Objective truths?

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

  1. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    No, not just to me, but to the entirety of the history of philosophy (and mathematics as well).

    See, that's not truth. What you describe here is properly called "fact".
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  3. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member


    Yes, and since Kant, all philosophers have agreed that this notion of noumenon is untenable.

    No, that would be called "identity".

    Equivocation, as well as non sequitur.


    If you're going to insist on using your own personal definitions of terminology in here, I strongly advise you to make that explicit form the beginning.
    If you elect not to do this, then I'll have to move your threads to Pseudoscience.
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  5. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    eh...ok..fair enough...
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  7. aarts Registered Member

    Quantum Quack- two points. First in the Preamble:"While there is no universally accepted articulation of objectivity, a proposition is generally considered to be objectively true when its truth conditions are "mind-independent"— ".
    This articulation is not a definition of objectivity but rather a tenet of objectivism. Objectivity and objectivism are not the same thing. Therein lies the category mistake. Objectivism is a species of objectivity.

    Second, in the conclusion: "The definition of Objective Truth that I am using is:
    An event or lack of event that can be indepentantly (sic) assessed/confirmed as true as opposed to "False" by a universal population of observers." This is nothing more than an articulation of intersubjectivity, or truth by agreement. This is fine, but who executes the independent confirmation? An Ideal Observer? God? and how do you explain this power without falling into an infinite regress in maintaining this entity's independence (holding it in exclusion of the universal population)? In other words, the consensus of the universal population is mind-dependent but the knowing of the confirmer is...?
    This transition in the argument is a leap.

    The "ration-al" doesn't provide any validity. The leap occurs here as well moving from the universal substance to the particular "Man". The "edit" does not suffice, or I should say, suffices only if the move is from universal to a particular. But you try to move back to the universal by stating it is a "poser" as if it universally represents "substance", or "matter"

    I submit that in your summary "A man can not pass through a wall with out undergoing re-integration or change" assumes that the mathematical point must concede extension (the distance between two points and ultimately finite particles) and may therefore be mind-dependent. We do not know that something cannot come from nothing. We do not know that a point is not at some time, true to its definition, a non-extended object. The leap in the argument is nothing new and it has no effect on the objective-subjective dichotomy because it is the same old argument that has been tossed around for centuries.

    You should probably ask "Do I think creationism is fantasy", and "does man have a soul"? Even the proclamation that "the only objective truths are the (current) laws of physics" is suspect because the laws have not stated the truth or falsity of that which we, in Kantian fashion, assume in order to cope with daily tasks at hand; that there is always a point in time and there was one before it.
  8. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Nice post...thanks

    So you feel that mind independancy is unable to made irrelevant in any context or by any means?
  9. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    Oh, sometimes the most upsetting thing you do is agree with me.

    In any case. I needed to take a little break from this so I could come at it with fresh eyes. But I realized, off alone mulling, that there was something ironic about our communication.

    My interpretation is that you speak focusing on saying what fits your experience and evaluate it in terms of your own epistemology and experience. God, it seems so obviously the only way to speak/write put like that. But here's the odd thing - if you are speaking to someone else this internal focus - I realize you are not asserting there is an external - makes those same words problematic for another subjectivity, especially if they refer to that other subjectivity - refer directly or implicitly.

    Me, I am writing often to bridge, often working within, as much as I can, the other person's world view, often trying to undermine it. Or I am working from here to over there.

    The irony: my method presumes distance. Note my verb 'bridge'. I am bridging a gap. So the form of my communication assumes distance, while I was challenging the notion of distance or at least certainties that it existed. I think the irony is double because your solipsistic approach - in this limited sense of solipsism - essentially ignores distance in communication. You speak as if we were the same. Even more, you speak as if we were one in some way. It also evades the subject object split, at least in the usual sense. Ontology is a whole nother ballgame since, in a way, you do not need consensus. You are consensus.

    I will continue my break and come back and respond to the rest. I found this very interesting. I have rarely gotten such and outside perspective on my own communication from someone with the same native language - though you are Canadian, perhaps that's the cause of it all. Long winters, cabin fever, solipsistic epistemologies may correlate at least if not more.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2010
  10. Votorx Still egotistic... Valued Senior Member

    I apologize if what I'm about to say has already been covered. It may also be irrelevant to the point Quantum Quack is trying to make.

