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L&FP 46: A big questions challenge — confident objective knowledge vs grand delusion in a going-concern world

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In recent weeks, we have seen again and again how the acid of hyperskepticism has reduced our civilisation’s confidence in self-awareness much less understanding of the world and its roots. Even as Evolutionary Materialistic Scientism, Officialdom and their media promoters (and censors) seek to create a dominant narrative. So, how do we attack this issue?

First, let’s reduce it to a graphic:

Once that is on the table, it is clear that our diverse worldviews and the extent to which any such can claim to be well warranted knowledge are at the crux of the matter. As a key aspect, as we are ourselves embedded (“apparently,” embodied with brains, senses tied to brains and self-awareness) in the going concern world, self-referentiality is inescapably entangled in the matter. So are questions of origins and the root of reality. The hyperskepticism-induced loss of confidence is manifest in our tendency to radical relativism, subjectivism and emotivism, all of which suffer serious self-referentiality challenges and undermine claimed knowledge.

Such surfaces the grand delusion challenge long ago exemplified by Plato in his parable of the cave:

Plato’s Cave of shadow shows projected before life-long prisoners and confused for reality. Once the concept of general delusion is introduced, it raises the question of an infinite regress of delusions. The sensible response is to see that this should lead us to doubt the doubter and insist that our senses be viewed as generally reliable unless they are specifically shown defective. (Source: University of Fort Hare, SA, Phil. Dept.)

Of course, we should not neglect the cynical, power-manipulation Overton Window dimension of this parable:

Yes, in a hyperskeptical-cynical world, somebody is looking to gain power and likely wealth from our loss of confidence. We must bear that in mind. Similarly, the now commonly used parable of blind men and an elephant is instructive:

Here, we can focus Jesus of Nazareth’s remark on good/bad eyes, from his Sermon on the Mount, using words that tellingly echo Plato’s parable:

Matt 6:22 “The eye is the lamp of the body; so if your eye is clear [spiritually perceptive], your whole body will be full of light [benefiting from God’s precepts]. 23 But if your eye is bad [spiritually blind], your whole body will be full of darkness [devoid of God’s precepts]. So if the [very] light inside you [your inner self, your heart, your conscience] is darkness, how great and terrible is that darkness! [AMP]

That’s the elephant we face!

The question is, are we willing to acknowledge that someone has a better, more valid overall picture than we do? (Our tendency to cynical hyperskepticism tends to lock us into, “no.” It also tends to make us miss that relativism or the like equally claims to be the better big-picture. Incoherent self-referentiality, again.)

So, we come to a Reidian, common sense driven conclusion in two principles:

Sawing off the branch on which we sit is absurd and ruinous

REID+, 1 — Rejection of Grand Delusion: Any world-scheme or alleged first principle of thought that leads to or invites a grand delusion inference is self-referentially absurd, and

REID+, 2 — Principle of Common Sense Credulity: While our common sense reliance on our senses and perceptions may be mistaken in detail, the inference that our common sense view of the going-concern world we share is delusional on the whole is thus . . . saw- off– the- branch- on- which- we- all- sit . . . absurd.

In that light, we can address the chain of concerns in the first graphic above:

  1. We have reason to believe our common sense experience of the going-concern, everyday world, though limited and subject to correction in detail (and obviously a macroscopic, slow-speed, localised view), is on the whole reliable and reasonably accurate; thus, Plantinga-sense fit for purpose relative to knowledge acquisition.
  2. Knowledge in the going-concern world thus becomes possible on three levels: first, our personal world experience as self-aware creatures is just that, undeniably our experience. If one is appeared to redly and roundly, that is a datum of experience.
  3. Secondly, as we can see from 2 + 3 = 5 — i.e. || + ||| –> ||||| — or error exists or inescapable first principles [including first principles . . . and, yes, associated Ciceronian first duties . . . of right reason], there are certain truths that are self-evident, certain, plumb line that — while never nearly enough to frame and furnish a worldview — serve as key tests for soundness.
  4. Third, for practical thought, work, education, media, science, governance, community and life, a weaker, corrigible sense of knowledge is also reasonable: warranted, credibly true (so, tested and reliable) belief.
  5. This weak sense may indeed have in it various errors, but is corrigible in light of first self evident principles informed by our experiences. However, such cannot amount to a Plato’s cave grand delusion, on pain of collapsing credibility of rationality thus our own selves as rational creatures.
  6. In this light, we can dismiss general hyperskepticism as a grand delusion fallacy; and if it is selectively applied to what one is inclined to dismiss (oh, YOU have to prove beyond all arbitrary doubt that . . .) , it is little more than an excuse for question-begging hostile closed mindedness.
  7. Further to these, disciplines of thought are feasible and can build up valid bodies of credible but corrigible knowledge claims: philosophy, ethics, physics, mathematics, sciences and arts generally, including history, theology etc.

We can directly apply the above to an analysis of ourselves, i.e. we can partially and yet credibly form a self-understanding. A useful framework for this is the Smith model:

Simplifying for our purposes:

The Eng Derek Smith Cybernetic Model

Here, we see that a two-tier cybernetic loop controller view allows us to raise the issue that the supervisory controller may embed an oracle expressing volition and intuition (including moral intuition) etc, allowing transcending of undecidability and halting problems etc that plague Turing-based computational substrates.

Where, obviously, such an oracle is not simplified to being a higher level Turing machine; that would only export the Turing problem up one level.

When queried or informed implying a query, the oracle issues a single stage answer and is a black box relative to the Turing paradigm. Thus to some degree it embeds a knowledge and intuitions base. In addition, in supervisory state, it frames the context in which action is taken, being further informed by rational, responsible (so, moral sense, conscience-guided) freedom.

From that going concern self-model, we may proceed to address the basis for, dynamics of and origins of a world that includes such creatures. Notice, this is an onward question, for without a frame for rational, responsible, knowing, free but guided thought, decision and action, there is no basis for addressing how can we know a now passed past of origins and linked substructure on roots of reality. (The attempt to hopelessly entangle ontology with epistemology, fails.)

In that context, we can immediately see that causes create effects, which may come in degrees. How much sugar is in a glass of water affects how sweet it will taste. This has immediate applications, e.g. here is a video screenshot I recently shared with policy influencers, i/l/o issues on Ivermectin — and note, this is not to excite a side-debate. (Yes, I am aware of the report of a study on Ivermectin, but frankly fear it can be twisted into a kill-shot attempt given the toxic, ideological and interests distorted state of such research.) Note, Peru is a state with about 33 million people in 25 states, comparable to Canada at 36 millions:

It is in that context (with other similar real-world, observational study/experience driven results/evidence) that the Frontline Doctors have just challenged Officialdom on Ivermectin:

Underlying, given intent to address roots of reality, is the logic of being . . . which we can know based on analysis:

Compare, a flame:

An igniting match (a contingent being)

. . . with the fire tetrahedron, which gives causal conditionality:

Fires are contingent, possible beings, even as square circles are impossible of being:

One and the same object cannot be circular and square in the same sense and place at the same time

So, now, we can contemplate another order of possible being. To see it, try to imagine a distinct world in which two-ness, distinct identity etc do not exist. Or where it begins or may cease. Immediately, such fails as a distinct world W must differ from its neighbour W’ by having some A not in W’, in effect W = {A|~A} where ~A = W’. We see that two-ness is part of the framework for any world, so once there undeniably is a world [ours] it is a necessary being, part of the fabric of any world. That applies to mathematics and its universal power, but it shows that necessary, world framework entities are real.

The root of reality, world zero, W0, in effect, embeds such beings with the additional point that through origins processes such must account causally for this world, We.

This brings to bear issues on fine tuning evidence, the complex, functionally specific, algorithm, code and language using framework of cell based life, body plan biodiversity requiring 10 – 100+ million bits of incremental information per plan, and our own morally governed, minded life.

Those questions and many more are not going to go away quietly simply because they are inconvenient to today’s establishment. END

344 Replies to “L&FP 46: A big questions challenge — confident objective knowledge vs grand delusion in a going-concern world

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    L&FP 46: A big questions challenge — confident objective knowledge vs grand delusion in a going-concern world

  2. 2
    jerry says:

    Latest Campbell analysis of Ivermectin

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3j7am9kjMrk

    Kf vocabulary glossary – just some
    W0 – World Zero
    BATNA – Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement
    NB – Necessary Being.
    i/l/o – in light of

  3. 3
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    Such surfaces the grand delusion challenge long ago exemplified …

    This is where the entire argument becomes circular. What is a “delusion,” much less a “grand delusion,” absent an a priori worldview that defines it in terms of that worldview?

    KF’s worldview arguments are made entirely from the perspective of an a priori worldview, the concepts, words, terminology, evidence, etc. entirely rooted in and supporting the very worldview he uses them to argue for. It’s all one big, invalid circular argument.

  4. 4
    William J Murray says:

    Before we get to “delusion,” there are for more fundamental things to consider.

    What is meant by “real?”
    What is meant by “self?”
    What is meant by “world?”
    “Accurate” in relationship to … what?
    “Credible” according to what?
    “Warranted” according to what?

    Are there worldview assumptions smuggled in by the meaning of those concepts and what they relate to, when they are used to “assess” worldview candidates? To properly assess worldview candidates, they cannot be judged from the perspective of an a priori worldview, nor considered properly in the terms, expectations, or sometimes even the language rooted in an a priori worldview perspective.

    There are some concepts that, regardless of worldviews, are necessarily true. The first order of business in any attempt to “compare worldviews” (or perhaps more accurately, compare ideas about the nature of reality/experience,) is to establish all self-evident and necessarily true statements one can that would hold in any possible situation (we haven’t defined “world” yet) experienced by any possible sentient being.

    Perhaps one should start with: what are we talking about, in terms that are either self-evidently or necessarily true, when we speak about “reality?”

    Is it necessarily true in every possible reality that we exist in an external-of-mind, material/physical world? No.

    At this point KF usually objects about the “self-referential absurdity” or “solipsism,” etc., leading to “grand delusion, but those objections are, again, from a priori worldview assumptions about how such a situation “would be” from that perspective.

    So, what does “reality” mean, if anything, in necessary terms, or in inescapable terms, before we can even say “delusions” exist as something, in what way, or that it is advisable to avoid them?

    The only thing, at it’s root, that reality can be referring to, is the experience of an individual sentient being. Every concept of reality begins (and actually ends) there.

    Someone with a pre-existing ontological perspective might assume that some things we experience are real, and some things we experience are not, but at this point that has not been established. I’m not sure it even makes sense to say that we can experience something that is “not real.” In fact, I can say it doesn’t make sense absent an a priori ontology.

  5. 5
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, the key concepts are by no means so vague as you suggest, nor does hyperskepticism get the default. KF

  6. 6
    Seversky says:

    Once that is on the table, it is clear that our diverse worldviews and the extent to which any such can claim to be well warranted knowledge are at the crux of the matter. As a key aspect, as we are ourselves embedded (“apparently,” embodied with brains, senses tied to brains and self-awareness) in the going concern world, self-referentiality is inescapably entangled in the matter. So are questions of origins and the root of reality. The hyperskepticism-induced loss of confidence is manifest in our tendency to radical relativism, subjectivism and emotivism, all of which suffer serious self-referentiality challenges and undermine claimed knowledge.

    One problem is the unwarranted assumption of certainty in the truth of claimed knowledge in light of the fallible nature of our physical and mental being and the limitations of what we have learned so far about the Universe in which we find ourselves.

    We all want to know what is true and we all hope for personal survival and that we are part of some greater scheme of things that is created for our personal benefit. The danger of that is that we can be lured into believing a particular narrative is true because it tells us what we want to hear, not what is more likely to be true.

    The limitations of our knowledge mean that there will inevitably be any number of competing narratives which offer encompassing explanations of what little we know, some with arguably greater warrant than others, depending on one’s perspective of course. The problem, as always, is finding a way to decide between them on some other grounds than the feelgood factor.

    Asserting self-evident truths as anchor-points for some proposed explanatory construct might help if we can agree on what is meant by an SET and that it is more than just a rhetorical shield to protect certain arbitrary claims from challenge or criticism.

  7. 7
    jerry says:

    Is this a self evident truth?

    I go out of my driveway and turn right. At the first intersection turn left. Go 3 miles. Make a right and go 1 mile.

    And there is Walmart

    Happened every time I, my wife, my neighbors and kids have done it.

  8. 8
    William J Murray says:

    One of the points (from the allegory of the Cave and prior arguments) KF attempts to make is that “hyperskeptical” doubt about what our senses “tell” us necessarily leads to the potential for “grand delusion,” self-referential absurdity. KF is making a categorical error here.

    It’s not what our sensory experience is telling us that is being doubted, it is the model that describes what sensory experience represents or means that is being critically examined. Until one has a worldview, the terms “hyperskeptical” and “delusion” have no value. To be hyperskeptical of a worldview claim, one must first have a worldview claim to be skeptical of; to think a person is being hyperskeptical of your worldview claim, you must first be making one. You can’t do that without a worldview to make claims about.

    So, KF smuggles both concepts into his “assessment of comparative worldviews” argument where they do not belong. You cannot “compare worldviews” using delusion and hyperskepticism when both of those concepts require a pre-existing worldview, or else they don’t even make sense. They would have no context by which to call anything “delusional” or “hyperskepticism.”

  9. 9
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, the key concepts are by no means so vague as you suggest,

    They are entirely without significant meaning absent an a priori ontology and epistemology.

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, absent ability to reason, warrant and know in a going concern world, there is no further basis to credibly explore roots of reality or origins or the resulting details of a metaphysics . . . what entities are actual, in what ordered system comprising the world we inhabit, etc. Where the explicit hyperskeptical dismissal or invitation to same is inevitably self-referential. Thus, hyperskepticism such as this is self referentially absurd and invites grand delusion. We can safely set it aside, whether or not you wish to cling to the self-referential discredit of your claims. KF

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, no one asserts that we are not subject to error, the myth of tyrannical, unwarranted certainty is a strawman caricature used to open the door for privileging selective hyperskepticism. However, start with E, error exists. Set the denial, ~E, this means it is error to claim error exists. E is undeniable and self-evident, overturning any scheme that would undermine accesibility of truth and knowledge. However, the very truth is a warning so we need to work out principles of warrant. If you set aside strawman caricature stereotypes and the atheistical baggage for a moment, you would see that the OP speaks to degrees of knowledge, self-evident truths being a rather small minority of truths. The weaker, day to day sense of knowledge addressed is defeat-able and so issues of accuracy, reason and warrant are primary. KF

  12. 12
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, it is self-evident that you are able to supervise your body, operate vehicles etc and engage an evident external world, up to when you are appeared to Walmart-ly. Those who wish to propose schemes where the apparent macro world is at best dubious at worst an outright delusion self-referentially defeat themselves even as Plato’s Cave does. If level one shadow shows are a delusion, so too one can suggest is the story of being loosed, made to look at the parapet, flames, driven to the outside world etc. And so would the level three and an infinite regress of suggested delusions looms. Grand delusion schemes are absurd, self defeating. KF

  13. 13
    ET says:

    ID offers the only scientific explanation for our existence. Without ID all there we have is sheer dumb luck to explain it. That is untestable and as such not science.

  14. 14
    EDTA says:

    All these words from WJM, after he admitted that the only reason he or any of us does/says anything is because it provide experiential enjoyment–thereby undercutting everything he has said since that time. KF, I’d say you can ignore his words.

  15. 15
    ET says:

    Isn’t it all “experimental enjoyment”? I enjoy watching ID’s detractors spinning yarns and telling tales. They think if they can come up with a materialistic narrative to rival the Bible they will win converts or something.

  16. 16
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, let me follow up, noting that you were around over the past several weeks, I won’t bother on going back to was it early 2019 for this series:

    [SEV:] One problem is the unwarranted assumption of certainty in the truth of claimed knowledge in light of the fallible nature of our physical and mental being and the limitations of what we have learned so far about the Universe in which we find ourselves . . . . Asserting self-evident truths as anchor-points for some proposed explanatory construct might help if we can agree on what is meant by an SET and that it is more than just a rhetorical shield to protect certain arbitrary claims from challenge or criticism.

    Lessee, what about the two cases I have led with, that || + ||| –> ||||| and E, error exists so ~E means it is error to assert E, thus instantly being absurd so E is undeniably, self-evidently true? What of the undeniability and inescapability of one’s own self-aware consciousness and [if not unduly warped or damaged] the voice of conscience as an aspect of one’s consciousness, i.e. we normally have a built-in moral voice? Then, there is the classical case I have cited any number of times on first principles of right reason:

    DISCOURSES
    CHAPTER XXV

    How is logic necessary?

    When someone in [Epictetus’] audience said, Convince me that logic is necessary, he answered: Do you wish me to demonstrate this to you?—Yes.—Well, then, must I use a demonstrative argument?—And when the questioner had agreed to that, Epictetus asked him. How, then, will you know if I impose upon you?—As the man had no answer to give, Epictetus said: Do you see how you yourself admit that all this instruction is necessary, if, without it, you cannot so much as know whether it is necessary or not? [Notice, inescapable, thus self evidently true and antecedent to the inferential reasoning that provides deductive proofs and frameworks, including axiomatic systems and propositional calculus etc. Cf J. C. Wright]

    This case aptly illustrates the way first principles (and onward, first duties) of reason become self-evident. As first principles, they are so inextricably entangled in our thinking, reasoning, arguing, quarrelling etc that they are pervasive and inescapable. The attempt to prove already uses them, that to disprove or dismiss, likewise. These cannot be proved or disproved or dispensed with. Either we accept such or the whole province of rational thought, communication, argument, education, civilisation collapses. (And that we find such so hard to acknowledge is a telling sign of the betrayal of our civilisation by intellectual leaders over the past 300 or so years.)

    What about first duties, the flash point in recent weeks? Are you seriously imagining that it is reasonable or constructive to be untruthful, cynically dismissive, dishonest in argument, unfair, conscience-crushing, etc? Of course, such cannot be asserted, but cynical snide dismissiveness can implicitly enable that sort of corrupting perversity and host-killing parasitism. The Ciceronian first duties, to truth, to right reason, to prudence [including warrant], to sound conscience, to neighbour, so too to fairness and justice etc stand as first principles, the other side of right reason.

    Likewise, as to specifics of logic, I have repeatedly used this classical C1, logic 101 case on the law of distinct identity:

    1 Cor 14: 7 Yet even lifeless things, whether flute or harp, when producing a sound, if they do not produce distinct [musical] tones, how will anyone [listening] know what is piped or played? 8 And if the [war] bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle? 9 So it is with you, if you speak words [in an unknown tongue] that are not intelligible and clear, how will anyone understand what you are saying? You will be talking into the air [wasting your breath]! 10 There are, I suppose, a great many kinds of languages in the world [unknown to us], and none is lacking in meaning. 11 But if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will [appear to] be a [c]foreigner to the one who is speaking [since he knows exactly what he is saying], and the one who is speaking will [appear to] be a foreigner to me. [AMP]

    This example shows that meaningful communication pivots on distinction to create complex messages. In our day, we would point to digital technology and the power of the two-state bit in a chain. For nearly a decade in your presence, I have repeatedly used a bright red ball A on a table in the world W = {A|~A} as a case that draws out how LOI brings with it LNC and LEM as immediate close corollaries. Given the distinction shown by |, A is itself, isolable based on core characteristics including particularity, redness, roundness, location, etc. No x in W can be both A and ~A, any y in W will be A or else ~A, not both nor neither. The context of a world with particular entities rules out the null or empty set option for this analysis.

    BTW, this means that I have corrected what I was taught in Uni and from standard texts on the 17 first tautologies of Boolean Algebra. Yes, all are first tautologies as truth tables will demonstrate and ground the algebra, however as first self-evident steps LOI and its close corollaries come first epistemologically.

    Similarly, you were present when I took time to clarify over years and especially in recent weeks that we are finite, fallible, morally struggling, too often ill-willed and even sometimes outright stubborn. It is in that context that I took time to clarify the need to recognise these limitations of our subjectivity and address warrant to establish knowledge. I duly noted the relatively few self-evident certain plumb line truths, and commented on the weaker more common sense of knowledge commonly seen in science, etc, where there is reliability and credible but revisable belief in truth.

    Further to all this, I revisited the matter of what is a self-evident truth, why [I looked at this here at UD back in 2013] and elaborated a whole OP:

    L&FP44: What are Self-evident truths [SET’s] and why do they matter?

    June 10, 2021

    https://uncommondescent.com/ethics/lfp44-what-are-self-evident-truths-sets-and-why-do-they-matter/

    A classic case in point of self-evident truth can be seen by splitting our fingers into a two and a three then joining them again — and, sorry, this needs to be hammered home hard as we are cutting across the grain of current education and cultural conditioning.

    So, pardon demonstration by undeniable example and re-use of an illustration . . .

    That’s what, less than three weeks ago, with 149 comments [too many distractive]?

    That’s why your sweeping derogation and hyperskeptical suspicion as cited are unacceptable and unfair. You were there, you should have recognised and acknowledged the balance being struck precisely to provide a basis for renewal of our thinking on a sounder footing.

    If we are to progress, we need to do better than such.

    KF

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: I took time to give an expansion of characteristics of SET’s:

    SELF-EVIDENT TRUTHS — CHARACTERISTICS:

    1] A SET is just that, true, it accurately describes actual states of affairs, e.g. split your fingers on one hand into a 2-cluster and a 3-cluster, then join, you necessarily have a 5-cluster, || + ||| –> ||||| accurately describes a state of affairs.

    2] Further, a SET is understandable to anyone of appropriate experience and maturity to have formed the basic concepts and to therefore recognise the sentences expressing it.

    3] A SET, is then recognisable as not only true but necessarily and manifestly true given its substance, though of course some may try to evade it or deflect it.

    4] That necessity is backed up by a certainty mechanism, specifically that the attempted denial immediately manifests a patent absurdity, not by step by step reduction such as incomensurateness of the side and diagonal of a square, but blatant absurdity manifest on inspection.

    5] Where such patent absurdities of denial may come in various forms, e.g.:

    – Absurd incoherence or blatant error [ 2 + 3 = 4 X],
    – undeniability [E= error exists, ~E is a claim it is error to assert E, so E is undeniable],
    – inescapability [Epictetus’ interlocutor who tried to demand a logical proof of the necessity of logic . . . and — yes — the inescapability of appeals to the authority of Ciceronian first duties of reason, even in the face of an ongoing campaign to dismiss and sideline . . . to truth, to right reason, to prudence (including, warrant), to sound conscience, to neighbour, so too to fairness and justice etc . . . where, moral truths are truths regarding states of affairs involving oughtness, i.e. duty — we ought to respect the life, body, freedom and dignity of a young child walking home from school, never mind convenient bushes and dark impulses in our hearts],
    – blatant self-referential absurdity [e.g. trying to deny one’s self-aware consciousness and the associated testimony of conscience or crushing of conscience],
    – moral absurdity [trying to evade the message of the sadly real world case of a kidnapped, sexually tortured, murdered child]
    – etc, there is no end to the rhetoric of evasion.

    6] So, SET’s are not private subjective, GIGO-limited, readily dismissible opinions or dubious notions. They are objective and in fact warranted to certainty backed up by patent absurdity on attempted denial. More than objective, they are certainly true, and especially as regards first principles and first duties of right reason, they are inescapably authoritative and antecedent to reasoned thought or argument.

    7] Indeed, self-evident first truths and duties of reason are before proof and beyond refutation. The attempt to object or evade, inescapably, implicitly appeals to their authority in attempting to get rhetorical traction, and attempts to prove equally cannot escape their priority, the first truths and duties are part of the fabric of the attempted proof. So, we are duty bound to acknowledge them, to be coherently rational.

    These things, of course, should long since have been part of standard High School curricula, and should have been revisited and strengthened in Freshman college instruction. Instead, we have been taught relativism and cynicism 101. No wonder we are in such trouble as a civilisation.

  18. 18
    Sandy says:

    We all want to know what is true and we all hope for personal survival and that we are part of some greater scheme of things that is created for our personal benefit. The danger of that is that we can be lured into believing a particular narrative is true because it tells us what we want to hear, not what is more likely to be true.

    Nobody believes a word of Dawkins’ pupils.

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, 8 supra,

    It is time for a point by point corrective, to remind of the true balance on merits:

    >>One of the points (from the allegory of the Cave and prior arguments) KF attempts to make is that “hyperskeptical” doubt about what our senses “tell” us necessarily leads to the potential for “grand delusion,” self-referential absurdity.>>

    1: I took time long since to show the true corrosiveness of Plato’s cave and other similar arguments to grand delusion implying that the general common sense picture of our common world is grossly inaccurate and/or highly suspect.

    2: Let me clip from 12 above [to Jerry], to outline again the basic problem with rejecting Reidan, common sense recognition that errors do exist but do not and cannot coherently be held to extend to the general ability to use our senses and common sense to describe/recognise states of affairs in our day-to-day life, from waking to returning to sleep:

    Those who wish to propose schemes where the apparent macro world is at best dubious at worst an outright delusion self-referentially defeat themselves even as Plato’s Cave does. If level one shadow shows are a delusion, so too one can suggest is the story of being loosed, made to look at the parapet, flames, driven to the outside world etc. And so would the level three and an infinite regress of suggested delusions looms. Grand delusion schemes are absurd, self defeating.

    3: See, the self-referential, self-defeating infinite regress of doubts that stems from hyperskepticism?

    4: But what about flat earthism? It is a common experience that we live in a locally flat space, but that is consistent with the nature of a tangent. Long since, it was realised that ships go hull down when they cross the horizon, and Aristotle recognised that the shadow cast on the moon during a lunar eclipse is always circular, so this points to a spherical earth. By what c 300 BC Eratosthenes had a good calculation of circumference. And more.

    5: Medieval textbooks taught sphericity, envisioning brown cloak and blue cloak walking in opposite directions and meeting at the antipodes face to face. The quarrel with Columbus was that his value for distance to China to the W was far too small, and the critics were right, by the span of the Pacific. The flat earth myth is a myth, and this is a case of how a local perception is corrigible.

    >> KF is making a categorical error here.>>

    6: Do I need to explicitly point out the implicit appeal to duties to truth, right reason, warrant and broader prudence etc in this? I fear so.

    >>It’s not what our sensory experience is telling us that is being doubted, it is the model that describes what sensory experience represents or means that is being critically examined.>>

    7: Nope, it is the veridicality of the testimony of our senses and experiences that we are embodied, biological minded self-aware creatures sharing a common world that is being doubted.

    8: Not, fancier issues of q-mech underpinnings or how gravity arises from warping the spacetime fabric, or the like, our basic existence as embodied creatures in a physical space is being subtly placed under suspicion of being a Plato’s cave shadow show.

    9: Whether by dint of the Kantian ugly gulch between appearance and being in itself, or the cruder dint of manipulative oppression of prisoners in a cave, makes but little difference to this imposition of privileged skepticism that haunts our civilisation’s history.

    >>Until one has a worldview,>>

    10: Nope, one is first a child then a growing experienced person in a going concern world. We are not addressing roots of reality or origins here, we are addressing basic validity of our senses and ability to make our way across to the neighbourhood shop to get bread. Bread, being a means of physical sustenance for embodied, biological creatures.

    >> the terms “hyperskeptical” and “delusion” have no value.>>

    11: Plato’s cave answers that, showing how long since intellectual leaders have raised exaggerated corrosive ever-spreading doubts, even the infamous six blind men of Hindustan is taught in elementary school. The picture of blind men groping and getting confused partial pictures is plain, as is that of prisoners subjected to systematic indoctrination by their oppressors.

    12: Yes, that raises onward questions on roots and origins thus overall nature of the world, but it begins by challenging the GENERAL capability of common sense in a going concern world to arrive at substantial basic truths such as our embodied nature.

    >> To be hyperskeptical of a worldview claim,>>

    13: Error carried forward. The issue being put forward is exaggerated doubt on the veridicality of basic common sense experiential knowledge, the common sense facts of creatures needing to breathe air, drink water, eat bread, reproduce, learn ABC’s and 123’s etc.

    14: If our senses and common sense cannot be trusted enough to recognise such facts of life accurately, then that becomes self-referential, infinitely regressive, self-defeating as the basic perceptions, concepts, claims and meaning of the objector are also in doubt.

    >> one must first have a worldview claim to be skeptical of;>>

    15: Being embodied etc? Really?

    >> to think a person is being hyperskeptical of your worldview claim,>>

    16: That there are three local bakeries that I normally buy breadstuff from, at a certain rate per week is an issue of going concern common sense factual reality. Likewise, that there is a striking cultural/stylistic difference between torpedo breads here and the loaf based hard dough bread I ate while growing up is a fact of memory that I cannot systematically doubt and dismiss merely because memory can err in detail. Same for the mango varieties here vs those I grew up with save for the common St Julian. There are rumours about Bombays, but I have never been able to personally verify. Testimony by a prominent personality or two leads me to believe there are a few such trees but they must be in odd corners, hard to find.

    17: It is only because of a strained worldview commitment that tries to undermine that sort of basic reality, that such has been subjected to undue, exaggerated, corrosive doubt and/or dismissal.

    >> you must first be making one. You can’t do that without a worldview to make claims about.>>

    18: I am instead pointing out that there is a bedrock of experience and fact that is rooted in our life in a going concern world which is pre-theoretical and not to be arbitrarily doubted; especially when such hyperskepticism corrodes credibility of rationality and becomes self-referentially absurd.

    >>So, KF smuggles both concepts>>

    19: Loaded accusatory language that tries to set up moral superiority without sound basis given what has again been pointed out regarding common sense going concern world reality and states of affairs.

    20: Such language of course is yet another case of Ciceronian first duties being implicitly appealed to.

    >> into his “assessment of comparative worldviews” argument>>

    21: Attempted dismissal of a key philosophical method, comparative difficulties of worldview alternatives i/l/o factual adequacy, coherence and balanced explanatory power. Nope, if you reject such, you need to put up a substantial alternative to assess worldview choices and show why that is a better approach.

    >> where they do not belong. You cannot “compare worldviews” using delusion and hyperskepticism>>

    22: Again, error carried forward. We are not looking at grand structures of worldviews but at how an error prone creature can achieve credible knowledge in a going concern world. Starting with being a self-aware, conscience guided, intelligent, embodied creature who can learn, know and live in a world where one can go to the bread shop to find bread to eat. Where the fact of eating is itself loaded with import for said embodiment.

    >> when both of those concepts require a pre-existing worldview,>>

    23: We are dealing with common sense day to day reality, what proper worldviews analysis must start from. That has no pre existing grand commitments in it that can be swept away by suggesting oh that’s just your first plausibles that are optional assumptions speaking. No, Jim’s or Marie’s or Randolph’s bread and the differences are significant. So is my memory that on a Friday when I go converse with Jim, I am likely to help him by catching the machine rolled loaves and stacking them, then loading the carriage for moving the loaves to the stack of gas-fired ovens. And Ms Foxy is likely to come by looking at us with meaningful eyes and wagging her tail, if she isn’t too busy up the hill with her daughter from her latest batch of pups over by a certain Elder. The same who sends me blessing of the day WA messages.

    24: Those have little to do with grand worldview presuppositions [save that you will never convince me that dogs are unintelligent, I suppose], they are facts that raise matters of factual adequacy

    >> or else they don’t even make sense. >>

    25: You wish . . .

    >>They would have no context by which to call anything “delusional” or “hyperskepticism.”>>

    26: Common sense, going concern world experiential states of affairs that the attempt to directly sweep away or bring under a shadow of corrosive doubt fails by becoming self-referentially absurd . . .

    KF

  20. 20
    William J Murray says:

    In another thread I listed some of the necessary and/or self-evident truths that can be stated about any sentient being in any kind of situation. These are statements that can be made, in general about our existential reality prior to worldview commitments.

    1. I (the sentient being) exist as an identifiable “I.”
    2. Therefore, a fundamental experience of self and other.
    3. Principles of logic.
    4. Free will
    5. Coherent self and environment.
    6. All experience is subjective.
    7. All experience occurs in mind.

    The beginning of a worldview is when various experiences are identified, grouped up, categorized and put into a model that describes their relationship with other experiences. IOW, when we talk about logic, dreams, memories, the “objective world,” imagination, emotions, delusion, etc., we are necessarily already speaking from a basic ontological perspective or else those terms would have no meaning.

    We might more accurately describe “worldview building” as the process of classifying experience into separate categories due to qualitative differences in those experiences, and developing a model of the relationship of those experiences to each other. The “world model” we build is actually an experiential model within which, or by which, we develop our capacity to influence our experiences according to our free will intention (preferentially, in terms of direct and/or abstract enjoyment.)

    We can easily see here that many of the terms KF uses are necessarily dependent on ontology. Again, to properly compare worldviews, one cannot use a presupposed ontology as their judging guide. One must take any ontology to be examined “back to formula,” so to speak, and examine it through the lens of self-evident and necessary truths that apply to all possible sentient experience.

    I’m going to posit the following when it comes to comparing worldviews: making an argument for a worldview that involves categorizing any experience as being of something “not real” can only be an indication of an a priori ontological bias. Categorizing any experience as of something “objective” is also from an ontological bias, since there is no means by which we can have an “objective” experience. All experience is subjective. One must make their comparative arguments without importing ontological biases and assumptions.

    So the first thing to keep in mind: you don’t get to pre-sort experience into “real” and “not real” categories to make any worldview comparisons, or to criticize any particular worldview.

    Here is a fundamental question: what is the purpose for developing a worldview model? What is the individual trying to achieve? When we take this question “back to formula,” the answer is clear: it is always about managing or increasing enjoyment of experience, in direct and/or abstract terms.

    When we consider this, does it even make sense to try to compare worldview models between individuals? What is the rational analysis about in the first place? What is the comparison being made in terms of?

    If the necessary, ultimate purpose of any worldview held by any individual is “maximizing enjoyment potential,” isn’t the essential, unavoidable measure of a “good” worldview ultimately determined by how enjoyable it is? The enjoyment it provides the person that holds it?

  21. 21
    jerry says:

    Jerry, it is self-evident that you are able to supervise your body, operate vehicles etc and engage an evident external world, up to when you are appeared to Walmart-ly

    My comment was written as a joke to mock the return of nonsense. His only purpose is to provoke you and you fall for it every time.

  22. 22
    William J Murray says:

    Some might argue that the purpose of evaluating worldviews is to find a worldview that best approximates the “truth” about our existential situation. One might even argue that is exactly what I’ve just attempted to do; that since we are inescapably bound to pursue enjoyment, then the true measure of comparing worldviews lies in the enjoyment it provides the person that holds it.

    Fair enough, but let’s talk about that.

    When KF’s argument goes beyond self-evident and necessary truths (like his use of “delusion” and “common sense”,) which I have defined as being such in every possible sentient experience, he is making an argument for an ontology from that ontology. His “pursuit of truth” is in terms of an a priori concept of an “objective reality” external of mind that binds everyone in every significant way far beyond those existential inescapables. Thus, he is ultimately making a case for “what is true” given his particular, presupposed ontological commitments.

    My case for “what is true” is directly reducible to the inescapable, self-evident, and necessary truths of all possible sentient experience. So far, it requires no unnecessary ontological commitments, at least that I can see.

  23. 23
    William J Murray says:

    EDTA @14 said:

    All these words from WJM, after he admitted that the only reason he or any of us does/says anything is because it provide experiential enjoyment–thereby undercutting everything he has said since that time. KF, I’d say you can ignore his words.

    The arguments I write here stand or fall on their own merits. They are either logically sound or they are not. I fail to see how my motivation for making the arguments makes any difference.

  24. 24
    William J Murray says:

    ET @15 said:

    Isn’t it all “experimental enjoyment”?

    Exactly.

  25. 25
    ET says:

    At least someone understands what you are saying, William. I appreciate your input. I appreciate all input for the “experimental enjoyment”. But just because of EE doesn’t mean we ain’t learning.

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, nope, epistemology is a first level, going concern issue for a creature prone to error and were that not the case we could not have rational corrections to worldviews. Enough has been given to substantiate the point in the OP. KF

    PS: For convenience:

    The question is, are we willing to acknowledge that someone has a better, more valid overall picture than we do? (Our tendency to cynical hyperskepticism tends to lock us into, “no.” It also tends to make us miss that relativism or the like equally claims to be the better big-picture. Incoherent self-referentiality, again.)

    So, we come to a Reidian, common sense driven conclusion in two principles:

    REID+, 1 — Rejection of Grand Delusion: Any world-scheme or alleged first principle of thought that leads to or invites a grand delusion inference is self-referentially absurd, and

    REID+, 2 — Principle of Common Sense Credulity: While our common sense reliance on our senses and perceptions may be mistaken in detail, the inference that our common sense view of the going-concern world we share is delusional on the whole is thus absurd.

    In that light, we can address the chain of concerns in the first graphic above:

    1 We have reason to believe our common sense experience of the going-concern, everyday world, though limited and subject to correction in detail (and obviously a macroscopic, slow-speed, localised view), is on the whole reliable and reasonably accurate; thus, Plantinga-sense fit for purpose relative to knowledge acquisition.

    2 Knowledge in the going-concern world thus becomes possible on three levels: first, our personal world experience as self-aware creatures is just that, undeniably our experience. If one is appeared to redly and roundly, that is a datum of experience.

    3 Secondly, as we can see from 2 + 3 = 5 — i.e. || + ||| –> ||||| — or error exists or inescapable first principles [including first principles . . . and, yes, associated Ciceronian first duties . . . of right reason], there are certain truths that are self-evident, certain, plumb line that — while never nearly enough to frame and furnish a worldview — serve as key tests for soundness.

    4 Third, for practical thought, work, education, media, science, governance, community and life, a weaker, corrigible sense of knowledge is also reasonable: warranted, credibly true (so, tested and reliable) belief.

    5 This weak sense may indeed have in it various errors, but is corrigible in light of first self evident principles informed by our experiences. However, such cannot amount to a Plato’s cave grand delusion, on pain of collapsing credibility of rationality thus our own selves as rational creatures.

    6 In this light, we can dismiss general hyperskepticism as a grand delusion fallacy; and if it is selectively applied to what one is inclined to dismiss (oh, YOU have to prove beyond all arbitrary doubt that . . .) , it is little more than an excuse for question-begging hostile closed mindedness.

    7 Further to these, disciplines of thought are feasible and can build up valid bodies of credible but corrigible knowledge claims: philosophy, ethics, physics, mathematics, sciences and arts generally, including history, theology etc.

  27. 27
    Sandy says:

    The arguments I write here stand or fall on their own merits. They are either logically sound or they are not.

    The echo of the fountain: or they are not, or they are not, or they are not.

  28. 28
    William J Murray says:

    ET @25 said:

    At least someone understands what you are saying, William. I appreciate your input. I appreciate all input for the “experimental enjoyment”. But just because of EE doesn’t mean we ain’t learning.

    I appreciate it, and I agree with you completely.

  29. 29
    William J Murray says:

    KF said or quoted:

    Rejection of Grand Delusion: Any world-scheme or alleged first principle of thought that leads to or invites a grand delusion inference is self-referentially absurd ,,,

    “Grand delusion” is a meaningless term absent an ontological model that categorizes some aspect f experiences as delusion. However, I don’t expect you to be able to understand that; it is apparently a cognitive blind spot due to your a priori ontological commitments (which you do not recognize as such.)

  30. 30
    William J Murray says:

    Let’s examine the concept of “delusion” with an extreme hypothetical case.

    From our perspective, a man is in a psychiatric facility, bound in a straightjacket, sitting in a padded, locked room, barking like a dog. In his mind, he is living a wonderful life in a completely physical world, populated by people that he interacts with, loves, and enjoys immensely. He is completely unaware of us and the situation we observe him in.

    We might call this a clear, extreme case of an obviously “delusional” state.

    But, let’s take this back to pre-ontological formula and ask the question: how is his mental experience fundamentally any different than ours? We don’t see his “world;” he doesn’t see ours. Both are fully physical, sensory experiences. Both are internally consistent. Other people that are in agreement with the experiencers are present in both experiential perspectives.

    Absent a priori ontological commitments, one cannot classify his experience a “delusion” and ours “of reality.” We cannot even say that he is not experiencing a real world, or that the people who populate that world are not real people, absent an ontological, definitional, categorization of “real” vs “not real” mental experience. Both are entirely mental experiences.

  31. 31
    jerry says:

    Kf, a vocabulary lesson.

                Factitious

    Everything Murray says is factitious. Not fictitious but factitious.

    And it is done on purpose not because he believes any of it, but to provoke

    you

    and you alone.

  32. 32
    William J Murray says:

    This is, ultimately, I believe, the case Plato was making with the allegory of the cave: you can’t make any statements about “reality” from particular experiential conditions, represented as the prisoners in the cave. The prisoner who breaks free from the cave is the philosopher who escapes the chains of deriving “truths” from particular experiential conditions and, in thought, leaves that “cave” (or any such cave,) and finds the “sunlight” of necessary, self-evident, inescapable truths that would apply to any possible person in any possible cave. Or, as I call it, taking it back to pre-ontological formula.

  33. 33
    William J Murray says:

    Jerry @31,

    Isn’t thinking that you can read someone else’s mind usually a sign of delusion in your reality? Just sayin’.

  34. 34
    jerry says:

    Isn’t thinking that you can read someone else’s mind usually a sign of delusion in your reality?

    Not when it’s so repetitive and so focused and so specious.

    Maybe once or twice, but after awhile speculation turns into high probability.

    So it’s not mind reading, but an assessment based on lots of real world experiences.

  35. 35
    EDTA says:

    WJM (for the sole purpose of his own personal experiential enjoyment) said,

    “…how is his mental experience fundamentally any different than ours? We don’t see his “world;” he doesn’t see ours.”

    But WJM did have to put “world” in quotes, while ours is not in quotes. The patient does not see any of our world, but we do see vestiges and fringes of his. We provide the patient with food and water; he does not provide those things for us. We seem to be in the more privileged position, in relative terms.

    In any case, WJM conveniently sawed off the limb he was sitting on when he observed a few weeks ago that,

    William J Murray May 20, 2021 at 5:04 am
    Here is my argument:
    1. All free will choices and decisions are made out of personal preference, direct or abstract (self-evidently true). [This would include all philosophizing statements one makes.]
    2. All preferential choices are about managing, increasing or protecting enjoyments, direct or abstract.
    3. What any individual enjoys is necessarily rooted in personal preference, direct or abstract.

    This is the reason I decided to build my entire worldview around enjoyment.

    Therefore, he has revealed to us that anything he says is only stated for his personal enjoyment, either direct or abstract. Such statements of any type have lost any value they might have otherwise had as truth claims.

    This is similar in spirit to noticing that if we evolved for fitness, then our minds are not necessarily adapted for truth, and therefore, we cannot be sure of anything. Nice going, WJM!

  36. 36
    William J Murray says:

    EDTA,

    Once again, my arguments (anyone’s, for that matter) stand on their own merits. My motivations for making the arguments are irrelevant.

  37. 37
    jerry says:

    Once again, my arguments (anyone’s, for that matter) stand on their own merits

    Your arguments are mostly specious. My guess is that you know it and are just playing games. Nobody could be this dumb to actually believe it.

  38. 38

    When you say the problem is scientism, then the solution must be promotion of subjectivity. Because scientism is the assertion of objectivity, over all issues.

    1. The root of the problem:

    Through psychological pressure, and temptation, people mistakenly conceive of making a choice in terms of figuring out the best option. They conflate the good advice to think about what is best before making a choice, with the definition of making a choice.

    Making a choice then becomes to be construed as like a chesscomputer calculating an optimal move, in a forced way.

    The link to the subjective emotions and personal character, the agency of the choice, is lost. People become debased from their emotions and personal character. That is the root of the problem.

    2. The solution to the problem:

    To teach creationism in school and university. As creationism is just free will writ large, written over reality in it’s entirety, it explains what it means to make a choice.

    The creationist conceptual scheme of reality.
    1. Creator / chooses / spiritual / subjective / opinion
    2. Creation / chosen / material / objective / fact

    Choice is how a creation originates. To make a choice means to make one of alternative futures the present, or can be defined as making a possible future the present, or not the present. Choices are essentially spontaneous.

    What is in category 1 is identified with a chosen opinion. What is in category 2 is identified with a fact forced by the evidence of it, meaning that a fact is a 1 to 1 corresponding model of a creation, in the mind.
    ============

    See, my analysis of the problem, and the solution to it, makes simple logical sense.

    Upon learning creationism, people would get back in touch with their emotions, start to pay dedicated attention to subjective issues, as in a bona fide religion, and would then proceed to make better personal judgements.

    Problem solved.

  39. 39
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, if you refuse to acknowledge Plato’s — a clue — parable of the cave in Bk VII of The Republic — another clue — as a paradigm of grand delusion, then no one can help you. We can use you as a poster child of the breakdown in our civilisation due to severe miseducation and the privileging of hyperskepticism, but that is a sad place to have to go. We want the old WJM back. KF

    PS, through the infinite regress of doubts invited by the self-referential quality of the cave parable, merits went out the window for your arguments at outset. I don’t think you would deliberately reduce yourself to absurdity for amusement, but that is what you are doing.

