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Jeff Ricks:
Itinerant:
Jeff Ricks:

 

son of perdition:

Abstractions and mental constructs exist in their own reality.  We can discuss the nature of their reality but it is incorrect to say they don't exsist.  Maybe Plato's forms would shed some light on this matter.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_Forms

 

 

Son of perdition, thanks for the link! I agree that Plato's theory of forms is applicable, and in some ways perhaps central, to our discussion. 



 

I much prefer Aristotle's empirically-based metaphysics, where forms exist as part of the material objects themselves, rather than floating about abstractly and non-materially in some undetectable "third realm" (neither physically existing nor residing solely in our minds).  To Aristotle, our minds perceive the forms when we contemplate material objects; abstractions (e.g. 'chairness' per se) are mental constructs, not freely-existing entities as per Plato. 

 

[  ]  I'm not sure that Plato means that.  While I'm learning as I'm going I'm leaning toward Aristotle's view, but I also have to consider numbers.  For instance, does the number 2 need material representation to exist?  Or is there an inherent "two-ness" that's an eternal principle, regardless of whether intelligent being exist?  Yes, to perceive "two-ness" requires an intelligence to perceive it, but does it's existence depend on intelligence?

 

Likewise, is there an inherent "chair-ness" or "Jeff Ricks-ness" that exists, regardless of whether chairs or Jeff Ricks exists?  

 

 

 

I think the difference between Plato and Aristotle pertains to the issue of whether forms (e.g., "Jeff Ricks-ness") are eternal and exist independently of both mind and matter.  I understand Plato to say yes while Aristotle says no. 

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Itinerant:
Jeff Ricks:
Itinerant:
Jeff Ricks:

 

son of perdition:

Abstractions and mental constructs exist in their own reality.  We can discuss the nature of their reality but it is incorrect to say they don't exsist.  Maybe Plato's forms would shed some light on this matter.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_Forms

 

 

Son of perdition, thanks for the link! I agree that Plato's theory of forms is applicable, and in some ways perhaps central, to our discussion. 



 

I much prefer Aristotle's empirically-based metaphysics, where forms exist as part of the material objects themselves, rather than floating about abstractly and non-materially in some undetectable "third realm" (neither physically existing nor residing solely in our minds).  To Aristotle, our minds perceive the forms when we contemplate material objects; abstractions (e.g. 'chairness' per se) are mental constructs, not freely-existing entities as per Plato. 

 

[  ]  I'm not sure that Plato means that.  While I'm learning as I'm going I'm leaning toward Aristotle's view, but I also have to consider numbers.  For instance, does the number 2 need material representation to exist?  Or is there an inherent "two-ness" that's an eternal principle, regardless of whether intelligent being exist?  Yes, to perceive "two-ness" requires an intelligence to perceive it, but does it's existence depend on intelligence?

 

Likewise, is there an inherent "chair-ness" or "Jeff Ricks-ness" that exists, regardless of whether chairs or Jeff Ricks exists?  

 

 

 

I think the difference between Plato and Aristotle pertains to the issue of whether forms (e.g., "Jeff Ricks-ness") are eternal and exist independently of both mind and matter.  I understand Plato to say yes while Aristotle says no. 

 

 I think I'm with Aristotle on this one.  "Chair-ness" is purely a creation of the human mind.

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  Brad (ZeeZrom):
Itinerant:
...

I think the difference between Plato and Aristotle pertains to the issue of whether forms (e.g., "Jeff Ricks-ness") are eternal and exist independently of both mind and matter.  I understand Plato to say yes while Aristotle says no. 

 

 I think I'm with Aristotle on this one.  "Chair-ness" is purely a creation of the human mind.

 

 What about "two-ness" Brad?  Same thing?

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Brad (ZeeZrom):
Itinerant:
Jeff Ricks:
Itinerant:
Jeff Ricks:

 

son of perdition:

Abstractions and mental constructs exist in their own reality.  We can discuss the nature of their reality but it is incorrect to say they don't exsist.  Maybe Plato's forms would shed some light on this matter.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_Forms

 

 

Son of perdition, thanks for the link! I agree that Plato's theory of forms is applicable, and in some ways perhaps central, to our discussion. 



