Objective truths?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Quantum Quack, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    There is an old saying I have often used that may be relevant:
    "If you ignore reality [read: truth] it has a tendency to bite you on the bum when you are not looking"

    such as the objective truth of your corporal mortality.
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  3. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member


    I fail to see the relevance. Are you suggesting that our current understanding bears no relation to the past??

    I do.

    See, you're trying to play 1st year semantic games, a la "Everything is relative."
    Now, in and of itself, this is just pedantic, if one is going to actually try to use it as part of an argument. If however, you want to restrict it to a purely linguistic or logical analysis, then that can be done. However, once you move there, all those vague connotations loaded into the terms will be stripped away...

    I've already explained this, ad nauseum.

    To wit: "objective truth" specifically, and only obtains to particular closed systems, none of which you've entered into discussion here.

    Quite simply, in logic, assuming an excluded middle situation (which you seem to be doing..), one need not assert anything whatsoever about "A" if one is to assert "not A".

    Apparently you forgot to read what directly followed...
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  5. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Says who?
    and dare I say the system relevant to this discussion is Universe as a whole and is considered to be a closed system is it not?
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  7. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    Says any authority on logic from Aristotle to Carnap.


    It is not.

    As has been noted... multiple times before...
  8. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    The point that I am trying to make is simply that the ability to know objective truths is unknown, unproven either way.
    You have repeatedly stated that this is not the case.
    There fore you hold to an objective truth by default.
    where as I am undecided... [as an example]
  9. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    Which is incorrect.


  10. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    sorry Glaucon but eh what can I say....
  11. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    And that they are more or less the same. That their ways of getting knowledge work and don't work like yours do. Once you limit them - in your assertions - in ways beyond what you can experience, you are talking about reality out there.

    Other beings who are like you and whose perception systems function like you think yours does. If you are simply talking about what you will experience then you need to be agnostic about 'what is really going on' in their perceptive experiences.

    on paper. but what you are saying refers to stuff not simply within your phenomenology. You are writing about how they can only gain knowledge and can only experience.

    Didn't quite get this.

    I am only following your lead around that assumption, since you are generalizing claims you have to all sentient beings. There is an object correlate already in your argument. I just keep pointing it out to you. then I am told that I am making a dualist error.

    I am not saying you cannot think these things. I absolutely believe you have these thought objects. Once you make them relevent to things that are not simply your thought objects - unless you are taking a solipsistic stance? - I can point out you are making ontological claims.

    I can see where I might be misunderstanding the term. It seems to me however that the whole 'how the perception system works over the distance between objects' is one of the presumptions of your epistemology, and that this is a set of claims about what does and does not exist 'out there.' You seemed to agree above, but considered it a working assumption - and a good one. To me conceiving of subject Here
    object There

    as separate entities
    between which a series of causes and effects can lead to

    an intenal experience in the subject's Here

    includes ontological claims.

    If I read back in your posts you use the term phenomenological as if there is something other than this.

    Which is what I feel is in the background of your conclusions. If natural realism is not in the background, I cannot see how you can draw conclusions about me. You can, phenomenologically, draw conclusions about what you experience of me, but you cannot draw conclusions about my experience, what I experience and can know. I could imagine you saying

    I do not experience you as having contact with some objective reality.

    But, then, how would you know.

    It seems you must be agnostic.

    How would you know your epistemological assumptions about me or rather about my epistemology would either 1) be clear to you in some way if they are wrong or 2) are something you are open to or willing to notice yourself experiencing?

    Again, I can see where I might be using the term wrong, however it seems to me that there are assumptions even in these definitions about things being separate. And the focus is on assertions that discrete things exists or do not. A exists and A is this or that. But here I am bringing up what I would call an ontological issue - perhaps incorrectly - by pointing out that both models of perceptions - like the current scientific one - AND this way of viewing ontology have ontological assumptions in them. That ontology is about the existence of separate things at a distance.

    Or what that experience is. The term phenomenological has presumptions in it. A society missing, for the most part, one sense, might not realize that silent actions at a distance can be instantly perceived by a 'foreigner'. So it sets up an epistemology with built in, incorrect, assumptions.

    As a group, yes. But this may be separate from what is actually happening to other individuals.

    I suppose my main point is that once you are talking to me about me - implicitly in talking about all sentient beings - you are moving beyond the practical issues of what a group considers knowledge to making claims about what is true 'out there' in me. Perhaps i am talking about meta-ontology. An idea which makes me ill, but I have to mention it.

    If all you are saying is that it makes sense for me [read:you] to view truth this way, fine.

    but for all you know not impossible to have.

  12. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    well said....
    and worth a thread topic on it's own... if Glaucon will allow it..

