Defeating Solipsism

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Re: Defeating Solipsism

#301  Postby Rumraket » Nov 03, 2013 6:02 pm

Little Idiot wrote:
Rumraket wrote:
Little Idiot wrote:
SpeedOfSound wrote:Curious that LittleIdiot completely ignored this series of post by rumraket and Graham.
http://www.rationalskepticism.org/philo ... l#p1842738


I responded directly to several of Grahams posts, although since apparently you dont experience the environment I call 'the world' your mistake is understandable.

I didnt respond to Rumraket for two reasons;
he didnt address me directly, so I wasnt compelled to respond.
he didnt claim the argument was valid, only logically sound

I think you've got those switched around. If it was sound, it'd be a fact. I happen to think it's actually sound, so I'd like to see actual valid responses.

Little Idiot wrote:I dont take issue with that, although its obviously invalid because it ignores other options.

No, it's fully dichotomous. I'm not saying what the nature of the external world is, I'm simply listing the two generalized options:
Either the world is created by our minds, or it is not and independently exists. That's it.

Little Idiot wrote:either materialism or solipsism; not solipsism, therefore materialism.

what about others, as not all idealism is solipsism? ignoring this makes the 'proof' invalid.

I've said nothing about the external world being equal to materialism. The argument simply evaluates the probability that the experienced world is made by my own mind, or not. That's it. That situation is fully dichotomous and encompasses all concievable possibilities.

You can now proceed to deal with the actual argument.


Dealing with last line first, your actual argument clearly states (my colour) (click the link to confirm what you wrote, not what you meant or think you wrote)
Hypothesis 1 (Solipcism). The world we percieve is constructed by your own mind.

So, we are done, right?

I don't understand the question. Done with what?
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Re: Defeating Solipsism

#302  Postby Little Idiot » Nov 03, 2013 6:12 pm

Rumraket wrote:
I don't understand the question. Done with what?


I was suggesting we were done with your objection to my comment.

I said that your argument didnt include other options of idealism apart from solipsism, you objected that this wasnt the case, I showed the original hypothesis 1 was 'solipsism'
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Little Idiot; No physical environment is an environment unless it is an observed environment.
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Re: Defeating Solipsism

#303  Postby Rumraket » Nov 03, 2013 6:39 pm

Little Idiot wrote:
Rumraket wrote:
I don't understand the question. Done with what?


I was suggesting we were done with your objection to my comment.

I said that your argument didnt include other options of idealism apart from solipsism, you objected that this wasnt the case, I showed the original hypothesis 1 was 'solipsism'

Since I go on to generalize hypothesis 1 to include all worldviews that argue the experienced world is the product of mind, it doesn't really matter. The argument remains the same.
Simply, if your worldview is of the sort that argues that the experiences we have aren't caused by anything external to our minds, then it's a subset of all the possibilities encompassed by hypothesis 1. Maybe I wasn't totally clear on that.
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Re: Defeating Solipsism

#304  Postby Cito di Pense » Nov 03, 2013 6:47 pm

Little Idiot wrote:
The first point is a simple statement that without attention of a subject there is no conscious experience, do you care to dispute that, or discuss it?

My second post is an instruction on quieting the mind - all be it delivered somewhat in a style I like to call 'humourous' it is not of zero instructional value. We could discuss its merit, but I doubt you'd want to do so.


The first point is a tautology that informs us in no way about the terms 'subject', 'attention', and 'conscious experience'. If you understand that you cannot communicate anything with tautologies like that, then you'll apprehend how much time you've wasted metronomically repeating this tautology.

The second point, about 'quieting the mind', would seem to have value for someone who, say, could not get his bootlaces tied unless he first 'quieted the mind'. This is an extreme case. Perhaps you'd like to recite some more homely examples.

'Quieting the mind' simply for its own sake is pointless, unless you have something to which to apply the energy you recover from the exercise. If you use the energy only to flog meditation and 'world mind' over the intertubez, you're wasting your quiet. If you find you cannot get the simplest tasks accomplished during your waking hours unless you spend several hours a day meditating, then you have too many hours in which you've nothing to do.
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Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Defeating Solipsism

#305  Postby SpeedOfSound » Nov 03, 2013 11:13 pm

Little Idiot wrote:
SpeedOfSound wrote:
Little Idiot wrote:
SpeedOfSound wrote:

Again my answer is no. Not to be difficult.

A reduction in science, say to reduce water to molecules and atoms, yields new information in greater depth. It turns out that the reduction is actually an expansion of knowledge.

You and Jimmy both offer reductions of experience and observation. In philosophy reductions seldom work out. They create nonsense instead of new knowledge. They leave out details that actually matter.

