Where does meaning come from?

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Re: Where does meaning come from?

Postby Arcturus Descending » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:01 pm

Some Guy in History wrote:
encode_decode wrote:
    Some Guy in History

    Some Guy in History wrote:What a bullshit thread.

    Perhaps you would like to explain why it is a bullshit thread.



      Why bother?


      Now that is a nihilist. :mrgreen:
      SAPERE AUDE!


      If I thought that everything I did was determined by my circumstancse and my psychological condition, I would feel trapped.


      What we take ourselves to be doing when we think about what is the case or how we should act is something that cannot be reconciled with a reductive naturalism, for reasons distinct from those that entail the irreducibility of consciousness. It is not merely the subjectivity of thought but its capacity to transcend subjectivity and to discover what is objectively the case that presents a problem....Thought and reasoning are correct or incorrect in virtue of something independent of the thinker's beliefs, and even independent of the community of thinkers to which he belongs.

      Thomas Nagel


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      Re: Where does meaning come from?

      Postby Arcturus Descending » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:39 pm

      surreptitious75 wrote:


      There is no meaning to anything in Nature just function and purpose.


      Oh, I don't know. If you sit under this beautiful giant Oak on the hottest day of the year ~~ let's say 115 degrees lol and you feel all refreshed and new and cool, doesn't that sense of qualia which you are experiencing (meaning) tie in with the function and purpose of that Oak?

      I may not be expressing this well but do you not think that there are times when the meaning does not so much come from us but is derived from the sheer utility of something in itself (the Oak). If that made sense. Maybe not. Maybe I am wrong here. #-o Perhaps it is all the Mind.

      The notion of meaning only exists because human beings think the Universe must be there for a reason
      .

      I do not think that that is necessarily so. When I look up at the stars and see their great beauty and mystery, can almost feel their heat and energy, the last thing on my mind is that "Oh, they must be there for a reason".

      The heart needs no reason and the play of beauty on the mind/psyche is for its own sake, not for that of interpreting the universe.

      Of course, on the other hand, at some point, meaning may creep in ~~ one may feel that the Universe is there for their pleasure, that they have been graced by it. But denying and resisting that is denying our own humanity and what gives us that urge to go on - that life can be good ~ even though it is simply based on the qualia of that interface between the Universe and our Self.


      There is no reason. It exists simply because it can.


      Could something which has the capacity to be something have a reason behind it?
      SAPERE AUDE!


      If I thought that everything I did was determined by my circumstancse and my psychological condition, I would feel trapped.


      What we take ourselves to be doing when we think about what is the case or how we should act is something that cannot be reconciled with a reductive naturalism, for reasons distinct from those that entail the irreducibility of consciousness. It is not merely the subjectivity of thought but its capacity to transcend subjectivity and to discover what is objectively the case that presents a problem....Thought and reasoning are correct or incorrect in virtue of something independent of the thinker's beliefs, and even independent of the community of thinkers to which he belongs.

      Thomas Nagel


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      Re: Where does meaning come from?

      Postby Meno_ » Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:16 am

      Of course it can. The reason for being is the possibility to exist, or not. To be or not to be is the ultimate question. Which suicides sorrily reasoned into the wrong conclusion

      But really the deeper question is, to what can they credit to their reasoning? To truth, or to fiction. The meaning of this ultimate question pertains to understanding of the most basic concepts of faith, love, compassion, capacity, and utilization of tools of clarity.

      Meaning when unhinged from the manifestation of conceptual symbolism do not demark all effects of.civilization, when humanity denies its own humanity in reference to the Ape, then what we are doing is doing disservice to the animal. The thin slice, the facade of.civilization hides the tremendous undertow of pre civilised man, a well meaning docile animal perhaps.

      It's is.fearless of a hunter to go into the deepest jungle and understand really how fragile a construction of civilization really is. It's discontent and its overcoming are.heroic attempts.to salvage at least.some.presumptive urges.
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      Re: Where does meaning come from?

      Postby encode_decode » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:54 am

        surreptitious75

        I always find your posts interesting enough to read and consider them not to be a waste of time to spend some time thinking about them. I find myself disagreeing with a significant amount of what you say, even though I do not see this as a negative thing. I will say that we are inseparable from the universe that defines us.

        surreptitious75 wrote:As a nihilist [ atheist existentialist is a more accurate descriptor but I prefer nihilist for reasons of brevity ] who sees no objective meaning to the Universe I am very sceptical of it being applied in such a way. And particularly as the line between objective and subjective becomes quite blurred for those using meaning like this.