    The presumption that we know that things are separated by distance, that due to this presumption objectivity is unavailable to us may be a safe presumption for the average person in the street but I would suggest not so for the realm of philosophy where critical open mindedness to possibility is essential.

    Science has already uncovered how matter can be entangled regardless of distance [ our bodies are of matter I might add ] so evidence is already being presented to open minds to such concepts.
    Thus the presumption of separated-ness is most likely flawed, regardless of which it is not the function of philosophy to make any presumptions but to remain open to possibility thus allowing unfetted discussion about philosophical subjects.
    If there is NO separateness does it not follow that Objectivity to some extent is possible?
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010
  13. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    I'm not sure QQ, but it seems to me that you think the phrase "objective truth" has some sort of meaning...
  14. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    I disagree.

    Again, I disagree.
    That we do experience others is undeniable. But this doesn't mean that, when I extrapolate from my experiences, to theirs, that I'm commenting in any way on what 'is really going on'..(again, assuming a 'really going on'..)

    I was arguing by analogy.
    As it works for formal systems, it also works, pragmatically, in the purely phenomenal.

    See above.

    A formal system is simple, given that we have perfect knowledge of it. Outside of that scope, we have nothing but interpretation and extrapolation. But despite those limitations, we still manage to render others predictable.

    As we must, given our situation.

    I don't see it..

    Ah but see, they cannot not be relevant. One doesn't choose the elements of one's experience (to a great degree...). I'm not granting that there is an extra-thought-object correlate ("independent entity") for every thought-object that one is faced with, but rather that, there is always, at least, the latter. Nonetheless, the claim is never ontological, but merely a pragmatic 'necessity' (if one is not prepared to live delusional).
    I'll admit to solipsism, but only in an epistemological sense.

    That's fair. And definitely an angle I hadn't considered.
    The damn subject/object distinction again...

    I'll have to think more on this one, as far as ontological assumptions go..

    Sure I could. There's no difference between my drawing such conclusions about your current state than those of your past...

    You're right. How would I know? And I would say, I cannot.

    Still, I don't see why this forces one to an epistemological agnosticism. If we already admit that the whole 'other' problem is going to be a natural limit to our knowledge, then why must we then drive all the way to an agnostic position? Even in this case I feel that we can, and indeed do, just as we do in any science: inductively derive. We're not looking for perfect, or 'certain' knowledge...

    I couldn't, in both cases. But again, I'm not looking for certainty.
    We already admit that that kind of knowledge is improbable, if not impossible.
    And again, pragmatically, not only do we have to start form somewhere, but we have no choice but to assume some level of knowledge, if not even simply by metaphor.

    I'll grant you at least the seeming assumption of 'separateness'. I would note however, that in no case are we necessarily speaking of "concrete" (read: real, material) things.

    As all epistemologies are prone to assumptions (though they need not be incorrect, just by being assumptions).

    From whose perspective?
    (My quibble here is with the word "actually")

    Aaah. OK. Now I get you.
    Yeah, you're on to meta-ontology.

    See, I never thought of anything I had said, of having the sense of 'speaking' for you at all. Merely speaking from one individual perspective, and so.. ceteris paribus...


    Absolutely impossible? No. I couldn't possibly know that; you're correct.
    Which is why I see it as being moot.
  15. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    So if I am in pain in my knee and I extrapolate from my experience that you are in pain in your knee, I am not commenting on what is really going on? Do you mean that when you say things about others we should not take these as comments about what is really going on with others?

    Isn't extrapolation a kind of commenting on something via postulated similarity?

    I find this,well, kind of crazymaking.

    Are others internal to you?

    We need not. Or we could and then, in certain contexts, withdraw it. Or one could remain agnostic. And anyway, what it is we must do? Is it not, in this case, make objective statements about what others must be like?

    It seems like with one had you say we must make claims about others - who are from their perspective 'out there' in relation to you - while saying we cannot make statement about 'out there'.

    So one avoids delusion by going beyond ones strict epistemology?

    I think this is the case. I think, but I really do not have the strength to show it, that you and I are using language differently. I am seeing your language as interpersonal and functional in this sense - not only, but including this sense - I think you are focusing on saying things that work for you as if you were the listener. Or as you put it are being solipsistic in relation to epistemology.

    Which is fine, but then you might be able to see how those words appear to me since I do not experience myself as inside you. At least not later when I sign off. Right now I am having boundary issues.

    Oh, thank goodness. though I think I actually solved my dilemma related to your posts in the section just above this one.

