83. 83
    William J Murray says:

    Here is the hard problem for external realists: how do the quantities (in terms of energy values, motion, etc.) that world is said to be comprised of generate qualities of experience in mind? How do the quantities that get translated from source values into bio-electric quantities found in sensory equipment and the brain become experiential qualities in mind?

    External realism has no answer to the hard problem; idealism has no such problem to solve in the first place.

  84. 84
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM,

    no, again, anything that states, implies or invites grand delusion self-defeats.

    Let’s start with SEP on qualia:

    Qualia
    First published Wed Aug 20, 1997; substantive revision Thu Aug 12, 2021

    Feelings and experiences vary widely. For example, I run my fingers over sandpaper, smell a skunk, feel a sharp pain in my finger, seem to see bright purple, become extremely angry. In each of these cases, I am the subject of a mental state with a very distinctive subjective character. There is something it is like for me to undergo each state, some phenomenology that it has. Philosophers often use the term ‘qualia’ (singular ‘quale’) to refer to the introspectively accessible, phenomenal aspects of our mental lives.

    There is nothing in what a quale is that requires that our inner experience or awareness is locked in and cannot access the external world.

    And if that is claimed, or it is taken as default regarding the world of things in themselves and states of affairs, it is a self referential, self defeating claim to transcend locked in status.

    The point remains, there is no good reason to believe we are locked in so we must somehow doubt or dismiss the external in common world.

    Of course, we all live that way.

    Also, meanwhile, turning from this repeat side track, we have seen good reason to accept both abstracta and universals.

    KF

    KF

  85. 85
    StephenB says:

    I wrote,
    —“Yet many scientists try to show that quantum physics has disproved the laws of causation, *identity,* and non-contradiction, all of which must be presupposed in order to do any science at all.”

    WJM responds:

    Nobody has said causation has been disproved, or that any logical principles have been violated.

    That is easy to refute. From the physicist Laurence Krauss, we get this:

    “The interesting thing about the universe is it’s not logical. At least it’s not classically logical….It’s [science] taught us that the universe is the way it is whether we like it or not….The point is if we continue to rely on our understanding of the universe on…classical logic…then we’d still be living in a world where heavier objects, we think, fall faster than light objects…instead of doing the experiment to check it out. We can’t rely on what we think to be sensible; we have to rely on what the universe tells us is sensible….The universe just simply isn’t sensible.”

    Are you not aware that Krauss wrote a book entitled, “A universe from nothing?” There can be no greater departure from the laws of logic than that.

  86. 86
    relatd says:

    SB at 85,

    Does anyone think that before formal experiments that people did not actually see objects of different weights falling at the same rate? Or birds flying? Before gliders and powered aircraft? The universe is totally sensible. Birds know how to bank and turn in the wind. The universe is sensible, with consistent rules.

  87. 87
    Querius says:

    Relatd @86,

    The universe is sensible, with consistent rules.

    Really? Is quantum mechanics sensible with consistent rules? And what about Chaos theory?

    If you answer in the affirmative, please provide support for your assertions.

    -Q

  88. 88
    relatd says:

    Quantum mechanics works primarily at the sub-atomic level. While examining what goes on in the sub-atomic world, strange things have been observed. But once described, there are rules. That’s why quantum computers are being developed and one has been released.

    “At the beginning of 2019, IBM unveiled its first commercial quantum computer. Fast forward to January 2020, and the company claimed at CES 2020 that we are now in the decade (the 2020s) of quantum computing.”

    https://newsroom.ibm.com/2021-11-16-IBM-Unveils-Breakthrough-127-Qubit-Quantum-Processor

    “Chaos theory, in mechanics and mathematics, the study of apparently random or unpredictable behaviour in systems governed by deterministic laws. A more accurate term, deterministic chaos, suggests a paradox because it connects two notions that are familiar and commonly regarded as incompatible. The first is that of randomness or unpredictability, as in the trajectory of a molecule in a gas or in the voting choice of a particular individual from out of a population. In conventional analyses, randomness was considered more apparent than real, arising from ignorance of the many causes at work. In other words, it was commonly believed that the world is unpredictable because it is complicated. The second notion is that of deterministic motion, as that of a pendulum or a planet, which has been accepted since the time of Isaac Newton as exemplifying the success of science in rendering predictable that which is initially complex.”

