Differences between Object and Phenomenon

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Asexperia, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. Asexperia Registered Senior Member

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    What are the differences between object and phenomenon?

    Is the rest (of a body) a phenomenon?

    Do the subjective phenomena exist?
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
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  3. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    What's the difference between posting understandable questions in English and garbled rubbish?

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  5. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Depending on which definitions are compared, in some cases "object" might be signifying an item more distinct / specific than phenomenon. In another pairing or two they could serve the same function.
    • object

      (1) something that can be seen or touched; thing.

      (2) a person or thing toward which feeling, thought, or action is directed.

      [...]

      (7) Philosophy ... A thing that is or can be thought of.
    • phenomenon

      (1) a fact, event, or circumstance that can be observed.

      (2) any sign, symptom, or manifestation.

      (3) any exceptional fact or occurrence.

      (4) something or someone extraordinary or remarkable.

      (5) Philosophy ... something that the senses or the mind directly takes note of, an immediate object of perception, as distinguished from a thing in itself.

      [< Late Latin phaenomenon, ultimately < Greek phainein, show forth]
    The Greek etymological roots of the noun *phenomenon* and the adjective *phenomenal* equate meaning-wise to "show forth" or show, appear or appearance, display, "make evident", etc. That's also the neighborhood of what usage is intended in philosophy revolving consciousness or experience (especially the adjectival form). Though there's a trend which began in the latter half of the 20th-century of being fixated more on *qualitative*[1] and "what it's like"[2] rather than the basic capacity for manifestation itself.

    Hallucinations, feelings, and personal thoughts as originally experienced aren't publicly present or inter-subjectively available to other people unless they're converted to language or some other mode of communication. So they don't "exist" as entities on the exteroceptive side of consciousness which exhibits objects and events of the outer world. The cause of them or their neural correlates in the skull might be externally identified in theory, but those public appearances of biological tissue and electrochemical activty or instrument measurements will likewise not resemble the original experiences on the personal or introspective side.

    Given that everything disappears after death or consciousness ceases, it's occasionally curious as to what a modifier like "subjective" is supposed to be adding -- other than, again, serving to distinguish the introspective half of experience (treated as mental) from the exteroceptive half (treated as physical). As if mainstream researchers and thinkers were allowing the possibility of a literal objective manifestation of the universe (God's-eye view or whatever) that is not dependent upon a brain, future AI, or space-alien organ only fractionally generating it. Thereby also crouched in some form of panpsychism. But many noted "materialists" in the 19th century were actually panphenomenalists[3]. With that fringe thought orientation today[4] entertaining that "showing forth" outruns cognition or is more fundamental than an emergent mind. So maybe such expressions / tendencies are vestigial leftovers from an earlier era.
    • footnotes

      [1] Robert Van Gulick: Phenomenal states. Such qualia are sometimes referred to as phenomenal properties and the associated sort of consciousness as phenomenal consciousness, but the latter term is perhaps more properly applied to the overall structure of experience and involves far more than sensory qualia. The phenomenal structure of consciousness also encompasses much of the spatial, temporal and conceptual organization of our experience of the world and of ourselves as agents in it. It is therefore probably best, at least initially, to distinguish the concept of phenomenal consciousness from that of qualitative consciousness, though they no doubt overlap.

      [2] Robert Van Gulick: What-it-is-like states Consciousness in both those senses links up as well with Thomas Nagel's (1974) notion of a conscious creature, insofar as one might count a mental state as conscious in the “what it is like” sense just if there is something that it is like to be in that state. Nagel's criterion might be understood as aiming to provide a first-person or internal conception of what makes a state a phenomenal or qualitative state. (SEP: Consciousness)

      [3] panphenomenalism, 19th century --> From Soul to Mind: The Emergence of Psychology, from Erasmus Darwin to William James ... pages 121-122 ... Edward S. Reed (1997)

      [4] panphenomenalism, contemporary --> Quentin Ruyant (essay, July 21, 2014): [...] Perhaps panpsychism is implausible, but panphenomenalism fares a bit better in my opinion. Obviously, tables and chairs are not conscious. Following panphenomenalism, what they lack is not phenomenality (which would be a feature of their fundamental constitution) but cognitive abilities. Phenomenality without memory, persistence, information integration and a capacity for world and self representation is simply not awareness, or not full awareness — it is at best being transiently aware of nothing identifiable, without the very possibility of knowing that one is or was aware, nothing close to consciousness. I would readily grant this feature to electrons if it could convincingly explain some relevant metaphysical issue.
     
