I think therefore...

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I think therefore...

Postby Event Horizon on April 26th, 2018, 7:33 pm 

I think the statement "I think therefore I am" is incomplete. "I think therefore I think I am" would seem more accurate, though I don't know its philosophical ramifications.

I generally say that if you don't exist, there's no point discussing anything with a delusion.

I'm a natural born existentialist, I even lived in the woods and fields a la Walden, though I didn't know Walden at the time.

Is our philosophical bent innate like our sexuality I wonder?
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Re: I think therefore...

Postby mitchellmckain on April 27th, 2018, 1:11 am 

Event Horizon » April 26th, 2018, 6:33 pm wrote:I think the statement "I think therefore I am" is incomplete. "I think therefore I think I am" would seem more accurate, though I don't know its philosophical ramifications.

If you think you are then you would simply say you are. Besides it does not follow that if someone thinks that he will necessarily think he exists. Thus I would claim it is more accurate to say that if someone thinks then he exists whether he thinks so or not.

This statement is the beginning of Descartes' rationalism and this alone is hard to refute. It is the premise of rationalism itself which is flawed. Deduction cannot proceed without premises and it does little more than find statements which are logically equivalent to the set of premises you start with. Thus the idea of rationalism that you can derive truth from logic alone is fundamentally flawed.

Event Horizon » April 26th, 2018, 6:33 pm wrote:I generally say that if you don't exist, there's no point discussing anything with a delusion.

I have a similar response to the claim that meaning does not exist. I would say that such a claim is meaningless.

Event Horizon » April 26th, 2018, 6:33 pm wrote:I'm a natural born existentialist, I even lived in the woods and fields a la Walden, though I didn't know Walden at the time.

No. Philosophical positions are not a product of birth. They are a product of human communication and the choices we make. It is memes not genes which are relevant here.

Event Horizon » April 26th, 2018, 6:33 pm wrote:Is our philosophical bent innate like our sexuality I wonder?

I don't believe that either are innate. We build our philosophical outlook from the ideas which have been communicated to us, just as we build our sexuality from our first sexual thoughts, feelings, and experiences. The gay rights doctrine of prenatal determination of sexual preference is badly misguided because there is no justification given by such a claim any more than claiming a prenatal inclination to rape and murder is a justification for that behavior. The only thing that matters in a free society is whether there is any objective evidence for harm being done to others. That is the only justification required. And while there is no evidence of harm being done by homosexuality there is evidence of harm being done by this bogus dogma, because people have been using various cross-gender behaviors as a reason to tell children what their sexual preference must be and that they have no choice in the matter.
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Re: I think therefore...

Postby RJG on April 27th, 2018, 7:56 am 

"I think, therefore I am" is logically flawed because it pre-assumes the conclusion ("begs the question").

The "I" is already presumed to exist in the premise "I think" when claiming to prove its existence in the conclusion ("therefore I am").

Similar logically flawed examples:
1. God answers prayers, therefore God exists.
2. Ghosts are invisible, therefore ghosts exist.
3. Unicorns fly, therefore unicorns exist.
4. X exists, therefore X exists.

For being such a smart guy, Descartes really blew this one. He really meant to say:

    "Experiences (of 'thought') exist, therefore an Experiencer ('I') exists.
--- this is the corrected "undoubtable/undeniable" starting point (from which to build all true knowledge) that Descartes was searching for.


...if only Descartes could have seen past his own ego, then he would not have espoused his flawed 'dualistic' view.
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Re: I think therefore...

Postby Serpent on April 27th, 2018, 11:12 am 

One might conclude from general reaction that Descartes lived and died without having uttered a word beyond that single phrase.
Of course it's incomplete! It was lifted out of this sentence:
But immediately upon this I observed that, whilst I thus wished to think that all was false, it was absolutely necessary that I, who thus thought, should be somewhat; and as I observed that this truth, I think, therefore I am, was so certain and of such evidence that no ground of doubt, however extravagant, could be alleged by the sceptics capable of shaking it, I concluded that I might, without scruple, accept it as the first principle of the philosophy of which I was in search

Where his premises go counter to modern thinkers' is a result of the extremely pervasive belief of the times (still pervasive enough today) in a soul or essential self.
… I thence concluded that I was a substance whose whole essence or nature consists only in thinking, and which, that it may exist, has need of no place, nor is dependent on any material thing; so that ‘I’, that is to say, the mind by which I am what I am, is wholly distinct from the body, and is even more easily known than the latter …

He wasn't trying to "prove" the existence of a self: at this point, he was only paring away all the external information that might be false or illusory, and reduce knowledge to what he could feel sure of.
This is a starting point, not a conclusion. You can't "see past" the ego which is the only thing you can personally and directly vouch for, and refer it to some abstract concept like "experience". It must go the other way around:
"All I know for sure is that something is having this thought."
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Re: I think therefore...