  89. 89
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    There is nothing in what a quale is that requires that our inner experience or awareness is locked in and cannot access the external world.

    Then as the IDist asks of the materialist: tell me how it’s done. Tell me how the quantities of the external world become qualities in mind. The gap you have to bridge there is every bit as deep as the chasm that separates random, natural forces and the complex, interdependent, organized, coded nano-technology we find in living cells.

    Until you can provide a theory of how an external world of quantities can become an internal, conscious experience of qualities, you’re just as guilty of expressing ideological faith as the materialist.

  90. 90
    William J Murray says:

    SB said:

    That is easy to refute. From the physicist Laurence Krauss, we get this:

    Did you really think I meant “nobody, not a single person in the entire world?” Do you not understand the use of colloquial terms and phrases?

  91. 91
    William J Murray says:

    I don’t need to wait for KF to answer. He can’t tell me how it’s done. Nobody can explain how a world of quantities produces the personal experience of qualities. KF has no “theory of mind” at all. Apparently, to him, it’s just a vague, general commodity to be thought however it is convenient to fit his worldview. He cannot explain how it accesses the external world he proposes. It just does. Just like a materialist cannot explain how that same world of qualities produces conscious qualia – it just does.

    Under idealism, there is no hard problem of consciousness or any issue of domain-bridging.

  92. 92
    Querius says:

    Relatd @88,

    Quantum mechanics works primarily at the sub-atomic level.

    Yes, that’s how deterministic materialists typically wave it off. But it turns out, quantum superposition is fundamental to why the sun shines . . . pretty fundamental to life, right? So “reality” starts at a subatomic level and is fundamentally based on information (according to Professor Vlatko Vedral), but has consequences throughout. Your example of quantum computing is a great example.

    “Chaos theory, in mechanics and mathematics, the study of apparently random or unpredictable behaviour in systems governed by deterministic laws. A more accurate term, deterministic chaos . . .

    Again, a typical rationalization from deterministic materialists. It turns out that their determinism is based on INFINITE information of the initial starting conditions, so it’s actually deterministic only in theory, not in practice. Take the case of the Mandelbrot set. Is it finite or infinite?

    The existence of truly random events is even reluctantly admitted by Dr. Sabine Hossenfelder, a deterministic materialist, in one of her recent videos. Even a little randomness screws up determinism.

    -Q

  93. 93
    William J Murray says:

    Quantum mechanics works primarily at the sub-atomic level.

    This was nothing more than an assumption that has also been disproved.

  94. 94
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, we are going over and over things already addressed and known to be worldview comparative difficulties issues, on a side track. Notwithstanding, for record on several points:

    >>He can’t tell me how it’s done. Nobody can explain how a world of quantities produces the personal experience of qualities. >>

    1: Smuggled in assumption, that the physical world effectively reduces to the abstracta we call numbers.

    2: A better view is to recognise that logic of being includes as one facet logic of structure and quantity. Which does not entail that things in themselves do not have a range of intelligible properties tied to distinct identity.

    3: Where also, logic of structure and quantity speaks to constraints of being that are not causal, there is not a how but rather that distinct identity injects twoness, A and ~A, thence N,Z,Q,R,C,R* etc with all that they carry by way of mere coherence and distinctiveness of entities.

    4: Sufficient reason is broader than mechanical cause.

    >>KF has no “theory of mind” at all.>>

    5: Have you been here so long and failed to notice that I do not claim intellectual property but acknowledge others? Start with Eng Derek Smith and the two tier controller cybernetic loop. Where the higher order entity effects a Turing Oracle machine that inherently is trans-algorithmic. Where quantum influence has long been on the table. And more.

    >>Apparently, to him, it’s just a vague, general commodity to be thought however it is convenient to fit his worldview.>>

    6: We know gigo limited computation on a substrate cannot rise to rational, responsible agent freedom, where we are rational. Therefore we see the implications of the oracle approach. Single step injection of wisdom, lifting the computational substrate.

    >>He cannot explain how it accesses the external world he proposes. It just does. >>

    7: For argument take this and ask what follows. Was Newton’s knowledge of Gravitation undermined by his want of understanding of spacetime warping? No, we must never allow points of ignorance to rob us of what we can see and warrant. That was one of the key breakthroughs of the scientific revolution.