 

I much prefer Aristotle's empirically-based metaphysics, where forms exist as part of the material objects themselves, rather than floating about abstractly and non-materially in some undetectable "third realm" (neither physically existing nor residing solely in our minds).  To Aristotle, our minds perceive the forms when we contemplate material objects; abstractions (e.g. 'chairness' per se) are mental constructs, not freely-existing entities as per Plato. 

 

[  ]  I'm not sure that Plato means that.  While I'm learning as I'm going I'm leaning toward Aristotle's view, but I also have to consider numbers.  For instance, does the number 2 need material representation to exist?  Or is there an inherent "two-ness" that's an eternal principle, regardless of whether intelligent being exist?  Yes, to perceive "two-ness" requires an intelligence to perceive it, but does it's existence depend on intelligence?

 

Likewise, is there an inherent "chair-ness" or "Jeff Ricks-ness" that exists, regardless of whether chairs or Jeff Ricks exists?  

 

 

 

I think the difference between Plato and Aristotle pertains to the issue of whether forms (e.g., "Jeff Ricks-ness") are eternal and exist independently of both mind and matter.  I understand Plato to say yes while Aristotle says no. 

 

 I think I'm with Aristotle on this one.  "Chair-ness" is purely a creation of the human mind.

 

Also, my friend, if you're going to take a stand one way or the other, I'd sure appreciate the inclusion of a reason for taking the particular stand.  Perhaps you don't have time for that now, in which case is understandable.

 

 

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Jeff Ricks:

  Brad (ZeeZrom):
Itinerant:
...

I think the difference between Plato and Aristotle pertains to the issue of whether forms (e.g., "Jeff Ricks-ness") are eternal and exist independently of both mind and matter.  I understand Plato to say yes while Aristotle says no. 

 

 I think I'm with Aristotle on this one.  "Chair-ness" is purely a creation of the human mind.

 

 What about "two-ness" Brad?  Same thing?

 

 Yes.

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Jeff Ricks:
Brad (ZeeZrom):
Itinerant:
Jeff Ricks:
Itinerant:
Jeff Ricks:

 

son of perdition:

Abstractions and mental constructs exist in their own reality.  We can discuss the nature of their reality but it is incorrect to say they don't exsist.  Maybe Plato's forms would shed some light on this matter.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_Forms

 

 

Son of perdition, thanks for the link! I agree that Plato's theory of forms is applicable, and in some ways perhaps central, to our discussion. 



 

I much prefer Aristotle's empirically-based metaphysics, where forms exist as part of the material objects themselves, rather than floating about abstractly and non-materially in some undetectable "third realm" (neither physically existing nor residing solely in our minds).  To Aristotle, our minds perceive the forms when we contemplate material objects; abstractions (e.g. 'chairness' per se) are mental constructs, not freely-existing entities as per Plato. 

 

[  ]  I'm not sure that Plato means that.  While I'm learning as I'm going I'm leaning toward Aristotle's view, but I also have to consider numbers.  For instance, does the number 2 need material representation to exist?  Or is there an inherent "two-ness" that's an eternal principle, regardless of whether intelligent being exist?  Yes, to perceive "two-ness" requires an intelligence to perceive it, but does it's existence depend on intelligence?

 

Likewise, is there an inherent "chair-ness" or "Jeff Ricks-ness" that exists, regardless of whether chairs or Jeff Ricks exists?  

 

 

 

I think the difference between Plato and Aristotle pertains to the issue of whether forms (e.g., "Jeff Ricks-ness") are eternal and exist independently of both mind and matter.  I understand Plato to say yes while Aristotle says no. 

 

 I think I'm with Aristotle on this one.  "Chair-ness" is purely a creation of the human mind.

 

Also, my friend, if you're going to take a stand one way or the other, I'd sure appreciate the inclusion of a reason for taking the particular stand.  Perhaps you don't have time for that now, in which case is understandable.

 

 

 

 I agree.  That's why I said "I think..."  I'm think through the whole issue.  There is something that is bothering me about how we are talking about thinking, but I'm having trouble figuring it out and articulating it.  I think, in part, it's related to the burden of proof.  I know that "two" exists in my mind so I can think about it.  I know my coffee table exists outside my mind because I can bruise my shin on it.  What reason would I have for concluding that there is a thing called "twoness" that exists outside my mind?