  40. 40
    William J Murray says:

    KF @39:
    Except what I’m arguing doesn’t represent an “infinite regress of doubt.” Doubt ends when you reach the self-evident, necessary and inescapable. It is only by going back to those truths that one can begin to rationally examine and compare additional ontological propositions. You don’t get “delusion” and “hyperskepticism” and “warrant,” etc., for free just because of what you think will happen or is happening in the world.

  41. 41
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, we can see it. KF

  42. 42
    EDTA says:

    If WJM’s motivations for making his arguments are to gain experiential enjoyment, then the arguments have no other merit. He has his stated reward.

  43. 43
    ET says:

    That doesn’t follow. Engineers love experimental enjoyment. Scientists too. Yet others benefit from it. Their experimental enjoyment rewards us.

  44. 44
    Sandy says:

    From our perspective, a man is in a psychiatric facility, bound in a straightjacket, sitting in a padded, locked room, barking like a dog.

    How in the world you manage to post comments here if you are in straitjacket? Ingenuity of humans is breathtaking. :)))

    let’s take this back to pre-ontological formula and ask the question: how is his mental experience fundamentally any different than ours? We don’t see his “world;” he doesn’t see ours.

    Yep…but your world is somehow more true otherwise you wouldn’t try to advertise it here. I’m impressed by your sense of duty to truth. 😉
    Also you have a great sense of love for all humanity because you shared the mistery of life you discovered because you are a special type of person that not often walk on this Earth. I would put among Jesus and Buddha.

  45. 45
    EDTA says:

    ET @ 43,

    Yes, in that case others do benefit. But scientists are ostensibly out to find truth, and happen to enjoy what they do (when not writing grant proposals I suppose). If they stated that their central goal was to find enjoyment, then I’d be skeptical that they are finding anything beyond that.

  46. 46
    ET says:

    EDTA:

    But scientists are ostensibly out to find truth…

    What planet are you living on?

  47. 47
    EDTA says:

    ET: Good point.

  48. 48
    vividbleau says:

    WJM
    1. I (the sentient being) exist as an identifiable “I.”
    2. Therefore, a fundamental experience of self and other.

    I would say
    1) Existence exists
    It seems to me that “I”, “self” or “others” are based on certain preusuppositions

    Vivid

  49. 49
    kairosfocus says:

    Do you see how broken our intellectual culture is, how much that we should prize we have heedlessly thrown into a vat of corrosive hyperskeptical doubt, not realising that such would also dissolve its own container, i.e. the radical doubter is trapped in [implicit] self-reference?

  50. 50
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, sadly, you have a point. Once Science by default became repository of knowledge and a gateway to power up to and including chem weapons, bio weapons and nukes, it became a target for power holders, power seekers and more. Accordingly, science, science education, officialdom and the media are in a tangled, too often corrupt relationship that leads to the sort of situation we are seeing where empirically well supported, low cost treatments for a pandemic likely coming out of institutional undermining of restrictions on dangerous research are systematically undermined. Where, those connected to the undermining funded research that was bound to be taken as bioweapons research by other parties hostile to liberty. Coming out of this, respect for key institutions is going to be drastically undermined. For cause. As for trust, in self-defence, a lot of people will now presume as default that they are being lied to. Which, is fatal. KF

  51. 51
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, your hyperskeptical response to the self-evident has undermined confidence in what you have to say. You have also tried to redefine self-evidence to fit a rhetorical pattern, so there is no confidence that you are using language reasonably rather than fallaciously. You have advocated views that either express or invite hyperskepticism, and such leads to an infinite regress of acid doubts and delusions. That is some of the context in which the OP highlights that going concern world, common sense and tested first principles of reasoning — recall, entanglement with first duties starting with to truth — allow us to frame a responsible baseline knowledge base which then allows onward investigation of worldviews issues. KF

    PS: One of the baseline results is that there is no good reason to entertain Plato’s Cave world notions, which undermine credibility of knowledge, perception, rationality, duty, community, etc. This then extends to the level two where one plays escaped prisoner and perceives the alleged apparatus of grand delusion, for level three lurks, is level two just another delusion, thence endless chain. Instead, Reidan common sense recognising local error but rejecting grand delusion theses, makes good sense.

  52. 52
    William J Murray says:

    When taken back to pre-ontological formula, what is there to consider when establishing an ontology, or “worldview” about “what reality is?”

    The only thing we have available to consider in developing an ontology (from formula) is mental experience. The first order of business would be to examine the kinds of mental experience we have and examine them. Unfortunately, the only words we have to label and talk about these different kinds of mental experience are through words that are either rooted in or carry with them ontological assumptions.

    Keeping that in mind:

    1. Existential unavoidables, self-evident truths, necessary truths (logic, math, self/other, etc.)
    2. The highly consistent, persistent, measurable, predictable, operable, apparently consensual set of experiences we currently call “the physical world,” including our physical body
    3. Senses
    4. Memory
    5. Emotion (including conscience, empathy, sense of duty, desire, concern for others, love, etc.)
    6. Imagination
    7. Intention/preference (free will)
    8. Attention
    9. Dreams
    10. Sense of continuity/sequentiality (time)

    I may be missing something, but this list will do for the time being. Most ontologies (that I’m aware of of, anyway) begin by simply accepting the same basic way these categories of mental experience are arranged in relationship to each other and what they each, generally, mean. These ontologies focus on #1 and #2 as “objectively real.” IOW, the are said to have an existence independent of our experience of them.

    This is the primordial or first ontological commitment that is apparently not self-evident, necessary, or unavoidable; that something exists independent of experience of that thing. In the usual way people think about something independently existing external of experience, there is simply no way to demonstrate or prove that absent an a priori ontological construct.

    However, there is, in fact, a manner in which all things that we can possibly experience must exist independent of our experience of it: it must exist as a potential experience. “Potential” is a form of information. In fact, everything in the list above are forms or kinds of information.

    Experience = information. From a pre-ontological perspective, all experiences are forms of information, and information not in our experience necessarily exists independent of our experience as potential. At least, that’s all that can be said about it so far.

    Here we have established what a sentient being must be: a sentient being is the processing of potential into active experience.

  53. 53
    William J Murray says:

    This brings us to what may have been before considered a trivially true tautology: all possible things exist as potential.

    The quality of what most ontologies refer to as “real” can be more easily understood now. Most ontologies essentially represent a framework of limitations to what potential can be actuated into experience category #2. It’s really that simple when you boil it down.

    Before we start fencing off possibilities with ontological barbed wire, we might ask the question: is this a good idea? What are we actually doing when we conceptually fence off possibilities? Is it necessary? If so, to what degree? What are the ramifications? Etc.

  54. 54
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, potentiality and actuality are quite different. Any building may burn down, any vehicle can crash, any vessel may sink, we may become murder victims. However, in each case we take many due precautions to see that such states of affairs do not become actual. This of course points to contingent being and causal conditions. Necessary beings, being framework to the existence of any possible world, are present in any such world. KF

    PS: I note, a possible world is a description — conjunction of propositions — that sufficiently describes how a world such as but not necessarily our own is or could be.

  55. 55
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    Necessary beings, being framework to the existence of any possible world, are present in any such world.

    That depends on what you mean by a “necessary being.” If you’re talking about existential unavoidables that apply to all possible sentient experiences, I’ll go along with that.

  56. 56
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, necessary being is not a matter subject to our whims or to arbitrary hyperskeptical objection, it is a settled matter, beings that must be present in any possible world. This is best understood on their being framework to such worlds existing. An example is of course duality, as I have drawn out any number of times. Try to imagine a distinct possible world in which two-ness does not exist, or begins, or ceases. That is impossible as just to have a distinct world, it must have distinct identity which implies duality as has been drawn out. By direct contrast, impossible beings such as square circles cannot be in any possible world. Contingent beings are in some worlds but not all, which points to the issue of causal conditions. KF

  57. 57
    William J Murray says:

    KF,

    As far as I can tell, you’re just restating what I’ve already pointed out as existential unavoidables earlier in this thread.

  58. 58
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, no (see the import of “existential unavoidables that apply to all possible sentient experiences” which is NOT the same as entities present in all possible worlds), but it is clear this is simply another needlessly distractive tangent. We can take it therefore that the key points in the OP stand on merits. KF

  59. 59
    ET says:

    In the “perfect” world, EDTA @ 45 is correct. Science and scientists should exist to uncover the truth. The truth being the reality of whatever is being investigated. That is why we investigate, right? To try to figure out what actually happened?

    “A healthy science is a science that seeks the truth.” Paul Nelson, Ph. D., philosophy of biology.

    Linus Pauling, winner of 2 Nobel prizes wrote, “Science is the search for the truth.”

    “But science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding.” Albert Einstein

    But we do not live in that world.

  60. 60
    kairosfocus says:

    ET,

    The challenge in “Science seeks truth [i/l/o empirical investigation & observations]” is of course the pessimistic induction relative to explanations/ models/ theories given the abductive form, inductive logic of inference to the best current explanation, an application of the logic of implication. (As, was recently explored.)

    As implication is not equivalence, empirical support cannot definitively establish truth of theories [which are grand explanations]. That is, empirical reliability and predictive power thus far cannot ground a conclusion that a theory is utterly true or has become “fact.” Which, of course is often presented as if that is so, especially with the evolutionary materialistim ideology controlled models of the past of origins. Lewontin’s cat out of the bag observation on a priori commitment to materialistic ideology stings because it exposes a telling flaw of scientism.

    That is important to note, we hope we have captured key characteristics of our going concern world through observed phenomena [which are the true facts, whatever limitations of observation may be]. We seek to understand core characteristics of the world, and to capture them in our theories. But the fate of Ptolemaic-Aristotelian thinking about physical and cosmological reality, followed by that of Newtonian Dynamics only a few centuries on, should give us pause. We walk by faith and not by sight, we are fallible, so are our theories; scientific knowledge — at its best — is a paradigm case of weak sense knowledge: warranted, credibly true (so, thus far reliable) belief.

    As the issue of ideological imposition and linked institutional captivity and policy/cultural agendas pointed to shows, however, scientific theories, paradigms and research programmes can deteriorate into little more than agenda-driven ruthlessly imposed and enforced ideology. As design thinkers know to their cost, that has happened with more of origins science than we want to think. Climate science and big politics are hopelessly entangled. Similarly, it has played out with too much of the politics of sexual form cultural marxism in recent decades, to the manifest increasing disintegration of family stability, personal identity and civilisation. Likewise, there seems to be far more of institutional arrogance, financial interests of big pharma and the like than actual following of the Science [–> EVIDENCE] on the current pandemic. Indeed, “evidence based” has been co-opted by those who are committing a clear gold standard of empirical evidence fallacy. For, huge scale randomised, placebo-controlled studies not only have serious questions on time required, limits on what can be supported and are ethically challenged in many cases, but also cannot exhaust the cumulative effect of other real-world empirical investigations including clinical observations by physicians and nurses, so-called natural experiments due to statistical patterns etc. (Cf an example in the OP.)

    So, Science seeks truth is qualified and not unique to science.

    Especially, if we recall the first duties of reason; despite antics with semantics and rhetorical games here at UD in recent weeks, duty to and appeals to the legitimate authority of truth, right reason, warrant [and wider prudence] are inescapably pervasive. We are conscience-guided, error-prone, morally struggling, too often ill willed creatures.

    So, let us take a more balanced, more nuanced understanding of science.

    KF

  61. 61
    William J Murray says:

    To continue from #53,

    This brings us back to the parable of the cave, in a way. The prisoners have developed a worldview based on the particular conditions they find themselves in and not on principles that would be necessary in any experiential situation – not just their own. IOW, the philosopher found the existential unavoidables and recognized them as the truth about the nature of their existence regardless of whether people lived in any particular cave or not.

    So, as sentient beings we are the processing of information from the potential into the experiential. All possible things exist as potential. An ontology can now be seen as a model that describes a set of supposedly universal experiential limitations to this process, usually referred to as “reality.” People carve out a single, tiny block of potential and insist that out of all possibilities, all people can only experience what is in that tiny section because, for whatever reason, it is all that is “actually” available to us. They do this because of a fundamental ontological perspective they usually do not recognize as such: they believe that one tiny subset of potential has somehow been “activated” or selected and the rest of potential has been cordoned off from us.

    IOW, they are the prisoners of the cave that believe that their cave is the only actual cave that exists out of all possible caves. No other cave can be experienced, according to them.

    But, what is the cave? Is it a “world?” What does a “world” mean? KF’s description:

    I note, a possible world is a description — conjunction of propositions — that sufficiently describes how a world such as but not necessarily our own is or could be.

    Please note: he hasn’t really said what a “world” is. When he uses the phrase, “such as our own,” what is he talking about? The Earth? The universe? The physical universe + metaphysical/spiritual elements or locations and beings? Note also the assumption: “such as our own.” Is he assuming he and I live in the same “world?” Wouldn’t that depend on what one means by “world?”

    What a “world” is, is itself an ontological position. So, when KF talks about “all possible worlds” using a phrase “such as our own,” he’s apparently only talking about a certain species of “possible worlds,” perhaps the kind that are “universally shared” by “all sentient beings.” Has KF considered the thought that one’s “world” is determined by one’s conscious perspective, and that such a “world” is not a set thing for everyone? Why does KF feel confident that he and I share “the same world?” Is it because we can communicate with each other? Or that we could reasonably expect to physically meet if we decided to do so?

    Note the ontological commitments involved. Does being able to meet physically and talk face to face inherently mean we live in the same world? That all depends on what you mean by “world” and what you think physical experiences represent. It all depends on how you organize mental experience and think about those experiences.

    Mentally, for the most part, KF and I do not live in the same world. BA77 and I do not live in the same mental world. We may share one aspect of mental experiences; the set of mental experiences we call the physical, but KF seems to think that this single aspect of mental experience is the defining quality of what it means to “share” a “world.” Experiencing each other in a shared physical location does not mean we live in the same world, any more than our capacity to have coffee at the local Starbucks together means we live in the same house.

  62. 62
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, the parable of the cave operates on two levels, first, totalitarian indoctrination due to domination by a corrupt, ruthless — so, misanthropic — elite. Second, it is an early exploration of the epistemological challenge and linked hyperskepticism that came to a head with the Enlightenment, ending in the Kantian ugly gulch between the inner phenomenal world and the outer world of appearances vs being. To deal with the first, we have to deal with the second, and the logical focal issue is self-referentiality. If we are so trapped that our senses and inner rational consciousness are in a shadow-show grand delusion [the cave is the paradigm], there is no firewall. The level 1 cave is suspect but then is escape and exposure to the parapet and fire with shadow puppets not simply another suspect show? Then, being dragged up to the outer world and starting with reflections then ultimately seeing the sun [this standing in for the Form of the Good]? The whole crashes in an infinite regress of shadow shows, ending up discrediting rationality. So, we set the whole aside as absurd, for cause. We start afresh, on the premise that what ends in self-referential absurdity, or suggests or invites it can be set aside. That brings us to Reidan common sense and thus first principles and duties of reason. KF

    PS: The possible worlds approach allows us to think universally once we recognise necessary beings and self-evident first truths. These allow us to communicate intra and inter personally, building up a common body of reliable knowledge, without hopeless distortion, which last is another form of grand delusion.

  63. 63
    William J Murray says:

    The presumption that we live in the same mental world is apparent in how people talk to each other here; as if they can read minds.

    But, I want to be clear what I mean here. Under IRT, we do all live in the same “universal mind.” I’m not talking from that perspective; here I mean that KF, BA77 and others assume we share the same local mental space. People assign motivations, character traits, thoughts, and reasons for why someone else says what they say here. That’s pure projection of their mental world onto others.

    KF (and others) insists that everyone lives in the same mental world that he does, whether they know it or not, or admit it or not. He and others here have no problem asserting why others behave the way they do, or say the things they say, argue the way they argue, use the words they choose to use. If they do not agree, they are considered being either defective in their thinking or being deceptive. They think it cannot possibly be anything else because of the a priori assumption that we all must share the same mental world far beyond what is existentially unavoidable.

    I see this physical locaation, or “world,” as perfect as-is. It is a truly remarkable, wonderful place, but it just represents one particular set of experienced potential out of functionally infinite possibilities available to sentient beings. I see things in terms of being eternal, not “contingent.” I see myself as being that which is completely responsible for everything I experience, and that I can navigate my eternally ongoing experience into whatever situation I desire. I see all other people as perfect beings manifesting the experiences they, on some psychological level, desire. From my perspective, this is what sentient beings do: put themselves into situations where they can have certain kinds of experiences for various reasons. I marvel at, respect and honor those experiences, which required adopting particular perspectives in order to acquire.

    But to say you and I share a world? For you and your perspective, I supposed we “share a world” in a significant sense; but, for me, we share a very tiny subset where our two otherwise entirely different “worlds” happen to intersect at one particular time and location.

  64. 64
    William J Murray says:

    So, I define a “world” as a set of information being processed into a particular experience. Yes, there is a necessary being for every world; the being that is doing the experiencing. Without the experiencer, that “world” does not, cannot exist.

    Which is precisely what the quantum physics experimental evidence indicates. The consciousness of the experiencer is what chooses from the potential and processes it into that being’s experiential “world.”

  65. 65
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, there is no “presumption” that we live in the same mental world. this is again a projected strawman caricature.

    Let’s start with a thought exercise, imagine some bright red ball A on a table in some world, W. This allows us to see distinct identity and its close corollaries, LNC and LEM. These are first, self-evident principles. This means that they are fabric to any possible world, try neighbouring wotlrd W’ where it is a ball-less table, B.

    This then shows that just on an imaginary possible world, W, we have a universal principle that is applicable to all worlds. If you want to argue, plug W and W’ into the earlier discussion of distinct identity of worlds and foundations of mathematics. W = W’ + A, the ball.

    In short, LOI, LNC and LEM are universalisable, as are NZQRCR* etc with a large range of relationships etc. They readily cross between our different mental worlds and allow us to examine the perceived in common world we share, a world in which we can get an actual table at the furniture store and an actual bright red ball at the toy shop next door. We can also converse about such things and form a common knowledge base we call common sense reality.

    I find it hard to believe that you seriously put that common sense world under the shadow of a plato’s cave infinite regress of delusions, but, okay make a choice as to what faith point you will take: utter collapse of rationality or responsible common sense, which can be extended into disciplines and praxis.

    I imagine you eat breakfast of a morning, so I can guess that whatever you may speculate from your keyboard, you of necessity participate as an embodied creature in that practical reality. Which we can reasonably take as independent of our particular imaginations, surprising us all the time with its various events, entities, processes, history etc.

    beyond this point, we can regard self-referentially absurd hyperskeptical speculations about that world as not serious.

    Insofar as errors exist, yes, that is why we took time to explore warrant in detail, which you were there twisting, turning, objecting, distracting from every step of the way.

    That is not responsible.

    Similarly, we are conscience guided and find ourselves duty bound starting with truth.

    Where, pointing beyond, it is clear that God is a serious candidate necessary being root of reality, unlike say a flying spaghetti monster — necessary, eternal beings are not composite made up of spaghetti, meatballs or any other such material entity, nor are they composed by configuring and coupling prior independently existing parts, etc — or the like ill-thought through strawman caricature.

    KF

  66. 66
    William J Murray says:

    KF,

    Why is it that no matter how many times I agree with you about the existential unavoidables that logic and math represent, you keep trotting it out as if that is a point of contention?

    I find it hard to believe that you seriously put that common sense world under the shadow of a plato’s cave infinite regress of delusions, but, okay make a choice as to what faith point you will take: utter collapse of rationality or responsible common sense, which can be extended into disciplines and praxis.

    Rationality only “breaks down” if I contested something like logic or math, which I do not. Your idea of “delusion” and “common sense” depends on particular ontological commitments far below the existentially necessary. They represent an interpretation, or model, of some of the conditions I assume we share in our experiences.

    But, you and I have had a lot of experiences we do not share. We have experienced different conditions. I would have to dismiss a lifetime of experiences, and over 30 years development, experimentation, and the practical, functional success of my model to adopt the “common sense” model you refer to.

    I imagine you eat breakfast of a morning, so I can guess that whatever you may speculate from your keyboard, you of necessity participate as an embodied creature in that practical reality. Which we can reasonably take as independent of our particular imaginations, surprising us all the time with its various events, entities, processes, history etc.

    Have you ever imagined a physical object, and watched as it physically appeared, which everyone could see, take the object and use it? Have you ever imagined a world, and then find yourself physically in that world, and have other people report having a physical experience in that world, interacting with and verifying the physical existence of the very things and people you imagined? The answer is probably “no,” so I understand your ontological distinction you hold to between “reality” and “imagination.”

    I’ve visited with my “dead” wife several times. It was completely real, completely physical, just like this world. Several other people have also visited with her in the same way, and have confirmed the way she looks, dresses, acts and talks in that world. I’ve actually brought things back with me from that world (or other such worlds.) Do you think you can possible talk me into a “common sense” view of reality after I’ve been experiencing these kinds of things my whole life?

    I respect you and your world and your beliefs, but do not presume to think that we share a substantial world of experience. In my perspective, that which we share is trivial compared to that which we do not share.

  67. 67
    William J Murray says:

    IMO, KF, your “common sense” world only survives in your mind as such via either ignorance of the experiences of countless others, a mountain of available evidence, or by denying them as either defective or deceptive. I’ve personally interacted with literally hundreds of people, and have read the accounts of many other all over the world, that have the same kind of experiences as me, indicating a reality that is far, far outside of the confines of what your “common sense” dictates.

  68. 68
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, there you go again. Sad. KF

  69. 69

    Kairosfocus, there is no logical progression from your view of things, to free speech. Rather the reverse. Aren’t you just another tyrant?

    We are forced to accept God, because of the logic of a neccessary being. And all the other things you write, there is no place for freedom in it. All that 2+2=4 , it only presents the logic of forced answers. All is forced, and freedom is not an integral part of your views.

  70. 70
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, freedom is inherent to rationality. Lawful government recognises that, and constitutional democracy buttressed by key cultural supports. The insinuation you just made is improper. KF

  71. 71

    Why would you allow disbelief in God, when the conclusion is forced by the logic of a neccessary being? 2+2=4 but freedom is inherent in rationality so 2+2= choose 5?

    You just say these kinds of things to appease, you do not demonstrate where freedom is an integral part of your views.

  72. 72
    Sandy says:

    Kairosfocus
    WJM, there you go again. Sad. KF

    KF sometimes ignoring ” Napoleon” is the best medicine for recovery. You try to convince him with logic that he is not Napoleon but the results are opposite of what you want. It’s too late for logic.

  73. 73
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, one is free to disbelieve in God. Whether that reflects sound, well-founded thinking is another matter. Particularly, as God is a serious candidate necessary being, either he is impossible of being or is actual. Anyone finding good cause to infer that God is impossible of being is free to provide same ______ KF

  74. 74

    KF That’s not really freedom as integral to your view of things, that is just you saying that freedom is granted. 2+2=4 etc. that’s your view, and then you grant freedom, throw people a bone, outside of your views.

    I can prove that it is logically valid not to believe in God.

    1. Creator / chooses / spiritual / subjective / opinion
    2. Creation / chosen / material / objective / fact

    God would be in category 1 obviously. All in category 1 is identified with a chosen opinion, therefore it is logically valid to choose the opinion God is not real. Basically similar to stating love is not real, hate is not real, etc. which emotions are also in category 1.

    See, that is freedom integral to my view of things.

    And while the world is surpressing freedom of opinion, you still don’t acknowledge the validity of the concept of a chosen personal opinion.

  75. 75
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, freedom is inherent to rationality and a lawful state will respect it. That is about what one can hope for on history. So, strawman. KF

  76. 76

    KF How it works is, the concept of a chosen personal opinion is thrown out the window, consequently people throw out freedom of opinion as well. What you say is just value signalling, you don’t support freedom with logic. What is the strawman here, that you don’t accept the concept of a chosen personal opinion? You don’t. I offer it, you reject it, case closed.

  77. 77
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, kindly, for record, scroll up to the OP. The framework of rationality and its import of freedom have already been discussed. Go down to where the Smith model is introduced. Notice how the two-tier controller is discussed in the context of an extension of the oracle machine context. Then, note that freedom is innate in such a suggestion. This definitively corrects your misrepresentation that freedom is not part of what I have put on the table. As to freedom to select and hold opinions, duties to truth, right reason prudence (including warrant of knowledge claims), fairness and justice all balance our freedoms. Where, kindly notice, one is not responsible to dismiss the label on a bottle, poison; nor is 2 + 3 = 5 a matter of opinion, etc. Where, disagreement does not change duty to respect warrant; especially where serious, damaging consequences can follow. One is not doing right to slander or accuse without responsible reason, and a good part of defamation law speaks to that. In the case of your opinions, for cause, I find they lack balance and in some cases warrant. I suggest, further, that you tone down the sort of loaded suggestions you have just begun to make. KF

  78. 78
    William J Murray says:

    To continue from #53,

    Why fence off possibilities of experience with ontological commitments that deny they are possible?

    One might argue that in order to function, one must make some ontological commitments; fair enough. One must have some sort of “theory” or idea about what a thing “is” before they can begin to meaningfully interact with that thing, but a model or a theory doesn’t necessarily represent a “commitment.”

    What I’m talking about is when one starts holding the perspective that only a certain subset of all possible experiences are actually available to be experienced. IOW, it is the idea that our experiential potential going forward is constrained by something that “disallows” the actualization of all but a narrow set of potentials. This is what I refer to as a limited-potential reality model, one that is constrained by a commitment to conditions beyond existential unavoidables. Or, in the allegory of the cave, their current situational experiences.

    The prisoners of the cave consider their current range of experience representative of all actual, real experience. You can see KF and others here express this perspective when they write things as if they can make factual statements about the experiences of others far beyond what is existentially necessary to all sentient experience. For example, “duties:” KF and SB write as if the only possible explanation for what some people write, their expectations, their habits and words is that it refers to some kind of sense of duty. They are so certain that their experience of this “duty” is necessarily universal that they assert others are doing what they do out of “duty” whether they know it or or not, whether they accept it or not, even though they agree that “duty” is not an existential unavoidable across all possible experiences or “worlds.”

    You can see this when they start assigning negative personal connotations (twisting, turning, denying, distracting, avoiding, poisoning, etc.) to the behaviors of others. IOW, their counterparts here cannot simply be making the best argument they can, be acting in good faith, and be entirely reasonable, good people who simply have a different perspective based on their personal experiences. This is why KF’s arguments rely on “common human behavior” and “common human experience;” he projects his own experiences across humanity and assumes most people have the same kind of experiences. He and others here totally dismiss all experiences that are inconvenient to their reality perspective as defective or deceptive.

    I can accept that KF and SB are arguing in good faith from their experiences and perspective. I accept that he experiences “first duties” and conscience and moral rules so profoundly or deeply that he assumes everyone must be experiencing it or else they are defective or being deceptive. I can accept these things because, in my perspective, not everyone is experiencing “the same world” except for a certain subset of things.

    But, here’s the problem with KF’s insistence that I am living in the same “world” he lives in; that is entirely derived from his ontological commitments. He cannot possibly know it, but his arguments and style of writing assume it. He attempts to lecture me and others as if his lectures necessarily apply to my world because of his ontological commitment to the idea that there is only one “world” and we are all entirely in it.

    We may exist in an infinite matrix of co-existing “worlds,” our personal “location” and conditions entirely determined by what we currently call the observer effect in quantum physics. If so, the only claims KF or I or anyone could make, given that situation, about other people would be the existential unavoidables, because all the arguments about “duty” and “morality” and “conscience” and “warrant” and “prudence” are all conditional.

    KF argues as if his arguments represent “common sense” and “common human experience,” as if most people in the entire world thought like KF or in large have the same kind of experiences as he does. That’s not an argument, at least from my perspective. I consider that an admission that an actual argument can’t be made, so let’s appeal to popularity.

    So, when it comes to arguing about “reality,” unless the argument is about all possible experiences, you do not have a argument that isn’t derived from ontological commitments unless the person you are arguing with agrees to your conditional parameters, or your ontological commitments. Assuming I have the same experience as you, live in the same “world” as you, is nothing more than an ontological assumption on your part. And that is why your entire argument outside of existential unavoidables is entirely rooted in your particular ontology.

  79. 79
    William J Murray says:

    Other than existential unavoidables, all arguments for hard experiential limitations are necessarily rooted in commitment to particular ontological conditions. This is evident when KF says that we are “clearly” contingent beings; that is only “clear” from a certain ontological perspective. It is not not existentially unavoidable that we are contingent beings. KF looks the conditions of our birth and death and proclaims that this is proof we are “contingent.”

    It proves nothing of the sort. We could have existed before we were born; we can exist after we die. From that perspective, our existence as a sentient being is not contingent on being born into “this” physical “world.” The only thing anyone can ultimately say is necessarily, unavoidably “contingent’ is experience, not the being having the experience, or even the information used for the experience. Experiences are contingent on the state of the experiencer and how the information is processed into that experience.

    I understand KF is arguing for his cave ontology. The question is, can one have an ontology that doesn’t add any additional experiential limitations to what is existentially necessary? IOW, can an ontology be open to all possible experiences? Yes, and I think IRT (idealism reality theory) represents just such an ontology, or at least as close as we can get to ontology that embraces all possible experience.

  80. 80
    Sandy says:

    Mohammadnursyamsu
    KFfreedom is inherent in rationality so 2+2= choose 5?

    Bankers must love you. To keep the math rules is to be moral. Price of oil ,bread , etc. is not matter of opinion or a preference. Try to go in a store and tell to vendor your opinion that bread should be half a price because you like that.

  81. 81

    KF Well excuse me, I should have caught that mention of freedom and decision in the OP. I’m going to keep with the heavy judgements though. I think it’s just better.

  82. 82
    William J Murray says:

    Here is the key, relatively unexplored concept that underlies these ontology-based arguments: the (usually) unspoken assertion of ontological exclusivity.

    These debates and discussions always take the form of which worldview is correct. In terms of the allegory of the cave, this is the debate the prisoners of the cave arguing about the nature of the cave they are in. The unspoken assumption is that the conditions of that particular cave represent the only cave that exists, and finding true statements about that cave is “the same as” finding true statements about “reality,” as if that is the only cave any sentient being can possibly experience, or be experiencing.

    Notice how KF and others fall silent when I describe my experiences and point at the experience of many others. There are countless books easily available by or about these experiencers. Both AD and BA77 fall silent when the NDE they use to support their particular theistic ontology directly contradicts the exclusivity of their ontological commitments. Apparently, KF simply ignores or dismisses my experiences and the experiences of those I refer to.

    Instead, he refers to “common human experience” and the “common sense” derived from that set of experiences. But, what about the uncommon, or at least less common experiences? Do they not even count? How do these people here account for them? From my experience, I would assume they are dismissing them as either defective or deceptive.

    The problem is, that is an entirely convenient way of sorting and categorizing evidence, but it is a requirement, the only possible way to sort that evidence, to maintain ontological exclusivity. I’m not even arguing that BA77’s, AD’s and KF’s proposed ontological structure doesn’t exist or be experienced as entirely real; my objection is that there is simply no way to argue for its exclusivity other than by dismissing all non-conforming experience and evidence as deceptive or defective.

  83. 83
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, the cave is a case on the grand delusion problem and nothing you say removes the self referentiality issue. Beyond, you have made it all too clear that that is the issue on the table. It is enough to point out the self-referentiality cascade. That is enough without chasing every point you raise, the problems are at the beginning. KF

  84. 84
    AnimatedDust says:

    WJM@82. I don’t know that I have ever claimed that the Christian NDE is the only kind. Far from it. I would say it’s the most prevalent, and includes Hell, and most of the other components, even when experienced by non-Christians. Many actually see and converse with Jesus, and many more don’t.

  85. 85
    kairosfocus says:

    AD, NDEs are irrelevant to the focus of this thread, there is no need to follow a rabbit trail. KF

  86. 86
    William J Murray says:

    AD @84,

    I didn’t say that you made any such claim.

  87. 87
    William J Murray says:

    This brings us fully into the topic of this thread: so-called “confident knowledge.” We know our raw experience; we know (or at least can know) our existential unavoidables. Everything beyond those things is ultimately theory. That’s not hyperskepticism; it is just a fact. It may be a very good theory, a very reliable theory that makes excellent predictions, but they are still, factually speaking, theories.

    Knowledge is always self-referential in nature; it all comes entirely from our personal experience. Knowledge is always entirely about personal, subjective experience, regardless of whether or not one believes it to be about something else. There is no escaping the actual, functional self-referential nature of anything we call “knowledge.”

    So, what is KF referring to when he talks about “objective knowledge?” Well, first off, there is no such thing as “objective knowledge” per se because all knowledge is held by subjective individuals (we won’t drag “God” into this.) He is apparently talking about having knowledge about objective things that exist independently of his subjective experience which, in his theory, cause a large portion of his subjective experience.

    Note that this theory of knowledge begins with an ontological premise: that objective things exist that cause subjective experiences. Without that premise, one’s theory of knowledge would be entirely different. KF would argue that such a theory would be entirely self-referential thus “absurd” or a “grand delusion.” However, those two terms are only applicable or meaningful in that way from under his ontological premise that we “objective things” exist independent of our experience in the first place.

    This idea means that that “things” outside of our experience have innate, discrete states and characteristics that exist and are the same regardless of anyone’s personal experience of them. This is what KF is apparently referring to when he states that we can have incorrect or erroneous “knowledge” of those things. His theory is one of a methodology of gaining what he calls “well-warranted” and “confident” subjective knowledge about the innate, objective states and characteristics of these things he proposes exist as those things independent of any experience of them.

    But, here’s the problem: the independent, innate states and characteristics of those things cannot actually be determined or verified because all of our information is inescapably from and about our experience of the thing in question. This is an existentially unavoidable fact. The “thing” is an experience. The red ball on the table is an experience. The brick wall is an experience. Physicality is an experience. What other people tell you about those things is still your own personal, subjective experience. I don’t actually know what these other people are actually experiencing; all I know is what my experience is of them. For all I know, from their perspective they might be barking like dogs, and from my perspective they are agreeing with me in perfect English.

    KF might call this “hyperskepticism,” or “doubting all knowledge.” No, I’m just stating the facts about the subjective nature of experience. There are some aspects of experience that are existentially unavoidable for any sentient being, but even those fundamental, inescapable things are experienced subjectively, even though they necessarily apply to all subjective experience.

    But, the conditions that KF is referring to are well beyond those unavoidables; they are specific conditions that do not or need not be present in, or apply to, all sentient experience. KF refers to this as “a going-concern world(G-CW.)” That is what KF is arguing we can “confident, objective knowledge” about. Yet, any G-CW is, fundamentally, the ongoing personal, subjective experience of an individual sentient being. Thus, all knowledge is ultimately self-referential, even if one believes their knowledge is about things that exist independent of their experience.

    Personal experience is the only thing that any knowledge can be about. Thus, all knowledge is ultimately self-referential in nature. Now, does that mean the same thing as “self-referential absurdity” or “grand delusion?” Is that the same as “hyperskepticism?”

    As I said before, stating an existential fact is cannot be a hyperskeptical perspective. So, what does “self-referential absurdity” even mean? Is any of the above a self-referential paradox or contradiction? No. Absolutely not. So what does KF mean when he says “self-referential absurdity?”

    I think he means that if we do not tie our knowledge to some proposed independent objective reality, we have no means by which to discern belief from fact. IOW, we have no means by which to measure, discern or evaluate our experiences according to anything external/objective. I think his position might be summed up as: if we cannot have objective knowledge, we cannot have anything that can be called knowledge. Self-referential knowledge doesn’t have any “objectively straight rulers,” so to speak, which we can measure or evaluate our experiences against.

    But, that’s where he is wrong; we still have the existential unavoidables, like logic, math, etc. Those things, KF would agree, apply regardless of perspective, whether or not independent, objective entities exist external of our experience. Those things measure and are used to evaluate all experience, regardless of one’s perspective or beliefs.

    So, it’s not that experiential knowledge (as opposed to objective knowledge) doesn’t have any rulers by which to measure and evaluate it; so then, how is it “absurd?” Does KF mean it is “absurd” in that it rejects the “common experience” or “common sense” set of experiences and interpretations as “true for everyone?” Well, that’s not an absurdity in any significant sense because those things are not necessarily or inescapably true “for everyone.”

    The question is, what does accepting that all knowledge is ultimately self-referential (regardless of whether or not it might also refer to some proposed entity independent of experience) actually do? How does it change things?

  88. 88
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, your implicit admission of serial tangents speaks. That said, we know many things to reasonable confidence, fewer, to certainty. Cases have been given. And, your attempt to substitute experience for possible worlds fails again. KF

  89. 89
    William J Murray says:

    I can, ultimately, only acquire experiential knowledge. Accepting this, the goal is obviously to understand how experience works, how to predict it and direct it as successfully as possible. This means organizing it, categorizing it, understanding the relationships between different kinds of experiences, and creating models of experience to experiment with and test for efficacy.

    Whether or not any of that actually relates to any proposed, independently-existing “world” is, ultimately, irrelevant. All any of us have is our experience. It’s hardly an “absurdity” or “hyperskeptical” or “delusional” to focus on how your experience functionally works instead of trying to “universalize” the particular conditions of your experience by claiming it represents “what everyone experiences” by calling it “objective knowledge.” It’s just a different way of thinking about what knowledge is about; actually, it’s accepting what knowledge necessarily is, and is about. It is inescapably self-referential, and it is necessarily about our own personal experience.

  90. 90
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, consciousness is an a priori of reasoning thus knowledge. That said, knowledge goes beyond experience as say the transfinites and infinitesimals demonstrate. So does any universal truth per self evidence or demonstration. KF

  91. 91
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, your implicit admission of serial tangents speaks.

    Mind reading.

    That said, we know many things to reasonable confidence, fewer, to certainty. Cases have been given.

    Who is KF referring to when he says “we?” He and I? He and other people who think like him?

    And, your attempt to substitute experience for possible worlds fails again.

    I’m pointing out that the concept of a “world” is necessarily, intractably about and derived from an individual’s personal experience. KF is trying to get his concept of a “world” for free, without considering what any such concept is necessarily derived from and is inescapably about. He is the one “substituting” his ontology-based concept of a “world” for what a “world” is necessarly derived from, about, and limited to: personal experience.

    All knowledge is unavoidably self-referential and about, derived from and limited to personal experience.

    KF’s arguments with me about “the world” hinge upon this assumption: that he and I share enough of the same substantive experiences for his arguments to be valid for me and my experiences. In his language, he believes (it seems to me, I can be corrected here) that he and I live in the same objective, independently existing world, at least to the degree that his ontological and epistemological perspectives would apply to my experience of that shared world.

    But here’s the problem: I have a lifetime of ongoing experiences, experimentation and successful model development that is, in very significant ways, entirely different than KF’s model. We have many substantively different and even, apparently, conflicting experiences that have led us to develop fundamentally different models of, and even definitions of, “reality,” what a world is, and what knowledge is and is about. We have very different models of cause and effect, time, etc., not to mention morality, duty, conscience, what “facts” and “evidence” are and mean, etc.

    It would be one thing if my views represented pure, impractical sophistry, but I have no use for sophistry or inconsequential ideas. I’m a pragmatist; if something doesn’t promise and then deliver practical, functional value, I have no reason to even consider it. I consider it irrelevant to my actual life. However, my experiential model has delivered functional, practical, successful results for decades. I have complete confidence in it because of that track record and how it continues to produce results.

    Why would I ditch that for the model KF advocates, which I abandoned long ago because it cannot account for a lifetime of experiences other than to dismiss or discredit those experiences as “faulty.” KF’s model works for him in his world of experience; it doesn’t work for me in mine. Mine works in my world of experience. However, it seems that KF cannot accept that because his ontology and epistemology demands exclusivity.

  92. 92
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, consciousness is an a priori of reasoning thus knowledge. That said, knowledge goes beyond experience as say the transfinites and infinitesimals demonstrate. So does any universal truth per self evidence or demonstration. KF

    If we didn’t personally experience consciousness or personally mentally experience the meanig of the concepts of transfinites and infintesimals, we would have no such knowledge.

    All knowledge is derived from, about, and limited to personal experience. All knowledge is experiential and self-referential. QED.

  93. 93
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, we never actually experience a transfinite or an infinitesimal. Yet we know they are there as quantities, not just ideas we form or experience. By contrast a delusional experience is not real, e.g. pink dancing elephants on imbibing too much. KF

  94. 94
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, I note:

    KF’s arguments with me about “the world” . . .

    Problem, I have pointed out the difference between experiences and possible worlds. You are addressing a different argument than the substantial point. Further to which, we know a great many things we do not and cannot experience, as I highlighted on the case of the infinitesimal and transfinite quantities.

    Our rationality is entangled with our consciousness, even when the processes involved are not things we are directly aware of, i.e. are subconscious. That is a very different thing from the force of logic, which transcends experiences to among other things address what must be the case given something that is, or plausibly may be the case.

    All of which, as an educated person, you should know at outset of discussion.

    KF

    PS: Recall, a possible world is a sufficiently complete description [chain of propositions] sufficiently characterising how this world or another is or may be, as to states of affairs. You have W the red ball on table world and W’ the empty table world already on the table as illustrating distinct identity which opens up a world of logical principles and linked logic of being considerations.

  95. 95
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: I see, your insistence:

    If we didn’t personally experience consciousness or personally mentally experience the meanig of the concepts of transfinites and infintesimals, we would have no such knowledge.

    All knowledge is derived from, about, and limited to personal experience. All knowledge is experiential and self-referential. QED.

    Your conclusion does not follow, for many reasons including those already identified.

    For record, I summarise that the idea of x is not the reality or possible reality of X much less to experience X. We form the idea of transfinites and infinitesimals, which does not confer warrant, indeed for many years, such were thought questionable and it is only just past a half century ago that they were reduced to tractable, firewalled, safe to use form by Abraham Robinson.

    Our consciousness is connected to possible worlds by reasoning, and through linked logic of being for such worlds. From such we are specifically able to establish NZQRCR* etc, even including entities and circumstances we cannot experience, observe etc. We cannot experience the transfinite, we cannot experience H –> 1/H = h, smaller than 1/n for any n in N, which mileposts R.

    Likewise, we can demonstrate the Euler identity, 0 = 1 + e^i*pi, but we cannot directly experience what it involves, exponentiation to an imaginary power. We can only provide a demonstration, or accept such. We confidently accept the demonstration, on the power of logic and trans-world universality of a core of mathematics.

    Indeed, even the -1 in the second RHS term is something we cannot experience, we only represent and manipulate. Yes, it takes experiences of rational consciousness to form the demonstrations and make representations such as the negative number line but these are not the same as experiencing -1-ness, or raising e to an imaginary value, or h or H etc.

    In short, no one disputes that rational experience rooted in consciousness is involved in thinking, reasoning, forming ideas, understanding, comprehending language and concepts etc. Indeed, sufficiently mature experience is part of being able to recognise a self-evident truth for one example.

    Such does not entail that “All knowledge is derived from, about, and limited to personal experience.” All knowledge we have involves experiences that allow us to acquire knowledge but it is not reducible to or strictly bounded by it.

    In short, there are constructs and concepts of reason that go beyond experience accepted on the force of logic, as well as rational inferences and creative imagination that use experience but go beyond its bounds.

  96. 96
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: How can such a universal claim — “[a]ll” — with universal limits be established strictly on experiences without self-referential, self-defeating absurdity?

  97. 97
    William J Murray says:

    KF said: In short, there are constructs and concepts of reason that go beyond experience…

    Such does not entail that “All knowledge is derived from, about, and limited to personal experience.” All knowledge we have involves experiences that allow us to acquire knowledge but it is not reducible to or strictly bounded by it.

    Of course it is – unless, of course, it is not you that experientially developed having an awareness of those concepts, and it is not you experiencing the awareness of those concepts as you describe them to me. Personal experience includes the development and use of concepts, in case you didn’t know it, including concepts like infinity (or any as-yet unexperienced thing, such as potential.)

    It is literally impossible to escape personal experience. You don’t have to experience the thing to experience understanding the potential for a thing, the ramifications of a thing, etc. Where is that thought, realization and understanding occurring, KF? Your mind.

    You’re literally trying to deny an existential unavoidable. To say your are telling me about something outside of your experience is like you telling me that you are not using language to communicate your ideas to me. Understanding a concept is a personal experience. I understand the concept that the sun will likely rise in the East tomorrow; I’m certainly not personally experiencing that now. I can understand all sorts of concepts that point towards theoretical or hypothetical commodities.

    Models and concepts are things we personally experience in our mind; if you did not, you wouldn’t bee able to say anything at all about them. You might as well be arguing that you’re not using language to talk to me.

    All knowledge is self-referential because all knowledge is experiential, and all experience is 100% personal. You cannot talk about things you do not experience; talking about conceptual things means experiencing those conceptual things as concepts, or else you have nothing to talk about.

