Abstraction is falsification?

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Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Postby iambiguous » Fri Oct 02, 2020 8:19 pm

Magnus Anderson wrote:
iambiguous wrote:You made reference to Nietzsche in the OP. And how on earth can one speak of the relationship between abstraction, falsification and the things that Nietzsche wrote and not include human social, political and economic interactions. After all, how are abstractions like God and will to power and supermen not profoundly problematic there?


There is no doubt in my mind that these issues are relevant, and as you say, problematic. The thing is that this thread is narrowly focused on what people mean when they say "Abstraction is falsification". That's all. I am not saying that's more important than what you want to discuss -- it may in fact be less important -- but this thread right here is meant to be used to discuss only this particular issue and nothing else.

There's a reason why Internet forums categorize discussions instead of doing it the way modern day social networks do it -- stream of posts each of which has its own comment section -- the goal being to make it easier for people to read and to participate.

As for Nietzsche, he's relevant only to the extent that he's one of those who claim that "Abstraction is falsification".


Okay, that's reasonable enough. I'll cease and desist from posting on this thread. But should anyone here care to focus the beam instead on "abstraction is falsification?" in the world of moral and political value judgments, well, you know where I am.
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Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Postby Silhouette » Fri Oct 02, 2020 8:35 pm

Magnus Anderson wrote:I read everything Nietzsche wrote except for The Birth of Tragedy and Thus Spoke Zarathustra. But just like in your case, that was a long time ago.

I am pretty sure he believed that truth is a necessary illusion (= a falsity we cannot live without) but I cannot show you how I derived that belief from his writings (it has been a long time.)

Yeah I wouldn't disagree with that - to the degree that God being dead somewhat requires a new God to take the former one's place.
Similarly, I'm not close enough to his works anymore to satisfactorily derive that.

Was it intentionally contrarian of you to not read Thus Spoke Zarathustra? Perhaps you avoided it on account of it being his most famous work?
I'm not certain there's much in there that you won't know from the rest of his works, but I'd say it's an easy enough read due to the narrative style.

Am I to assume you didn't get much from my post then? Since you have read more than I have by the guy.
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Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Postby Magnus Anderson » Fri Oct 02, 2020 9:29 pm

Ecmandu wrote:What the OP is REALLY about is 1+1=2.

The referents in this equality bear no resemblance whatsoever to each other. It’s a visual contradiction.


You are still making two different but compatible claims.

1) "1 + 1" and "2" are two different symbols that have one and the same meaning.

2) "1 + 1" and "2" are two different symbols that do not look exactly the same.

There is no contradiction.
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Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Postby Magnus Anderson » Fri Oct 02, 2020 9:40 pm

WendyDarling wrote:Discerning what an abstraction references is the conundrum, where the falsity lies when assuming what it references. On a piece of paper is written the word, dog. In English, dog means many things. Which dog am I referring to? Most, if not all, abstractions cannot point to one specific reference point when they encapsulate multiple possibilities as do most if not all abstractions.

Donald Trump has an orange face. This is not a typical abstraction because it names multiple specifics/details by a specific male name, part of the body, and color, but even with all those details most abstractions lack, is there only one Donald Trump in existence? No.


Light waves (external phenomena) hit your eyes. Your brain immediately picks a language and uses it to internally represent what's sensed (light waves.) This is the process of abstraction. The result is a two-dimensional picture (an abstraction) that is then presented to your consciousness. You are led to believe that the two-dimensional picture that you see is a perfectly accurate representation of what's presented to your senses. But if it is true that abstraction is falsification, that belief is actually false i.e. the two-dimensional picture that you see does not actually correspond to what's presented to your senses. The question is: is that true?

Note that in order to answer this question, we must first agree on what it means for any given representation to correspond to reality.
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Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Postby Magnus Anderson » Fri Oct 02, 2020 9:49 pm

Silhouette wrote:Yeah I wouldn't disagree with that - to the degree that God being dead somewhat requires a new God to take the former one's place.
Similarly, I'm not close enough to his works anymore to satisfactorily derive that.


