PHILOSOPHY THREAD (for rex and anyone else who cares to join)

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28 Jan 2020 08:55 - 28 Jan 2020 09:14 #348959 by CaesarEJW
Alrighty, I guess I'll kick this off.
So, we know that prominent figures in favor of Rationalism include Plato, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, etc.
And then you have your basic British Isles trio of Empiricism, which would be Locke, Berkeley, and Hume.
AND THEN you have one Immanuel Kant, whose Transcendental Idealism has been called a synthesis of the prior epistemological schools of thought.

Now the question is, which do you prefer, and why?

Do you put your money with the Rationalists, is all knowledge ultimately attained a priori, gained and known through reasoning independent of sense experience because of innate concepts of reality we have from birth?

Or do you prefer a healthy Empiricist approach, believing all knowledge is truly gained from sense experience, a posteriori, obtained via observations made of the material world (and if you're as extreme as Hume and Berkeley, you don't even believe the material world exists)?

OR do you find Kant's approach the more compelling, his proposition that while all knowledge is ultimately obtained through experience, we can only make sense of it because of a preexisting conceptual framework (and that we can perceive a "phenomenal" world through our senses, but there is a true form of all things that are beyond our perception, which Kant calls the "noumenal" world)?

OR do you think all three approaches are a bunch of malarky and you have an alternate approach?

(if you found any of the above to be confusing, please Google the philosophers and respective schools of thought I have mentioned/ Rationalism, Empiricism, etc./Watch some Youtube videos, do a little research, please don't come into this conversation shooting from the hip)

PLEASE ANSWER IN A LOGICALLY VALID MANNER, ANY ARGUMENTS MUST HAVE SOUND PREMISES AND A DEFINED CONCLUSION, THIS IS PHILOSOPHY, NOT DEBATE, WE AiN'T HERE TO WIN, WE ARE HERE TO LEARN gosh darnit (unless of course reality is an illusion created by an evil demon, then f*ck all)

“Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.” - Alan Watts
Last edit: 28 Jan 2020 09:14 by CaesarEJW.
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28 Jan 2020 09:19 #348963 by CaesarEJW

“Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.” - Alan Watts
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28 Jan 2020 09:21 #348964 by CaesarEJW

“Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.” - Alan Watts
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28 Jan 2020 09:38 #348965 by CaesarEJW

“Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.” - Alan Watts
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28 Jan 2020 15:27 #348970 by Carlos.Martinez3
What exactly are “we “ applying philosophy and these types to?
Every day acts? Physical spiritual? I know for me at this point in life my balance isn’t dress right dress which means there are rarely equal parts of ideas I apply. Just wondering

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28 Jan 2020 18:03 - 28 Jan 2020 18:06 #348974 by TheDude
I don't think knowledge can be gained, had, or attained.

I define knowledge as "having access to truth". To say "I know x" or "I have knowledge about x" is to say, functionally, "I have access to information regarding the truth of the actual state of affairs involved with x".
I define truth as "that which corresponds with that which exists in the actual state of affairs in reality".
I define correspond as "having an accurate 1:1 relation with x".

If knowledge is to be gained, had, or attained, then it follows that a statement (x) can have a 1:1 relation with the object of its reference in the actual state of affairs being described.
However, as Russell pointed out, all words are vague and lack a 1:1 relation with the objects of their reference.

If no 1:1 relation exists between any statement and the object of its reference, there is not a true correspondence -- it is partial at best.
If there is no true correspondence, humans cannot use language to have accurate understanding of "truth".
If humans cannot have an accurate understanding of truth, they cannot have access to the truth as-it-is in the actual (ontic) state of affairs.
If humans cannot have access to the truth as-it-is in the actual (ontic) state of affairs, they cannot have knowledge.
Last edit: 28 Jan 2020 18:06 by TheDude.
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28 Jan 2020 20:29 - 28 Jan 2020 20:32 #348985 by Gisteron

TheDude wrote: If there is no true correspondence, humans cannot use language to have accurate understanding of "truth".
If humans cannot have an accurate understanding of truth, they cannot have access to the truth as-it-is in the actual (ontic) state of affairs.

Not to be overly pedantic but... You didn't premise that language would be necessary to have accurate understanding of "truth". Even if we were to grant that, indeed, because the languages we have at our avail leave some room for mismatch between any intended meaning and the approximation of it that a language-like expression would carry, and we therefore cannot acquire accurate understanding of truth through language, this doesn't make it so that humans cannot acquire accurate understanding of truth in general, at least not without the additional premise that any understanding acquisition is either as a matter of fact or of definition tied to a language-like message reception.