Postby RJG on April 27th, 2018, 12:56 pm 

Good stuff Serpent.
Serpent wrote:
Rene Descartes wrote:But immediately upon this I observed that, whilst I thus wished to think that all was false, it was absolutely necessary that I, who thus thought, should be somewhat; and as I observed that this truth, I think, therefore I am, was so certain and of such evidence that no ground of doubt, however extravagant, could be alleged by the sceptics capable of shaking it…

Here is Descartes error. It was his unshakeable "certainty" (with "no ground of doubt") of a "thinking" thing (a res cogitans).

Descartes "certainty" derived specifically from his 'experiencing-of-thoughts'. And instead of stopping and proclaiming the 'experiencing-of-thoughts' as the "certainty" itself, he takes a blind leap of faith, and falsely assumes, and claims, that a "thinking" thing/entity (an "I") exists.

Descartes doesn't (can't) really know "with certainty" that he "thinks", he can only really know "with certainty" that he "experiences thoughts".

Although this seems to be a minor nit-picky technicality, it is nonetheless ultra-critical, ...especially if this supposed ("first principle") 'truth' is to serve as the 'seed' to derive all 'true' knowledge.


Serpent wrote:
Rene Descartes wrote:… I thence concluded that I was a substance whose whole essence or nature consists only in thinking, and which, that it may exist, has need of no place, nor is dependent on any material thing; so that ‘I’, that is to say, the mind by which I am what I am, is wholly distinct from the body, and is even more easily known than the latter …

He wasn't trying to "prove" the existence of a self: at this point, he was only paring away all the external information that might be false or illusory, and reduce knowledge to what he could feel sure of.

Yes, and because of his original/initial error, all that follows is likewise flawed, including his dualistic position (separate mind/body entities; res cogitans and res extensa).
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Re: I think therefore...

Postby Serpent on April 27th, 2018, 1:49 pm 

RJG wrote:Descartes "certainty" derived specifically from his 'experiencing-of-thoughts'.

Yes, because that's the only certainty of which he could not divest himself, and still continue the exercise.

And instead of stopping and proclaiming the 'experiencing-of-thoughts' as the "certainty" itself, he takes a blind leap of faith, and falsely assumes, and claims, that a "thinking" thing/entity (an "I") exists.

And then? How is 'experiencing-of-thoughts' different or distinct from 'that-which-thinks'? Where would making such a distinction get you? You'd have an uncaused process. What could be your next step, but to designate an entity which generates thought and/or receives thought of unknown origin? You'd be painting yourself into a corner.
It's simply more efficient, as a meditation, to suppose a thought/thinker fusion. In fact, he says so: "somewhat must be producing this thought." Take away the presupposed agent and you can't ever know anything - which was not the object of the game, that time around.

Yes, and because of his original/initial error, all that follows is likewise flawed, including his dualistic position (separate mind/body entities; res cogitans and res extensa).

Everything is flawed in this vale of tears.
But for Descartes, even if he wanted to avoid dualism, he wouldn't have dared. Anyone who denied the soul was in pretty big trouble in those days.
In 1633 he was about to publish a scientific work called The World, in which he defended, among other things, the heliocentric theory of Copernicus. At the last minute he heard that Galileo was arrested by the Holy Inquisition for defending the same theory. As Descartes throughout his life tried to avoid such dangerous conflicts with the Catholic Church, he prevented the publication of his book. In 1637 he published his Discourse on Method, in which for the first time he presented his program of radical doubt. This program, too, raised the suspicion of church officials. In response Descartes published, in 1641, his Meditations on First Philosophy, in which he defended his program of doubt by showing that such an undertaking would not necessarily be in conflict with Catholic teachings.

http://facultyfiles.frostburg.edu/phil/forum/Descartes.htm
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Re: I think therefore...

Postby RJG on April 27th, 2018, 2:51 pm 

Serpent wrote:"All I know for sure is that something is having this thought."

Well, not quite. To be technically correct, it is only the 'experience' (sensation) of the thought itself that we can know for sure; with 'absolute' certainty.

And then, from this bit of knowledge, we can then logically derive that "something" (aka an 'experiencer') exists.

