Objective truths?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Quantum Quack, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    Oh I'm quite aware of the limitations, and the dogma.

    You shouldn't be so quick to judge.
    I never once said I accept any notion of 'objective truth'.


    See, it's your application and misunderstanding of terms here that makes it appear to you that there's a logical inconsistency to be found.

    'Science' doesn't make a claim that we cannot "perceive objective truths". For one, no truths are perceptible; all truths are merely logical constructions, not material objects.
    Second, 'Science' doesn't make any claim to 'objective reality' at all, but only to principles that are probabilistically fruitful within the context of a particular model.
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  3. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Why do you believe that no truths are perceptable? What objective truth are you relying upon to make such a claim?
    your second point mkes no sense as I said exactly the opposite.
    Science is claiming that objective truths are impossible due to it's belief in the light effect model. That we have to somehow subjectively reconstruct our realities based on a potentially very flawed belief about how we perceive light and other sensory information.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2010
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  5. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    Well worded. Which is a funny assertion for an empirical system. Actually I don't think the whole virtual reality in the skull conclusion was across the board until recently. (a second thought)

    And scientists are coming from a base set of assumptions. To their credit they end up undermining these, but still from a base of assumptions. For example action at a distance is at best unlikely. Some of the assumptions implicit in reductionism. I think the whole materialist set of assumptions - which got put on their heads with QM - are another example. The positive thing about science is that it can undermine itself with repeated data and stubborn researchers.

    But....I think we need to acknowledge that it did not start in a neutral place but within a vauge worldview and it may be that some people have insights precisely because they come from other worldviews. Science may disentangle itself from these assumptions, but in some cases it might not be best to wait for this.

    Another way of putting all this is that we have no idea how, for example, current science will seem in 500 years. And yet it is treated as if it is nearly complete (by nearly every generation).
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  7. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    But if I am making an epistemological claim for all sentient entites....? Am I not starting to make claims about not simply epistemology?

    But to me you just laid out (read: asserted) objective truths.

    We are all the same - as relates to this issue.
    Perception is not direct contact in all cases.
    No universe could be constituted such that direct contact takes place.

    I think if one digs at number two above, one must either appeal to science - Sensory Physiology - with its sequential cause effect chains from 'out there' 'via the sensory system in question' to the 'brain' or some non-scientific equivalent. Then again number one comes in -this is the case for all experiencers.

    Since other experiencers are 'out there' how can one be sure.

    I would guess you will head towards deduction rather than induction here and suggest we can know simply by analyzing what it means to exist. Frankly I think this is hubris and that deduction is notoriously seductive. I would even say that from the model's viewpoint one's own 'set up' is 'out there', so even making claims about one's own lack of contact is questionable.

    I think a coherent position can be held, but I don't think it can be universalized, according to its own rules.
  8. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    thank you, though I wonder why you think it is courageous. As an aside, I see intuition as inevitable and I think it makes sense to approach life assuming knowledge that is not currently verified scientifically. However one should be wary when it is directly contradicted by science. But frankly, there is a huge amount of swing room. To remove all conclusions not verified by science would pretty much paralyze one in most of society.
  9. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    Because all that is perceptible to humans are material objects.
    "Truths" are logical constructs.

    None. Nice try.
    One need not base claims upon 'truths'.

    Actually, it makes complete sense.
    I repeat: I make no claim to any objective truth.

    That is your misunderstanding.

    'Science' operates from a number of bases, none of which are 'objective truths'. Admittedly, most of these bases are unproven assumptions. However, this does not mean that they are unsupported assumptions. And therein lies the difference.

    As an inductive logic, science is necessarily uncertain; this much is always admitted (you would do well here to note how this implies that there can be no universal claims). This does not however, mean that it is not fruitful. Given that we have access to no 'objective truth' (sic) from which to derive an alternate means of investigation (and if you quibble with this, go back and read everything remotely scienctific from Descartes on...), we must therefore begin from probabilistic bases. Thus, there's no methodological circularity.