I've derived it in the mean time. (Not sure if you read my recent posts.)

Was it intentionally contrarian of you to not read Thus Spoke Zarathustra? Perhaps you avoided it on account of it being his most famous work?
I'm not certain there's much in there that you won't know from the rest of his works, but I'd say it's an easy enough read due to the narrative style.


Well, I didn't even know it's his most popular work. Or maybe I did but I cared so little that I forgot.

I guess I was simply not interested in poetry -- his type of poetry, in particular. He's too poetic for my taste. I'm just not into this entire post-modern "philosophy as art" business.

Am I to assume you didn't get much from my post then? Since you have read more than I have by the guy.


I am not exactly sure, I have yet to process your post carefully. I'll let you know when I'm done digesting it.
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Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Postby Meno_ » Fri Oct 02, 2020 10:50 pm

Magnus says:



"Light waves (external phenomena) hit your eyes. Your brain immediately picks a language and uses it to internally represent what's sensed (light waves.) This is the process of abstraction. The result is a two-dimensional picture (an abstraction) that is then presented to your consciousness. You are led to believe that the two-dimensional picture that you see is a perfectly accurate representation of what's presented to your senses. But if it is true that abstraction is falsification, that belief is actually false i.e. the two-dimensional picture that you see does not actually correspond to what's presented to your senses. The question is: is that true?

Note that in order to answer this question, we must first agree on what it means for any given representation to correspond to reality."


Reality is just such. abstraction from light and waves. That abstraction comes from a recent overlapping subtext, the light hitting the eyeball as well is very recent. Not as recent then michealson and morely and einstein, and certainly changes at least represented perspectives, depths , levels, narcissistic self ideation as objective self.

The narrative of the mechanics of light perception. with all the neurological wiring, is as unreal as can be


So the fact is " nothing is real, nothing to get hung about"

So levels of abstraction are commensurate with levels of evaluation into levels of nominal description within and about normal distribution of value


So abstraction can be falsefied at some level and within certain contexts, while at others it can not
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Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Postby WendyDarling » Sat Oct 03, 2020 12:57 am

Magnus Anderson wrote:
WendyDarling wrote:Discerning what an abstraction references is the conundrum, where the falsity lies when assuming what it references. On a piece of paper is written the word, dog. In English, dog means many things. Which dog am I referring to? Most, if not all, abstractions cannot point to one specific reference point when they encapsulate multiple possibilities as do most if not all abstractions.

Donald Trump has an orange face. This is not a typical abstraction because it names multiple specifics/details by a specific male name, part of the body, and color, but even with all those details most abstractions lack, is there only one Donald Trump in existence? No.


Light waves (external phenomena) hit your eyes. Your brain immediately picks a language and uses it to internally represent what's sensed (light waves.) This is the process of abstraction. The result is a two-dimensional picture (an abstraction) that is then presented to your consciousness. You are led to believe that the two-dimensional picture that you see is a perfectly accurate representation of what's presented to your senses. But if it is true that abstraction is falsification, that belief is actually false i.e. the two-dimensional picture that you see does not actually correspond to what's presented to your senses. The question is: is that true?

Note that in order to answer this question, we must first agree on what it means for any given representation to correspond to reality.


Wouldn't you have to ask about what exists, 2 dimensions or 3 dimensions? Do we perceive in only 2 dimensions?
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Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Postby Magnus Anderson » Sat Oct 03, 2020 1:17 am

Don't you think that we are first presented with a 2D picture and then immediately with a perception of 3D space?

The picture we see is most definitely a 2D one. When you're talking to someone while looking straight into their eyes, do you see the back of their head?
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Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Postby Ecmandu » Sat Oct 03, 2020 2:00 am

Magnus Anderson wrote:
Ecmandu wrote:What the OP is REALLY about is 1+1=2.

The referents in this equality bear no resemblance whatsoever to each other. It’s a visual contradiction.


You are still making two different but compatible claims.

1) "1 + 1" and "2" are two different symbols that have one and the same meaning.

2) "1 + 1" and "2" are two different symbols that do not look exactly the same.