The 'experiencing' is absolutely certain.
The 'experiencer' is logically derived (...and not quite as certain!).

In other words, we can't know (logically derive) that the Experiencer exists without first knowing that Experiencing exists.

Serpent wrote:How is 'experiencing-of-thoughts' different or distinct from 'that-which-thinks'?

An 'experience' and an 'experiencer' are two different things.

One is a sensation ('experience'), the other is that which experiences this sensation ('experiencer')

One can be known with absolute certainty, and the other can only be known through logic (via logical deduction), ...as an experiencer can never ever actually experience itself.

Serpent wrote:But for Descartes, even if he wanted to avoid dualism, he wouldn't have dared. Anyone who denied the soul was in pretty big trouble in those days.

Good point.
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Re: I think therefore...

Postby Serpent on April 27th, 2018, 3:22 pm 

RJG » April 27th, 2018, 1:51 pm wrote:Well, to be technically correct, it is only the 'experience' (sensation) of the thought itself that we can know for sure; with 'absolute' certainty.

And then, from this bit of knowledge, we can then logically derive that "something" (aka an 'experiencer') exists.

The 'experiencing' is absolutely certain.
The 'experiencer' is logically derived (...and not quite as certain!).

Isn't that exactly what the famous phrase means? this, therefore, that

And having apprehended that singularly acrobatic nit changes - what?

In other words, we can't know (logically derive) that the Experiencer exists without first knowing that Experiencing exists.

How did you [who?] decide which came first? Logically, there can be no experience without an experiencer, because the word denotes something that is sensed, perceived or undergone - by someone.
Experience is the knowledge that is directly given to the consciousness of the subject
https://simplyphilosophy.org/study/experience-definition/

Especially as something or somebody, presumed capable of knowing and experiencing, embarked upon the exercise in the first place, long before this present thought existed, he can't logically deduce the originator of the thought from the experiencing of the same thought: it's chronologically impossible for the narrator to deduce himself.
Experience is is precisely that knowledge which has not been derived by logic.

An 'experience' and an 'experiencer' are two different things.

One is a sensation ('experience'), the other is that which experiences this sensation ('experiencer')

Interdependent and inseparable things: neither can exist in isolation from the other.

One can be known with absolute certainty,

By whom, if the experiencer doesn't yet exist? Nobody can't know anything.
and the other can only be known through logic (via logical deduction), ...as an experiencer can never ever actually experience itself.

...and vice versa. An experience can never ever take place by itself.

[he wouldn't have dared.]
Good point.
[/quote]
In fact, that was pretty much the point: to cut a theologically acceptable window for scientific investigation - that is, the questioning of received knowledge. Because, see, Father: "Wherever I start, however much I doubt, I end up with God as the fount of all knowledge."

(*8&%@##!! quotation marks!)
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Re: I think therefore...

Postby Event Horizon on April 27th, 2018, 4:27 pm 

It's like trying to measure something by an unknowable metric that is somewhat subjective anyway.

I know that now we have CAT scanners and nMRI that can map brain activity so we know then when someone is thinking, bioelectric activity. How much activity may be thought, and how much is memory access or other brain functions associated with processing thought seems unknowable too.

Perhaps brain function is not very well suited to define our existence by.
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Re: I think therefore...

Postby RJG on April 27th, 2018, 4:28 pm 

RJG wrote:The 'experiencing' is absolutely certain.
The 'experiencer' is logically derived (...and not quite as certain!).

Serpent wrote:Isn't that exactly what the famous phrase means? this, therefore, that

No. Descartes was fallaciously trying to prove a "thinker" exists (named "I"). --- There is NO thinker!!! ...there is only a (monistic) body that "experiences" thoughts.

Experiencing thoughts is NOT the same as thinking thoughts!


RJG wrote:In other words, we can't know (logically derive) that the Experiencer exists without first knowing that Experiencing exists.

Serpent wrote:How did you [who?] decide which came first? Logically, there can be no experience without an experiencer, because the word denotes something that is sensed, perceived or undergone - by someone.

Yes, agreed. But this is about "knowing" and the "certainty" in our knowing. We could not come to the logical conclusion that an Experiencer exists without first knowing that Experiencing exists.

Also, "logically" is the key word here. We can ONLY know that Experiencer exists ONLY if we know logic.

BUT what if we don't know logic (or are incapable of any reasoning)? ...without logic, there can be no (knowledge of) Experiencer, ...without logic, we can still know (with absolute certainty) that experiencing exists.