    8: Further, causal frames do not exhaust sufficient reason. To ponder these we must be rational and responsibly free, that directly exposes computational reductionism. We exhibit mind, spirit, moral government on built in law. These constrain the sort of being we are.

    9: Similarly, we can know from logic of being considerations as outlined. And quantum wave influence has long been on the table.

    >>Just like a materialist cannot explain how that same world of qualities produces conscious qualia – it just does.>>

    10: The attempted comparison fails. Materialism here leads to computationalism thence massive incoherence. Observation of our behaviours shows there is more and logic of being points to answers.

    11: Where, there is no good reason to dismiss our senses, conscious awareness and recognition of the in common world as a Matrix like delusional dream.

    KF

  95. 95
    StephenB says:

    I wrote,

    —“Many scientists try to show that quantum physics has disproved the laws of causation, *identity,* and non-contradiction, all of which must be presupposed in order to do any science at all.”

    WJM responds:

    Nobody has said causation has been disproved, or that any logical principles have been violated.

    That claim is easy to refute. From the physicist Laurence Krauss, we get this:

    The interesting thing about the universe is it’s not logical. At least it’s not classically logical….It’s [science] taught us that the universe is the way it is whether we like it or not….The point is if we continue to rely on our understanding of the universe on…classical logic…then we’d still be living in a world where heavier objects, we think, fall faster than light objects…instead of doing the experiment to check it out. We can’t rely on what we think to be sensible; we have to rely on what the universe tells us is sensible….The universe just simply isn’t sensible.”

    Are you not aware that Krauss wrote a book entitled, “A universe from nothing?” There can be no greater departure from the laws of logic than that.

    WJM responds

    Did you really think I meant “nobody, not a single person in the entire world?” Do you not understand the use of colloquial terms and phrases?

    I am prepared to grant you every benefit of the doubt. Perhaps you meant to say that the attack on classical logic by quantum theorists does occur but it is so rare as to be almost non-existent. If so, then that statement is equally easy to refute.

    Perhaps another example will help:
    Philosophy of Science
    Vol. 55, No. 1 (Mar., 1988), pp. 39-57 (19 pages)
    Published By: The University of Chicago Press

    Abstract

    There is sufficient evidence at present to justify the belief that the universe began to exist without being caused to do so.

    How many examples of non-logical scientific reasoning do you need? You can’t do science when you reject the principle of causality. Surely, you don’t want to die on that hill.

  96. 96
    William J Murray says:

    SB @95,

    For future reference, when you’re in a one-on-one discussion with someone, and they say, “Look, nobody is saying that,” they usually mean him or herself, and/or they are talking about some group they are specifically including in the conversation. My apologies for not being clear. I was talking about myself and those that I am aware of, like Kastrup and Lanza, that are proposing idealistic models of reality.

    KF said:

    WJM, we are going over and over things already addressed and known to be worldview comparative difficulties issues, on a side track.

    Nobody has a gun to your head, bro.

    “Quantities” does not just refer to numbers; it also refers to that which the “numbers” are supposed to be quantifying. These are quantities (not just the quantifying numbers) that are hypothesized to exist as they are in the external world, such as mass, spin, charge, etc.

    This quantifying information about this proposed world supposedly goes through a physical interpretation into some kind of corresponding bio-electric/chemical quantities in our sensory apparatus and brain. Particular excited states of all the parts of a particular section of neurons, chemicals released, etc.

    However, we don’t experience those quantities as those quantities. We don’t see, feel or hear these bio-electric/chemical states and patterns as such. Where and how are these informational quantities turned into first-person qualia? Where and how is the excited neural pattern of chemical quantities turned into the image of a tree, or the sound of music, or the texture and weight of a piece of wood?

    Where and how is the gap traversed between the material quantities and the mental experience of qualities traversed? How is qualia produced from these quantifiable states?

    Of course you don’t have an answer to that – no external realist does.

  97. 97
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    Where, there is no good reason to dismiss our senses, conscious awareness and recognition of the in common world as a Matrix like delusional dream.

    Nobody is saying to dismiss any of that, only to reorganize and relabel them conceptually.

  98. 98
    Fred Hickson says:

    “After we came out of the church, we stood talking for some time together of Bishop Berkeley’s ingenious sophistry to prove the non-existence of matter, and that every thing in the universe is merely ideal. I observed, that though we are satisfied his doctrine is not true, it is impossible to refute it. I never shall forget the alacrity with which Johnson answered, striking his foot with mighty force against a large stone, till he rebounded from it, ‘I refute it thus.’”
    (Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson, quoted from Wikipedia.)