There is no contradiction.


No Magnus ! You’re conflating things here.

The equality of A = A is about perceptual acuity.

The problem of 1+1=2 is 100% abstract.
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Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Postby Magnus Anderson » Sat Oct 03, 2020 5:22 am

Ecmandu wrote:The equality of A = A is about perceptual acuity.

The problem of 1+1=2 is 100% abstract.


You probably already know this but I'll state it just in case -- I don't understand what you're saying.

Let me restate the example I gave to Wendy.

1) Light waves hit your eyes. ("Light waves" are an instance of external phenomena i.e. they are things that exist outside of your brain.)

2) Your brain responds by using visual language to communicate to you what's sensed. (This is the process of abstraction. It takes what's sensed -- light waves -- and turns it into a visual symbol. Note that I'm using the word "language" in a broad way.)

3) The result is a two-dimensional picture that is presented to your consciousness. (Literally, what you see. Colors can be thought of as "visual words" and the two-dimensional picture that you see as "visual sentence".)

4) You are led to form a belief that what you see (the two-dimensional picture) corresponds to what is sensed (light waves.)

The question is whether your belief formed in #4 is true or false.

Those who claim that "Abstraction is falsification" claim that it is a necessary illusion.
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Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Postby Meno_ » Sat Oct 03, 2020 8:02 am

Magnus Anderson wrote:
Ecmandu wrote:The equality of A = A is about perceptual acuity.

The problem of 1+1=2 is 100% abstract.


You probably already know this but I'll state it just in case -- I don't understand what you're saying.

Let me restate the example I gave to Wendy.

1) Light waves hit your eyes. ("Light waves" are an instance of external phenomena i.e. they are things that exist outside of your brain.)

2) Your brain responds by using visual language to communicate to you what's sensed. (This is the process of abstraction. It takes what's sensed -- light waves -- and turns it into a visual symbol. Note that I'm using the word "language" in a broad way.)

3) The result is a two-dimensional picture that is presented to your consciousness. (Literally, what you see. Colors can be thought of as "visual words" and the two-dimensional picture that you see as "visual sentence".)

4) You are led to form a belief that what you see (the two-dimensional picture) corresponds to what is sensed (light waves.)

The question is whether your belief formed in #4 is true or false.

Those who claim that "Abstraction is falsification" claim that it is a necessary illusion.





Of course, Nietzsche would claim that, which should be obvious by now.
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Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Postby MagsJ » Sat Oct 03, 2020 1:18 pm

Magnus Anderson wrote:Don't you think that we are first presented with a 2D picture and then immediately with a perception of 3D space?

The picture we see is most definitely a 2D one. When you're talking to someone while looking straight into their eyes, do you see the back of their head?

No, but that would be because they’re a solid object, they are most definitely 3D though.. because they aren’t flat.

Even with, say.. something like a sketch, we can still create a 3D representation of the world on a 2D surface, on paper or canvas or a wall. It’s about sketching-in a perspective, good enough, so as to trick the eye into seeing the flat image as a 3D one.

Thus, an artist creates what the brain does.. 3D imagery, from a 2D source.
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Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Postby Ecmandu » Sat Oct 03, 2020 3:56 pm

Magnus! Sheesh!

Your argument is circular. Abstraction is defined as illusion and illusion is defined as abstraction. Circular arguments aren’t the end of the world. That just means that they’re synonyms. Your argument is an attempt to prove the EQUALITY! (A process of abstraction and falsification!!!)

The question is... is it true?

I already explained how no two A’s are exactly alike, magnification always proves this. To see visual equalities we have the be in the middle... not too close, not too far!

But that’s not what the OP is about (at its core)

No matter how close, in the middle or how far away you are:

1+1 will never LOOK like 2.

They are ABSOLUTE visual inequalities.

The only way they can equal each other transcends senses by 100%... it’s a 100% abstraction equality.

Now, this is also what we do with linguistic tokens as well. Of course the word tree is not a tree, and of course a tree cannot fit in your brain!