Experiencing is the certain thing.
Experiencer is less certain, as it wholly reliant upon the (correct) usage/knowing of logic.

Experiencing is Absolutely True/Certain.
Experiencer is Logically True/Certain.


Serpent wrote:Interdependent and inseparable things: neither can exist in isolation from the other.

Agreed. And again, we ONLY know this is (logically) true because we have the ability to use reason/logic. But if we didn't, we wouldn't.


RJG wrote:One can be known with absolute certainty,

Serpent wrote:by whom?

The Experiencer himself
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Re: I think therefore...

Postby Serpent on April 27th, 2018, 6:05 pm 

RJG You're flying semantic loop-the-loops and demanding that Descartes join you.
But that's not the game he was playing: your objections, though picayune, are irrelevant.
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Re: I think therefore...

Postby RJG on April 27th, 2018, 9:03 pm 

...so says the snake :-)
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Re: I think therefore...

Postby Event Horizon on April 28th, 2018, 6:03 am 

Other animals have the ability to think and make decisions based on that thought. But many, if not most are not self-aware according to tests designed to discover just that. This would seem to indicate a lack of correlation between the ability to think and the definition of self based on it. I am not trying to decry Descartes, only that his statement is incorrect and that we need a better way to "Prove" our existence; Descartes 1.1, Time for an upgrade? What might that look like?
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Re: I think therefore...

Postby Braininvat on April 28th, 2018, 9:55 am 

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Re: I think therefore...

Postby Event Horizon on April 28th, 2018, 12:52 pm 

I can't follow that, I'm sorry. I'm a keen observer, I'm not a trained philosopher. I could do with a synopsis or something.
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Re: I think therefore...

Postby Event Horizon on April 28th, 2018, 12:58 pm 

If people have any problems with whether they really exist or not, send them to me, I'll confirm it for them. Great rates too!
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Re: I think therefore...

Postby RJG on April 28th, 2018, 1:06 pm 

Event Horizon wrote:Other animals have the ability to think

Sorry EH, but NO animals (including us human animals!) have the "ability to think".

We can only "experience" thoughts, not "think" (create/construct/author) them. Besides, "thinking" itself is logically impossible.

Event Horizon wrote:...and make decisions

Not so. If we can't "think" our own thoughts, then neither can we make our own decisions. Our decisions (and thoughts) are nothing more than automatic bodily reactions; just responses to stimuli.


Our thoughts (and decisions) are given to us. We become aware of them when they come to us, and not before. There is no other way, as it is not logically possible for us to pre-select those thoughts for which we are then to become aware of. We are only the 'receivers' of our thoughts, not its 'giver'. For if we could truly give, or pre-select, our own thoughts, then I would certainly select happy, pleasurable thoughts all the time! --- RJG


Event Horizon wrote:But many, if not most are not self-aware

Sorry again EH, but true "self-awareness" is a myth; not logically possible. An Experiencer (aka "self") can never experience himself! He cannot be in two places at one time; he cannot be both the object and subject simultaneously. Nor can he experience things/objects or "selfs"; he can only experience 'experiences' (sensations), and never a self, itself!
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Re: I think therefore...

Postby Serpent on April 28th, 2018, 1:18 pm 

Event Horizon, with all due respect:
Should you be critiquing and correcting a work you don't understand?
This may help
http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/meditations/summary/
Before deciding whether an author is in error, it might be helpful to know that author's intention.
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Re: I think therefore...

Postby Event Horizon on April 28th, 2018, 1:57 pm 

It's just a phrase thats a lot of like a proverb. It just exists, no-one questions it. and I thought actually, it's not quite right.
I wasn't critiquing the work. Read back. I said I don't understand it.
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Re: I think therefore...

Postby Serpent on April 28th, 2018, 4:25 pm 

Event Horizon » April 28th, 2018, 12:57 pm wrote:It's just a phrase thats a lot of like a proverb. It just exists, no-one questions it. and I thought actually, it's not quite right.

It's not a proverb, though popular culture would turn War and Peace into a bumper sticker if there were a market. It's a catchy phrase lifted out of the middle of a long sentence, which I quoted.
Lots of people question it, debate its merits vs flaws, without ever bothering to read it in context -
which isn't that hard. They pursue with relentless logic the nits in this single phrase, and ignore the elephant a couple of paragraphs down.
I wasn't critiquing the work. Read back. I said I don't understand it.

Yet, instead of looking it up, you suggested an improvement:
I think the statement "I think therefore I am" is incomplete. "I think therefore I think I am" would seem more accurate, though I don't know its philosophical ramifications.