    Ask a philosopher. The ensuing imagined conversation between Berkeley and Johnson seems pertinent to Murray’s position on idealism.

    PS

    It’s quite amusing how the “map is not territory” accusation approaches epidemic levels here. Even more amusing to note they all seem to be valid.

  99. 99
    Fred Hickson says:

    Nobody can explain how a world of quantities produces the personal experience of qualities.

    Classic example! 😉

  100. 100
    vividbleau says:

    StephenB
    Glad to (metaphorically) see you again.

    Vivid

  101. 101
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, of course, as thread owner, I could simply gavel side tracks [as you have done sometimes], but that would only feed the rhetoric of evading as one has no answer. I have taken time to respond for record. Are you for example now willing to acknowledge that for over a decade I have addressed the issue of mind and mind-body interaction, also the incoherence of monisms, via the principle of the one and the many and via the Smith model cybernetic loop with a two tier controller? Materialism, as Haldane understood, undermines freedom to reason. Mentalism leads by degrees to grand delusion, reducing our in common world as experienced to a delusion undermining credibility of mind. Quantum level influence is the right sort of context. Oracle machines surpass limits of computation on a substrate. Freedom with moral government is necessary to rationality. And what we do not know must not undermine what we can or do know. KF

  102. 102
    William J Murray says:

    Of course you have addressed those things, KF. You have done so countless times. The problem is, addressing a subject matter doesn’t mean you have said anything of merit on the subject.

    I can address the subject of how the internet works all day long; but nothing I say will have any merit because I have no idea how the internet works. I can talk about the internet in terms of graphic design (or some other subject which I do know about) as if what I’m saying has merit in terms of how the internet works, but again, such “addressing” has no substantive merit.

    You are addressing something you have no idea about other than in terms of something else. You cannot address idealism from the framework of external realism as if external realism has anything of merit to say about idealism.

    I’ll grant you, “grand delusion” or “solipsism” is how idealism appears to work, or what it appears to be, when assessed from the perspective of external realism, which is what you have been doing for years here now. I’ve pointed this out many times before, giving you multiple opportunities to ask questions about how various idealistic theories work and what they mean, but you have always been resolutely uninterested in pursuing such understanding.

    What you do, KF, is simply lecture about your particular ideology of external realism and its epistemology. As I’ve said many times, that model is very functionable and internally consistent. It’s good model.

    The problem is that science has proved it false. You can argue all day long that this necessarily means “grand delusion,” but that argument doesn’t make the science go away.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wM0IKLv7KrE <— The science.

    I will leave you to your thread now. I appreciate your indulgence.

  103. 103
    Fred Hickson says:

    Not usually a fan of videos, William, but I managed to watch it through. Was struck by one point made:
    You cannot have a universe that is:
    Objective
    Deterministic
    Independent

    Which is fine as I reject determinism anyway, so problem solved. Also, the whole idea of cause and effect misses the point of interactions where causes and effects are combined. The very process of observation necessarily interacts with what is being measured and interacts with the observer.

  104. 104
    kairosfocus says:

    I have, your brusque dismissiveness notwithstanding.

  105. 105
    jerry says:

    Successful thread – over a 100 comments and nothing new.

    Just one absurdity after the other and people responding to the absurdities as if they are serious.

  106. 106
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    If ideas of things must come from an external physical reality, where did God get those ideas from? How was God able to form images of things in His mind that did not yet have existence?