        You say that you see no objective meaning to the universe but clearly this is just you and a small group of people. I also know that just because one does not see something, does not mean that it does not exist - so you have a belief of some sort - this is clearly evident. I would be interested in what ways you think that I have blurred the lines between the objective and the subjective. What do you mean by using meaning like this? What is this?

        surreptitious75 wrote:As for me such a line is very clearly defined. I am more interested in what is true rather than what I want to be true since I have no say in the latter and so focus more on the former. But even then one has to try hard not to confuse the two. I say there is no meaning in the grand scheme of things but is this because I think it is true or is there a part of me that also wants it to be true? There probably is if truth be told but I try to keep such thoughts to a minimum as I have no real need for them

        ??? Clearly defined how exactly ??? How do you know what is true given that everything to do with your existence can be boiled down to electrochemical signals interpreted by your mind? Everything is really just an interpretation to us. For the human being there is no absolute truth, just and interpreted truth that seems to work the best - I prefer to keep the mind open just in case I am missing something along the way and there might be the chance of detecting the said something. In all cases any given person goes with what they want to be true; a person chooses to believe what makes the most sense.

        What exactly do you have a need for?

        :-k
        It’s not that truth itself is being eroded per se, it’s that fragmental falsification appears to be increasing.
        (Anomaly654 - 2017)

        But the point remains that you can't get at that meaning before grasping the surface meaning
        - which is to say there is always meaning.

        (gib - 2017)

        Mind is an ever changing dimension that is bound to reality, logic and emotion.
        (Myself - 2017)
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        Re: Where does meaning come from?

        Postby encode_decode » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:59 am

          Brando

          I am somewhat lost by what you have written so I make the request that you give me a little more information or further your thoughts here.

          Brando wrote:Perhaps meaning is a critique of the myth of the given. Humans traditionally live in a world which is hostile to them. From this, there is the myth of the given, like the bear who eat a human. But reality is not that fix given, but with Peirce an order of signs. And meaning does represent what is the Fixation in the myth of the given.

          I can only make assumptions based on what you have written. I understand the hostile world as you have written it. Myth of the given, I am a little lost on.

          Clearly meaning is tied to every connection that exists - take us out of the picture and there is this human-non-interpreted meaning that still exists because a why and a how can exist with out us or at least the universal interpretation of it.

          :D
          It’s not that truth itself is being eroded per se, it’s that fragmental falsification appears to be increasing.
          (Anomaly654 - 2017)

          But the point remains that you can't get at that meaning before grasping the surface meaning
          - which is to say there is always meaning.

          (gib - 2017)

          Mind is an ever changing dimension that is bound to reality, logic and emotion.
          (Myself - 2017)
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          Re: Where does meaning come from?

          Postby Anomaly654 » Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:31 pm

          This mental pathway shows how it can be said that truth, the alchemy of philosophy, is the greatest treasure as it leads to the giving of value itself, to self-knowledge, to value-knowledge. Everything else of value would be derivative.

          Two questions that come to mind:

          ► How do you derive meaning in your life?

          ► What gives your life meaning?
          And something like the original question: where do you think meaning comes from?

          Truth and meaning are some of my favorite topics, so I'll jump in.

          First, I agree wholly that truth is the "greatest treasure" and I mourn its erosion in society.
          The way I see the world, meaning is a natural "byproduct" of information and information is being or "isness". This hardly an extensive or all-encompassing definition, but maybe it's a starting point.
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          Miscellaneous

          Postby encode_decode » Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:37 pm

            gib

            I have become fixated on part of your post - I look forward to responding to the rest of your post soon.

            It would pay off for us to remember this:

              - without any of the people that have taken part in this conversation . . .
              . . . what chance would remain that the conversation would have went this way -
            I say this for a reason that I will leave for now and instead say something else . . .

              . . . " something else " . . .
            Our minds are at the very least, working on taking in that which is useful to us, and trying to filter out any garbage - garbage is something each individual unconsciously defines, and filters following some conscious thought into what the definition should be - hopefully I wrote that right.

            >> each one of us, is eventually to be wrong about something, inevitable it seems, yet we journey on . . .

            . . . searching and finding meaning . . . meaning that is to an extent, also partially predefined by our expectations and/or wants.

            You are right on regarding my experiment of interleaving comments to lessen the appearance of a seam, and I think the experiment was worth the trouble. For one it highlights the connections made between interlocutors. It also pointed out the objective flow of the conversation as far as I am aware - and I will say clearly pointed out - to me at least - but I sensed you have picked up on this, hence my happiness in your interpretation of these events.

            You: Now, your second post strikes me as an actual response to what I said (you know, in the usual sense of responding to the content).

            Me: Indeed you are very correct. :D

            gib wrote:If you ask me, meaning is not "atomic"--that is, it can't be broken down into simple indivisible units the way matter can--which is not to say it can't be broken down, but that if it is to be broken down, it is by any arbitrary method that we choose--much like in the way 1 can be divided up into .5 and .5, or .25 + .25 + .25 + .25, or .1 + .9, or 8-9+2. There are no "atoms" of meaning, in other words, but meaning isn't indivisible either. It's more like the idea of matter that some of the ancient Greeks held, the ones opposite to Democritus and his theory of the atom, that said that matter is infinitely divisible. But for me, this idea must be accompanied by my concept of equivalence (if you're gonna invent the atoms of meaning as you see fit, you can't very well rely on identity). So if you find the meaning to something, and you divide that into smaller "component" meanings, those components, even collectively, may only be equivalent to the original meaning, not identical.