  98. 98
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    How can such a universal claim — “[a]ll” — with universal limits be established strictly on experiences without self-referential, self-defeating absurdity?

    Because we also experience concepts, logic, existential unavoidables, self-evident truths, etc.

  99. 99
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, it is obvious that we know of many things that are not objects of experience, you have been using language with equivocation. For us at least, knowledge of abstracta involves the experience of reasoned thought etc but that does not in itself constitute the knowledge, we may err and we have to provide warrant. And much more. KF

  100. 100
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: At this stage I just noted for record, for the perplexed. The bottomline is WJM’s schemes are self-referentially absurd starting with corrosive doubt on consciousness, perception and what they tell us about our in common world. I think enough has been pointed to.

  101. 101
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, it is obvious that we know of many things that are not objects of experience, you have been using language with equivocation.

    No, I have not. There is no equivocation on m part; in fact, I’m clearing up your equivocations which you are employing apparently in order to avoid an existential unavoidable. You’re attempting to substitute conceptual experience for the knowledge of a thing existing outside of your experience – yet, that conceptual thing you are pointing at and talking about is entirely within your experience of conceptual things.

    For us at least, knowledge of abstracta involves the experience of reasoned thought etc but that does not in itself constitute the knowledge, we may err and we have to provide warrant. And much more. KF

    And all of that occurs where? In your mind, in your subjective experience.

    KF said:

    The bottomline is WJM’s schemes are self-referentially absurd starting with corrosive doubt on consciousness,

    You are in error here; I’ve never doubted consciousness.

    …perception …

    You are in error here; I’ve never doubted perception.

    … and what they tell us about our in common world.

    Who is “us?” Challenging your ontology and how you organize and interpret the information of your perception is not the same as challenging or doubting perception itself.

    BTW, from what I can tell, your use of “self-referentially absurd” is nothing more than rhetorical. You’re certainly not using it in any significant sense that I can find.

  102. 102
    William J Murray says:

    KF, when you say things like “The bottomline is WJM’s schemes are self-referentially absurd starting with corrosive doubt on consciousness, perception and what they tell us about our in common world.” … when I have stated many times that consciousness is fundamental an unarguable, and that perception, i.e., experience, is literally all we have to work with and is also fundamental … I start wondering if you are arguing in good faith. Honestly, I think anyone else would just accuse you of deliberately lying about my argument and position. I’ve never said anything like that, as far as I can remember, and have consistently said exactly the opposite.

  103. 103
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, the cluster is, consciousness, perception and what they tell us about our in common world; it was never on the bare fact of being self-aware but regarding what that awareness tells us as prime datum about reality, i.e. that there is an external world independent of our particular perceptions. One in which, earlier today, I could not find bread in the shops likely because folks stocked up on hearing a hurricane is in the neighbourhood. You set up and knocked over a strawman. So, do tell us, do you or do you not believe the joint testimony of our five senses and common sense that we are embodied creatures participating in a common, physical world? If not, then the point obtains, that you have a scheme that creates the Plato’s cave cascade of successive self-referential doubts; if level one is unreliable, why should we trust level 2, or level n, n+1 etc? If not, kindly explain why you set up as a rhetorical foil “external world THEORY” as though that perception is open to serious doubt. KF

  104. 104
    Sandy says:

    if level one is unreliable, why should we trust level 2, or level n, n+1 etc?

    Though his straitjacket is very tight you have to believe Napoleon . Believe him, believe in him and you will be saved.

  105. 105
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, the cluster is, consciousness, perception and what they tell us about our in common world;

    You are apparently claiming a commonality of all significant experience that would make a substantive difference in worldview; you don’t get that for free simply by using the world “us.”

    So, do tell us, do you or do you not believe the joint testimony of our five senses and common sense that we are embodied creatures participating in a common, physical world?

    You don’t get to ignore the fact that we categorize, label, process and interpret experience (perceptions) according to ontology and epistemology (even as background cultural perspectives.) you don’t get to re-label that post-experience processing by simply asserting it as the “testimony” of “our” perceptions as if everyone has the same significant experiences and that there is no other way to process and interpet those perceptions.

    If not, then the point obtains, that you have a scheme that creates the Plato’s cave cascade of successive self-referential doubts; if level one is unreliable, why should we trust level 2, or level n, n+1 etc?

    I have no idea what you mean by “self-referential doubts” or “unreliable” here.

    If not, kindly explain why you set up as a rhetorical foil “external world THEORY” as though that perception is open to serious doubt. KF

    I don’t know what you mean here, and I doubt even you do.

  106. 106
    William J Murray says:

    KF, I’ll run through the logic again:
    All experience occurs in mind. Nothing can be sensed, thought of or about other than as experiences in the mind. It is a theory that some of those experiences are caused by commodities outside of mind; it cannot be anything more than a theory because it cannot be directly validated outside of the very mental experiences supposedly caused by it.

    I’m calling it what it necessarily is: a theory about where the information for some of our experiences come from. It doesn’t matter if doubting that theory necessarily leads to “self-referential absurdity” (it doesn’t;) it’s still just a theory, period.

  107. 107
  108. 108
    Sandy says:

    Kairosfocus
    WJM, qed. KF

    Yep, when in the most basic and easy to identify elements of ontology and epistemology someone says 1+1=3 or Los Angeles is in China ,you can’t trust anything that person is saying on more complex levels that have ingrained those basic elements (1+1=3, Los Angeles is in China) because aberration increases with the next level of complexity.

  109. 109
    William J Murray says:

    Apparently, KF’s big issue is that if I “doubt,” in his terminology, “what our perceptions tell us” wrt what he calls the common, external physical world, then my worldview fails because of, or largely because of, that. Apparently, for KF, if you doubt that, then nothing is safe from doubt, and you’re lost in hyperskeptical doubt.

    Apparently, KF doesn’t understand that his argument for his ontology and epistemology assumes his conclusion, rendering it entirely circular. He cannot make an argument for his ontology, against mine, entirely from pre-ontological existential unavoidables, self-evident truths, etc. So, with what can KF make his argument? He is making his argument from his ontology/epistemology by simple assertion.

    He makes these assertions by using phrases like “us” and “common sense” and “common human experience.” When he asks if I doubt the existence of a material/physical world we all share that exists external of mind, he is talking about his particular ontology and epistemology. When he says that to doubt his ontology/epistemology is the same as “grand delusion” or self-referentially absurd, that perspective comes from his ontological and epistemological arrangement. Essentially, KF’s position is that you either agree with his ontology/epistemology, or you are defective or deceptive.

    My ontology/epistemology doesn’t violate, contradict or doubt any self-evident truth, necessary truth or existential unavoidable. Notice he doesn’t argue from those, but rather always argues from his own ontological/epistemological perspective. Unfortunately, that is an error; his perspective cannot evaluate mine; mine can only be evaluated from pre-ontological unavoidables or from within.

    The biggest flaw, as I have said, in KF’s argument is the blatant assumption that he and I (us) and all humans do not have perceptions/experiences that violate or contradict his external world perspective. He simply steals all experience, all “common sense,” all perception, of all people, and argues as if all of that – every bit of it – supports his perspective.

    As I’ve pointed out before, this can be done when we are talking about existential unavoidables, because such things necessarily apply to all sentient beings in every possible conscious experience. But KF is going far beyond that; he is claiming that I and all of humanity only have experiences and perceptions that support a particular set of conditions that are not unavoidable or necessary.

    Then, he claims that to doubt that is to necessarily invite “grand delusion” and self referential absurdity; note the irony here. KF is so certain that his experience and perceptions represent the sum total of significant possible experience, and that his ontological model is so comprehensive of human experience (at least in the important ways,) that he doesn’t for a second think that other people might be having ongoing experiences and perceptions that contradict his ontological model. He doesn’t for a second think that I actually experience what I have said I have experienced, or that there are many, many others who have experienced the same or similar things. He doesn’t event address those experiences. His argument is, essentially, “my ontology/epistemology is exclusively correct because everyone is having the same kind of experiences as me.”

    This is blazingly evident when he insists that everyone is acting from duty, whether they know it or not, whether they admit it or not. Why is this? KF can’t even imagine that someone is actually having significantly different experiences from his. His arguments are all about (1) telling people what their experiences are, brushing aside all objections and attempts at correction, and then (2) telling them what those experiences mean and indicate for everyone. IOW, it’s KFs world, everyone is living it, having experiences just like him, thinking just like him and so it’s not about a debate, it’s about lecturing everyone else how his world works, even to the point of correcting people about their own experiences!

    You and I have different experiences and perceptions, KF. You don’t get to just assume they conform to your ontological perspective. “Common sense” is not a valid argument for the ontology and epistemology that produces it. “Common human experience” is not part of the argument when one is debating what is producing a variety of human experiences, which you do not get to avoid simply because they are inconvenient to your ideology and argument.

  110. 110
    William J Murray says:

    We once thought that we existed in an entirely material world, a world of matter that would be reducible to a solid atom, or the smallest reduction of the material world. We found out different; we found out that what we called “solid matter” was more like 99% empty space. This was a shock.

    Then we found out upon further inspection that the things that we thought were bits of “matter” occupying a tiny fraction of that empty space weren’t matter at all. They were “energy” … or so we thought until we investigated further, and found that these things aren’t even made up of particles of energetic matter or waves of energy; what we found out was that consciousness was interacting with informational potentials in a process that produced experiences that were referential to those observing the experiments.

    IOW, the so-called “physical” world did not have discrete, self-contained characteristics other than as probability or potential – it was informational in nature. The physicality and specificity of it is experiential wrt the experiencer (observer,) not innate in some “material” or “energy.”

    Repeated quantum experiments have produced results for over 100 years that violate ad contradict “common human experience and perception” and “common sense” (at least KF’s version of those things.) It is why many researchers are turning to information and consciousness-centric theories, including idealism-based models: to explain the evidence of these experiments.

    KF apparently thinks that if we find out we are wrong about there being a dualistic world out there external of mind, it means we are living in a delusion. No, that’s not what it means. That’s only what it means in his ontological structure; he erroneously thinks it applies to everyone because he assumes everyone’s experiences comport with his own.

  111. 111
    Sandy says:

    Napoleon already openly admitted that pleasure is his goal. Knowing that it’s obvious that morality is not essential for him if any of moral rules would prevent him to procure pleasure. The subject discused is immersed in morality so only honest people would have something to say in an credible manner. Napoleon has lost his right to talk about this kind of subjects because admited pleasure is his highest value(his idol). No wonder he is “not persuaded” by Christianity because Christianity is against useless pleasure.
    How in the world can somebody trust or consider anything Napoleon have to say ?

  112. 112
    Jack says:

    Well done, WJM

  113. 113
    kairosfocus says:

    J, actually, I am saddened to see this breakdown. We have to come to realise that if a claim states or invites a grand delusion inference [here, the common world we inhabit, as directly reported by our conscious embodied experience is a “theory”], it is fatally self-referential. KF

  114. 114
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, 105 (attn J):

    You don’t get to ignore the fact that we categorize, label, process and interpret experience (perceptions) according to ontology and epistemology (even as background cultural perspectives.) you don’t get to re-label that post-experience processing by simply asserting it as the “testimony” of “our” perceptions as if everyone has the same significant experiences and that there is no other way to process and interpet those perceptions.

    Okay, perhaps I need to address this in steps of thought:

    >>You don’t get to ignore the fact>>

    1: If there are no common sense, experiential facts, there are no “facts” that stand as valid observations that transcend the Plato’s Cave shadow show at some level.

    2: I note again, that a key flaw in the use of the Plato’s Cave style grand delusion picture to undermine veridicality of basic perceptions and experiences of consciousness, is that the level two experience of the freed prisoner made to stand and see the parapet, puppets and projecting fire is ALSO suspect of being a level two delusion.

    3: Likewise, being dragged up into the outer world [the forms concept in Plato, but this can be generalised] raises the matter of a level 3 delusion, and so to infinite regress.

    4: Plato’s cave only works as a model of manipulative socialised perception, and in that context, veridicality of baseline common sense reality as experienced consciously as a whole is a necessary start-point to avert self-referential hyperskeptical grand delusion cascades that radically undermine rationality.

    6: As Thomas Reid et al highlighted, yes we can and do err in detail, but we cannot leap from that to grand hyperskeptical doubts and stating or inviting a grand delusion inference.

    >> that we categorize, label, process and interpret experience (perceptions) according to ontology and epistemology (even as background cultural perspectives.)>>

    7: We are linguistic, experiencing creatures who form concepts on our conscious experience [and attach verbal labels/ descriptions such as a red ball on a table], this does not lock us into cultural relativism because — first — we are able to exert common sense critiques, as the Cave example shows for the escaped prisoner.

    8: That is, the perceptions of the shadow shows and the apparatus for creating the same were valid, using senses, faculties and common sense successfully aimed at truth — I here echo Plantinga’s answer to Gettier, which you have shunted aside — just manipulated out of proper macro and micro environment while trapped as a prisoner.

    9: Returning to the first illustration in the OP, the direct content of our conscious, self-aware experience, is that we encounter and live in a common world, and are able to frame basic common sense informed by self-evident first principles and duties of reason, recognising a pre-theoretic world picture. Yes, shaped in part by cultural contexts and concepts, but not wholly determined by such.

    >> you don’t get to re-label that post-experience processing by simply asserting it as the “testimony” of “our” perceptions>>

    10: Switcheroo, you have tried to seize the default, studiously side-stepping the Plato’s Cave grand delusion regress that obtains once radical hyperskeptical doubt is allowed to sweep away the content of our common experience.

    11: Say, no breathing of properly oxygenated air for several minutes, we die. Lack water for what, a week or so, we die, lack food for a while, we die, We excrete and egest wastes. Absent regular baths etc, we see consequences. We have parents, we live on the surface of an earthy home, with water on its surface, precipitation, we share with plants, animals etc, some useful for food, some dangerous. Going over a cliff is bad for your health, much more.

    12: These undeniable experiences express embodiment in our world, a world materially independent of our perceptions, languages etc. This baseline experience gives rise to common sense appreciation for first principles and duties of reason etc that can be elaborated as a core body of knowledge that equips us to assess other knowledge claims.

    13: I point these out at risk of opening myself to the accusation of naively falling for a trollish rhetorical game of entertaining oneself by forcing belabouring of the obvious (only to meet yet another round of hyperskeptical dismissiveness) for record so that the perplexed onlooker can see why it is important to set aside the inculcated radical hyperskepticism, subjectivism and relativism etc of our day. They lead to grand delusion, to cascade of self-referential hyperskeptical doubt and so to self-referential absurdity.

    >> as if everyone has the same significant experiences>>

    14: Lessee, we are to infer that we must be controlled by the doubts, errors and twisted rhetoric of the hyperskeptic? Why should we ever subject ourselves to such a babylonian captivity under a capricious king whose first resort is the headsman?

    >> and that there is no other way to process and interpet those perceptions.>>

    15: That one may wrench experience and common sense into pretzels is not in doubt. Why we should surrender thought leadership to such is. For cause.

    KF

  115. 115
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    1: If there are no common sense, experiential facts, there are no “facts” that stand as valid observations that transcend the Plato’s Cave shadow show at some level.

    You’re doing it again, KF. You don’t get to use “common sense” as if you speak for me and most people. What does the term “valid” mean when you say “valid observations?” Valid wrt to what or whom? Apparently, you have no argument here unless you get “common sense” for free as your means of “validating observations.”

    2: I note again, that a key flaw in the use of the Plato’s Cave style grand delusion picture to undermine veridicality of basic perceptions and experiences of consciousness, is that the level two experience of the freed prisoner made to stand and see the parapet, puppets and projecting fire is ALSO suspect of being a level two delusion.

    You are once again conflating doubting the interpretation of a perception with doubting the perception. You are wanting to get your interpretation for free here by conflating it with perceptual and experiential information itself.

    3: Likewise, being dragged up into the outer world [the forms concept in Plato, but this can be generalised] raises the matter of a level 3 delusion, and so to infinite regress.

    Nope. I’ve addressed this several times and you seem immune to understanding it. All ontologies and epistemologies have a hard, impenetrable backdrop that stops doubt from regressing infinitely: self-evident truths, necessary truths or “existential unavoidables” as I like to bundle them up categorically.

    Just because I doubt your interpretation of the perceptual/experiential information doesn’t mean I’m involved in an infinite regress of doubt. It probably looks that way to you, because you have mistakenly decided that the “external world” interpretation of sensory/experiential information represents the final bulwark against “grand delusion.” You don’t get to bring the concept of “grand delusion” in from your O/E (ontological/epistemological) perspective to support the validity of your O/E.

    4: Plato’s cave only works as a model of manipulative socialised perception, and in that context, veridicality of baseline common sense reality as experienced consciously as a whole is a necessary start-point to avert self-referential hyperskeptical grand delusion cascades that radically undermine rationality.

    You don’t get to tell me how to use Plato’s model. If I find it appropriate to use it as a means of explaining something or getting an idea across, I’m free to use it that way. You are again using your own O/E model to support your model and criticize mine; that’s not how it works, KF. You don’t get to measure your “stuff” with your “ruler;” you don’t get to measure my stuff with your ruler. Clear, inescapable rulers exist in the form of what I categorize as existential unavodables. “Common sense” isn’t one of them. “Common experience” isn’t one of them. Universals across all possible experiences are. You don’t get your O/E-laden terminological baggage for free here. My doubting your O/E interpretation of perceptual/experiential information is not “the same as” “inviting grand delusion.”

    6: As Thomas Reid et al highlighted, yes we can and do err in detail, but we cannot leap from that to grand hyperskeptical doubts and stating or inviting a grand delusion inference.

    Already covered; this is just more of the same. You are sneaking your O/E in here as if it an be used to evaluate your O/E and mine.

    7: We are linguistic, experiencing creatures who form concepts on our conscious experience [and attach verbal labels/ descriptions such as a red ball on a table], this does not lock us into cultural relativism because — first — we are able to exert common sense critiques, as the Cave example shows for the escaped prisoner.

    You don’t get “we” and “common sense” for free here. But, I agree that we can overcome cultural conditioning and alter or replace our culturally-installed O/Es.

    8: That is, the perceptions of the shadow shows and the apparatus for creating the same were valid, using senses, faculties and common sense successfully aimed at truth — I here echo Plantinga’s answer to Gettier, which you have shunted aside — just manipulated out of proper macro and micro environment while trapped as a prisoner.

    I have no idea what this means.

    9: Returning to the first illustration in the OP, the direct content of our conscious, self-aware experience, is that we encounter and live in a common world, …

    You don’t get to sneak your O/E in here with “common world.” You have to back this up to formula if you want to make these kinds of arguments. Before we can say anything approaching the concept involved in this statement, we need to break it down into language as free of O/E baggage as possible.

    What do you mean by “world?” When we take this back to pre-O/E formula, it appears you are saying that you assume we are having the same experiences in a certain category or categories of our personal experience, what you interpret in your O/E as “the external, physical world.” Unless you speak in terms of comparative personal experience, and what kinds of experiences you are excluding and the reasons why you make those exclusions, you don’t get just throw the term “our common world” out there as if your interpretation/model is existentially unavoidable across all possible experiences.

    …and are able to frame basic common sense informed by self-evident first principles and duties of reason, recognising a pre-theoretic world picture. Yes, shaped in part by cultural contexts and concepts, but not wholly determined by such.

    No, it doesn’t have to be determined by culture, but you have thrown in other terms here that are not existentially necessary or unavoidable, which means they are derived from an O/E interpretation/model.

    10: Switcheroo, you have tried to seize the default, studiously side-stepping the Plato’s Cave grand delusion regress that obtains once radical hyperskeptical doubt is allowed to sweep away the content of our common experience.

    Nope, I’ve revealed the true default by showing how you are conflating your O/E interpretations of perceptual/experiential information for the reality of the information itself. You show this blatantly when you use the term “common sense” and phrases like “what our perceptions tell us,” as if our perceptions “tell us” how to organize, label, and interpret those perceptions/experiences and their relationship to each other and what they mean. They do not.

    11: Say, no breathing of properly oxygenated air for several minutes, we die. Lack water for what, a week or so, we die, lack food for a while, we die, We excrete and egest wastes. Absent regular baths etc, we see consequences. We have parents, we live on the surface of an earthy home, with water on its surface, precipitation, we share with plants, animals etc, some useful for food, some dangerous. Going over a cliff is bad for your health, much more.

    I agree that we have a large subset of shared or mutual experiences that affords us the capacity, to a large degree, to communicate and interact in a meaningful and practical way.

    However, you don’t get to cherry-pick the experiences you can fit into O/E box and wave off all other experiences that undermine or contradict your O/E as defective or deceptive, then claim that your box represents “common sense” and “common experience.” That is circular reasoning and an invalid argument.

    12: These undeniable experiences …

    Nobody is denying the experiences; what is being challenged is your O/E interpretation of those experiences, and your cherry-picking of experiences that support your O/E interpretation.

    … express embodiment in our world, a world materially independent of our perceptions, languages etc.

    Nope. That is not what “those experiences express.” You’re doing the same thing once again: conflating your O/E interpretation of that information for the reality of what that information is, how it exists, where comes from, what causes it, what it means.

    This baseline experience..

    Same conflation.

    … gives rise to common sense appreciation for first principles and duties of reason etc that can be elaborated as a core body of knowledge that equips us to assess other knowledge claims.

    Yes, but it is your particular O/E interpretation of that information that gives rise to those subsequent things, not the information itself. Perceptions/experiences do not tell us how to think about those perceptions/experiences.

    13: I point these out at risk of opening myself to the accusation of naively falling for a trollish rhetorical game of entertaining oneself by forcing belabouring of the obvious (only to meet yet another round of hyperskeptical dismissiveness) for record so that the perplexed onlooker can see why it is important to set aside the inculcated radical hyperskepticism, subjectivism and relativism etc of our day. They lead to grand delusion, to cascade of self-referential hyperskeptical doubt and so to self-referential absurdity.

    Good grief, engage in an argument or not. Characterizing yourself and those who challenge your arguments like this is supposed to accomplish … what?

    14: Lessee, we are to infer that we must be controlled by the doubts, errors and twisted rhetoric of the hyperskeptic? Why should we ever subject ourselves to such a babylonian captivity under a capricious king whose first resort is the headsman?

    Who is “we?” Why do you keep referring to “we” and “us?”

    15: That one may wrench experience and common sense into pretzels is not in doubt. Why we should surrender thought leadership to such is. For cause.

    Again, you don’t get “common sense” for free. Your entire argument for your O/E depends entirely on your O/E. It is an entirely circular argument, beginning with where you assert particular O/E interpretations as “self-evident truths,” which they are not.

    Doubting your particular O/E model is not the end of reason; it is not an invitation to “grand delusion” (whatever that means;) and it does not represent “hyperskepticism” or an infinite regress of doubt.

  116. 116
    William J Murray says:

    KF makes the argument that I “doubt what my experience tells me.” This is both wrong and an error of thought. First, there is a fundamental, inescapable difference between the information of the experience, and how I organize, categorize, and interpret that information IOW, the information of the experience of me and another person describing a red ball on a table in front of us doesn’t tell me how to think about that experience; it does not tell me what the experience means.

    I do not doubt that there is a subset of experiences that are mutually consistent, measurable, and predictable to a high degree with pretty much everyone I interact with. That is the pre-ontological, correct (or at least good) phrasing for that. Calling it an objective, external world outside of experience is a post ontological interpretation of that situation, which theorizes that such a world is what is delivering information to our mind in order for it to generate the experience. Questioning and challenging that interpretation is not the same thing as doubting the experience itself.

    But before we even get there, why cherry-pick that particular subset in the first place? Where did that decision come from? KF doesn’t even try to make an argument that this particular subset (along with the category of existential unavoidables) should be what we limit ourselves to in the debate; he just assumes that is the kind of experience we should limit ourselves to in the debate.

    One might say that all we can argue about with each other is the subset of experiences we agree that we share with each other. Fair enough, but that leaves us with a big, gaping problem: what if we are having highly significant “uncommon” experiences, much of which have been scientifically researched and validated, and/or which aren’t even all that uncommon, like NDEs, astral projection, psi, etc., but which various pressures (mainly, the materialist perspective in the sciences and cultural pressures) keep out of the general public perception?

    KF’s argument banks on keeping all of that “uncommon” experience, research and information out of the discussion, as well as whole categories of experience that don’t fit the specific criteria of the subset he focuses on. Prior to O/E considerations, and absent any argument about why one should limit the debate to those specific experiences, KF is simply cherry-picking and asserting by fiat (“common sense,” “common experience”) that the argument can only consider those experiences.

    KF is, essentially, asserting his O/E model by fiat as if it is “what our perceptions are telling us” and apparently expects to get it all for free, falsely characterizing any deviation or challenge as some kind of abandonment of reason into absurdity or an “infinite regress of doubt.”

  117. 117
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, it is clear, sadly: qed. KF

  118. 118
    Seversky says:

    William J Murray/110

    We once thought that we existed in an entirely material world, a world of matter that would be reducible to a solid atom, or the smallest reduction of the material world. We found out different; we found out that what we called “solid matter” was more like 99% empty space. This was a shock.

    Then we found out upon further inspection that the things that we thought were bits of “matter” occupying a tiny fraction of that empty space weren’t matter at all. They were “energy” … or so we thought until we investigated further, and found that these things aren’t even made up of particles of energetic matter or waves of energy; what we found out was that consciousness was interacting with informational potentials in a process that produced experiences that were referential to those observing the experiments.

    As a summary of how our understanding of the underlying nature of the physical world has progressed over time, I think most of us would find the above to be unexceptionable.

    That said, it seems to be the case that each of us live inescapably in our personal worlds world of subjective experience. Many assume their worlds are a direct experience of an objective reality which persists whether or not we are conscious of it. The more perceptive recognize that it is better understood as a mental model of what is out there based on the partial data gathered by our senses and this is my position because it accords most closely with my personal experience.

    However, WJM also makes an excellent case for IRT, his version of idealism in which he applies Occam’s Razor quite properly and asks if it is even necessary to invoke the existence of an objective reality at all. Can’t our subjective, experiential world be explained more parsimoniously simply by reference to information?

    In James Boswell’s famous anecdote, Dr Samuel Johnson sought to refute Bishop George Berkeley’s subjective idealism by kicking a stone and saying “I refute it thus!” As an argument, this is considered to be an informal fallacy but it raises interesting questions.

    As WJM described, our understanding of the nature of matter has progressed from being little lumps of hard stuff to the ghostly, indeterminate entities which haunt the quantum world and behave in some very weird and counter-intuitive ways. Yet that insight has not changed the fact that when I kick a stone it hurts my toe. Why should that be? Why should one arrangement of almost immaterial entities colliding with another, hurt rather than just passing straight through them? In fact, why are there stones and feet at all under idealism?

    This raises the more thorny problem of the nature of information with respect to claims about the world being made of it. There are a number of definitions in play, from the more popular understanding to more technical definitions which means there is a risk of ambiguity and equivocation when discussing the topic.

    In 1999, Richard Dawkins wrote an article titled “The Information Challenge”. What prompted it is not relevant but how he introduced the concept of information is.

    INFORMATION

    The technical definition of “information” was introduced by the American engineer Claude Shannon in 1948. An employee of the Bell Telephone Company, Shannon was concerned to measure information as an economic commodity. It is costly to send messages along a telephone line. Much of what passes in a message is not information: it is redundant. You could save money by recoding the message to remove the redundancy. Redundancy was a second technical term introduced by Shannon, as the inverse of information. Both definitions were mathematical, but we can convey Shannon’s intuitive meaning in words.

    Redundancy is any part of a message that is not informative, either because the recipient already knows it (is not surprised by it) or because it duplicates other parts of the message. In the sentence “Rover is a poodle dog”, the word “dog” is redundant because “poodle” already tells us that Rover is a dog. An economical telegram would omit it, thereby increasing the informative proportion of the message. “Arr JFK Fri pm pls mt BA Cncrd flt” carries the same information as the much longer, but more redundant, “I’ll be arriving at John F Kennedy airport on Friday evening; please meet the British Airways Concorde flight”. Obviously the brief, telegraphic message is cheaper to send (although the recipient may have to work harder to decipher it – redundancy has its virtues if we forget economics). Shannon wanted to find a mathematical way to capture the idea that any message could be broken into the information (which is worth paying for), the redundancy (which can, with economic advantage, be deleted from the message because, in effect, it can be reconstructed by the recipient) and the noise (which is just random rubbish).

    “It rained in Oxford every day this week” carries relatively little information, because the receiver is not surprised by it. On the other hand, “It rained in the Sahara desert every day this week” would be a message with high information content, well worth paying extra to send. Shannon wanted to capture this sense of information content as “surprise value”. It is related to the other sense – “that which is not duplicated in other parts of the message” – because repetitions lose their power to surprise. Note that Shannon’s definition of the quantity of information is independent of whether it is true. The measure he came up with was ingenious and intuitively satisfying. Let’s estimate, he suggested, the receiver’s ignorance or uncertainty before receiving the message, and then compare it with the receiver’s remaining ignorance after receiving the message. The quantity of ignorance-reduction is the information content. Shannon’s unit of information is the bit, short for “binary digit”. One bit is defined as the amount of information needed to halve the receiver’s prior uncertainty, however great that prior uncertainty was (mathematical readers will notice that the bit is, therefore, a logarithmic measure).

    In practice, you first have to find a way of measuring the prior uncertainty – that which is reduced by the information when it comes. For particular kinds of simple message, this is easily done in terms of probabilities. An expectant father watches the Caesarian birth of his child through a window into the operating theatre. He can’t see any details, so a nurse has agreed to hold up a pink card if it is a girl, blue for a boy. How much information is conveyed when, say, the nurse flourishes the pink card to the delighted father? The answer is one bit – the prior uncertainty is halved. The father knows that a baby of some kind has been born, so his uncertainty amounts to just two possibilities – boy and girl – and they are (for purposes of this discussion) equal. The pink card halves the father’s prior uncertainty from two possibilities to one (girl). If there’d been no pink card but a doctor had walked out of the operating theatre, shook the father’s hand and said “Congratulations old chap, I’m delighted to be the first to tell you that you have a daughter”, the information conveyed by the 17 word message would still be only one bit.

    The question this raised for me was, suppose the message “Arr JFK Fri pm pls mt BA Cncrd flt” had accidentally been sent twice, while I would be informed by it the first time as it told me something I didn’t know before, could the second message be said to convey information since I already knew it?

    If information is taken to refer to “surprisal” value or the reduction in prior uncertainty then the second message does not contain information, even though the second message is exactly the same as the first, except for the time it was sent.

    If the second message is held to contain the same information as the first then it seems a different understanding of information is being used than that derived from Shannon. Hence, the caution about ambiguity.

    The other question is whether the source of what we recognize as information must always be some sort of intelligence. In the example, I have used before, if I were to look at a cross-section cut through a tree-trunk I would see the concentric rings and I understand that they are caused by the rate at which the tree grows year-by-year. If I were accompanied by a dendrochronologist, however, she might be able to infer a great deal more about the history of that tree than I could. Same tree, same rings but providing much more information to one observer than to another. The same would be true if I were looking at exposed rock strata in the wall of a canyon with a geologist. He or she could tell a great deal more from those strata about the geological history of the formation than I could.

    It seems to me that what we need here are two concepts. The first is the raw data of observation – which I am using here in its broadest sense so that reading Dawkins’s message is an act of observation – and placing that data in a context from which meaning is inferred. In that sense, information is better understood as a process in which data is inserted into some from of interpretive context.

    One problem with this “transactional” concept of information is relating it to claims about sub-atomic particles or entire universes being made of information. Such claims imply that information is understood as a commodity or property which is different from the sense I was discussing before. Again, we need to clarify which of the different senses of information in play is being used in each case.

    Another problem from the idealist perspective is if you assume that all we have is subjective experience of nothing more than information then what is that information about since information is always about something? Even if you conceive of a reality which is nothing but subjective consciousnesses swimming in an ocean of information, what is the source of that information? What is it about? Why are there stones and feet?

  119. 119
    Jack says:

    KF: WJM, it is clear, sadly: qed

    How so?

    Even C.S. Lewis acknowledged that experience means nothing without an interpretative framework. You seem to think your ontological framework is unassailable. But you can’t make the case for it for which all persons of good reason and experience and good will can agree. Arrogance is not an argument. Repeating your ontology over and over is not an argument. Denying reality is not an argument. Clutching your pearls is not an argument. Your ontology and epistemology are not self-evidence truths. If they were, you and (the very intelligent and clear) WJM would not be having a discussion.

    QED denied.

  120. 120
    Jack says:

    KF, to continue…

    You get your consciousness for free, you get your senses and raw experiences for free, but you don’t get your ontology for free. So far, no sale. It seems like you know this and are arguing in bad faith.

  121. 121
    Jack says:

    KF,

    P.S. “common sense” is what tells ignorant people the earth is flat and the sun moves around the flat earth. You don’t get your “common sense” for free.

  122. 122
    kairosfocus says:

    Jack [attn Sev], strawman. Kindly note the OP. our dilemma begins with our self-aware selves in a going concern world, it is common sense first principles and associated first self-evident truths that open up ability to build more elaborate insights, and if ever we denigrate or open up grand delusion, the whole collapses into the self-referential cascade of Plato’s Cave delusions taking the metaphysical sense. Our basic awareness may err in detail and will not elaborate on the micro quantum scale or the macro cosmological-Relativistic one but in its zone of validity it establishes the base on which those more elaborate and extended frameworks stand. It is the branch on which we all sit and it is most ill advised to saw away at it. KF

    PS: Common sense tells us the local space is flat, which is accurate. It ALSO tells us (as was raised above) that ships go hull down over the horizon, allows an Aristotle to see that the shadow Earth casts in a lunar eclipse is always circular [directly implying sphericity and allowing scaling of Earth-Moon system], and an Eratosthenes that difference in shadow at Alexandria and Cyene at summer solstice allows calculation of the circumference. By c 300 BC we had a good scale for the spherical earth and comparative scale of the Moon and its distance. Indeed, in the debate between Columbus and advisors to the Spanish court, the advisors were right that the sailor was ignorant regarding the scale of Earth, but he did have evidence of land within reasonable sailing range and a means of using the trade winds system. The rationalist myths dismissive of the medieval view are grossly ill-informed.

  123. 123
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Empirical support for the heliocentric view was extraordinarily difficult to develop, and is hardly a common sense issue; though, it relies on just the matters raised at root, again. Apart from, showing a case where one may err in detail if one refuses to entertain evidence and reasoning as it develops, but that reasoning critically relies on the general utility of our consciousness, perceptual abilities, ability to form concepts and to reason i/l/o first principles of logic etc. The first principles of reason, first duties, general reliability of defeatable common sense reasoning etc are still the branch on which we all must sit.

  124. 124
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: It may be helpful to read here on.

  125. 125
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, macrosolidity remains. A solid is a body preserving shape and volume due to its structural integrity, a liquid keeps volume but cannot resist shear due to its weight and so flows, a gas has little internal structure so it flows and expands to fill a containing volume. More elaborate states have more exotic features, e.g. glasses are super-viscous liquids. The internal structure, field interactions and London forces involved are a matter for technical investigation and that required advances in radioactivity, e.g. Rutherford’s alpha particle-gold foil exercise. Such are a distraction from the branch on which we sit common sense questions tied to finding ourselves as self-aware intelligent individuals with senses, perceptions and rational faculties etc in a going concern world. Absent credit to the substance of that first consciousness, and we do face the cascade of Cave delusions as shown already. Your worldview proposals are stuck in the loop of relying on what they undermine at outset. The core common sense, first principles, first duties, first self-evident truths issues remain. The point of first principles, as Epictetus so aptly showed, is they are so pervasive that we recognise their presence and inescapability thus self-evidence. We must address the branch on which we are all sitting before going further. As the OP highlights. The QED stands. KF

    PS: As a reminder, Epictetus again:

    DISCOURSES
    CHAPTER XXV

    How is logic necessary?

    When someone in [Epictetus’] audience said, Convince me that logic is necessary, he answered: Do you wish me to demonstrate this to you?—Yes.—Well, then, must I use a demonstrative argument?—And when the questioner had agreed to that, Epictetus asked him. How, then, will you know if I impose upon you?—As the man had no answer to give, Epictetus said: Do you see how you yourself admit that all this instruction is necessary, if, without it, you cannot so much as know whether it is necessary or not? [Notice, inescapable, thus self evidently true and antecedent to the inferential reasoning that provides deductive proofs and frameworks, including axiomatic systems and propositional calculus etc. Cf J. C. Wright]

  126. 126
    kairosfocus says:

    Jack & Sev,

    I think this from the OP may clarify some challenges being addressed:

    we can focus Jesus of Nazareth’s remark on good/bad eyes, from his Sermon on the Mount, using words that tellingly echo Plato’s parable:

    Matt 6:22 “The eye is the lamp of the body; so if your eye is clear [spiritually perceptive], your whole body will be full of light [benefiting from God’s precepts]. 23 But if your eye is bad [spiritually blind], your whole body will be full of darkness [devoid of God’s precepts]. So if the [very] light inside you [your inner self, your heart, your conscience] is darkness, how great and terrible is that darkness! [AMP]

    That’s the elephant we face!

    The question is, are we willing to acknowledge that someone has a better, more valid overall picture than we do? (Our tendency to cynical hyperskepticism tends to lock us into, “no.” It also tends to make us miss that relativism or the like equally claims to be the better big-picture. Incoherent self-referentiality, again.)

    So, we come to a Reidian, common sense driven conclusion in two principles:

    REID+, 1 — Rejection of Grand Delusion: Any world-scheme or alleged first principle of thought that leads to or invites a grand delusion inference is self-referentially absurd, and

    REID+, 2 — Principle of Common Sense Credulity: While our common sense reliance on our senses and perceptions may be mistaken in detail, the inference that our common sense view of the going-concern world we share is delusional on the whole is thus absurd.

    In that light, we can address the chain of concerns in the first graphic above:

    We have reason to believe our common sense experience of the going-concern, everyday world, though limited and subject to correction in detail (and obviously a macroscopic, slow-speed, localised view), is on the whole reliable and reasonably accurate; thus, Plantinga-sense fit for purpose relative to knowledge acquisition.
    Knowledge in the going-concern world thus becomes possible on three levels: first, our personal world experience as self-aware creatures is just that, undeniably our experience. If one is appeared to redly and roundly, that is a datum of experience.
    Secondly, as we can see from 2 + 3 = 5 — i.e. || + ||| –> ||||| — or error exists or inescapable first principles [including first principles . . . and, yes, associated Ciceronian first duties . . . of right reason], there are certain truths that are self-evident, certain, plumb line that — while never nearly enough to frame and furnish a worldview — serve as key tests for soundness.
    Third, for practical thought, work, education, media, science, governance, community and life, a weaker, corrigible sense of knowledge is also reasonable: warranted, credibly true (so, tested and reliable) belief.
    This weak sense may indeed have in it various errors, but is corrigible in light of first self evident principles informed by our experiences. However, such cannot amount to a Plato’s cave grand delusion, on pain of collapsing credibility of rationality thus our own selves as rational creatures.
    In this light, we can dismiss general hyperskepticism as a grand delusion fallacy; and if it is selectively applied to what one is inclined to dismiss (oh, YOU have to prove beyond all arbitrary doubt that . . .) , it is little more than an excuse for question-begging hostile closed mindedness.
    Further to these, disciplines of thought are feasible and can build up valid bodies of credible but corrigible knowledge claims: philosophy, ethics, physics, mathematics, sciences and arts generally, including history, theology etc.

    We can directly apply the above to an analysis of ourselves, i.e. we can partially and yet credibly form a self-understanding. A useful framework for this is the Smith model . . .

    KF

  127. 127
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: I just updated OP to include

    REID+, 2 — Principle of Common Sense Credulity: While our common sense reliance on our senses and perceptions may be mistaken in detail, the inference that our common sense view of the going-concern world we share is delusional on the whole is thus . . . saw- off– the- branch- on- which- we- all- sit . . . absurd.

    Also, a cartoon illustration.

  128. 128
    William J Murray says:

    Seversky, I greatly appreciate your #118. It is a shining example of taking a proposition seriously (at least for the sake of discussion) without considering it a threat, something that must be defeated by one’s own personal perspective or beliefs.

    Seversky asks:

    Yet that insight has not changed the fact that when I kick a stone it hurts my toe. Why should that be? Why should one arrangement of almost immaterial entities colliding with another, hurt rather than just passing straight through them? In fact, why are there stones and feet at all under idealism?

    If I kick a rock and it hurts my toe in a dream, I don’t think anyone would argue that my foot or the rock in the dream are “real, material/physical objects” in the dream. I don’t think the question of “why should it occur” in an IRT world needs to be answered when we have a common demonstration in dreams that it does happen. Information can be processed into physicality without the physical world being there to provide that specific information. There was no “actual” rock and that wasn’t your “actual” foot in the dream, if by actual we mean an external, material/physical version of those things producing that information. You still have the foot, but it wasn’t doing what the dream version was doing.

    But, beyond the dream, even stubbing your toe on a rock in our regular daily existence is still an experience entirely manufactured from information into mental phenomena. Even if an actual, external, material world exists, we do not experience any of it directly. As you said, we experience at best a mental approximation of it processed from information.

    We know the mental processing of information actually produces the ongoing, consistent and persistent subset of experiences we call “the physical world.” So, “why should it do so” may be an interesting question, but I don’t really see it as one that needs to be answered because we know that is what is going on regardless of ontology, even if an external physical world exists.

    So “why should it do so” may only be a question we ask from the assumption that that “it should do so” if there is an actual physical world out there; but that doesn’t really track because we don’t actually experience that world. All we actually experience is processed information in mind.

    Another problem from the idealist perspective is if you assume that all we have is subjective experience of nothing more than information then what is that information about since information is always about something? Even if you conceive of a reality which is nothing but subjective consciousnesses swimming in an ocean of information, what is the source of that information? What is it about? Why are there stones and feet?

    This is what happens when someone seriously engages in understanding a theory or proposition: meaningful questions. What’s the dang information about if it’s not about an actual, external physical/material world? Where is that information coming from?

    There’s a difference between what is producing the information, and what the information is about. For example, a CD in a CD player has information on it and produces music when played, but that information is not about the CD or the CD player. It is about the music.

    The information that we are experiencing as a mutually persistent and consistent physical “world” is about that very thing just as the information on the CD is about the music, both sets of information are about the kind of experience the information produces. That information – the actual music information encoded on the CD – is not about what is housing or generating the experience.

    So, the information that produces experiences is about the experience it produces. On to the second question form Seversky: where does this information come from?

    I think the best way to understand where experiential information comes from is to “take it back to formula,” or trace experiential information back to its origin conceptually – back to the root of sentient experience.

    In another thread I explored these experiential unavoidables or necessities. When we take it all the way back, we come to the original, simplest aspect of sentient experience: “I,” or the identification of the self. All conscious, sentient experience requires self-awareness at its core. To identify the self, there must be the experience of “not-I.” IOW, the self cannot be identified without not-self context.

    The following may be difficult to follow because of the habit of thinking that “real” things are defined by some sort of physical existence, which separates “potential” from “actual.” IOW, we don’t think all potential things actually exist.

    The simple identification of a particular self-other relationship contains within it the potential for all possible self-other relationships that can be experienced. What am I? What is other? Where am I? How am I? Am I alone? Are there others like me? Any particular self-other experiential arrangement of information contains an infinite amount of information as potential of other possible self/other relationships in the form of what that particular arrangement “is not, but could be.”

    Another part of this is the essential commodities of continuity of self in comprehensible self/other relationship. Without our experience having these qualities, we could not be sentient beings. We must be able to distinguish the distinction between self and other in a comprehensible, ongoing manner. Self and other must be, to some degree, persistent and consistent.

    I could follow this further, but the point is that simple self-identification carries with it infinite (functionally infinite) information as potential: all possible self-other experiential arrangements. This is somewhat similar to what KF refers to as “all possible worlds,” only I refer to it as “all possible sentient experience.”

    So, where does the information for our experiences come from under IRT? From what I’m referring to as “potential.” The potential contains the information for all possible sentient experience. This brings us to a third question: what is selecting the particular set of self/other experiential information, from all possible sets, that I as an individual am actually experiencing?

    To go back to the CD analogy, what selects the particular CD? Well, you do, of course. You are selecting the kind of self/other information set, out of the functionally infinite CDs available, that you are experiencing.

    Whoa, you say. There is no “you” unless an experience CD is already playing, so to speak, because the self-aware, identified “you” requires an accompanying experiential context. Fair enough, this is something that needs to be addressed.

  129. 129
    William J Murray says:

    KF @125: Nobody is denying those experiences, but all of those are still mental experiences we individually have in individual minds along with the experience of other people reporting the same experiences. The question isn’t whether or not we experience those things; the question is where those experiences come from, how they occur, what they represent and their relationship to other kinds of experiences we have. Your perspective requires an entire additional order of existence (an external, physical/material world) in addition to mind. My perspective doesn’t require that additional order of existence; it renders it entirely unnecessary. Plus, my perspective does not require ontological exclusivity and doesn’t have to cordon off “uncommon” experience or “uncommon” sense from consideration by classifying it as deceptive or defective.

