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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:42 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 4:41 am
Posts: 633
Location: Suihua, Heilongjiang Province, China
Ah, many responses soon JHT, like within the week. (or two) Too drunk now to make serious comment; but will come.


Regards,
Arthur.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:47 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 3:22 am
Posts: 171
No need to be in haste you see how long it took me viz. much longer than originally anticipated. And like I always say new things keep coming to mind so it's like one is never done.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:54 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 4:41 am
Posts: 633
Location: Suihua, Heilongjiang Province, China
No we aint done till we croak. But still are levels of doneness along the way.
But many, many things need be said about language and its function in consciousness. Soon come.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:58 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 4:41 am
Posts: 633
Location: Suihua, Heilongjiang Province, China
Hi JHT

Im as crazy as a Canadian Loon and
usually as drunk as an English Lord

so i sometimes have trouble stringing thoughts properly
togerther, but WHACK WHACK... a couple good slaps
in me face and let me see if I can be rational for a minute
and three.


So then the gist of Wittgensteinian argument against solipsism go like
this:

Language cannot exist in an intellectual vacuuum.

That is, his claim is that meaning cannot exist without
some form of reciprocation.
Consensus or tacit agreement on the meaning of terms.
Reciprocation implies the existence of `another'.

Hence the existence of language means the existence of
others.

(Thats why he goes through all that jazz (in Philosophical Investigations)
about the possibillity
of forming a `private language' and thoughts about personal `pains' and
experiences.. to show that such can have no meaning, except in a social context,
i.e. in relation to not just `another', but in relation to a large social context.)
Hence no solipsism.

Even in our consideration of philosophical issues such as
eg solipsism, there exists an evolving `body of philosophical
thought .. the whole Cartesian jazz.... sittin by the fire ,,how do i know
that I am not dreaming , or that i am deluded in being consious of this or that.?


Well you may well be deluded about many things (and i may be as well)
but a `prima firma', a first ground... one may may not be deluded that they are
either dreaming or not dreaming. And this is NOT because of old
Aristostles logic; but because you know what `dreaming' is;
Which you can only know from a social context.



...............
I've read this over and its all gibberish right now; but I'll try
and do better if Im ever sober.

(I know you've posted a lengthy thought on this... I will get to it)



(Okay its only 6 in the morning, and i don't hafta work till 11 tonight, so I got me some serious drinkin to do quick)


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 2:51 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 3:22 am
Posts: 171
Arthur here I am again. I don't post that often but maybe it's good sometimes to communicate a little more frequently so the parties involved -- you and I he said cynically -- don't have to deal with so many things at a time.

Yes Wittgenstein apparently held that language cannot exist in the absence of reciprocation or another person -- I think he said language gets its meaning through public discourse -- but the problem is -- and I forgot to put this in my long post above -- that because of the issue of solipsism one cannot be sure there IS any public discourse or any entity existing other than one's self. I might just be all that exists.

I might have read somewhere when working on all this that Wittgenstein sets out with the assumption there does exist a material domain independent of mind. This if true may mean he also sets out with the assumption there is no solipsism problem in which case it would be no wonder his works don't really address the matter. But I could be wrong here because I am not that familiar with him. I have not read his works.

There is more I want to say. I don’t like to spend much time reading what most authors in any field have written because I am too eager to get as close to the answers as I can in the limited time we all have. So I tend to read only those things most acclaimed. Since Wittgenstein and so many others are not apparently acknowledged to have answered all the big questions I don’t want to spend much time with them. We don’t have to spend time on Wittgenstein or many others from my standpoint. But I’m also open to any suggestions. I’m just finishing this book New Theories of Everything by John D. Barrow and it’s a h--- of a book. But he doesn’t I think even mention solipsism among other things so for all his erudition I think he too is likely to not get far.

Arthur. Don’t work too hard. Don’t drink too hard. Don’t smoke at all. I mean not at all. I should write something about these for this website. They are important matters. Just today I was telling myself I need to be careful to look out for myself. And one can look out some for others too.

And Arthur here is something where I need your help. The photo of Nick at Marlborough. Who is HJ? JH is Jeremy Harmer but who is HJ? Why does everything have to be so difficult.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 4:46 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 3:25 am
Posts: 126
How has this thread escaped my notice?

_________________
Can you understand a light among the trees?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:53 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 4:41 am
Posts: 633
Location: Suihua, Heilongjiang Province, China
Perhaps we need to clarify for ourselves what is meant by `solidpsism'. for there are degrees of `hardness' to solopsism:


1) I know that nothing exists aside from my consciousness. (This I call `road surfacing solipsism, which I think has never been promoted or argued for in any philosophical journal. ( And if it has I don't know anything about it..... that's a joke....)

2) I don't know (can't know) if anything exists aside from my consciousness.