That’s not what abstraction is, abstraction is a much higher order mental process than these silly arguments that you’re presenting.

Falsification? We necessarily (as I just argued) do it every second of every moment of every day.
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Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Postby Magnus Anderson » Sat Oct 03, 2020 9:04 pm

Ecmandu wrote:Your argument is circular.


What argument? Are you sure I presented an argument?

Abstraction is defined as illusion and illusion is defined as abstraction. Circular arguments aren’t the end of the world. That just means that they’re synonyms.


I don't recall saying that abstraction is defined as illusion. (That's certainly not what the word means.)

Your argument is an attempt to prove the EQUALITY! (A process of abstraction and falsification!!!)


But I don't actually believe in that equality.

I already explained how no two A’s are exactly alike, magnification always proves this. To see visual equalities we have the be in the middle... not too close, not too far!


I understand that very well. The question is: is it relevant? I don't think it is. Care to prove me wrong?

No matter how close, in the middle or how far away you are:

1+1 will never LOOK like 2.

They are ABSOLUTE visual inequalities.


Yes, "1 + 1" and "2" are two symbols that do not look the same. (I said this in a previous post of mine.) The problem is, that's a piece of knowledge that is not relevant to the subject at hand.

The only way they can equal each other transcends senses by 100%... it’s a 100% abstraction equality.


"1 + 1 = 2" is not a claim that "1 + 1" and "2" are two different symbols that look the same. When we say that "1 + 1" and "2" equal each other, we are NOT saying they are visually identical symbols. Rather, we are saying that everything that can be represented by "1 + 1" can also be represented by "2" and vice versa.

Now, this is also what we do with linguistic tokens as well. Of course the word tree is not a tree, and of course a tree cannot fit in your brain!

That’s not what abstraction is, abstraction is a much higher order mental process than these silly arguments that you’re presenting.


What silly arguments am I presenting?

Falsification? We necessarily (as I just argued) do it every second of every moment of every day.


How? It doesn't seem like you demonstrated anything.
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Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Postby WendyDarling » Sat Oct 03, 2020 10:38 pm

Magnus Anderson wrote:Don't you think that we are first presented with a 2D picture and then immediately with a perception of 3D space?

The picture we see is most definitely a 2D one. When you're talking to someone while looking straight into their eyes, do you see the back of their head?


The visual sense is not the only sense we possess, there is no stop gap between 2D and 3D. We perceive in 3D, not in 2D. We may view something in 2D but we process it in 3D and that happens simultaneously as if the transformative aspect of our perception is another sense in its own right.

I still think you are missing my point about falsification that without the referenced object present, the abstraction may not be true but false. If particulars are what we are debating then no abstractions are false because they exist and the object they reference also exists in a known way. All you need to make an abstraction undeniably true is existence of known reference and any abstraction also in existence(if we're getting uber technical). Debating how similar they have to be beyond their existence, maybe for a different discussion.
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Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Postby attano » Sun Oct 04, 2020 12:27 am

Very nice thread, guys. Thanks to you all.

Magnus Anderson wrote:Okay, so what you're saying is that "Abstraction is falsification" means "Every process of abstraction produces a false claim that an instance of some class exists".

Yet, in some way, it does exist (which both KT and MA acknowledged). As much as I hate sounding Heideggerian, the ‘founding’ question here would be what do we mean by ‘exist’.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:I'm happy if abstractions are mere heuristics or are real in some Platonic or other way. [...]
I think in some sense any abstraction is an approximation. And further oversimplifies. Or simplifies which is not pejorative. IOW to some degree a falsification. But I mean even metaphors can be extremely useful and they are clearly not true in a literal sense.

I tend to look at it in the same way. I mean, I do not see that as ‘real in some Platonic way’, I am more for some ‘other way’.
(Instead, I am not warm for 'abstraction' as taking "what's sensed" and turn it into symbols, definitely not if applied to perception).

