Subjectivity versus Objectivity

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Are you a subjectivist or an objectivist?

Subjectivist.
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36%
Objectivist.
4
29%
I do not know.
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Total votes : 14

Re: Subjectivity versus Objectivity

Postby gib » Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:43 pm

Magnus Anderson wrote:Any sentence can be meaningful if you give it some meaning.


So "Apples are fruit," is meaningless unless we give it meaning?

Magnus Anderson wrote:You are comparing an imagination (the imagined state of reality) against other imaginations (those that reflect what other people believe is true.)

Is that what you're saying?


Yes, that's how meaning works. You have to use your imagination in order to conceptualize the meanings of terms. If I use the word "apple" in a sentence, you have to image the idea of an apple in order to understand the meaning of the word.

Magnus Anderson wrote:Yes. But that does not change the fact that that state of reality is in fact an imagination that was generated by you.

When you watch a movie or play a video game you forget about the fact that it is only a simulation, right? You start believing it is a reality, right? But that does not change the fact that it is not reality.


I don't think I've ever mistaken a video game for reality. We get emersed in games, and sometimes metaphorically we say that it becomes reality for us, but if this were literally true--for example if I were playing Call of Duty--I'd probably shit my pants (getting shot at is hella scary).

Besides, I thought you were the one arguing that reality is whatever we believe it is. So believing the video game is reality does change the fact that it is not reality (according to you).

Magnus Anderson wrote:
gib wrote:But in any case, the point is that I don't have to believe a sentence in order for it to be meaningful to me--I just have to be able to imagine a scenario in which the sentence makes sense.


Yes. But there are people who take words literally. As a consequence, they deny that what we say is true is merely our opinion about what is true.


Not sure I get the relevance of that to what I said.

Magnus Anderson wrote:
gib wrote:Can I not argue that "Santa Clause isn't real" = "Santa Clause isn't real according to me"?


You can. That's what most of us do anyways.


Excellent! :D

Magnus Anderson wrote:
gib wrote:Why do you insist that, when I say it, "Santa Clause isn't real" = "Santa Clause isn't real independent of what anyone thinks"?


Let's see. Earlier you said:

When you say it's a mistake to think "what exists" is separate from "what one thinks exists," I can easily refute that by saying Santa Clause doesn't exist even though a child may think he does exist.


These are subtly different. "Independent of what anyone thinks" means everybody. "One" means a particular individual. <-- That individual is the child in this case, and that Santa Clause doesn't exist is true according to me, a different individual.

Magnus Anderson wrote:Basically, you denied that "what exists" is the same as "what one thinks exists".


In terms of what it means, yes. And potentially in reality too.

Magnus Anderson wrote:
gib wrote:Well, this just means the map and the terrain are both subject dependent. But the map can still be accurate. Or if we take someone else's map (someone else's expectations) which happen not to be accurate, then we can say that what exists on the terrain is different (independent of) from what that person expects.


Yes. Our predictions can turn out to be correct. However, before the event that we are trying to predict happens, the correctness of our prediction is measured in relation to what happened in the past.


This is true.

Magnus Anderson wrote:
gib wrote:You're the one saying that "that which exists (independently from what anyone thinks)" is meaningless.


It is meaningless if you take it literally.


How else is one supposed to take it?

Magnus Anderson wrote:
gib wrote:If there's no distinction between that and "that which some person thinks exists" then the latter is meaningless too.


It is not. The meaning of the first statement is the same as that of the second. That's my point. But not everyone sees it this way. Moreover, it's not always the case . . .


Meaning of X = meaning of Y
Meaning of X = meaningless
Ergo: meaning of Y = meaningless

^ Basic syllogism.

Or is this an instance where it is not always the case? So you brought up an example to make a point, but the example you brought up doesn't apply in this case.

Magnus Anderson wrote:What people mean when they say "truth is independent from what anyone thinks" is that "truth is dependent on evidence".
Interestingly, evidence is subject-dependent, but that's not a problem.


No, what people mean is that truth refers to reality and not people's thoughts on reality. That might imply the existence of evidence, but it may not. Many people believe in things for which there is no evidence.

Magnus Anderson wrote:Yes, I know. We say that dreams are not real all of the time. And we make a legitimate point by doing so. However, at the same time, we say that dreams are real because they are something that we experience. And we also make a legitimate point when we do so. The question that I am interested in is what exactly is the difference between the two kinds of real? Why do we say that dreams are unreal rather than real? What causes us to do so? And why do we say that dreams are also real rather than unreal? What causes us to do so?


Usually what we mean is that dreams are real as dreams (i.e. fabrications in our heads), but when we say they're not real, we mean the things we see in our dreams don't exist in the real world.

Magnus Anderson wrote:One of the reasons why we say that dreams are unreal is to highlight our observation that events that occur in a dream do not have the same real life consequences that events that occur when you are awake do. They can have the exact same consequences in a dream but their consequences in real life are usually very different, in fact, negligible. For example, if you kill someone in a dream the police might be after you. Just like in real life. But when you wake up, no police will be after you.


That's true. In fact, this is what we do for any experience we have for which a later experience invalidates it--that is, when a later experience can't possibly be real unless the previous experience is unreal. This is where we get the idea of "imaginary" things, or "mental" things. The mind cannot process two or more contradictory or incompatible experiences, so it selects one (usually the most recent, or the one with the most evidence) and the rest are regarded as "only mental".

Magnus Anderson wrote:The word "unreal" in this particular case applies to our assumptions regarding the events that take place in wakeful consciousness that are based entirely on the contents of one's dream. If someone dies in your dream that does not mean that he will be dead when you wake up. In other words, the probability that he will be dead when you wake up is nil. That's what we mean when we say that dreams are unreal.


True.

Magnus Anderson wrote:When we say that dreams are real, on the other hand, what we want to say is that the assumption that people in general have dreams or that this or that person had or will have this or that dream is backed up by evidence. Nothing else. It always comes down to assumptions.


I agree that what we say is real or unreal is based on assumptions (or is an assumption), but I don't think that means that what we say refers to those assumptions; it's just backed by those assumptions.
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Re: Subjectivity versus Objectivity

Postby Magnus Anderson » Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:27 pm

gib wrote:So "Apples are fruit," is meaningless unless we give it meaning?


No. We already gave it a meaning.

Yes, that's how meaning works. You have to use your imagination in order to conceptualize the meanings of terms. If I use the word "apple" in a sentence, you have to image the idea of an apple in order to understand the meaning of the word.


That's fine.

I don't think I've ever mistaken a video game for reality. We get emersed in games, and sometimes metaphorically we say that it becomes reality for us, but if this were literally true--for example if I were playing Call of Duty--I'd probably shit my pants (getting shot at is hella scary).


Yes, we don't forget reality to such an extent. But we do forget it to a smaller extent. For example, we often forget that we have to do this or that (say, I don't know, laundry) because these activities are irrelevant in the context of video games. So when you quit playing video games you go "oh shit, I forgot to do the laundry!"

My point is that decontextualization (taking things out of context or quite simply ignoring certain aspects of reality) can make you forget about the fact that it is you who's ignoring these aspects of reality and not reality that lacks them.

Truth isn't independent from human judgment.
If we say so it's for the sake of convenience and not because we mean it literally. Unless we're not so bright.
Truth is a product of human judgment.
Specifically, it is a product of human reasoning and by reasoning I mean the proces by which we choose what to assume regarding the unknown (i.e. something we haven't experienced.)
There is an infinite number of ways to reason but there is only one that has evolved in humans and that has persisted through time.
And that's reasoning based on evidence.
Hume says that induction is a custom.
I support his view.