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  7. Asexperia Registered Senior Member

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    Thanks C C for your post. It's very interesting.
     
  8. Asexperia Registered Senior Member

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    From the C C's post.

    The object is corporel, touchable.

    The phenomenon is a fact, an event. The manifestation or change in an object.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
  9. geordief Registered Senior Member

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    Didn't know that was a "real thing/concept".Stumbled across the idea on another forum and thought it was a bit of a joke.
    http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/...thematical-model/?tab=comments#comment-936117
     
  10. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Phenomena are what objects do.
     
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  11. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    "Intersubjectivity" is a term coined by social scientists as a short-hand description for a variety of human interactions. (Intersubjectivity - Wikipedia)

    The expression and its variants (like intersubjectively) were infrequently used by some philosophers before the social sciences got their hands on it. The Schrödinger quote and comments below set-up an example or usage of it at bottom.
    • Erwin Schrödinger: "The world is a construct of our sensations, perceptions, memories. It is convenient to regard it as existing objectively on its own. But it certainly does not become manifest by its mere existence. Its becoming manifest is conditional on very special goings-on in very special parts of this very world, namely on certain events that happen in a brain. That is an inordinately peculiar kind of implication, which prompts the question: What particular properties distinguish these brain processes and enable them to produce the manifestation? Can we guess which material processes have this power, which not? Or simple: What kind of material process is directly associated with consciousness?" --What is Life? Mind and Matter
    Schrödinger is just addressing the consequences of there being no literal objective manifestation and understanding of the world. Only the "not even nothingness" that follows death is what matter / the cosmos normally is to itself, when minus those appearances generated by our evolved neural processing of information. Both empirical (observed) and reason-based evidence is thereby dependent upon individual brains / bodies generating experiences [phenomenal events], language-based ideas, and carrying out their communications with each other. In terms of intersubjectively comparing their experiences / thoughts and then they or their institutions arriving at a consensus on what's currently considered "real" or objective. Usually a tall building collapsing during an earthquake -- as an immediate, seemingly directly apprehended, changing object in the visual experiences of multiple bystanders that are running away -- will not require any rational debate and lengthy lab experiments to warrant its ontological status.

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    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
  12. geordief Registered Senior Member

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    Which is why philosophy hurts my head

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    Is it pretentiousness to wonder whether "meta-subjectively"** could also be a thing?

    Can we also wonder if there is a deep need for this expression of the self that gives rise to the various ideologies and physical groupings (or again is that to state the obvious)?

    **egad I see it does also google as a concept

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    https://www.google.ie/search?q="met...y"&aqs=chrome..69i57&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
     
  13. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    To sum up the question: "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"
     
  14. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Very pithy.

    And I don't have a lithp.....

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  15. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Well, this situation of "not even nothingness exhibiting itself when minus consciousness" seems to arise purely from the constraints that philosophical naturalism may place upon itself as preconditions or dogma for operation. Or any species of materialism, scientism, etc which advocates that properties of mind (especially phenomenality or the capacity for manifestation) are emergent rather than fundamental (having at least primitive precursors to develop in complexity from). But if a person is instead a generic panphenomenalist, panpsychist, immaterialist (like Berkeley), or believer that the universe is a program being carried-out on a conscious computer at another level -- then those are views that can undermine Schrödinger's "The world does not manifest by its mere existence."

    However, those alternative schools of thought are usually deemed daft by most contemporary philosophers or those who subscribe to hardcore naturalism / physicalism. As well as scientists who have to conform to the methodological version of naturalism as a work precondition, anyway. [Neuroscientists like David Eagleman seem especially gung-ho that experiences of the world or "of any stuff" are only possible in biological systems or future artificial systems designed to fully mimic the brain's abilities.]

    OTOH, some 19th-century scientists and intellectuals were panphenomenalists[1] (perhaps a lot, if going by Reed's quote below)[2], back when naturalism was more liberal in terms of metaphysical options.[3] Galen Strawson would today be an example of a philosopher who endorses panpsychism being a component of his version of materialism. But he's in the minority, or going against the grain in the Anglo-American philosophy realm. (Leaving out continental or Euro philosophy here since it has more of a reputation for sporting oddball or offbeat thought orientations.)[4]

    footnotes
    [1] Charles Peirce (a tentative 19th-century example of either generic panphenomenalism or panpsychism): Viewing a thing from the outside, considering its relations of action and reaction with other things, it appears as matter. Viewing it from the inside, looking at its immediate character as feeling, it appears as consciousness. --Man's Glassy Essence

    [2] Edward S. Reed: [Thomas H.] Huxley, like all the other scientists in the group -- and like almost all scientists in Europe or America at the that time -- was not a materialist, despite his belief in the progress of mechanistic physiology. He argued in two directions: one from the external phenomena of science (say, the data of physiology) and the other from introspective phenomena (for example, our belief in free will). He was inclined to believe that most (or all) introspectively revealed phenomena would prove to be caused by externally revealed ones. But in any event he was a phenomenalist, arguing that what is real is phenomena. If the soul (or the unconscious) is not real, it is because it is not part of the phenomenal world.