Now, imagine the ramifications of your version. I think, therefore I think that I think that I am. I think, therefore I think that I think that I think that I am...
When do you get to bedrock certainty? Certainty was the stated objective of the exercise.

You've been offered three texts.
If the Stanford is too difficult, the Frostburg more accessible. The Sparks notes are ... Sparks notes, but they get to the point quicker.
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Re: I think therefore...

Postby Event Horizon on April 29th, 2018, 8:53 am 

NO animals (including us human animals!) have the "ability to think"


Animals quite clearly have an ability to think. They also act on the thoughts they have. To suggest otherwise is demonstrably untrue. That they make decisions based on thought is also simple to prove.

I've never met anyone to deny this. It's a biological fact. I reject that argument in its entirety.

Not much thought went into your post, but you thought it and actioned it as a result. According to your post this is impossible.

Experiments giving squirrels an assault course to work out and traverse in order to obtain food shows problem-solving (thought) and by acting on that thought obtain a treat (forethought). Denying that animals think and act on it would disqualify any animals like Lions, wolves etc that have to work as a team. Not only do they think, but can anticipate what other animals think in order to survive.

When people have degenerative diseases and loose memory function, they loose much of their self according to their family members. If you loose memory it disrupts or removes ones capacity to reason because all the references are gone and the patient will have to be supported till they die. Their decisions are made by their carer who will be thinking for the patient.
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Re: I think therefore...

Postby RJG on April 29th, 2018, 4:14 pm 

RJG wrote:NO animals (including us human animals!) have the "ability to think"

Event Horizon wrote:I've never met anyone to deny this. It's a biological fact. I reject that argument in its entirety.

Unfortunately, "thinking" itself (by anyone!) is a logical impossibility.

I suspect that your belief in "thinking" stems from the indoctrinations of your upbringing, and not necessarily from logical reasoning. But again, maybe it is just that you and I have different views/understanding of this word "thinking". So before I expound on the impossibility of "thinking", we probably should make sure that we both are talking about the same thing.

Firstly, do you agree there is a difference between "experiencing thoughts" and "thinking"? Are these one-in-the-same meanings, or do they have different meanings? (...don't make the same mistake as Descartes!!)

If different, then do you agree that "thinking" is 'actively' creating/constructing/authoring the very thoughts that we "experience", i.e. those that we then 'passively' 'hear' (the talking voice within) and 'see' (the images) in our head?
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Re: I think therefore...

Postby Event Horizon on April 29th, 2018, 5:53 pm 

What is the inner dialogue if not thought? I think you are right that we come from different perspectives. I've been told I'm very Nietzschean but although I read a bit of Plato, a little Cant but Jung kinda put me off. My mom read it all for her psycholinguistic degree, and we often discussed such things. Unfortunately she's passed on and I lost my sounding-board too.
We don't have to agree on everything. Clearly we don't. But that is fertile ground for mooting ideas in. Stagnation would be a consequence of having nothing questioned.
As a biologist I only had to study ethics (Heh! Only!) But being from different fields one would expect us to have different opinions. There is nothing wrong in that.
I still think Descartes gave us a phrase said to define our existence, and does so for millions of people, that is perhaps wrong, but probably just incomplete. I was hoping that people might help work on an alternative metric to define our existence by. Something less ethereal than just thought.

Best wishes, EH.
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Re: I think therefore...

Postby mitchellmckain on April 29th, 2018, 8:22 pm 

With RGJ we appear to have the choice between reading posts with no thinking behind them or the greater likelihood that it is simply posts with a lot of nonsensical rhetoric and self-deception behind them. Either way, it hardly seems worth our while.

Event Horizon » April 29th, 2018, 4:53 pm wrote:I still think Descartes gave us a phrase said to define our existence, and does so for millions of people, that is perhaps wrong, but probably just incomplete. I was hoping that people might help work on an alternative metric to define our existence by. Something less ethereal than just thought.

I assume this is referring to the phrase "I think, therefore I am." This does not define our existence. It is simply a compelling rational starting point. Whatever we do (whether thinking, writing or walking), it would seem to imply that the doer exists in order to do these things. Descartes simply chooses thinking because it is harder to avoid. If we start with writing or walking, then the skeptic can suggest that this may just be an illusion and that we only think we are writing or walking. But that leads us back to the fact that we are thinking.

