are things `reflections`

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are things `reflections`

Postby j0n4th4n » Mon Nov 18, 2002 2:17 am

I look at a tree and think - maybe this isn`t really, truly a tree - its simply the most tree-ish thing we`ve got, its just the reflection of Tree, an image. After all, its actually a lot of atoms stuck together - a replica of the genuine Tree, a cast. Obviously, this can apply to anything..

The genuine Tree, or Chair or Apple or whatever then would be something `absolute` - if you looked at it under a microscope you would simply see more Tree.

Dont ask me where these Things are supposed to be..Heaven perhaps

not saying i believe in this - i don`t know - its just an interesting concept.

am i right in thinking that plato had a similar idea to this?
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Postby Skeptic » Mon Nov 18, 2002 4:32 am

hmmm...

Interesting, but I don't think that we could ever say that there is one single perception of a tree that all other trees imperfectly model each other after. I think that is what you are saying. Sort of like an archetypal model for each and every form of something. Maybe you could refer to an item's DNA as sort of it's archetype. Non-living items (i.e. "a rock") have no DNA, so they would have no archetype accept for maybe their atomic make-up. I don't know if this is exactly what you meant but I think you are also kind of referring to a spiritual sense.
Last night as I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky, I thought to myself,
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"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
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Postby Frighter » Mon Nov 18, 2002 12:00 pm

yeah thats pretty much exacally platos theory of forms (i think it was him and thats what its called at least) i dont think i can agree with that tho. heh this isnt a normal way to refute it.. but its 6 am so im gonna go a bit wild wif a theory here.

lets say that there is a place where all the forms of everything are.. now in this place you got all of the somethings in our universe in there. but isnt there an infinate number of somethings? you could arrange atoms in an infinate number of ways. so that must mean in this world of forms there is an infinate number of forms. so there would then be a form for the perfect tree, and a form for the not so perfect tree, and a form for the not so perfect not so perfect tree. until you got a form for anything you can imagine, which in that case its kinda redundant to say there are any "forms" at all, since there isnt actually any kind of "perfect" anything since everything is perfect in their own way.

i dont know where im goin wif this now. thank you for lsitening.
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Postby j0n4th4n » Mon Nov 18, 2002 9:48 pm

i didn't explain very well in my first post..

there are no 'archetypal' forms - ie a perfect tree that all other trees are based on etc

its more like this: a particular object has a Form of itself, so the gnarled old tree's Form is a Gnarled Old Tree; not a Perfect Tree. Frighter, you said (I think) that then what would be the point in that? - well its kind of like this - the difference between the gnarled old tree and the Gnarled Old Tree is that the former is made of molecules, cells etc; and the other is made of tree - it is absolute, it is what it is. The capital letters kind of help convey this concept. The whole world would then be just a replica, a cast, of the Real World.
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Postby j0n4th4n » Mon Nov 18, 2002 9:53 pm

Skeptic - I've just noticed your avatar is off the Cosmic Trilogy front cover
am i right?
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Postby Skeptic » Mon Nov 18, 2002 11:58 pm

Wow, that's cool! I had know idea that it was from the Cosmic Trilogy. I just found it on the net and thought it looked cool. I am a huge C.S. Lewis fan however, so it seems to be even more fitting. In fact, I would put him in my top five. I guess I need to read the Cosmic Trilogy now. :D

Good catch Jonathan.

Before I comment anymore on the forms discussion, I need to do a little research on Plato's theory.
Last night as I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky, I thought to myself,
"Where the heck is the ceiling?!"

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
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Postby j0n4th4n » Tue Nov 19, 2002 9:38 pm

Im a bit of a CS lewis fan too - the first two stories in the Cosmic Trilogy are great - really wierd and dreamy, but strangely realistic. I haven't got round to reading the last book yet..


incidentally in last parts of the last Narnia book, theres an idea similar to the one this post is about.. actually its partly where i got the idea, along with the Plato theory..
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reality and reflections

Postby treysuttle » Mon Nov 25, 2002 1:14 pm

There is an ideal of trees, and everything else that we would call 'universals'. But I don't think we intuit them in the way that Plato did. They are concepts, based on grouping together simularities in properties that the things (individuals) themselves possess. Nor are these ideals absolutes...they are concept relative. We group trees and dogs into different categories, and it would be hard for us to understand how someone might put them in the same category...but what if both kinds possessed the same type of non-physical ancestor spirit...say all the warriors of a tribe that has died. Ok, that said, now on 'reflections'.

Yes, we might call things reflections, but what they are are reflections of our minds, not of an absolute reality. When you see a tree, you are not seeing 'brute' reality...you are seeing the product of our particular biological, psychological, linguistic, and cultural constitution. It is in this sense that things are reflections. You cannot get outside of all constitutions, so you cannot get at brute reality. So yes, no matter how deep you look into the microscope, you are still seeing partly a product of human reality.

The idea is of couse a cool one...maybe even the best one to get something to start thinking 'philosophically'. Look at how popular the movie the matrix was...even the movie stars themselves who acted in the movie talked about how 'philosophical' they became after making the movie.

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