Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
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08-02-2017, 02:52 PM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(08-02-2017 02:43 PM)Naielis Wrote:  This is what a lot of pragmatists and materialists say. There's one problem: what's the real world? You just assume you can trust your senses to view the real world.

I don't just assume it. I base the belief on decades of consistent interaction what what appears to me to be the real world. I base it on confirmation with others that they experience the same things that I do.

Quote:What if your senses are failing you? What if the physical doesn't exist at all? Then you've failed in your goal to engage in the real world because you were satisfied with the illusion.

If what I interact with is an illusion then until somebody gives me the pill that breaks the illusion I'm still stuck with it. I find myself in a world that operates under consistent rules and have no way to investigate anything else. Why you think that is insufficient is a mystery.

Quote: I don't believe the physical is an illusion, but I have reasons for this belief. I have justification. Where is yours?

No, you have no other reason or justification. You can't. Your beliefs are predicated on the same sensory inputs and experiences that mine are and you operate in the same reality with the same consistent rules that I do. You've created an elaborate tapestry of semantics to hide the fact that you can't accept that you don't know but that doesn't make any of it meaningful.

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08-02-2017, 02:57 PM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(08-02-2017 02:52 PM)Naielis Wrote:  Is it the sound waves? No it's the content of the sound waves. It's the immaterial aspect.

Please demonstrate how you separate the sound waves from the "content". The sound waves are interpreted by your brain which sets up new patterns of electrocheckmical activity which release oxytocin. The "content" is, at best, just a label for that new pattern. The mechanics is all explainable within the physical activity of a material brain. There's no apparent need for anything more.

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08-02-2017, 02:58 PM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(08-02-2017 02:43 PM)Naielis Wrote:  
(08-02-2017 02:28 PM)Astreja Wrote:  A worldview, like real life, is subject to change. It need only be coherent in the moment that it is used. A static worldview that attempts to interpret reality according to an unchanging standard is both useless and potentially damaging to one's quality of life.

Well if your foundation is constantly changing, you are probably a bit too wishy washy.

Quote:*facepalm* Dear, sweet Uncle Loki -- Can't you get anything right? I clearly described how I use skepticism -- to question things that are out of sync with reality (such as hoping against hope that the Parking Gods will bestow upon me the best possible spot in the airport parkade at rush hour).

You use skepticism? So you're a skeptic? Ok so why aren't you agreeing with me in this thread? Skepticism isn't something you use. It's an entire epistemological system. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/skepticism/

Quote:I actually did engage your argument, like it or not. I just don't think it's worth staying engaged with it. Furthermore, philosophy is not life. It is just one way of contemplating life, and a fairly minor part of it as far as I'm concerned.

Philosophy is how we can ground our beliefs and actions.

Quote: I get vastly more satisfaction from engaging the real world instead.

This is what a lot of pragmatists and materialists say. There's one problem: what's the real world? You just assume you can trust your senses to view the real world. What if your senses are failing you? What if the physical doesn't exist at all? Then you've failed in your goal to engage in the real world because you were satisfied with the illusion. I don't believe the physical is an illusion, but I have reasons for this belief. I have justification. Where is yours?

Your reasons have been shown to be lacking.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
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08-02-2017, 02:59 PM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(08-02-2017 02:52 PM)Naielis Wrote:  What causes the brain to release oxytocin after an experience?

Some neurochemical reactions result in others, according to the rules of the system in play.

This is not a complicated concept.

(08-02-2017 02:52 PM)Naielis Wrote:  Why does that make the brain release a chemical? ... It's the immaterial aspect.

You have not established that an "immaterial aspect" has a coherent definition, let alone that it exists or somehow alters the neurochemical reactions taking place inside the brain.

You really need to stop relying so heavily on bare assertion and non-terms.

(08-02-2017 02:52 PM)Naielis Wrote:  While I admit I'm not up to date on my neurobiology, I do know enough to know that experiences themselves cause physical reactions in the brain.