            There is a chance that meaning is not atomic but I am hoping you see the beauty in everyone being unique and thinking differently, even when they are being harsh. I am breaking meaning down in an atomic and yet causal way - there is a flow of sorts that of one(usually more) thing leading into another. We are able componentize nearly anything on any scale - we break our own world up, seemingly in an infinite fashion - why not the same with meaning? We do compress meaning a lot - there are many words that we use to do this and yet we still attempt to atomize everything - generally the smallest units that make sense. There should be no doubt by now that meaning is connected to the environment and not just the person and yet there are those who believe different - and why is that do you think? What limits do these mentioned beings place to allow for this kind of belief system(of sorts).

            gib wrote:Well, I think this is just how the human brain works: it identifies objects based on the collection of its parts (based on the conglomeration of its features and components). After having identified that collection, it gives it an identity over and above the full collection of components--so yes, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts--and this whole is defined by its its boundaries, which, as you said, allows it to contrast with its surroundings.

            This to me is very well stated - I suspect there is slight disparity, even though I really like what you have written here and I wonder what mechanism will come into play to rectify this disparity - that is what I allow to happen - some call it "go with the flow" but that is not exactly what I am doing as is evident in many of my responses.

            This sentence of yours: There are no "atoms" of meaning, in other words, but meaning isn't indivisible either; leaves me with a lot of food for thought. It is the one sentence that will help me construct meaning for your words that follow:

            gib wrote:But for me, this idea must be accompanied by my concept of equivalence (if you're gonna invent the atoms of meaning as you see fit, you can't very well rely on identity). So if you find the meaning to something, and you divide that into smaller "component" meanings, those components, even collectively, may only be equivalent to the original meaning, not identical.

            Somehow, I see here, a doorway to intelligence - I don't mean your obvious intelligence - I mean as a means to analyse any intelligence.

            Hopefully I can find a way, to put what I have last expressed in this post, into better words . . . thinking time . . .

            :-k
            It’s not that truth itself is being eroded per se, it’s that fragmental falsification appears to be increasing.
            (Anomaly654 - 2017)

            But the point remains that you can't get at that meaning before grasping the surface meaning
            - which is to say there is always meaning.

            (gib - 2017)

            Mind is an ever changing dimension that is bound to reality, logic and emotion.
            (Myself - 2017)
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            Re: Where does meaning come from?

            Postby encode_decode » Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:13 pm

              Anomaly654

              I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to this conversation.

              Anomaly654 wrote:Truth and meaning are some of my favorite topics, so I'll jump in.

              First, I agree wholly that truth is the "greatest treasure" and I mourn its erosion in society.
              The way I see the world, meaning is a natural "byproduct" of information and information is being or "isness". This hardly an extensive or all-encompassing definition, but maybe it's a starting point.

              I am glad that you agree that truth is the "greatest treasure" and I too mourn its erosion. I like the way that you have responded and I will put a little more thought into giving you the response that you deserve - I actually think your response is elegant and a perfect starting point to be used on many facets of meaning.

              :D
              It’s not that truth itself is being eroded per se, it’s that fragmental falsification appears to be increasing.
              (Anomaly654 - 2017)

              But the point remains that you can't get at that meaning before grasping the surface meaning
              - which is to say there is always meaning.

              (gib - 2017)

              Mind is an ever changing dimension that is bound to reality, logic and emotion.
              (Myself - 2017)
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              Inspired meaning . . .

              Postby encode_decode » Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:12 pm

                MagsJ

                There is much I am able to harvest from the interaction we have had . . .
                . . . and I am not sure my response in this instance indicates that but I will do my best for this occasion.

                MagsJ wrote:..so meaning is acquired over the years. from experiences? :-k

                It can be and I think this is definitely a part of it. Each year certainly adds a new "aspect" to each of our existences. Nostalgia I guess is what we have chosen to be the things that are important to us at a foundation level - so when you are remembering something fondly then this is but one element of who you truly are. I personally think it is our subconscious doing the shaping of our foundation and it can be helped along through conscious thought and remembering, with and without intent.

                MagsJ wrote:..which may be why city folk start moving out.. to seek a quieter life elsewhere, to gain meaning back into their lives.

                Totally, which makes me wonder why small town folk do the opposite and move to the city - is the greatness of a city perceived to be a cure to the monotony of a small town living circumstance? We can say too that we eventually fall into a monotony, living in the city. Perhaps the small town person moving to the city is liking the idea of more choice - perhaps choice is the problem . . . but then I imagine that with less choice comes less meaning - so I think we end up looking for completeness instead. We just want to feel completed. We want to be particular and stand out by limiting our choices(in turn honing our abilities in these choices) because it is easier to complete the smaller than the larger and on the other hand we like to have options in front of us to take away these limitations. We humans are in constant battle with ourselves.

