Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby mitchellmckain on January 5th, 2018, 5:20 am 

BadgerJelly » January 5th, 2018, 1:29 am wrote:Mitch -
Our primary landscape is not actually a "visual landscape" though. If this were so blind people would be quite stupid and ignorant of how the world functions - they are able to understand the world because the world is not some visual thing, the thingness of it is known to us by way of how we're similar to it. Through technologies we can reconcile many sensible differences and distinguish levels of reality.

I am not sure what you mean by "primary landscape" -- at least it is an odd use of the word "primary." Taking your meaning from the following sentence... you seem to mean the landscape that makes blind people capable of dealing with the world, in which case I would say the ultimate landscape is the tangible one and we use sight (or hearing) to gather information at a distance about the things which can touch/affect us.

BadgerJelly » January 5th, 2018, 1:29 am wrote:It is here I tend to clash with Neri a lot about what I guess is generally called "reality." The kind of depths philosopher go to is not really going to matter anytime in the present. It only matters if they are somehow amended to scientific advancement that by effect bleeds into colloquial speech - other than that the only likely path of philosophical progress is going to come through "poltical"/"educational" means.

I deal with this by distinguishing the objective and subjective aspects of reality. Since the former is the only aspect we can reasonably expect other people to accept then it is only natural that the objective would be the operant reality in politics and public education. The only caution required is the presumption that the objective aspect of reality is all there is (equal to the whole of reality). For this, there is no objective evidence, and thus this must be included in those things which it is not reasonable to expect others to accept.

BadgerJelly » January 5th, 2018, 1:29 am wrote:When you break down the general habits of human life there is a great deal of "insanity" taken up by all and agreed upon as "sanity." We are necessarily "insane" because if we were not then we couldn't function in a meaningful way. Currently it seems the world is shifting so quickly now that the prior pace of human habit now looks like a highly disassociated mess that has grown into a more bland and primitive landscape due to the flood of information.

An example of insanity taken up and agreed upon as sanity as an illustration would be helpful. And then an explanation of how this becomes bland and primitive because of information is needed. As it is I am getting only a hint of meaning which may be fine for poetry but not so much for philosophical discourse.

BadgerJelly » January 5th, 2018, 1:29 am wrote:The largest influence in recent decades, in regards to language, has been in the post modern world infiltrating everyday life. Language is not being expanding or refined, it is in danger of having its diversity and intricacy destroyed before its even come to real fruition in popular colloquial speech. The willful destruction of elitism in the political realm, deemed as "good", is going to force the destruction of progressive discourse and silence people from "speaking" (and "thinking".)

I see no reason to agree that language is not being expanded or refined, and I would think the destruction of elitism is a good thing as long as this isn't confused with superior ability and talent. Seems to me that elitism and classicism is a carry over from military conquest to give one group of people the means to exploit others.

BadgerJelly » January 5th, 2018, 1:29 am wrote:The generations coming through seem, on the surface, to be less and less inclined to categorise this or that grouping as X or Y, so this is generally a light in the darkness. There are also those who wish to take it further and destroy all categories too. The reason for this I have plenty of ideas about, but I am mostly speculating and feeling around the problem of information.

These sound like ideological shortcuts. Categories are inherent in language and thus in communication. Caution in using them and the recognition of the arbitrary nature of categories is wise. But any pretense to do away with them is not.

BadgerJelly » January 5th, 2018, 1:29 am wrote:I guess I am bubbling over here. The point of all this speel is that I see no need to attach a certain position to the view of world and by doing to I strip the views I have in palce away to some degree leaving only what is TRULY important.

But the choice of what is "truly important" is a subjective judgment and thus something on which a reasonable person must accept a diversity of thought.

BadgerJelly » January 5th, 2018, 1:29 am wrote:If you want practical application, you're looking for something specific. If you're looking for a better idea of how to do this or that, your already doing so in a blind and fumbling way. The words we speak can be refined or simplified. You take a path in one direction ro the other that suits whatever façade of existence you feel will present the best alternative to yourself being yourself in order to feed the insatiable human need for distinction. I simply choose not to let this or that flavor overwhelm my desires for understanding and I'm happy to chomp on something disgusting to stem the flow of obsession and dogma.

What do you mean by disgusting? Cannot going to distasteful extremes be sign of obsession and dogma in its own right?
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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby dandelion on January 11th, 2018, 6:01 am 

Dave_C » January 3rd, 2018, 3:36 am wrote:
dandelion » January 1st, 2018, 6:34 pm wrote:This seems an interesting thread from what I’ve read and could be a pity if it became more about discussing ppersonalities than content, so perhaps the terminology here may help distinguish some thoughts at least? http://www.nyu.edu/gsas/dept/philo/cour ... etske.html

Thanks dandelion. I haven't gotten past page 6 of the reference, so was wondering if you could help me out. I guess Fred is trying to dispel (2) which I think is worded poorly - seems like broken English:
(2) Nothing existing inside a person has (or needs to have2) the properties one is aware in having these experiences.

But he does seem to explain more clearly as he continues:
The experience I have when I see (dream of, hallucinate) a large orange pumpkin is certainly inside me. Why else would it cease to exist when I close my eyes, awaken, or sober up? Yet, nothing inside me - certainly nothing in my brain - has the properties I am aware of when I have this experience. There is nothing orange and pumpkin shaped in my head.

He then goes on to explain various types of awareness including object, fact and property awareness. We get down to the bottom of page 5 and Fred says, "Armed, as we now are with the distinction between object, property and fact awareness, though, we are in a position to understand what goes wrong in traditional arguments for indirect realism."

It's like, aha! Fred is now going to get to the point... he continues:
The mistake in traditional arguments lies in failing to distinguish between [fact] awareness of experience, that it has phenomenal character ... on the one hand and on the other, property awareness of the qualities that give it this character. Failing to distinguish these forms of awareness, one concludes, mistakenly, that awareness of what it is like to see (experience) pumpkins must be awareness of the properties (ie [phenomenal character]) of these experiences. That is the first mistake - the mistake of inferring p-awareness of the properties of experience from f-awareness of the fact that experience has those properties. The second mistake (this is optional; the major damage has already been done)...


At this point, he clearly feels that he's nuked the problem with issue (2) and we no longer have to worry ourselves with the issue. But I've lost him here. Do you understand what he's trying to say? I will continue to read Fred's paper, but I would very much appreciate if you can clear up my confusion here, or at least provide some clue as to what Fred believes is this powerful message he's just delivered.


Hi Dave, thanks for the interesting questions, sorry for the long delay replying and sorry, I linked it not really considering the op particularly, sorry Asparagus, but partly because I thought it was quite succinctly termed and illustrated and seemed a comparatively scientific style, and hoped it could help the thread in that way, but sorry it didn’t.

I don’t necessarily agree with all of the links I make and this is no exception, and “Fred” (:)) may still rely on some presumptions, but I also liked that there seems some caution to avoid some presumptions, but that may also be where the trouble lies. I see Asparagus mentioned the word “of” in another thread, and I think that sentence would seem to flow better if the word “of” were used, as it is elsewhere in the text, as in “aware of”. “Of”, however can involve notions like priority and dependence or containment, all of which may be involve presumption. So, I think what may be confusing is differences between awareness, and awareness of?
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