    QQ, you entertain some seriously mistaken notions of what 'Science' is. You would do well to further educate yourself on the topic.
  10. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member


    I wouldn't say so, no.

    Yes, but that's the same kind of language game that QQ is trying to play. And it doesn't work. See, the difference is: once can make universal logical claims; one cannot make universal ontological claims. The former are limited to our expressions, which, though they may refer to our environment, make no claims about the contents of the environment.

    For the first, although obviously uncertain, I'd maintain that we have no choice but to pragmatically believe that such is the case.
    For the second, well, we just know this to be the case.
    As for the third, though it's possible, it's really moot, given where we are..

    I don't follow you here.
    To "know" does not mean that we need to speak of how 'things really are'.

    I contingently agree, bu then, it's contingent upon context.
    One can for example, coherently universalize within predicate logic, but this is a very specific context. The seeming problem is that, the world we actively experience is a concatenation of contexts......
  11. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    The opnly response I can offer is that there are many layers to this onion so to speak.
    If I were to entertain your position Glaucon I simply would have nothing to say of any value what so ever as the context renders any discourse meaningless due to it's inherant subjective state.

    Just a logical, rational dog chasing it's illogical, irrational tail.

    [this is one reason I never was interested in taking up a philosophy course as all I seem to listen to was scambled egg day in and day out as is required when talking about things at this level.]

    All the greatest philosophical wisdoms neutered to meaningless utility and value unless we raise the game to a different level or layer.
    Which was the layer of discourse I was entertaining with this thread.

    Science has most of the world believing that they can not percieve reality objectively. They have created a situation where any testimony is subjective and needs to prove it's degree of objectivity rather than the other way round. This scientific position has influenced most contemporary philosophers significantly.

    IMO rather we should presume objective until proven to be subjective, ascribe to intuitive outcomes and refuse the counter intuitive if unable to be rendered intuitive with sound reasoning. As to do other wise is to apply intellectual nihilism.

    However science has us all by the balls [ eye balls ] when they state that reality is unable to be percieved except via light entry into the eyes thus making objective truths at this level impossible.
    I fully understand your point about objective truths in absolutum even if I subscribe to Buddhist theology that suggests other wise as I know at the level you are referring to the Buddhist have it wrong as well. [ as I stated in the relevant thread posted a while ago]

    Ultimately it is all a dream any way..pure imagination that has rules that seem to stick most of the time.

    Now we can talk about dreams and dreaming infinitum or we can talk about that which has some relevance and meaning to our every day "Dream" lives. That is our choice.

    "To think therefore I am" is meaningless in the context of your point as is all philosophy, science and existance.

    So uhm what would you like to discuss now?

    Is there anything to say about life, reality when your point has made all concepts, notion, logic, rational, mental function, etc etc totally redundant.
    Every answer to every philosophical question can be stated simply as NO. as there simply is nothing further to say.

    Does any future topic OP have to have a standard indemnity statement that refers to the fact that every thing is illusion any way or do we assume that as a given and continue on regardless or do we just simply not bother to start conversations that end up dead before they start?
    afterall science and philosophy don't exist, not really, now do they?
    The criteria for mind independence and ellimination of truth by concensus are both totally useless as neither "mind" nor truth exist in any real form to begin with.
    Why is that the case ?
    Because we are accepting a notion as an objective truth that says this is the case.

    As described ages ago by Poster WesMorris in an incredible thread, the "Taoist Trap" of paradox is inescapable.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2010
  12. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    to summaries:

    The criteria for mind independence and elimination of truth by consensus are both totally useless as neither "mind" nor "truth" exist in any real form to begin with.
    So what on Earth is the purpose of having philosophical discussions apart from a form of mental masturbation, a verbal fantasy of dubious value?