    You are arguing for your particular ontological/epistemological perspective; I’m talking about that which produces all ontological/epistemological perspectives. You’re arguing about particular, cherry-picked experiences; I’m talking about that which produces all possible experience. You are championing a particular, tiny subset of all possible things as the limit of what any sentient being can experience; I’m making the argument that all possible things not only can be experienced – including your particular ontological subset – but that all possible sentient experiences are necessarily being experienced, including the functionally infinite possibilities not contained in your particular subset.

  130. 130
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, unless there is a basic reasonable credibility of the key contents of our self-aware experiences, the result is invariably an implication or suggestion of infinite cascade of self-referential delusion, such suggestions in a hyperskeptical age will be read as delusions. That is the issue you face, either Reidian common sense or else in the end absurd grand delusion. KF

    PS: And, I am speaking of the experiences of the going concern self in the going concern world that lead to understanding first principles, first facts, first duties. It is not cherry picking to note that our experience of embodiment with 5 senses tells us we inhabit a physical world that we may reflect on but which is independent of our particular consciousness or common cultural views etc. The level of hysperskepticism to dismiss that basic understanding is what leads to grand delusion and absurdity.

  131. 131
    Sandy says:

    Jack
    KF,

    P.S. “common sense” is what tells ignorant people the earth is flat and the sun moves around the flat earth. You don’t get your “common sense” for free.

    :))) The irony is the scientists who developed heliocentric model applied only common sense on new informations they observed .

    You are more ignorant than people who think that Earth is flat. It’s about different system of reference and different point of reference. Nobody is on the Sun to place the point of reference there. All conscient observers are on Earth therefore Earth is set as point of reference . If you watch from Earth you will see the Sun moving around .
    Also Earth is the centre of the Universe because is the only point of existence/reference of conscious observers. 😉 Is it the geographical geometrical centre of the Universe ? Who cares ? Nobody knows and it’s irrelevant but certainly is the geo-conscient centre of the Universe .

  132. 132
    William J Murray says:

    To continue from the bottom of #128:

    To understand how we find ourselves as self-aware beings experiencing a particular subset of potential experiential information, let’s go back to the supposed difference between “potential” and “actual.” Under my IRT, the “difference” between potential and actual is the difference between what an individual is experiencing, and what that individual is not experiencing, but which is possible to experience as any possible sentient, self-aware entity. Thus, the difference is absolutely defined by that individual and that individual alone. By “individual” I mean any particular self/other relationship. That information which “generates” that individual experience is “actual” as experience in that particular relationship; that information which is not experienced in that relationship is “potential.”

    However, all of that functionally infinite potential is embedded in every individual experience, because of the cascade of potential I described that is inherent in any “I,” self-other arrangement.

    KF and, to be fair, most other ontologies insist that out of all that potential, only a tiny fraction of it can be actualised into any individual experience. The problem is: how do you even begin to make this argument in a way that does not depend on the particular “actualised” information that generate the conditions of your personal experience? How can you possibly make an argument that no other sentient beings are experiencing different sets of available, potential information?

    That argument cannot be made, other than in terms of universal, existential unavoidables across all possible sentient experiences. That is where that argument begins and ends, leaving us, still, with a functionally infinite set of possible sentient experiences. If someone can come up with a reason why only a tiny, limited subset of all possible sentient experiences can occur, let me know. I can’t think of a sound argument that would support that theory. It seems to me that all such arguments circle back to the particular conditions an individual is experiencing and their particular, subset ontologies.

    This is why KF’s and other’s ontological arguments exclude experiences they do not classify as “common.” This is why he refers to “common sense;” it is a self-supporting boundary exclusion of all experience and thought that does not support his subset ontology.

    Here’s the irony: KF’s ontology is entirely self-referential when it extends beyond existential unavoidables and partitions “potential” from “actual” in accordance with his own experiences writ large as “our” experiences or “common human experience.” We can see him projecting his own experiences of “first duties,” “morality,” “conscience,” etc. onto others despite their protestations, excluding them from consideration as being either deceptive or defective.

    The only way to avoid a self-referential ontology is to go back to, and remain in, existential unavoidables. As soon s you go beyond that and start using the particular conditions of your personal experience beyond universal, existential unavoidables, to inform your ontology, it has necessarily become self-referential to your own subjective, individual conditional experiences and how you personally interpret and categorize them.

    So, this part of my argument isn’t “from” ontology; it about that which necessarily, unavoidable precedes ontology, and how ontologies are formed. It is why I try to use terminology and phrasings that reflect root or “formula” concepts prior to ontological intrepretations.

    When we “go back to formula” with this, there is no apparent distinction between “possible,” or potential, and “actual” other than in the experience of an individual; there is no apparent reason (from formula, not from ontological subsets) why only “some” individual self-other relationships would “exist.” “Exist” as what? At the formula level, there is apparently no reason or mechanism that would have the capacity to “choose” a tiny fraction of potential individuals into experiential “existence.”

    Dividing up information into “unrealized potential information” and “realized experiential information” requires ontological conditions that limit what potential information can be experienced. But, is there an actual, pre-ontological distinction between “potential” and “actual?” I can’t find any such distinction at that level; as far as I can tell, all such distinctions are the result of ontological considerations that simply assert the distinction in terms of the particular conditions of the experience of the individual. The ontology arbitrarily, at the conceptual level, simply asserts that all potentials are not being experienced, and that all potentials cannot be experienced, simply because the experiencer, or a group of experiencers, are not experiencing those potentials themselves, and they believe they cannot experience but a tiny fraction of the available potential.

    But, what if all possible sentient beings, meaning every possible sentient experience, is occurring because there is no difference between “potential” and “actual” other than in how it separates one sentient being from another, one group of sentient beings from other groups?

    Here we get to a root-level question: before we divide information up into “potential” and “actual,” can information be said to exist at all absent any sentient experience of that information?

  133. 133
    William J Murray says:

    KF @130 said:

    WJM, unless there is a basic reasonable credibility of the key contents of our self-aware experiences, the result is invariably an implication or suggestion of infinite cascade of self-referential delusion, such suggestions in a hyperskeptical age will be read as delusions.

    I’m not limited to your ontological definition of “delusion” or how you arrange it in your ontological interpretation of your experiences. Your concept of “credible” is entirely informed and constructed by your ontological perspective, and is entirely convenient to your worldview. You are again conflating the experience itself with how you interpret and arrange it. I’ve demonstrated how all ontologies depend on particular interpretations of particular conditions of personal experience; thus all ontologies below formula level are factually self-referential.

    You erroneously believe your particular ontology/epistemology (beyond the unavoidable universals across all possible sentient experience) secures you from self-reference when in fact it is entirely self-referential to your particular experiential conditions, which you repeatedly guard by conveniently dismissing all undermining experience and evidence, and by projecting your own experience onto others whether they agree to it or not.

    Between the two of us, KF, if either of us is involved in a “self-referential delusion,” it is you, because I’m not the one imposing his own personal experiences as the gold standard of all experiences, as the arbiter of what anyone else can possibly be experiencing, nor am I arbitrarily insisting that all testimony of experiences that fundamentally disagree with my own are necessarily deceptive or defective.

  134. 134
    Jack says:

    Sandy. Re “common sense.”

    My point being that “common sense” merely means “what people generally think about stuff and how they reason based on their world view.” KF uses it as a rhetorical device as if it somehow helps to substantiate his circular argument. It has no material relevance to the discussion.

  135. 135
    kairosfocus says:

    Jack, no, common [good] sense is not popular opinion but for intuitive reason and willingness to acknowledge key facts, principles and patterns i/l/o common experience of the world, involving a good measure of basic right reason, prudence and fair-mindedness. KF

    PS: Wikipedia:

    Common sense is sound, practical judgment concerning everyday matters, or a basic ability to perceive, understand, and judge in a manner that is shared by (i.e. common to) nearly all people.[1]

    The everyday understanding of common sense derives from historical philosophical discussion involving several European languages. Related terms in other languages include Latin sensus communis, Greek ???????? ????? (aísth?sis koin?), and French bon sens, but these are not straightforward translations in all contexts. Similarly in English, there are different shades of meaning, implying more or less education and wisdom: “good sense” is sometimes seen as equivalent to “common sense”, and sometimes not.[2]
    Aristotle, the first person known to have discussed “common sense”, described it as the ability with which animals (including humans) process sense-perceptions, memories and imagination (???????, phroneîn) in order to reach many types of basic judgments. In his scheme, only humans have real reasoned thinking (?????, noeîn), which takes them beyond their common sense.

    “Common sense” also has at least two specifically philosophical meanings. One is a capability of the animal soul (????, ps?kh?) proposed by Aristotle, which enables different individual senses to collectively perceive the characteristics of physical things such as movement and size, which all physical things have in different combinations, allowing people and other animals to distinguish and identify physical things. This common sense is distinct from basic sensory perception and from human rational thought, but cooperates with both. The second special use of the term is Roman-influenced and is used for the natural human sensitivity for other humans and the community.[3] Just like the everyday meaning, both of these refer to a type of basic awareness and ability to judge that most people are expected to share naturally, even if they cannot explain why. All these meanings of “common sense”, including the everyday ones, are interconnected in a complex history and have evolved during important political and philosophical debates in modern Western civilisation, notably concerning science, politics and economics.[4] The interplay between the meanings has come to be particularly notable in English, as opposed to other western European languages, and the English term has become international.[5]

    Since the Age of Enlightenment the term “common sense” has been used for rhetorical effect both approvingly, as a standard for good taste and source of scientific and logical axioms, and disapprovingly, as equivalent to vulgar prejudice and superstition.[6] It was at the beginning of the 18th century that this old philosophical term first acquired its modern English meaning: “Those plain, self-evident truths or conventional wisdom that one needed no sophistication to grasp and no proof to accept precisely because they accorded so well with the basic (common sense) intellectual capacities and experiences of the whole social body.”[7]

    PPS: My more specific context is Thomas Reid, as was recently discussed here [note the 3 + 2 fingers test and implication that the fingers are there . . . ], in effect the would I buy a used car from this person test. I clip, again:

    REID’S [defeat-able but default] RULES OF COMMON SENSE REALISM

    1) Everything of which I am conscious really exists [–> at minimum as an object of conscious awareness, and often as a particular or abstract entity, the presumption is, if I perceive a world with entities, it is by and large real]
    2) The thoughts of which I am conscious are the thoughts of a being which I call myself, my mind, my person.
    3) Events that I clearly remember really did happen.
    4) Our personal identity and continued existence extends as far back in time as we remember anything clearly.
    5) Those things that we clearly perceive by our senses really exist and really are what we perceive them to be.
    6) We have some power over our actions and over the decisions of our will.
    7) The natural faculties by which we distinguish truth from error are not deceptive.
    8) There is life and thought in our fellow-men with whom we converse.
    9) Certain features of the face, tones of voice, and physical gestures indicate certain thoughts and dispositions of mind.
    10) A certain respect should be accorded to human testimony in matters of fact, and even to human authority in matters of opinion.
    11) For many outcomes that will depend on the will of man, there is a self-evident probability, greater or less according to circumstances.
    12) In the phenomena of Nature, what happens will probably be like what has happened in similar circumstances.

    Davidson:

    According to Reid, anyone who doubts these principles will be incapable of rational discourse and those philosophers who profess to doubt them cannot do so sincerely and consistently. Each of these principles, if denied, can be turned back on the denier. For example, although it is not possible to justify the validity of memory (3) without reference to premises that rest on memory, to dispense with memory as usually unreliable is just not philosophically possible. Reid qualifies some of these principles as not applying in all cases, or as the assumptions that we presume to hold when we converse, which may be contradicted by subsequent experience. For instance with regard to (10) Reid believes that most men are more apt to over-rate testimony and authority than to under-rate them; which suggests to Reid that this principle retains some force even when it could be replaced by reasoning.

    I endorse Reid’s principles as normally true and what we must assume to be true to engage in argument and discussion. But, as Reid acknowledges, not all may be true all the time. I thus see Reid’s principles as epistemological rather than metaphysical. Psychologists might point to such things as optical illusions, false memory, attentional blink, hallucinations and various other interesting phenomena which might throw some doubt over some of Reid’s assertions. But these are nonessential modifiers that if entertained as falsifications of these principles would lead to the collapse of all knowledge. Very few philosophers have not acknowledged that the senses can deceive us or that reason is fallible, but to say the senses consistently deceive or that reason is impotent is too big a sacrifice. That the senses can deceive and reason is fallible is good reason to be cautious in our conclusions but not a good reason to dispense with observation and reason all together.

    This takes dead aim at today’s hyperskepticism and its roots. It is anything but a rhetorical ploy to privilege a particular worldview. Indeed, it reflects a significant change in my thinking in key part informed by SB, to recognise the power of self-evident truths, first inescapables and also to recognise the utter centrality of distinct identity and close corollaries LNC and LEM.

  136. 136
    jerry says:

    KF uses it as a rhetorical device as if it somehow helps to substantiate his circular argument

    Why don’t you lay out why Kf’s argument is circular.

    Please Kf and others stay out of this. I’m interested in what someone who just showed up has to say. I have stopped reading anything Kf and Murray have to say to each other and am curious.

    I don’t have much hope to get a coherent answer because coherence is the least thing there is about these threads.

  137. 137
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Catholic Enc, opening words:

    The term common sense designates (1) a special faculty, the sensus communis of the Aristotelean and Scholastic philosophy; (2) the sum of original principles found in all normal minds; (3) the ability to judge and reason in accordance with those principles (recta ratio, good sense). It is the second of these meanings that is implied in the philosophy of common sense — a meaning well expressed by Fénelon when he identifies common sense with “those general ideas or notions which I can neither contradict nor examine, but according to which I examine and decide on everything; so that I smile rather than answer whenever anything is proposed to me that obviously runs counter to those unchangeable ideas” (De l’existence de Dieu, p. XXII, c. ii).

    In short this is not a rhetorical stunt but a significant engagement of the challenge of reliable knowledge given our proneness to error. Where, of course, error exists is undeniably so objectively true and self evident.

    It should be clear why I am locking the door to global or selective hyperskepticism. Self-referentially absurd, cascading grand delusion in a chain is not a good basis for knowledge or reason or sound judgement.

    KF

  138. 138
    Jack says:

    KF: no, common [good] sense is not popular opinion but for intuitive reason and willingness to acknowledge key facts, principles and patterns i/l/o common experience of the world, involving a good measure of basic right reason, prudence and fair-mindedness. KF

    I’m sure you believe this given your ontological/epistemological view. But you have not demonstrated that your ontological/epistemological view is the only one consistent with experience (my experience, at least) and unavoidable universals. Nor have you escape from circularity.

    Tell me, how does WJM’s experiences with his “deceased” wife fit into your ontology/epistemology?

  139. 139
    kairosfocus says:

    Jack, where does one start from to get to where one may demonstrate at all? Infinite prior regress cannot be traversed and circularity defeats itself. Finitely remote first plausibles with self evident key principles and responsible first truths is where we go. And even these remarks are riddled with first principles etc, i.e. either one accepts inescapables starting with distinct identity or one does not even have a basis to communicate including with oneself. KF

    PS: Perhaps, Epictetus can help us understand the corner we have painted ourselves into:

    DISCOURSES
    CHAPTER XXV

    How is logic necessary?

    When someone in [Epictetus’] audience said, Convince me that logic is necessary, he answered: Do you wish me to demonstrate this to you?—Yes.—Well, then, must I use a demonstrative argument?—And when the questioner had agreed to that, Epictetus asked him. How, then, will you know if I impose upon you?—As the man had no answer to give, Epictetus said: Do you see how you yourself admit that all this instruction is necessary, if, without it, you cannot so much as know whether it is necessary or not? [Notice, inescapable, thus self evidently true and antecedent to the inferential reasoning that provides deductive proofs and frameworks, including axiomatic systems and propositional calculus etc. Cf J. C. Wright]

  140. 140
    Jack says:

    KF, how does WJM’s experiences with his “deceased” wife fit into your ontology/epistemology?

  141. 141
    William J Murray says:

    KF quoted:

    The term common sense designates (1) a special faculty, the sensus communis of the Aristotelean and Scholastic philosophy; (2) the sum of original principles found in all normal minds;

    ROFL

    Therefore, if you disagree, you are ipso facto defective or deceptive. QED. End of discussion, you aberrant misanthrope!

  142. 142
    Jack says:

    KF: I don’t see anyone here denying “first principles”, if what you mean logic and math.

    WJM said (twice), that unavoidables include…

    1. I (the sentient being) exist as an identifiable “I.”
    2. Therefore, a fundamental experience of self and other.
    3. Principles of logic.
    4. Free will
    5. Coherent self and environment.
    6. All experience is subjective.
    7. All experience occurs in mind.

    and…

    1. Existential unavoidables, self-evident truths, necessary truths (logic, math, self/other, etc.)
    2. The highly consistent, persistent, measurable, predictable, operable, apparently consensual set of experiences we currently call “the physical world,” including our physical body
    3. Senses
    4. Memory
    5. Emotion (including conscience, empathy, sense of duty, desire, concern for others, love, etc.)
    6. Imagination
    7. Intention/preference (free will)
    8. Attention
    9. Dreams
    10. Sense of continuity/sequentiality (time)

    It seems to me that either you’re arguing in bad faith, or you are unable to follow the thread coherently.

    P.S. how does WJM’s experiences with his “deceased” wife fit into your ontology/epistemology? Your clear and unambiguous answer warmly anticipated and appreciated.

  143. 143
    Sandy says:

    Jack
    KF, how does WJM’s experiences with his “deceased” wife fit into your ontology/epistemology?

    KF has no own O/E he talks about THE O/E that is common to all people the basic model, the basic framework , the primordial worldview.
    THE primordial O/E is damaged in humans that’s why people reject basic, common duty. Otherwise why would be people who reject morality?
    And because something is damaged and no human is up to the task then Someone has to repair it.

  144. 144
    Jack says:

    Sandy: THE O/E that is common to all people the basic model, the basic framework , the primordial worldview.

    There is no common O/E that is “common to all people.” The O/E of a five year old child is not usually the same as the O/E of a 20 year old man who has experienced “paranormal” activity and who has studied the philosophy of ontology and epistemology. And that’s just a couple of examples. There is a range of O/E among humans.

    “THE primordial O/E is damaged in humans that’s why people reject basic, common duty.”

    This actually supports my position. Maybe you mind is damaged as you write your replies.

    “Otherwise why would be people who reject morality?”

    What?

    At any rate, do you care to answer the question: how does WJM’s experiences with his “deceased” wife fit into your ontology/epistemology? Your clear and unambiguous answer warmly anticipated and appreciated.

  145. 145
    kairosfocus says:

    Jack, I am not dealing with full orbed worldviews or with dealings with the departed or departing, like my Father’s encounter with his Lord at his passing. We are starting with things like, where do we start from to get to those things, cf the first graphic in the OP. Do our eyes, ears, noses, tastebuds, touch esp through fingers — do we have such things, or is that sense of embodiment a figment — give us trustworthy information, is our sense of awareness to be taken seriously, etc. If we are down to a level where we have general doubts here, we can go no further, that is the general, grand delusion issue. And yes, that would include the sense that there are first principles as this is general untrustworthiness. There are no firewalls once grand delusion is let loose, hence why I started there. KF

  146. 146
  147. 147
    Jack says:

    Sandy, you cite an article about communicating with the “dead.” However, that doesn’t answer my question. That she is “dead” in the bodily sense is a given and part of the question. What is WJM encountering?

  148. 148
    Jack says:

    KF: I am not dealing with full orbed worldviews or with dealings with the departed or departing,

    I hope you would. I’m interested in your O/E. Questions are the gateway to understanding.

    “like my Father’s encounter with his Lord at his passing.”

    That would be interesting as well.

    “We are starting with things like, where do we start from to get to those things, cf the first graphic in the OP. Do our eyes, ears, noses, tastebuds, touch esp through fingers — do we have such things, or is that sense of embodiment a figment — give us trustworthy information, is our sense of awareness to be taken seriously, etc.”

    From what I can tell you and WJM have no disagreement here. Senses are generally reliable.

    “If we are down to a level where we have general doubts here, we can go no further, that is the general, grand delusion issue.”

    I don’t. I don’t think WJM does either from what I can tell.

    “And yes, that would include the sense that there are first principles”

    I wouldn’t call first principles a “sense.” I would say that logic is how human brains are configured, that normal humans do that, and we can’t help doing what we do along those lines.

    “as this is general untrustworthiness.”

    What?

    “There are no firewalls once grand delusion is let loose, hence why I started there. KF”

    What?

  149. 149
    Jack says:

    KF: grand delusion.

    How do you know that you’re not having a grand delusion right now? If you were, evidence and arguments within your grand delusion cannot be used to prove you’ve not having a grand delusion. You can try to come to a consistency within your own mind, but that doesn’t help entities that have different perspectives. That old subjectivity.

  150. 150
    Jack says:

    … so from what I can tell, WJM is arguing that your “duties” and whatnot are coming from your own O/E framework that you conclude or assume to be true, and that we better take heed else the evils of world will overtakes us. But none of that amounts to proof that your O/E is “true” in an absolute way. It’s just your brain doing what your brain does. Other brains differ.

  151. 151
    Sandy says:

    Jack

    KF: grand delusion.

    How do you know that you’re not having a grand delusion right now? If you were, evidence and arguments within your grand delusion cannot be used to prove you’ve not having a grand delusion.

    🙂 Jack, let me see if I understood correctly : so you seems to be on higher ontologic ground than KF and Napoleon (WJM) and you are capable to weight in the both systems and decide what system is better? Is that true?

  152. 152
    jerry says:

    There is nothing wrong with Kf’s worldview. It is the one most accepted throughout history.

    I would look towards contrary worldviews as being defective. They cannot justify their beliefs.

    What is wrong is Kf’s presentation which is often unclear due to to language he likes to use. I find it dense, cryptic and convoluted but that does not mean his reasoning is wrong.

  153. 153
    Jack says:

    Jerry:

    “There is nothing wrong with Kf’s worldview. It is the one most accepted throughout history.”

    Argument from consensus. Fail. Moreover, five year old children have a diferent O/E worldview than philosophy majors. That’s a simple contrafactural to your assertion. No such thing as an “accepted” “worldview”. Worldviews vary wildly amongst humans.

    “I would look towards contrary worldviews as being defective. They cannot justify their beliefs.”

    In your opinion. In my view, WJM has done so, consistently, without the problems that KF’s O/E worldview has.

  154. 154
    Jack says:

    Sandy: “Jack, let me see if I understood correctly : so you seems [sic] to be on higher ontologic ground than KF and Napoleon [WJM] and you are capable to weight [sic] in the both [grammtic sic] systems and decide what system is better? Is that true?”

    We all have our points of view. Don’t you? I do the best I can. I am more positively impressed by WJM than KF. I am okay with the fact that you have a different O/E worldview.

  155. 155
    jerry says:

    WJM has done so, consistently, without the problems that KF’s worldview has.

    No he hasn’t.

    How would you know he has? He has been spouting nonsense for over a year.

    Also what problems does Kf’s worldview have?

    Argument from consensus. Fail.

    Are you saying that these people over a couple thousand years have not justified their beliefs? Point out their failures.

    Moreover, five year old children have a diferent O/E worldview than philosophy majors

    Not sure I would ever accept either but for absurdity or should I say lack of common sense this comment is off the charts

    I have a question. Do you believe in the tooth fairy? That’s a common belief for a five year old.

  156. 156
    Jack says:

    Jerry, let’s just say we disagree on all counts. And you’ve outed yourself as someone who I’m not interested in pursuaing in dialog. Sandy too. Take care.

  157. 157
    jerry says:

    And you’ve outed yourself as someone who I’m not interested in pursuaing in dialog

    Interesting response but thank you.

  158. 158
    kairosfocus says:

    Jack, we are not at the level of worldviews but at that of having a credible way to perceive, think and communicate. If one hyperskeptically doubts the immediate testimony of our self-aware consciousness that we are embodied creatures with senses of the world, which we also act into, then one is discrediting what we need to think, perceive, communicate with credibility. That is self-referential absurdity. KF

  159. 159
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Delusion does not get the default, as that is self-destructive. We take our common sense seriously, which we can see works. Yes, there can be particular errors, but not across the board.

  160. 160
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: If you cannot get to reliable perception, thought and communication you cannot go on to have reliable principles of reasoning to construct arguments about the things that exist or how we can warrant knowledge claims. You have discredited the basic elements of mind and reason; and while hyperskepyicism appeals to the spirit of our age, it cuts its own throat. That is why it is futile to hyperskeptically doubt the basic content of our self-aware consciousness: we are embodied creatures inhabiting and interacting with the physical world. That implies our basic consciousness is unreliable, and intellect is futile.

  161. 161
    kairosfocus says:

    Jack, is the machine you use to type there, how do you know? Your hand? Your fingers? Your eyes and ears, your hearing and seeing? Are these credible, why? See the problem? KF

  162. 162
    Jack says:

    KF,

    I don’t “hyperskeptically” doubt my experiences and senses. Nor logic, math, or any unavoidables.

    Your O/E (interpretative framework) is a different matter.

    I’m not persuaded your worldview is superior to mine. No sale. You worldview is circular, can’t seem to tell the difference between unavoidables and interpretation, and is not persuasive given my own experience. So, I guess that’s that. Back to the sidelines for me. Take care.

  163. 163
    kairosfocus says:

    Cave parable https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jmJGBJRlUQ — this is a paradigm case of grand delusion.

  164. 164
    kairosfocus says:

    Lecture https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBPd7getIcM — is there anything real in the lecture, or the device you see it on, why?

  165. 165
    kairosfocus says:

    Rolling the tape:

    REID’S [defeat-able but default] RULES OF COMMON SENSE REALISM

    1) Everything of which I am conscious really exists [–> at minimum as an object of conscious awareness, and often as a particular or abstract entity, the presumption is, if I perceive a world with entities, it is by and large real]
    2) The thoughts of which I am conscious are the thoughts of a being which I call myself, my mind, my person.
    3) Events that I clearly remember really did happen.
    4) Our personal identity and continued existence extends as far back in time as we remember anything clearly.
    5) Those things that we clearly perceive by our senses really exist and really are what we perceive them to be.
    6) We have some power over our actions and over the decisions of our will.
    7) The natural faculties by which we distinguish truth from error are not deceptive.
    8) There is life and thought in our fellow-men with whom we converse.
    9) Certain features of the face, tones of voice, and physical gestures indicate certain thoughts and dispositions of mind.
    10) A certain respect should be accorded to human testimony in matters of fact, and even to human authority in matters of opinion.
    11) For many outcomes that will depend on the will of man, there is a self-evident probability, greater or less according to circumstances.
    12) In the phenomena of Nature, what happens will probably be like what has happened in similar circumstances.

    What part of this is mysterious and dubious so we do not actually live as though such were substantially true?

    If someone were in that boat of rejecting the above, would you buy a used car from him?

    KF

  166. 166
    kairosfocus says:

    Jack,

    what would happen were you to treat the need to breathe as a dubious perception for an hour or so? [Whether underwater or the like would just be matters of circumstances that hopefully will never obtain — observe, “the breath of life.”] Isn’t it the case that we are free to think in general, and can change the rules of our imaginary worlds freely without that sort of independent constraint?

    Similarly, for drinking water and eating nutritious food for long enough to have decisive effect?

    Do you think WJM is able to ignore such bodily needs? Does that not suggest that his own embodiment, much less our own, is independent of his subjective desires or thoughts? And, if we are embodied creatures, does that not also go with the reality as fact rather than figment of imagination, of a world with breathable air, drinkable water and food suitable for eating; just as our senses testify?

    BTW, this has been presented to WJM already and so far as I can see, he had no adequate response.

    The embodiment in an external world we are aware of as an immediate part of our consciousness of embodiment, is not credibly a theory to be doubted at will but a baseline first fact. The abuse of the concept that we are prone to error, into a grand, acros the board corrosive, dismissive doubt — hyperskepticism — may be intellectually fashionable, but it is self-referential and self defeating, absurd.

    Yes, we can entertain doubt and see that we cannot start from ourselves to generate utter certainty on all things, but that does not justify being dismissive towards the defeat-able defaults Thomas Reid listed. We may err in detail and need to be open to correction, but there are first facts, first truths, first principles and first duties that are certain and that only someone willing to entertain the absurd [and resulting corrosive doubt and confusion] will doubt on the whole.

    These are not worldview-dependent ideas and the results of some elaborated theory of knowledge absorbed from culture and subject to viewing as the at best half truths of a blind man grappling with an elephant. No, they are the sort of things that are before elaboration of systems of thought, they are the start points we need to go on to develop such elaborations. They are the branch on which we all sit.

    We do not go zip zip zip on such a branch, not if we are well advised.

    And these are not matters of whose arguments tickle our ears more pleasingly.

    KF

  167. 167
    Sandy says:

    We all have our points of view. Don’t you? I do the best I can. I am more positively impressed by WJM than KF.

    Maybe you commented in the wrong place. Here is not about points of view , it’s about objective reality.

    Are you “positively impressed”? This is not an argument.

  168. 168
    William J Murray says:

    To continue about information:

    In my response to Seversky, I said that experienced information is about the experience, or the generation of a particular experience, and not about what is providing the information – like music on a CD. This may seem counter-intuitive; after all, the music was originally produced by, say, a live performance by an orchestra. It would seem more accurate to say the information on the CD is about the orchestral performance, not about the experience it generates for the listener.

    However, that is the perspective of the “external world” ontology. In my IRT perspective, the musical performance information has always existed, and must have always existed, as potential – obviously, or else it would never be available in our experience. All possible experiences exist as potential. This is a trivially true tautology, however it becomes less trivial under IRT (idealism reality theory) because there is no material world to generate a distinction between potential and actual.

    In quantum physics research, that which apparently “decides” which potential becomes actual is the consciousness of the observer. This effect has been observed well above the subatomic, up to the molecular level. Time and space do not seem to be meaningful limitations to how far this observer effect extends. IOW, the state of that which is observed is about the conscious observer, and is not an innate characteristic of that which is being observed. The actual is selected from the potential by the observer. As these experiments reveal, that selection has a causal effect that instantly extends any distance, and can also reach backwards in time. BA77 has detailed these experiments in this forum exhaustively, and they are found easily enough on the internet.

    Under IRT, all possible information already exists. It is not created nor can it be destroyed; it can only be experienced. This is why it’s more accurate to say that when I experience information, that information is about that experience – my experience, or me. I am the one that is, in some way, selecting that particular information out of the potential to become actual in my experience. It’s basically quantum physics writ large.

    Let me see if I can make this a bit more accessible. Let’s move this to the macroscopic and put it in in normal, everyday terms. Everything you physically experience is about you – your location, the stuff that is around you. What you see and do not see, or notice and do not notice, is about you and what you pay attention to. How any of what you see affects you is about your own state of mind, your own emotions and thoughts. You are the one, via your intention, attention and mind, that not only directs the kinds of information you encounter and notice, but how you process that information, what you believe, and thus ultimately how you react to anything you experience.

    Thus, everything you actually experience is about you, your location, your perspective, your state of mind, your emotions, your intention, your attention, your choices, your particular formula of inner processing, your memories, your experiences. The only thing quantum physics research has done is reveal that this “about you-ness” is much deeper, more fundamental and profound than it just being true in the “normal” sense.

    The “reality” any individual experiences is about that individual; it is entirely self-referential in both the practical, everyday sense, and also shown by quantum physics experimentation to be true at a fundamental level.

  169. 169
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    Do you think WJM is able to ignore such bodily needs? Does that not suggest that his own embodiment, much less our own, is independent of his subjective desires or thoughts? And, if we are embodied creatures, does that not also go with the reality as fact rather than figment of imagination, of a world with breathable air, drinkable water and food suitable for eating; just as our senses testify?

    BTW, this has been presented to WJM already and so far as I can see, he had no adequate response.

    Perhaps because this is a straw man characterization of WJM’s perspective. I’ve never said or remotely implied that the experience we call “the physical world” was comparable to a “figment of imagination.” In fact, I’ve stated many times that “imagination” and what we call “the physical world” are two distinctly different kinds of experiences.

    I don’t think you’re arguing in bad faith, KF. I think the problem is that you are just incapable of understanding my argument, because you repeatedly characterize it not only incorrectly, but in direct contradiction to things I’ve explicitly laid out multiple times.

  170. 170
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, you have tried to reduce physical factuality of embodiment and interaction with and in the common world to a theory and have elaborated a worldview you originally termed mental reality theory. My concerns and focus on concrete pre-theoretic independent realities and constraints of embodiment — start with the breath of life — and of our awareness of such as being an immediate manifestation of our self-aware consciousness are more than justified and you have no proper basis to suggest bad faith on my part. Your repetition of such an invidious suggestion is out of order. KF

    PS: I challenge you to a direct answer, are we credibly embodied creatures in a common world that is substantially independent of and antecedent to our individual or group perceptions and thoughts? Is there an elephant beyond our partial groping and imaginings or concepts? Is there a substantial reason to trust the sort of defaults that Reid identified? Why should anyone buy a used car from you, much less a scheme of the world?

  171. 171
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    They are the branch on which we all sit.

    No, they are not. They are a generalized description of a more or less common starting point we generally find ourselves in when we begin pondering existential questions, much like a general ontological/epistemological perspective that we begin such considerations from. We don’t figure out the actual “branch,” or the existential unavoidables, until we begin critically examining that “starting point,” which means: the perspectives we discover we have when we start our existential pondering.)

    Just as we can leave a culturally-embedded O/E behind due to critical examination, we can critically examine Reid’s rules of common sense realism and develop other ideas based on experience, evidence and critical reasoning, and testing those ideas and other models of “what is real” or “how reality works” in practical ways.

  172. 172
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, if you were to cease breathing for an hour, would that be consistent with onward trains of experiences of being embodied in a common world shared with others on the planet Earth? KF

  173. 173
    William J Murray says:

    KF

    PS: I challenge you to a direct answer, are we credibly embodied creatures in a common world that is substantially independent of and antecedent to our individual or group perceptions and thoughts?

    Yes.

    Is there an elephant beyond our partial groping and imaginings or concepts?

    Yes.

    Is there a substantial reason to trust the sort of defaults that Reid identified?

    Yes – because they work fairly well.

    Why should anyone buy a used car from you, much less a scheme of the world?

    For the same reason a rational, responsible adult would buy any used car from anyone: They did their due diligence on the car to ensure it was in good condition. Take it for a test drive. Have their mechanic examine it. Run the VIN number to get the history of the car.

    But, unlike you, KF, I’m not “selling” anything. I’m not arguing that anyone else should adopt my perspective. As I’ve explained before in detail, that’s not what I’m doing here. I respect everyone else’s perspective and beliefs. I’m not trying to change them. Unlike you, I don’t believe the fate of the world depends on people adopting my beliefs. There’s literally nothing I will gain by anyone else adopting my views.

    Even so, you seem to think my view amounts to pure sophistry; I’ve been developing, testing and experimenting with my existential model for decades. If I had discovered it had no practical value, I would have discontinued the development of it and gone in a different direction. But the success of the model, inasmuch as I have developed it thus far and applied it, has been mind-blowing, far beyond anything I could have imagined in the beginning, or even in the middle. Many, many other people have similar models and report similar success. I am involved in several groups that exchange information about the results of their experimentation with this or similar models.

    So, you can argue for your O/E until you are blue in the face, but such arguments do not change the fact of the success of my model in my life.

  174. 174
    Jack says:

    KF:

    what would happen were you to treat the need to breathe as a dubious perception for an hour or so?

    Why would I want to do that? I like life. My brain is programmed for self-survival. Cutting off my breath would not serve my purposes. I don’t know what you mean by “dubious perception.”

    Isn’t it the case that we are free to think in general, and can change the rules of our imaginary worlds freely without that sort of independent constraint?

    I don’t believe I’m totally independent of constraints.

    Similarly, for drinking water and eating nutritious food for long enough to have decisive effect?

    I like clean water and nutritious food. And my health seems better for it. Why would I want to stop partaking in such? I don’t understand the point of the question.

    Do you think WJM is able to ignore such bodily needs?

    He’s never made any statement, AFAICT, that he would want to. If you have evidence to the contrary, please cite it.

    Does that not suggest that his own embodiment, much less our own, is independent of his subjective desires or thoughts?

    AFAICT, WJM has not argued he is utterly independent. Quite the contrary. If you have evidence of that, I’d like to see it. Your questions are more evidence that either you are acting in bad faith, or that you don’t comprehend WJM’s position.

    And, if we are embodied creatures, does that not also go with the reality as fact rather than figment of imagination, of a world with breathable air, drinkable water and food suitable for eating; just as our senses testify?

    Who is making the claim of “figments of imagination?”

    BTW, this has been presented to WJM already and so far as I can see, he had no adequate response.

    AFAICT, He has quite adequately addressed your misapprehensions.

    Now, I’ve answered your questions. Please have enough respect to answer mine: how does WJM’s experiences with his “deceased” wife fit into your ontology/epistemology? Your clear and unambiguous answer is warmly anticipated and will be appreciated.

  175. 175
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM et al, I will be busy locally for a while, should respond within the next day or so. I note that WJM’s clarification that our embodiment is credible is a key point of acknowledgement. The phenomenon of an embodied, self-aware [I-perspective], reflective, rational, responsible, credibly significantly free self-moved creature guided by thoughts, decisions — and being conscience guided — has been pivotal across the ages, with particular reference to the foundations of the western intellectual tradition. And yes, I insist for cause, overt denial or inviting grand across the board doubts about said embodiment are a gateway to saw off the branch on which we sit absurdity. Where, such is pre-philosophical, having to do with our self-aware common sense self-experience in a going concern world. These issues are prior to the project of constructing worldviews and theories of knowledge, warrant, objectivity and personal or collective — notice the shift to the subjective perspective — justification of belief in a post Gettier world. KF

  176. 176
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM et al, I will be busy locally for a while, should respond within the next day or so.

    Unnecessary, since it is obvious you don’t understand anything I’ve said on this subject, nor do I expect you to be able to do so.

    To continue from #168:

    The information we experience from the quantum and macroscopic is necessarily about the “location,” state, or characteristics of the observer. Once this thought through, and one understands the meaning, it is clear that this represents a self-evidently, necessarily true statement: all experiential information is about the experiencer, because all the information any person experiences is perceived, sensed, interpreted, sorted, categorized, felt, organized and understood from that person’s physical, psychological and emotional perspective. IOW, it is my own perspective that naturally selects what information I am exposed to and how that information is translated into my physical, psychological and emotional experience.

    At this point it is necessary to more fully understand what is meant here by the word “perspective” and what all that concept entails. Perspective includes physical orientation, cognitive arrangement, intention, attention, senses, and one’s entire psychology, including conscious, subconscious and unconscious factors, emotions, beliefs, etc. An individual’s perspective is a unique arrangement of very deep factors that are broadly entangled and often utterly interdependent.

    Before quantum physics experiments, it may have been reasonable to believe (depending on one’s experiences) that perspective, to a large degree, was relative to a “hard,” or “objective” reality” that had hard qualities and objective characteristics completely independent of perspective. IOW, we believed that our perspective had no direct effect on reality, that these were two different things. The objective world was hardware; perspectives were software, so to speak, and all software programs (perspectives) were running on or in the same hardware.

    The research has clearly shown that this is not the case. There doesn’t appear to be any “hardware” that is “what it is” regardless of “software” perspective, other than as available information. The “hardware” that exists appears to be functionally unlimited information as potential; the perspective-oriented experience of which apparently has consequences that are not restricted by either space or time.

    We can directly change our perspective-centric physical experience to a degree by simply walking into another room or visiting some other location, or by eating food or turning on the air conditioner. We can also change our psychological experiences by organizing our thoughts differently via therapy, self-help or other such methods.

    What the results of quantum experiments (and other methods and evidence) offer is the idea that we can even more fundamentally change our perspective and thus our experience.

  177. 177
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, later. KF

  178. 178
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Let me clip, for starters, kindly note the first graphic in the OP:

    Phenomenology of the Human Person
    ROBERT SOKOLOWSKI
    The Catholic University of America
    CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS [2008]
    [ . . . ]

    I wish to introduce the term “the agent of truth”
    as a synonym for “the human person.” The phrase is also meant to be
    a paraphrase of the term “rational animal,” the classical Latinate definition
    of human being. The book is an inquiry concerning the agent of truth
    .
    The new term has two advantages over the old. First, it expands the
    meaning of thinking and truth. The word rational seems to limit thinking
    to calculation and inference, but the new phrase does not connote such
    a restriction. It encompasses all the forms of understanding, including
    those that go beyond language. Second, the term shows that attaining
    truth is an accomplishment and not merely passive reception. It speaks not
    just about reasoning but about success in reasoning, and so designates
    human being in terms of its highest achievement: the human person is
    defined by being engaged in truth, and human action is based on truth
    .
    I do not intend to prove that human beings are specified in this way (what
    sort of premises could I use?), but rather to describe, analytically, what our
    engagement in truth means. I hope to show, not to demonstrate, what we
    are as human persons
    .

    We cannot help but take ourselves and one another as involved in truth . . . .

    [P]redication and definition take place, not simply in
    “the mind,” but in human conversation
    . I will show that logical forms are
    the residue of public, conversational activity. The form of predication, for
    example, comes about when a speaker brings an entity into a conversation
    and states something about it.
    Likewise, definitions occur when a speaker
    makes a specifying distinction and explains what it is that he has intro-
    duced into the conversation
    . I would like to think of this book as a reca-
    pitulation of Porphyry and Boethius as well as Aristotle. I take into account
    the modern turn to the subject, but I consider this subject as a participant
    in the human conversation and not a solitary self. Many conundrums of
    modern philosophy are dissolved by this simple expedient
    . . . .

    To avoid the difficulties associated with mental representation, I have tried
    to reformulate the problem. I claim that when we speak about things we
    take in their intelligibility, which we capture and carry in the names that
    we use, and that when we picture things we embody their intelligibility in
    the images that we compose. When we make distinctions, the intelligibility
    and necessity, the substance of things, shows up to us, and this disclosure
    occurs within the framework set by syntax.
    Although logical, linguistic, and pictorial syntax are the major themes
    in this book, I also explore the kind of syntax that occurs in human action,
    when one thing is done in view of another, when ends are distinguished
    from purposes, and when my good and the goods of others are brought
    into syntactical reciprocity in such phenomena as acts of justice and
    friendship. I hope to show that the ends of things, their being at their best,
    is part of what they are and part of their meaning. When things are given
    names and thus entered into syntax and enlisted into language, what they
    should be is part of what their names signify.

    Food for fresh thought.

    And yes, there are all sorts of echoes on matters of being a going concern agent in a going concern world finding first principles and first duties pervading acts of intelligence.

    KF

  179. 179
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N, back for a moment, another clip:

    Since the study of the brain has become so prominent in contemporary
    theories of mind, it seemed necessary to say something about the neuro-
    physiology that underlies thinking and truth . . .
    I try
    to show that human perception can be seen as the transformation of many
    different kinds of ambient energy into the one kind of electrochemical
    energy that is found in the activity of the nervous system and brain. The
    energy activated in our neural networks is not just input; it can also
    become output generated by the nervous system itself, and when this
    occurs in certain ways it allows us to reactivate earlier experiences in
    imagination and memory and to project ourselves into new situations. In connection with this topic, I take the rather bold step of proposing an
    alternative way of thinking about mental imagery. I suggest that, instead of
    saying that the nervous system and brain construct internal images of
    things that are “out there,” we think of the nervous system and brain as
    functioning like a lens. The neural activity involved in experiencing can be
    considered as “lensing” and not as imaging or picturing. The advantage of
    this change is that it counters our tendency to think of mental images or
    ideas as intervening between our minds and the things that we know.
    I hope to provide an alternative to representationalism in sensibility as well
    as in thinking.

    Now, lenses work, though they have limitations, aberrations etc. So, this is helpful in getting back to the common sense view, as we can now take it that we are on the same page that we are embodied creatures in a world that enables that embodiment.

    As a preview, not just any world enables the sort of air we breathe, or water we drink or food we eat. That already sets up a fairly fine tuned cosmos with a privileged, terrestrial planet in circumstellar habitable zone and galactic habitable zone.

    Embodiment carries a lot with it, and allows common sense to be a bootstrap loader for a whole world of first facts, principles and even duties for agents of truth.

    More to follow.

    KF

  180. 180

    KF, so when, if ever, are you going to address the issue of subjectivity?

    I can state with certainty, after having focused on this issue for many years, that at the intellectual level, there is about a 100 percent ignorance about how subjectivity works among people. People only have intuitive understanding of it, not intellectual understanding.

    The understanding of how objectivity works on the other hand, is pretty good. With the scientific method and all.

    Materialists, you know, the enemies of God and intelligent design theory, they are all utterly clueless about how subjectivity works. They are also obsessed with objectivity, science, and do not pay dedicated attention to subjective issues, as like in religion.