    You’ve introduced the topic of God, as it seems appropriate given the topic is about the nature of reality. But before explaining anything about the existence of God (and how you accepted it) or your relationship to God or the nature of God – you’ve gone directly to the question of “how did God do it”?
    Clearly, your understanding of God’s nature is essential before trying to figure out how God does things.
    This is the problem that occurs when trying to discuss God with atheists, for example. If the person doesn’t believe God exists, then there’s no sense in explaining the operations of God. A more fundamental truth has to be reached first – that God does exist and therefore has a certain nature and certain attributes. Additionally, we have some relationship with God. If God created human beings and the human rational mind and gave people the gift of life – then there’s a sacred and reverential quality to the topic. In that case, God would be more than just a “supra-materialistic force” out there somewhere that does various things that we can study like a super-nova or newly discovered physical process somewhere – but rather a being that has a relationship with us.
    So, when a person arrives at that kind of knowledge, appropriate expectations of what human beings could or should be able to understand about the mind of God will arise.
    Eventually, theological and religious teachings will have value in that kind of discussion.
    But to just start out with “how did God do it” without affirming God’s nature or powers or relationship with human minds – is premature and kind of useless for a discussion-point.
    Then again, do we really want to get into theological discussions here?
    I think for the purposes of ID – idealism works well enough. The fact that it makes no difference to science (it seems) whether idealism is true or not, then ID doesn’t have a problem with it.
    In an idealist view nothing actually changes. All of the external world that every human being perceives is just said to be an illusion. If the illusion is real (and not illusory) or not is mostly irrelevant.

  107. 107
    relatd says:

    WJM at 93,

    Don’t give me that. Look up quantum mechanics and superposition. IBM has built a quantum computer. Try to deal with facts.

  108. 108
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Dr. Robert Koons on Idealism
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvkz5ftwhk4

    5 minutes on his opposition to idealism. He takes a Thomistic-realist perspective.

  109. 109
    relatd says:

    SA at 106,

    If this discussion is about the nature of reality then theology should not be excluded as if it is surrounded by an impenetrable fence. In some Eastern belief systems, this reality is an illusion. A person’s worldview is given to them. Sometimes, it is examined in other contexts. Perhaps in a search for some grounding or further confirmation.

    People live by their worldviews, whether they are aware of it or not. That is very relevant.

  110. 110
    Silver Asiatic says:

    relatd

    I said earlier that it doesn’t really make a difference if a person accepts an idealist view since it will have the same science but just believes that there’s no external reality and everything we perceive is mental-only.
    I think it would make a big difference, however on second thought, if an idealist said something like “I have observed results of a scientific theory in my dream – therefore the theory has been validated”.
    If asked to demonstrate the theory in “the real world” the idealist could just say that the results only occur under conditions in the dream world.
    So, we’d end up with a lot of chaos and disorder under that worldview, and that’s a strike against it as I see it.
    Yes, that’s arguing from the consequences but it says that not only does the realist view correlate with our lived-experience, but the idealist view could destroy all rational thought.

  111. 111
    relatd says:

    SA at 110,

    So, what’s the point of all this? I have a bunch of boxes. One is marked idealist. One is marked realist. And so on. Again – WHAT is the point? Science is apparently god to some people. Or – if science tells us this then that – and ONLY that – matters. Or some similar position.

    That’s not a guide to anyone about real reality.

  112. 112
    Silver Asiatic says:

    relatd

    So, what’s the point of all this? I have a bunch of boxes. One is marked idealist. One is marked realist. And so on. Again – WHAT is the point?

    The point takes us back to Abelard and then to Descartes. Instead of the belief that there is a “real world” that we access with our mind (through the senses), those philosophers believed that the only thing we know and experience is our own mind. From there, the Anglican Bishop Berkeley said that only the mind exists. Thus idealism.

    Quantum theory came along and then we have the idea that at the subatomic level, particles are unpredictable and non-deterministic, and also that consciousness plays a role.
    The positive aspect is that materialism (as in reality is comprised of little clumps of stuff called matter) has been eliminated. This is a big problem for materialism (note BA77’s many posts on that theme). So, that’s the point for many people – that quantum-idealism refutes materialism.
    But as pointed out, it brings additional problems.
    As Robert Koons indicates in the video I posted, the refutation of materialism does not refute realism. It only causes a big problem for people who previously believed in scientism-via-materialism.

  113. 113
    Querius says:

    StephenB @95,

    A well-researched and cogent response!

    Thanks for the quote from Lawrence Krauss, I was surprised at his position.

    Similarly, while I don’t share Lee Smolin’s views on the necessity of a creator, I deeply respect his philosophical honesty and lack of ideological prejudice in his books. He’s up front about his presuppositions rather than creating circular arguments to justify his position.

    Silver Asiatic @112,
    Also nicely stated. I appreciate it when quantum physicists can let go of their cherished materialism to consider the evidence available dispassionately. While Sabine Hossenfelder can’t let go of her deterministic materialism and tries to rationalize it, I appreciate her point that more experimental evidence rather than mathematical beauty shows and speculations are what’s needed now to advance quantum mechanics. She also points out the challenge that Chaos Theory presents to QM.