And why should we not accept the argument of a skeptic like RGJ, that we are not really thinking? Because we only think we are thinking? And there is where we see only empty semantics. Whatever some joker like RJG chooses to call it, the rest of us call it thinking.

In any case, "defining our existence" is different question, though I suppose it isn't a bad strategy to define what we mean by saying we exist by referring back to the reason we come to this conclusion. After all deduction is a kind of equivalence. But by existing we do not simply mean thinking. As explained above thinking was only the one doing which we could know for sure. Thus it suggests a meaning of existing as this capability of doing something, and this would not have to be an active doing for even a passive doing would work as well. So when we say that a rock exists, it means that the rock is capable of things like being seen or being touched or being thrown. We may notice that this definition of existence does not require a material nature and so we can say that fairies and gods exist because they are capable of being read about and talked about. And this tells us that there is not only one way of existing but many -- as many ways of existing as there are ways of doing.
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Re: I think therefore...

Postby RJG on April 30th, 2018, 10:37 am 

RJG wrote:Firstly, do you agree there is a difference between "experiencing thoughts" and "thinking"?

Event Horizon wrote:What is the inner dialogue if not thought? I think you are right that we come from different perspectives. I've been told I'm very Nietzschean but although I read a bit of Plato, a little Cant but Jung kinda put me off. My mom read it all for her psycholinguistic degree, and we often discussed such things. Unfortunately she's passed on and I lost my sounding-board too.
We don't have to agree on everything. Clearly we don't. But that is fertile ground for mooting ideas in. Stagnation would be a consequence of having nothing questioned.
As a biologist I only had to study ethics (Heh! Only!) But being from different fields one would expect us to have different opinions. There is nothing wrong in that.
I still think Descartes gave us a phrase said to define our existence, and does so for millions of people, that is perhaps wrong, but probably just incomplete. I was hoping that people might help work on an alternative metric to define our existence by. Something less ethereal than just thought.

...is that a "yes" or a "no"???

mitchellmckain wrote:Whatever some joker like RJG chooses to call it, the rest of us call it thinking.

Mitch, I see you have not had your morning coffee yet, ...by opting to cast insults instead of answering a simple question. By the way, casting insults is strictly forbidden here on this forum.

mitchellmckain wrote:And why should we not accept the argument of a skeptic like RGJ, that we are not really thinking? Because we only think we are thinking?

So then please tell us -- do we actually "think we are thinking", or do we really just "experience-the-thoughts" that we are thinking?

...but before answering, please have a sip of coffee.
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Re: I think therefore...

Postby mitchellmckain on April 30th, 2018, 11:19 am 

I apologize for any insults.

I cannot drink coffee. I drink tea though -- a lot.

Firstly, do you agree there is a difference between "experiencing thoughts" and "thinking"?

No, I do not. Like I said, whatever you may choose to call it, the vast majority call it thinking -- and for language to work, the definition of words must go with the consensus.
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Re: I think therefore...

Postby RJG on April 30th, 2018, 11:52 am 

RJG wrote:Firstly, do you agree there is a difference between "experiencing thoughts" and "thinking"?

mitchellmckain wrote:No, I do not.

Okay, so then it appears that you and I are in agreement, - i.e. that "thinking" is really nothing more than just the passive "experiencing-of-thoughts".

mitchellmckain wrote:Like I said, whatever you may choose to call it, the vast majority call it thinking...

It seems that the "vast majority" firmly believe that they can actually create/construct/author their own thoughts, and this is what is meant by "thinking".

It is not logically possible to 'create' a thought without first 'experiencing' it. And once it is experienced, then it is too late to create it!

"Thinking" (creating/constructing/authoring one's own thoughts) is therefore impossible.
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Re: I think therefore...

Postby Braininvat on April 30th, 2018, 12:38 pm 

I don't think you can prevail in arguments simply by narrowing your definition of cognition.
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Re: I think therefore...

Postby RJG on April 30th, 2018, 12:53 pm 

Braininvat wrote:I don't think you can prevail in arguments simply by narrowing your definition of cognition.

I am merely asserting:

1 - IF "thinking" means "creating/constructing/authoring one's own thoughts", THEN "thinking" is logically IMPOSSIBLE!

2 - IF "thinking" means "experiencing thoughts", THEN "thinking" is logically possible!
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Re: I think therefore...

Postby Serpent on April 30th, 2018, 1:36 pm 

RJG » April 30th, 2018, 11:53 am wrote:Our thoughts (and decisions) are given to us.

Descartes, in error, flawed, illogical and fallacious though he may have been, came to the same conclusion:
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