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Phillip K. Dick

 
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Itinerant:
Jeff Ricks:

 

son of perdition:

Abstractions and mental constructs exist in their own reality.  We can discuss the nature of their reality but it is incorrect to say they don't exsist.  Maybe Plato's forms would shed some light on this matter.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_Forms

 

 

Son of perdition, thanks for the link! I agree that Plato's theory of forms is applicable, and in some ways perhaps central, to our discussion. 



 

I much prefer Aristotle's empirically-based metaphysics, where forms exist as part of the material objects themselves, rather than floating about abstractly and non-materially in some undetectable "third realm" (neither physically existing nor residing solely in our minds).  To Aristotle, our minds perceive the forms when we contemplate material objects; abstractions (e.g. 'chairness' per se) are mental constructs, not freely-existing entities as per Plato. 

 

 I'm still struggling with this notion of forms.  My first reaction, I guess like Artistotle's, was to treat forms as not existing because it made more sense to consider forms a part or aspect of the material things themselves.  However, I was concerned that doing so at an early stage of the argument would simply rule out the possible existence of the immaterial without any real justification for doing so.  I'm not sure that, at the end of the day, my personal conclusion won't be that our new third category really belongs in "things that don't exist"

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Phillip K. Dick

 
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Itinerant:
Jeff Ricks:
Brad (ZeeZrom):
Jeff Ricks:

Brad, I also think we need an additional category called, "exists as objects of thought" because some things that exist as objects of thought can also have a material counterpart, which means that "exists only as objects of thought" excludes such objects.

 

To clarify what I mean consider that the abstract concept, Abraham Lincoln, presently exists only as an object of thought, but when he was alive there was also a material counterpart.  The abstract concept didn't come into existence when he died, it came into existence when he was born and continues today.  When he was alive the abstract concept and the material counterpart existed concurrently  Agreed?

 

 

 

 I don't agree (yet).  The concept of "counterpart" is new, I think.  Let me think about that for a bit.

If we agree that thoughts exist, then I think we have to agree that thoughts about a thing that exists materially, and the thing itself, exist concurrently.  

 

I would say that "coffee table" "dining room table" and "numbers" exist only as the object of thoughts.  Without human thought, they have no existence at all. 

Without human (intelligent) thought, then yes, they have no existence.  This is similar to the statement, "With a universe, the contents of the universe have no existence."

 

 

 

Just so I understand, you're distinguishing between "objects of thought" and "the material thing the object of thought is about".  You and Brad are only saying that the former do not exist without human (intelligent) thought.  The latter (e.g. the actual, materially-existing coffee table in my living room) will continue to exist regardless of whether every human being suddenly winks out of existence.  Correct? 

 

 I think that's correct.

 

I'm having trouble with how to think about thinking.  We're saying that thinking involves two things -- a "thought" and and "object of a thought"  But I keep flipping back and forth as to whether the disctinction is really valid.  Here's what I'm thinking (inspired by Jeff's notion of "experience")

 

There is a material thing called "Brad Hudson's Body."  When it moves in a particular way, we attach the verb "walking."  When it moves in a different way, we call it "running,"  when it moves in a different way, we call it "gasping for breath becuase Brad's body is really out of shape."  

 

I'm tempted to say that "walking" and "running" and "gasping" don't exist, as they are merely labels we attach to certain kinds of physical activity.   Or, if they exist, they exist only as a mental construct.

 

Likewise with "thinking."   Rather than talk about "thought" and "object of a thought," should we instead be using "thinking" and "the object of thinking."  The difference, of course, is that the former results in two "things," while the latter only one.

 

Jeff, when you talked earlier about the concept that verbs are actually more important than nouns, is this the kind of stuff you were getting at? 

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Phillip K. Dick

 
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Brad (ZeeZrom):
Jeff Ricks:
Brad (ZeeZrom):
Itinerant:
Jeff Ricks:
Itinerant:
Jeff Ricks:

 

son of perdition:

Abstractions and mental constructs exist in their own reality.  We can discuss the nature of their reality but it is incorrect to say they don't exsist.  Maybe Plato's forms would shed some light on this matter.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_Forms

 

 

Son of perdition, thanks for the link! I agree that Plato's theory of forms is applicable, and in some ways perhaps central, to our discussion. 