    -Q

  114. 114
    relatd says:

    SA at 112,

    So – again – science is the driver. Some people love science but not for the purpose of arriving at facts. Science exists to justify some worldview. Wrong thinking.

    Quantum mechanics is the latest plaything. A new mystery that underpins the chaos view. Nope. Wrong thinking. IBM has built a commercial quantum computer. Forget about unpredictable and non-deterministic. They have a computer that contains quantum chips and it works.

    https://newsroom.ibm.com/2021-11-16-IBM-Unveils-Breakthrough-127-Qubit-Quantum-Processor

    By the way, the computer you have and that cup of coffee only exists in your mind ??? Wrong thinking.

  115. 115
    StephenB says:

    WJM:

    For future reference, when you’re in a one-on-one discussion with someone, and they say, “Look, nobody is saying that,” they usually mean him or herself, and/or they are talking about some group they are specifically including in the conversation.

    There is nothing wrong with the informal use of the language, but there is also a time when precision is essential. You will notice that I said that “many” quantum theorists attack the first principles of classical logic in the name of scientific experimentation. This is a true statement and it represents a serious problem. I can back up that claim day long. My two examples should suffice to make the point.

    You responded by saying, in effect, that “nobody” does that. If you meant to say that it is an “exception” to the rule, or that only a “few” of them do it, you could have said so. While that claim would have also understated the problem, it would have at least been a meaningful concession and a logical counterpoise to my claim about the “many.” Meanwhile, you appear to be holding me accountable for your lack of precision. I don’t mind it if you use informal language, I do that too, but I do object to your attempt at avoiding the substance of my claim, which you didn’t even address.

  116. 116
    kairosfocus says:

    GENERAL COMMENT

    It is interesting to observe the course of the thread, in reaction to then distraction from a foundational point for restoring civilisation to sanity.

    The very first words of comment were a statement of utter, unmerited contempt, revealing a world of underlying hostility: ” this is the stupidest OP I have ever seen.” But in fact, on being answered point by point, there was a take up the ball and go home, as though mere disagreement was good enough reason to dismiss with contempt, laced with blatant hostility.

    So, what is it that so stirred ire?

    Daring to point out that one cannot simply play agit prop and culture war and lawfare games to shift words at will, as nominalism is at root a failure to recognise logic of being thus distinct nature/ essence/ core characteristics of things. Yes, an extremely simple, graphic, crystal clear example was selected. Precisely, to establish by yardstick example that there is such a thing as a distinct identity or nature of certain things rooted in core characteristics. A six sided polygon is by characteristics utterly distinct from a nine sided one. Where yes polygon is already an inherent abstraction and universal, demonstrating for an intelligent 12 year old that both sides of nominalism are fundamentally in error.

    So, why the harsh reaction?

    Because, much of the radical, fundamentally misanthropic, anti civilisational agenda of our day pivots on just such nominalism: there are no abstracta and/or there are no universals, just labels we more or less group by accident or by imposition of discredited dead white men starting with the likes of Plato et al. But we see here polygon as a natural category, and we see that there are naturally distinct characteristics that separate two species, six and nine sided.

    If you doubt, show us the museum display with polygon exhibited, next to { }, the unique null set.

    Such has massive worldview and rationality consequences.

    For example, if natures exist, if distinct characteristics exist, if universals and abstracta are real, then why that inherently abstract state of affairs is possible where a statement may accurately describe what is real. That is truth is now an issue.

    Further to which, logical and factual circumstances can create an onward state of affairs, warrant, whereby truth becomes know-ABLE, perhaps even known. So, inconvenient truths may call us to acknowledge them, exemplifying a particularly unwelcome state of affairs, duty to the true, right, good, moral truth and duty bound to our evident nature.

    HERESY, BURN THE HERETIC!

    Of course, we then went on to see a massive side track pivoting on resurrecting promotion of a worldview that implies that we radically cannot trust our senses and rationality that tyell us we share a common world. The answer to this remains, that any species of grand delusion is utterly self refuting and irretrievably incoherent. Instead, we have good reason for qualified trust in our rationality and in that context we see that errors can be detected and fixed.

    But what about how hard it is to tell between “truth and error, truthfulness and willful deceit, justice and injustice, male and female, knowledge and myth, indoctrination and education, acquitting the innocent and knowingly condemning such, sound policing and the gestapo”?