    This panphenomenalism was widely labeled positivism when it was propounded by scientists. [...] Matter for Huxley was just what it was for Mach or Hertz: a set of phenomenal observations made by scientists. It is thus remarkable but true that the most reviled "materialists" of the 1880s -- Huxley, Tyndall, and Clifford -- were all phenomenalists of sort or another and not materialists at all. --From Soul to Mind: The Emergence of Psychology, from Erasmus Darwin ... p.161 by Edward S. Reed (1997)


    NOTE: Generic panphenomenalism is actually pre-mental. It treats the capacity for manifestation as more fundamental than consciousness and preceding the development of brain complexity and its cognitive activity. It roughly or partially equates to commonsense realism, since the person on the street (even if a materialist) does reflexively deem the world to be "showing" itself and arguably even conceptually apprehending itself just as it does in human experience when there are no conscious agents around to represent it in that manner. Of course, the individual may deny that inconsistency if backed up into a corner, but afterwards they will fall back into the commonsense thought habits or patterns.

    [3] Hermann Helmholtz: Even if we take the idealistic position, we can hardly talk about the lawful regularity of our sensations other than by saying: "Perceptions occur as if the things of the material world referred to in the realistic hypothesis actually did exist." We cannot eliminate the "as if" construction completely, however, for we cannot consider the realistic interpretation to be more than an exceedingly useful and practical hypothesis. We cannot assert that it is necessarily true, for opposed to it there is always the possibility of other irrefutable idealistic hypotheses. It is always well to keep this in mind in order not to infer from the facts more than can rightly be inferred from them. The various idealistic and realistic interpretations are metaphysical hypotheses which, as long as they are recognised as such, are scientifically completely justified. They may become dangerous, however, if they are presented as dogmas or as alleged necessities of thought. Science must consider thoroughly all admissible hypotheses in order to obtain a complete picture of all possible modes of explanation. Furthermore, hypotheses are necessary to someone doing research, for one cannot always wait until a reliable scientific conclusion has been reached; one must sometimes make judgments according to either probability or aesthetic or moral feelings. Metaphysical hypotheses are not to be objected to here either. A thinker is unworthy of science, however, if he forgets the hypothetical origin of his assertions. The arrogance and vehemence with which such hidden hypotheses are sometimes defended are usually the result of a lack of confidence which their advocates feel in the hidden depths of their minds about the qualifications of their claims. What we unquestionably can find as a fact, without any hypothetical element whatsoever, is the lawful regularity of phenomena. --The Facts Of Perception

    [4] Ted Honderich: One thinks of French philosophy that it aspires to the condition of literature or the condition of art, and that English and American philosophy aspires to the condition of science. French philosophy, one thinks of as picking up an idea and running with it, possibly into a nearby brick wall or over a local cliff, or something like that. --Today ... BBC Radio 4; 1990s​

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  16. river Valued Senior Member

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    Of course .

    An object collides with another object , which has the consequence in the density of air density , that Waves are reverbrated , sound is the result .
     
  17. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    That sounds well thought out. Again. if you're not there to hear it, does it make a sound?
     
  18. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    Please define sound if you require a suitable answer

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  19. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    While sleeping, where are you, where is you world?
     
  20. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    The plot thickens.
    Neither do I.

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  21. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Yes. There's a bit of semantics involved.
    A tree certainly generates reverberations in the air.
    Sound is usually considered to require a receptor.
    But...
    What of recording devices?
     
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  22. river Valued Senior Member

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    NO , SOUND requires a medium , air is that medium
     
  23. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    Out of the myriad of answers for the question what is sound two stand out

    In simple terms alternating air pressure and brain perception

    If you go for alternating air pressure yes the falling tree produces sound

    If you go for brain perception no sound produced

    If you go for recording device yes alternating air pressure detected BUT if you have picked brain perception no UNTIL listened to then you have brain perception via a intermediary recording device

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    Ah the miracle of coffee
     

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