Posted: Jul 21, 2018 2:47 pm
by laklak
scott1328 wrote:What James t fails to consider, is that unless the tree has been observed to have fallen, then it is only the most crass philosophers who would have assumed that it exists at all, or who having observed a tree in the prone position, assumed a fall at some point in the past instead of assuming that it grew that way, or even that benevolent beavers gently lowered it to the ground.


Quite. In a similar vein, if a bear shits in the woods and there's no one to observe it, is there a bear, is there a woods, and is there even a pile of bear shit? I have, in a past ramble through the greenwoods, stepped directly into a pile of bear shit. Now, my brain immediately jumped to the unprovable assumption that a bear, as in an actual, physical creature, shat on the path in precisely the spot that I, happening along at a later temporal juncture, placed my boot sole without first observing it's existence. I say this because had I been aware of the pile of bear shit I would have avoided stepping in it. This poses several problems.

How do I know a bear shat out the shit? I did not observe the bear, therefore assuming the pile was in fact bear shit is logically untenable. It looked and smelled like bear shit, but is that sufficient evidence to assume a bear did, indeed, take a shit?

As I stated earlier, I did not oberve the bear shit prior to stepping in it. Is the sole of my boot an observer? Is taking a step an act of observation? How did the bear shit get under my boot in the first place? Since my boot sole has no sensory apparatus and is unable to observe anything at a distance, it's almost as if the bear shit had to spring into existence at precisely the moment my foot touched the ground, as prior to that is was unobserved shit and could not, by definition, exist.

This is all very confusing.