    If one wishes to take a Gods perspective then everything must be an illusion of self creation. [ entirely self justified and therefore entirely subjective]
    However we are not "God" we are Human Beings, a creation as such, and objectivity is available to us as long as we refuse to take the God perspective and stick with the human one.
    So I believe that mixing the two perspectives up in a single conversation is an ontological error...
    I tried to point this out in my objectivity contruction using robots but obviously I failed to be clear.
    Possible a new thread is in order.
    "Possibly the reason God never talks to any one or does anything is simply because he knows it is all bull sh*t any way"
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2010
  13. thinking Banned Banned

    while I see the truth in what you say , I also disagree

    I would think that ALL the tools used by Humanity can be comparable to other beings in the Universe

    so the tools used are Universal
  14. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    But isn't it in effect saying that no sentient being could have less contraints than me or a knowledge process that could have another epistemology?

    OK, but then you logic may not apply to reality. One can set up consistent logical systems that do not apply. Once you are claiming that it must apply everywhere....Further I cannot see how there is no ontology. If all you are referring to is phenomenology - which to me seems like a category based on ideas about ontology - than you cannot know whether the ideas apply elsewhere.
    Thus...an ontological assumption.

    Here again, an ontological claim supported by empirical evidence.

    It seems to me that if you are extending your ideas to cover me - and everyone else on earth - 'know' must have to do with how 'things really are'.

    Ideas about perception would have claims about ontology.
    Ideas about all people would have claims about ontology.
    Ideas based on one's memory and how well these ideas have worked for one 'before' are implicitly drawing conclusions about ontology.

    To me there is a cake and eat it too argument going on here. Once you are making claims about what cannot be and what must be 'out there' you are making ontological claims. And we and others are 'out there' for you. I do not live inside your phenomenology, I assure you.

    I think, further, that when working out this kind of argument, one must check in with built up images of how the world is. We cannot simply strip all the words of their semantics, this is not a symbolic logic argument. That sense of how the world is - for example - perception (which for example is based on the idea that all perception is over distance and who knows this may not be the case) - is a welter of ontological claims. While each assertion may be focusing elsewhere, it is a meaningless argument without all the ontological claims implicit in it.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  15. thinking Banned Banned

    objective truths are not abstract to the primative brain
  16. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    Could you elaborate?
    I am not sure how a truth could avoid being abstract.
  17. thinking Banned Banned

    to the primative brain , all information , was brought in , from the without

    the direct enviroment in which the brain lived

    nothing " abstract " about the information at all
  18. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    Categories are abstractions. The future and past are abstractions. I am not sure how far back you are gong with 'primitive', but if they can speak they have lots of abstractions. What do you mean by 'primitive'?
  19. thinking Banned Banned

    100,000 yrs ago
  20. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member


    And that is why you fail.

    For some reason you've limited "value" to such an extent that it can only obtain to systems where some sort of definitive objectivity can be maintained.
    Come on, even post-Platonic Greeks recognized that this was an impossible feat. Descartes himself laid the coffin in this pipedream. And thus, we are left with induction...

    Again, a myopic view.
    Much can be done, and has been done, of great value, in the absence of anything remotely describable as 'objective'. If, as you argue, value is to be necessarily related to some objective notion, then you're correct, we can have no value.
    So either you're premiss is incorrect, or your definition of "value".
    Take your pick.
  21. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    Well, since oooh, about the time of Kant (so.. early 18th C.), it is certainly not to speak about, or even entertain any notions of 'getting at' what's 'really out there'.

    As to what the purpose of Philosophy might be, well, that's a matter of much debate these days (and another topic entirely).
    Myself, I'll go along with Wittgenstein in saying that its purpose is the clarification of our thoughts. On the opposite side, way out the way of the Continental tradition, even there you will find no mention of 'objectivity', or 'the way things really are'. Even more so than the Analytics, the Continentals are less concerned with what is as opposed to what appears.
  22. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member


    All it's saying is that, as far as I know, at best, such and such can be the case (or, more precisely: should be the case, if their experience is similar to mine). You know as well as I that we do go about making epistemological assumption about other all the time. But that practice doesn't require any ontological assumptions beyond the obvious: that those others exist.