    It seems to me you are conflating how one lives with how óne asserts truths or makes claims. One can refrain from making claims but continue to (at the very least seem to) live as if one is living by these claims. An orangutang is not leaving anything out when he seems to see the object as other than himself when he chews it to ingest it. In fact a number of ideas of the world could underly the act. It is not as if one must make claims. A claim I am making.

    So I am now seeing three points of confusion between us. IOW led to confusion and my feeling of crazymaking. I suspect I disagree with you, but that was not driving me crazy. What was was that it seemed like you were contradicting yourself again and again.

    Point of confusion:

    1) epistemological solipsism - which affects how you see the priority when you say/write things.
    2) that one must live as if - and thus in this case write as if - certain things are true even if one is technically agnostic.
    3) what I referred to as meta-ontology

    1) How do you know? ( I couldn't resist) 2) so when you refer to me you are not referring to that entity my spouse will cuddle with later.

    I have no problem with you having assumptions.

    Well, again remember the provisos about how we are each taking language. You are writing what fits you. But generally people view language as a dynamic between individuals. So if you say to me

    You are asleep. This may work perfectly in your epistemology and experience. However, if I am not, 'actually' I am not. Not for you, but for me. So when I quibble with your estimation - and you tell me 'oh, but you just woke up' - I have no reason to accept your words, which may very well have worked for you and continue to.

    In a sense I see your communication as solipsistic - not in some socially inept way, you do respond to my ideas. But on some level it is as if I should agree despite my being not in you.

    yes. I think this is a core confusion. And really rather fascinating. I am not sure if I communicate in the way you do. Which suddenly seems a rather bold claim. I shall have to investigate.

    But mootness does not mean one must assert the opposite.
  16. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    I am not going to quote any particular philosopher of the past I can only state my current position with the benefit of the wisdom these philosophers have imparted.

    Truth is simply knowledge with the absence of deception.
    Truth only exists when there is an absence of lies.

    Objective self truth exist only when when no self deception exists.

    In a thread about the construction of an objective reality I posted ages ago I demonstrated quite clearly that a "god" could create an objective universe but only and I stress this, only for the entities with in that universe who have no intimate knowledge of the God who created it.
    in this instance I used non-sentient robots that had no capacity to question. However the universe created clearly was all there was to those robots with no deception possible thus objectively true to those robots.

    Thus we have the God perspective and the human one.

    A universe that is objective to the supplicants is only available if the God that created it is a subjective speculation. [ aka : religious sentiment]
    Other wise as far as the supplicants can possibly realize their reality is wholly objective unless you wish to take on the role of a non-existent God.

    I Asked the question in that thread:
    Can an objective universe be created for the occupants of that universe?
    The answer I managed to find is yes on proviso that the creating God remain only an unprovable speculation to those occupants.
    Thus forming an opinion about one of the key underlying reasons for religion in human affairs.

    So truth to me is the absence of lies....and thus self truth is the absence of self deception [ delusion ]
    Taking the God perspective which is apparently in vogue can only lead to a subjective universe however one has no right to take that perspective and claim it as "real" as it is purely an imaginary one.
    this claim on the title of God leads to the contemplation that all is subjective and truth is unavailable.

    So truth is available once you claim the perspective that you can only possibly claim as in any way real, that being human and mortal etc etc.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010
  17. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    I think it was you with the robots and the wall. My issue with that scenario, in terms of objectivity, was that it seemed to presume current ideas about perception, machines, cause and effect....

    at least these were not expressly countered. So for me objectivity was not going to be found there and hence my stubborness on the issue.

    However I honestly think we are wrong about who perceptions works and what entities are actually like in the world and that distance predominates and interconnectedness only follows these domino lines of cause and effect. Frankly I think this paradigm is falling apart but is in the resistence stage. Real data is being accumulated by scientists, but it is going to take huge amounts before the current paradigm - which still has not integrated QM and relegates it to only in microrealm contexts (which has been shown not to be the case) - collapses.
  18. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    The robot analogy was far from comprehensive nor was it fully thashed out prior to publishing. It is still a project in process from a philosophical POV to attempt to clarify, what could be held as true from the robots perspective and what could be held as true form the Creators perspective. Vastly different IMO.
    Not unlike the Matrix movie plot where the machine played the role of GOD and the humans played the role of robots, manipulated for some perverse reason not disclosed in the movie [ or was it?]
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010
  19. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    In a sense this state of affairs is to be anticipated and a natural function of sentient inteligence.
    From the moment man kind decided to apply reductionism [logic] to what he percieved as a way of attempting to understand his existence he IMO lost the capacity to clearly see the distinction between lies he created for himself, lies created for him by others and the truth of what he percieved.

    Such is the nature of belief rather than knowing...
    "the ability to remain agnostic is our only defense against our own paranoia...." ~ excerpt Physics of God - Book in progress.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010
  20. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    You're commenting on nothing but what perceptual data is given to you, and from thence extrapolating.