                MagsJ wrote:..meaning that there is comfort in meaning?

                There is to be had, much comfort in the completeness of meaning, as it focuses on our-self

                MagsJ wrote:..running on all cylinders all of the time? sounds very exhausting., especially if you lived in a city centre.

                Well, I cannot argue with you here. I will say though that I believe our subconscious is always running on all cylinders -- perhaps warranting thought to some of what I have previously said. Learning to release some of the battles of internal conflict into the oblivion.

                Consciously rejecting the less meaningful . . . more thought required!

                MagsJ wrote:Perhaps such types are restricted by capacity? having less of it than others in order to create a more meaningful existence for themselves.. I too have seen and known such types. Samsara, perhaps?

                I think you are correct - I think meaning can still be gained at a simpler level but I think it is less meaningful. I do not think an aimless existence is healthy or conducive to a fruitful life and I do think that wisdom can help us to trim the aimlessness off of our being. Being practical in our decision making should of course be balanced with a healthy imagination of possibilities else how can we break free of any cycle?

                MagsJ wrote:...the pressure on the individual is now immense.. shifted from the top down, or has it always been like that and I am only just realising it now? :-? We now have obligations that have nothing to do with our immediate circle or peers, but of everyone.

                No, I think you have completely nailed it with regards to your question - at least I totally agree with you here.

                MagsJ wrote:Humans don't flourish well in the wrong or negative environment, but do what they can/must to live some semblance of a meaningful life. :eusa-violin:

                Yes, again I totally agree.

                8)
                It’s not that truth itself is being eroded per se, it’s that fragmental falsification appears to be increasing.
                (Anomaly654 - 2017)

                But the point remains that you can't get at that meaning before grasping the surface meaning
                - which is to say there is always meaning.

                (gib - 2017)

                Mind is an ever changing dimension that is bound to reality, logic and emotion.
                (Myself - 2017)
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                Re: Where does meaning come from?

                Postby encode_decode » Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:19 pm

                Arcturus Descending wrote:Oh, I don't know. If you sit under this beautiful giant Oak on the hottest day of the year ~~ let's say 115 degrees lol and you feel all refreshed and new and cool, doesn't that sense of qualia which you are experiencing (meaning) tie in with the function and purpose of that Oak?

                Although not aimed at myself - I answer yes.

                :wink:
                It’s not that truth itself is being eroded per se, it’s that fragmental falsification appears to be increasing.
                (Anomaly654 - 2017)

                But the point remains that you can't get at that meaning before grasping the surface meaning
                - which is to say there is always meaning.

                (gib - 2017)

                Mind is an ever changing dimension that is bound to reality, logic and emotion.
                (Myself - 2017)
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                Re: Where does meaning come from?

                Postby Anomaly654 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:49 am

                I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to this conversation.

                Thanks for the welcome.

                I actually think your response is elegant and a perfect starting point to be used on many facets of meaning.

                Kind words, again thanks. Look forward to discussion.
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                Re: Where does meaning come from?

                Postby encode_decode » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:35 am

                  Anomaly654

                  I now present to you a kind of basis for conversation from my point of view and I welcome yours too.

                  My only hope for now is that this is an acceptable format . . .

                  First we should consider what truth actually is: I prefer one of the usual meanings—that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality. But this meaning presents it's own two problems and they are >> 1. What is fact? and 2. What is reality? The fact part is easy given that it is synonymous with truth but reality is not so. How do we define real given that there appears to be more than one version of it?

                  I started out with the idea of a more abstract mental impression of meaning - a subjective experience of it - because I believe it ties in with reality, logic and emotion id est my version of mind and its ever changing nature which is in contrast to the ever changing nature of that which surrounds it.

                  Affecting and being affected . . .

                  Reality then has an external appearance that is projected internally and modified to become a mental interpretation of what is real. This involves known facts, beliefs, evidence and other imaginings and perceptions - forgive my redundancy.

                  Truth then becomes hard to nail down to an exactness that we all seem to wish for and hence we spend time in disagreement trying to sort through it. It is evident to me that belief and truth hold great meaning to the individual and yet it is not one hundred percent clear to me whether meaning starts out as external or internal.

                  So I would change what I originally said to: This mental pathway shows how it can be said that truth, the alchemy of philosophy, is one of the greatest treasures as it leads to the giving of value itself, to self-knowledge, to value-knowledge and perhaps meaning. Everything else of value would be derivative.

                  Anomaly654 wrote:First, I agree wholly that truth is the "greatest treasure" and I mourn its erosion in society.

                  What is it that is being eroded? Perhaps an agreed upon truth . . . a truth of the past—I can say with a level of certainty that this is the case but what of what remains? Some truth appears to be permanent like what happens to a person falling out of an aircraft at 20 000 feet.

                  Anomaly654 wrote:The way I see the world, meaning is a natural "byproduct" of information and information is being or "isness". This hardly an extensive or all-encompassing definition, but maybe it's a starting point.

