Braininvat wrote:Your emphasis on experience sounds like a restatement of David Hume's logical empiricism. Replace "experience" with "sensation," and "subject" with "bundle of sensations," throw in Hume's Problem of Induction...and I think you've reached the 18th century. Have you explored further?
, I believe that everything we experience is an experience (or “bundle” of experiences). Since it is non-sensical to experience a non-experience, then experiencing real (external) objects is not possible. Certainty # 1
- Experiencing exists
, I believe real/external objects do actually exist and can logically (objectively) be proven as such. One such example is Certainty #2
- Experiencer exists
whereas without an experiencer (substrate/thing/object), experiencing could not exist. Without a dancer, dancing could not happen. Something can’t happen unless some-‘thing’ is happening!
Note: "subjects" (experiencers) can NEVER experience/sense themselves because:
1. It is not possible to experience objects, and
2. It is not possible for a subject to be an object while still a subject (...can't be in two places at one time!).Like Hume
, I am skeptical of “causes” (in the cause-and-effect relationship) as we can only experience “effects”. Causes can only be presumed to exist. But without cause-and-effect, objective tools such as deductive logic (and math) would be rendered senseless. So any truths derived through logic, would need to be qualified as “logical truths”.
jocular wrote:The scientific method is, I think largely down to this attempt to weed out all pitfalls that lie in the way of this "truthful" vision.
This method will never yield “true knowledge” (aka “objective truths”). The problem with this method is that one must first know what is true, so as to then discern and discard the not-true from the true. Our current knowledge is contaminated. We can’t weed out the weeds, until we know what the weeds are.
There is only one method that can yield “true knowledge”, and that method is the “clean slate” method (as proposed by Descartes
). This method discards everything and finds one undeniable/undoubtable piece of (objective) truth to serve as the starting point and foundation to build all (true) knowledge.
The problem with this “clean slate” method is that this first piece of truth; this first starting premise, is ultra-critical. Starting with a flawed piece of truth, even when using sound logic to build upon this starting point, can only yield flawed knowledge. Unfortunately Descartes failed, he did not go back far enough to erase all assumptions/doubts.
WHERE DESCARTES WENT WRONG:
Descartes's goal was to arrive at one item of truth that could serve as the starting-point and foundation for all knowledge. His starting point was his famous statement "I think, therefore I am". As Descartes explained, "We cannot doubt of our existence while we doubt …" Descartes asserted that the very act of doubting one's own existence was proof of the reality of one's own mind; there must be a thinking entity; a “self”; a “mind”, for there to be a thought. (...which resulted in his rationale/belief of dualism).According to Descartes, I can doubt anything. But when I doubt, I am thinking, and as long as I am thinking, I exist. Thinking is inseparable from me. Thus I have a clear and distinct idea that I am a mind, or intelligence, and my nature is a thinking thing. On the other hand, I have also a clear idea of body as an extended and non-thinking thing. He concludes that res cogitans and res extensa are two independent entities. This dichotomy is the foundation of Descartes's dualism. “For all that I am a thing that is real and which truly exists. But what kind of a thing? … A thinking thing (res cogitans).”
--- source unknown
Descartes error --
If one’s goal is to find the true starting point of knowledge, then the starting premise is of utmost criticalness
. This starting premise needs to be ‘absolute and undeniable’. Descartes premise “I think, …” does not meet this level of certainty. The “I think” is just an assumption of “I experience thoughts”. But then, one can experience more than just thoughts, so let’s reduce further to “I experience”. But then this “I” has not yet been determined with absolute certainty, so we need to remove it. Now we are left with one term, “experiencing”. Hence, “Experiencing exists
” is the only true absolute/undoubtable piece of truth, and is the true starting premise
to construct all of (true) knowledge.
I have re-written (corrected) Descartes logical statement that now satisfies his original goal:“Experiencing exists, therefore I (the experiencer) exist.”
But this of course, shoots down his dualistic position. “I” is just the ‘experiencer’, and is NOT a ‘mind’ (nor a 'thinker of thoughts' entity - but instead just an ‘experiencer of thoughts’ entity). Dualism is therefore flawed knowledge.
So it is from here (Certainty #1
- Experiencing Exists
) where we start the construction of true knowledge (objective truths). If only Descartes were alive now, I am sure he would agree :-)