How else is one supposed to take it?


You can take it to mean that what you think is true is different from what others think is true.

You can also take it to mean that what is true depends on evidence and not on what anyone thinks is true. Thoughts and evidence being two different things.

Meaning of X = meaning of Y
Meaning of X = meaningless
Ergo: meaning of Y = meaningless

^ Basic syllogism.


That's a good way to ignore what I am saying i.e. to misunderstand me.

No, what people mean is that truth refers to reality and not people's thoughts on reality. That might imply the existence of evidence, but it may not.


You are now stepping into the territory of non-sense. If there is no evidence that something exists how can you know that it exists? Unless you simply imagine that it exists?
Simply repeating "but if there is no evidence that it exists it does not mean that it does not exist" is stupid.
Yes, it is true, but that's merely because our assumptions are inescapably fallible.
Whatever you think, no matter how certain you are, you might be wrong.
The point is that we determine what exists and what does not based on whatever evidence we have.
This is why I can say that God does not exist.
What is my evidence that God does not exist?
The totality of my personal experience is my evidence that God does not exist.

Usually what we mean is that dreams are real as dreams (i.e. fabrications in our heads), but when we say they're not real, we mean the things we see in our dreams don't exist in the real world.


Yes, but that is not sufficiently precise.

I agree that what we say is real or unreal is based on assumptions (or is an assumption), but I don't think that means that what we say refers to those assumptions; it's just backed by those assumptions.


My point is that words such as real and unreal apply only to assumptions. An assumption is said to be real not something mystical.
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Re: Subjectivity versus Objectivity

Postby Arminius » Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:16 pm

Is_Yde_opN wrote:
Arminius wrote:The goal of an objectivist is to just not consider his subjective preferences and needs in order to make decisions.


Do you mean to not exclusively consider his subjective preferences when making his decisions or do you mean to not consider his subjective preferences?

Idealistically said, an objectivist excludes all kinds of subjectivity. That is difficult to do. So: Realistically said, an objectivist tries to exclude all kinds of subjectivity. An objectivist is comparable to a monk. Monks were the first scientists. Excluding all kinds of subjectivity is a huge task.

Is_Yde_opN wrote:Because objective inquiry is always detached from making decisions. It’s about understanding the phenomenon at hand.
A judgement is always subjective but of course it’s not necessarily based on only very narrow-minded considerations.

A judgement can but does not have to be based on subjectivity alone; mostly it is based on both subjectivity and objectivity and sometimes even on objectivity alone. In the vast majority of cases, when it is based on both, the question whether it is more based on subjectivity than on objectivity or vice versa depends on the kind and the form of the respective culture.

Is_Yde_opN wrote:For some Europeans there exists a desire to be objective in their judgement of others or in other words a sense of fairness, of truthfulness which must be fulfilled.

They are likely confusing objectivity with fairness and also with truthfulness. All three are not the same. But to someone who is decadent, nihilistic, the meanings of objectivity, fairness and truthfulness are very close or even identical. These decadents are, philosophically said, influenced more by ethics (high degree of subjectivity, low degree of objectivity) than by logic (high degree of objectivity, low degree of subjectivity). They are no objectivists. Objectivists are more like monks who live for only one goal: excluding subjectivity by doing exercices.

Is_Yde_opN wrote:This sense can be misdirected and exploited by hypocritical cheats and liars.

Yes, and this happens currently more than ever before.
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Re: Subjectivity versus Objectivity

Postby Magnus Anderson » Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:51 pm

I wouldn't define objectivity as something that excludes something else (such as subjectivity.) Exclusion is negative. It makes things simpler. When taken to its extreme, the way monks do, the result is literally nothing. Instead, I'd define objectivity as the degree to which one includes what happened in the past (you can also say evidence) into one's judgment. Subjective factors such as personal preferences must be minimized, that is true, but on its own that's not enough.
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Re: Subjectivity versus Objectivity

Postby Is_Yde_opN » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:05 pm

Arminius wrote:A judgement can but does not have to be based on subjectivity alone; mostly it is based on both subjectivity and objectivity and sometimes even on objectivity alone. In the vast majority of cases, when it is based on both, the question whether it is more based on subjectivity than on objectivity or vice versa depends on the kind and the form of the respective culture.


When you judge something then you do this in relation to an ideal, like a notion of good and bad in a specific context.
So when you say that a judgement itself can be objective then I presume that you see some ideals or an ideal to be independent from a thinking subject, to be “out there” as a guiding principle.

Or are you thinking in terms of laws of nature and deriving ideals for subjects, for people, to be ultimately based on them?
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Re: Subjectivity versus Objectivity

Postby Is_Yde_opN » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:38 pm

It requires a certain level of self-awareness and environmental-awareness and self-in-relation-to-environment-awareness to begin thinking more objectively.

You need to understand your self, your own biases, your own needs, to take them out of the equation when evaluating the environment more objectively.

Let’s say I was a humanist of sorts and I’d try to base my decisions on what is good for humanity. At first glance someone could think that I am now being objective because I am not considering myself. But what I am considering is my ideals of what is good for humanity. That I have even chosen to base my decisions on what is good for humanity and not basing it on negroes or on all organic life or all matter is already a specific ideal.

This is why I can’t see how a judgement is not connected to a subject and the subject’s ideals, preferences, tastes.

However that doesn’t mean that all judgements are equal in terms of understanding reality. The self-awareness of the subject is not complete and is also influenced by how reality at large is understood, more nuanced or less. In this way the self-awareness of the subject grows with understanding the surrounding environment.

Nevertheless, in my view, it’s not life-affirming to try and diminish the subject. The subject’s strength must grow as the subject’s capability for objectivity grows.
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Re: Subjectivity versus Objectivity

Postby Arminius » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:59 pm

Is_Yde_opN wrote:
Arminius wrote:A judgement can but does not have to be based on subjectivity alone; mostly it is based on both subjectivity and objectivity and sometimes even on objectivity alone. In the vast majority of cases, when it is based on both, the question whether it is more based on subjectivity than on objectivity or vice versa depends on the kind and the form of the respective culture.


When you judge something then you do this in relation to an ideal, like a notion of good and bad in a specific context.
So when you say that a judgement itself can be objective then I presume that you see some ideals or an ideal to be independent from a thinking subject, to be “out there” as a guiding principle.

Or are you thinking in terms of laws of nature and deriving ideals ... for people, to be ultimately based on them?

Yes, knowing that the validity of these "laws of nature" can more or less only be temporary. The more exercises, ecperiences, experiments, observations, objectivity are done, the closer comes the goal (aim).

It takes time ....

It needs calm ....
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Re: Subjectivity versus Objectivity

Postby gib » Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:00 am

Magnus Anderson wrote:
gib wrote:So "Apples are fruit," is meaningless unless we give it meaning?


No. We already gave it a meaning.


We did? When? Was there a conference? Did the authorities formally declare "From this day forth, 'Apples are fruits,' will mean such-and-such-and-such"? Did they not get around to "X is true independently of what anyone thinks"? I mean, the list of all possible expressions which can have a meaning or not must be huge, so I'm guessing they didn't get around to it yet.

Magnus Anderson wrote:Truth isn't independent from human judgment.
If we say so it's for the sake of convenience and not because we mean it literally. Unless we're not so bright.
Truth is a product of human judgment.
Specifically, it is a product of human reasoning and by reasoning I mean the proces by which we choose what to assume regarding the unknown (i.e. something we haven't experienced.)
There is an infinite number of ways to reason but there is only one that has evolved in humans and that has persisted through time.
And that's reasoning based on evidence.
Hume says that induction is a custom.
I support his view.