 

I much prefer Aristotle's empirically-based metaphysics, where forms exist as part of the material objects themselves, rather than floating about abstractly and non-materially in some undetectable "third realm" (neither physically existing nor residing solely in our minds).  To Aristotle, our minds perceive the forms when we contemplate material objects; abstractions (e.g. 'chairness' per se) are mental constructs, not freely-existing entities as per Plato. 

 

[  ]  I'm not sure that Plato means that.  While I'm learning as I'm going I'm leaning toward Aristotle's view, but I also have to consider numbers.  For instance, does the number 2 need material representation to exist?  Or is there an inherent "two-ness" that's an eternal principle, regardless of whether intelligent being exist?  Yes, to perceive "two-ness" requires an intelligence to perceive it, but does it's existence depend on intelligence?

 

Likewise, is there an inherent "chair-ness" or "Jeff Ricks-ness" that exists, regardless of whether chairs or Jeff Ricks exists?  

 

 

 

I think the difference between Plato and Aristotle pertains to the issue of whether forms (e.g., "Jeff Ricks-ness") are eternal and exist independently of both mind and matter.  I understand Plato to say yes while Aristotle says no. 

 

 I think I'm with Aristotle on this one.  "Chair-ness" is purely a creation of the human mind.

 

Also, my friend, if you're going to take a stand one way or the other, I'd sure appreciate the inclusion of a reason for taking the particular stand.  Perhaps you don't have time for that now, in which case is understandable.

 

 

 

 I agree.  That's why I said "I think..."  I'm think through the whole issue.  There is something that is bothering me about how we are talking about thinking, but I'm having trouble figuring it out and articulating it.  I think, in part, it's related to the burden of proof.  I know that "two" exists in my mind so I can think about it.  I know my coffee table exists outside my mind because I can bruise my shin on it.  What reason would I have for concluding that there is a thing called "twoness" that exists outside my mind?

 

My response to that is that regardless of what we might call it (two, dos, deux, peanut butter, etc.) what gives it the characteristics of two (one, plus another one), as opposed to having the characteristics of one, or nine, is 'self-defined' for lack of a better word (maybe, "inherent" is a better word).  No humans are needed to imbue it with the characteristics of 'two' (its "two-ness"), only to recognize it.  

 

This is somewhat comparable to our agreed conclusion that no humans are needed to imbue an undiscovered, but existing planet, with existence.  It's characteristic of existing is inherent.  

 

 

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Jeff Ricks:
Brad (ZeeZrom):
Jeff Ricks:
Brad (ZeeZrom):
Itinerant:
Jeff Ricks:
Itinerant:
Jeff Ricks:

 

son of perdition:

Abstractions and mental constructs exist in their own reality.  We can discuss the nature of their reality but it is incorrect to say they don't exsist.  Maybe Plato's forms would shed some light on this matter.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_Forms

 

 

Son of perdition, thanks for the link! I agree that Plato's theory of forms is applicable, and in some ways perhaps central, to our discussion. 



 

I much prefer Aristotle's empirically-based metaphysics, where forms exist as part of the material objects themselves, rather than floating about abstractly and non-materially in some undetectable "third realm" (neither physically existing nor residing solely in our minds).  To Aristotle, our minds perceive the forms when we contemplate material objects; abstractions (e.g. 'chairness' per se) are mental constructs, not freely-existing entities as per Plato. 

 

[  ]  I'm not sure that Plato means that.  While I'm learning as I'm going I'm leaning toward Aristotle's view, but I also have to consider numbers.  For instance, does the number 2 need material representation to exist?  Or is there an inherent "two-ness" that's an eternal principle, regardless of whether intelligent being exist?  Yes, to perceive "two-ness" requires an intelligence to perceive it, but does it's existence depend on intelligence?

 

Likewise, is there an inherent "chair-ness" or "Jeff Ricks-ness" that exists, regardless of whether chairs or Jeff Ricks exists?  