Aside from that nitpick, also, if this definition of knowledge makes it so humans have no access to it, and presumably cannot truthfully point at anything else that does, what is the point in keeping the term? All this serves is make the word into a label without a referent, leaving us to try and come up with another label to refer to what ever thing we would have referred to by this one that happens not to match the definition. I mean, take the absoluteness or truthiness demand out of it and call the result "shmoledge" and we are basically back where we began, except now we needed to sacrifice one label that could have served the purpose of the new one we made ourselves need to invent. Somewhat wasteful, is it not?

Last edit: 28 Jan 2020 20:32 by Gisteron.
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28 Jan 2020 21:08 #348988 by TheDude

Gisteron wrote: Not to be overly pedantic but... You didn't premise that language would be necessary to have accurate understanding of "truth". Even if we were to grant that, indeed, because the languages we have at our avail leave some room for mismatch between any intended meaning and the approximation of it that a language-like expression would carry, and we therefore cannot acquire accurate understanding of truth through language, this doesn't make it so that humans cannot acquire accurate understanding of truth in general, at least not without the additional premise that any understanding acquisition is either as a matter of fact or of definition tied to a language-like message reception.


Philosophy is exactly the activity to be pedantic in! :)
I’m mobile right now so this may not be as in-depth as I’d prefer (for my thumbs’ sake). I didn’t premise it because I’m not sure how it could be verified that anyone has knowledge about anything under non-linguistic circumstances. I consider body language and other relational expressions (that is, expressions which purport to communicate something meaningful) to be categorized as “language” as well. Supposing that someone did possess truthful knowledge under these circumstances, I don’t see how they could:
1. Communicate that knowledge, or
2. Verify that knowledge.
Furthermore, if the knowledge is not stored in the brain in the form of words or symbols (from which words seem to have their origin), given that these things are arguably also relational expressions (albeit internal ones), what form would such knowledge appear in?

Aside from that nitpick, also, if this definition of knowledge makes it so humans have no access to it, and presumably cannot truthfully point at anything else that does, what is the point in keeping the term? All this serves is make the word into a label without a referent, leaving us to try and come up with another label to refer to what ever thing we would have referred to by this one that happens not to match the definition. I mean, take the absoluteness or truthiness demand out of it and call the result "shmoledge" and we are basically back where we began, except now we needed to sacrifice one label that could have served the purpose of the new one we made ourselves need to invent. Somewhat wasteful, is it not?

Such an action could increase the precision of our statements. While this “shmoledge” has a lesser degree of accuracy than “knowledge”, it seems likely to me that it isn’t 100% inaccurate. Those things which are 100% inaccurate have their classification as “false” already. But I do think there is a difference, in an ontic sense, between an object (ie, a phrase) with 100% accuracy and an object with 80% or even 99.99...% accuracy. There is some property object A has which object B doesn’t have, and that’s reason enough for me to consider them two separate things. Given the subject matter at hand here using different terms for the two seems useful, since linguistic confusion is a constant problem in philosophy, but I’m not sure about “shmoledge”. Maybe Knowledge* or something like that.

But as for addressing whether rationalism, Kantianism, or empiricism are better ways to gather Knowledge*, I am not sure that any exclusive approach is the most ideal. Rationalists who believe in a priori knowledge* are correct; babies are literally born with reflexive responses to stimuli which are consistent between subjects and this is at least some kind of knowledge*. But we often come to rational conclusions based on experience and external stimuli, so the empiricist argument has something going for it.

I haven’t read enough Kant to give an intelligent response on Kantian epistemology. I’m not gonna lie, I find his writing dry and likely intentionally obtuse.
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28 Jan 2020 23:19 #348993 by Rex
Yeah, I'm a fan of later Wittgenstein because he really saw shmoledge as the only thing we can discuss and the concept of language as a utilitarian tool to get some desired outcome. I.e. that language doesn't have to be the way it is, and that concepts that are necessarily unique and subjective like beauty, pain (or beetles) still have a word because we want to talk about them.

A lot of Kantians fetishized the capital-T Truth, and acted like you had to have this obscure logical path to reach it. The concept of truth itself is rather problematic anyways, so I stick to shmoledge

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28 Jan 2020 23:55 #348995 by CaesarEJW
I love Wittgenstein. His whole "language games" concept is really eye-opening.
Beetle in a box!
It is fascinating to think that the context and meaning of what you are saying is entirely dependant on the culture you are in, what "game" you are taking part in. That's part of the reason why a lot of idioms like "putting the cart before the horse" don't transfer well across different languages and cultures.

“Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.” - Alan Watts
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