The same problem occurs in naive premise for logical arguments and the result is nonsensical conclusions.

If experiencing the environment was the normal state of my life, meaning it was reduced mode of my living, I would be a thermostat not a human being. Ideas about representation and sense data fall in the same way.

A stream of experienced cartoon data is not how I came to be; not how I come to know things and be certain of them.

say the phrase 'interactive immersion in a rich and consistent environment' three times.

Surprised you religious types don't know this stuff.


And how do you get this 'interactive immersion in a rich and consistent environment' without experiencing the environment?

Obviously I have no problem with 'interactive immersion in a rich and consistent environment' as a description of our experience of the environment, we are not passive observers, our environment is interactive, we are deeply immersed - but if you say we don't experience the environment then you are introducing a huge error as opposed to a deeper more accurate understanding of what our experience is and how our experience is.


If I am on the corner talking to the garbage man, in some very odd conversation I would imagine, I may say "I experience the environment". But this is the philosophy forum, not the garbage landing.

Do you understand how reduction works in science and how it doesn't for these discussions?


I understand reduction as viewing a complex system as no more than the sum of its parts, and I understand that you are making a claim that it doesn't work in philosophy, but I fail to see what that has to do with your claim that you do not experience an environment when I asked you about that.


If you read what I actually said up above and what your actual question was (which you conveniently left out) you will see that I made no such claim. Try again.

SpeedOfSound wrote:
Little Idiot wrote:
Dare you suggest that experiencing the environment is not the normal state of your own life?


Again my answer is no. Not to be difficult.
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Re: Defeating Solipsism

#306  Postby SpeedOfSound » Nov 03, 2013 11:39 pm

Little Idiot wrote:...
Then by your thinking about their solipsism, it should follow that all adherents of solipsism should insist that they are immortal.
Since (I think) they do not, it follows that your thinking about their solipsism is in error.
Unless you seek to enforce your strawman upon them, or provide some supporting evidence that they do think this, I dont see where else this thinking leads.

:scratch: WTF? You know of a community of solipsists? Or even one? :scratch: Worse, you are worried that solipsists would be insulted by Graham?
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Re: Defeating Solipsism

#307  Postby SpeedOfSound » Nov 03, 2013 11:43 pm

romansh wrote:I can see no way of disproving a solipsistic reality.
I have not read a proof of one either, at least one that holds water logically.

So for me, I may as well assume that there is a reality beyond my perception, rather than insisting that some of these wierd ideas are solely the fruit of my imagination and not based on some definition in Wikipedia.


Given this level of conceptual construction, this bit about sense data and experience as central and containing, and given the level of the task, i.e. proving the fundamental nature of reality, there is no proof possible of solipsism. So if you can't prove it and you elect it as the one true way out of an infinite number of possible ways things can be what is the basis for the election? Can't be proof and can't be probability.

So given the constraints on proof that disproves it.
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Re: Defeating Solipsism

#308  Postby surreptitious57 » Nov 04, 2013 12:13 am

Little Idiot wrote:
SpeedOfSound wrote:
Little Idiot wrote:
Your evidence seems to be based on the physical senses I would like you to explain to me how the
agreed fact that we experience the environment via senses leads to the conclusion that the world
is material. Or provide any other evidence to support the assertion

Physical senses are based on evidence. You have something turned on its ass here

I see a tree is good evidence that there may be a tree over there
Going over and touching the tree would add to the value of the statement : it is not an illusion that
looks like a tree. The senses have provided evidence for the statement there is a tree over there

But he claims this justifies the statement that the world is material that materialism is correct and idealism false
I would like him to explain this he does not seem to see the need as he claims he is presenting objective facts

You wont agree with his stated position will you
QUESTION : do you agree or disagree with the statement if neither briefly explain

edit to clarify the statement I am questioning and quoted a couple of times
As I asked earlier : Specifically first up what evidence do you have
for the statement The world that is being experienced is a material world

Is this the third time now you have asked me this question ? And my answer is still the same. The world is physical and we know this because we experience it as such. And that is because our senses interpret the information in that way. Indeed given that everything that is known is either physical or contingent upon the physical there is no other way of interpreting it [ I have used the term physical here rather than material out of habit. For me the difference between the two is academic ]

You reject this definition because you are an idealist. But can you give one example of anything which is either not physical or contingent upon the physical ? Remember that subjective interpretation is not evidence now. No matter how much you convince yourself that your position is the one objective true one that does not make it so
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Re: Defeating Solipsism

#309  Postby romansh » Nov 04, 2013 1:23 am

SpeedOfSound wrote:
Given this level of conceptual construction, this bit about sense data and experience as central and containing, and given the level of the task, i.e. proving the fundamental nature of reality, there is no proof possible of solipsism. So if you can't prove it and you elect it as the one true way out of an infinite number of possible ways things can be what is the basis for the election? Can't be proof and can't be probability.