    But what one is commenting on is not something 'out there', but rather upon one's own thoughts.

    Isn't it?

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    If by "others" you mean other entities, other people, then, conditionally, yes.
    In this sense, "others" are nothing but my thoughts. The condition is that all of this is simply epistemologically stated. In other words, though I have little reason to say I have knowledge of an external source of these others, it's much more reasonable to maintain that I am not the source.

    I think we must.
    The only other option is to fully grasp solipsism, and from a pragmatic position, it doesn't take much to see how poorly that would work out for us...

    The first is simply due to the facticity of our lives, thus, I've characterized it above as a pragmatic concern. The second is simply a function of being epistemologically prudent.

    No. I'd say sticking to one's strictest epistemology would lead (as noted above) to solipsism, and then, yes, delusion.
    However, "delusion" is tricky, as it's a loaded word (ontologically speaking..).

    A neat metaphor. Yeah, I think that works.

    In areas like this one, I keep coming back to Kant's notion of apperception, where we're constantly bombarded by information, by sense-data. We are creatures that experience in an environment, and while we can, to a degree, be selective about what we 'receive', or 'listen to', that constant barrage cannot be eliminated.

    There's no doubt that all that information is mediated by us, but to me, to speak of that unmediated 'source' is highly subject to error ( in particular, if we also try to characterize that 'source' in a non-subjective, non-interpretive manner, i.e., "objective"). If however, we simply describe our experiences, and from there compose some commonalities of features, at least then we're still speaking of the experiential...

    Ever the realist. I love it.
    Yes, I completely agree with what you're saying here.

    For the most part, we all live our lives, as if everything we guess at is a truth. Pragmatically, this works fine, for the most part. It is only when we are questioned, when we are pressed to defend our assertions, that we come to see how poorly thought out they usually are.
    I'm sure I could compose a list of at least one hundred things that on any given day I operate such that I know them to be certain. However, if pressed, I'm not sure how well I would do. Right now, I can think of perhaps one thing that I am prepared to assert as true. My overall point being that, the acts of asserting and claiming, in our daily lives, are nearly interchangeable (which of course, muddies the hell out of what we're trying to do herein..).

    You'll have to explicate further for me.
    I'm either totally misunderstanding you or, I don't see how these three positions are problematic if used together.

    I hope I'm not contradicting myself, and I don't think I am, but if you see it, I'd rather address it.

    haha.. nice

    I simply meant that we don't have to be restricted to such things. One can quite legitimately speak of an ontological category for say, pure mental abstractions, or emotions, etc.

    Oh how beautifully Wittgensteinian.

    In short, yes, that's right.
    Though this doesn't necessarily mean that I'm not. In the Fregeian line of thought on Sinn and Bedeutung.

    Ah. OK. I see what you're saying now.
    Yes, I can see how, given what I've written so far, my description of communication would seem to be more reportage, than interactive.


    OK, let me say this then: epistemologically, there's a vast difference between experiential reports, and active discussion.

    (I've got to do some more thought on this for sure...)

    Well, I've been told I'm excellent at communicating, but not so good at communication. In other words, put me on the spot an I can recite; put me on stage and I'm mute.

    Totally correct, that would be fallacious a la false dichotomy.
    However, it is both probabilistically and pragmatically improbable in the extreme (read: impossible).
  21. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    And that's all well and good QQ.

    The problem is that you don't see that the two terms, so conjoined, are contradictory.

    "Truth" cannot be applied to the term "objective".

    Truth value is specifically and solely a function of a validly constructed argument.

    And nothing else. Not objects, not thoughts, not anything.

    You're using this term, and "objective" in very euphemisitc, or personal senses.

    To date, I'm still not sure what it is you mean when you invoke "truth".
  22. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Are you saying that truth, according to you, is merely a function of logic?

    ha........ no wonder truth is deemed unavailable....

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    To me truth is considerbly more than mere logic. Even false hoods cannot be determined properly using logic alone as the use of logic itself ultimately is the culprit for generating the falacy to begin with.

    Objective truth:
    truth that is percieved from an unpredjudiced or unbiased position or perspective.
    truth is the absence of deception.
    Deception is created by a predjudiced or biased perspective. [playing God]
    thus a state of Objectivity is in itself true and the word "true" is superfluous and objectivity can not be created for one self with out generating self deception [playing God] but only passively experienced.[playing Human]
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010
  23. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Try this,
    Thus the object is true unto itself yes? [if so then I can agree with that]

    Therefore objectivity is truth and not qualifiable as truth but is truth. [ self evident and axiomatic]

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