Because your senses send new electrochemical impulses into the brain, altering the reactions taking place, yes.

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08-02-2017, 03:05 PM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(08-02-2017 11:40 AM)Naielis Wrote:  
(08-02-2017 11:26 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  I'm saying we begin our knowledge with the senses yes. perception is how we are aware of objects. Reason identifies and integrates what our senses bring in. Epistemology must begin where knowledge begins, with sense perception. The "ontology of the mind" comes much later and the three axioms that I mentioned are implicit in the concepts "ontology" and "mind". Also "ontology of the mind" is not conceptually irreducible. It depends on prior knowledge, i.e., ultimately, the axioms existence, identity and consciousness. The objectivity of reality is a corollary to these axioms. It's root principle, the primacy of existence, is entailed by the three basic axioms. It is also an axiom, i.e. it is a fact that is implicit in all knowledge. Consider, in order to consider anything one must exist and one must have an object to consider. And, that object must be something specific (identity) and one must have consciousness in order to consider any objects. It follows from these three principles that the objects of consciousness exist and are what they are independent of the activity (consciousness) by which the subject is aware of them. In other words "wishing won't make it so". If we are to have knowledge of reality then the contents of consciousness must conform to reality. Reality does not conform to the activity of consciousness. Next time you cut yourself shaving try wishing that the cut would instantly heal itself. It won't because reality has primacy over consciousness.

It is the axioms which ground our knowledge in certainty. They are undeniably true. They would have to be true in order to deny them. But any denial would be self-refuting. I think you're right that pragmatists have a problem. That's why I'm not a pragmatist but I'm also not a skeptic. I do believe that knowledge is possible, certainty (within a context) is possible and the axioms and the primacy of existence are my starting point, not any theory of mind or other conceptually reducible proposition.

When I say we start with ontology of the mind I'm alluding to a part of my metaphysic that ties in with this. I think minds have the inherent capacity to know certain things infallibly and immediately. Their own existence and the reliability of their reasoning are among these infallible beliefs. I'm not a skeptic either. My epistemology starts with my own existence and the reliability of reasoning. I think you could say objective reality is another foundational belief, but I don't see exactly how you verify your senses here. Is it similar to content externalism? Are you saying the contents of our beliefs are dependent upon the external?

I'd agree with you though I'd not speak of verifying my senses. Again such an operation would commit the fallacy of the stolen concept. The validity of the senses and reason is axiomatic. denying either results in stolen concepts again. technically the validity of the reason and the senses is a prerequisite of an epistemology. Ayn rand said that it was the anteroom to epistemology. I wouldn't call the reliability of the senses as a foundationl belief but rather a recognition. We know it by direct perception so no belief is needed. It would be nonsensical to deny. I'd say that the truth of our beliefs are dependent on objective facts but then this would be a redundancy. Facts exist independent of our consciousness. People can believe things which are not objectively informed such as theism but beliefs are not primaries. They are the degree to which we accept a claim or a proposition. Propositions are made up of concepts which to be valid must denote facts.

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08-02-2017, 03:56 PM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(08-02-2017 02:59 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(08-02-2017 02:52 PM)Naielis Wrote:  What causes the brain to release oxytocin after an experience?

Some neurochemical reactions result in others, according to the rules of the system in play.

This is not a complicated concept.

(08-02-2017 02:52 PM)Naielis Wrote:  Why does that make the brain release a chemical? ... It's the immaterial aspect.

You have not established that an "immaterial aspect" has a coherent definition, let alone that it exists or somehow alters the neurochemical reactions taking place inside the brain.

You really need to stop relying so heavily on bare assertion and non-terms.

(08-02-2017 02:52 PM)Naielis Wrote:  While I admit I'm not up to date on my neurobiology, I do know enough to know that experiences themselves cause physical reactions in the brain.

Because your senses send new electrochemical impulses into the brain, altering the reactions taking place, yes.