I agree with this for the most part (I disagree on the point about why we speak of truth as being independent of human judgement, but that's a digression). My take on it is as follows:

Saying that truth is a product of human judgement is like saying Luke Skywalker is a product of George Lucas's imagination. This is true, but only in the context of the real world. In the world of Star Wars, George Lucas doesn't exist. He hasn't written himself into the story. And Luke Skywalker isn't dependent on him for his existence. Luke Skywalker imagines himself (we can presume) as being just as independent as any other character in the story.

The human mind is like this in that it invents a narrative (metaphorically speaking). It writes a story beginning with the material given to it by the senses (which is also like a story being told to it by the universe). It makes judgements on what it senses and invents plot elements to the story which we call beliefs, knowledge, theories, assumptions, predictions, etc. All such judgements and truths, therefore, are dependent on us for their reality. However, in the context of the story we're writing, these truths are independent of us. We don't say "2 + 2 = 4 because I think so." We say "2 + 2 = 4 independently of what I think." We say this only because that is the truth in the story we're writing.

Most people just live in the story. And it's not wrong per se. It's just the default way we live. You and I, who recognize the dependence of truths and judgements on human thought, are simply writing a different story, but a story nonetheless. We have not risen out of the story to a higher truth, we have simply switched to a different story.

So when you ask me whether Santa Clause's existence is mind-dependent or not, I cannot answer that without knowing whose story we're talking about. I will often fall back on the default story (the one most people are writing in which Santa Clause's existence--whether real or not--doesn't depend on anyone's mind) since I assume that's almost always the context in which we speak. It's the context in which "independent of what anyone thinks" is meaningful and makes sense. But if we are explicit about the fact that we're talking in the context of my subjectivist story, then sure I'll agree that Santa Clause's (non-)existence depends on my assumptions.

Magnus Anderson wrote:You can take it to mean that what you think is true is different from what others think is true.

You can also take it to mean that what is true depends on evidence and not on what anyone thinks is true. Thoughts and evidence being two different things.


But those don't mean the same thing as "X is true independently of what anyone thinks," (though they might follow from it). The latter statement is only meaningless in an idealist/subjectivist context (or as I'd prefer to say, incoherent), but I must assume that the one uttering it, if he's being serious, doesn't mean it in an idealist/subjectivist context.

Magnus Anderson wrote:
gib wrote:Meaning of X = meaning of Y
Meaning of X = meaningless
Ergo: meaning of Y = meaningless

^ Basic syllogism.


That's a good way to ignore what I am saying i.e. to misunderstand me.


I'll bet I misunderstand you. Let's fix that, shall we?

You said: "independently of what anyone thinks" is meaningless. <-- True or false?

You said: "independently of what anyone thinks" means the same as "that which some person thinks exists". <-- True or false?

Magnus Anderson wrote:You are now stepping into the territory of non-sense. If there is no evidence that something exists how can you know that it exists? Unless you simply imagine that it exists?


Talk to those who believe it, not me.

Magnus Anderson wrote:The point is that we determine what exists and what does not based on whatever evidence we have.


Or faith, or reason, or authority...

Magnus Anderson wrote:This is why I can say that God does not exist.
What is my evidence that God does not exist?
The totality of my personal experience is my evidence that God does not exist.


So what do you say to a theist? That he's referring to the land of Honalee?

Magnus Anderson wrote:
gib wrote:Usually what we mean is that dreams are real as dreams (i.e. fabrications in our heads), but when we say they're not real, we mean the things we see in our dreams don't exist in the real world.


Yes, but that is not sufficiently precise.


Care to add that extra touch of precision?

Magnus Anderson wrote:My point is that words such as real and unreal apply only to assumptions. An assumption is said to be real not something mystical.


I'm being a stickler on language here. You can say real and unreal "apply" to assumptions (though I still disgaree that they only apply to assumptions), but not "refer". To "refer" is to focus on a thing as that which you are speaking about. I might have the assumption that my car is real, but when I say "My care needs a wash," I am referring to my car, not my assumption in my head. But if I were to say "I hold an assumption in my head that my car needs a wash," then I'd be referring to my assumption.

When we hold assumptions, we regard them as true (i.e. real), but there needn't be any assumptions when we look at an object and take it to be real. If we then think to ourselves "that object is real," that thought could be said to be an assumption, but that thought needn't be there just to look at the object and see it as real. Seeing objects as real is not an assumption, it's nature of experience.
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Re: Subjectivity versus Objectivity

Postby Magnus Anderson » Thu Oct 26, 2017 2:48 am

gib wrote:So "Apples are fruit," is meaningless unless we give it meaning?


Max wrote:No. We already gave it a meaning.


gib wrote:We did? When? Was there a conference? Did the authorities formally declare "From this day forth, 'Apples are fruits,' will mean such-and-such-and-such"? Did they not get around to "X is true independently of what anyone thinks"? I mean, the list of all possible expressions which can have a meaning or not must be huge, so I'm guessing they didn't get around to it yet.


Sometimes, it appears as if you are taking the piss out of me. That's not a fun thing to perceive.

It is me who interprets whether what you're saying has any meaning or not. And if you said something like "Apples are fruit" I'd assume you are saying something meaningful.

The human mind is like this in that it invents a narrative (metaphorically speaking). It writes a story beginning with the material given to it by the senses (which is also like a story being told to it by the universe). It makes judgements on what it senses and invents plot elements to the story which we call beliefs, knowledge, theories, assumptions, predictions, etc. All such judgements and truths, therefore, are dependent on us for their reality. However, in the context of the story we're writing, these truths are independent of us. We don't say "2 + 2 = 4 because I think so." We say "2 + 2 = 4 independently of what I think." We say this only because that is the truth in the story we're writing.


I understand that.

Most people just live in the story. And it's not wrong per se. It's just the default way we live. You and I, who recognize the dependence of truths and judgements on human thought, are simply writing a different story, but a story nonetheless. We have not risen out of the story to a higher truth, we have simply switched to a different story.


The problem occurs when people deny that truth depends on human judgment. This creates social disagremeent which is a kind of social friction. A peaceful way to resolve it would be to 1) adopt one and the same method of reasoning and 2) find a way to join our experiences. This would either require that they present some kind of evidence that would change my opinion or accept that truth depends on human judgment.

But those don't mean the same thing as "X is true independently of what anyone thinks," (though they might follow from it).


What does "truth is independent from what anyone thinks" mean to you?

So far, it appears to me that you think that "truth is independent from what anyone thinks" means "we ignore that truth is dependent on what someone thinks".

You said: "independently of what anyone thinks" is meaningless. <-- True or false?


It is true if you interpret it literally as in something that is beyond our experience. Whatever refers to something that is beyond experience does not refer to something that can be experienced. And that's what I mean when I say that it is meaningless: it does not refer to something that can be experienced.

You said: "independently of what anyone thinks" means the same as "that which some person thinks exists". <-- True or false?


It is true in the sense that if you interpret "truth is independent from what anyone thinks" to mean "the more evidence you have the better your judgment is" then that statement is perfectly compatible with the statement "truth depends on human judgment".

You can say real and unreal "apply" to assumptions (though I still disgaree that they only apply to assumptions), but not "refer".


I never said that they "refer" to assumptions. I said that they "apply" to assumptions. They describe and they categorize assumptions. It is assumptions themselves that "refer" to something and this somethign is something that we have not experienced.

If we then think to ourselves "that object is real," that thought could be said to be an assumption, but that thought needn't be there just to look at the object and see it as real.