    I never assumed any 'reality'.

    Which we do all the time. Any mathematical system, for example, is such a claim. Nonetheless, it works. It works, because we define the entire system. With our phenomenological environment, we cannot do that.

    Which is why it's not an ontological claim.

    I can see why you'd like to think of it as such, but the mistake is in granting a different sort of ontological status to thought-objects; thought-objects are not ontological, they're epistemological. You seem to be operating on an old school dualism, where every possible thought must have a correlate "independent entity" (ontological object). As long as one restricts oneself to not making claims of such sort, we can freely speak of limitations, and thus, only the epistemological.

    See my comments above.

    In analysis, there is little need for ontological assumptions (such as you're using the term). If, as above, you're going to introduce the necessity of an ontological factor in ideas, perception, et.al., then, as history has shown, you're going to have a rough time. If everything presumes some sort of ontological claim, then you're going to have to re-define what "ontological" means.
    As it stands, it seems like you're interpreting "ontological" to necessarily mean something akin to "objective". But this is simply not the case; ontology refers not to what is, but rather to an organizational scheme (in what follows, note the utter lack of "reality" or "objective"):

    Philosophy Pages Dictionary: Ontology


    Branch of metaphysics concerned with identifying, in the most general terms, the kinds of things that actually exist. Thus, the "ontological commitments" of a philosophical position include both its explicit assertions and its implicit presuppositions about the existence of entities, substances, or beings of particular kinds. ​

    Philosophical Dictionary: Ontology


    Study of what there is, in particular: Theory of the fundamental kinds of things there are.

    These fundamental kinds have been called "categories" ever since Aristotle, who used the term in the sense of "most general predicates".

    One basic ontology is natural realism.​

    Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy:

    ontological commitment:

    Commitment to the existence of something. According to Quine, we are ontologically committed to the values our variables must take in order for the properly regimented version of our theories to be true. It is also important to maintain a 'taste for desert landscapes', or in other words to conform to Ockham's razor, and avoiding inflating our ontologies.

    We can make claims about what is, or is not 'out there', as long as we don't make use of ontological classification in the way in which you're using it. What's the ontological status of a fictive character?? This is precisely why we can indeed strip arguments down to their logical and semantical structure, and correctly make statements and conclusions.

    As for comparing your and my differing phenomenological experience, of course we can only experience as we each do, but that doesn't mean that we cannot converse. It is the fact that we can converse effectively that lends credence to the notion that, in any correct sense of the term "objective", it is we who determine what it is to be, and that it need not refer to any 'god's eye POV' notion that is both impossible to define, let alone to practice. "Objective" is a result (ontologically speaking...).
  23. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    and with a comment like that one I surrender to my success...
    and the act of necromancy not only applies to my old thread topics either... Kant and the other guys have been dead for years....
    the obvious issue that has emmerged regarding this thread is that you must accept an objective truth to state that objective truth is unavailable.
    Do you dispute this?

    if so please explain why you do and please do not practice necromancy...in you own words would be nice...

    and again I surrender to my success!
    what does no value mean?
    Exactly what I said with regards to some purile, futile, mental mastrurbation premised on a reality that doesn't exist except as a dream of "wanna be Gods".

    I reject the objective truth that you have subscribed to because I happen to believe or dare I say KNOW that none has been proven either way.
    and whats more I would almost guarantee that if any past philosopher of note were alive today they would say exactly the same thing.

    ah ha! a new thread topic dawns to help market Sciforums search engine listings....
    Objective truth accepted by proxy...
    sounds good.... waddoyareckon? [Aussie speech impediment!]

    waits for dwyddr to rock on in with his irrational interjections as usual.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010

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