    Mere objection or odd cases or the like do not change the fundamentals.

    The danger of refusing to acknowledge a knowable distinction between justice and injustice becomes particularly manifest. Duty to justice must challenge our practice or we are doomed.

    KF

  117. 117
    kairosfocus says:

    PS, if you want biology ponder three, nine and fifteen spined sticklebacks.

  118. 118
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF excellent summary @116.

    a statement may accurately describe what is real. That is truth is now an issue

    In the science-only worldview there is no room for truth. Conclusions are reached only as approximations subject to rethinking and overthrow.
    This is where intolerance and fascism arise, since none of the “values” which are upheld for society or the individual can be called “truths”, they can only be imposed by force. There’s an attempt to win an emotional appeal, and that’s why we’ll see ridicule instead of argument – an appeal to popularity (“nobody believes ID”) or authority (“you disagree with the experts we’ve credentialed so you have no authority”).

  119. 119
    jerry says:

    why the harsh reaction?

    You?

    You provide an absurd example. Maybe providing one that is real would make your point better.

    we then went on to see a massive side track

    One way to handle this is to create an OP titled Sidetracks which you can do since both would be your threads. Then take all sidetracks and answers to the side tracks and transfer then to the Sidetrack OP. That way all of Murray’s nonsense which he does not believe and answers to what he does not believe would be buried someplace that is irrelevant.

    Problem solved.

    My guess we would be up to Sidetracks_990 by now.

  120. 120
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, the example is very real and establishes the point on what is undeniable. One counter example shatters a claimed general truth. KF

    PS, reduction to absurdity, last I checked, is still a perfectly valid argument form. After this, nominalism in general is broken. We have to take logic of being, core characteristics, distinctives and distinctions seriously. So that despite difficulties, justice is not injustice. And the concrete case on the table is the judicial murder of Milada Horakova.

  121. 121
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, oddly, scientism is self referentially incoherent for if science is the only credible source of knowledge, that is an epistemological claim. Emotive manipulation and blind appeal to authority also fail. KF

  122. 122
    Querius says:

    I concur with Silver Asiatic on Kairosfocus’ great observations in @116!

    We’re suffering from science fantasy, social fantasy, and judicial fantasy travelling on a road paved with good intentions in the “Quest for Cosmic Justice” as Thomas Sowell famously noted.

    And we once all knew where that road leads.

    -Q

  123. 123
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Thanks Querius. Yes, I think those fantasies you mention are the basis for utopian-thinking with misplaced trust in these various things, especially science.

  124. 124
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Dr Kevin Vost was an atheist for 25 years and then he became a Christian. He reflects here on how universals are evidence of the existence of a soul in human life:

    Proof We Have a Soul! (Aquinas) w/ Dr. Kevin Vost
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwJpRkXns8A

  125. 125
    Seversky says:

    I think Querius missed out the religious fantasy, the belief that this vast Universe was created ultimately to house us and we are creatures of its Designer who has nothing but our best interests at heart. We are the Chosen Ones. We also have evidence from history of where that kind of thinking can lead.

  126. 126
    Seversky says:

    Silver Asiatic/124

    Dr Kevin Vost was an atheist for 25 years and then he became a Christian. He reflects here on how universals are evidence of the existence of a soul in human life

    I note that, according to one reference, Dr Vost was raised a Catholic, became atheist in his teens and returned to Catholicism in his forties. In other words, this was a not so much a conversion as a reversion.

  127. 127
    Querius says:

    No, actually I’d lump religious fantasy, political fantasy, and philosophical fantasy and others together with social fantasy. That’s not at all to say that all science, all religion, all politics, all philosophy, and all judicial thinking is fantasy.

    It’s also not to limit fantasy only to those areas. There are many other fantasies that involve sex, wealth, fame, significance, racial and ethnic superiority, etc.

    However, our current narrative strongly nurtures a wide range of fantasies and attempts to keep the consequences separate from the fantasies that cause them.

    And when fantasy collides with reality, we observe mental breakdowns, addictions, suicides, riots, violent behaviors, and other pathological behaviors that ultimately destroy the people who entertain them.

    Consider this report:
    https://www.npr.org/2021/07/27/1021373104/more-children-are-dying-by-suicide-recently-study-shows

    -Q

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