You are not seeing it "as real". You are merely seeing it. It is only after you see the object that you describe it as real. And even then, what you're really doing is you are describing the assumption that you saw such an object as real.
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Re: Subjectivity versus Objectivity

Postby Arminius » Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:04 am

Is_Yde_opN wrote:
J.W.v.G. wrote in The Experiment as Mediator of Object and Subject" (original: Der Versuch als Vermittler von Objekt und Subjekt - 1792) wrote:Those human beings undertake a much more difficult task whose desire for knowledge kindles a striving to observe the things of nature in and of themselves and in their relations to one another. We no longer have the standard that helped us when we looked at things in relation to ourselves. We lack the measure of pleasure and displeasure, attraction and repulsion, use and harm. We must renounce these and as quasi-divine beings seek and examine what is and not what pleases. True botanists should not be touched by the beauty or the utility of a plant. They should investigate the plant’s formation and its relation to the remaining plant kingdom. Just as the sun coaxes forth and shines on all plants, botanists should consider all plants with an even and quiet gaze and take the measure for knowledge—the data that form the basis for judgment—not out of themselves but out of the circle of what they observe.

Agreed. Goethe was right.
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Re: Subjectivity versus Objectivity

Postby gib » Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:20 am

Magnus Anderson wrote:Sometimes, it appears as if you are taking the piss out of me.


Whatever gave you that idea? ;)

Magnus Anderson wrote:It is me who interprets whether what you're saying has any meaning or not. And if you said something like "Apples are fruit" I'd assume you are saying something meaningful.


Of course! And when I say, "...independently of what anyone thinks," that's meaningful too. But for some reason, you want to say "apples are fruits" is already meaningful but "...independently of what anyone thinks," has to be given meaning. What gives a phrase meaning is the meaning of the words that makes up that phrase and the grammar with which the words are put together. I could utter a whole new phrase that, to my knowledge, no one has ever uttered before: Hitler didn't live long enough to eat a Big Mac. <-- I don't believe anyone has had the opportunity yet to "give" that statement a meaning, yet when I utter it, I assume you have no problem understanding what it means. It comes packaged with a meaning due to the fact that we know the meaning of the words and we recognize the grammatical structure of the sentence. What I'm saying with respect to "apples are fruit" and "...independently of what anyone thinks," is that neither of these are an exception to this rule, and so both are meaningful.

Magnus Anderson wrote:
gib wrote:Most people just live in the story. And it's not wrong per se. It's just the default way we live. You and I, who recognize the dependence of truths and judgements on human thought, are simply writing a different story, but a story nonetheless. We have not risen out of the story to a higher truth, we have simply switched to a different story.


The problem occurs when people deny that truth depends on human judgment. This creates social disagremeent which is a kind of social friction. A peaceful way to resolve it would be to 1) adopt one and the same method of reasoning and 2) find a way to join our experiences. This would either require that they present some kind of evidence that would change my opinion or accept that truth depends on human judgment.


I agree with this. If the truth really matters, then it must be something that will effect people's lives. <-- That implies there should be evidence for it. If it doesn't effect people's lives, then any friction between two disagreeing parties is just a matter of frustration and not being able to get along, which can be resolved by noting how the truth is conditional on whose point of view we consult (though this would require adopting some form of subjectivism or relativism).

Magnus Anderson wrote:
But those don't mean the same thing as "X is true independently of what anyone thinks," (though they might follow from it).


What does "truth is independent from what anyone thinks" mean to you?


It means the same as it means in the thought experiment I gave earlier. I imagined some truth (say it's -50C on some ice planet in a distant galaxy) and imagined no conscious being in the universe knew about it. That truth is still the truth in that scenario regardless of what anyone thinks. I would also say that I don't think that's how reality works, but I don't need it to be the way reality works just to understand its meaning.

Magnus Anderson wrote:So far, it appears to me that you think that "truth is independent from what anyone thinks" means "we ignore that truth is dependent on what someone thinks".


Well, it has meaning in the mind-independent context, which I suppose is to ignore the mind-dependent context, but that's not the same as denying the truth of the mind-dependent context.

Magnus Anderson wrote:
gib wrote:You said: "independently of what anyone thinks" is meaningless. <-- True or false?


It is true if you interpret it literally as in something that is beyond our experience. Whatever refers to something that is beyond experience does not refer to something that can be experienced. And that's what I mean when I say that it is meaningless: it does not refer to something that can be experienced.


I wouldn't say that's quite true. If it is raining outside, then in a mind-independent context, one could say it is raining outside independently of what anyone thinks. Still, someone can see that it's raining and someone can think that it's raining. It's just that the rain wouldn't depend on that in order to be a fact.

Magnus Anderson wrote:
gib wrote:You said: "independently of what anyone thinks" means the same as "that which some person thinks exists". <-- True or false?


It is true in the sense that if you interpret "truth is independent from what anyone thinks" to mean "the more evidence you have the better your judgment is" then that statement is perfectly compatible with the statement "truth depends on human judgment".


What you have there is a one way correlation: more evidence --> better judgement. If more evidence = truth, then you also need a two way correlation in order to say truth depends on human judgement: better judgement --> more evidence. Then you can say: better judgement --> more evidence --> more truth. And then you are still limited to saying that truth is correlated with human judgement. That it depends on human judgement is a further step. The next thing you'd have to do is equate "human judgement" with "that which some person thinks exists," which for all intents and purposes seems reasonable enough to me. Finally, you'd have to show that "independently of what anyone thinks" is symantically equivalent to "that which some person thinks exists," which I would grant given that "some person" is the person uttering "...independently of what anyone thinks," except that we are crossing contexts in this case: the context of the person uttering the statement and the context of the world (the story) depicted by the person's statement.

Magnus Anderson wrote:
You can say real and unreal "apply" to assumptions (though I still disgaree that they only apply to assumptions), but not "refer".


I never said that they "refer" to assumptions. I said that they "apply" to assumptions.


Good! I must have misunderstood you then. I thought I read you saying that "real" and "unreal" refer to assumptions. My bad.

Magnus Anderson wrote: They describe and they categorize assumptions. It is assumptions themselves that "refer" to something and this somethign is something that we have not experienced.


The word 'assumption' is often used that way--we say "you're just assuming that," when a person has no evidence or hasn't experienced it--but I always interpret things in the context of formal logic. In formal logic, an assumption is simply a starting point, a proposition that hasn't been argued for or proven. In that sense, even if we see something, and on that basis assume it exists, that would still be an assumption.

Magnus Anderson wrote:
gib wrote:If we then think to ourselves "that object is real," that thought could be said to be an assumption, but that thought needn't be there just to look at the object and see it as real.


You are not seeing it "as real". You are merely seeing it. It is only after you see the object that you describe it as real. And even then, what you're really doing is you are describing the assumption that you saw such an object as real.


First, if I describe it as real, then obviously "real" describes the object, which is to say we see it as real. Second, you could say I'm assuming it's real, but the description of "real" is the assumption, it is not describing the assumption (which comes dangerously close to say it refers to the assumption). "The rock is real," is an assumption, but the word "real" there refers to the rock, not the assumption.
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Re: Subjectivity versus Objectivity

Postby Magnus Anderson » Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:48 am

gib wrote:And when I say, "...independently of what anyone thinks," that's meaningful too.


Could be. I don't know. I never said you are using it in a meaningless way. I simply associate that statement with anyone who appears to deny that truth is dependent on human judgment. It does not matter to me how they use that statement themselves i.e. whether they use it in a meaningful way or in a meaningless way.

What gives a phrase meaning is the meaning of the words that makes up that phrase and the grammar with which the words are put together.