So given the constraints on proof that disproves it.

Not sure I understand here SoS

Here's a thought experiment though:
If I were to put a bullet through a solipsist's head (say Little Idiot's) and the universe continued afterwards, would that constitute a falsification that Little Idiot is the source of his solipsist universe?
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Re: Defeating Solipsism

#310  Postby SpeedOfSound » Nov 04, 2013 1:25 am

surreptitious57 wrote:
Little Idiot wrote:
SpeedOfSound wrote:
Little Idiot wrote:
Your evidence seems to be based on the physical senses I would like you to explain to me how the
agreed fact that we experience the environment via senses leads to the conclusion that the world
is material. Or provide any other evidence to support the assertion

Physical senses are based on evidence. You have something turned on its ass here

I see a tree is good evidence that there may be a tree over there
Going over and touching the tree would add to the value of the statement : it is not an illusion that
looks like a tree. The senses have provided evidence for the statement there is a tree over there

But he claims this justifies the statement that the world is material that materialism is correct and idealism false
I would like him to explain this he does not seem to see the need as he claims he is presenting objective facts

You wont agree with his stated position will you
QUESTION : do you agree or disagree with the statement if neither briefly explain

edit to clarify the statement I am questioning and quoted a couple of times
As I asked earlier : Specifically first up what evidence do you have
for the statement The world that is being experienced is a material world

Is this the third time now you have asked me this question ? And my answer is still the same. The world is physical and we know this because we experience it as such. And that is because our senses interpret the information in that way. Indeed given that everything that is known is either physical or contingent upon the physical there is no other way of interpreting it [ I have used the term physical here rather than material out of habit. For me the difference between the two is academic ]

You reject this definition because you are an idealist. But can you give one example of anything which is either not physical or contingent upon the physical ? Remember that subjective interpretation is not evidence now. No matter how much you convince yourself that your position is the one objective true one that does not make it so


He needs to separate physical from material. With material being physical with some mysterious extra-existencey property added. It takes the heat off his assumption about the great world mind creator god. He also needs the contrast to make mental an ontic type.

There is no getting through to these dichotomy believers. They insist on monism yet continually create dualisms as sort of cookie cutters to support the metaphysics. They will throw straw at you until you get bored and quit posting.
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Re: Defeating Solipsism

#311  Postby SpeedOfSound » Nov 04, 2013 1:27 am

romansh wrote:
SpeedOfSound wrote:
Given this level of conceptual construction, this bit about sense data and experience as central and containing, and given the level of the task, i.e. proving the fundamental nature of reality, there is no proof possible of solipsism. So if you can't prove it and you elect it as the one true way out of an infinite number of possible ways things can be what is the basis for the election? Can't be proof and can't be probability.

So given the constraints on proof that disproves it.

Not sure I understand here SoS

Here's a thought experiment though:
If I were to put a bullet through a solipsist's head (say Little Idiot's) and the universe continued afterwards, would that constitute a falsification that Little Idiot is the source of his solipsist universe?


Nah. It would just be another dead fool.

What I meant is that if you can't disprove or prove anything one way or the other at this deeper metaphysical level then saying solipsism can't be disproved gives it too much credit.

Personally I suspect that this idea of a deeper level is where the nonsense all begins.
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Re: Defeating Solipsism

#312  Postby romansh » Nov 04, 2013 1:35 am

SpeedOfSound wrote:
romansh wrote:
SpeedOfSound wrote:
Given this level of conceptual construction, this bit about sense data and experience as central and containing, and given the level of the task, i.e. proving the fundamental nature of reality, there is no proof possible of solipsism. So if you can't prove it and you elect it as the one true way out of an infinite number of possible ways things can be what is the basis for the election? Can't be proof and can't be probability.

So given the constraints on proof that disproves it.

Not sure I understand here SoS

Here's a thought experiment though:
If I were to put a bullet through a solipsist's head (say Little Idiot's) and the universe continued afterwards, would that constitute a falsification that Little Idiot is the source of his solipsist universe?


Nah. It would just be another dead fool.

What I meant is that if you can't disprove or prove anything one way or the other at this deeper metaphysical level then saying solipsism can't be disproved gives it too much credit.

Personally I suspect that this idea of a deeper level is where the nonsense all begins.