                  Now we get to the part that really interests me - your concept that meaning is a natural "byproduct" of information - I once wrote the following as a device for further thought and I think it is good enough to get the gist of where I come from on the topic:

                    ► Everything known was once unknown.

                    ► Everything there is still to know already exists, it is just undiscovered, un-evolved an un-configured.

                    ► Everything can be expressed as information.

                    ► Discovery is just the unknown configured into formation.

                    ► Inception is formation.

                    ► Unknown in-formation is known.
                  To get my point across I had to play with words a little. If as you say meaning is a natural "byproduct" of information and information is being or "isness" then I would say that information is being or "isness" because everything can be expressed as information and lack of information cannot be and is not.

                  Meaning is the expressed byproduct of the expressed information of everything that affects and everything that is being affected - all else is not there.

                  Hopefully you can see why your comment stimulated this line of thought and why I thought your words held merit at the time I said that and from my point of view, still do. I don't expect a response to this post because as I said to start with I am only laying the foundation from my point of view.

                  I have said this quite regularly and I will say it to you: apologies for any errors in logic that I may have made in advance.

                  :D
                  It’s not that truth itself is being eroded per se, it’s that fragmental falsification appears to be increasing.
                  (Anomaly654 - 2017)

                  But the point remains that you can't get at that meaning before grasping the surface meaning
                  - which is to say there is always meaning.

                  (gib - 2017)

                  Mind is an ever changing dimension that is bound to reality, logic and emotion.
                  (Myself - 2017)
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                  Re: Where does meaning come from?

                  Postby Anomaly654 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:08 am

                  First we should consider what truth actually is: I prefer one of the usual meanings—that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality. But this meaning presents it's own two problems and they are >> 1. What is fact? and 2. What is reality? The fact part is easy given that it is synonymous with truth but reality is not so. How do we define real given that there appears to be more than one version of it?

                  I don’t think I have a firm enough idea hammered out of what reality is to be able to offer much of interest on the subject. But as to truth, I see the ‘standard’ theories—the most popular being correspondence, which you appear to start with—not as theories of what truth is, but as declarations of what it does. I started years ago with Aquinas’ interpretation of Avicenna in the Summa, Part One, Q. 16, A. 1, "Whether Truth Resides Only in the Intellect?”, "The truth of each thing is a property of the essence which is immutably attached to it."

                  From here, I factor in Mortimer Adler’s comment in “Ten Philosophical Mistakes”… "In Book VI of his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle, clearly cognizant of what he himself had said about the character of descriptive truth, declared that what he called practical judgments (i.e., prescriptive or normative judgments with respect to action) had truth of a different sort. Later philosophers, except for Aristotle's medieval disciples, have shown no awareness whatsoever of this brief but crucially important passage in his writings."

                  …to answer your first question, what is fact? Facts as I see them are (as you suggested) relations derived from a union of truth content of the intellect (“living” information) in union [apprehension] with truth content in external states of affairs. Facts are truths discerned of the so-called material realm. This seems in line with your comment,

                  Reality then has an external appearance that is projected internally and modified to become a mental interpretation of what is real. This involves known facts, beliefs, evidence and other imaginings and perceptions


                  As to question 2, best answer I can give might be taken from Joseph Margolis in his Introduction to Philosophical Problems, where he identifies the difference between, "...the nature of numbers and...of fictions and the nature of perceptual objects and the like...where we hold that we may think of, or consider, or admit, or refer to, or speak about, whatever we may (in purely grammatical terms) make predications of, we are referring to what "exists1"—which does not, as such, commit us to holding that what we refer to exists in the actual or real world ("exists2", or "really" or "actually exists").

                  I apologize if I’m piling on too much unwanted info, but in order to attempt an answer to your later questions I feel the need to flesh out where I’m coming from as it’s a bit unorthodox.

                  In my book, both existence1 and existence2 are “real”, though as Margolis notes, not equally real.

                  Truth then becomes hard to nail down to an exactness that we all seem to wish for and hence we spend time in disagreement trying to sort through it. It is evident to me that belief and truth hold great meaning to the individual and yet it is not one hundred percent clear to me whether meaning starts out as external or internal.

                  I agree completely with your position here, and might explain it thus: Everything that exists is information, and all information (being) is value-bearing. Most informational entities (both existents1 and existents2) are truth-bearers. All matter is truth-bearing—hence, part of our ease discerning factual value. I use the term “value-bearing” because there is also falsity. Only one type of information can be falsified: the intellect. Though I haven’t an articulate defense just yet (I’m still drawing breath and am working on it), I believe “freedom” of the will (such as it is) wields the power to fragmentally falsify the truth-bearingness of consciousness or the intellect. It seems to me a state of indistinctness and uncertainty with respect to abilities to process, discern and hold true beliefs would logically be the natural state of a fragmentally falsified consciousness--hence our inability to understand, recall, express, etc. clearly.