I disagree. Many words have little to no meaning on their own. It is context that gives them meaning. This is why it is extremely difficult to write a computer program that understands language. It requires inductive/constructive rather deductive/instructive reasoning. (Computer programs are deductive/instructive.)

I don't believe anyone has had the opportunity yet to "give" that statement a meaning, yet when I utter it, I assume you have no problem understanding what it means.


What I meant when I said "we already gave it a meaning" is that people in general mean something when they say "Apples are fruit."

Well, it has meaning in the mind-independent context, which I suppose is to ignore the mind-dependent context, but that's not the same as denying the truth of the mind-dependent context.


It is not the same. However, I don't think that's what people mean when they say that "truth is independent from what anyone thinks". They don't simply mean "we ignore that truth depends on what someone thinks". Instead, what they mean is "thoughts must change in the face of contradictory evidence".

I wouldn't say that's quite true. If it is raining outside, then in a mind-independent context, one could say it is raining outside independently of what anyone thinks. Still, someone can see that it's raining and someone can think that it's raining. It's just that the rain wouldn't depend on that in order to be a fact.


What do you mean it's not true? You want to say that it's not true that "whatever refers to something beyond experience is meaningless"?

What you have there is a one way correlation: more evidence --> better judgement. If more evidence = truth, then you also need a two way correlation in order to say truth depends on human judgement: better judgement --> more evidence. Then you can say: better judgement --> more evidence --> more truth. And then you are still limited to saying that truth is correlated with human judgement. That it depends on human judgement is a further step. The next thing you'd have to do is equate "human judgement" with "that which some person thinks exists," which for all intents and purposes seems reasonable enough to me. Finally, you'd have to show that "independently of what anyone thinks" is symantically equivalent to "that which some person thinks exists," which I would grant given that "some person" is the person uttering "...independently of what anyone thinks," except that we are crossing contexts in this case: the context of the person uttering the statement and the context of the world (the story) depicted by the person's statement.


I am certainly not saying that evidence depends on human judgment. It does not. Human judgment does not create evidence. Evidence is independent from human judgment. It as an independent value. Rather, human judgment uses evidence -- but of course, not always -- in order to create an assumption regarding some unknown event. This assumption is then called truth. So, the pipeline is like this: evidence -> human judgment -> truth.

Instead of saying that human judgment "creates" assumptions, which implies that assumptions don't exist before human judgment, you can say that it "selects" assumptions. I often say that judgment caterogizes assumptions i.e. it decides for each assumption the category in which to be placed, these categories being the category "real" and the category "unreal".

Finally, notice that assumptions are imaginary. Thinking that it will rain on Friday is not the same as seeing that it rains on Friday.

The word 'assumption' is often used that way--we say "you're just assuming that," when a person has no evidence or hasn't experienced it--but I always interpret things in the context of formal logic. In formal logic, an assumption is simply a starting point, a proposition that hasn't been argued for or proven. In that sense, even if we see something, and on that basis assume it exists, that would still be an assumption.


Again, language is flexible.

First, if I describe it as real, then obviously "real" describes the object, which is to say we see it as real. Second, you could say I'm assuming it's real, but the description of "real" is the assumption, it is not describing the assumption (which comes dangerously close to say it refers to the assumption). "The rock is real," is an assumption, but the word "real" there refers to the rock, not the assumption.


"The rock is real" is a sentence.
Your thought that you saw a rock is an assumption.
You seeing a rock is a fact.

The word "real" applies to the assumption and not to the fact.
And it certainly does not apply to the sentence.
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Re: Subjectivity versus Objectivity

Postby gib » Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:12 am

Magnus Anderson wrote:Could be. I don't know. I never said you are using it in a meaningless way. I simply associate that statement with anyone who appears to deny that truth is dependent on human judgment. It does not matter to me how they use that statement themselves i.e. whether they use it in a meaningful way or in a meaningless way.


And I get that. You're trying to argue from within a subjectivist framework, and in that framework, the statement that X is true independently of what anyone thinks is more or less meaningless (or incoherent). I'm just used to trying to find the context in which the things people say makes sense (usually people are pretty simple so it tends to be easy; there usually is a "default" context that I can reliably fall back on).

Magnus Anderson wrote:
gib wrote:What gives a phrase meaning is the meaning of the words that makes up that phrase and the grammar with which the words are put together.


I disagree. Many words have little to no meaning on their own. It is context that gives them meaning. Sure! This is why it is extremely difficult to write a computer program that understands language. It requires inductive/constructive rather deductive/instructive reasoning. (Computer programs are deductive/instructive.)


Yes, the meaning of words requires context in order to recognize their meaning. But it's an amazing fact about human nature that we are usually able to figure out the context of the person using those words while speaking (even if we get the wrong context, it's still a context in which there is a meaning). But still, I get it: you're trying to stick to a particular context, which means the phrase "...independently of what anyone thinks," might be meaningless (or incoherent).

Magnus Anderson wrote:
gib wrote:I don't believe anyone has had the opportunity yet to "give" that statement a meaning, yet when I utter it, I assume you have no problem understanding what it means.


What I meant when I said "we already gave it a meaning" is that people in general mean something when they say "Apples are fruit."


Well sure, but I still don't see how that doesn't apply to "...independently of what anyone thinks." I think it's trivially obvious (given that most people are objectivists) that the person uttering this expression means something by it.

Magnus Anderson wrote:
gib wrote:Well, it has meaning in the mind-independent context, which I suppose is to ignore the mind-dependent context, but that's not the same as denying the truth of the mind-dependent context.


It is not the same. However, I don't think that's what people mean when they say that "truth is independent from what anyone thinks". They don't simply mean "we ignore that truth depends on what someone thinks". Instead, what they mean is "thoughts must change in the face of contradictory evidence".


Well, if you really think that's what people mean, then we'll run with that (but let's remember we've entered a new context here). As a subjectivist, if I were to say "truth is dependent on what people think," I wouldn't deny that evidence has a strong influence on what people think. Evidence is just as subjective as thought. The presentation of evidence before me counts as reality just as much as thought. It happens to have a very strong trumping power over previously held thoughts (which can't be said about everybody). In other words, in this context which you bring up, the equating of "...independent of..." and "...in the fact of contradictory evidence" is the same for both objectivists and subjectivists. It's true that *some* subjectivists might conclude that simply thinking something that seems absurd (for example, that I am really a talking rhinoceros in a pink tutu) makes it true, even in the face of contending evidence, but I'm not that kind of subjectivist. I'm just an observer of how the mind works--mine as a subjectivist and others as objectivists (easy since it's not that hard to fall back into the frame of mind of an objectivist, which is the default way any mind, including my own, works)--and I observe that I'm convinced mostly by evidence. So then I guess if there is any difference between the phrase "...independently of what anyone thinks" and "...depends on what someone thinks" in this context (which is shared by objectivists and subjectivists alike, at least my kind of subjectivist), it would be that the self-proclaimed objectivist thinks of the truth as dependent on the evidence rather than his thoughts which are based on the evidence, whereas the subjectivist still sees the truth as dependent on his thoughts even though those thoughts in turn depend on the evidence.

Magnus Anderson wrote:What do you mean it's not true? You want to say that it's not true that "whatever refers to something beyond experience is meaningless"?