Indeed, ‘approximation’ and ‘simplification’ are helpful. We just never experience a perfect circle or a perfect triangle, and yet, out of those (and other) objects beyond experience, Geometry was formed and it can be applied to the ‘real’ world. “Extremely useful” is a kind of understatement for the case in point. That is the most empowering kind of knowledge, on that basis people can predict the future (some part of it, at least), and even change it.

In BGE 24, Nietzsche says that this proceeding, which he labels as will-to-knowledge is, in fact, a refinement of the will-to-ignorance (in typical Nietzsche’s fashion, something has its origin in what it is commonly believed to be its ‘opposite’ - and that is one of the main themes in BGE). This comes down down to saying that not only abstraction, but any knowledge about the world is ‘falsification’, which has the pleasant effect to allow men to enjoy life.
The problem is that… there are problems with this view, and I believe that Nietzsche himself was acutely aware of that. (Besides, I just avoid dealing with the question of the ‘will-to-truth’ as ‘concealed will-to-death’).

If we stick to the face-value of the word ‘falsification’, then there is no way to explain how science is possible. It gets even worse if we are to assume that all falsifications are made to serve the purpose of life enjoyment (though, maybe, that part was written half-jokingly).
The fact that Nietzsche used words like ‘perspective’ or ‘interpretation’ shows that he was implicitly acknowledging that even if knowledge is falsification, it can’t be wholly random. The metaphor of the false banknote comes in handy here, one can forge a banknote if one’s seen a real one. A perspective is such if it is a perspective on something, an interpretation is such if there is something to be interpreted.
That may sound like stating the obvious, but my question is what is that ‘link’ to the ‘something’?
IOW, what makes an approximation or simplification “extremely useful” instead of wanton fantasy?
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Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Postby Meno_ » Sun Oct 04, 2020 3:46 am

attano said:



"perspective is such if it is a perspective on something, an interpretation is such if there is something to be interpreted.
That may sound like stating the obvious, but my question is what is that ‘link’ to the ‘something’?
IOW, what makes an approximation or simplification “extremely useful” instead of wanton fantasy?'


My guess would be usefullness, or use of an abstraction as a result of possible transitions of meanings approaching associative necessity.

I believe these expectations are hypothetical a-priori projective manifestations. ....


attano says:



"The fact that Nietzsche used words like ‘perspective’ or ‘interpretation’ shows that he was implicitly acknowledging that even if knowledge is falsification, it can’t be wholly random. The metaphor of the false ...."


It can be, but then again , it may be slightly more then coincidental
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Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Postby Magnus Anderson » Sun Oct 04, 2020 4:09 am

What does it mean for a symbol \(S\) to correspond to some portion of reality \(P\)?

Take your pick:

1) \(S\) looks exactly like \(P\).
(This appears to be Ecmandu's position.)
(The word "cat" does not correspond to any given physical cat because the word "cat" looks nothing like cats.)


2) The meaning of \(S\) must be such that \(S\) can ONLY be used to represent \(P\).
(This appears to be Wendy's position.)
(The word "cat" does not correspond to any given physical cat because the word "cat" can also be used to represent any other physical cat.)


3) The meaning of \(S\) must be such that \(S\) can be used to represent \(P\).
(This is my position.)
(The word "cat" corresponds to any given physical cat because the meaning of the word "cat" allows us to use it to represent any physical cat.)


(Note that the meaning of a symbol is no more than the set of all things that can be represented by that symbol.)
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Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Postby Ecmandu » Sun Oct 04, 2020 5:03 am

Magnus:

Just like 1+1 bears no resemblance to 2

the tree is not the linguistic token “tree”

This requires a higher level of abstraction to form the equality. We use this level of abstraction to do the most routine things everyday.