    What you are seeing is that objectivity is a little tiny bit damaged, because of the dismal neglect of subjectivity. People trying to import some subjectivity into the proper domain of objectivity, because they are absolutely starved of subjectivity.

    Then your response to this tiny bit of damage to objectivity, is to re-emphasize objectivity. But you should instead promote understanding of subjectivity.

    A subjective opinion is formed by choice, and expresses what it is that makes a choice. That is the basic logic underlying any subjective opinion. Very simple, but not acknowledged by any intellectual in the entire world.

    1. Creator / chooses / spiritual / subjective / opinion
    2. Creation / chosen / material / objective / fact

    You are an enemy of subjectivity, and therefore, an enemy of belief in God, and an enemy of belief in the human spirit.

  181. 181
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, I have addressed subjectivity any number of times. A significantly free, self-moved, rational, responsible, conscience-guided truth-directed creature capable of knowledge, analysis, decision etc is a subject. However, as knowledge points to, such subjects are capable of error, and accordingly we are duty bound to properly warrant knowledge claims. That is, the power of choice should be guided through prudence and wider wisdom. Subjectivity and objectivity are complementary, in this sense. I need not elaborate on inherently good, necessary, maximally great being, other than to note this implies utter wisdom. KF

  182. 182
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: More clipping to frame what follows:

    I begin the book with a particular syntactic
    form, which I call the “declarative” use of the first-person pronoun. It is
    the use we make of the word I and its analogues when we endorse or
    appropriate a particular exercise of our rational, syntactic powers, when,
    for example, we say, “I know she is coming,” or “I promise I will be there.”
    Such declaratives could not be used except on the foundation of another
    syntactic articulation, and they mention us precisely as actively engaged as
    agents of syntax or agents of truth. They designate us as persons in action,
    as acting rationally even as we utter the words
    . A topic associated with
    declaratives is what I call “veracity,” which I define as the inclination
    toward truthfulness that defines us as human beings or persons and
    establishes us as responsible agents.

    Again, we assert X to be the case [or to not be the case, i.e. ~X is the case] and in so asserting we imply our constitution as rational, responsible, significantly free, first duty-bound creatures. Duty no 1 being to truth, with those to right reason, prudence [so, warrant] and the like in train.

    Where, manifestly, a key part of these states of affairs and self-aware circumstances we declare to be so, i/l/o perception is that we are embodied, intelligent, minded, in a going-concern world. The attempt to hyperskeptically doubt or dismiss this built-in testimony through corrosive doubt demanding utter certainty on pain of such dismissal, is then self-defeating. For, the radical doubt of such first order perceptions then self-referentially undermines the credibility of the very rational faculty, senses and process we use to question what we perceive to be so. So, that level two doubt is itself subject to level three and so forth in a potentially endless train.

    How do we return to safer ground?

    By common-sense rationality. That is, we first recognise that it is absurd and futile to undermine the very faculty of rationality. While we may and do err in detail and obviously are not immediately aware of say the cosmological and/or molecular-quantum-statistical mechanics/thermodynamics framework behind the common experience macroscopic world, we are legitimately aware of that world, including our embodiment in it. That embodiment implies involvement in food chains, breathing, metabolism that supports life and thus interaction with our planet, solar system, galactic habitable zone neighbourhood and wider cosmos including the origins process that brings us to our here and now circumstances.

    Taking our going concern embodied, rational, self-moved, agency towards truth status seriously, we can give baseline, albeit correct-able trust to our basic intellectual and volitional faculties etc. Among the deliverables from such, will be access to foundational, pervasive — so, inescapable and self-evident — first principles and duties of reason, starting with distinct identity and its close corollaries, non-contradiction and excluded middle. Just how pivotal this is, can be seen from Paul’s C1 logic 101 illustration:

    1 Cor 14:7 If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? 8 And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? 9 So with yourselves, if with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air. 10 There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning, 11 but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. [ESV]

    This is foundational to verbal, language based communication, including that internal self-engaging conversation we are aware of. Obviously, that then extends to the neighbourhood of like creatures, as earlier clips highlighted.

    Similarly, first duties are pervasive, as we can see from what we expect of others in conversation, multiplied by simple reciprocity. Duty to truth, thus right reason and prudence etc are right there.

    Going onward, we find then, effectively undeniable first facts or empirically known truths. For example, that error exists = E], which is experienced but also is undeniably so. [Take E, deny ~E, this last asserts it is error to assert E so, it fails to effectively deny. E is undeniably true, known to certainty and this single fact demolishes any world schemes of thought that deny possibility of objective truth, knowable truth and truth known to utter certainty. At the same time it is humbling, for it implies that we may and practically often do fail, in seeking truth. Worse, sometimes we seek to frustrate or evade or dismiss truth we should acknowledge.]

    So, without smuggling in grand world schemes, we are able to establish plumb line first principles, first duties and first facts that are fairly readily accessible. Some of which, are self-evident. I briefly explain that key term in the just linked.

    So, to get to this point, there has been no grand begging of worldview questions on contents of reality, ability to perceive, reason concerning and accurately know and state truth etc. No, there is no smuggled in grand scheme of beings and structure of the world, or of dubious principles of acquiring confidently held, responsible knowledge. That needs to be explicitly stated, as the contrary has been repeatedly asserted as an alleged fact of observation, used to cast a pall of privileged doubt.

    In this light, I clip from the OP:

    we can address the chain of concerns in the first graphic above:

    1 We have reason to believe our common sense experience of the going-concern, everyday world, though limited and subject to correction in detail (and obviously a macroscopic, slow-speed, localised view), is on the whole reliable and reasonably accurate; thus, Plantinga-sense fit for purpose relative to knowledge acquisition.

    2 Knowledge in the going-concern world thus becomes possible on three levels: first, our personal world experience as self-aware creatures is just that, undeniably our experience. If one is appeared to redly and roundly, that is a datum of experience.

    3 Secondly, as we can see from 2 + 3 = 5 — i.e. || + ||| –> ||||| — or error exists or inescapable first principles [including first principles . . . and, yes, associated Ciceronian first duties . . . of right reason], there are certain truths that are self-evident, certain, plumb line that — while never nearly enough to frame and furnish a worldview — serve as key tests for soundness.

    4 Third, for practical thought, work, education, media, science, governance, community and life, a weaker, corrigible sense of knowledge is also reasonable: warranted, credibly true (so, tested and reliable) belief.

    5 This weak sense may indeed have in it various errors, but is corrigible in light of first self evident principles informed by our experiences. However, such cannot amount to a Plato’s cave grand delusion, on pain of collapsing credibility of rationality thus our own selves as rational creatures.

    6 In this light, we can dismiss general hyperskepticism as a grand delusion fallacy; and if it is selectively applied to what one is inclined to dismiss (oh, YOU have to prove beyond all arbitrary doubt that . . .) , it is little more than an excuse for question-begging hostile closed mindedness.

    7 Further to these, disciplines of thought are feasible and can build up valid bodies of credible but corrigible knowledge claims: philosophy, ethics, physics, mathematics, sciences and arts generally, including history, theology etc.

    I trust this chain of thought will be of help to the perplexed.

    KF

  183. 183
    William J Murray says:

    To continue from #176, where ended with:

    What the results of quantum experiments (and other methods and evidence) offer is the idea that we can even more fundamentally change our perspective and thus our experience.

    This is what brings us to the practical application and experimental aspect of IRT. IOW, if we live in a perspective-malleable “field” of functionally infinite potential information, the question is: is there a means by which we can intentionally direct what potential information is chosen and processed into our experience?

    The key term is right there in the question: intention. One of the key aspects, perhaps the fundamental aspect, is that we are intentional beings. We are the ones choosing what to put our attention on, making decisions, arranging our thoughts and how we think about our experiences; we are the ones making decisions about where to go and what to do.

    Let me offer an example of what simple, primal, uninformed, uneducated intention can do – something intimately in everyone’s experience right now, by asking this question: “How do you get your body to do what you want it to do?”

    Are you a biologist or a molecular engineer? Do you know how to mix the chemicals necessary to produce energy for working your muscles? Do you know how to fire a neuron? Do you even know which ones are necessary to fire to attain the simplest, deliberate motion of a finger or to tilt your head? Are you inside your body deliberately doing all that?

    Nope. We often say babies “learn” to direct their movements by “mimicking” their parents; there is no such learning going on. Seeing someone moving their hand doesn’t explain, in the slightest, how they are doing it. So, how does a baby do it? How do we? How is it that we can effortlessly, with (for all intents and purposes) zero understanding of the most complex machines known to exist, not only fully operate that machine, but can make it do some pretty amazing things?

    Simply put: just raw, primal intention. No rational thought or advanced degrees necessary. Just by intention, we develop the capacity as infants to direct and control the movements of our bodies. What difference does it make if the body is connected to our brain, if we have no idea what to do in the brain, physically, to generate specific movements? We don’t even know where those controls would be or how to access them, much less operate them properly. There is a complete knowledge disconnect between intention and function because we still have no idea how we are bridging the gap between the immaterial intention and the successful, functional operation of the most complex machines known to exist.

    Let’s move to another example we are all intimately aware of: we call, and what KF characterizes as, our own thoughts. I can only talk about how I experience thought, but perhaps it will resonate with how others experience the process of thinking. Much like my physical body, my deliberately pursued thoughts begin with intention. I don’t really know how I think thoughts, but when I intend, for example, to write something here, that intention seems to directionally move my thoughts through kind of serial process, but I experience that process more like exploring a territory than me “inventing” a chain of deliberately-generated steps down some path of self-arranged, self-formed, self-made architecture. Surprising thoughts often occur. It often feels like I can “sense” an idea up ahead, but I have to work at getting to it and translating it into language.

    Anyone else experience this? You have this sense of an idea, but you have to figure out how to actually express it in words, like you are figuring out what that idea is in terms of language? Also, you have the sense of a familiar idea, and then the means of expressing it in language just flows as you are talking or writing it down?

    How would that “sense of an idea” be my idea, if I don’t even know how to express it coherently until I work at it?

    So, to bring this home: the potential for an action, like deliberately operating a body, an idea you discover by directionally intending your thoughts, must be a substantive form of existence. Potentials must substantively exist or else we could not actually intend. The self-evident nature of our intention is about something else that must substantively exist: potentials that we direct our intention towards. You cannot direct your intention at things that do not exist as potential, therefore, all potential things necessarily exist. To say they exist “as potential” is to say they exist.

    In the case of “new” thoughts (new to you, at least) and actions, we get their, for the most part (when it is deliberate) via intention, and what potentials we keep our attention on.

    However, there is a difference between consciously aware intention and attention, and subconscious or unconscious intention and attention. It is this latter category that, IMO, accounts for the bulk of our experience of what we call “reality” because our reality experience is largely ordered by a kind of subconscious/unconscious autopilot.

  184. 184
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM,

    I do intend to follow up on several matters you have raised (while still being heavily engaged locally), however in a comment you just raised, there are several suggestions that I think it advisable to comment on briefly:

    Just by intention, we develop the capacity as infants to direct and control the movements of our bodies. What difference does it make if the body is connected to our brain, if we have no idea what to do in the brain, physically, to generate specific movements? We don’t even know where those controls would be or how to access them, much less operate them properly. There is a complete knowledge disconnect between intention and function because we still have no idea how we are bridging the gap between the immaterial intention and the successful, functional operation of the most complex machines known to exist . . . .

    there is a difference between consciously aware intention and attention, and subconscious or unconscious intention and attention. It is this latter category that, IMO, accounts for the bulk of our experience of what we call “reality” because our reality experience is largely ordered by a kind of subconscious/unconscious autopilot.

    First, while we do know something about the cybernetic entities that our bodies are (see the Smith Model), and can discuss issues of an oracle machine’s ability to transcend the Turing limits, it is true that there is a vast gap between exploiting the operator interface intentionally as a self-moved creature and knowing the relevant substructure. However, one may well have excellent reason to trust the operating system, organisation and architecture without being an expert on underlying dynamics, mechanisms etc. As an analogy, few of us truly, deeply understand computers and their designed framework, but we know enough to routinely use the interfaces. While many have some understanding of cars, operating a car through its interface can be learned without knowing what a mechanic or engineer would. Extend that to say flying an airplane and how we routinely entrust ourselves to airlines.

    Which, comes back to the issue that haunts these debates, self-referentiality and explicit or invited self-defeat through corrosive hyperskeptical doubts etc. Reference to the sub-/un-conscious etc is a relevant case. That was classically used by Freud et al, to frame a model that effectively reduced us to dubious rationality. While, we can readily see that we are finite, fallible, morally struggling and too often ill willed, it does not credibly reduce us to inescapable irrationality.

    First principles, first facts [including of consciousness and perception etc] and first duties are still identifiable. And, it is fatal to overlook the possibility of substantially successful design or configuration towards truth; as Plantinga highlighted. If we let that go, we end in precisely the chain of plato’s cave grand delusions already highlighted.

    That leads to the need to recognise the point in Reid’s common sense defaults. To use Sokolowski, one does not have to have a perfectly flawless lens to have an effective lens that delivers an accurate enough rendering. Indeed, a useful exercise is to set up a white screen then use a convex lens to cast an image unto it, showing real image formation. Perhaps, a similar exercise with a pinhole camera can also help.

    KF

  185. 185
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: More from Sokolowski:

    I wish to describe the human person philosophically by clarifying what
    it means to be involved with truth. We enter into rationality when we
    introduce syntactic composition, whether verbal, pictorial, or practical,
    into experience. Such articulation allows us to converse with others and to
    reason with them, instead of resorting to violence or disengagement; it
    allows us to appropriate, by the use of declaratives, what we have articu-
    lated, and to raise questions not only about facts and about our purposes,
    but also about the ends that are inscribed in things. The use of words
    reveals the good and the best in what we name. Our philosophical exercise
    is itself a culmination of our rationality, not something alien to it. It brings
    to a kind of completion the truthfulness we enter into when we begin
    speaking with others.

    Think of a SVO type language like English. A subject acts [verb], on an object. We declare that to be the case, accurately. I am appeared to redly and roundly, involving an entity we term a red ball. We can further assert, the red ball is a bright red, and that it sits on a table. That table is in the wider world. From this we readily exhibit — show — key first principles of right reason in action towards truth, namely the principle of distinct identity and its immediate corollaries, non contradiction and excluded middle. We then see that without such, we cannot think, speak — think of Paul’s example of musical instruments and the wind instrument we term our voice, speaking in a language — or act soundly, these are pervasive, antecedent to attempted proofs or disproofs. They are even involved in stating doubts or hyperskeptical dismissals, including by attempted appeal to doubt as default.

    That self-referential, pervasive character allows us to recognise genuine first principles and to see why we should not entertain self-referential absurdities.

    All of this is prior to attempts to build up worldviews and schemes as to what knowledge is, how it works in general, how it fails to work, when one is warranted to claim knowledge in a post Gettier world etc. (And, no, we must recognise the shattering impact of Gettier’s work.)

    KF

  186. 186
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM,

    Let me pick up from your 173, on particular points that strike me as key:

    KF: are we credibly embodied creatures in a common world that is substantially independent of and antecedent to our individual or group perceptions and thoughts?

    WJM: Yes.

    KF: Is there an elephant beyond our partial groping and imaginings or concepts?

    WJM: Yes.

    KF: Is there a substantial reason to trust the sort of defaults that Reid identified?

    WJM: Yes – because they work fairly well.

    This is a beginning point. However, just for record, let me highlight a snippet of earlier exchange, where I reluctantly responded (after much demand) on some of your theorising:

    800: >>You then immediately comment in reference to make a point extending from that quote [from F H Bradley on the Kantian ugly gulch]: [KF] That is, we cannot not claim to know regarding the external world that presents itself to us. [WJM] You’re conflating the full category of metaphysical claims indicating knowledge about reality with the sub-category of metaphysical claims that include an extra-mental world.>>

    11: No, I have pointed out a classical case of the impact of any world frame that imposes an ugly gulch between what appears to consciousness and whatever actually is. Here, that we cannot but assert or imply truth claims about that world, with associated appeals to why we think them credible, reliable etc.

    12: This actually illustrates how we cannot but appeal to duties to truth, of course. One of the first duties.

    13: Beyond, we see from a major modern case, how the imposition of skeptical barriers to taking our recognition of the external physical, common world we appear to inhabit as largely credible, leads to self-referential self-defeat. Here, by implying what it tries to deny, knowledge of a major truth regarding the external world, precisely what it asserts is not feasible.

    14: This directly shows that this sort of problem is real and fatal for a view.

    15: Now, extend such to any view that in effect implies that the physical world is not there as such, it is an astonishingly in-common delusion, implying in effect a grand global simulation with our particular consciousness and contents regarding such a world rolled up in it. Such subsidiary centres of self-awareness would be immediately untrustworthy by way of grand delusion.. (The cases of Crick’s Astonishing hypothesis, or Freud’s appeal to in effect strictness of potty training etc, or to Marx’s class conditioning, or to Skinner’s behavioural conditioning or to the notion of a public hypnotised by the marketers and propagandists etc all fall into this, to one extent or another. This sort of self-referential incoherence is a major feature of modernity and of its extension, ultra-modernity, aka post modernity.)

    >>You go on: [KF] So, any system that denies such knowledge is fatally self-referential.>>

    16: For cause, as seen in outline.

    >>Nope, because under MRT, there is a distinction between self and mind. Please note that I never say “your mind” or “my mind.” Everything exists in mind.>>

    17: In short, you confirm my point that our localised sense of individual conscious mindedness is a manifestation of a grand in common mind, so that these centres with a sense of a common external world are grandly delusional. So, utterly untrustworthy.

    18: So, how can delusional local centre W claim to have any better insight into M than delusional centre K? On what principles of credibility that are independent of the spreading miasma of delusion?

    >> There is no world external of mind.>>

    19: This of course further carries forward the point.

    >> There are countless “selfs” in mind. Thus, nothing about MRT is “fatally self-referential.”>>

    20: How the self-referential incoherence arises is thus seen. First, at the level of the local self-aware centres then by extension to the central mind having such in it. If buggy in the local, buggy. If buggy, untrustworthy.

    See why I would have concerns as stated?

    You have now clarified that it is credible to acknowledge our embodiment, that it is reasonable that our partial insights can be adjusted together to form an accurate view of the whole and that the Reidan common sense defaults have a measure of validity because in effect a lens does not have to be perfect to be effective.

    Embodiment, of course indicates that our minds [self aware centres of rational consciousness and responsible, conscience guided volition and initiation of action] interface via our bodies with a going concern world, much as the first graphic in the OP shows. Where, our bodies are part of that world, e.g. we must drink, eat, breathe, we are subject to the physics of bodies, we face energy linked constraints etc. Indeed, our bodies, arguably are cybernetic entities with oracle machine, two-tier controllers. That oracular aspect and two-tier control with oracle allows us to ponder the mind-body interface, network and system as a whole. Where, language, logic and extensions allow a lot, e.g. mathematics, philosophy, communication etc.

    The breathing, eating, drinking aspect integrates with a very broad framework of the world as was already noted, here 179:

    lenses work, though they have limitations, aberrations etc. So, this is helpful in getting back to the common sense view, as we can now take it that we are on the same page that we are embodied creatures in a world that enables that embodiment.

    As a preview, not just any world enables the sort of air we breathe, or water we drink or food we eat. That already sets up a fairly fine tuned cosmos with a privileged, terrestrial planet in circumstellar habitable zone and galactic habitable zone.

    Embodiment carries a lot with it, and allows common sense to be a bootstrap loader for a whole world of first facts, principles and even duties for agents of truth.

    KF

  187. 187
    kairosfocus says:

    Jack, kindly note the just above. KF

  188. 188
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    You have now clarified that it is credible to acknowledge our embodiment, …

    You have no idea what “embodiment” means to me. You have no idea what any of my “yes” answers to your questions mean to me.

    This is clear when you draw an equivalence between the category of experience we call “The physical world” and the category of experience we call “figments of our imagination,” as if that is something I’ve ever even remotely said or implied. It is also glaringly clear when you talk about “needing to eat food, drink and breath to stay alive” as if this is something I deny or argue against. It’s also clear when you repeat the fundamental principles of logic as if anyone here has disagreed with or challenged those things as inescapable aspects of our existence.

    You have no idea what I’m talking about. Stop pretending that you understand my theory.

  189. 189
    Jack says:

    KF: Jack, kindly note the just above

    Nothing interesting to me there. Still no answer to the question (which I am actually interested in):

    How does WJM’s experiences with his “deceased” wife fit into your ontology/epistemology?

  190. 190

    You mention subjectivity somehwere sometimes. It doesn’t mean anything, because the definition of subjectivity can be twisted.

    You put objectivity in the center of it all, in the headline. That can only mean that subjectivity is inferior and wrong, as compared to objectivity.

    Evidence that comprehension of subjectivity is the problem, and not comprehension of objectivity

    – simply asking people about it, shows that everyone is clueless about how subjectivity works, while they give a pretty good understanding of objectivity, with the scientific method

    – high technological achievement further shows that the comprehension of objectivity is at a high standard

    – materialism is widespread at universities, materialism only validates objectivity and fact, it does not validate subjectivity and personal opinion. Creationism is generally discarded at universities, while creationism validates subjectivity and personal opinion.

    – Failing political ideologies like communism and nazism, disregard subjectivity, and confuse what is subjective, with what is objective. And their lack of comprehension of subjectivity is the likely cause of their failure.

  191. 191
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, you do not get the right to a private newspeak language in a public context; not, without some pretty serious implications. To say that humans are ,a href = “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_body”>embodied, generally self-aware intelligent agents implies that physical bodies subject to physical dynamics are a part of our nature as we live together here on our common planet. Notice, I specifically inquired regarding breathing, drinking water, nutrition. Now, we may debate what minds are, what bodies are [to some extent, medical science has some pretty substantial answers], what it is to be self aware and engaging through the five senses etc, but that comes later. The first thing is, if you were — God forbid — to stop breathing for an hour or so, what would that do, where does this point, i.e. I am raising the matter of air as a vital necessity of our physical, biological life, with onward implications and issues regarding death, or the other end, conception, gestation, birth. KF

  192. 192
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, you do not get the right to a private newspeak language in a public context; …

    That’s why I’ve spent so much time qualifying the things I say, explaining the terms I use and how I mean them when I’m talking about IRT. As I’ve said, the terms we use in our language are deeply soaked in ontological assumptions and perspectives. It’s very difficult to use any common term – “body,” “world,” “senses,” etc. without that term implying the ontological perspective they are commonly used in reference to.

    I can either make up new words and try to teach people a new language, or I can use the words that are available with caveats, explanations and qualifiers – which is what I have consistently done here. It’s not my problem if you choose to ignore all of that and demand that I answer your questions, which improperly come from and are rooted in your ontology, “directly,” then take my answer and twist it into straw man windmills to tilt at repeatedly.

  193. 193
    kairosfocus says:

    Jack & WJM:

    I really believe that the sound policy is to establish baseline first facts and principles as a base for addressing the unusual and/or anomalous. For fairly obvious reasons that without these in hand reasonable progress rapidly becomes impossible.

    However, just for record, I note on such a case:

    [WJM, 66:] Have you ever imagined a world, and then find yourself physically in that world, and have other people report having a physical experience in that world, interacting with and verifying the physical existence of the very things and people you imagined? The answer is probably “no,” so I understand your ontological distinction you hold to between “reality” and “imagination.”

    I’ve visited with my “dead” wife several times. It was completely real, completely physical, just like this world. Several other people have also visited with her in the same way, and have confirmed the way she looks, dresses, acts and talks in that world. I’ve actually brought things back with me from that world (or other such worlds.) Do you think you can possible talk me into a “common sense” view of reality after I’ve been experiencing these kinds of things my whole life?

    First, of course, WJM, you are appealing to duties to truth, reason etc. In that context, prior debate points come back to haunt. You have already undermined reason to take seriously, but let us set aside, for sake of argument, let us take you as not running a rhetorical gambit. In which context, the problem of never ending multiplied tangents and want of a common acknowledged core can readily frustrate reasonable progress.

    Next, at no point have I argued that this is the only actual world, nor that we cannot perceive trans-world. Indeed my reference to a root reality and to contingency of our in-common world should make that plain. However, trans world perceptions, even when in-common, are subject to the same basic issues that we are finite, fallible, morally struggling and too often ill-willed. So might well be — on fairly good authority — operators coming from other dimensions of reality, which is one way to take a multi-world frame.

    I am actually quite familiar with an in-common eyewitness reported narrative that is consistent and relates to a world of post-death experiences. (But, death itself points to the reality of biological, embodied existence in our in-common world.)

    I was present at my father’s side, and with another person present, am a witness to divine encounter and welcome at death. In his case, he used eyes to bid us farewell and addressed the Lord he had served for 50 years, who personally received him at the point where he surrendered his spirit. One of my friends from uni, in the emergency room of the hospital next to the campus [he lived just down the road from the Campus all his life], spoke of a delegation of angels waiting for him. Many others report a delegation of friends and family in glory, and are even more desirous to go than to remain. There is even a literature.

    Some of this goes beyond actual death experiences to near-death ones, some of which is of ultimate failure averted leading to change of life.

    These obviously include what are termed participatory visions. That is one may have dream worlds [sleeping and waking], one may have projected visions and visions where one is a participant.

    But, it is interesting, that there are counter and alternative narratives, which can be consistent enough across worlds, and there is a clear testimony of the malevolent spiritual. Such bleeds over into the world of occult practice. Several years ago, I was a witness to a stage of an extended exorcism, where a troubled young person was induced to go to a balm yard as it is called, only to have the problem of invitation to death worsened. During the work of actually the District Superintendent (a well-experienced exorcist), the person, in a dead faint, was levitated to a point but pinned by an obviously superior protective Being. This happened in front of dozens of people. The victim knew nothing of the levitation.

    The whole world of Voudun, Obeah, Pokumina, Myal, Zion etc is a commonplace across the Caribbean, in Guyana bleeding over into Hindu and Islamic aspects. Yes, there are blended experiences such as the “Indian” duppy of a recently departed by suicide or the like.

    So, inter-subjective participation and consistency is not a demonstration of ultimate through and through veracity.

    In that context, there is a touchstone of truth, in a context of centuries of prophets and fulfillment in the presence of 500 direct eyewitnesses. If they speak not according to this word (for there are malevolent and deceitful beings from other dimensions capable of interfacing with us), in them there is no light of day:

    C 700 BC, Isa 53:3 He was despised and rejected[b] by men,
    a man of sorrows[c] and acquainted with[d] grief;[e]
    and as one from whom men hide their faces[f]
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

    4 Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
    yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
    5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
    upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.
    6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
    and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

    7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
    yet he opened not his mouth;
    like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
    so he opened not his mouth.
    8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
    and as for his generation, who considered
    that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
    stricken for the transgression of my people?
    9 And they made his grave with the wicked
    and with a rich man in his death,
    although he had done no violence,
    and there was no deceit in his mouth.

    10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
    he has put him to grief;[g]
    when his soul makes[h] an offering for guilt,
    he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
    the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
    11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see[i] and be satisfied;
    by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
    make many to be accounted righteous,
    and he shall bear their iniquities.

    Ac 17:22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,[c] 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.

    26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for

    “‘In him we live and move and have our being’;[d]

    as even some of your own poets have said,

    “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’[e]

    29 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

    1 Cor 15:1 Now I would remind you, brothers,[a] of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

    3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received:

    – that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures [cf. Isa 53 etc, 300+ texts and prophecies altogether],

    – 4 that he was buried,

    – that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,

    – 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me . . . .

    11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

    Where, we are cautioned in Jn 3:

    John 3:1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus[a] by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”

    3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again[b] he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

    4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

    5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.[c] 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You[d] must be born again.’ 8 The wind[e] blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

    9 Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?”

    10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things?

    11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you[f] do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

    13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.[g] 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.[h]
    For God So Loved the World

    16 “For God so loved the world,[i] that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

    19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.

    21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

    So, we have some choices to make, having been duly warned and presented with certain signs. Where, one can make that choice, ill advisedly, by repeated tangential issues. That said, we still have to be willing to recognise first principles, first facts of our conscious, embodied existence, first duties, and more, if we are to make progress.

    This is given, at risk of having endless onward tangents, as record to respond to a repeated demand used as a barrier to addressing first truths, first facts, first principles.

    I trust, the significance of the OP, with its first graphic, is sufficiently highlighted.

    KF

  194. 194
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    I really believe that the sound policy is to establish baseline first facts and principles as a base for addressing the unusual and/or anomalous. For fairly obvious reasons that without these in hand reasonable progress rapidly becomes impossible.

    Translated, means: “I want to convert all of this into terms of my ontology/epistemology so that the conclusion is built into the very meaning of the available and approved terminology.”

  195. 195
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, actually no. Absent first principles of right reason shown to be directly self evident and similar first facts, we can go nowhere in constructing broader schemes of the world and/or of knowledge and its acquisition. And, you know this, the talking points you keep putting up to frustrate such first, self-evident issues undermines the credibility of anything you are trying to argue. KF

  196. 196
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Indeed, the stoutness of resistance to such first things arguably tells us that you know your proposed scheme cannot stand up to self evident first principles, facts, etc.

  197. 197
    William J Murray says:

    What I “stoutly resist,” KF, is where you move beyond existential inescapables and into your particular ontology/epistemology. You have agreed, if I remember correctly, that “first duties” and even Reid’s list are not existential inescapables. But, you keep insisting that we “begin” with those ontological/epistemological foundations. That’s called hiding the conclusion in the premise.

    Whenever I challenge that O/E premise, you respond as if I’m denying existential inescapables, which I have never done. In fact, I’ve done my best to list them several times. You conflate my resistance to your particular O/E with denying existential inescapables, like the principles of logic, etc.

    It appears you think that only your O/E premise (in addition to existential unavoidables we both agree on) can possibly provide the foundation for rational discussion or knowledge. It appears you are incapable of even considering the idea that this might be an error on your part; that there may be other O/E arrangements that also provide for rational discussion and knowledge.

    But that’s fine. I’m not doing this for you anyway 🙂 As far as I’m concerned, you’re perfectly good in your O/E. I’m perfectly good in mine. That’s part of the beauty of being individuals with individual perspectives.

  198. 198

    WJM Let’s not get carried away in individuality. There should be a common basis. That common basis is the basic logic as it is in common discourse.

    KF doesn’t really provide first principles. He presents a WRONG view that is geared towards objectivity, disregarding subjectivity.

    Creationism is the basis. It defines what a fact is, and what an opinion is. Those are the 2 basic tools of reasoning.

    Then as an individual you can still have the most disgusting perverse opinions, and accept really plainly false facts, yet you then still share the common constitutional basis of the concepts of opinion and fact as it is in common discourse.

  199. 199
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, Self evident truths are not to be repackaged at will as you attempted. As well, implying or inviting that our basic awareness of being embodied and participating in a going concern world does lead to self-referential discredit of reasoned thought and the contents of conscious awareness, ending in self-discredit. KF

  200. 200
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Let me moderate my just above, by a bit of discussion. I think it was G E Moore who argued that if one at first finds p plausible but then p -> q, then if one sufficiently dislikes q s/he can say ~q, so ~p. The problem is, that such a denial can then lead to ~p –> r, where r reduces to or is directly absurd, often self-referential. The dissolution of credibility of any major aspect of our rationality is of this order, and it is futile to challenge pervasive first principles as they pervade the attempt to disprove. For that matter they pervade the attempted proof. Epictetus on logic is a classic. Arguably, to imply or invite that the general substance of our basic experience of being embodied and self aware in a common world is of that order. This is the sort of plato’s cave shadow show grand delusion I have discussed and yes it does chain in a cascade of further doubts. The experience of being freed and made to look at the fire etc can be a level two, and even the doubting of levels 1 and 2 [oops] becomes three etc. The upshot of this is that while error exists is undeniably true, that instantly limits us from pervasive error, doubt and fear of error. Hence the matter of willingness to acknowledge basic common sense as on the whole good enough of a candle to light our way in the dark. Just because a candle is limited is no excuse to blow it out and toss it away, leaving us groping in the dark. KF

  201. 201
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: To highlight the force of such a seemingly simplistic focus, let me cite G E Moore in an essay on common sense, where he gives propositions he finds himself entitled to hold with certainty:

    There exists at present a living human body, which is my body. This body was born at a certain time in the past, and has existed continuously ever since, though not without undergoing changes; it was, for instance, much smaller when it was born, and for some time afterwards, than it is now. Ever since it was born, it has been either in contact with or not far from the surface of the earth; and, at every moment since it was born, there have also existed many other things, having shape and size in three dimensions (in the same familiar sense in which it has), from which it has been at various distances (in the familiar sense in which it is now at a distance both from that mantelpiece and from that bookcase, and at a greater distance from the bookcase than it is from the mantelpiece); also there have (very often, at all events) existed some other things of this kind with which it was in contact (in the familiar sense in which it is now in contact with the pen I am holding in my right hand and with some of the clothes I am wearing). Among the things which have, in this sense, formed part of its environment (i.e., have been either in contact with it, or at some distance from it, however great) there have, at every moment since its birth, been large numbers of other living human bodies, each of which has like it, (a) at some time been born, (b) continued to exist from some time after birth, (c) been, at every moment of its life after birth, either in contact with or not far from the surface of the earth; and many of these bodies have already died and ceased to exist. But the earth had existed also for many years before my body was born; and for many of these years, also, large numbers of human bodies had, at every moment, been alive upon it; and many of these bodies had died and ceased to exist before it was born. Finally (to come to a different class of propositions), I am a human being, and I have, at different times since my body was born, had many different experiences, of each of many different kinds: e.g., I have often perceived both my own body and other things which formed part of its environment, including other human bodies; I have not only perceived things of this kind, but have also observed facts about them, such as, for instance, the fact, which I am now observing, that that mantelpiece is at present nearer to my body than that bookcase; I have been aware of other facts, which I was not at the time observing, such as, for instance, the fact, of which I am now aware, that my body existed yesterday and was then also for some time nearer to that mantelpiece than to that bookcase; I have had expectations with regard to the future, and many beliefs of other kinds, both true and false; I have thought of imaginary things and persons and incidents, in the reality of which I did not believe; I have had dreams; and I have had feelings of many different kinds. And, just as my body has been the body of a human being, namely myself, who has, during his lifetime, had many experiences of each of these (and other) different kinds; so, in the case of very many of the other human bodies which have lived upon the earth, each has been the body of a different human being, who has, during the lifetime of that body, had many different experiences of each of these (and other) different kinds.

    (2) I now come to [a] single truism which, as will be seen, could not be stated except by reference to the whole list of truisms, just given in (1). This truism also (in my own opinion) I know, with certainty, to be true; and it is as follows:… Each of us (meaning by us’, very many human beings of the class defined) has frequently known, with regard to himself or his body and the time at which he knew it, everything which, in writing down my list of propositions in (1), I was claiming to know about myself or my body and the time at which I wrote that proposition down… Just as I knew (when I wrote it down) ‘There exists at present a living human body which is my body’, so each of us has frequently known with regard to himself at some other time the different but corresponding proposition, which he could then have properly expressed by, ‘There exists at present a human body which is my body’;… and so on, in the case of each of the propositions enumerated in (1)…

    In what I have just said, I have assumed that there is some meaning which is the ordinary or popular meaning of such expressions as ‘The earth has existed for many years past’. And this, I am afraid, is an assumption which some philosophers are capable of disputing. They seem to think that the question ‘Do you believe that the earth has existed for many years past?’ is not a plain question, such as should be met either by a plain ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, or by a plain ‘I can’t make up my mind’, but is the sort of question which can be properly met by: ‘It all depends on what you mean by “the earth” and “exists” and “years”… It seems to me that such a view is as profoundly mistaken as any view can be. Such an expression as ‘The earth has existed for many years past’ is the very type of an unambiguous expression, the meaning of which we all understand. Anyone who takes a contrary view must, I suppose, be confusing the question whether we understand its meaning (which we all certainly do) with the entirely different question whether we know what it means, in the sense that we are able to give a correct analysis of its meaning. The question what is the correct analysis of the proposition meant on any occasion… by ‘The earth has existed for many years past’ is, it seems to me, a profoundly difficult question, and one to which, as I shall presently urge, no one knows the answer. But to hold that we do not know what, in certain respects, is the analysis of what we understand by such an expression, is an entirely different thing from holding that we do not understand the expression. It is obvious that we cannot even raise the question how what we do understand by it is to be analysed, unless we do understand it. So soon, therefore, as we know that a person who uses such an expression is using it in its ordinary sense, we understand his meaning. So that in explaining that I was using the expressions used in (1) in their ordinary sense (those of them which have an ordinary sense, which is not the case with quite all of them), I have done all that is required to make my meaning clear.

    Now, of course this essay is famous and was contended against with might and main for many years. However, it seems to me to have raised a crucial basic point about common sense, defeatable [but undefeated] knowledge, where at minimum one would be a fool to ignore his or her embodiment, i.e. a minimal relevant degree of certainty here is moral. So, as the first chart in the OP illustrates, we start with a core self-aware experience of embodied humanity, which we understand intuitively through experience in a going concern world even when we cannot parse out a grand technical analysis. Further to which, we are right to be highly dubious regarding schemes of thought that would try to pretend that such knowledge is highly dubious or can be readily disregarded in favour of some other scheme.

    Indeed, I would go further, to observe that the self-aware consciousness of minded animation of said personal body, etc, if subjected to the usual hyperskeptical corrosive doubt, becomes a case of an absurd self-referential cascade, ending in utter discredit.

    In short, one species of strengthening certainty, is to ponder the implications of doubt or dismissal. Here, we can narrow focus to the conscious awareness of embodiment, it is inseparable from self-awareness. Somehow, I the self-aware, am closely integrated with my body, however that can ever be analysed. So much so that if death is severing of soul from embodiment leading to decay of the latter, it will obviously be a wrenching experience. And, were death considered as extinction of function with evaporation of the self, that leads to serious questions about having enough freedom to be rational, as computational substrates are mechanisms not freely rational entities.

    And far more.

    KF

  202. 202

    You can say it is “first” principles all you like, but it is clear that creationism undercuts your first principles with much more fundamental principles. You cannot get anymore fundamental than the concepts of opinion and fact. Creator and creation. You cannot get more fundamental than origins.

  203. 203
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, first principles are pervasive and so beyond proof. For example, distinct identity is so pervasive that it is at roots of meaningful communication. You will find this from a classical source, a likely C1 101 example quoted by St Paul (who later, in ch 15, uses a chain of implications and a countering fact, the resurrection of Christ attested by the 500 witnesses, to upend the chain) to correct creeping in irrationality:

    1 Cor 14:7 If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? 8 And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? 9 So with yourselves, if with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air. 10 There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning, 11 but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me.

    Yes, origins are foundational as a key question for a worldview —

    (and yes, getting to the point of recognising our creaturely status and root in the inherently good, utterly wise creator God, a necessary and maximally great being worthy of loyalty and of the reasonable, responsible service of doing the good that accords with our evident nature is thus pivotal),

    — but to discuss it or anything else we have to use distinct identity, so its immediate corollaries, non contradiction and excluded middle.

    This cluster is inescapable, self-evident, true beyond responsible doubt, beyond proof or disproof as such attempts implicitly use them.

    Our duty is to recognise and prize these and other key first principles, duties, truths/facts and quantities etc, as plumb lines that help us think straight.

    KF

  204. 204
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Moore uses his opening salvo devastatingly, to point out the self-referential errors of ever so many philosophers who fell into hyperskepticism regarding particularly the Kantian-style ugly gulch between the inner world and whatever things are in themselves. Let me paragraph in a more modern style:

    (a) If any of the classes of propositions in (2) is such that no proposition of that class is true, then no philosopher has ever existed, and therefore none can ever have held with regard to any such class, that no proposition belonging to it is true. In other words, the proposition that some propositions belonging to each of these classes are true is a proposition which has the peculiarity, that, if any philosopher has ever denied it, it follows from the fact that he has denied it, that he must have been wrong in denying it.

    For when I speak of ‘philosophers’ I mean, of course (as we all do), exclusively philosophers who have been human beings, with human bodies that have lived upon the earth, and who have at different times had many different experiences. If, therefore, there have been any philosophers, there have been human beings of this class; and if there have been human beings of this class, all the rest of what is asserted in (1) is certainly true too.

    Any view, therefore, incompatible with the proposition that many propositions corresponding to each of the propositions in (1) are true, can only be true, on the hypothesis that no philosopher has ever held any such view.

    It follows, therefore, that, in considering whether this proposition is true, I cannot consistently regard the fact that many philosophers, whom I respect, have, to the best of my belief, held views incompatible with it, as having any weight at all against it. Since, if I know that they have held such views, I am, ipso facto, knowing that they were mistaken; and, if I have no reason to believe that the proposition in question is true, I have still less reason to believe that they have held views incompatible with it; since I am more certain that they have existed and held some views, i.e., that the proposition in question is true, than that they have held any views incompatible with it.

    (b) It is, of course, the case that all philosophers who have held such views have repeatedly, even in their philosophical works, expressed other views inconsistent with them: i.e., no philosopher has ever been able to hold such views consistently. One way in which they have betrayed this inconsistency, is by alluding to the existence of other philosophers. Another way is by alluding to the existence of the human race, and in particular by using ‘we’ in the sense in which I have already constantly used it, in which any philosopher who asserts that ‘we’ do so and so, e.g., that ‘we sometimes believe propositions that are not true’, is asserting not only that he himself has done the thing in question, but that very many other human beings, who have had bodies and lived upon the earth, have done the same.

    The fact is, of course, that all philosophers [–> of the relevant species, Homo sapiens] have belonged to the class of human beings which exists only if (2) be true: that is to say, to the class of human beings who have frequently known propositions corresponding to each of the propositions in (1).

    In holding [–> documented] views incompatible with the proposition that propositions of all these classes are true, they have, therefore, been holding views inconsistent with propositions which they themselves knew to be true; and it was, therefore, only to be expected that they should sometimes betray their knowledge of such propositions.

    The strange thing is that philosophers should have been able to hold sincerely, as part of their philosophical creed, propositions inconsistent with what they themselves knew to be true; and yet, so far as I can make out, this has really frequently happened…

    Devastating, by way of inescapability of first facts/truths of our embodied, conscious existence as human beings. And of course, quite relevant to our context of discussion here for some months now.

    Now, too, I found an interesting attempted counter, from a South African:

    The so-called challenge of radical skepticism has been raised and allegedly met time and time again. One of the aforementioned notable voices in the past century was G.E. Moore, who advocated what he and others have termed a ‘common sense’ response to radical skepticism (where radical skepticism refers to the position that knowledge—or certainly knowledge of the external world—is impossible).

    Formally, Moore’s response proceeds from what is now in certain contexts called a Moorean shift—changing a modus ponens argument’s second premise to create a modus tollens argument which has an opposing conclusion (explained at more length below)—to support what is now in certain contexts called a Moorean fact (a notion that is more intuitively knowable to a person than philosophical premises that contradict the notion). That naming scheme ought to tell you how influential these ideas have been . . . .

    The argument which Moore is confronting is an epistemological argument, which takes roughly the following form (where the text of these premises and conclusions are extrapolated from Moore’s argument as it appears in, for instance, his essay “A Defence of Common Sense”):

    (1) If I do not know with absolute certainty and correctness that my sense experience is accurately representing reality, then I do not know that external reality exists (or at least that it is like I think it is).

    (2) I do not know with absolute certainty and correctness that my sense experience is accurately representing reality.

    (3) Therefore, I do not know that external reality exists (or at least that it is like I think it is).

    This is a modus ponens argument, meaning it is of the following deductively valid form: if A, then B; A; therefore, B. Moore restructures the argument as follows:

    (1 [repeated]) If I do not know with absolute certainty and correctness that my sense experience is accurately representing reality, then I do not know that external reality exists (or at least that it is like I think it is).

    (2′) I do know that external reality exists (and at most that it is like I think it is).

    (3′) Therefore, I do know with absolute certainty and correctness that my sense experience is accurately representing reality.

    This is a modus tollens argument, meaning it is of the following deductively valid form: if A, then B; not-B; therefore, not-A. The crux of G.E. Moore’s contention that this solves the challenge of radical skepticism is that he feels (2?) is more intuitively likely than (2). This, he feels, is not only demonstrably so but also appeals to common sense.

    Two Weaknesses of this Moorean Shift:

    The first weakness of Moore’s response that I will discuss is perhaps readily apparent to you. Moore has at times given three criteria for a good proof (e.g. in his essay “Proof of an External World”), and, without belaboring the point by going through all of them, the relevant criterion that Moore claims to pass (but which I think he clearly fails) is that the truth of the proof’s premises must be demonstrable. He takes his second premise to be demonstrable by, for instance, observation of his own limbs. But the premise states that he knows that the limbs exist, and that knowledge is not demonstrable.