Again, it depends on the context. For objectivists, referring to things beyond experience is the norm. Most of them will, of course, be a bit more conservative about knowledge which is a bit more complex than meaning, so I don't think they'd say they can know a whole lot that lies beyond experience, but just to refer to something beyond experience is, to an objectivist, not only simple but one of the basic functions of consciousness. You see, when it comes to the difference between objectivism and subjectivism, we're not just talking about two different theories of truth (i.e. what it's based on), but two different theories of consciousness. To the subjectivist, consciousness functions as a veil standing between the self and the outer world (if the outer world exists... their are solipsists after all). To the subjectivist, experience is all we can know. Consciousness, to them, is a system of experiences that come across as reality (and for all intents and purposes are reality). But to the objectivist, consciousness is an entirely different thing--it is what I call a "window to reality"--that is, they see consciousness as something that allows us to see reality for what it is, to know it in its true form. To them, the things out in reality can easily be referred to because the whole function of consciousness is to allow for that to happen. Sure, they still need experience to know about it, or to know about the things used to know about (i.e. evidence and such), but to the objectivist, a reference to something is not a reference to the mind, or anything therein, but a genuine connection to the outer world. <-- So it's in this context that it makes sense to talk about referring to things beyond experience without saying those things are meaningless.

Magnus Anderson wrote:I am certainly not saying that evidence depends on human judgment. It does not. Human judgment does not create evidence. Evidence is independent from human judgment. It as an independent value. Rather, human judgment uses evidence -- but of course, not always -- in order to create an assumption regarding some unknown event. This assumption is then called truth. So, the pipeline is like this: evidence -> human judgment -> truth.


In that case, what you are saying is that "truth is independent of what anyone thinks" = "truth is dependent on evidence, and even though that goes through human judgement to become truth, it starts with evidence." But at the same time, it means "since evidence goes through human judgement to become truth, truth is dependent on human judgement." So two seemingly contradictory statements actually meaning the same thing. The contradiction seems to come from a disagreement over which out of the two--evidence or human judgement--are we to say truth depends on. Obviously, if evidence -> human judgement -> truth, then it's both (one more directly than the other), but if we have to pick one, then I guess those who pick evidence are the objectivists, and those who pick human judgement are the subjectivists.

To come to the point, I think both your statements could be true if we acknowledge that you're switching contexts between the two.

Magnus Anderson wrote:Instead of saying that human judgment "creates" assumptions, which implies that assumptions don't exist before human judgment, you can say that it "selects" assumptions. I often say that judgment caterogizes assumptions i.e. it decides for each assumption the category in which to be placed, these categories being the category "real" and the category "unreal".


Ok, but how literally do you take that? I mean, do you actually believe there are these things called "assumptions" floating around out there? Is it anything like Plato's forms?

Magnus Anderson wrote:
gib wrote:The word 'assumption' is often used that way--we say "you're just assuming that," when a person has no evidence or hasn't experienced it--but I always interpret things in the context of formal logic. In formal logic, an assumption is simply a starting point, a proposition that hasn't been argued for or proven. In that sense, even if we see something, and on that basis assume it exists, that would still be an assumption.


Again, language is flexible.


Yes indeed, Anderson, yes indeed.

Magnus Anderson wrote:
gib wrote:First, if I describe it as real, then obviously "real" describes the object, which is to say we see it as real. Second, you could say I'm assuming it's real, but the description of "real" is the assumption, it is not describing the assumption (which comes dangerously close to say it refers to the assumption). "The rock is real," is an assumption, but the word "real" there refers to the rock, not the assumption.


"The rock is real" is a sentence. <-- Yep.
Your thought that you saw a rock is an assumption. <-- Yessiry.
You seeing a rock is a fact. <-- True dat.

The word "real" applies to the assumption and not to the fact. <-- What do you mean by "apply"?
And it certainly does not apply to the sentence.


^ Right, the sentence is just a gizmo in the process of communication.

The assumption that the rock is real involves the concept of "real" (or the word "real" if we are speaking). I mean, it's right there in "the assumption that the rock is real". The assumption is us telling ourselves that what we experienced was real. It's true that telling this to ourselves is not the same thing as seeing it, but there's a reason we tell ourselves that what we experienced is real. And if we dig into my subjectivist theory of consciousness, I'd even say that the realness in the experience is what leads us to make the assumption. We experience the rock as real, and the realness in that experience is why we draw the assumption that the rock is real. So even though the two are different, the assumption is usually right.
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Re: Subjectivity versus Objectivity

Postby Magnus Anderson » Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:04 am

gib wrote:You're trying to argue from within a subjectivist framework, and in that framework, the statement that X is true independently of what anyone thinks is more or less meaningless (or incoherent).


I wouldn't call it a subjectivist framework. Members of Vienna Circle weren't subjectivists. Ernst Mach and Bertrand Russell weren't subjectivists. Heisenberg wasn't a subjectivist. Yet, they all declared that there is nothing beyond experience, that metaphysics and ontology are nonsense, that physical objects do not exist as things-in-themselves but merely as groups of sensations, that theories are merely "economic summaries of facts", that there is no a priori knowledge that wasn't first discovered a posteriori, that we should stick to the facts instead of going beyond them (Occam's razor) and so on and so forth. The correct name would be a phenomenalist framework (specifically that of Ernst Mach.) Ernst Mach wasn't an idealist. He explicitly stated that those who think he's an idealist are very far from understanding his position.

I'm just used to trying to find the context in which the things people say makes sense (usually people are pretty simple so it tends to be easy; there usually is a "default" context that I can reliably fall back on).


Realists, who are under attack in this thread, can only make sense if you understand that they do not understand the origin of their a priori knowledge. They don't see how it's derived from experience. Why? Because it is not them but their ancestors who derived it. That's why they think that a priori knowledge has nothing to do with experience. Since they don't understand how concepts of space, time and cause are derived from experience, they have no choice but to conclude that these concepts are not derived from experience.

They deny what is evident. That's how you can identify them. They deny instrumentalism i.e. that theories are merely devices that generate predictions. Instead, they claim that theories are attempts to explain the universe (i.e. to find the underlying truth about the world.) They deny empiricism i.e. that theories are derived from experience. Instead, they claim that theories are conjectures formed independently from experience.

In that case, what you are saying is that "truth is independent of what anyone thinks" = "truth is dependent on evidence, and even though that goes through human judgement to become truth, it starts with evidence." But at the same time, it means "since evidence goes through human judgement to become truth, truth is dependent on human judgement." So two seemingly contradictory statements actually meaning the same thing. The contradiction seems to come from a disagreement over which out of the two--evidence or human judgement--are we to say truth depends on. Obviously, if evidence -> human judgement -> truth, then it's both (one more directly than the other), but if we have to pick one, then I guess those who pick evidence are the objectivists, and those who pick human judgement are the subjectivists.


Truth depends on human judgment which may or may not depend on evidence. Subjectivists are people whose judgment about what's going to happen does not depend on evidence but on what they want to happen e.g. I don't want to die within next 500 years so I predict that I won't die within next 500 years. Objectivists, on the other hand, are people whose judgment about what's going to happen depends on evidence. So even if evidence suggests something unpleasant they accept it. That's the real difference. As you can see, they both use human judgment albeit in a different way. You can say they use different methods of judgment. One is using preference-based judgment and the other evidence-based judgment.

I am not a subjectivist. I am an objectivist. But that does not mean I am a realist. I am an instrumentalist and a phenomenalist.

Ok, but how literally do you take that? I mean, do you actually believe there are these things called "assumptions" floating around out there? Is it anything like Plato's forms?