 

 

 

I think the difference between Plato and Aristotle pertains to the issue of whether forms (e.g., "Jeff Ricks-ness") are eternal and exist independently of both mind and matter.  I understand Plato to say yes while Aristotle says no. 

 

 I think I'm with Aristotle on this one.  "Chair-ness" is purely a creation of the human mind.

 

Also, my friend, if you're going to take a stand one way or the other, I'd sure appreciate the inclusion of a reason for taking the particular stand.  Perhaps you don't have time for that now, in which case is understandable.

 

 

 

 I agree.  That's why I said "I think..."  I'm think through the whole issue.  There is something that is bothering me about how we are talking about thinking, but I'm having trouble figuring it out and articulating it.  I think, in part, it's related to the burden of proof.  I know that "two" exists in my mind so I can think about it.  I know my coffee table exists outside my mind because I can bruise my shin on it.  What reason would I have for concluding that there is a thing called "twoness" that exists outside my mind?

 

My response to that is that regardless of what we might call it (two, dos, deux, peanut butter, etc.) what gives it the characteristics of two (one, plus another one), as opposed to having the characteristics of one, or nine, is 'self-defined' for lack of a better word (maybe, "inherent" is a better word).  No humans are needed to imbue it with the characteristics of 'two' (its "two-ness"), only to recognize it.  

 

This is somewhat comparable to our agreed conclusion that no humans are needed to imbue an undiscovered, but existing planet, with existence.  It's characteristic of existing is inherent.  

 

 

 

Well, this may be the fundamental point of departure between you and me.  I'll have to noodle it some more.  

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Brad (ZeeZrom):
Itinerant:
Jeff Ricks:
Brad (ZeeZrom):
Jeff Ricks:

Brad, I also think we need an additional category called, "exists as objects of thought" because some things that exist as objects of thought can also have a material counterpart, which means that "exists only as objects of thought" excludes such objects.

 

To clarify what I mean consider that the abstract concept, Abraham Lincoln, presently exists only as an object of thought, but when he was alive there was also a material counterpart.  The abstract concept didn't come into existence when he died, it came into existence when he was born and continues today.  When he was alive the abstract concept and the material counterpart existed concurrently  Agreed?

 

 

 

 I don't agree (yet).  The concept of "counterpart" is new, I think.  Let me think about that for a bit.

If we agree that thoughts exist, then I think we have to agree that thoughts about a thing that exists materially, and the thing itself, exist concurrently.  

 

I would say that "coffee table" "dining room table" and "numbers" exist only as the object of thoughts.  Without human thought, they have no existence at all. 

Without human (intelligent) thought, then yes, they have no existence.  This is similar to the statement, "With a universe, the contents of the universe have no existence."

 

 

 

Just so I understand, you're distinguishing between "objects of thought" and "the material thing the object of thought is about".  You and Brad are only saying that the former do not exist without human (intelligent) thought.  The latter (e.g. the actual, materially-existing coffee table in my living room) will continue to exist regardless of whether every human being suddenly winks out of existence.  Correct? 

 

 I think that's correct.

 

I'm having trouble with how to think about thinking.  We're saying that thinking involves two things -- a "thought" and and "object of a thought"  But I keep flipping back and forth as to whether the disctinction is really valid.  Here's what I'm thinking (inspired by Jeff's notion of "experience")

 

There is a material thing called "Brad Hudson's Body."  When it moves in a particular way, we attach the verb "walking."  When it moves in a different way, we call it "running,"  when it moves in a different way, we call it "gasping for breath becuase Brad's body is really out of shape."  

 

 That made me chuckle.  I know the feeling! 


I'm tempted to say that "walking" and "running" and "gasping" don't exist, as they are merely labels we attach to certain kinds of physical activity.   Or, if they exist, they exist only as a mental construct.

 

Likewise with "thinking."   Rather than talk about "thought" and "object of a thought," should we instead be using "thinking" and "the object of thinking."  The difference, of course, is that the former results in two "things," while the latter only one.

Jeff, when you talked earlier about the concept that verbs are actually more important than nouns, is this the kind of stuff you were getting at? 