    Ludwig Wittgenstein – G.E. Moore criticism – radical skepticism, common sense, Moorean shift, Moorean factsIt is no problem for the skeptic that they do not know whether they do not know themselves to be lacking knowledge. It is precisely that state of affairs that grounds their skepticism. But it is a problem for someone attempting a proof of knowledge that their purported proof of some possessed knowledge makes use of knowledge that is in turn unproven (perhaps unproveable). In effect, the fallibility of (2?) makes Moore’s argument unsound.

    So Moore’s overall project, then, reduces to an appeal to his own intuition on the subject of one premise being more intuitively likely to him than another. An appeal to intuition, while useful for clarifying and organizing thoughts, is not a proof. And it is precisely the proveability and fallibility of the claims in question which are under study.

    Now, notice that a key issue is what is knowledge, thus what is certainty or at least warrant. To which an excellent reply is to acknowledge per chart 1 of the OP, that we have a broad corpus and implied consensus usage. If we may speak of historical facts and knowledge, of scientific knowledge, of warrant by empirical support and inference to the best explanation and of common sense facts including those of say eyewitness testimony, knowledge is naturally broader than strictly certain, utterly and unquestionably strictly true, incorrigibly warranted belief. As I have argued in this series, knowledge is a word belonging to the people and so we must enfold a weak sense that allows for strengthening in the few cases of utter, incorrigible certainty.

    Thus, knowledge is credibly true, warranted (so, reliable) belief.

    The degree of warrant can in some few cases become utterly certain beyond correction [e.g. distinct identity etc], but for most cases, reliable enough for life and work — including say engineering or medical practice or life and liberty on the line court cases — will have to do. Even weaker senses such as history and that first rough draft of same to be found in responsible local newspapers or reports and documents of various kinds that are likely the only real record of many things to be later accessed by an historian, will do. (And that concedes nothing to once great media houses that have sold their birthright for a pot of politically correct agitprop. For shame.)

    In that context, we can see the intuitive strawman deployed by the skeptic and duly burn it as a fallacy; intuition, here, served Moore for directly known, self-evident truths as his interconnected first compound proposition laid out as a core factual base for a going concern world with oneself in same. Moore, in the first instance is speaking to first deliverables of conscious experience and memory, which the objectors cannot consistently set aside. That is, they are reduced to self-referential absurdity. In the case of immediate self- and world-aware consciousness and the general deliverables of memory [including memory buried in learned language and even philosophy], the warrant is self-evident. The attempted denial raises the question, and who is this seeking to deny, to whom in our grand conversation, pray, tell?

    Sawing off the branch on which we all sit, fails.

    So, we are back to the basic point in the OP chart 1, and may freely use common sense first points to establish a context of disciplines and world views, including full orbed theories of epistemology and of logic of being, then explore ultimate origins in that light and context.

    KF

    PS: Mo[o]re GEMs to come . . .

  205. 205
    Sandy says:

    1. If when I watch my hand I don’t know with absolute certainty and correctness there is my hand, then I do not know that external reality exists .
    2. I do know that is my hand .
    3. Therefore, I do know with absolute certainty and correctness that my sense experience is accurately representing reality.
    4.Therefore are false ALL worldviews that imply my sense experience is false .

  206. 206
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, Self evident truths are not to be repackaged at will as you attempted.

    Removing them from your O/E package and examining them as-is outside of your O/E extrapolations and additions is not “repackaging” them. Even when I use them in my O/E theory, you don’t get to claim I don’t get to package them up “at will;” of course I do. I have every bit as much right to package them up with an O/E as I see fit as you do or anyone else does.

    As well, implying or inviting that our basic awareness of being embodied and participating in a going concern world does lead to self-referential discredit of reasoned thought and the contents of conscious awareness, ending in self-discredit. KF

    It doesn’t matter how many times you repeat your O/E mantra, it is still only valid under your particular O/E until you can describe how my O/E is problematic on it’s own terms, or violates the existential inescapables.

    To do that, you’d have to actually understand it, which you do not. Until you can do that, you’re just rehashing the same irrelevant material over and over and over. Your material has to do with your O/E, not mine. It is irrelevant to mine and cannot be used to criticize my O/E.

  207. 207
    William J Murray says:

    Sandy @205,
    So, if I’m having a dream, and I look down at my hands, and feel them, and they look and feel like they are experiencing external (to my mind in the dream) things, that is in fact what is going on in a dream? That I am embodied in an external, physical world with an external, physical body?

    There is a difference between having an experience, and deciding what that experience means. I don’t think that there are many people here that believe that when we dream we are physically experience “real,” external physical worlds.

    This shows us that how we think about physical experience is different from physical experience itself.

  208. 208
    Sandy says:

    So, if I’m having a dream,

    :))) Well…if you have a dream you don’t look at your hand because your eyes are closed. Hahaha!

  209. 209
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, you have set up a strawman caricature. Precisely because actual SETs are immediately supported, they are antecedent to and actually independent of particular worldviews and their particular accounts of knowledge as process or body of substance. That is why they are so important, they help us get the start points straight. And, the point that attempted denial is immediately absurd speaks here with reference to the sorts of errors Moore pointed out. Where, notice, it isn’t me here, it is Reid or Moore or Plantinga for that matter, going back to Epictetus and Aristotle. Moore’s defence is particularly direct. KF

    PS: I note, again, for record on self-evident truths. You may not like the below, but it is well warranted:

    SELF-EVIDENT TRUTHS — CHARACTERISTICS:

    1] A SET is just that, true, it accurately describes actual states of affairs, e.g. split your fingers on one hand into a 2-cluster and a 3-cluster, then join, you necessarily have a 5-cluster, || + ||| –> ||||| accurately describes a state of affairs.

    2] Further, a SET is understandable to anyone of appropriate experience and maturity to have formed the basic concepts and to therefore recognise the sentences expressing it.

    3] A SET, is then recognisable as not only true but necessarily and manifestly true given its substance, though of course some may try to evade it or deflect it.

    4] That necessity is backed up by a certainty mechanism, specifically that the attempted denial immediately manifests a patent absurdity, not by step by step reduction such as incomensurateness of the side and diagonal of a square, but blatant absurdity manifest on inspection.

    5] Where such patent absurdities of denial may come in various forms, e.g.:

    – Absurd incoherence or blatant error [ 2 + 3 = 4 X],
    – undeniability [E= error exists, ~E is a claim it is error to assert E, so E is undeniable],
    – inescapability [Epictetus’ interlocutor who tried to demand a logical proof of the necessity of logic . . . and — yes — the inescapability of appeals to the authority of Ciceronian first duties of reason, even in the face of an ongoing campaign to dismiss and sideline . . . to truth, to right reason, to prudence (including, warrant), to sound conscience, to neighbour, so too to fairness and justice etc . . . where, moral truths are truths regarding states of affairs involving oughtness, i.e. duty — we ought to respect the life, body, freedom and dignity of a young child walking home from school, never mind convenient bushes and dark impulses in our hearts],
    – blatant self-referential absurdity [e.g. trying to deny one’s self-aware consciousness and the associated testimony of conscience or crushing of conscience],
    – moral absurdity [trying to evade the message of the sadly real world case of a kidnapped, sexually tortured, murdered child]
    – etc, there is no end to the rhetoric of evasion.

    6] So, SET’s are not private subjective, GIGO-limited, readily dismissible opinions or dubious notions. They are objective and in fact warranted to certainty backed up by patent absurdity on attempted denial. More than objective, they are certainly true, and especially as regards first principles and first duties of right reason, they are inescapably authoritative and antecedent to reasoned thought or argument.

    7] Indeed, self-evident first truths and duties of reason are before proof and beyond refutation. The attempt to object or evade, inescapably, implicitly appeals to their authority in attempting to get rhetorical traction, and attempts to prove equally cannot escape their priority, the first truths and duties are part of the fabric of the attempted proof. So, we are duty bound to acknowledge them, to be coherently rational.

  210. 210
    Sandy says:

    Humans are social beings.
    Social beings involve interaction between members.
    Interaction between members must have some basic general rules that lead to a good life for members.
    Morality is a must in human life otherway people are hurt or die ( not even mentioning psychologic/psychiatric problems)
    A worldview that doesn’t have morality as one of the pillars is false.

  211. 211
    William J Murray says:

    KF,

    WJM, you have set up a strawman caricature.

    No, I haven’t. I’ve pointed out and have repeatedly made it clear that some of thing things you have listed as “SETs” are not actually self-evident truths, but are ontology/epistemology-dependent. You can keep referring to them as self-evident truths if you wish, but they are not.

    the inescapability of appeals to the authority of Ciceronian first duties of reason,

    Duties are not a self-evidently true (existent). Duties are revealed by certain present conditions.

    blatant self-referential absurdity [e.g. trying to deny one’s self-aware consciousness and the associated testimony of conscience or crushing of conscience]

    Conscience is not a self-evident truth. Many people appear to lack a conscience entirely. It apparently doesn’t exist across all possible sentient beings, and so is not existentially unavoidable.

    moral absurdity

    Morality is not a self-evident truth. You may be experiencing these things, and so they may be evident to you, but they certainly do not represent self-evident truths.

    there is no end to the rhetoric of evasion.

    There is no rhetoric or evasion on my part. I’ve detailed several times how these things are not self-evident truths because they is no logical absurdity absent them; they are not necessary in all possible sentient experiences and worlds. Therefore, they are clearly commodities of your particular ontological & epistemological perspective.

    This is why I started using the phrase “existential unavoidables;” it makes it more clearly recognizable where your particular ontology/epistemology begins – it begins where you move beyond existential unavoidables and start calling things “self-evident” when they clearly are not.

  212. 212
    Sandy says:

    Morality is not a self-evident truth.

    :)) Your statement ” is not a self-evident truth“… but morality absolutely is and is the Terminator of your worldview.

  213. 213
    Jack says:

    It’s almost like KF doesn’t know what a self-evident truth is.

  214. 214
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, your very claim exhibits appeals to duties to truth, right reason and that aspect of prudence for an error prone creature that recognises a duty of warrant to be fulfilled to duly claim knowledge. Notice, the force of More’s exposure above of the errors he highlighted. Your objection exposes what you have repeatedly tried to deny. KF

  215. 215
    Jack says:

    KF: WJM, your very claim exhibits appeals to duties to truth, right reason and that aspect of prudence

    It looks more like desire (not “duty”. whatever that means) to truth (as far as anyone can tell), reason, and Prudence (I dated her once, she’s cool) in the service of making a rational point in the service of one’s desired outcome, which I don’t think anyone disagrees with as a human function. IOW, so what?

  216. 216
    kairosfocus says:

    Jack, simple desire does not entail any want of propriety if not fulfilled. There is a proper expectation there, that something ought to be fulfilled, on pain of failure to rise up to proper ends as a rational creature. KF

  217. 217
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Let us again draw on Moore, as he highlights another class of philosophical thinkers:

    the philosophers who have done so may, I think, be divided into two main groups [A and B respectively]… [so far, he spoke to A, now he turns to B, bringing out highly relevant considerations, again I take liberty to re-paragraph for the modern reader:]

    . . . . B. This view, which is usually considered a much more modest view than A, has, I think, the defect that, unlike A, it really is self-contradictory [within itself, not by way of self-referential incoherence of the philosophers], i.e., entails both of two-mutually incompatible propositions.

    Most philosophers who have held this view, have held, I think, that though each of us knows propositions corresponding to some of the propositions in (1), namely to those which merely assert that I myself have had in the past experiences of certain kinds at many different times, yet none of us knows for certain any propositions either of the type which assert the existence of material things or of the type which assert the existence of other selves, beside myself, and that they also have had experiences. They admit that we do in fact believe propositions of both these types, and that they may be true: some would even say that we know them to be highly probable; but they deny that we ever know them, for certain, to be true. [–> they deny warrant to certainty and thus the trustworthiness of what we sense and perceive regarding our embodiment in a going concern world, as a first fact of perception]

    Some of them have spoken of such beliefs as ‘beliefs of Common Sense, expressing thereby their conviction that beliefs of this kind are very commonly entertained by mankind: but they are convinced that these things are, in all cases, only believed, not known for certain; and some have expressed this by saying that they are matters of Faith, not of Knowledge. [–. i.e. they here imply worldviews that are in large part believed not warranted to adequacy to hold certainty regarding these first delivereds of self- and world- awareness.]

    Now the remarkable thing which those who take this view have not, I think, in general duly appreciated, is that, in each case, the philosopher who takes it is making an assertion about ‘us’ – that is to say, not merely about himself, but about many other human beings as well. When he says ‘No human being has ever known of the existence of other human beings’, he is saying: ‘There have been many other human beings beside myself, and none of them (including myself) has ever known the existence of other human beings’. [–> part of our perception is of other embodied selves of like nature, human] If he says: ‘These beliefs are beliefs of Common Sense, but they are not matters of knowledge’, he is saying: ‘There have been many other human beings, beside myself, who have shared these beliefs, but neither I nor any of the rest have ever known them to be true’. In other words, he asserts with confidence that these beliefs are beliefs of Common Sense, and seems often to fail to notice that, if they are, they must be true; since the proposition that they are beliefs of Common Sense… logically entails the proposition that many human beings, beside the philosopher himself, have had human bodies, which lived upon the earth, and have had various experiences, including beliefs of this kind. This is why this position, as contrasted with positions of group A, seems to me to be self-contradictory.

    Its difference from A consists in the fact that it is making a proposition about human knowledge in general, and therefore is actually asserting the existence of many human beings, whereas philosophers of group A in stating their position are not doing this: they are only contradicting other things which they hold. It is true that a philosopher who says ‘There have existed many human beings beside myself, and none of us has ever known the existence of any human beings beside himself’, is only contradicting himself if what he holds is ‘There have certainly existed many human beings beside myself’ or, in other words, ‘I know that there have existed other human beings beside myself’. But this, it seems to me, is what such philosophers have in fact been generally doing. They seem to me constantly to betray the fact that they regard the proposition that those beliefs are beliefs of Common Sense, or the proposition that they themselves are not the only members of the human race, as not merely true, but certainly true; and certainly true it cannot be, unless one member, at least, of the human race, namely themselves, has known the very things which that member is declaring that no human being has ever known.

    Nevertheless, my position that I know, with certainty, to be true all of the propositions in (1), is certainly not a position, the denial of which entails both of two incompatible propositions. If I do know all these propositions to be true, then, I think, it is quite certain that other human beings also have known corresponding propositions: that is to say (2) also is true, and I know it to be true. But do I really know all the propositions in (1) to be true? Isn’t it possible that I merely believe them? Or know them to be highly probable? In answer to this question, I think I have nothing better to say than that it seems to me that I do know them, with certainty. It is, indeed, obvious that, in the case of most of them, I do not know them directly: that is to say, I only know them because, in the past, I have known to be true other propositions which were evidence for them. If, for instance, I do know that the earth had existed for many years before I was born, I certainly only know this because I have known other things in the past which were evidence for it. And I certainly do not know exactly what the evidence was.

    Yet all this seems to me to be no good reason for doubting that I do know it.

    We are all, I think, in this strange position that we do know many things, with regard to which we know further that we must have had evidence for them, and yet we do not know how we know them, i.e., we do not know what the evidence was. If there is any ‘we’, and if we know that there is, this must be so: for that there is a ‘we’, is one of the things in question. And that I do know that there is a we, that is to say, that many other human beings, with human bodies, have lived upon the earth, it seems to me that I do know, for certain.

    If this first point in my philosophical position, namely my belief in (2), is to be given any name, which has actually been used by philosophers in classifying the positions of other philosophers, it would have, I think, to be expressed by saying that I am one of those philosophers who have held that the ‘Common Sense view of the world’ is, in certain fundamental features, wholly true. But it must be remembered that, according to me, all philosophers, without exception, have agreed with me in holding this: and that the real difference, which is commonly expressed in this way, is only a difference between those philosophers, who have also held views inconsistent with these features in the Common Sense view of the world’, and those who have not.

    The features in question (namely, propositions of any of the classes defined in defining (2)) are all of them features, which have this peculiar property — namely, that if we know that they are features in the ‘Common Sense view of the world’, it follows that they are truer, it is self-contradictory to maintain that we know them to be features in the Common Sense view, and that yet they are not true; since to say that we know this, is to say that they are true. And many of them also have the further peculiar property that, if they are features in the Common Sense view of the world (whether we know this or not), it follows that they are true, since to say that there is a ‘Common Sense view of the world’ is to say that they are true.

    The phrases ‘Common Sense view of the world’ or Common Sense beliefs (as used by philosophers) are, of course, extraordinarily vague; and, for all I know, there may be many propositions which may be properly called features in ‘the Common Sense view of the world’ or ‘Common Sense beliefs’, which are not true, and which deserve to be mentioned with the contempt with which some philosophers speak of Common Sense beliefs’. But to speak with contempt of those ‘Common Sense beliefs’ which I have mentioned is quite certainly the height of absurdity.

    And there are, of course, enormous numbers of other features in the Common Sense view of the world which, if these are true, are quite certainly true too: e.g., that there have lived upon the surface of the earth not only human beings, but also many different species of plants and animals, etc., etc.

    Here, he echoes Reid et al, open to limited error but noting certain points that are immediately accessible, are known and are known to certainty on the patent absurdity of immediate inadvertent disclosure by some objectors, and immediate self-contradiction by others. That is, he is claiming inescapability. But of course for an early C20 professional philosopher of eminence to speak approvingly of self-evidence would be to open oneself to such strident attack on the point that it is safer to speak in terms of intuitive knowledge — directly known somehow, unspecified — and to point out just how close are the absurdities on attempted denial. Let the implication hover as the ghost in the room, in short.

    I think this essay and especially this concluding part, is pretty directly relevant to the exchanges at UD.

    KF

  218. 218
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, your very claim exhibits appeals to duties to truth, right reason and that aspect of prudence for an error prone creature that recognises a duty of warrant to be fulfilled to duly claim knowledge. Notice, the force of More’s exposure above of the errors he highlighted. Your objection exposes what you have repeatedly tried to deny. KF

    Nope. You don’t get to bundle up an existential unavoidables (appeal to truth, errors exist) with your own particular epistemological perspectives (duties, your particular concept of “warrant, etc.) and then insist I do what I do because your O/E is binding on everyone whether they agree to it or not.

    The existential unavoidables are binding on everyone. Duties are not existentially unavoidable because they rely on particular possible conditions. Your “warrant” is entirely dependent on your particular O/E arrangement, and is not necessarily applicable in all possible worlds/experiences. Your “growing concern world” is not a self-evident truth. It is highly evident, but it is not self-evident. Morality is not self-evident. Conscience is not self-evident. There is a difference between what s widely supported, almost universally experienced, highly evidenced and what is actually self-evident.

    You’ve hidden your conclusion in your premise by camouflaging your particular I/O elements as “self-evident truths” when they are not.

  219. 219
    William J Murray says:

    Just to drive the point home, I’ve often described where KF’s particular worldview leaves the domain of SETs (existential unavoidables) and becomes dependent upon particular ontological and epistemological commitments.

    1. When he refers to “Ciceronian first duties” as a means of discrediting other perspectives. Duties are not existentially unavoidable because they rely on specific possible conditions. When KF asserts that others are acting in accordance with “first duties” whether they agree to it or not, he is making an ontological claim that such conditions actually exist and we are living in them. “Duties” are a specific claim of a specific ontology. Acting as if one has a duty is not the same as actually having a duty. Acting in a manner that is existentially unavoidable cannot be said to be acting out of duty because a duty requires the capacity to avoid doing one’s duty. Duties are not SETS.

    2. When he refers to Reid’s principles of “common sense realism.” Note that this concept weds a particular ontology with a supportive epistemology. KF admits that these principles are defeat-able, meaning they do not represent SETs.

    3. When he refers to “common human experience,” he is not referring to a SET.

    4. When he refers to “a going-concern world,” he is obviously referring to his particular ontological commitments, which are clearly not SETs.

    5. Universal morality intertwined with conscience is not a self-evident truth (existentially unavoidable.) is necessarily the product of particular ontological conditions.

    KF is conflating what he and others personally experience that some others do not, and what there is good evidence for in most of our lives, and the way “most” people think and feel about things, with self-evident truths.

    When KF moves beyond the existentially unavoidable, he is necessarily talking from a particular ontological/epistemological perspective beyond that which is self-evidently true (not dependent on particular conditions or evidence.)

    I’m not the one expanding the idea of a SET to include things that are not existentially unavoidable. I fully embrace all existential unavoidables as inescapable aspects of my sentient experience. What I do not embrace are the particular additional ontological and epistemological commitments you are attempting to “sneak” into that category of things.

  220. 220
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, denial of the patent on your part (sadly, increasingly a pattern) does not constitute a wrong conclusion on mine. As for unworthy suggestions that I seek to sneak in anything of consequence, I have taken time to lay out the relevance of self-evidence, which you have tried to redefine, etc. I have also, for record, worked through Moore on embodiment in a going concern world and where his opposed philosophers [who were idealists it seems and/or skeptics] found themselves in self-referential incoherence and/or in logical contradiction, right there on the surface. KF

  221. 221
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Resort to sneak language (an insinuation of dishonesty) is also an appeal to the first duties you clearly resent, even while again and again you show by instance how you as an objector cannot but inescapably appeal to them. Where, inescapability is a mark of first, pervasive principles and truths*/facts. Which are, manifestly, self-evident. Recall here the Epictetus case on first principles of reason.

    * Truth can be seen as accurate description of states of affairs, so a duty bound relationship accurately described would be a moral truth. The claim there are no moral truths is thus revealed as a self-refuting moral truth claim. In that light we may freely proceed to examine moral truths, thence discover the pervasiveness of first duties of reason that then open a window on the moral universe. All, starts with our participation in the going concern world, including in conversations with others and oneself.

  222. 222
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    @Kairosfocus:
    Jesus came to Earth because fallen humans can’t straighten up by themselves . Theoretically is true what you say( and maybe only for Adam and Eve before sin? ) but practically is more complex. WJM somehow is half right when he laments about “your O/E worldview” that actually is not your O/E worldview is Jesus view and if Jesus is God then “your” O/E worldview is the only objective reality.
    So…you are right in this dialogue with WJM only if you add at the end of duty conceptwith God’s grace .
    Even if WJM worldview is comical as alternative to Christian worldview he is half right :from your
    demonstration of duty is missing …God’s grace. Without grace (which imply belief in Jesus) duty, morality is practically a chaos.

  223. 223
    Jack says:

    KF: simple desire does not entail any want of propriety if not fulfilled. There is a proper expectation there, that something ought to be fulfilled, on pain of failure to rise up to proper ends as a rational creature. KF

    Meh, maybe in your O/E worldview. Not mine. The only oughts in my world that I worry about are the ones I’ll get punished for by whoever has the power to punish me if I don’t do them. I’m too busy and tired to worry about any other so-called “oughts.”

  224. 224
    kairosfocus says:

    LCD (& Jack), the basic knowledge challenge is universal, we find ourselves as self-aware creatures in a going concern world. We intuitively recognise key pervasive patterns and may acknowledge their force. For example, being appeared to redly and roundly by a certain red ball A on a flat topped Fustic wood table B, in a house etc in our going concern world. From that we may note distinct identity etc. When it comes to equally pervasive first duties, we can note especially from intensified arguments, i.e. quarrels. For such, it is readily seen that we expect others to acknowledge binding principles, and this is a practical consensus. Epictetus showed how pervasive such core logic is, by the case of one who challenged him to show that logic was necessary: you need core logic for that, it is an antecedent of reasoned demonstration. What becomes interesting is to observe the behaviour of those who object to Ciceronian first duties: invariably, their objections implicitly appeal to said duties as binding. That is, we are looking at pervasive antecedents of responsible reason. Our challenge is to be willing to acknowledge and to be consistent with what we bind on others, seeing its force for ourselves. And no it’s not an appeal to the stick argument, nor an appeal to the carrot argument. If anything, we are looking at a framing of wisdom as bringing to bear duties of good sense to reasoning. KF

  225. 225
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, denial of the patent on your part (sadly, increasingly a pattern) does not constitute a wrong conclusion on mine.

    My rejection of your particular O/E does not represent a denial of any actually “patent” matters, no matter how many times you assert it. I don’t think I’ve ever said the conclusions of your O/E were wrong (given the premises,) only that I do not share those particular premises.

    I have taken time to lay out the relevance of self-evidence, which you have tried to redefine, etc.

    What I’ve done is reveal how some of the things you call SETs, which you require to be SETs to make your case, are not actually SETs. That is not “redefining” what a SET is.

    I have also, for record, worked through Moore on embodiment in a going concern world and where his opposed philosophers [who were idealists it seems and/or skeptics] found themselves in self-referential incoherence and/or in logical contradiction, right there on the surface. KF

    You don’t get to substitute someone else’s argument and perspective (whomever Moore was arguing with) for mine and the pretend like you’ve addressed my argument.

    PS: Resort to sneak language (an insinuation of dishonesty)

    I put “sneak” in scare quotes, because I didn’t mean you were literally trying to sneak it in, so there was no insinuation of dishonesty. I’m sorry if that was not clear by my use of the scare quotes.

    … is also an appeal to the first duties you clearly resent,

    That’s kind of a bizarre bit of mind-reading. First, you cannot possibly know what I am appealing to – your inference is not my implication; second, I can’t think of anything I have any “resentment” for. I don’t experience any duties, much less “resent” them, and you don’t get to tell me what I’m experiencing or why I do the things I do or what I’m “appealing to” beyond what is existentially unavoidable. Inescapable appeals to truth by logical necessity do not represent a concomitant appeal to any supposed “duty” to tell the truth. Such duties can only be factually revealed by certain conditions – namely, a supervising authority of some sort and consequences for not doing one’s duty, neither of which you have supplied wrt objective, universal first duties.

    Until you make an argument with me against my IRT, quoting anyone else’s argument against anyone else’s supposedly idealist perspective is as straw man. You aren’t arguing against my IRT because you have never taken the time to understand it. The things you say about it, even as recently as this thread, clearly indicate you do not understand it. You don’t understand half the things I say, and you imagine I say things I did not, or feel things I do not, as if you can read my mind.

    What has been going on is I’ve been challenging and criticizing your ontological/epistemological perspective because you keep repeating it over and over. You keep repeating the same answers to my objections as if they are actual responses to my objections; they are not. They are responses someone else made to someone else’s objections.

    However, it seems you are incapable of understanding much of what I say, because, for about the 100th time, you yet again conflate my rejection of the assumption of a “duty” with a rejection of “core logic” itself. An expectation or desire that someone will debate according to logical principles does not represent a duty on anyone’s part. Duties can only be known, be revealed, by the presence of certain conditions that make a duty a duty. period. Nothing you say can possibly change this fact. A “sense” of duty is not an actual duty. Your inference that others are acting out of an actual duty can only be your inference. The only way you can show me (or any rational person) that I’m acting “out of duty” is to show me the conditions of my duty – the supervising authority and the consequences.

    It appears you are as functionally incapable of understanding my objections to your O/E as much as you are incapable understanding my IRT (which is why you keep applying other people’s responses to other people’s challenges/objections, and then acting as if you’ve responded to my objection or my theory.)

  226. 226
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    There is a proper expectation there, that something ought to be fulfilled,

    An expectation on one person’s part does not confer an actual duty onto anyone else to meet that expectation. It doesn’t necessarily imply a duty. Duties only exist as duties if the conditions that make an expected behavior a duty exist in that particular situation.

  227. 227
    William J Murray says:

    Anyway, the whole duty argument is nonsense from the get-go, absent KF or anyone else addressing the necessary conditions for their “first duties.”

    MMY said:

    WJM Let’s not get carried away in individuality. There should be a common basis. That common basis is the basic logic as it is in common discourse.

    I’ve never said or argued otherwise. Logic is essential to all sentient experience. There is also a lot of common experience we can work with, but there is more than one rational way to interpret that common experience. I don’t interpret those experiences the same way that KF does – or, to be fair, the way most people do.

  228. 228
    William J Murray says:

    KF’s “common experience, common sense” ontology/epistemology can be compared to Newtonian physics or General Relativity in that they are a good, functional way to think about things and operate when it comes to what he calls “common experiences.”

    However, there is a different set of experiences that many humans experience that are not “common,” and Newtonian physics/General Relativity are not good ways of thinking about those experiences. They are not describable in terms of “common sense” because common sense does not address those experiences other than to discredit or dismiss them as either defective or deceptive. One might view those experiences, and the kind of thinking that must be used to address them and understand them, as a kind of quantum physics.

    It would be one thing if I was the only person on the planet having these “uncommon” experiences, or if I and others only experienced them rarely. This is not the case. From my experience and information I have read, these are actually very common experiences that people generally just do not talk about for various reasons. Primarily, they do not wish to be ostracized considered “weird” or “damaged” or “deceptive.”

    Thus, KF’s “common experience and common sense” perspective is built upon a self-regulating subset of human experience that simply refuses undermining experiences and information in for consideration, but mainly because most people who have these experiences don’t want to endure the ramifications of challenging that perspective.

    We might call those kinds of experiences “paranormal.” Like quantum physics (and actually correlational to quantum physics,) paranormal experiences have been reported and investigated for hundreds of years. They have been the subject of much scientific scrutiny, but also widespread ridicule.

    KF’s “common sense based on common experience” perspective isn’t really what it seems; it’s really more accurately described as “common sense based on a common interpretation of common experiences,” which he describes as: being “embodied” in an external, going-concern world. Being “physically embodied in an external, going-concern world” is no more “our experience” than it is our experience in a dream: it is an interpretation of what the experience represents. It is not “the experience” itself; it is an ontological interpretation of what those experiences mean.

    The problem with this interpretation is that it entirely depends on excluding “uncommon” experience, much like scientists rejecting the results of quantum-physics experiments and working for a hundred years to try and salvage their old concept of “objective” or “local” reality. KF rejects (as do others here) any experience which undermines his ontology/epistemology.

    These “uncommon” experiences are common in my life, and in the lives of many, many others. These experiences (and the quantum physics research) clearly demonstrate, at least to me and many others, that “the world” is not what KF and others paint it out to be. Our experience is not about what we thought it was about. It has been clearly demonstrated to not be the case.

    So, arguing with me from the perspective of “common sense interpretation of common experiences” like trying to talk me into a classical view of physics after I’ve spent a lifetime in quantum research and I’ve personally witnessed and experienced the successful results of those experiments, and when many, many others have been directly experiencing quantum effects and results – the success of the quantum physics model, so to speak.

    I and others consistently experience the “paranormal” in ways that defy the “common sense interpretation of common experiences.” Nothing you can say, KF, nor argument you render can change that fact. I experience things, and have experienced them throughout my life, and many, many others have as well, that are not reconcilable with your ontological perspective.

  229. 229
    William J Murray says:

    So, to summarize:
    1. Mutual expectations do not reveal or make an actual duty. An actual duty only exists in certain conditions: a supervising authority of some sort, and consequences. You don’t get to claim “first duties” exist by embedding them with existentially unavoidable logic behaviors or by conflating them with common expectations.

    2. Objective or universal morality can similarly only exist in the presence of certain conditions. You don’t get to assert it by fiat or by pointing at “common” human emotions and reactions. You must reveal or argue for the conditions, which you have not done.

    3. Your “common sense interpretations of common human experiences” perspective only survives ontologically by excluding “uncommon” experiences that are widespread and widely reported around the world, throughout history; when your ontology accepts them, it is only the tiny subset that support your perspective.

    Uncommon, or paranormal experiences, have been scientifically investigated for hundreds of years, and some (or perhaps much) of it scientifically verified as actual and factual. These things can no longer be simply dismissed from the pool of things that should be considering a properly inclusive O/E model. You don’t get your “common experience” for free with the exclusive limitations that provide only for the support of your model.

    4. Your concept of “the world” and our “embodied” existence in it (our body being a part of “the world”) has been scientifically disproved by repeated quantum physics research over the past hundred years or so. Our “common interpretation” of “common experience” has been demonstrated to be factually in error.

  230. 230
    kairosfocus says:

    Jack, do you not notice, how you imply that I ought not to be wrong on claimed facts — duty to truth — and then too on straightening out reasoning — duty to right reason? [That goes far beyond mere desires, which — while they often do point to the right — can often be found in a clash, or may be dulled.] As for the implications of mere appeal to the stick, that subtly suggests the requirement of justice vs mere imposition of force to demand conformity. KF

    PS: A power cut has intervened, which may run for hours I am told.

  231. 231
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM,

    just one snippet:

    Mutual expectations do not reveal or make an actual duty.

    H’mm, do you not see that here you assert a truth claim and expect a duty to it (on grounds of its truth as you think you have), which would obtain regardless of inter-subjective agreement or of my sensing a desire towards it?

    In short, the inescapable pervasiveness of first principles is again manifest.

    our problem is to acknowledge such.

    KF

  232. 232
    Jack says:

    KF: “LCD (& Jack), the basic knowledge challenge is universal”

    I don’t know what this means.

    “we find ourselves as self-aware creatures in a going concern world.”

    My only going concern is my health, and ability to pay my bills and have a bit of fun now and again.

    “We intuitively recognise key pervasive patterns and may acknowledge their force. ”

    So what?

    “For example, being appeared to redly and roundly by a certain red ball A on a flat topped Fustic wood table B, in a house etc in our going concern world. From that we may note distinct identity etc. ”

    I have no idea what you’re trying to say here.

    “When it comes to equally pervasive first duties, we can note especially from intensified arguments, i.e. quarrels. For such, it is readily seen that we expect others to acknowledge binding principles, and this is a practical consensus. ”

    I quarrel or persuade when I want my will to be done contra someone else’s will that goes against my interests. I am not at all interested in “fairness” in such situations, if that’s what you’re trying to imply. Other than that, I leave people alone.

    “Epictetus showed how pervasive such core logic is, by the case of one who challenged him to show that logic was necessary: you need core logic for that”

    Humans have a nature (instinctual programming) of varying values that push them to act in certain, highly predictable ways. So what? My will (the thing that makes choices) doesn’t have a “duty” to obey any such impulses. I frequently ignore them and go to bed and sleep like a baby.

    “it is an antecedent of reasoned demonstration. What becomes interesting is to observe the behaviour of those who object to Ciceronian first duties:”

    I don’t object to them as much as deny they exist. If Cicero was pounding the pulpit in my presence, I’d yawn and go get a beer.

    “invariably, their objections implicitly appeal to said duties as binding.”

    It’s not about objecting. I generally don’t care about things that don’t exist.

    “That is, we are looking at pervasive antecedents of responsible reason.”

    Responsibility is subjective. Whatever you seem to have in mind, as far as I can tell, doesn’t exist for me.

    “Our challenge is to be willing to acknowledge and to be consistent with what we bind on others, seeing its force for ourselves.”

    I don’t feel at all challenged by any of this mythical “duty” talk or any other non-existent things. Whatever you have in mind, I’m not feeling it, bro.

    “And no it’s not an appeal to the stick argument, nor an appeal to the carrot argument.”

    It’s the only thing that exists for me along the lines you apparently have in mind. The rest of it is drawing a blank stare of apathy.

    “If anything, we are looking at a framing of wisdom as bringing to bear duties of good sense to reasoning.”

    Whatever that is. If that works for ya, keep on doing it.

  233. 233
    jerry says:

    Telling the truth

    . A clip from my podcast appearance with
    exploring the idea of why telling the truth is so important

    If you deceive yourself repeatedly, you’ll mess up your identity. You mess the neurology…it no longer produces outputs that map well to the world… your interests start to become pathologized.

    Jordan Peterson

    https://twitter.com/jordanbpeterson/status/1415024397925093378

    Of course the Jordan Peterson haters then start making inane objections.

  234. 234
    Jack says:

    KF: “Jack, do you not notice, how you imply that I ought not to be wrong on claimed facts”

    I have no felt “duty” to correct you, nor care if you are wrong or not about the nonsense you spew. I participate in your threads for entertainment.

    “duty to truth — and then too on straightening out reasoning — duty to right reason? [That goes far beyond mere desires]”

    See previous post.

    “As for the implications of mere appeal to the stick, that subtly suggests the requirement of justice vs mere imposition of force to demand conformity.”

    I see no evidence of that except for emotional instinct, that is, the way humans happen to be programmed in varying ways and degrees that can push them around despite logic and reasoning. Humans generally have a “sense of fairness” and all that, but so what? There is no absolute criterion of “fairness” that one can point to, and usually “fairness” means selfishness in the pretense of appeal to some non-existent objective standard. “That’s not fair!” usually means, “what you’re doing is negatively affecting me and I don’t like it!”

    Lions have a sense to kill and eat baby gazelles. Is it “fair?” Is capitalism fair? Socialism? Depends on who you ask. It’s not about ultimate right or wrong, good or “evil”. Each entity has its programmed nature and will play it out. Humans and lions alike. Nothing that you argue establishes that humans are any different in this regard. You duty talk appears to me as nothing more than, “the world is falling apart and I don’t like it and I want you agree with me!”

    (“Fairness” can have an objective meaning when the participants agree to whatever the standard is. Such as in law, contracts, religion, or playing games.)

  235. 235
    Sandy says:

    If you deceive yourself repeatedly, you’ll mess up your identity. You mess the neurology…it no longer produces outputs that map well to the world… your interests start to become pathologized.

    Yep God didn’t give us the 10 Commandments because He likes to …command but because we will become mentally challenged after repeating those sins …knowing that are sins.

    I participate in your threads for entertainment.

    🙂 So you admitt your life is a mess…

  236. 236
    Jack says:

    Sandy: “So you admitt [sic] your life is a mess…”

    …because I participate in these threads for entertainment?

    I can’t imagine anyone commenting here for any other reason. But I could be wrong about that.

    At any rate, I’m feeling an intense “duty” to go mow my lawn. Ciao for now.

  237. 237
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, Jack: and yet, the appeals to first duties of reason are clearly repeatedly present in your arguments. One thing is clear, is that the actual fact of such appeals despite ever so many attempted denials, shows pervasive first principle status in action. Which directly means, self-evident. That was so months ago when I simply noted the point as part of highlighting roots of our built-in law governed nature and after months of every sort of attempt to dismiss it remains the case. Surely, for cause, people will not find the untruthful, irrational, unwarranted, imprudent and unfair less than credible and lacking in probative value. That is a basic point of wisdom. But, it is equally clear that today, many find the concept that they are accountable before such basic duties of reason as truthfulness, reasoning rightly, providing warrant and being fair, utterly distasteful. That speaks, saddeningly but tellingly. KF

  238. 238
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Kairosfocus
    WJM, Jack: and yet, the appeals to first duties of reason are clearly repeatedly present in your arguments.

    Yes Kairosfocus you are right and your opponents prove you right again and again with their own actions . All the people act on duty in the same way except their duty is to a different “truth”. Unfortunatelly for them there are no more than one truth. This Universe has only ONE reality , was made in only ONE way and we cannot access that truth(all scientific opinions have no certitude ,are only speculations because all contain at least one UNPROVABLE premise) with our mind unless Who made it tells us.

  239. 239
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, Jack: and yet, the appeals to first duties of reason are clearly repeatedly present in your arguments.

    Your inference is not my implication.

    One thing is clear, is that the actual fact of such appeals despite ever so many attempted denials,

    There is no “actual fact” of an appeal to any “duty.” No duties have been made apparent to me by showing me the existing conditions by which the duty can be recognized as such. I would have to know those conditions, and know a duty was in effect, to be appealing to any duty. I cannot be said to be appealing to someone’s duty by chance; I can only appeal to duties I know are in effect. I don’t know that any duties are in effect on any of us.

    Until you demonstrate the conditions that provide for any duty, you have not established that actual duties exist. Duties cannot be self-evident.

    shows pervasive first principle status in action. Which directly means, self-evident.

    Nobody is dying the first principle of logic and appeals to truth in order to make conversation. You are again trying to embed a non-necessary duty with a logical necessity.

  240. 240
    William J Murray says:

    It appears to me that the main problem in my discussion with you, KF, is that you appear to believe you can read my mind. How can I possibly be appealing to a duty if I don’t even know said duties exist? That doesn’t even make any sense.

  241. 241
    Jack says:

    KF: “Jack: and yet, the appeals to first duties of reason are clearly repeatedly present in your arguments.”

    I have logic, reason, and desire , (fear of punishment is part of that desire.) Beyond that, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

    Sidebar: if Cicero were sitting here next to me here in my office, I would be wildly interested in what he experienced in Eleusis. Probably something you would consider to be “demonic.”

  242. 242
    William J Murray says:

    I would think that maybe KF is just using the word “duty” instead of “expectations” or “hope,” but he keeps insisting it has more value than that. I mean, I expect some people to interact rationally, or at least try to do so. I hope everyone will. I don’t expect that everyone will. But I certainly do not hold that anyone has a “duty” to do so, and I’m certainly not aware of any such duties.

    How then can KF possibly “know” that I’m appealing to a duty, when what I say and how I say it can also indicate hopes, expectations and commonly used phrases and terms in such discussions? Wouldn’t KF have to actually ask me why I’m using the words I use, and why I say what I say and how I say it, in order to know why? Yet, without even asking, and even after I’ve told him otherwise, he keeps insisting on his interpretation of what my words mean even though I’ve corrected him for months now.

  243. 243
    Jack says:

    WJM: KF, is that you appear to believe you can read my mind. How can I possibly be appealing to a duty if I don’t even know said duties exist? That doesn’t even make any sense.

    I’ll take a stab at his motivation: Romans 2:14+-. His religious convictions implore him to think that people in general have a morality that KF’s god infused into everyone. Should live by it, and will be judged by it. And therefore is even “obvious” to guys like Cicero the pagan Eleusis initiate. Entertaining to say the least.

    Good luck with all that.

    The thing about KF is that he’s just not upfront and honest in his motivations. He’s a fundamentalist Christian who thinks the world is going to hell in a handbasket and wants us to see this and go along with his views. What he really wants is to make Christians out of everyone. Why he doesn’t just say this short and sweet is interesting (and entertaining) to say the least. I could be wrong. And I don’t like to mind read. But, dollars to donuts.

    Nothing “wrong” with trying to make Christians out of people, if that’s your thing. But being deceptive is a bit of a contradiction. (Not that I care. Do what you want, KF. Be as hypocritical and contradictory as you want. Entertaining.)

  244. 244
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, the facts have come out again and again, even in your latest denial attempt you appeal to duties to truth, right reason etc. At this point the issue becomes, why the stout resistance to acknowledging the manifest. That raises interesting onward questions but it remains that the pervasiveness of first principles is manifestly on the table. We simply acknowledge that even through months of attempted counter arguments, dismissals and distractions, that has consistently been so and it has been pointed out again and again. It is time to draw the conclusion that many cases obtain where even manifest but unpalatable facts are stoutly denied. KF

  245. 245
    kairosfocus says:

    Jack,

    Let me do a little bit of clip-comment, just for record; even though this is likely to be something that will not move you a micron:

    >>WJM: KF, is that you appear to believe you can read my mind.>>

    1: Appeal to truth and right reason as well as fairness by trying to project to me the opposite . . . obviously without warrant on WJM’s part.

    >> How can I possibly be appealing to a duty if I don’t even know said duties exist?>>

    2: WJM full well knows that first principles are pervasive so inescapable, even as he tries to suggest he is not appealing to what he appeals to to try to gain rhetorical traction.

    >>That doesn’t even make any sense.>>

    3: Doubling down on said appeals and attempted denials.

    >> {Jack:] I’ll take a stab at his motivation: Romans 2:14+-.>>

    4: Attempt to motive-monger by mind-reading projection! Also, managing to be an appeal to truth.

    5: As a matter of fact, Paul endorses that we are enconscienced, rational creatures exhibiting a built-in law of our nature, likely reflecting direct or indirect familiarity with the sort of thinking found in Cicero et al, as I have noted.

    6: Of course, from outset, consistently, I have pointed out that due to pervasiveness of first principles — often, using Epictetus as a chief case in point on logic — even objectors find themselves unable to evade appealing to said duties to truth, right reason, warrant and wider prudence etc.

    7: I have consistently made that direct, readily observed point. You of course are inadvertently showing it in action yet again.

    >> His religious convictions>>

    8: This is now getting into ad hominem territory, constructing a loaded strawman caricature when for months the very direct matter has been on the table.

    >>implore him to think that people in general have a morality>>

    9: Do you notice the back-door sneaking in of an insinuation of deceit and/or incompetence to reason rightly on my part? Particularly, in the teeth of the very direct point actually on the table?

    >> that KF’s god>>

    10: A world of import lies in refusal to acknowledge that God is capitalised. Do you want me to infer from that world of evidence, pretty good reason as to why you will be found arguing as you have?

    11: And that in the face of a pretty direct matter of simple observation: we expect people to acknowledge truth, right reason, adequate warrant, prudence, and much more — that is a manifest commonplace fact that is now manifestly being denied because of where it might lead, and because you think you can play at gaslighting.

    >> infused into everyone.>>

    12: This is a candidate worldview level best explanation, but we are nowhere near that, the issues on the table have to do with establishing a common sense approach to rationality that starts with being willing to acknowledge the massive, consistent evidence of our senses that we are embodied creatures in a going concern, common world, with rational, responsible freedom. If I have a fear here, it is that we may tumble into absurdities of grand, Plato’s Cave delusion and undermine the rationality that will help us dig out of such a cave.