No, they are not floating around and they have nothing to do with Plato's forms. One's assumptions manifest through one's behavior. By looking at how someone behaves you can tell what he's assuming. Though you need a bigger picture than that, at the bottom, that's how it works.
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Re: Subjectivity versus Objectivity

Postby gib » Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:50 pm

Magnus Anderson wrote:I wouldn't call it a subjectivist framework. Members of Vienna Circle weren't subjectivists. Ernst Mach and Bertrand Russell weren't subjectivists. Heisenberg wasn't a subjectivist. Yet, they all declared that there is nothing beyond experience, that metaphysics and ontology are nonsense, that physical objects do not exist as things-in-themselves but merely as groups of sensations, that theories are merely "economic summaries of facts", that there is no a priori knowledge that wasn't first discovered a posteriori, that we should stick to the facts instead of going beyond them (Occam's razor) and so on and so forth. The correct name would be a phenomenalist framework (specifically that of Ernst Mach.) Ernst Mach wasn't an idealist. He explicitly stated that those who think he's an idealist are very far from understanding his position.


What's the difference? I know phenomenalism as the position that things are as they seem. Phenomenalism can be a form of subjectivism/idealism, but it needn't be. The window-to-reality view of consciousness (i.e. niave realism) could also posit that reality is just as it seems. Is this what you mean by phenomenalism?

Magnus Anderson wrote:Realists, who are under attack in this thread, can only make sense if you understand that they do not understand the origin of their a priori knowledge. They don't see how it's derived from experience. Why? Because it is not them but their ancestors who derived it. That's why they think that a priori knowledge has nothing to do with experience. Since they don't understand how concepts of space, time and cause are derived from experience, they have no choice but to conclude that these concepts are not derived from experience.


Do you mean that they are taught these concepts from their ancestors but they don't remember it? I agree that certain universal concepts aren't learned from particular experiences, like in the way we might learn the concept of a tree by having experiences of trees (whereas an alien on another planet where there are no trees would not learn this concept), but I think it requires experience in general to learn any concept. That's not to say that the concept is based on experience, but that the mere fact of having experience is necessary to form concepts period. The brain does not develop unless there is incoming information to stimulate growth. There are ample studies to support this. If I were to offer an analogy, maybe the following would work: experience is like the electric current flowing into a computer, and the concepts we acquire are like programs that are infused into the computer. Both require electrical input from the same source. But that source, the inflow of electric current, is sometimes used as input into the program (that is, as specific information that the computer interprets and processes) but sometimes used just to power the computer, making the programming of the computer possible in general.

I'm not a Kantian, at least not in the sense that we are born with a priori knowledge, as if the computer comes prepackages with a suite of programs (the OS notwithstanding), though I do believe we are all born with the potential to develop so-called "a priori" knowledge.

Magnus Anderson wrote:They deny what is evident. That's how you can identify them. They deny instrumentalism i.e. that theories are merely devices that generate predictions. Instead, they claim that theories are attempts to explain the universe (i.e. to find the underlying truth about the world.) They deny empiricism i.e. that theories are derived from experience. Instead, they claim that theories are conjectures formed independently from experience.


Why can't theories be both? Attempts to explain the universe and devices that generate predictions?

Magnus Anderson wrote:Truth depends on human judgment which may or may not depend on evidence. Subjectivists are people whose judgment about what's going to happen does not depend on evidence but on what they want to happen e.g. I don't want to die within next 500 years so I predict that I won't die within next 500 years. Objectivists, on the other hand, are people whose judgment about what's going to happen depends on evidence. So even if evidence suggests something unpleasant they accept it. That's the real difference. As you can see, they both use human judgment albeit in a different way. You can say they use different methods of judgment. One is using preference-based judgment and the other evidence-based judgment.


As a subjectivist myself, I can tell you that isn't true. I have not been able to convince myself that disease doesn't exist though I wish it were true (though I can't speak for all subjectivists). Subjectivism is more the position that reality is based on experience than that reality is based on what one wants to be true. As I said earlier, I am an observer of how the mind works. I observe that the mind is sometimes convinced by evidence and at other times by desires for what one wishes were true (and also by reason and the words of authority figures--the big 4 :D). Observing that this is the way the mind works has convinced me that reality is first and foremost based on subjective experience, but at the same time, it has not changed the way my mind works. It hasn't made it so that I am no longer convinced by evidence. It hasn't made it so that I am any more capable of believe things just because I want them to be true. Believing that reality is based on experience hasn't given me the ability to create reality out of the things I wish were true. I'm still aware that disease exists even though I wish it weren't true, and even if I try to convince myself that disease doesn't exist, I find that I still need evidence or reason (or the words of a trusted authority figure). This is hardwired into the brain, an immutable way it works--adopting this or that "ism" doesn't change this. Being a subjectivist isn't magic; it doesn't give you a different brain.

Magnus Anderson wrote:I am not a subjectivist. I am an objectivist. But that does not mean I am a realist. I am an instrumentalist and a phenomenalist.


Well, then you really need to explain to me the difference between phenomenalist and subjectivism.

Magnus Anderson wrote:No, they are not floating around and they have nothing to do with Plato's forms. One's assumptions manifest through one's behavior. By looking at how someone behaves you can tell what he's assuming. Though you need a bigger picture than that, at the bottom, that's how it works.


Ok, so when you say that we "select" assumptions as opposed to "creating" assumption, you mean we apprehend them in others first before we adopt them for ourselves. <-- Is that correct?
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Re: Subjectivity versus Objectivity

Postby Magnus Anderson » Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:46 am

Gib wrote:What's the difference?


The difference is that subjectivism is an epistemologically meaningful term. In that sense, I am not a subjectivist. Metaphysically speaking, I am not so sure. What does metaphysical subjectivism mean? That the events that take place outside of our brains are entirely caused by the events that take place inside our brains? If so, I am not a metaphysical subjectivist either.

The window-to-reality view of consciousness (i.e. niave realism) could also posit that reality is just as it seems. Is this what you mean by phenomenalism?


No windows. I take windowless approach. Somewhat similar to Leibniz's windowless monads. Unlike Leibniz, I don't think there is a harmony that is pre-established by God. I do agree that there is harmony (i.e. the appearance of monads interacting with each other) but I don't think this harmony has been pre-established by some central force such as God. Also, I don't think that monads themselves are the cause of their own behavior. I do agree that there is no communication, interaction or perception between these monads but I take this further and say that there is also no communication, interaction or perception within monads themselves i.e. one monad's past self does not cause one monad's present or future self.

Another way to put it, and a much simpler way to put it, is that the universe is a mass of particulars that are related to each other in a specific way. Interaction, in this view, is a reference to a specific kind of relation between particulars.

Do you mean that they are taught these concepts from their ancestors but they don't remember it?


I mean that these concepts were created by their ancestors, and while they have a memory of these concepts, they have no memory of how and why these concepts were created.

That's not to say that the concept is based on experience, but that the mere fact of having experience is necessary to form concepts period.


That's correct. A concept is nothing more than a range of particulars that have some specific effect. I show you a bunch of images and you immediately identify each one of them with a word. Those images that are identified with the same word immediately form a concept. Based on these images alone you cannot form any kind of concept. However, when you relate them to some other kind of particular, such as for example words, concepts are immediately formed.

I'm not a Kantian, at least not in the sense that we are born with a priori knowledge, as if the computer comes prepackages with a suite of programs (the OS notwithstanding), though I do believe we are all born with the potential to develop so-called "a priori" knowledge.


It's pretty clear to me that we are born with a priori knowledge. At least in the sense that we acquire it almost instantly soon after we are born. I don't ever recall having to learn facial recognition, for example. I always knew what a face is.

Why can't theories be both? Attempts to explain the universe and devices that generate predictions?


They can be both provided that you agree that what it means to explain the universe is nothing more than to form a theory based on as many observations as possible. The problem is that they deny this just as they deny that the most significant purpose of theories is to generate predictions.