    What do you mean by "un/changed"? If you're being literal, the structure of the wall (and the person) are constantly changing. The reason I make this distinction is because, in your example, change is time-independant. We need to assume that by "change" you're referring to a macro-perspective where we consider things such as chemistry and the person aging as negligible (or not within your definition). At this point, we've already made too many assumptions for me to consider this objectively "true".

    But lets not be so literal. This present a new problem. What tools are we using now other than our own perception? Where will that get us? Sure, we call stand in front of a brick wall and all agree that trying to pass through the wall would cause damage, but that's a conclusion we reach with very limited knowledge about the universe around us. What if there was a hidden passage through the wall none of the observers could see? For all we know, there may be a means to which we can pass through solid objects unscathed, we just haven't discovered how.

    The problem about "truth" is what we consider "true" is based on the collective knowledge available during the time period and the knowledge available in the minds of the individuals trying to distinguish what is true and what isn't. The mind itself is not perfect, and our knowledge of the universe is far from complete. Because of this we MUST treat truth as if it's always subjective in order to be as accurate as possible.

    Please note I did not say that truth cannot be objective, but with the tools available at the moment, we cannot say something is objectively true with certainty.

    Tell me to run through a solid brick wall without damaging myself (or the wall) I'll say its impossible. Tell me to build a car from scratch and I'll say it's impossible. I have about as much knowledge of passing through walls unscathed as I do about building automobiles from scrap metal.
  11. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    nice post and thanks for taking the time to do so...
    unfortunately there is not much I can say as discussion about the mind dependency issue appears to have been diverted to philosophical semantics.
    There has been for me at least one fabulous outcome and that is a phrase I can use in one of the books I am writing:

    "I stand eternally censored, muted by the insane indifference to that which benefits most"

    Which I feel will be of some use when describing attitudes and approaches such as highlighted in this thread.

    Philosophy, to me has little to do with philosophy but only that which we study and observe. The philosophy of philosophy has become the main issue in this thread, which is I guess what the topic was about any way.

    If an event was proved to be impossible, aka: a man deliberately attempting to pass through a brick wall unchanged then I would suggest that regardless of philosophical semantics the man was simply unable to pass through the brick wall.
    And given the same circumstances to all who attempted to do so the result would be the same.
    This is regardless of mind dependency, rendering mind dependency as irrelevant [note the distinction between irrelevant and redundant]
    For it matters not what the man thinks about his situation or believes or knows the FACT remains that he can not pass through the wall unchanged and the truth of the fact is evidenced by the reality of the situation.
    So we can wrap it up any how we like in semantics and verbiage with rules etc we still have the FACT to deal with.

    The thread was about how the mind dependency issue could possibly be resolved.
    As yet there has been no argument to say it hasn't only argument to say I haven't expressed it correctly and efforts to point out how deficient my language use and knowledge of the rules of philosophy is.

    For example: How does Kant deal with a situation like the one described and why is it the mans failure is still deemed to be mind Dependant?
    What premises and presumptions are being made to state that objectivity whether that be fact or truth is unavailable?
    Are these not valid questions to ask?
    As I have no reason, in the main, to believe my perception to be anything other than objective....
    Why should I believe that objectivity is unavailable?
    these sorts of questions is what this thread was primarilly about.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2010
  12. Votorx Still egotistic... Valued Senior Member

    I'm sorry, maybe I was unclear in the original post, or I may still be misunderstanding your point. I will try to be more direct.

    I completely agree with you. That is, to my current knowledge, a man cannot pass through a solid object. Unfortunately I cannot say this is absolutely true with certainty. I consider this way of thinking...more of an acceptance that I know very little about the universe around me, and an understanding that what seems certainly true today, may become irrefutably false tomorrow (or vice versa for that matter).

    I have to risk sounding redundant but this is true... at the moment. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe objective truth should not be time-dependent. If the situation is ever possible, whether it be in the distant future, then it was always possible, regardless of what's known or capable at the time. This, I believe is an example of what is meant by mind-independent. I hope I was able to portray how we cannot know that, at this time , passing through a brick wall is impossible with certainty.

    The problem is our entire reality is completely dependent on our mind. We obtain all our information through our very flawed senses. We developed tools in order to 1. Make observations more precise and 2. Shift our reliance on observing the universe to something that is more objectively true.

    But then the reason why we cannot say that these machines produce information that is "Objectively true with certainty" because it's still designed by our mind, we've been unsuccessful in producing a perfectly efficient machine, etc..