My thought experiment (I wish no harm to fools of any flavour) is can we falsify Little Idiot's solipsism in the same sense the Michelson Morley experiment falsified luminiferous aether as a reality? Collectively can we eliminate Little Idiot as the source of a solipsistic reality - not metaphysically but pragmatically?
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Re: Defeating Solipsism

#313  Postby SpeedOfSound » Nov 04, 2013 2:07 am

:scratch: Not sure but I kind of like where you are going with this elimination plot. :naughty2:

We is tired though.
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Re: Defeating Solipsism

#314  Postby Little Idiot » Nov 04, 2013 3:20 am

Just pointing out that I am not actually a solipsist. I do not credit me or any other individual mind with being the source of the cosmos, and I really do not think for a second the cosmos will stop without me (nor that a bullet to my head will prove not to be fatal, as Grahamh suggested should be the case in another thread, nor does idealism imply bending spoons by mind power as Cito repeats ad nauseam).

Not that the facts should stop the fun, continue with your inaccurate unfounded speculation about what I do say...
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Re: Defeating Solipsism

#315  Postby Little Idiot » Nov 04, 2013 3:26 am

SpeedOfSound wrote:
surreptitious57 wrote:
Little Idiot wrote:
SpeedOfSound wrote:
Physical senses are based on evidence. You have something turned on its ass here

I see a tree is good evidence that there may be a tree over there
Going over and touching the tree would add to the value of the statement : it is not an illusion that
looks like a tree. The senses have provided evidence for the statement there is a tree over there

But he claims this justifies the statement that the world is material that materialism is correct and idealism false
I would like him to explain this he does not seem to see the need as he claims he is presenting objective facts

You wont agree with his stated position will you
QUESTION : do you agree or disagree with the statement if neither briefly explain

edit to clarify the statement I am questioning and quoted a couple of times
As I asked earlier : Specifically first up what evidence do you have
for the statement The world that is being experienced is a material world

Is this the third time now you have asked me this question ? And my answer is still the same. The world is physical and we know this because we experience it as such. And that is because our senses interpret the information in that way. Indeed given that everything that is known is either physical or contingent upon the physical there is no other way of interpreting it [ I have used the term physical here rather than material out of habit. For me the difference between the two is academic ]

You reject this definition because you are an idealist. But can you give one example of anything which is either not physical or contingent upon the physical ? Remember that subjective interpretation is not evidence now. No matter how much you convince yourself that your position is the one objective true one that does not make it so


He needs to separate physical from material. With material being physical with some mysterious extra-existencey property added. It takes the heat off his assumption about the great world mind creator god. He also needs the contrast to make mental an ontic type.

There is no getting through to these dichotomy believers. They insist on monism yet continually create dualisms as sort of cookie cutters to support the metaphysics. They will throw straw at you until you get bored and quit posting.


Stop this dishonesty, you know full well I did not make up materialism, its simply a term used by OTHERS for the doctrine that nothing exists except matter and its movements and modifications.

You were fast enough to separate physicalism from materialism yourself, and if you were to answer the question about materialism, youd have to disagree with the central position it entails.
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Re: Defeating Solipsism

#316  Postby hackenslash » Nov 04, 2013 8:08 am

Little Idiot wrote:nor does idealism imply bending spoons by mind power as Cito repeats ad nauseam


You misunderstand. He's not talking about the literal bending of literal spoons, he's saying there is no spoon. In other words, all the wibble in the world is mere bollocks, yours included.

That you don't get this is an indictment in itself.
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Re: Defeating Solipsism

#317  Postby Cito di Pense » Nov 04, 2013 8:47 am

Little Idiot wrote:Just pointing out that I am not actually a solipsist. I do not credit me or any other individual mind with being the source of the cosmos, and I really do not think for a second the cosmos will stop without me (nor that a bullet to my head will prove not to be fatal, as Grahamh suggested should be the case in another thread, nor does idealism imply bending spoons by mind power as Cito repeats ad nauseam).


You don't have to claim to create the cosmos on your own in order to recognise that spoon bending (and furiously-sleeping colorless green ideas) should be completely routine in a mentalist cosmos. Why the world-mind does not permit individual spoon-bending is up to you to explain. The reason that spoon-bending does not happen in a materialist or physicalist cosmos should be something that you accept.

hackenslash wrote:
Little Idiot wrote:nor does idealism imply bending spoons by mind power as Cito repeats ad nauseam


You misunderstand. He's not talking about the literal bending of literal spoons, he's saying there is no spoon. In other words, all the wibble in the world is mere bollocks, yours included.

That you don't get this is an indictment in itself.