Ok so every time I listen to music, it's not the content of the music that causes the release of neurochemicals? In your view, it's senses sending electrical impulses. Ok, but then why do certain electrical impulses get sent when listening to music we like? Your view completely does away with meaning and content.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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08-02-2017, 04:08 PM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(08-02-2017 03:56 PM)Naielis Wrote:  
(08-02-2017 02:59 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  Some neurochemical reactions result in others, according to the rules of the system in play.

This is not a complicated concept.


You have not established that an "immaterial aspect" has a coherent definition, let alone that it exists or somehow alters the neurochemical reactions taking place inside the brain.

You really need to stop relying so heavily on bare assertion and non-terms.


Because your senses send new electrochemical impulses into the brain, altering the reactions taking place, yes.

Ok so every time I listen to music, it's not the content of the music that causes the release of neurochemicals? In your view, it's senses sending electrical impulses. Ok, but then why do certain electrical impulses get sent when listening to music we like? Your view completely does away with meaning and content.

No, "meaning and content" is just another way of saying that sensory stimuli differ from each other, and that they provoke different responses. Your body has learned (either through evolution or conditioning) to respond in particular ways to particular stimuli.

One type of music (or one piece of music) affects you differently than another for the same reasons that the sight of a grizzly bear affects you differently than the sight of a kitten. Different stimuli ("meaning and content"), different responses. As unbeliever has said more than once, this is not complicated.
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08-02-2017, 04:13 PM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(08-02-2017 04:08 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(08-02-2017 03:56 PM)Naielis Wrote:  Ok so every time I listen to music, it's not the content of the music that causes the release of neurochemicals? In your view, it's senses sending electrical impulses. Ok, but then why do certain electrical impulses get sent when listening to music we like? Your view completely does away with meaning and content.

No, "meaning and content" is just another way of saying that sensory stimuli differ from each other, and that they provoke different responses. Your body has learned (either through evolution or conditioning) to respond in particular ways to particular stimuli.

One type of music (or one piece of music) affects you differently than another for the same reasons that the sight of a grizzly bear affects you differently than the sight of a kitten. Different stimuli ("meaning and content"), different responses. As unbeliever has said more than once, this is not complicated.

You're misunderstanding. Content and meaning are not stimuli. They're something derived from an intellect interpreting an event. What I'm saying is that experiences, which are immaterial in nature, are causing material events. If you disagree, I'd love for you to give me five grams of experience.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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08-02-2017, 04:20 PM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(08-02-2017 01:41 PM)Naielis Wrote:  
(08-02-2017 12:27 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  What justification do you think materialism needs? What burden of proof are you establishing in order to accept this materialism as justified? And why are you establishing it? What deficiency does a materialistic worldview have with respect to describing and explaining reality?

Materialism cannot explain the introspective nature of the mind. It doesn't even include minds at all. Consciousness is left ignored in materialist thought.

When you put down the moldy old ancient philosophers, maybe you'll have the time to read some Dennett or other modern philosopher who does, in fact, address that.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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08-02-2017, 04:30 PM
RE: Skepticism is a Problem for the Pragmatist
(08-02-2017 04:13 PM)Naielis Wrote:  
(08-02-2017 04:08 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  No, "meaning and content" is just another way of saying that sensory stimuli differ from each other, and that they provoke different responses. Your body has learned (either through evolution or conditioning) to respond in particular ways to particular stimuli.

One type of music (or one piece of music) affects you differently than another for the same reasons that the sight of a grizzly bear affects you differently than the sight of a kitten. Different stimuli ("meaning and content"), different responses. As unbeliever has said more than once, this is not complicated.

You're misunderstanding. Content and meaning are not stimuli. They're something derived from an intellect interpreting an event. What I'm saying is that experiences, which are immaterial in nature, are causing material events. If you disagree, I'd love for you to give me five grams of experience.

An emotional response to music is not "derived from an intellect interpreting an event". The emotion happens before conscious thought, and well before intellect.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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