                  Falsified information is prescriptive because the intellect, though united with matter, is pure prescriptive value/information. This prefaces how I’d answer your question:
                  What is it that is being eroded? Perhaps an agreed upon truth . . . a truth of the past—I can say with a level of certainty that this is the case but what of what remains? Some truth appears to be permanent like what happens to a person falling out of an aircraft at 20 000 feet.

                  It’s not that truth itself is being eroded per se, it’s that fragmental falsification appears to be increasing. It’s now common enough knowledge that there is something going noticeably “wrong” with our social/moral/political/cultural affairs that it’s being questioned even on national news shows. But of course I’ve now approached the threshold of theology, and philosophy prefers to not mingle in what to her is so odious a house. I’ve enjoyed our walk nonetheless.

                  Now we get to the part that really interests me - your concept that meaning is a natural "byproduct" of information - I once wrote the following as a device for further thought and I think it is good enough to get the gist of where I come from on the topic:
                  ► Everything known was once unknown.

                  ► Everything there is still to know already exists, it is just undiscovered, un-evolved an un-configured.

                  ► Everything can be expressed as information.

                  ► Discovery is just the unknown configured into formation.

                  ► Inception is formation.

                  ► Unknown in-formation is known.
                  To get my point across I had to play with words a little. If as you say meaning is a natural "byproduct" of information and information is being or "isness" then I would say that information is being or "isness" because everything can be expressed as information and lack of information cannot be and is not.

                  Meaning is the expressed byproduct of the expressed information of everything that affects and everything that is being affected - all else is not there.

                  This sounds quite reasonable to me. Good stuff, thanks encode_decode.
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                  Re: Where does meaning come from?

                  Postby James S Saint » Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:07 pm

                  Truth is the ontological choice of symbols with which to construct a map of the terrain called reality.
                  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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                  Re: Where does meaning come from?

                  Postby Anomaly654 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:14 pm

                  Truth is the ontological choice of symbols with which to construct a map of the terrain called reality.

                  What happens when in one's mapping a theft, murder or rape is observed? What symbols would apply in one of these sets of circumstances to obtain their relevant truth?
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                  Re: Where does meaning come from?

                  Postby encode_decode » Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:16 pm

                    Anomaly654

                    Just a small reflection inspired from what I have read.

                    You have given me much to think about in your post - much of value to me - let me somewhat respond to a small piece of it now.

                    Anomaly654 wrote:It’s not that truth itself is being eroded per se, it’s that fragmental falsification appears to be increasing. It’s now common enough knowledge that there is something going noticeably “wrong” with our social/moral/political/cultural affairs that it’s being questioned even on national news shows. But of course I’ve now approached the threshold of theology, and philosophy prefers to not mingle in what to her is so odious a house. I’ve enjoyed our walk nonetheless.

                    OK, I really like that: it’s that fragmental falsification appears to be increasing - indeed - that is a new way for me to view it, thanks. I am not sure that it is common enough for the whole world to take notice - I personally notice people going about their daily business as if nothing has ever gone wrong. Those with enough intellectual capacity(including those on national news shows) are able to question but I think the general populace are still not situated where they need to be to help make a difference. I think as long as we can keep ourselves in check then adding a little of the theologically fringe topic is OK.
                    It’s not that truth itself is being eroded per se, it’s that fragmental falsification appears to be increasing.
                    (Anomaly654 - 2017)

                    But the point remains that you can't get at that meaning before grasping the surface meaning
                    - which is to say there is always meaning.

                    (gib - 2017)

                    Mind is an ever changing dimension that is bound to reality, logic and emotion.
                    (Myself - 2017)
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                    Displays versus paper

                    Postby encode_decode » Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:32 pm

                      Perhaps a little off topic but I think worthy of inclusion . . .

                      Interesting side notes to the conversation/s taking place in this thread that can be extended to information, fact, truth, reality and a few others whether subjective or objective is a 2013 study by scientists: In 2013, scientists took 72 tenth graders and put them through a reading comprehension test with one catch: some read from paper and others from computer displays. Interestingly the paper readers performed better.

                      One reason the paper readers performed better is related to our spatial awareness of information. According to researchers, we don’t just read physical texts; we experience them. Similar to remembering a route you take with your car, you create a mental map of the material while reading. You can remember where bits of information are in relation to one another. With e-Readers, that connection between ideas is disrupted. It’s more difficult to create a mental image of how the pieces fit together.

                      < << <<< The following is not well formed but hopefully enough to start the conveyance from an idea to a fact >>> >>
                      While not immediately apparent the connection that I am trying to make here, I think there is enough in this phenomenon and my intuition to say that meaning as well as information, fact, truth, reality as well as what I might have missed to prompt an idea that just sort of popped into existence and that is there is a small amount of proof that meaning is not just internal to the person and that it is in fact a part of the universe or external existence and is connected to subjective experience.

                      I may have to reword what I have written for it to make perfect sense but for now I will leave it how it is.