    13: It so happens that we see among self evident, self-supporting first truths, first principles of reason, first facts of consciousness, first duties, alongside things like two-ness that opens up the world of numbers. Each is undeniable on pain of immediate, patent absurdity, each is pervasive, manifest through countless examples. First, inescapable truths are self-evident. To reject them lands directly in manifest absurdity. Here, appealing to what one objects to.

    >>Should live by it, and will be judged by it.>>

    14: The strawman caricature is now turned into a shadow show pretending to be truth. Stop the play, the matter is blatant and to implicitly appeal to truth yet again while trying to deny its force as a first duty simply shows the point you object to.

    >> And therefore is even “obvious” to guys like Cicero the pagan Eleusis initiate. >>

    15: I have actually told how I came to the recognition that Cicero put his finger on something profound. That you prefer to spin a strawman myth to replace the plain truth of testimony [which even has traces of various stages in things published at UD and elsewhere] speaks volumes.

    16: The plain truth is, Cicero’s summary that received wisdom in his day held that moral prudence is a law, that conscience is a law etc, provoked my thought on his natural law framework. Which, manifestly, has been a dominant school of thought on law for thousands of years.

    17: A school of thought that BTW makes far better sense than the notion that law is whatever those who control the legal presses decide to issue. (If you don’t see the implicit nihilism in that you are not thinking soundly given pretty bloody living memory history.)

    >>Entertaining to say the least.>>

    18: That you imagine setting up and knocking over slanderous strawman caricatures — we can read the right wing fundy christofascist would be theocrat subtext thank you — is entertainment, that speaks volumes. Sad volumes.

    19: Meanwhile, both of you have yet again showed the fairly obvious truth of the direct point.

    KF

  246. 246
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM,

    BTW, if you expect or hope that others will do duty, that does not change the nature of the duty or the pervasiveness of the force of appeal embedded in our discussion as rational, responsible, significantly free creatures. The duty is manifest, just consider the course of intensified argument, i.e. quarrelling. What has been called the law of fair play. Turn down the volume and the same is still there.

    Beyond, it is fairly obvious for a finite, fallible, error-prone, too often closed-minded creature, that the manifest end of reason is to better approach the truth, so that the wrenching of intelligence out of course into a means of deliberate, deceitful, dishonest manipulation and exploitation is a clear evil, and that simple failure is the lesser evil of fallibility. Unfortunately, this leads to the point that perception can be warped or coloured, reinforcing error. So, we clearly do need first pervasive principles of validity, soundness and adequacy of support as well as a sense that draws us to such means and their proper ends, truth, right reason, prudence, fair-mindedness etc.

    And it is not like these commonplace, common sense points are that hard to see, any more than the commonplace, common sense point that if we cannot take the first deliveries of consciousness as credible — that we are embodied, self aware creatures in a common, physical world with macroscopic features as are so familiar — then we have radically undermined the credibility of the self aware mindedness and senses that give us these first facts.

    Yes we may dream, yes, we may have visions, yes we may hallucinate, we may be in locally misleading environments, but it is clear that Plantinga is right, we need to recognise our basic apparatus as generally successfully aimed at and equipped for truth.

    The alternative is a manifestly absurd cascade of Plato’s Cave grand delusions due to self-referential discredit of our rationality. Including, your own.

    Such nihilism of the mind is absurd.

    Instead, it is unsurprising that we can recognise pervasive first truths/facts, first principles, first duties given the evident end of intelligence, rational responsibility and associated freedom that takes us beyond the GIGO-bounds of computational substrates driven by mechanical organisation, cause-effect chains and stochastic processes etc.

    KF

  247. 247
    William J Murray says:

    Jack @243,

    I try not to address motivations, but it’s not like that motivation is a big secret around here, for KF and others. I’m not sure that sort of motivation is fundamentally any different from anyone having a worldview perspective they fully embrace as universal, inescapable reality. They all seem uninterested in other worldviews, except in how they can show them to be false.

    The religious aspect you mention apparently comes into play in certain areas, such as KF’s whole “first duties” and “morality” argument, which he attempts to embed with existential inescapables. By that I mean, in KF’s ontology, these things are, as you say, infused into all people by God; therefore, KF is fully committed to the perspective that I know what he is talking about, and that I recognize the “truth” of his claims; that’s when he starts negatively characterizing me, assigning me negative motivations and painting my statements in a negative light.

    The honest fact is, I have no idea what he is talking about. It makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever when he says that I am “appealing to first duties.” I have no idea how he thinks Cicero made this case; from my reading, Cicero and others just flat-out assume we have duties. It makes no sense to me when KF says it, and it makes no sense to me when Cicero says it. I have no idea what they are referring to.

    To me, it seems blazingly, glaringly, logically obvious that a real, actual duty requires the conditions of (1) some kind of supervising authority, and (2) consequences wrt the fulfillment of (or lack thereof) the duty. How can I possibly be willfully, consciously acting in accordance with (or in defiance of,) or appealing to, some duty I don’t even know exists? Who or what is holding me accountable for doing my duty? What are the consequences? How can anyone rationally claim a duty exists when they do not even attempt to point out the conditions that are required for something to be identified as a duty?

    Is KF talking about a naturally assumed expectance that others will interact as rationally as they are capable? Is he talking about an expectation on my part that he will accede to a rationally sound conclusion? Well, I don’t really expect that he or anyone here will. I expect that people will believe whatever they choose to believe, and I expect rational arguments and facts to make absolutely no difference whatsoever.

    But, expectations and assumptions about how other people will behave do not reveal actual duties; only showing the necessary conditions reveal an actual duty. A “sense of duty” is not an actual duty; actual duties require the actual conditions, which have not only been left out of the conversation, they are studiously avoided.

    The whole “duty” and “morality” aspects of KF’s argument, even when Cicero was making it, fundamentally requires that other people just agree that we have such duties in the first place. It’s like the moral question about torturing babies; the argument depends on people just agreeing that it is “wrong” to do that, regardless of culture and regardless of what world one is in. People accept that terminology unaware that those terms conceptually lock the debate into KF’s ontological perspective. Those terms, when used and accepted as universal, refer to ontological concepts and exist within and are derived from a particular ontology.

    IOW, by accepting those terms as applicable, you’ve already committed yourself (usually unwittingly) to KF’s ontological perspective. KF’s entire argument falls apart once one challenges these premises, and that’s when KF et al start the mind-reading, character assassination, painting themselves as victims, make comments about the motivations and reasons of others. Apparently, they cannot conceive that any honest, intelligent, rational person could possibly challenge or not accept those premises. Without them, they have no argument other than to cast aspersions and warn of dire outcomes.

    KF makes a good argument from common interpretations of common experience, or what he and Reid refer to as “common sense realism,” but that argument fails once one challenges the premises upon which it is built. That perspective is, IMO, analogous to classical physics, which work really well in most situations, but are inapplicable to the pursuit, understanding, and technological development that requires an uncommon interpretation of uncommon experiences, such as the results of 100 years of quantum experimentation. The bulk of our economy in the US now relies on quantum technology derived from this research.

    This represents the problem that KF/Reid’s “common sense realism” has when facing uncommon experience: it fails. It’s like trying to apply Newtonian physics as the interpretive model when conducting quantum research or interpreting the results; it just doesn’t fit. It is not useful.

    KF’s epistemological structure depends on Reid’s common sense realism. There’s nothing wrong with that; I’m sure it works well for him and countless others. However, it is not a good model for many people who have these uncommon experiences that defy explanation via “common sense realism.” This is why the movement has begun to various forms of idealism, consciousness or informational reality theories, even by some of the scientific community; to better explain and model the massive amount of evidence and experience that is “uncommon” and doesn’t fit the “common sense interpretation of common experience” model KF espouses.

  248. 248
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    Yes we may dream, yes, we may have visions, yes we may hallucinate, we may be in locally misleading environments,

    As predicted, contradictory experience is dismissed as defective or deceptive in order to preserve the worldview. Sorry, you don’t get to define the parameters of what kind of experiences are up for discussion when debating ontologies. You don’t get to preclude my uncommon experiences or those of countless others from inclusion in the ontological debate by conveniently dismissing them as misleading, visions, or hallucinations.

    but it is clear that Plantinga is right, we need to recognise our basic apparatus as generally successfully aimed at and equipped for truth.

    As you repeatedly point out, error occurs and error exists. The materialist/physicalist worldview, although it functionally works well in most situations, has been shown to be an error by the evidence, or at least an incomplete model with erroneous assumptions.

    As far as being capable of discerning “truth,” that’s a rather vague statement. Truth about what? IMO, the first order of any attempt to “discern truth” is by understanding what it is we are making true statements about. KF, you cannot make true statements about my experience. You cannot make true statements about anyone’s experience except your own. The only thing anyone can hope to make true statements about is their own experience, which can include the individual experience of that which is experientially unavoidable for all sentient beings.

    When you move beyond existential unavoidables and assert what I know, why I’m doing what I’m doing, my reasons, and make the claim that your point of view is “manifestly apparent” to all observers, make claims about “common experience,” you are mistaking your personal experience for universal truths and universal commodities. It is an error on your part; you have no idea, outside of existential unavoidables, what truth statements apply to my experience. You cannot possibly know, as a truth, that i have or experience “first duties,” because duties are not existentially unavoidable. All you can do is interpret my behaviors according to your particular beliefs and reject it when I tell you I do not experience any such duties.

    You do not know that I have duties or behave the way I do because of duties. It may be that I do, but you cannot know this as a truth. So, when you claim it to be “manifestly true,” you are in error. You don’t get to make truth claims about my experience outside of existential and experiential unavoidables.

  249. 249
    William J Murray says:

    I have almost 60 years of ongoing experience in my life that clearly indicate to me that the common “external physical reality” worldview model is in error. I’m not denying it is very useful, but then, so is Newtonian physics. Lots of models are very useful; that doesn’t mean they represent the truth about what is actually going on.

    As it turns out,, there is an enormous amount of research in many different fields that also undermine the idea that we live in a solid-state, innate characteristic external material or physical “world.” Most prominent among these fields of research is quantum physics, which has clearly demonstrated fundamental existential errors of assumption in that old model.

    I’ve experienced a lifetime of things that are inexplicable (other than to dismiss them) wrt the common sense model of common experience. I’ve experimented with uncommon interpretations/models successfully over the course of many decades of effort. There are entire communities of people who have done the same. The “common sense realism” argument has no teeth in the face of those who have experienced these kinds of things consistently. I’m not about to dismiss decades of experience, research, experimentation, and overwhelming experiential success, verified and corroborated by hundreds of others, supported by quantum physics experimentation, just because it doesn’t fit into KF’s, or Cicero’s, or Reid’s ontological/epistemological framework.

  250. 250
    William J Murray says:

    As far as KF’s warnings about “self-referential absurdity,” … even if that was logically applicable to my situation, why should I care about it when my perspective is mind-blowingly successful? Yes, I can argue that it is not self-referential, or argue that all worldviews are, ultimately, self-referential (because all we have is our experience to work with,) but even if it were, so what? Even if my theory could be disproved via evidence and argument, so what?

    It still works in my life. And that’s really what this is about, IMO; your belief system works for you in your life, mine works for me in my life, SB’s works for him, Seversky’s works for him, BA77’s works for him. Newtonian physics works. Common sense works. Quantum physics works. Uncommon sense works. Our individual beliefs and practices provide each of us practical, day to day value we will not be pried from regardless of evidence or argument to the contrary. 🙂

  251. 251
    Jack says:

    KF: WJM, Jack: and yet, the appeals to first duties of reason are clearly repeatedly present in your arguments.

    Reason and logic are tools, not duties, in the service of my will’s agenda. I don’t “appeal” to the tools in my toolbox. I use them. They are my servants not my masters. It’s what I have to work with to fulfill my will. When a man builds a house with hammer, he does not “appeal” to the hammer by some “sense of duty”. He uses a tool in the service of his will’s objective.

    BTW, I’m still waiting for the answer to my question: How does WJM’s experiences with his “deceased” wife fit into your ontology/epistemology?

  252. 252
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM & Jack, I would take the webs of argument you spin on and on more seriously if it first was not so directly manifest that your objections appeal to what you try to deny, the first duties of reason. Next, Cicero summarises the received view, using words that challenge us to ponder, e.g. why we experience conscience, find prudence speaking, find justice such a challenge and more. As is readily apparent, I cited him as a triggering source, not as an authority in his own right from his own resources. The key point is to acknowledge the readily observable pattern of pervasive first principles: inescapability, much as Epictetus shows, and BTW his excerpt is not just bare bones logic, it points to why we need warrant and antecedent first principles from which warrant (including deductive proofs) will be built. All of that is there, open for those willing to follow. KF

  253. 253
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: As a reminder:

    DISCOURSES
    CHAPTER XXV

    How is logic necessary?

    When someone in [Epictetus’] audience said, Convince me that logic is necessary, he answered: Do you wish me to demonstrate this to you?—Yes.—Well, then, must I use a demonstrative argument?—And when the questioner had agreed to that, Epictetus asked him. How, then, will you know if I impose upon you?—As the man had no answer to give, Epictetus said: Do you see how you yourself admit that all this instruction is necessary, if, without it, you cannot so much as know whether it is necessary or not? [Notice, inescapable, thus self evidently true and antecedent to the inferential reasoning that provides deductive proofs and frameworks, including axiomatic systems and propositional calculus etc. Cf J. C. Wright]

  254. 254
    kairosfocus says:

    Jack, days ago, you were given a specific, detailed answer, which you have obviously not read. KF

  255. 255
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    I didn’t hear a sound argument against KF ‘s duty concept only crying babies :”I have my truth(my E/O) you have your truth(your E/O). “ without knowing this is a self refutation. It’s embarassing.

    The statement :”I have my truth(my E/O) you have your truth(your E/O)” is always logically FALSE because destroy the concept of truth .
    WJM and Jack tell us that 1+1=2 and 1+1=3 are both true in the same time. 🙂 Truth is not a preference or a wishfull thinking .

  256. 256
    William J Murray says:

    LCD Said:

    I didn’t hear a sound argument against KF ‘s duty concept only crying babies

    Nobody needs to make an argument against KF”s “duty” concept because it’s nothing but a bald assertion, at least so far.

    A duty is a reason people do something. You cannot point at behavior at “figure out” if someone is performing that behavior because of a duty, especially not something so common and intrinsic to human communication like the inescapable use of basic logic and the common attempt to be rational.

    KF cannot possibly know my reasons for doing anything I do, outside of existential inescapables, other than what I tell him. His repeated assertion that something I do is because of a duty is pure nonsense. He cannot know that. Also, only I know what I am appealing to, if anything, and why; KF cannot possibly know that, either. These are nonsensical, irrational assertions and claims.

  257. 257
    jerry says:

    . Nobody needs to make an argument against KF”s “duty” concept because it’s nothing but a bald assertion, at least so far.

    This statement is utter nonsense. It’s a statement by a parasite. One who depends on others doing required behavior(duties) so the parasite can stay alive. Without this fulfilling of duties by others the parasite would be dead.

    Here we are 257 comments into an OP that has mainly generated nonsense by a troll.

    Trolling – stringing along legitimate thinkers not only as a joke but also a test to bend and twist what has been the standard meme/ cultural narrative for centuries.

    Of course the troll has help by those who try to answer the troll as if what the troll says was legitimate. This has been going on for over 10,000 comments.

  258. 258
    Jack says:

    Jerry,

    Where can I find the list of duties to which you refer?

  259. 259
    Jack says:

    KF: Jack, days ago, you were given a specific, detailed answer, which you have obviously not read. KF

    I missed it. I just read it. Thx.

  260. 260
    Jack says:

    LCD: “WJM and Jack tell us that 1+1=2 and 1+1=3 are both true in the same time.”

    I’ve never said or implied anything of the sort.

  261. 261

    Once again, the distinction between possible, impossible and neccessary beings is an error.

    The fundamental distinction is between creator and creation. Between subjective beings, spiritual, and objective beings, material.

    The subjective emotion fear, and the object atom, belong in fundamentally different categories of being. Fear is classified in category 1, and atom is classified in category number 2, in the following conceptual scheme:

    1. Creator / chooses / spiritual / subjective / opinion
    2. Creation / chosen / material / objective / fact

    Objectivity basically just means to copy. A fact is obtained by evidence of a creation, forcing to produce a 1 to 1 corresponding model of it, in the mind.

    For example, to measure the circumference of the moon, what material it consists of, the craters on it’s surface, etc. all these facts together make up a 1 to 1 corresponding model of the moon.

    Or another example, if the police enquire from a witness about what happened, they mean to make a 1 to 1 corresponding reconstruction of what occurred.

    So objectivity is mostly just copying from the universe proper, to the universe of mind.

  262. 262
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, I can understand your concerns and it can be tempting to go there. The problem is, WJM has been a valuable contributor and commenter and we have had a century in which idealism dominated philosophical thought, now a century past. In addition, ever since Plato, the problem of knowledge has haunted our civilisation. While some of how he has argued does open the invitation, it seems he genuinely believes much of what he claims. Like many others with fundamentally incoherent views, the views shape how he perceives. I have sufficiently pointed out its incoherence by way of grand delusions chain (a fault that faces Plato’s Cave!). I have pointed out why a common sense approach makes good sense to avert such a chain, above using one of the C20 greats, G E Moore, to do so. I have highlighted that we are looking at the issue of getting to a basic approach to credible knowledge, and how primary truths that are self-evident help drive that. As for first duties, he continues to exemplify how pervasive they are. KF

  263. 263
    kairosfocus says:

    Jack, you came in late. The discussion of first duties was elsewhere, and their root reference is in Cicero’s De Legibus. As noted ever so often, their pervasiveness shows their first principle character. KF

    PS: I summarise the basic case, notice, the basic issue, FIRST, is to recognise their pervasiveness (even with objectors) then to address onward context, what sort of world has in it morally governed creatures. We can recognise our being conscience-guided, morally governed creatures fairly directly, without having a full-orbed view of reality formed through our own reflection, indeed, we need the duties to go on to such formation:

    We can readily identify at least seven inescapable . . .

    first duties of reason:

    “Inescapable,” as they are so antecedent to reasoning that even the objector implicitly appeals to their legitimate authority; inescapable, so first truths of reason, i.e. they are self-evidently true and binding. Namely, Ciceronian first duties,

    1st – to truth,
    2nd – to right reason,
    3rd – to prudence [including warrant],
    4th – to sound conscience,
    5th – to neighbour; so also,
    6th – to fairness and
    7th – to justice
    [ . . .]
    xth – etc
    .

    Likewise, we observe again, that objectors to such duties cannot but appeal to them to give their objections rhetorical traction (i.e. s/he must imply or acknowledge what we are, morally governed, duty-bound creatures to gain any persuasive effect). While also those who try to prove such cannot but appeal to the said principles too. So, these principles are a branch on which we all must sit, including objectors and those who imagine they are to be proved and try. That is, these are manifestly first principles of rational, responsible, honest, conscience guided liberty and so too a built-in framework of law; yes, core natural law of human nature. Reason, inescapably, is morally governed.

    Of course, there is a linked but not equivalent pattern: bounded, error-prone rationality often tied to ill will and stubbornness or even closed mindedness; that’s why the study of right reason has a sub-study on fallacies and errors. That we sometimes seek to evade duties or may make inadvertent errors does not overthrow such first duties of reason, which instead help us to detect and correct errors, as well as to expose our follies.

    Perhaps, a negative form will help to clarify, for cause we find to be at best hopelessly error-riddled, those who are habitually untruthful, fallacious and/or irrational, imprudent, fail to soundly warrant claims, show a benumbed or dead conscience [i.e. sociopathy and/or highly machiavellian tendencies], dehumanise and abuse others, are unfair and unjust. At worst, such are utterly dangerous, destructive,or even ruthlessly, demonically lawless.

    Such built-in . . . thus, universal . . . law, then, is not invented by parliaments, kings or courts, nor can these principles and duties be abolished by such; they are recognised, often implicitly as an indelible part of our evident nature. Hence, “natural law,” coeval with our humanity, famously phrased in terms of “self-evident . . . rights . . . endowed by our Creator” in the US Declaration of Independence, 1776. (Cf. Cicero in De Legibus, c. 50 BC.) Indeed, it is on this framework that we can set out to soundly understand and duly balance rights, freedoms and duties; which is justice, the pivot of law. The legitimate main task of government, then, is to uphold and defend the civil peace of justice through sound community order reflecting the built in, intelligible law of our nature.

    Where, as my right implies your duty a true right is a binding moral claim to be respected in life, liberty, honestly aquired property, innocent reputation etc. To so justly claim a right, one must therefore demonstrably be in the right.

    Likewise, Aristotle long since anticipated Pilate’s cynical “what is truth?”: truth says of what is, that it is; and of what is not, that it is not. [Metaphysics, 1011b, C4 BC.] Simple in concept, but hard to establish on the ground; hence — in key part — the duties to right reason, prudence, fairness etc.

    Thus, too, we may compose sound civil law informed by that built-in law of our responsibly, rationally free morally governed nature; from such, we may identify what is unsound or false thus to be reformed or replaced even though enacted under the colour and solemn ceremonies of law.

    The first duties, also, are a framework for understanding and articulating the corpus of built-in law of our morally governed nature, antecedent to civil laws and manifest our roots in the Supreme Law-giver, the inherently good, utterly wise and just creator-God, the necessary (so, eternal), maximally great being at the root of reality.

  264. 264
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: A similar core point, discussed somewhat above, is that we rise above being computational, GIGO-limited substrates. Such are NOT rational, being mechanically and/or stochastically driven, relative to how the substrate is organised to process signals, which may be analogue or digital. You will see my extension of the idea of an oracle machine in the OP, applied to the Smith, two-tier controller cybernetic loop. Which gives a framework to discuss embodiment. A significantly free creature with rational responsible choice is governed by the weight of ought towards proper ends. Where the evident proper end of rational capability is truth backed up by good reasoning, in a context of internal and community conversation, which brings in duties to peers of like rational responsible free nature, neighbours. Thus, justice as due balance, and law and government as tasked to defend the due balance.

  265. 265
    kairosfocus says:

    LCD, sadly, you are right and the disintegration of thought in our civilisation runs along precisely such lines. KF

  266. 266
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, again, in brief:

    Nobody needs to make an argument against KF”s “duty” concept because it’s nothing but a bald assertion, at least so far.

    A duty is a reason people do something. You cannot point at behavior at “figure out” if someone is performing that behavior because of a duty, especially not something so common and intrinsic to human communication like the inescapable use of basic logic and the common attempt to be rational.

    Let’s mark up, again, now simply for record as it is clear that you have closed yourself off from such direct demonstrations. Sad, but perhaps one day you will recognise the point:

    >> Nobody needs to make an argument against KF”s “duty” concept>>

    1: An implicit appeal to duty, disguised under “needs”. Why is there no reason to answer, oh no argument has been made, just assertion.

    2: The fact claim is false, and unworthy of your earlier contributions. The argument made is that first principles are pervasive in our reasoned behaviour, and as such are inescapable. Many cases over months including this one now in progress, show such.

    3: Such pervasive antecedents of rational behaviour as Epictetus pointed out, are a branch on which we all sit. To saw it off, is to immediately undermine one’s own rationality. This is of course the patent absurdity on attempted denial criterion.

    4: These are start-point first, self-evident truths. They must be recognised as true if anything further out is to be supported as true or credibly true, through internal or community level conversation.

    5: Among such are certain first truths/facts of consciousness (including the testimony of our senses that we are embodied, in a world that is independent of us but provides air, water, food etc). Deny this or cast it under dispute and you set off a corrosive cascade that utterly discredits rationality.

    6: This is manifestly your first major problem, as came out above yet again, when I tried to take you at your word regarding our embodiment, that it was credible.

    7: Similarly, first quantities and the framework for numbers emerges as pervasive, 2-ness, 1-ness, nullity, thence we construct NZQRCR* etc. So too distinct identity and its close corollaries (connected to 2-ness). Further, recognising and drawing out responsible, rational freedom, its proper end being truth and the linked first duties of reason.

    8: Without general respect for such and for one another in that context, we will not thrive, i.e. we are looking at undermining a manifest end of our humanity.

    >>because it’s nothing but a bald assertion,>>

    9: Why is a bald assertion of little consequence, given that it is a claim that some state of affairs is the case, i.e. truth? Ans: in a context of disagreement we owe ourselves and the community duties of right reason, warrant and wider prudence, informed by fair-mindedness, with implicit appeal to sound conscience backing up the lot.

    10: In short, yet again, you illustrate how inescapable and pervasive first duties of reason are. Fair comment, your problem is you clearly find it unpalatable to be so manifestly appealing to moral government by first duties and are in denial of what is so readily seen.

    >> at least so far.>>

    11: A claim on your part in denial and disregard of manifest fact. Had you instead said, arguments were made but fail because of Y, that would be different. You are doing little better, here, than the hyperskeptics, unwilling to face evidence and argument, who brashly commit the confident manner fallacy of announcing that there is no evidence.

    >>A duty is a reason people do something. >>

    12: A duty provides a reason for choosing X rather than not-X, for responsible, rationally free, thus morally governed creatures moving towards proper ends. One may be hampered or frustrated from actually carrying out the better path.

    13: Duties specify what ought to be done, with the implicit reference to a proper end, which may be naturally evident. The proper end of mindedness is truth supported by good reason and broader prudence, fairness, conscience etc.

    >>You cannot point at behavior at “figure out” if someone is performing that behavior because of a duty,>>

    14: Not clear.

    >>especially not something so common and intrinsic to human communication like the inescapable use of basic logic>>

    15: The pervasiveness of distinct identity does come out in even the use of symbol strings to make messages, and so to an extent cannot be avoided. However, as an educated person you full well know that we often enough fail to properly recognise the defining character of concrete or abstract entities or states of affairs, find ourselves mired in contradictions and may seek for an impossible middle option.

    16: In the case of such errors, we are duty bound to think straight but may well fail. Something you imply by your next claim:

    >>and the common attempt to be rational. >>

    _______________

    So, yet again, you instantiate the point.

    KF

  267. 267
    William J Murray says:

    KF:

    Behaviors do not a duty make or imply. Duties only exist as such in the presence of the conditions I’ve described. Absent demonstrating such conditions actually exist, the claim that anyone has a duty can only be a bald assertion on your part. Your attempts at mind-reading to support your assertion are irrelevant.

    Until you demonstrate those conditions, or at least make the attempt to do so, I have no reason to even consider your “duty” arguments.

  268. 268

    KF, as before, your analysis of the problems in academics is flawed.

    It is very obvious, that when people can manufacture an mrna vaccin, that there is no basic problem with their apprehension of objectivity. It is high technology, requiring very sophisticated accurate understanding of processes.

    There is no fundamental problem with the comprehension of objectivity in academics.

    There is on the other hand, a very severe problem with comprehension of subjectivity in academics. Leading to academic people producing bad personal opinions on what is good, loving, beautiful and important.

    Your first principles, as they are geared towards objectivity, are therefore besides the point to address the problem at hand. Your first principles are geared towards objectivity, while the problem is with subjectivity.

    What is required is comprehension of subjectivity, which is an exclusively creationist concept.

    And ofcourse creationism has been thrown out from academics. Even most id theorists have thrown out creationism. Not realizing they threw out the baby with the bathwater. They threw out the entire concept of a subjective personal opinion, which concept is engrained in the basic structure of creationist theory.

  269. 269
    jerry says:

    Kf,

    I stand by my comment.

    The problem is not Murray, the problem is the reaction to his nonsense. Nothing will change.

  270. 270
    William J Murray says:

    Jerry @257:

    I have lots of actual duties. The are called laws. There is an actual supervisory authority and actual consequences for not performing those duties.

    And, as we discussed before, if we extend the concept of duty into world of natural phenomena, I have a lot more actual duties, such as those defined as physical laws which result in physical consequences.

    However, KF has provided no supervising authority, either physical or as an agency, for his so-called “first duties,” or for a universal morality. He has conveniently pointed at particular consequences that support his perspective that there are negative consequences for immoral behavior or for not “thinking properly” according to “first duties of reason,” but he has yet to provide the necessary supervising authority that holds us responsible for those particular duties.

    I wonder, can you or KF make any argument that doesn’t ultimately depend on mind-reading?

  271. 271
    jerry says:

    Kf made a very accurate but extremely convoluted argument about human nature, natural laws, actual laws, morality and duties over several posts. Because of the unnecessarily verbose and extraneous graphics and repetitive associations to other abstract ideas people have written I doubt few if anyone has read them. They will also be littered with personal cryptic rhetoric. Usually in thousand of words and dozens of obscure graphics.

    But as I said, based on the little I would read/could understand, they were accurate. I found nothing in what I could readily understand to be false or unsound.

    Yes, we have duties. First to our continued existence, then to those close to us for their continued existence and then to those further out from us because our mutual existence is dependent on each other.

    Then there are objectives beyond pure existence that are innately built into humans and thus desired and their fulfillment is dependent on mutual assistance with others. So we get the traditional duties that Kf has listed a hundred times as first written down by Cicero.

    Then we get irrational replies claiming this is nonsense. But in actuality it is these replies that are nonsense. It has been going on for over half a year now.

    The real purpose ot his continued nonsense can be speculated on. But actual experience over the years with people pretty quickly narrows it down to some obvious motives.

  272. 272

    Jerry, KF made a wrong argument, because it is geared towards objectivity.

    In practise it may lead to promote errors such as social darwinism, where what is a subjective issue, is regarded as an objective issue.

    Or scientific socialism, which is same, regarding a subjective issue, as if it was an objective issue.

    And I have already seen Sandy make comments that tend to confuse objectivity with subjectivity. Comments that only God is truly objective, while really the spirit is entirely subjective.

    The proper first principles are the validation of both subjectivity and objectivity, each in their own right, in one coherent conceptual scheme. Creationism.

    And to make first principles geared towards objectivity, is a common and serious error. It is an error atheists, and materialists also make.

  273. 273
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, the matter is clear, and your response is as expected, sadly. I think we all know the power of conscience, which is part of the direct testimony. If you wish to argue for the delusional nature of conscience and how it affects reason by testifying to duty, you are again sawing off the branch on which we all sit. In that context, we can again readily notice how our arguments inescapably appeal to such duties, a was already drawn out yet again. As to ultimate root of such empirically observable phenomena, it is on onward matter, where it points to the sort of world root that accounts for a world with creatures such as we are. That is onward, the first principle nature is already on the spot. Same regarding the absurdity of seeking to discredit the first facts of consciousness about our embodiement and existence in a world. KF

  274. 274
    William J Murray says:

    Jerry said:

    Yes, we have duties. First to our continued existence,

    I’ve read KF’s arguments. This entire line of reasoning depends entirely on a particular ontological perspective about what existence is and how it works. The ontological frame of reference here is our “common experience” birth-to-death lives and the apparent necessities this entails, and the “common sense” derived from that frame of reference.

    What this definitionally excludes are non-common experiences, and the non-common development of a rational perspective that includes and explains those kinds of experiences.

    I’ve agreed that KF’s ontological/epistemological system is a good one, and is very successful, within that framework.

    The problem for KF is that I do not accept his O/E framework because of the particular lifetime of experiences that I have had, am still having, and which are corroborated and supported by multiple lines of “uncommon” evidence. In that framework, my existence is not defined by or limited to the segment of it that runs from birth to death. In that framework, I have no responsibility for what other people experience; I have no power over their experience, whatever I do. The only person’s experience I have any “power over” is my own, and I have full, 100% responsibility for and power over that regardless of what other people do.

    None of this can be translated into, or judged from, KF’s Ciceronian and Reidian perspective because they do not apply to my full experiential set. They like Newtonian physics; sure, they work within a certain framework, but outside of that framework, they are useless and even counter-productive.

  275. 275
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    If you wish to argue for the delusional nature of conscience and how it affects reason by testifying to duty, you are again sawing off the branch on which we all sit.

    Why would you think I would wish to argue that conscience is a “delusion?” Is the love I feel for my wife also a “delusion?” How about the joy I feel in my life? How about my experience of her and of what we call “the afterlife?” All delusional?

    It’s apparent that the only person here who is trying to dismiss whole sets of experiences as “delusional” is you. Are you projecting?

  276. 276
    jerry says:

    The problem for KF is that I do not accept his O/E framework because of the particular lifetime of experiences that I have had

    As I said this is the justification of a parasite and such behavior could not exist without the acquiesce of others.

    In today’s world because of its abundance it is easy to get by for a few (but only a few) to be a parasite. But there cannot be too many or else the society collapses. In the world of a 150 years ago, few in society would have accepted such behavior from others except for those who were deformed somehow either physically or mentally. Now such behavior is accepted for a few but these individuals are compromised physically, mentally or morally.

    Aside: there always has been individual differences between humans as there is between nearly example of any species. Individual differences does not preclude common innate characteristics of all individuals of a species.

    Most of these differences and innate characteristics can be explained by modern Darwinism or what is essentially genetics.

  277. 277
    William J Murray says:

    Jerry,

    Let’s say there is zero substantive difference between your behavior over a lifetime and mine when it comes to being a productive and responsible part of society. Let’s say you did what you did out of a sense of duty; and I did what I did because it pleased me to enjoy the apparent fruits of that kind of behavior in terms of general consequences – friendships, mutual support and trust, not being thrown in jail, etc.

    Would I still be a parasite because I did not feel, at any time, that I actually had any “duty” to act or behave in that manner?

  278. 278
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Jesus:

    He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters. Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.…

  279. 279
    jerry says:

    Would I still be a parasite because I did not feel, at any time, that I actually had any “duty” to act or behave in that manner?

    But the person described did the dutifully behaviors and is not a parasite. It’s not what their feelings are.

    No one said duties were pleasurable? The serf in the 1700’s did not go out in the field every day because that was enjoyable. His duty was not to the landowner per se but to himself and family to maintain their continued existence. The landowner offered an opportunity for continued existence. Unfortunately, there were no other opportunities in that world.

    The landowner was often a parasite but one accepted by society of the time for continued stability. Theoretically he had duties towards the serfs.

  280. 280
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, you have championed claims about our embodiment that would undermine rationality. You have acted similarly in the teeth of repeated direct evidence from your own comments that the first duties of reason are pervasive. That alone, turns your attempts to deflect focus from such, into a grand strawman-red herring fallacy pattern. That leads to sad conclusions, which are unpalatable but plain. KF

  281. 281
    William J Murray says:

    The serf in the 1700’s did not go out in the field every day because that was enjoyable.

    Well, I don’t know about the serf, but I have enjoyed many years of hard, physical labor. I’ve also enjoyed many years of work at a desk in the air conditioning. I guess I just enjoy a more diverse range of situations and activities than some others.

    IMO, no sane person could look at my actual life and say I’ve been “parasitical” on society. I paid in over 40 years of taxes and social security as an adult, but worked from the time I was 8 yrs old. I’ve only been in jail one night, and that was entirely political in nature. There wasn’t even a signed complaint or a formal charge against me, let alone an arrest warrant. I’ve never done any kind of drugs. I don’t even drink alcoholic beverages.

    My wife and I opened our home to several family members in need, taking care of them, providing for them. We took care of my mother in our home in her declining years as she slowly succumbed to dementia and died in her sleep in her bed in our home. I’ve helped out friends and family, even strangers.

    I did absolutely none of that because I thought or felt it was my duty. I wiped the poop of my mothers rear end not because I enjoy that sort of thing, but because I enjoy being that guy who takes care of his mother when she needs him.

    This is what I call understanding how to manage both direct and abstract enjoyments. Being able to enjoy the satisfaction of being “that guy” for my mom is worth the months of having to bathe her and clean her up and deal patiently with her dementia.

    So go ahead, call me a parasite without knowing anything about it. Tell me how useless I am in society. You have no idea what you are talking about; what I’ve done, what I’ve put on the line for others, even complete strangers, how I’ve worked.

    I guess what ultimately bothers you and KF is that I don’t do a damn bit of it out of some esoteric “first duties” nonsense or some moral obligation or conscience. I do what I do, everything that I do, solely in the service of managing my enjoyments, direct and abstract. That doesn’t mean I’ve been lollygagging near the dumpster at the Costco begging for money, Brainiac. That doesn’t mean I run around gleefully hurting people because I can. I enjoy hard work. I enjoy earning a living. I enjoyed providing professional services for a better than reasonable cost. I enjoy being “that guy” for my wife, my kids, friends and family.

    I don’t need duties, morality or conscience as rumble strips. All I need is to be keenly aware of what I actually enjoy in life.

  282. 282
    jerry says:

    Well, I don’t know about the serf, but I have enjoyed many years of hard, physical labor

    One of the more ludicrous comments in UD history.

    Off to the theater in Maine.

  283. 283
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, you have championed claims about our embodiment that would undermine rationality.

    You’d have to actually understand my IRT to be able to meaningfully make that observation. You clearly do not.

    You have acted similarly in the teeth of repeated direct evidence from your own comments that the first duties of reason are pervasive.

    You attempts at mind-reading are hardly “direct evidence.”

    That alone, turns your attempts to deflect focus from such, into a grand strawman-red herring fallacy pattern. That leads to sad conclusions, which are unpalatable but plain. KF

    More mind reading.

    Do any of your arguments not depend on mind-reading? Waitaminnit … is mind-reading part of the “common human experience” you keep talking about? Wow, maybe I am actually deficient, because I can’t read your mind!!!! It all makes sense now!! You, SB, BA77, Jerry, Sandy, LDC, Q et al can actually read minds!!!!

  284. 284
    William J Murray says:

    One of the more ludicrous comments in UD history.

    Does Jerry mean he believes that *nobody* enjoys hard, physical labor? Or, can Jerry also read the minds of people that aren’t even alive anymore? Was he talking about a particular serf in the past whose mind he read?

    It’s probably the latter.

  285. 285
    Jack says:

    Jerry: “But the person described did the dutifully behaviors”

    According to his O/E. Not according to any objective unavoidables.

    “and is not a parasite.”

    A subjective judgement on your part relative to your subjective O/E.

    “But there cannot be too many or else the society collapses. ”

    This assumes that “society” (whatever that means) is a good thing. That’s your subjective O/E talking, not any objective unavoidable duties. And the thing is, we probably agree a lot about what a “good society” entails. But it’s not from any “first duties” nonsense. It’s how we subjectively feel. It’s how our brains happen to be wired up.

  286. 286
    William J Murray says:

    I guess a lot of people around here, if they didn’t believe in objective duties, morality and a sharp conscience, would just naturally veer off into sprees of torture and destruction.

    I guess it’s a good thing that you guys believe in those things. Apparently, I just naturally enjoy doing the kinds of things, and being the kind of person in my life, that others need cosmic threats and mental barbed wire to accomplish.

    When you see this in terms of projection, all the “mind-reading” and negative-characterizing makes sense.

  287. 287
    Jack says:

    WJM @281, @286

    Nicely put.

    But cue the whining and complaints that what you say just proves you are acting out your real “first duties” that, [pound the pulpit and stomp the feet] gosh darn it, you just won’t cop to. 😀

    They can’t even define what a “first duty” is without circularity:

    It boils down to, “you should to X, because you should do X. And that you do do X proves that you know you should do X.” Not to be too redundant, but as my grand-pappy used to say, “that’s the crux in a nutshell.” Circularity and mind-reading (in the service of their religious agenda, I suspect.) It’s all they got. Okay, they have a few ungrounded assumptions as well. 😀

  288. 288
    Jack says:

    Human action always has emotion as the fundamental drive. You can dress up your actions with “reason” (rationalizations, actually), but in back of it all is always an appeal to emotion. Inescapable. There are no exceptions. “Duties” are not primary. Emotions are primary. The value set and their ranges that trigger those emotions vary wildly from person to person.

    An area that humans differ from the rest of the animal kingdom is that humans can defer action based on a more desireable future emotional state vs a current one. We can project into the future in our imaginations. But at the end of line, it’s always a concern for the desired emotional state.

  289. 289
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    They can’t even define what a “first duty” is without circularity.

    You can’t even understand that you just used duty to truth to deny existence of duty.
    When somebody don’t understand these obvious types of logical contradictions can’t be helped . 🙂

    Like you and WJM keep saying: “The truth is relative(my O/E ,your O/E).” This sentence is a logical contradiction when applied on itself.

  290. 290

    This endless conversation is hopeless.

    Everyone should have learned the creationist categories in school, when they were 8. Should have been hammered into everyone’s brain, by reciting the categories out loud with the whole class.

    Creator / chooses / spiritual / opinion
    Creation / chosen / material / fact

    Then at 12 years old, they would learn the complicated words subjective and objective, and the basic logic of opinion and fact.

    Then all this hopeless conversation would have been avoided, and everyone would have paid dedicated attention to subjective issues growing up, besides paying attention to objective issues.

    Instead of as now, that everyone is fact obsessed, and utterly clueless about emotions and personal opinons. Most of all the atheists are clueless, but everyone else is clueless also.

    Except me, I am not clueless. I had the basic decency / civilization to go and find out what the basic logic of a personal is. And figure it in the creationist conceptual scheme. Doing this simple task made me the greatest over all of you.

  291. 291
    Jack says:

    LCD: “You can’t even understand that you just used duty to truth to deny existence of duty.”

    First, define what a “duty” is, then tell me how I just “used” it.

    “When somebody don’t understand these obvious types of logical contradictions can’t be helped”

    It’s “doesn’t” not “don’t” but, I’ll try not to be the grammar police.

    I use lies (anti-truth) sometimes too in the service of my agenda. Does that mean I have a “duty” to lie?

    “Like you and WJM keep saying: “The truth is relative(my O/E ,your O/E).” This sentence is a logical contradiction when applied on itself.”

    Except my sentence fits perfectly within my O/E and violates no existential unavoidables, such as logic and math. I am internally consistent. And I’m not trying to sell my O/E to anyone as KF and his minions are.

  292. 292
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    It’s “doesn’t” not “don’t” but, I’ll try not to be the grammar police.

    Nobody forced you to feel the duty of protecting the truth of grammar rules and even if you wouldn’t said it you thought it so is there ,it’s real. Yep that duty you deny you use it. 😉

    The duty is a REALITY , all people use it , even those who try to deny it . Isn’t it funny? What you want to say is that the value(the arrow) that duty(bow) use is different. Unfortunatelly for you and WJM ,your arrows can’t fly.

  293. 293
    William J Murray says:

    LCD said:

    Like you and WJM keep saying: “The truth is relative(my O/E ,your O/E).”

    Never said that, never implied it.

  294. 294
    kairosfocus says:

    Jack, the hyperskepticism, rejection of the need to respect common sense (on pain of self-referential undermining of credibility of rationality) and the insertion of a switcheroo implied to be just as good is now a cultural theme being pushed by forces of chaos. The pattern is the problem, deeper than specific cases, which are many. Up to and including now a blatant Reichstag fire agitprop ploy. KF

    PS: As to defining duty, that has been done any number of times and is readily accessible in high quality dictionaries. I will, for record, make a few notes.

    The pivot is that we credibly are rational, responsible, significantly free creatures, unlike say computational substrates which are GIGO-bound, mechanically and/or stochastically driven entities further shaped by their physical organisation. Such entities are non-rational, cause-effect governed, not sufficiently free to make rational, responsible inferences as to ground-consequent or evidence-support, etc. These systems can be no better than their organisation, inputs, stochastic phenomena, code + algorithms or signal representation and processing etc. Garbage in, garbage out, with no responsible judgement — that’s an oracular, non algorithmic action — that is a requisite of reason. Where, as OP illustrates, the Smith Model cybernetic loop with two-tier controller and shared memory etc is a useful framework to discuss an embodied cybernetic entity with rational, responsible freedom.)

    [And yes, a picture is worth a thousand words, though reduction through a description language is technically equivalent. Illustrations, then, are central to serious discussions, including flow and block diagrams of various sorts. I reject, for cause, the notion that only algebraic description languages count. For that matter, there is such a thing as block diagram algebra, and another that used to be called register transfer algebra, now, “language.” The language is algebraic.]

    If one rejects or derides this, already, self-referentiality leads to sawing off the branch on which we sit. The absurd is set aside as false, for cause.

    Now, how is freedom regulated and rightly guided? This is the context of wisdom, philo- +- sophia being love of same.

    The mechanically and/or stochastically governed have no choice of true freedom, the significantly free are responsible to use choice towards fulfillment of due or proper ends, which are often naturally evident to the eye of reason. Indeed, the frustration, wrenching out of alignment with or diversion from such ends is a definition of evil and/or folly. Such, predictably ends in chaos, especially where there is a ratcheting factor that creates an avalanche of acceleration over the edge.

    The concept of oughtness arises in that context, which is the immediate context of duty. Specifically, we ought to use freedom to make responsible, rational choices towards sound ends.

    Where, for instance, the naturally evident end of mind, rationality, reasoning is truth backed by duly carried out reasoning given our proneness to error, to stubborn folly and to injustice [which often pivots on error or deception].