These two examples (tree and 1+1) are equal to each each other in the sense that this higher level of abstraction leads to falsification (equality or inequality)
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Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sun Oct 04, 2020 5:19 am

Magnus Anderson wrote:The way I see it, you are making the same mistake that Wendy is making. You are talking about the process of going from what is abstract/general to what is concrete/specific. I am not really sure that's the process of abstraction. Indeed, it looks like precisely the opposite process to me.
That's a fair interpretation. To me Abstraction is a noun and to me it covers the use of abstractions, the process of abstracting, and

abstraction
/əbˈstrakʃ(ə)n/
Learn to pronounce
noun
noun: abstraction

1.
the quality of dealing with ideas rather than events.
"topics will vary in degrees of abstraction"


But let's look at is just the process of moving from concrete things/processes to an idea covering them. It necessarily whittles them down to common features. It necessarily deemphases variation and details, it is no longer dealing with direct experience (with provisos to perception being radically affected by abstractions or batching already). It creates something in the mind that represents X in all its instances, and this batch of associations and qualities that each mind has as part of the process of that concept in a mind, is not fully correct. Symbols even, are processes in minds, not simply a place holder. They carry all sorts of information and leave out information. They move away from the concrete and form a kind of heuristic. An active tool(ing) the mind uses when reacting to, thinking about, comparing X in all sorts of processes. It is in this also an approximation, and using that tool(ing) while incredibly useful is also a distortion.

There is a huge difference between classifying humans as either male or female and using such classifications to determine how intelligent they are. This is because "male" and "female" are words that say nothing about one's intelligence. So if you correctly identify someone as female, it neither follows that they are intelligent nor that they are unintelligent from that classification alone. It is only when you combine it with a certain type of belief, such as that all females are unintelligent and all males are intelligent, that it follows that that particular human being is either intelligent or unintelligent.
The symbols we have already have those other meanings in there, inevitably, if at an unconscious level. There may be people who do not have the IQ packed into their men and women symbols, but they have other distortions, due to their experiences, especially early ones and whatever propaganda (right or wrong) consciously and unconsciously absorbed. But then there is also less political distortion going on as I mentioned above, and that is inherent in the process of abstracting, and the use of abstraction. Even in mundane not very political abstractions like particles and waves, which had packed in them, back when, some seriously faulty assumptions, when certain processes were considered complete understandings of certain other processes. Just deciding that we understand some set of things, give them a label, is packaging experiences into an understand of that whole group. Rather than just saying we experienced X when we did Y.

To take a different approach and a sloppy one, but perhaps helpful....

Someone sees a cat and thinks this is a cat.
Some long term Zen meditator just watches what is happening when she looks in the directino of what the other guy is thinking is a cat.

Now this, I assume you would say is a situation applying the abstraction (or not in the second case). But actually the person coming up with the abstraction 'cat' and few of us are the ones who create the abstractions, is in fact moving away from a more raw experience and presenting to itself a symbol with a batch of meanings that only capture part of the qualities of any particular cat, along with any other distortions. This can be radically minimized if that person is aware of all this and his or her mind, take steps to reduce map and territory confusions, but our good old primate brains will always have falsifications because we are not perfect in that way. Nor can we be as in situ creatures.

None of this means abstractons of bad. They are extremely, incredibly useful processes. Even animals have them. They treat lions different from gazelles. And there is really no good reason for them to get the nuanced raw complexity of the specific lion. Certainly not if it is nearby. That's information they do not need and would take time absorbing when they should be running.

And of course I do not think of this as binary: either it is falsification or completely true. I think there is an inherent element of falsification, but this does not keep abstraction from often being useful. Unbelievably useful. Even the best cases, however, will have distortions and simplifications. But it is often worth it and savvier minds can reduce the problems. Less savvy minds often radically confuse maps with territory and also have terrible processes of abstracting and applying. They literal do not see individuals. They come up with confused abstractions. They haven't the slightest idea what problems reification can have. They have no idea that their personal experiences and biases affect the packing of processes in their symbols. They see ideas and not events (obviously with some sense data that is real often triggering the whole batch of the symbols). I think we all recognize people who can only see symbols and are mainly interacting with symbols. My argument is that those people are on a spectrum we are all on, and none of us can achieve perfection given the necessary simplification invovled in abstraction and hell, given that

the sensori-motor parts of the our primate brains are where the abstracting takes place. Our symbols and the processes they contain will always distort given what we experience as the world and how we as the mobile primates we are experience things. There is a metaphoric element in all abstraction and a viewpoint distortion.