 

Yes, I believe it is.  I'm not quite sure that I'm dialed into your perspective on the above yet, but if I am then it occurs to me that rather than framing the question, "Does it exist?" perhaps  we should frame it as something like, "Is it happening?"  This shift in terminology is along the lines of what David Bohm proposes and is why he postulates that our problem with understanding the universe stems from our choice to divide up the universe into things, when there are no things, only "happenings."  I still struggle with shifting to Bohm's perspective without shifting immediately back.  It reminds me of this illustration that is both a beautiful woman and an ugly hag depending on how you see it.  It's like our conversation, that from one perspective it's elegant and beautiful (what Bohm calles the "Implicate Order") and from the other it's troublesome (what Bohm calls, hopelessly fragmented).

 

[ETA: Some edits for clarification] 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I should clarify that from Bohm's perspective, the subject of our conversation, not specifically OUR conversation, is troublesome from one perspective, and is elegant and beautiful from the other.
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Brad (ZeeZrom):
Itinerant:
Jeff Ricks:

 

son of perdition:

Abstractions and mental constructs exist in their own reality.  We can discuss the nature of their reality but it is incorrect to say they don't exsist.  Maybe Plato's forms would shed some light on this matter.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_Forms

 

 

Son of perdition, thanks for the link! I agree that Plato's theory of forms is applicable, and in some ways perhaps central, to our discussion. 



 

I much prefer Aristotle's empirically-based metaphysics, where forms exist as part of the material objects themselves, rather than floating about abstractly and non-materially in some undetectable "third realm" (neither physically existing nor residing solely in our minds).  To Aristotle, our minds perceive the forms when we contemplate material objects; abstractions (e.g. 'chairness' per se) are mental constructs, not freely-existing entities as per Plato. 

 

 I'm still struggling with this notion of forms.  My first reaction, I guess like Artistotle's, was to treat forms as not existing because it made more sense to consider forms a part or aspect of the material things themselves.  However, I was concerned that doing so at an early stage of the argument would simply rule out the possible existence of the immaterial without any real justification for doing so.  I'm not sure that, at the end of the day, my personal conclusion won't be that our new third category really belongs in "things that don't exist"

 

 I think I agree with this view but, just to muddy the water further, philosophers have distinguished between immaterial concepts that come into existence only when a thinker thinks them into existence (e.g., the first time someone imagined a unicorn or a horseless carriage) and eternal, immaterial concepts that that are "discovered" whenever a thinker emerges to discover them (e.g. math concepts such as 2+2=4).  Plato considered his forms (e.g. "Jeff Ricks-ness" and "chairness") to belong to the latter category - the category of "universals".  

 

With that said, I must sign off until next Monday.  I look forward to reading what further progress the great Postmo minds will make while I'm away!

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Brad (ZeeZrom):
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Jeff Ricks:

 

son of perdition:

Abstractions and mental constructs exist in their own reality.  We can discuss the nature of their reality but it is incorrect to say they don't exsist.  Maybe Plato's forms would shed some light on this matter.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_Forms

 

 

Son of perdition, thanks for the link! I agree that Plato's theory of forms is applicable, and in some ways perhaps central, to our discussion. 



 

I much prefer Aristotle's empirically-based metaphysics, where forms exist as part of the material objects themselves, rather than floating about abstractly and non-materially in some undetectable "third realm" (neither physically existing nor residing solely in our minds).  To Aristotle, our minds perceive the forms when we contemplate material objects; abstractions (e.g. 'chairness' per se) are mental constructs, not freely-existing entities as per Plato. 

 

 I'm still struggling with this notion of forms.  My first reaction, I guess like Artistotle's, was to treat forms as not existing because it made more sense to consider forms a part or aspect of the material things themselves.  However, I was concerned that doing so at an early stage of the argument would simply rule out the possible existence of the immaterial without any real justification for doing so.  I'm not sure that, at the end of the day, my personal conclusion won't be that our new third category really belongs in "things that don't exist"

 

 I think I agree with this view but, just to muddy the water further, philosophers have distinguished between immaterial concepts that come into existence only when a thinker thinks them into existence (e.g., the first time someone imagined a unicorn or a horseless carriage) and eternal, immaterial concepts that that are "discovered" whenever a thinker emerges to discover them (e.g. math concepts such as 2+2=4).  Plato considered his forms (e.g. "Jeff Ricks-ness" and "chairness") to belong to the latter category - the category of "universals".  