    That oughtness in light of the challenges we face directly leads to duties, which specify proper ends and use of means to said ends. For example truth is accurate description of actually occurring states of affairs. So, duty to truth is duty to accurately describe reality, which immediately engages questions and duties of right reasoning and adequacy of warrant, fairness, honesty and justice. As you, an educated person, already full well understand.

    In this context — again, as you fully understand as an educated person — first principles are antecedents of such responsible reason in action. They pervade the process, are accessible to observation, are intelligible to one with adequate experience, are inescapably embedded in normal reasoning etc. The classic illustration is from Epictetus, which I yet again cite:

    DISCOURSES
    CHAPTER XXV

    How is logic necessary?

    When someone in [Epictetus’] audience said, Convince me that logic is necessary, he answered: Do you wish me to demonstrate this to you?—Yes.—Well, then, must I use a demonstrative argument?—And when the questioner had agreed to that, Epictetus asked him. How, then, will you know if I impose upon you?—As the man had no answer to give, Epictetus said: Do you see how you yourself admit that all this instruction is necessary, if, without it, you cannot so much as know whether it is necessary or not? [Notice, inescapable, thus self evidently true and antecedent to the inferential reasoning that provides deductive proofs and frameworks, including axiomatic systems and propositional calculus etc. Cf J. C. Wright]

    I challenge you to show that Epictetus is wrong, if you wish to disregard or dismiss his point. Oops, you can’t do that without making resort to duty to and presence of distinct identity, non contradiction and excluded middle (these being immediate corollaries).

    As an educated person, you recognise a paradigm, an instructive classic example that shows how ’tweredun.

    Likewise, Cicero, in de Legibus, set out to identify what law is by exploring core characteristics. In so doing, he summarised received wisdom. This is not a proof, it is a recognition of antecedents, pervasive first principles. Here, first duties that simply to gain persuasive effect, even objectors implicitly use.

    Notice, above, G E Moore’s similar use of this to establish common sense credulity: the opposed philosophers, trying to deny, are forced to inadvertently appeal to the same common sense facts. Of course, circumstances at the time were such that Moore could not refer to self-evidence without opening up cans of worms. He let the implications speak.

    While I am at it, I often have found Collins English Dictionary particularly apt in definitions:

    duty (?dju?t?)
    n, pl -ties
    1. a task or action that a person is bound to perform for moral or legal reasons
    2. respect or obedience due to a superior, older persons, etc: filial duty.
    3. the force that binds one morally or legally to one’s obligations [–> oughtness is of course moral, and the truly lawful is shaped by the moral premise justice, due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities]
    4. (Commerce) a government tax, esp on imports
    5. (Mechanical Engineering)
    a. the quantity or intensity of work for which a machine is designed
    b. a measure of the efficiency of a machine
    6. (Agriculture) the quantity of water necessary to irrigate an area of land to grow a particular crop
    7. (Military)
    a. a job or service allocated
    b. (as modifier): duty rota.
    8. (Military) do duty for to act as a substitute for
    9. off duty not at work
    10. on duty at work
    [C13: from Anglo-French dueté, from Old French deu due]
    Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

    What is so hard, unintelligible or strange and suspect about that? Are you not aware of the testimony of conscience — especially SOUND conscience — regarding duty? (And yes, I am duly correcting the loaded substitution “sharp”.)

  295. 295
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, LCD has a point. KF

  296. 296
    Jack says:

    KF: Jack, the hyperskepticism
    All I see is hyper-denial of the obvious. On your part. And the toadies.

  297. 297
    Jack says:

    LDC: “Nobody forced you to feel the duty of protecting the truth of grammar rules and even if you wouldn’t said it you thought it so is there ,it’s real. Yep that duty you deny you use it.”

    Go get a girlfriend (or boyfriend.) Something tells me you’re young and should be off the computer doing things young people do. But I could be wrong.

  298. 298

    Look at this title:
    “L&FP 46: A Big Questions Challenge — Confident Objective Knowledge Vs Grand Delusion In A Going-Concern World”

    Could just as well have been the title of an atheist screed advancing the scientific method, over the superstition of religion.

    It is the same obsession with objectivity and facts, and disregard for subjectivity and personal opinion, that atheists display.

    The obvious judgement is that you are against God, againt the human spirit, against the spiritual and subjective.

    And that you then talk about the soul, somehwere, is meaningless. Because the whole thing is geared toward objectivity. Atheists also express personal opinions about what is good, loving and beautiful, but their entire belief system is geared toward objectivity and fact, in disregard of personal opinions.

  299. 299
    kairosfocus says:

    Jack, turnabout projection. Let me mark up, again:

    >>All I see>>

    1: Appeal to accuracy of senses, and thus to embodiment in the common world, and to duty to truth.

    >> is hyper-denial of the obvious.>>

    2: Beginnings of a turnabout projection.

    3: Appeal, of course, to obvious, perceived truth, thus duty to same, to acknowledge it. This is appeal to duties to truth, right reason and warrant (part of prudence).

    >> On your part.>>

    4: Accusation of falsehood on my part, so to failed duty to truth.

    >>And the toadies.>>

    5: Extended to others, where, toady is an ad hominem, as in:

    toady (?t??d?)
    n, pl toadies
    a person who flatters and ingratiates himself or herself in a servile way; sycophant
    vb, toadies, toadying or toadied
    to fawn on and flatter (someone)
    [C19: shortened from toadeater]
    ?toadyish adj
    ?toadyism n
    Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

    6: Of course, this suggests that your argumentation has slipped from the merits to negative emotive appeals. However, it yet again exemplifies how objections cannot but appeal to the first duties of reason they would deny.

    7: What now becomes interesting is, why pay so high a price, to sustain denial? The answer has to be, that somehow, being responsible and morally governed, so accountable before intelligible principles, is somehow perceived as an affront to freedom rather than an aspect of intelligent, rational, responsible freedom.

    8: To which, the answer is, liberty is not licence. That is, community requires due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities. That is, the civil peace of justice. Which, yes, means that rights and freedoms are inextricably intertwined with duties.

    KF

  300. 300
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, strawman. It has been repeatedly explained, that given our finite, fallible, error-prone, morally struggling, too often ill willed patterns of behaviour, we need to address warrant for knowledge claims. To be free enough to be rational is to be a subject, that is already a significant point. However, our subjectivity is error prone so we need a way to address responsible warrant for claims we make. Noted for record. KF

  301. 301

    The errors of subjectivity are to:
    – conceive of a matter of opinion, as if it was a matter of fact (social darwinism)
    – to be forced to an opinion (to be forced to say a painting is beautiful provides an invalid opinion)

    The opinion that it is a good thing to ransack a village, and murder and rape the inhabitants, is a logically valid opinion.

    Logic provides no guidance in these matters. God provides guidance, by praying to God.

    Otherwise the laws of the country also provide guidance. But then the wisdom to institute these laws is through prayer, and otherwise, the laws are really only practical for people who pray to God. The laws won’t have the intended effect on a corrupt poplulation.

    There is no strawman of your position in what I write. It is the obvious truth that atheists are geared towards objectivity, in disregard of subjectivity. Which is how they run down society.

    In light of this assault, only a straightforward unequivocal acceptance of subjectivity is passable. While what you present, is again a feverish advancement of objectivity, as if we didn’t have enough of that already.

  302. 302
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, moral reasoning on basic principles does provide guidance for behaviour. Try, respect for the first right, life. KF

  303. 303
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    so accountable before intelligible principles, is somehow perceived as an affront to freedom rather than an aspect of intelligent, rational, responsible freedom.

    Yep this is all about with the mention to be kept in mind : “why Jesus came?” because of an ontologic falling of humanity. If you were 100% right Jesus wasn’t a necessity which is not the case.
    Showing to a man his mistake bluntly in the face make him instinctually to oppose your “accusation” and then to try to rationalize ad-hoc a kind of defense.

    that atheists are geared towards objectivity, in disregard of subjectivity.

    :))) Are people here who understand what Mohammadnursyamsu is talking about?

  304. 304

    Because you argue towards objectivity, the moral reasoning to respect life is going to end up with an absent emotional basis. So you end up with some reasoning that respects life, while the emotion to appreciate life is disregarded.

    You have not acknowledged the obvious truth that atheist beliefs are geared towards objectivity.

    My very simple theory is, if you don’t pay dedicated attention to subjective issues, as by for instance not acknowledging the validity of subjectivity intellectually, and focusing on just objectivity, then you will make bad personal opinions.

    Although it could also be argued that solely intuitive understanding of subjectivity, without the intellectual understanding, provides better personal opinions.

    Intellectual understanding of subjectivity, provides more imminent control over personal opinions. Like that you could choose the opinion not to like a painting, eventhough from the lower level intuitive decisionmaking processess, you do like it.

    Atheists have a more natural way of subjectivity, guided solely by intuition, while the religious have a more stately way of subjectivity, that also includes rites, wisdom, and immediate control.

    I think that is the advantage / appeal that atheists had in the sixties and seventies. How they became popular, by their intuitive ways.

    But I guess that advantage is only when there are few atheists in society, and not like now, when there is a lot of them. When the whole emotional life turns to crap, because of widespread lack of intellectual acknowledgement of subjectivity.

  305. 305
    William J Murray says:

    KF says:

    1: Appeal to accuracy of senses, and thus to embodiment in the common world, and to duty to truth.

    Nobody is arguing against “accuracy of the senses.” What is being argued is not the sensory data itself, but what the sensory data represents, how it should be best understood and organized according to the evidence and logic.

    What now becomes interesting is, why pay so high a price, to sustain denial? The answer has to be, that somehow, being responsible and morally governed, so accountable before intelligible principles, is somehow perceived as an affront to freedom rather than an aspect of intelligent, rational, responsible freedom.

    Pure projection and mind-reading, assigning others motivations convenient to your perspective.

    To which, the answer is, liberty is not licence. That is, community requires due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities. That is, the civil peace of justice. Which, yes, means that rights and freedoms are inextricably intertwined with duties.

    That depends entirely upon what kind of reality we actually live in.

    You cannot demonstrate your particular ontology to be universal – as in, necessary or unavoidable. You’ve admitted it is not. So, your argument depends on evidence and logic. The “evidence” you present is projection (of your own motivations and reasons onto others,) mind-reading, and excludes all non-common experiences, and all evidence, that indicate your ontology to be erroneous or incomplete in order to preserve your “common sense realism.”

  306. 306
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM,

    your rejection of the evident simply further manifests the problem. Let us note this, in response to the first facts of consciousness, that we are embodied with certain bodily senses, in a wider world:

    Nobody is arguing against “accuracy of the senses.” What is being argued is not the sensory data itself, but what the sensory data represents, how it should be best understood and organized according to the evidence and logic.

    By trying to suggest that the senses must be reinterpreted away from what they manifestly tell us, the accuracy of the senses is under objection, with the implication that the world and embodiment we experience are — arbitrarily — suspect.

    The result is, grand delusion cascade as long since warned.

    If the intelligent consciousness we experience cannot be expected to correctly sense our embodiment and interaction with a world, it would be discredited including attempted reasoning and interpretations. Self referential undermining. And of course an implicit appeal to duty to right reason lurks.

    The sounder approach is common sense, taking due note that as our minds are plastic, some will go out of their way to construct alternative views. However, often, such saw off the branch on which we sit.

    One who is sufficiently determined to do so, can then spin out shadow show after shadow show, insisting that the real problem is common sense. Sad.

    KF

  307. 307
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    WJM
    Nobody is arguing against “accuracy of the senses.” What is being argued is not the sensory data itself, but what the sensory data represents

    Kairosfocus
    By trying to suggest that the senses must be reinterpreted away from what they manifestly tell us, the accuracy of the senses is under objection, with the implication that the world and embodiment we experience are — arbitrarily — suspect.

    :))) KF you broke WJM ‘s mojo that sound like that :” What is being argued is not x itself, but what the x represents ” . In the case of our senses there is nothing to be interpreted they are what they are and nobody in the right mind argue about what they are.

  308. 308
    William J Murray says:

    KF keeps conflating the logical necessity of utilizing truth statements with a duty to “tell the truth.” The logical necessity of identification, non-contradiction and excluded middle, and “telling the truth” are two entirely different things.

    KF asserts we have a “duty” to tell the truth; and that even when we lie, the lie works only because of the assumed expectation of general, dutiful truth-telling. IOW, his point is that lies are only effective within the assumption of duty to tell the truth. If lying breaks down the assumption of truth-telling, society breaks down as, effectively, nobody can trust anything anyone says.

    Okay, fair enough. I don’t walk around thinking everyone is lying to me. But, I also don’t walk around with the expectation that everyone is telling me the truth, either. I don’t have an assumption that it is anyone’s “duty” to tell me the truth. My experience tells me that (1) everyone lies about something, now and then, even if it’s just a white lie or a lie of omission; (2) very often, even when people believe they are telling the truth, it’s not reflective of a theoretical “the truth,” rather, it’s reflective of their own personal perspective, and (3) the assumption that, in general, others are obeying a truth-telling duty is a naive and even perhaps dangerous way to live. It’s better to assess the words of others in terms of other things, like their personal history of being truthful with you, their own potential conflicts of interest wrt the subject matter, and some critical reasoning about what they are saying and the subject matter itself. Also, a good handle on physical “tells” that indicate deliberate deceit is a good skill to develop, but is not conclusive.

    IMO, the whole “duty” angle is just a naive way of interacting with other people, institutions, media, information, etc.

    Beyond all of that, though, is a more fundamental issue. What are we telling the truth about?

    KF apparently believes he is telling the truth about an objective reality external of both his and my experience. He believes he is telling the truth when he asserts what my reasons and motivations are for saying what I say, and when he characterizes my behavior in certain ways. He believes he is telling the truth when he makes statements about “common human experience” and what is “obvious.”

    The problem is, outside of existential unavoidables we’ve all agreed are valid for every sentient experience, there’s simply no way for KF to know his statements are true about anyone else – about how they think, what their reasons and motivations are, what they experience, etc. When he makes those kind of statements, he is projecting his own thoughts and experiences onto others, as if they *must* be referencing the same general experiences as he, and they *must* have the same kind of reasons and motivations he would have in their shoes if he was saying the things they say. His constant projections and mind-reading is an entirely self-referential display.

    I don’t do anything I do out of or because of duty. I don’t say anything I say out of duty. I do it all out of preference and enjoyment, even when I choose to obey or disobey actual duties imposed by actual authorities in light of actual consequences. When I arrange my words here inescapably in the form of truth statements about my life, my reasons, my motivations (even if I was lying about it,) it does not represent a duty, it’s just an inescapable fact about how thought and communication works, which KF erroneously interprets as me being “dutiful” to truth.

    I do not “expect” that anyone here has a “duty,” or will “fulfill” such a duty, by submitting to or accepting logical conclusions. That may be the reason and expectation that KF and others have; that’s not why I’m here, and that’s not what I expect or think. I don’t use the same common phrases KF uses for the same reasons, or from the same expectations or with the same implications that KF uses those words or phrases; they do not imply or indicate adherence to or appeal to any so-called “duty.” I don’t say them out of duty; I am not appealing to any “duty” on KF’s part.

    If I was trying to get KF to “listen to reason and evidence” and expected him to acquiesce to logic and reason, THEN KF would have a point to argue – that my expectation that he or others would do so could only be an expectation in relationship to an assumed “duty” on his part (or so his argument goes, apparently) to acquiesce in the face of logic and evidence.

    But, I do not expect that. That’s not why I’m here, and that’s not why I’m participating, that’s not my goal or desire. I don’t expect him to read what I write here and say, “Oh, well, good point, you’re right.” I don’t anticipate that reaction because I don’t hold that he has any duty or obligation to do so. From my perspective, people believe what they prefer to believe, and I have no problem with that, because I believe what I prefer to believe. I expect that KF and everyone else will write what he prefers to write; interpret how he prefers to interpret, characterize me and others how he prefers to do so, every single time.

  309. 309
    William J Murray says:

    By trying to suggest that the senses must be reinterpreted away from what they manifestly tell us, the accuracy of the senses is under objection, with the implication that the world and embodiment we experience are — arbitrarily — suspect.

    Our senses do not “manifestly” tell us any such thing, because “we” also experience dreams where we have much the same experience. Also, many of us have other conscious, full-sensory, even hyper-sensory experiences in different bodies in different “worlds.” Also, we now have the scientific evidence that clearly indicates that our prior interpretation of what our senses represented is factually in error.

    The result is, grand delusion cascade as long since warned.

    No, it is not. The “grand delusion cascade) you speak of is entirely the conceptual product and subset of your interpretation of what the data from our sense represents. It does not apply to, nor can be derived from, a different interpretation of what those senses represent.

    Thus, the rest of your comment fails, because it is applying an inapplicable perspective to evaluate an entirely different interpretation of what sensory data is about. You might as well be saying that from the Newtonian physics perspective, quantum physics opens the door to grand delusion.

    No, it does not, because Newtonian physics is an inapplicable framework by which to evaluate quantum physics theory and experimental results.

  310. 310
    William J Murray says:

    So, again, KF’s entire argument depends on conveniently sweeping out counterfactuals, such as uncommon experience, dreams, astral projection, the proven-false idea of a material world, other prior false interpretations of common sensory data writ large, etc., and classifying them as “error.” He asserts his own interpretation is not possibly rationally “in error,” despite counterfactuals, scientific evidence and countless uncommon experiences that clearly indicate his interpretation of sensory data is entirely, rationally questionable, to put it charitably.

  311. 311
    William J Murray says:

    Do we have a conscious experience of sensory embodiment in a 3D external world in some dreams? Yes or no?

  312. 312
    William J Murray says:

    Physicists spent decades trying to reconcile quantum experimental evidence with the “common sense, common experience” perspective of “what our senses manifestly tell us,” and failed in all efforts, closing all available “loopholes” that would preserve the idea of “local reality.” “Local reality” is basically the concept that things exist outside of our conscious experience which have innate, discrete states that provide information about those innate, “real” states to us, which our mind interprets as such.

    This has been proven false, inasmuch as science and experiment can prove something false. Factually contradictory states can be observed as what their senses “manifestly tell them” between different observers. This does not mean that the actual data from our senses was in error: it only means that what we thought that data meant and what we thought that data was about was an incorrect interpretation.

    Changing one’s interpretation of data, or at least questioning it and exploring other interpretations in light of new evidence, is not the end of rationality; it is the essence of it. It’s what rational people do – at least, those who are not pre-committed, ideologically, to the old interpretation.

  313. 313
    jerry says:

    By trying to suggest that the senses must be reinterpreted away from what they manifestly tell us, the accuracy of the senses is under objection, with the implication that the world and embodiment we experience are — arbitrarily — suspect.

    We send vehicles/instruments to the far reaches of the solar system. We build massive cities with ever increasing efficiency. We have technology that provides expanding benefits at fractions of past costs. The lists go on and on.

    How?

    By assessing the external environment through the efforts of millions of independent observations and then analyzing what is effective and what is not. All through an understanding of some external world to ourselves.

    Our sensory information which if fairly common among nearly all is at the heart of this.

  314. 314
    jerry says:

    One of the common observations that humans have had over the centuries is that we are all different and yet we are all the same in some ways. Books/treatises have been written on both.

    There are a large number of characteristics that vary widely between individuals such as physical, size, color of skin, eyes, hair, muscle types, bone types and other physical characteristics. Then there are other characteristics that are mental in origin such as intelligence, aptitudes and importantly attitudes. And there are physical/mental characteristics such as language, dexterity/agility, artistic ability and other skills.

    Some of these characteristics that are common identify us as human which are mostly physical but other characteristics that also seem innate in most humans and are mental.

    To be effective in the world any worldview has to recognize these givens.

  315. 315
    William J Murray says:

    Jerry said:

    We send vehicles/instruments to the far reaches of the solar system. We build massive cities with ever increasing efficiency. We have technology that provides expanding benefits at fractions of past costs. The lists go on and on.

    By assessing the external environment through the efforts of millions of independent observations and then analyzing what is effective and what is not. All through an understanding of some external world to ourselves.

    Nope. All through an understanding of widely corroborated and validated independent experiences. The old theory of what exists outside of that experience has been disproved by the same kind of scientific research that built the old model. This is why so many are turning to information-centric and consciousness-centric ideas and theories: to explain the evidence.

    That doesn’t mean that old model did not or does not work well; Newtonian physics works really well. It just cannot be used to understand or evaluate quantum physics.

    You’re conflating the interpretation of the data, which works really well for a lot of our experience, for the data itself. There are other ways of interpreting the data which aligns with evidence gained by decades of quantum physics research and experimentation – among other lines of evidence.

  316. 316
    jerry says:

    There are other ways of interpreting the data which aligns with evidence gained by decades of quantum physics research and experimentation – among other lines of evidence.

    Wow!

    Quantum physics explains rolling suitcases and Hula hoops. Never knew that.

    Does it explain Bugs Bunny too? He’s part of Looney Tunes. Should fit right in.

  317. 317
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Quantum psysics is UNRELATED and has NO RELEVANCE to our discussion about DUTY that is an immaterial moral value.
    I think this kind of argument can be indexed as logical fallacy called “quantum of the gaps” that sounds like that : “quantum , therefore [ insert here any craziness]”

  318. 318
    Jack says:

    LCD: “Nobody forced you to feel the duty of protecting the truth of grammar rules and even if you wouldn’t said it you thought it so is there ,it’s real. Yep that duty you deny you use it.”

    I don’t have any duty to protect grammar rules. Although I do sometimes enjoy pointing out grammatical errors to uppity nincompoops.

    “The duty is a REALITY , all people use it , even those who try to deny it.”

    Everyone has duties as defined by law and commitment: do it, or face punishment. But we’re talking about moral duties. What moral duty am I “using” while “denying” that I “use” it?

  319. 319
    Jack says:

    KF:

    >>All I see>>

    “1: Appeal to accuracy of senses,”

    My sense are a tool in my toolbox. See @251

    “and thus to embodiment in the common world”

    I have perceptions. I’m not sure what’s causing them, but I deal with them the best I can for the sake of my agenda.

    “and to duty to truth.”

    I don’t have a duty to truth. Sometime I lie in the service of my agenda. Do I have a duty to falsehood?

    “3: Appeal, of course, to obvious, perceived truth, thus duty to same, to acknowledge it. This is appeal to duties to truth, right reason and warrant (part of prudence).”

    See @251

    >> On your part.>>

    “4: Accusation of falsehood on my part, so to failed duty to truth.”

    My opinion.

    >>And the toadies.>>

    “5: Extended to others, where, toady is an ad hominem, as in:”

    Minions? Followers? Fellow travellers? If that makes you feel better.

    “6: Of course, this suggests that your argumentation has slipped from the merits to negative emotive appeals. However, it yet again exemplifies how objections cannot but appeal to the first duties of reason they would deny.”

    See @251

    “7: What now becomes interesting is, why pay so high a price, to sustain denial?”

    Ask yourself that about yourself.

    “The answer has to be, that somehow, being responsible and morally governed, so accountable before intelligible principles, is somehow perceived as an affront to freedom rather than an aspect of intelligent, rational, responsible freedom.”

    See @251

    “8: To which, the answer is, liberty is not licence. That is, community requires due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities. That is, the civil peace of justice. Which, yes, means that rights and freedoms are inextricably intertwined with duties.”

    Who decides what “due balance of rights” are? And why should I care what they say, except to the extent that they can punish me?

    I don’t have any duties outside of the demands of law (because the govt can punish me criminally) and commitments (because the govt and private individuals can punish me in civil court.) Otherwise I have no idea what you mean by “duty.”

  320. 320
    Seversky says:

    William J Murray/311

    Do we have a conscious experience of sensory embodiment in a 3D external world in some dreams? Yes or no?

    Yes, I have.

    And I understand some people are even aware of being in a dream and are able to control what happens to some extent, although I’ve never experienced a lucid dream at all.

    I do remember quite a mundane dream in which I was going into work one morning. I walked into the foyer of a large office building where I’d worked for years, nodded to the guy on the desk, walked upstairs to the first floor where there were lines of cubicles, said “Hi” to some of my co-workers – again people I’d known for years – on the way to my desk but woke up before I got there. I was trying to remember when it was I worked there but, when became fully awake, I realized none of it had ever happened. I’d never worked in a place like that and I’d never known any of the people I greeted. Yet, in the dream, the sense of recognition was absolute. It was weird.

  321. 321
    Jack says:

    Seversky: ” some people are even aware of being in a dream and are able to control what happens to some extent, although I’ve never experienced a lucid dream at all.”

    I’ve been doing it for 40 years. There are techniques you can learn.

    https://www.amazon.com/Exploring-World-Dreaming-Stephen-LaBerge/dp/034537410X/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Exploring+the+World+of+Lucid+Dreaming&qid=1626645676&sr=8-1

  322. 322
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    What moral duty am I “using” while “denying” that I “use” it?

    two wolves

  323. 323
    kairosfocus says:

    LCD, a wonderful story. KF

  324. 324
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, it has long since been adequately shown that first principles are pervasive and so are inescapable. However, for good or ill, we are free. For example, even though the very structure of language and thinking inextricably embeds distinct identity (think, distinct states, symbols etc) we can and do often choose to be illogical or may simply err. This includes notoriously, appealing to quantum mechanics to try to undermine distinct identity. Just so, first duties express connexions between means and often naturally evident ends of our rationality and are embedded in how we find reasoning persuasive: would you be inclined to accept what is untruthful, illogical, unwarranted, imprudent etc? Patently not, but we too often make mistakes or willfully seek to exploit the ignorance or errors of others. As one result, we may deny the duties to truth, right reason, warrant and wider prudence, etc but will find that our arguments implicitly appeal to precisely those duties. Behold, then, the awesome yet terrible responsibilities of freedom, to do due diligence so we do not err or exploit and abuse. KF

  325. 325
    William J Murray says:

    Seversky @320:

    Yes, I’ve had many dreams similar to that. Plus, I’ve had other kinds of experiences that contributed to the development of my theory. The idea our senses “manifestly tell us” what it is and what is going on is nonsense. It might be what KF says, but at this point, given the evidence, that is unlikely.

  326. 326
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: On the first facts of self- and world- aware consciousness, it is patent that we can and do directly sense our embodiment, including pleasures, pains, thoughts etc, and likewise the perceptions mediated by sense organs such as eyes, ears, noses, skin [tactile], which we fuse into a self- in- world awareness.

    One, which we implicitly rely on to survive and even to thrive.

    Likewise our thoughts, feelings, voice or prodding of conscience etc. All of this is description, and note that it deeply involves embodiment in and interaction with the world, starting with breathing etc. (Stop breathing for an hour and see if the same proceeds, let us know if you can.)

    I continue to summarise the common sense picture, which is open to error in detail, but should be respected as credible on the whole, and rightly holds default.

    This brings out the problem with radical skeptical dismissiveness and alternatives starting with Plato’s Cave and its narratives of social and/or internal grand delusion — think Matrix, in modern movie terms. These are all self-referential, and once the genie is out of the bottle, its appetite is insatiable, just we don’t follow infinite cascades well. If the level 1 is a delusion involving the overall common sense, embodiment and rational, responsible, free individuality in the common world, mind has been undermined. Whether or not you acknowledge it.

    For, why stop there: being set free, forced to stand and look behind to see parapet, flame and shadow show in progress may simply be the next level of the walk-in vision/dream . . . delusion, grand delusion. And if level 2 is suspect, so is level 3 then 4, 5, 6 . . . without limit.

    That’s a context for my remark, there are no firewalls in the mind. Once aggressive, corrosive hyperskeptical doubt is set loose, it will lead to self-referential discredit.

    That’s why G E Moore and before him Thomas Reid et al, warned us to have basic respect for common sense and by extension first self-evident truths and first facts of consciousness and conscience.

    Which last, BTW, once sound (e.g. not beaten to death by habitual wrongdoing or benumbing through drink and drugs or ideologies etc), conscience is a direct testimony to our being under moral government. Indeed, I see from scholarship, it is likely, consciousness in the psychological sense, was only seriously distinguished from conscience only a few centuries past. SEP:

    Through our individual conscience, we become aware of our deeply held moral principles, we are motivated to act upon them, and we assess our character, our behavior and ultimately our self against those principles. Different philosophical, religious and common sense approaches to conscience have emphasized different aspects of this broad characterization . . . On any of these accounts, conscience is defined by its inward looking and subjective character, in the following sense: conscience is always knowledge of ourselves, or awareness of moral principles we have committed to, or assessment of ourselves, or motivation to act that comes from within us (as opposed to external impositions). This inward looking and subjective character of conscience is also reflected in the etymological relation between the notion of “conscience” and that of consciousness. Only after the 17th Century did “consciousness” start to be used with a distinct meaning referring to the psychological and phenomenal dimension of the mind, rather than to its moral dimension (for an account of the terminological shift, see Jorgensen 2014).

    The term “conscience” translates the Latin “conscientia”, which refers to sharing “knowledge” (scientia) “with” (con-), and which in turns translates the equivalent Greek term suneidenai (see Pierce 1955 and Sorabji 2014 for an etymological analysis of the term). The literal meaning of the term does not specify the type of knowledge involved and whom that knowledge is shared with. However, the concept has traditionally been used to refer to moral knowledge (we talk indifferently of conscience and moral conscience) that is shared with oneself. This reference to the self does not rule out that the source of the morality in question be external to the self. For example, it might be God, as in the Christian tradition, or the influence of one’s culture or of one’s upbringing, as in the Freudian theory of the Super-Ego. [–> of course, conscience is a witness, a built in testimony, it can be sound or unsound, connected to logical soundness and first moral truths, i.e. here we are . . . tada . . . first, self-evident (by being pervasive and inescapable) duties] Reference to the self indicates that, from a psychological point of view, conscience involves introspection, awareness of one’s behavior, and self-assessment. As we shall see, although these aspects often overlap, they are psychologically and conceptually distinct functions.

    “Sharing moral knowledge with oneself” might mean and imply different things. As for the object of knowledge, for example, it might refer to knowledge of one’s own conduct in view of an assessment of it against a certain moral standard, or it might refer to knowledge of moral standards or principles themselves.

    This is helpful, for the willing. Indeed, the docile in the proper sense: those open to learn, be soundly taught.

    The mere inner voice pointing to one’s true ends as a testimony, then calling to the discipline of walking to such ends despite stumbling, is not a compulsion of force or mechanical necessity, it is a compass that helps to navigate. Indeed, we here see the cascade in the list of seven duties at work truth –> right reason –> warrant and wider prudence –> sound conscience.

    Then, the social bridge to neighbours of like nature thence immediately fairness and justice. Justice being due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities. Which last allows us to build a sound framework for governance, law and government by the state in the narrow sense. one that rightly may be termed a natural law framework.

    More can be said, it being better to lay out a positive framework than to try to chase down every twist or turn of rhetoric or error.

  327. 327
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: But quantum and cosmology. Ah, well, I find it slightly amusing given my academic home discipline, to be the one highlighting that the micro-underpinnings and the cosmological modelling do not invalidate the ordinary macro local view of the world. Solids, setting aside elastic deflection and plastic deformation, remain, as bodies that hold their shape and size. liquids are unable to resist internal shear under their weight, so flow and hold volume. Gases flow but expand or diffuse to fill available space. Other more exotic states exist such as glasses as super-viscous liquids. The macro-local experience is credibly real not delusion. The resort to

    . . . “The idea our senses “manifestly tell us” what it is and what is going on is nonsense. It might be what KF says, but at this point, given the evidence, that is unlikely.” . . .

    is self-referential, strawmannish and self-defeating.

    That is the problem with views that invite grand delusion inferences. But, we must never forget that worldviews tend to be self-reinforcing and so it is very hard to recognise such.

  328. 328
    William J Murray says:

    KF asks:

    Just so, first duties express connexions between means and often naturally evident ends of our rationality and are embedded in how we find reasoning persuasive: would you be inclined to accept what is untruthful, illogical, unwarranted, imprudent etc?

    Absolutely, as long as it’s an enjoyable thought or belief.

    For example, what was the “truth” about my dead wife and our relationship after she died? Was it warranted, or prudent, logical or truthful for me to think that I could find a way to reconnect with her, to carry on our relationship mutually, to be fully happy, joyful and fulfilled again with her?

    I simply made the choice to believe I might be able to do it. Why did I choose to believe that? Because it offered, as far as I could see, the only potential for reclaiming any enjoyment of life. That’s all that mattered to me.

    At the time I could not find any information whatsoever about how to go forward, or even a story about anyone who had ever done this particular thing before – reconnect with a dead romantic partner, come through and out of grief, re-establishing that ongoing, fulfilling relationship. Do you know what kind of social pressure exists against such a course of action, in secular, religious and even so-called “spiritual” communities? Probably not. As far as I can tell, I wrote the first book about that, called “Forbidden,” because this kind of effort/relationship runs completely against the social grain at all levels. You are expected to either “move on” and/or accept some level of grief the rest of your life in such situations.

    So no, the belief I chose was not “well-warranted” by any evidence. It contradicted “common sense” and “common human experience.” It was not regarded as “truthful” or ‘prudent.” I had no idea if it could even be done; but I chose to believe I at least might be able to do it all the same, even though my psychology/subconscious was screaming at me, clawing at me every day, telling me “it’s hopeless, she’s gone, you’ll never have her again.” My conscious choice to believe it was possible was like a whisper in a howling category 5 hurricane of pain, despair and “common sense interpretations of common human experience.”

    Yet, here I am today, joyful, entirely grief-free, fulfilled, whole. I’ve visited multiple times with my wife in what we call “the afterlife” via astral projection. We can do anything we want together any time we want via another process called astral travel. We communicate daily. She constantly helps me and others out. She has made physical objects appear and disappear, sometimes to be playful with me, sometimes to be supportive and build my confidence in the early days, sometimes it is a thing I need to do something around the house. Other people have been there and witnessed these events. Multiple other people have had astral projection experiences with her, verifying her existence and the conditions she is living in, what she looks like, how she dresses, behaves, etc.

    Before I went through all of this based on a tiny kernel of faith drifting in an ocean of “common sense, common human experience” social resistance, there was no place, no resource, no support for anyone who wanted to stay committed to, and continue their relationship with, their dead partner. I co-founded just such a group now with nearly 1000 members, many of whom who would tell you that group saved their lives; that just by finding support and a place they can talk, they have hope and their grief became more manageable. Traditional grief groups do not allow this kind of pursuit to be advocated, to put it mildly.

    Many of these people, who before couldn’t even get out of bed, who couldn’t even get two words out without their voice breaking and tears flowing, are back to enjoying their lives, functioning, going to work, and have regained their happy relationship with their partners. All they need was an example that it could be done, just the barest hope they could also do this, and some support, a place to gather, talk with each other, be there for each other during the tough times.

    And that’s jus a small sampling of what I and others have accomplished pursuing uncommon interpretations of our uncommon experiences.

    So, go ahead and keep proselytizing for Reid’s “common sense realism” based on “common human experience,” KF. It works for you, and I’m happy about that, but don’t think for a second you could ever convince me out of my own experiences or the way I think about them. It’s just been far, far too successful to ditch for “common sense.”

  329. 329
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, in short, are you willing to go with the untruthful, illogical etc on grounds of pleasure? That sounds a lot like crude hedonism. Perhaps, you wish to clarify, that colours onward remarks. KF

  330. 330
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, in short, are you willing to go with the untruthful, illogical etc on grounds of pleasure? That sounds a lot like crude hedonism. Perhaps, you wish to clarify, that colours onward remarks. KF

    I’ve clarified this several times.

    I’m not talking about Hedonism or Epicureanism. I’m talking about enjoyment in the broadest, fullest sense, both direct and abstract, and learning how to manage enjoyments in order to achieve a deeply, profoundly enjoyable sense of being whole, satisfied and fulfilled, enthusiastic, joyful, etc.

    Like the true story I told about how I took care of my mother in her declining years: none of my brothers or my sister were willing to do that. It was too painful for them. My wife and I took it on; I wanted to be “that guy” because I enjoy being “that guy,” the guy who took care of his mother, wiped her butt, bathed her, cleaned her up, was there for her as she deteriorated and eventually died peacefully in her sleep in our home. I’m the one that found her dead that morning. I didn’t do that out of any sense of duty; I did it because I enjoy being “that guy,” that kind of son. It is very, very satisfying and fulfilling, even to this day, that I was there for her, and I did the same for my wife as she battled cancer for two and a half years. I drained the fluids from her lung cavity via the port at home. I took care of her every need and desire, not out of duty, but because I immensely enjoyed showing her my love and devotion to her.

    People enjoy horror movies, and movies that break their heart and leave them in tears. You can enjoy the painful struggle against all odds, persevering even when everything appears hopeless, if you arrange your thoughts correctly so that the outcome doesn’t really matter; what matters is how you see yourself, and the fulfillment you can gain by making the effort, especially in the face of what seems to be impossible.

    Simple, direct pleasures are fun and enjoyable, but they are fleeting. Mere “pleasure” does not provide anything near the depths of enjoyment that longer-term things and more abstract considerations can provide, such as being in a loving, committed relationship that stands the test of time over many, many years. Sex is fun and enjoyable, and can be very deeply intimate and rewarding, but there are far deeper, more profound aspects to a loving relationship than sex.

    Many things are pleasurable superficially or in the short run, but can ruin one’s broader and deeper enjoyment of life, the world, and loved ones, which is why I carefully manage and pay attention to what I do and how I do it, what kind of enjoyments to engage in and which ones to avoid or strictly moderate.

    Every choice I make is in relationship to this perspective, including what I choose to believe and have faith in.

  331. 331
    William J Murray says:

    IOW, KF, I love what and who I love. I enjoy what I enjoy. I embrace that even if it puts me at odds with you, Cicero, Reid, and all of society. I will be the man I enjoy being until the bitter end, if it comes to that, thinking the thoughts I enjoy, holding the beliefs I enjoy, doing what I enjoy. I don’t care about what is true, warranted, or prudent; I don’t care about duties or obligations; I don’t care if anyone else considers it logical or reasonable. I don’t care if I can even rationally explain or understand it.

    I’m like Robin Williams in the movie “What Dreams May Come.” If my wife ends up in hell, I will cast myself into hell to be with her, because that’s the kind of man I enjoy being above avoiding an eternity of pain and suffering.

  332. 332
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Yet, here I am today, joyful, entirely grief-free, fulfilled, whole. I’ve visited multiple times with my wife in what we call “the afterlife” via astral projection. We can do anything we want together any time we want via another process called astral travel. We communicate daily. She constantly helps me and others out. She has made physical objects appear and disappear, sometimes to be playful with me, sometimes to be supportive and build my confidence in the early days, sometimes it is a thing I need to do something around the house. Other people have been there and witnessed these events. Multiple other people have had astral projection experiences with her, verifying her existence and the conditions she is living in, what she looks like, how she dresses, behaves, etc.

    Yep, Christian worldview acknowledge these realities and call them : demonic deception. Ask your wife what she thinks about Christianity and will tell you not to talk about . She will reject anything about Christianity. All the “persons” from your astral travel are against Christianity because all are demons and they hate Christianity.
    PS: and obviously you are not telling us the whole truth. Are there persons in your astral experiences that asked you to atract other people to these experiences? These “astral travels” deceptions are known in Christian literature for thousands of years.

  333. 333
    William J Murray says:

    All the “persons” from your astral travel are against Christianity because all are demons and they hate Christianity.

    There are plenty of Christians in the afterlife. People talk about it there much the same way as people talk about it here.

    Are there persons in your astral experiences that asked you to atract other people to these experiences?

    No. Nobody has asked me to do anything, other than my wife who has given me some advice about various rather mundane things, but in some cases some serious advice for a couple of our grown children. One piece of advice was for one of our sons to look beyond the superficial appearance of his girlfriend (not very attractive), pray about it (yes, to God, he’s a Christian) and see if there was love for her in his heart, and go with that love if he found it. Another bit of advice was for my oldest daughter to not have an abortion, but rather to pray and have faith that it would all turn out fine. In every case, so far at least, the advice has been golden and worked out very well.

    My wife was big on praying her entire life.

    My son prayed and married his girlfriend, and my daughter has another child, who is now the light of her life and everything worked out fine.

    I bet that’s not exactly the kind of advice you were expecting “demons” to pass along.

  334. 334
    William J Murray says:

    The “afterlife” areas I have visited are just normal places with normal people doing normal things, behaving in perfectly normal ways, dressed in normal clothes, etc. There’s nothing bizarre or weird about it, other than you run across things, like cars or architecture, that is just incredibly beautiful with amazing craftsmanship. Also, all the people appear to be in good health, generally happy, just going about their business. The food, at least what I have eaten there and from multiple reports, is spectacular. Occasionally I have a kind “hyper-sensory” experience, where the acuity of my senses are beyond what they normally are here, but for the most part it’s just like here, in my experience.

  335. 335

    WJM, your theory shows that how problems with subjectivity, too much grief, can then make problems for objectivity. However, you seem to have kept the logic of objectivity in tact. The astral projection and whatnot, seem to just be a logically consistent objective expansion on the commonly known objective universe.

  336. 336
    jerry says:

    The most amazing discovery since the beginning of recorded history, astral travel , and Murray reveals it to all 25 of those who read this blog.

    UD readers are privileged!!!!!

  337. 337
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    William J Murray
    There are plenty of Christians in the afterlife. People talk about it there much the same way as people talk about it here.
    No. Nobody has asked me to do anything, other than my wife who has given me some advice about various rather mundane things, but in some cases some serious advice for a couple of our grown children. One piece of advice was for one of our sons to look beyond the superficial appearance of his girlfriend (not very attractive), pray about it (yes, to God, he’s a Christian) and see if there was love for her in his heart, and go with that love if he found it. Another bit of advice was for my oldest daughter to not have an abortion, but rather to pray and have faith that it would all turn out fine. In every case, so far at least, the advice has been golden and worked out very well.

    My wife was big on praying her entire life.

    My son prayed and married his girlfriend, and my daughter has another child, who is now the light of her life and everything worked out fine.

    I bet that’s not exactly the kind of advice you were expecting “demons” to pass along.

    :)) You should have been careful with your past comments . Unfortunately for you the previous messages are out there for everyone to see. The change of tune is a red flag.

  338. 338
    William J Murray says:

    LCD said:

    You should have been careful with your past comments . Unfortunately for you the previous messages are out there for everyone to see. The change of tune is a red flag.

    What change of tune is that?

  339. 339
    William J Murray says:

    Jerry said:

    The most amazing discovery since the beginning of recorded history, astral travel , and Murray reveals it to all 25 of those who read this blog.

    From 2008, by one of the most prolific astral projectors/travelers of our time:
    https://www.amazon.com/Multidimensional-Man-Jurgen-Ziewe/dp/1409224252

    You can find astral projection subreddits and FB groups where people report and compare these experiences. Reports of such experiences go back almost as far as recorded history.

    Michael Raduga, among many others, teaches a class – and also has book outlining his very successful astral projection technique:
    https://www.amazon.com/Phase-Shattering-Illusion-Reality/dp/1500578037/

    Countless people are doing this successfully. It’s not big news. It’s not even new.

  340. 340
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, astral travel is far, far from the true focus here. The very terms used tell us something. The significance of common sense is underscored. KF

  341. 341
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    Folks, astral travel is far, far from the true focus here. The very terms used tell us something. The significance of common sense is underscored. KF

    Actually, experiences such as astral projection and NDEs are right on point. What exactly do “the very terms” tell “us?” That sounds like more psychological projection on your part.

    And yes, the significance of common sense is underscored in that such lines of experience and evidence cannot be accounted for by the “common sense” of your worldview. This is why such experience and evidence must be dismissed or discredited, or left out of the conversation altogether – to preserve your “common sense” narrative.

  342. 342
    jerry says:

    astral travel is far, far from the true focus here

    The OP has the term “Grand Delusion” in it and certainly astral travel is a perfect fit for that. Fits right in with hallucinations and dreams and fairy tales.

    We now see what contrasts with confident objective knowledge by those who constantly challenge Kf’s ideas.

  343. 343
    William J Murray says:

    It’s pretty easy to maintain one’s worldview when you dismiss all evidence and experience to the contrary as delusional.

  344. 344
    jerry says:

    It’s pretty easy to maintain one’s worldview when you dismiss all evidence and experience to the contrary as delusional.

    What evidence?

    Humans have a poor track record of observing facts as they go about the world. They naturally reduce the complexity of the world by not noticing. It’s a way of coping.

    But they have an amazing ability of noticing these previously unnoticed facts when they are pointed out to them. They are not invisible, just not noticed. So just because someone has delusional observations and they appear real to them it does not mean they are visual to others or real.

    We have a good friend whose daughter is schizophrenic. She occasionally imagines grotesque things in her environment. One day she and her daughter were having dinner at our house. She immediately shot up because she noticed something about her daughter. She quickly took her daughter to another room. Later she explained to us that her daughter was imagining snakes climbing her legs and was about to have a serious attack unless she intervened. It was an eye opener because while hearing about such things, we had never witnessed it before.

    To the young women in question, the snakes were real. But they were obviously not.

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