Little Idiot wrote:nor does idealism imply bending spoons by mind power as Cito repeats ad nauseam


That's bending material spoons by mind power, and not what we're talking about at all. We've been at this crossroads before. We are now talking about mentalist bending of mentalist spoons in an idealist cosmos. Don't tell me it doesn't happen.

All those spoon-bending shows that purport to bend material spoons? Bullshit. If your mentalist cosmos is what is going on, those are mentalist spoons, and they're still not bending. The World Mind does not permit spoon bending. Why is that?
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Re: Defeating Solipsism

#318  Postby GrahamH » Nov 04, 2013 9:04 am

romansh wrote:
SpeedOfSound wrote:
Given this level of conceptual construction, this bit about sense data and experience as central and containing, and given the level of the task, i.e. proving the fundamental nature of reality, there is no proof possible of solipsism. So if you can't prove it and you elect it as the one true way out of an infinite number of possible ways things can be what is the basis for the election? Can't be proof and can't be probability.

So given the constraints on proof that disproves it.

Not sure I understand here SoS

Here's a thought experiment though:
If I were to put a bullet through a solipsist's head (say Little Idiot's) and the universe continued afterwards, would that constitute a falsification that Little Idiot is the source of his solipsist universe?


The only target for such an experiment is ones self. If I ask the question 'am I the solipsistic mind?' only I can answer in the affirmative. But I can't tell anything by shooting myself. If I can imagine myself into non-existence by imagining a bullet penetrating my imagined brain then I will not exist to determine the outcome. If I should experience impending death but unknowingly switch to some other experience I could would not know I had ever attempted the experiment. I might maintain continuity and come to in a hospital bed having 'miraculously survived due to poor aim. If idealism of any flavour is true then experience can be pulled out of nowhere, which makes it un-testable. Shooting yourself in the head to test solipsism is a much use as kicking a rock to test Idealism.

shooting someone else is absolutely no use at all.

If you could kill all the other people you still wouldn't know if you were a physical being or a solipsistic mind or a character in a Jamest style idealism or an AI entity in a world simulation or any other metaphysical speculation.
Why do you think that?
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Re: Defeating Solipsism

#319  Postby SpeedOfSound » Nov 04, 2013 10:16 am

Little Idiot wrote:
SpeedOfSound wrote:
surreptitious57 wrote:
Little Idiot wrote:
I see a tree is good evidence that there may be a tree over there
Going over and touching the tree would add to the value of the statement : it is not an illusion that
looks like a tree. The senses have provided evidence for the statement there is a tree over there

But he claims this justifies the statement that the world is material that materialism is correct and idealism false
I would like him to explain this he does not seem to see the need as he claims he is presenting objective facts

You wont agree with his stated position will you
QUESTION : do you agree or disagree with the statement if neither briefly explain

edit to clarify the statement I am questioning and quoted a couple of times
As I asked earlier : Specifically first up what evidence do you have
for the statement The world that is being experienced is a material world

Is this the third time now you have asked me this question ? And my answer is still the same. The world is physical and we know this because we experience it as such. And that is because our senses interpret the information in that way. Indeed given that everything that is known is either physical or contingent upon the physical there is no other way of interpreting it [ I have used the term physical here rather than material out of habit. For me the difference between the two is academic ]

You reject this definition because you are an idealist. But can you give one example of anything which is either not physical or contingent upon the physical ? Remember that subjective interpretation is not evidence now. No matter how much you convince yourself that your position is the one objective true one that does not make it so


He needs to separate physical from material. With material being physical with some mysterious extra-existencey property added. It takes the heat off his assumption about the great world mind creator god. He also needs the contrast to make mental an ontic type.

There is no getting through to these dichotomy believers. They insist on monism yet continually create dualisms as sort of cookie cutters to support the metaphysics. They will throw straw at you until you get bored and quit posting.


Stop this dishonesty, you know full well I did not make up materialism, its simply a term used by OTHERS for the doctrine that nothing exists except matter and its movements and modifications.

You were fast enough to separate physicalism from materialism yourself, and if you were to answer the question about materialism, youd have to disagree with the central position it entails.


There may have been a day when such splitting straws mattered but no. I don't see any useful distinction and if you review my posts I use both words interchangeably. Have for years.


"With material being physical with some mysterious extra-existencey property added"
Own it! It's your idea. Your spiel. Like I said you need it to support the other mental crap you invent.
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Re: Defeating Solipsism

#320  Postby juju7 » Nov 04, 2013 11:57 am

SpeedOfSound wrote: Like I said you need it to support the other mental crap you invent.

Why should anything you say matter?
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