 

With that said, I must sign off until next Monday.  I look forward to reading what further progress the great Postmo minds will make while I'm away!

 

 That's an interesting concept, but it has me scratching my head trying to figure out how we could distinguish the two types of immaterial concepts.  

 

 

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Brad (ZeeZrom):
Itinerant:
Brad (ZeeZrom):
Itinerant:
Jeff Ricks:

 

son of perdition:

Abstractions and mental constructs exist in their own reality.  We can discuss the nature of their reality but it is incorrect to say they don't exsist.  Maybe Plato's forms would shed some light on this matter.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_Forms

 

 

Son of perdition, thanks for the link! I agree that Plato's theory of forms is applicable, and in some ways perhaps central, to our discussion. 



 

I much prefer Aristotle's empirically-based metaphysics, where forms exist as part of the material objects themselves, rather than floating about abstractly and non-materially in some undetectable "third realm" (neither physically existing nor residing solely in our minds).  To Aristotle, our minds perceive the forms when we contemplate material objects; abstractions (e.g. 'chairness' per se) are mental constructs, not freely-existing entities as per Plato. 

 

 I'm still struggling with this notion of forms.  My first reaction, I guess like Artistotle's, was to treat forms as not existing because it made more sense to consider forms a part or aspect of the material things themselves.  However, I was concerned that doing so at an early stage of the argument would simply rule out the possible existence of the immaterial without any real justification for doing so.  I'm not sure that, at the end of the day, my personal conclusion won't be that our new third category really belongs in "things that don't exist"

 

 I think I agree with this view but, just to muddy the water further, philosophers have distinguished between immaterial concepts that come into existence only when a thinker thinks them into existence (e.g., the first time someone imagined a unicorn or a horseless carriage) and eternal, immaterial concepts that that are "discovered" whenever a thinker emerges to discover them (e.g. math concepts such as 2+2=4).  Plato considered his forms (e.g. "Jeff Ricks-ness" and "chairness") to belong to the latter category - the category of "universals".  

 

With that said, I must sign off until next Monday.  I look forward to reading what further progress the great Postmo minds will make while I'm away!

 

 That's an interesting concept, but it has me scratching my head trying to figure out how we could distinguish the two types of immaterial concepts.  

 

That's precisely the reason that earlier I introduced to our conversation, "...has a material counterpart."  A unicorn hasn't, and as far as we know never will have, a material counterpart.  An irrational number never will, and it appears to me that God never will.  Certainly the Holy Ghost won't  .

 

"Jeff Ricks-ness" and "chair-ness" can have, and at times do have, a material counterpart.

 

[ETA: Actually, instead of "has a material counterpart" it should be "can have a material counterpart.]

 

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Brad (ZeeZrom):
Jeff Ricks:

  Brad (ZeeZrom):
Itinerant:
...

I think the difference between Plato and Aristotle pertains to the issue of whether forms (e.g., "Jeff Ricks-ness") are eternal and exist independently of both mind and matter.  I understand Plato to say yes while Aristotle says no. 

 

 I think I'm with Aristotle on this one.  "Chair-ness" is purely a creation of the human mind.

 

 What about "two-ness" Brad?  Same thing?

 

 Yes.

 

Then how do you account for the fact that humans are not the only animals that can count?  

 

You can jump to the conclusion section of this to get an idea of some of the things we are learning about what other animals think.

 

It would seem that some other animals have greater cognitive abilities than we realize. Dogs have taught me a lot in this area. In fact, my current dog can read 4 words on flash cards. I know that is just anectdotal evidence, but we taught her the words after seeing a documentary about a psychologist who had done the same thing (but with more words as well as simple pictures) with her dog. And of course, it isn't just dogs, but other primates, birds, and I believe cetaceans as well as others.

 

In short, it is rather egocentric of us as humans to assume that we are the only ones who comprehend abstract things.

 

How does this impact our discussion and the chart? If it needs to go on the shelf for now, that's okay too.  

 

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I believe that love for our fellow-men is infinitely nobler, better, and more necessary than love for God.
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