Subjectivism is more the position that reality is based on experience than that reality is based on what one wants to be true.


That's metaphysical subjectivism.

Ok, so when you say that we "select" assumptions as opposed to "creating" assumption, you mean we apprehend them in others first before we adopt them for ourselves. <-- Is that correct?


On the lowest level of abstraction, there is neither "selection" nor "creation". There is merely occurence. There are facts. You take a look at the facts and then you interpret them. You take a look at how someone acts. You take a look at how that someone acted in the past. You take a look at what happened around that someone in the past. Then you make connections. At the end of your intellectual journey, you arrive at the conclusion that that someone is assuming this or that. You come up with assumptions that have the potential to influence his behavior. You then separate these assumptons into a group of those that are actively shaping his behavior and a group of those that will shape his behavior if this or that happens. All other assumptions that you can imagine are then considered to have no potential to shape his behavior. That's all there is to it.
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Re: Subjectivity versus Objectivity

Postby Arminius » Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:34 pm

Gib.

Experience has both sides: subjectivity and objectivity. Both are aspects of epistemology.
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Re: Subjectivity versus Objectivity

Postby Arcturus Descending » Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:07 pm

Arminius,

Idealistically said, an objectivist excludes all kinds of subjectivity. That is difficult to do.


I would say so...almost like a harrowing experience.

An objectivist is comparable to a monk. Monks were the first scientists. Excluding all kinds of subjectivity is a huge task.


They were. Can you give me an example.
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Re: Subjectivity versus Objectivity

Postby gib » Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:22 pm

Sorry Magnus, got bored of this thread.

Arminius wrote:Gib.

Experience has both sides: subjectivity and objectivity. Both are aspects of epistemology.


Of course! Being a subjectivist, to me, doesn't mean denying the existence of the objective. It just means that the subjective aspect takes primacy, and that we can only have objectivity within a great subjective context.
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It is impossible for a human being to go through life not thinking irrationally even if they think of themselves as rational
Also just as irrational decisions are not always bad then rational ones are not always good no matter what the intention
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Re: Subjectivity versus Objectivity

Postby WendyDarling » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:06 pm

Being a subjectivist, to me, doesn't mean denying the existence of the objective. It just means that the subjective aspect takes primacy, and that we can only have objectivity within a great subjective context.

No. We can only have subjectivity within a great objective context. The objectives ground reality otherwise we live only in our heads, projecting a reality or at least trying to, a reality that is ideal over real.
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Re: Subjectivity versus Objectivity

Postby gib » Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:23 pm

WendyDarling wrote:No. We can only have subjectivity within a great objective context. The objectives ground reality otherwise we live only in our heads, projecting a reality or at least trying to, a reality that is ideal over real.


And how do you know about this objective reality? Doesn't it start from in your head? Or if you like, from experience?

And you're confounding "in the head" with "unreal". Yes, I am saying that everything is ultimately "in the head" but I don't think that makes it unreal. I think the idea that the mental = unreal is a legacy of Cartesian dualism. He's the one who convinced everyone that if it's mental, its reality can't be trusted.
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It is impossible for a human being to go through life not thinking irrationally even if they think of themselves as rational
Also just as irrational decisions are not always bad then rational ones are not always good no matter what the intention
- surreptitious75

The rating of rationality can be higher and always is higher than the person trying to be rational. Rationality is less emotional than the person delivering it.
- encode_decode

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Re: Subjectivity versus Objectivity

Postby Arminius » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:45 pm

The problem is that too much consideration of subjectivity can lead to extreme subjectivism, thus solipsism. Accoding to a solipsist, the subjective I (self, ego) with its conscious contents is the only reality.
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Re: Subjectivity versus Objectivity

Postby James S Saint » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:59 pm

The problem is that creating disagreement is the purpose (obfuscation, misdirection, and extortion).

If everyone has their own "reality", then nothing and everything can be said to be real. That makes all history and facts questionable, and thus changeable. And manipulated change is the goal. Why allow people to restrain you with Truth?


WendyDarling wrote:We can only have subjectivity within a great objective context.

True.
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Re: Subjectivity versus Objectivity

Postby gib » Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:51 pm

Arminius wrote:The problem is that too much consideration of subjectivity can lead to extreme subjectivism, thus solipsism. Accoding to a solipsist, the subjective I (self, ego) with its conscious contents is the only reality.


James S Saint wrote:The problem is that creating disagreement is the purpose (obfuscation, misdirection, and extortion).

If everyone has their own "reality", then nothing and everything can be said to be real. That makes all history and facts questionable, and thus changeable. And manipulated change is the goal. Why allow people to restrain you with Truth?


Both you of, those are known as the "slippery slope" fallacy: X can't be true because bad things would happen if it were true. Wanna be comfortable, better not seek out the truth.

Arminius, some people might take subjectivism to its solipsistic extremes, but not I. Take the issue up with them.

James, like it or not, we already do live in our own "realities"--I call them subjective realities, everyone else calls them objective realities and thinks everyone else is wrong--at least with subjectivism, we can adopt relativism, which nicely qualifies the reality to a specific person or point of view, and thereby makes all such descriptions of reality consistent after all. Differences are resolved in the usual manner--empirical testing, and if that doesn't work, reason and negotiation. Being a subjectivist doesn't change this; it doesn't change the way the brain fundamentally works.
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It is impossible for a human being to go through life not thinking irrationally even if they think of themselves as rational
Also just as irrational decisions are not always bad then rational ones are not always good no matter what the intention
- surreptitious75

The rating of rationality can be higher and always is higher than the person trying to be rational. Rationality is less emotional than the person delivering it.
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Re: Subjectivity versus Objectivity

Postby James S Saint » Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:20 am

gib wrote:
Arminius wrote:The problem is that too much consideration of subjectivity can lead to extreme subjectivism, thus solipsism. Accoding to a solipsist, the subjective I (self, ego) with its conscious contents is the only reality.


James S Saint wrote:The problem is that creating disagreement is the purpose (obfuscation, misdirection, and extortion).

If everyone has their own "reality", then nothing and everything can be said to be real. That makes all history and facts questionable, and thus changeable. And manipulated change is the goal. Why allow people to restrain you with Truth?


Both you of, those are known as the "slippery slope" fallacy: X can't be true because bad things would happen if it were true. Wanna be comfortable, better not seek out the truth.

I suspect that you don't understand what we each said, but perhaps you merely misunderstand the "slippery slope" fallacy.

We were not saying that "X is true because if not....". Arminius was saying that too much is too much. And I was saying that too much is intentional, to serve a purpose. Neither of those constitute a "slippery slope" fallacy.

gib wrote:James, like it or not, we already do live in our own "realities"--I call them subjective realities, everyone else calls them objective realities and thinks everyone else is wrong--at least with subjectivism, we can adopt relativism, which nicely qualifies the reality to a specific person or point of view, and thereby makes all such descriptions of reality consistent after all. Differences are resolved in the usual manner--empirical testing, and if that doesn't work, reason and negotiation. Being a subjectivist doesn't change this; it doesn't change the way the brain fundamentally works.

No. You simply do not understand the words.

You are conflating a perception of reality with reality itself, the "map vs terrain" fallacy, when you say that "everyone lives in their own reality". Everyone lives in their own perception of reality.

Then you compound the fallacy by conflating perspective with perception with reality itself. Everyone has their own perspective of reality, their own perception of reality, and even their own situation within reality, but only one shared actual reality.

The "objectivists" know this. The subjectivists continue conflating concepts and words such as to create the liberal chaos used to manipulate Man into a new beast.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
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