                      This post may also help to backup why there appears to be this fragmental falsification that appears to be increasing.

                      Perhaps our technology is part to blame . . .
                      It’s not that truth itself is being eroded per se, it’s that fragmental falsification appears to be increasing.
                      (Anomaly654 - 2017)

                      But the point remains that you can't get at that meaning before grasping the surface meaning
                      - which is to say there is always meaning.

                      (gib - 2017)

                      Mind is an ever changing dimension that is bound to reality, logic and emotion.
                      (Myself - 2017)
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                      Re: Where does meaning come from?

                      Postby Anomaly654 » Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:02 pm

                      While not immediately apparent the connection that I am trying to make here, I think there is enough in this phenomenon and my intuition to say that meaning as well as information, fact, truth, reality as well as what I might have missed to prompt an idea that just sort of popped into existence and that is there is a small amount of proof that meaning is not just internal to the person and that it is in fact a part of the universe or external existence and is connected to subjective experience.


                      I see or “play with” four categories of existence:
                      1. matter
                      2. information
                      3. value
                      4. force/energy

                      These are just four aspects of a single reality, four different ways I’ve come to view existence. Notice that meaning isn’t included in the list. (Until recently I had five categories, but backed “properties-relations” out of it as they seem to be more “meaning expressions” of especially 2,3 and 4 than a separate category.) For me, meaning is an intrinsic feature or ‘reporting principle’ or characteristic of existents. Popular theories of truth and value (separate topics in academia it seems, but two aspects of a single topic from where I’m sitting) appear, as you seem to indicate in your last post, to place truth and value mostly or entirely in the mind. I think of meaning as something of a dynamic facet of information [and would be best explained from within #4 imo] such that it offers itself to intentionality—i.e., the meaning of existents unite with, or form an amalgam with, the meaning of living information (consciousness, apprehension) to provide “isness” to perception. It “feels” like meaning is in the mind, maybe because of our subjective ‘entrapment’ in a body, but in my world meaning is an instructor/instructiveness or conveyor of the informational content (the ‘that-what’ symmetry) in all existents by which understanding is obtained. To what degree this might be a two-way relation, I can’t guess.

                      Don’t know if this makes any sense to you en-de, but the reading experiment you referenced fits with this hypothetical construct of reality insofar as not all meaning is the same—some seems harder for the mind to grasp than others—so the differences between screen and text on paper makes sense to me.
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                      Re: Where does meaning come from?

                      Postby James S Saint » Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:47 am

                      Anomaly654 wrote:I see or “play with” four categories of existence:
                      1. matter
                      2. information
                      3. value
                      4. force/energy

                      You have them in the wrong order;

                        1. force/energy
                        2. value
                        3. matter - a particular state of energy
                        4. information - a particular state of value.
                      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".
                      .
                      James S Saint
                      ILP Legend
                       
                      Posts: 25762
                      Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:05 pm

                      Re: Where does meaning come from?

                      Postby Anomaly654 » Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:09 am

                      You have them in the wrong order;

                      1. force/energy
                      2. value
                      3. matter - a particular state of energy
                      4. information - a particular state of value.

                      Hadn't really considered any certain taxonomic arrangement. But now you mention it, seems to me matter should be consigned to either highest or lowest order, probably depending on one's ideological stance. Not sure about the other three, have to give that some thought.
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                      Re: Where does meaning come from?

                      Postby encode_decode » Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:37 pm

                        gib

                        I have this concept that I use, and hopefully I will get a chance to talk more about it, and that is the concept of interface, where two or more systems meet - in the case of this conversation many systems have met. There is the external system - the internal system - the interface between them. The ball/wall system that we previously discussed also have an interface because the ball and the wall can be considered to be two separate systems and a single system when combined. A combination is a little like a confinement in that you are setting limits to what the system is constituted of. The totality of existence is a confinement in that it is everything combined into a single system. Each subsystem is its own separate system and that would include the entire system of meaning as a subsystem of the single system of existence - there exists an interface between the meaning subsystem and the existence system and therefore an interface between the meaning system and the existence system.

                        These interfaces are like expressions and they become atomic upon the choosing of a bounded selection - a bounded selection is a confinement and a confinement can be a system(AKA subsystem). When we say meaning then what we are really doing is choosing a bounded selection of an atomic part of existence even though we have chosen the entirety of meaning - it is still an atom of existence - we are then free to choose a bounded selection of a select part of meaning(a sub-meaning which is still a meaning). My suggestion is that surface meaning is atomic to always meaning - that there exists an interface between surface meaning and always meaning. You can squish/squash the confinement but you are only changing its shape - you cannot divide a confinement because then it would no longer be the same confinement.

                        I am suggesting that division is infinitely possible - hopefully this first part made sense and you can see that . . .

                        Moving on . . . Take one of these lesser mentioned divisions and contrast them with what is left . . .