This is the more commonly considered issue and what I surmise you are concerned with.....

(paraphrases)
I said (copying Wittgenstein) that language can only occur in a social context, i.e. words only have meaning in concurrence. ... you said that it is precisely because of the problem of solipsism that we don't know if their is a social context (concurrence).

So I ask, do you have language? How did any of the terms of your language come to have meaning? Language by which you come to be aware of the issue of solipsism and related philosophical problems.
Did you make up the meanings of words, (or meaning , in general)
All by yer lonesome?


(An aside) Malcolm Norman the Descartes scholar says something like (paraphrase from the foggy banks) ` Though Descartes may have had the philosophical doubt about the reality of the fire in front of him, this wouldn't have stopped him from occasionally stirring the embers, or throwing another log on the fire'....

The problem is really one of epistemology. i e what standard for `knowledge' one applies.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 6:26 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 3:22 am
Posts: 171
Here is what I think about the solipsism issue.

(1) It is not the case that I know I am all that exists. I do not know that I am all that exists. I might or might not be all that exists.

(2) It is the case that I don't know if anything exists beyond my own experience.

(3) Number (2) is the case because all I experience is my own experiences. I cannot know or experience what I do not experience. And so I cannot know if anything other than what I experience is there or not. Number (1) as I have written it likewise is the case because I have no knowledge of what I don't experience. I don't know what I don't know. So actually both (1) and (2) as I have written them are true for this same reason that I don't experience what I don't experience and don't know what I don't know.

(4) It is also the case that I believe and act as if others exist and are conscious. But this is not a certain matter. Certainty would require something along the lines of experiencing another person's consciousness directly. Something like Star Trek's Vulcan Mind Fusion.

(5) Yes to repeat (1) I might or might not be all that exists. Neither possibility can be excluded. Since the possibility cannot be excluded that I am all that exists then likewise the possibility cannot be excluded that I am the origin of all language. You know I had dreams last night and my mind made up all these things and my mind may have made up all of language all people all things. Which is not to say the dreaming state is the same as the waking state and that is another matter.

(6) My personal position is that zero progress has been made with the solipsism issue. Some people seem to believe or act as if there were no problem at all or as if the problem were almost solved or as if it were a minor detail. But to my mind it is the most profound problem of all. The problem has a number of aspects. One aspect is that one does not know if one is all that exists. Another aspect is that one cannot know if one is a "brain in a vat". Another aspect is that one does not know if anyone else or anything else is conscious. Another aspect is that one cannot know if anything exists when it is not being experienced or if it exists prior to discovery. Another aspect is that one cannot know if there exists a material domain independent of one's experieces. Another aspect is that nothing can be known objectively everything is subjective. Another aspect is that one cannot localize consciousness. One cannot confine it in a test tube and say "Here it is and there it is not". Another aspect is that we don't know what consciousness is. Another aspect frankly is that we don't know the ultimate truth about anything. Because consciousness itself is not understood so all things known by means of consciousness manifest dimensions of doubt and uncertainty and for us -- or for me if I am all that exists -- currently are matters of mystery. These are all aspects of the same underlying problem. Solution of the problem of solipsism is one key to the power of a god and one key to eternity.

(7) Has no progress been made about solipsism? Are there no ideas about how to resolve this mess?I could say just a few things but it's too late to get into it right now. A few interesting things can be said. But there is not much more I have to say about it so mainly I'll be working with the choice free will merit issue to make sure that's perfectly clear. It's not very difficult. I will get back to the other thread fairly soon.

My position about the falsehood status of choice free will and merit proceeds on the basis of the understanding that the solipsism issue is unsolved. Because the reality as I see it is that it is an unsolved issue. The usefulness of understanding that choice free will and merit are falsehoods is not compromised by the solipsism problem because this matter is taken into account. What I say about the falsehood status of choice free will and merit also obviates or circumvents the solipsism problem in a certain way by looking at things in terms of desires. Desires more or less bridge the dysjunction between mind and matter. I certainly am conscious and have desires and desires are the basis of my voluntary actions. And others either are likewise or they are not. If they are then I've taken this into account. If they are not well it probably doesn't change things much as long as the matter of solipsism remains in the category of the unresolved.

I unfortunately won't be able to respond to the most recent poetry post because as you know bmore I'm no good with poetry.

I will say one other thing. Something helpful. One can't talk about what absolutely "is" because of the solipsism problem. But one can still talk about what matters. All the things I or we care about still matter. Eating matters. Health matters. Nick Drake matters if you're interested in him or his music. The falsehood status of choice free will and merit matters because it affects how we treat people and how we are treated. Even if it's all just a function of my own mind. Even if I am all that exists. The problem of solipsism itself matters because one wants to know whether or not one is alone.


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