    But that's not what you want to hear. How can mind dependency be resolved? I don't think it's as hard as many people make it out to be. Taking the same scenario we can deduce two very simple things. It's impossible for a person to pass through a brick wall or it's possible. One of these two possibilities is objectively true. That's probably about as close as you're going to get to objectivity. We are incapable of deducing which one it is, but can, with certainty, know that there are only these two possibilities and therefore one must be objectivity true if we can only know that which is subjectively true. I hope that makes sense to you.

    Maybe we can reach objective truth when our understanding of the universe transcends our own mind, but unfortunately there seems to be no room for enlightenment in science.
  13. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Thanks for you response, and we have much in agreement.
    something worth considering I feel is:

    A "fact" does not have to be repeatable to be a fact.
    For example maybe the man could not pass though the wall open the first attempt but tried again 10 years later and suuceeded does this later event alter the prior...Not as far as I can tell. Fact is he couldn't ten year earlier.

    So therefore a "transient" or passing fact or truth is not dependent on repeatability nor is it dependent on predictability, however a long term fact or truth is, of course...
  14. Votorx Still egotistic... Valued Senior Member

    Sure, but when discussing objectivity/subjectivity, what is the relevance of this "transient fact"? I suppose I can refer to it as a subjective truth, but I hope I was able to properly portray why such an idea could not be considered objective.
  15. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    Trust me Vortox, a number of us have tried to communicate this as well.
  16. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member


    You use the term "semantics" dismissively, as if semantics is of little use.
    You are wrong in this. As Wittgenstein noted, philosophy is primarily about the clarification of our thoughts, through words.
    You would do well not to confuse semantics with sophistry.

    Incorrect again.
    The particular focus on what we "study and observe" would be called Science.
    Philosophy has no such restriction in scope. It is however, just as much a product of its history as Science, and as such, conceptually contingent upon that history.

    See above.
    Until you're prepared to actually deal with all arguments and criticisms that were brought to light by philosophers from Descartes up to the Phenomenologists, not only can you not resolve the mind-dependency issue, you can't even understand what it is that is at issue.
    Numerous of these arguments have indeed been raised, to which your responses have been, for the most part nothing but evasions.

    They are legitimate questions, but not valid.

    On the one hand, the concept "truth" cannot legitimately be applied to the concept "objectivity. Again with the Category Mistake.

    On the other hand, though the appellation "fact" may indeed be applied to the concept "objectivity", your definition (sic) of "objectivity" seems to differ from that to which the appellation "fact" would apply....

    Given the near incomprehensibility of this statement, I can only draw two conclusions.
    One, you're using the terms "perception" and "objective" in utterly non-standard ways.
    Two, you are insane.
  17. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Define Insane please.... .. for the record...
    please justify your opinion in a way that does not indeed indicate you to be more insane than I....
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2010
  18. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    ideas are only ideas ...what does an idea have to do with the fact that a man failed to pass through a wall?
    a bit like asking King Louis XVI [ French revolution] how can he think if he hasn't got a head?
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2010
  19. Votorx Still egotistic... Valued Senior Member

    It was I who was asking you about the relevance, that is something I can't answer.

    Then shall I take it you don't have an imagination?
  20. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    please define your use of terms first and then we may dicuss the relevance.

    The OP has a few definitions present possibly you may have a look there....

    I have even highlight the key words...

    If you require defintions of those key words as Glaucon seems to need let me know...

    The proposition:
    a man can not by force of will pass through a brick wall with out changes to the wall or himself.

    Can this be articulated as being mind independant or at least make the mind indendency criteria irrelevant?

    So far, after 5 pages and nearly 100 posts, the answer has been contingent upon the use of the word "true"
    and this I find quite reasonable as a contra....
    according to philosophical semantics [ science ] which of course has no bearing on the actual act of passing through a wall unchanged and is only our attempt to articulate it in a way that is acceptable to current philosophical thought and opinion.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2010
  21. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    and..so, your point is?
  22. Votorx Still egotistic... Valued Senior Member

    Quantum Quack, I believe I've addressed that question in both of my original posts. I even made it a point to differentiate between objectivity and mind-dependency in my second post. I implore you to re-read my posts and address my points more directly so that we may continue this discussion.

    I hope I don't offend but did you actually read my entire post? Semantics is not the issue, in fact I've been trying to use your definition the entire time. I'm sorry if I still don't understand what you mean by objectivity/subjectivity/true/fact/etc. What words would you rather I use? and how would you like me to use them? Is it possible that it is you who is caught up in the semantics and not I?
  23. Votorx Still egotistic... Valued Senior Member

    I can't have a point if I don't understand yours.

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