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Posted by Harvey on September 2, 2002 14:24:46 UTC

Hi Luis,

***Ongoing neurological studies suggest that when we think, we actively consider some phenomena, and we retrieve other phenomena from locations whence we previously "filed away" 'thoughts.' These same studies indicate that "beliefs" are filed away, whereas "discovery" consists of active consideration. Even more revealing is the comparison of the test subjects. Those with higher intelligence do a lot more "discovering," and those whose intelligence tests register lower rely a lot more on "filed away" stuff. Take from this what you will; it's beginning to look a lot like that won't be much.***

You're right, not much. I don't see it as relevant to the logical arguments that you continue choose not to produce (while still promoting the point that you are absolutely correct).

***But splitting our relation to reality into ontology and epistemology is presuming metaphysical objectivity. We recognize the processes that constitute our minds, though we are a far cry from fully explaining thought.***

We are talking about unique concepts that have entirely different interpretations. I'm afraid that you are letting your bias to restrict the use of even widely used terms (appealing to neurology is about as lame as I can imagine).

***Of course, to you this is all just "psychologism," which kind of sounds like psychology (though conceptually not exactly in the same ballfield), but a bit of a stretch when directly compared to psychiatry.***

It is a form of psychologism. Of course, without you disclosing your premises and arguments I'm not allowed to show you your clear ontological biases that motivate this way of thinking.

***L: QM says that there are no such things as OBJECTS. Hello? H: False. L: No backing up of this one? Are you basing this upon Yanniru's latest commentary? Please explain to me how QM defines "objectivity."***

No, I just get tired of constantly pointing out errors and then being taken down a distracting path (e.g., this time QM). And, I'm not going to discuss QM since the issue here is your unwillingness to put forth your premises and arguments which support your position.

In any case, if you must know, there are other interpretations of QM which say that objects do exist. You might read:

"On the Withering Away of Physical Objects", (Reprinted in Elena Castellani, Interpreting Bodies: Classical and Quantum Objects in Modern Physics, Princeton University Press, 1998).

The book will cost you $75.00, but I was lucky and I found it at a used book store for $7.50. :-)

***"it isn't even necessary to consider A6." It isn't? I've tried to clarify that A1 through A5 were an umbrella representation of some conceptual basis for "objectivity." Did you not see this, or are you waiting for Yanniru's help to further dive into that cunning response of "False"?***

Luis, since when does studying invalid arguments that you know is invalid when you typing them have any profitable use? If you want to fix the arguments then I'd be glad to look at them. But, it's obvious that you just placed them as a diversion to your argument (or the lack thereof). Besides, A6 wasn't even a complete argument.

***"Your arguments A2 thru A5 were all faulty," You did not read my last post. Obviously you don't read much into my posts before reacting. My arguments A1 through A5 may have been direct quotes from Jabberwocky, but the point was: Givens that ultimately cast doubts upon themselves are not givens after all.***

I read your arguments as if they were your arguments, so that is how I responded to those arguments (btw, plagiarism is not acceptable).

If you are arguing that givens that logically contradict themselves is a fallacy, then I agree. You made a point. Now, rather than posting a phony argument (which I was led to believe in the post prior would be your argument), why not develop your argument??

***It seems that all givens might share this dubious property. So, how do we deal with these "givens"? My suggestion is that we do our best to prevent cognitive phenomena from becoming fixed mental paradigms.***

I don't agree. There is a need to make definitions of what we can point to as something we experience (e.g., your argument in A1) and there is a need to make ontological commitments which we do so in order to make statements of anything. If this is your stumbling block, then I now know why you haven't put forth an argument. You don't want to concede this discussion. If that's the case, that's pretty sophomoric of you.

Just doing our best to prevent cognitive phenomena from becoming fixed mental paradigms is impossible since everything we know we are committed to. For example, are you committed to biological evolution having occurred? Are you committed to WTC having occurred? Are you committed to yesterday having occurred? These all require ontological commitments to the actual events having occurred (i.e., it is not just an epistemological model).

***The steps represented a progression, not a static set of beliefs. I.e., while it's close to my own personal journey, it is a representation of how I arrived at agnosticism. If you'd built a shed on top of a platform on top of a building on top of a mountain, and then the mountain crumbled, you would hope I wouldn't come along and ask why your shed is falling apart, would you? ("How did you get into this shaky position?") The important point is, at some juncture I stepped back and questioned what I'd previously accepted.***

I don't see how or why you can hold a position that you cannot provide a non-fallacious argument to support (i.e., against ontology - and I'm not referring to agnosticism as belief system).

***>>>"it is simply a matter of brute fact that we are required to make ontological commitments." Really? A philosopher accepts something, unquestioningly? What would Hilary Putnam say???***

I question it a great deal, the issue is that I don't see any getting around it. I'm not sure what Putnam has to say about ontological commitments. He trained under Quine who may have swayed him (as well as a great many other philosophers).

***"I deny true objectivity." Then why the definitive "False" above? Are you in disagreement with QM or not?***

True objectivity by a human is not possible (I believe) because we must approach the world subjectively (i.e., internally - from the inside). True objectivity would require an external view where we know something as it is versus how we see the thing.

I do think there is epistemological-based objectivity. This is what the evidence (scientific, mathematical, logical, etc) strongly suggests that we should accept as being the case. In the case of QM, it is epistemologically false to say that the QM theory says that objects do not exist.

***H: "Let me ask you again Luis, 'how do you know that your (bias) is an absolutely correct bias?' Do you realize that your failure (or unwillingness) to answer this basic question fully undermines your arguments?"
L: Maybe you're onto something! Maybe you've found the key question to expose all those fraudulent agnostics out there! And maybe monkeys will fly out of my butt.***

No, most agnostics would cite their epistemological based premises, and would state that given their ontological commitment to those premises that they are nearly confident (but not absolutely correct - such as what you might be thinking to yourself) that those commitments require an agnostic approach. Butt, monkeys have a way of squirming into tight places.

***Oh, but if someone as great as Socrates were around to answer your obtuse questioning of agnosticism. But, it is late, and that last thing I made up (picking on Stafford) drained my creative juices. I'll get back to you when my dog has healed a bit.***

I'm not questioning your agnosticism. I'm questioning your anti-philosophical stance on necessity of ontological commitments. You see it as an attack on agnosticism, but it isn't the case.

Btw, don't take this discussion too personal. I think you're a real intelligent guy. Bias can sometimes blind us in ways that we can't even perform the most simplest of tasks (e.g., give a non-fallacious argument supporting our position, answer an easy question, etc). Once you are over this hump I think things will get much better.

Warm regards, Harv

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