                        . . . to be continued . . .
                        It’s not that truth itself is being eroded per se, it’s that fragmental falsification appears to be increasing.
                        (Anomaly654 - 2017)

                        But the point remains that you can't get at that meaning before grasping the surface meaning
                        - which is to say there is always meaning.

                        (gib - 2017)

                        Mind is an ever changing dimension that is bound to reality, logic and emotion.
                        (Myself - 2017)
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                        Re: Where does meaning come from?

                        Postby Anomaly654 » Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:31 pm

                        I have this concept…of interface, where two or more systems meet…There is the external system - the internal system - the interface between them.

                        This is interesting. Is the external-internal distinction an indicator of spacetime systems or can abstracta also have this sort of interface?

                        …the ball and the wall can be considered to be two separate systems and a single system when combined. A combination is a little like a confinement in that you are setting limits to what the system is constituted of. The totality of existence is a confinement in that it is everything combined into a single system. Each subsystem is its own separate system and that would include the entire system of meaning as a subsystem of the single system of existence - there exists an interface between the meaning subsystem and the existence system and therefore an interface between the meaning system and the existence system.

                        Everything here makes good sense except I struggle to see meaning itself as a subsystem. There are just a few things that I can’t place in an informational framework [‘that-what’ pattern for both spacetime existents and abstract entities]; feelings, sensations and emotions seem to be just feedback effects, reactions or expressions of consciousness (or living information) and not existents per se. Meaning is also in this category, but peculiar. I might be off here, but seems to me no one subsystem can contain every value or kind of information.

                        Maybe what I mean can be explained thus: In one subsystem [that of you and I communicating on ILP] I express this or that emotion and various ideas at certain points while you contribute others. The exchange of language and ideas are fluid and changing; different words are used at different times, truth content (actual and perceived) waxes and wanes, etc. So certain items of information, values, material components and energies are brought into and fade out of our subsystem at various times.

                        Yet meaning simultaneously inheres the information, values, energy and material interfaces of not only our but every subsystem at once. It isn’t divulged or extracted all at once, but is present to everything. This is why I struggle to see meaning as a subsystem of its own; while all other aspects of existence are partially present in any given subsystem, meaning permeates everything, everywhere, all the time.
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                        Re: Where does meaning come from?

                        Postby encode_decode » Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:43 pm

                          Anomaly654

                          I am not one hundred percent certain how you worked that out but you are very close to the truth of the matter.

                          Very impressive.

                          I will have to put further thought into your post/s. I think I am beginning to understand how you are thinking.
                          It’s not that truth itself is being eroded per se, it’s that fragmental falsification appears to be increasing.
                          (Anomaly654 - 2017)

                          But the point remains that you can't get at that meaning before grasping the surface meaning
                          - which is to say there is always meaning.

                          (gib - 2017)

                          Mind is an ever changing dimension that is bound to reality, logic and emotion.
                          (Myself - 2017)
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                          Re: Where does meaning come from?

                          Postby encode_decode » Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:51 pm

                          Anomaly654 wrote:
                          I have this concept…of interface, where two or more systems meet…There is the external system - the internal system - the interface between them.

                          This is interesting. Is the external-internal distinction an indicator of spacetime systems or can abstracta also have this sort of interface?

                          I will work on an answer to this for you.

                          :D
                          It’s not that truth itself is being eroded per se, it’s that fragmental falsification appears to be increasing.
                          (Anomaly654 - 2017)

                          But the point remains that you can't get at that meaning before grasping the surface meaning
                          - which is to say there is always meaning.

                          (gib - 2017)

                          Mind is an ever changing dimension that is bound to reality, logic and emotion.
                          (Myself - 2017)
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                          Re: Where does meaning come from?

                          Postby encode_decode » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:32 pm

                            Anomaly654

                            I had a thought overnight that meaning could perhaps be an interface or at least be treated that way. I have this thing I like to call abstractive layers which work such that different ways of describing truths or facts belong to certain layers - how to know which layer is the difficult part but I kind of think along the lines that the more evidence available to support a theory or belief then the further along the abstractive layers that theory or belief belong.

                            Meaning as a subsystem might belong less further along the line of abstractive layers - yet I was thinking of meaning as being in a field and growing like soap bubbles in different parts of that field to eventually join up with other bubbles of meaning - just a tempting way to look at it I suppose.

                            Anomaly654 wrote:This is interesting. Is the external-internal distinction an indicator of spacetime systems or can abstracta also have this sort of interface?

                            Whether or not abstracta can have this interface I guess would be dependent on the type of conversation being had or theory or belief in play.

                            I hope this lends a little bit of intuition to my position so far - I am still in deep thought about what you have said.
                            It’s not that truth itself is being eroded per se, it’s that fragmental falsification appears to be increasing.
                            (Anomaly654 - 2017)

                            But the point remains that you can't get at that meaning before grasping the surface meaning
                            - which is to say there is always meaning.

                            (gib - 2017)

                            Mind is an ever changing dimension that is bound to reality, logic and emotion.
                            (Myself - 2017)
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