We don't have another brain to use however to eliminate this.

This might not be the best article on the subject but laziness is a factor....
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10 ... 19.1660797

The authors do think some abstraction has no sensory motor roots, like the word concept for example. I think if they dug deeply enough they would finds. I mean a concept is a reification of processes occurring in minds. Even just being in time is a quality of primate brains. The having an idea IN a mind (brain) that represents something out there, has to do with the perceptions of an animals in space.
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Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Postby Ecmandu » Sun Oct 04, 2020 3:37 pm

You’re doing the same thing Magnus did but you added an extra equality:

Abstraction is interpretation is illusion.

Interpretation is all we have... I think you’re idealizing a zen monk. Obviously when a zen monk goes to the bathroom on a toilet or accepts alms - or understands words to utter koans - shittons of interpretation is occurring. This type of stuff with language can irritate me because the person is nothing but a snake oil salesman / saleswoman.
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Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Postby obsrvr524 » Sun Oct 04, 2020 4:27 pm

What if some (very many) people's brains just honestly can't handle abstract thought? I am sure that is one of the sharp distinctions between humans and animals. Are you just going to keep arguing with them forever? Would you argue with a blind person over the real hue of the Mona Liza? It has always been obvious to me that some people just do not have those eyes. Even dogs don't expect humans to smell accurately.

Mathematics is pure abstraction. Some people can't handle maths. So we should say that mathematics is false? Can we never say that there are two dogs because each dog is a little different?

There seems to be a big push to get rid of all thinking – "just accept what you are told". It reminds me of the Harvard professor who recently declared that mathematics is racist and so should not be taught.
              You have been observed.
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Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Postby MagsJ » Sun Oct 04, 2020 5:10 pm

obsrvr524 wrote:What if some (very many) people's brains just honestly can't handle abstract thought? I am sure that is one of the sharp distinctions between humans and animals. Are you just going to keep arguing with them forever?

Some find it hard to fathom that a few can do, what the many can’t..
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. - MagsJ

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something at some point in time.. Wait, What! - MagsJ

You’re suggestions and I, just simply don’t mix.. like oil on water, or a really bad DJ - MagsJ
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Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Postby obsrvr524 » Sun Oct 04, 2020 5:52 pm

MagsJ wrote:Some find it hard to fathom that a few can do, what the many can’t..

Such as humbly accepting unkindly reality. :)
              You have been observed.
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Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Postby Silhouette » Sun Oct 04, 2020 6:07 pm

Just to throw some fairly insignificant facts into the mix, the Japanese for tree is 木 and forest is 森
River is 川, mountain is 山, mouth is 口, gate is 門...
Most Kanji don't look much like what they mean as far as I can tell, but you can see that the form of some symbols at least appear to have originated from approximate abstract representations of concrete phenomena.

As a point of contrast, I've always thought that the forms of Korean Hangul look a little like the mouth shapes one makes when they pronounce the sound, and they group the letters by syllable.
So while the Japanese abstracted concrete forms to visual symbolic forms, the Koreans abstracted the concrete sounds of their spoken words to visual symbolic forms - or perhaps even vice versa, but written traditions usually seem to follow oral ones.

I wouldn't be surprised if English and the Latin alphabet originated similarly, but it's clear by now that it wasn't necessary to stick to any such origins.
There is inevitably a void between the concrete and any abstract audio/visual representations, and the size of that void can be as wide as we like - simply dependent upon accepted convention.
It might matter when conventions are not accepted, or known about - cross-culturally perhaps, but languages like English have emerged more dominant and it's widely accepted that there are multiple languages and that it's up to you to learn the right ones in order to deserve the right to communicate with others.

So just to clarify about the signifier/signified distinction, there probably was a smoother transition between the two historically - but the initial distinction is necessarily there, making the abstract necessarily falsification at least in part.

But by no means does this detract from the utility of abstraction - without which we would not be able to communicate.
This is a fundamental of Experientialism - the distinction between absolute truth (Continuous Experience) and the utility of relative truth (discrete experiences).
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