Posted: Jun 20, 2022 1:50 pm
by Spearthrower
jamest wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:
contemplating reality with an open mind


Incidentally, you're saying here that reality is independent of mind.


No, I'm saying that reality is independent of (transcends) facts about our observed universe.


Discerned by....?

Pure thought.... a quality apparently dependent on the observed universe? Or 'thought' is from outside the realm of knowledge? If so, it doesn't seem in the slightest bit odd to you to erect a postulate that can't be tested only to support it with an 'explanation' that can't be tested? For me, these amount to nothing more than statements of faith, not amenable to anyone other than a 'believer'.


jamest wrote: That there are no such facts relevant in any endeavour to contemplate reality (try naming one!)


It's another example of me not really understanding what you're saying.

Every means of 'contemplating reality' is derived from observations.


jamest wrote: Also, that any such endeavour can only proceed upon the basis of reason alone... philosophy.


I mean, in the most banal sense, sure. We have to use our thoughts to think about things, and philosophy is essentially the study of our thinking, particularly with respect to how cogently we're thinking about things.

But the idea that one thinks in the absence of observable 'reality' isn't something that strikes me as a sensible contention. Quite the contrary - it appears to directly contradict observation, and amounts to nothing more than another statement of faith. To believe it, all you need do is believe it.


jamest wrote:Bottom line:

The ontological value of facts about the observed universe is zero.


The ontological value of facts is zero? Have you tried walking out of a 3rd floor window recently? An observable fact about 'reality' should absolutely inform and direct one's ontology, else it's not philosophy you're doing.... maybe you're talking about poetry? But even that employs observations, else it'd be impossible to communicate ideas to one another.

I just don't think you're making any sense here.



jamest wrote:Few, seemingly, ever fully realise this fact.


i.e. not actually a fact



jamest wrote: A fact not about the world, but about the limits of empirical knowledge. A fact unveiled by reason alone.


A false fact - a make-believe fact, a dragon whirling in the air breathing sulfurous haze.


jamest wrote:The true value of philosophy goes right over most people's head because they have not considered this, or understood it.


Or else, with no wells poisoned, other people don't concur with your certainty, and having availed themselves of the sum of philosophical discussion from ancient to present times, recognize no trend of philosophy corroborating your statements which you've attempted to decree into the status of facts. Facts, which you also declare, are basically unknown to all but a special few.

I really don't think that you do philosophy jamest, nor am I even convinced that you know what it is. I have studied essentially all the most well known philosophers from many different traditions - you don't share positions or methodologies with any of them, you don't acknowledge the history and evolution of philosophical thought, but more importantly, you just don't sound like any of them. You don't sound like you're using philosophy to arrive at your statements. Rather, for me, you seem to use the word 'philosophy' as a proxy to boost the perceived merit of an assertion regardless of its empirical or logical merit in place of actually providing substantive logical reason for accepting those statements, whereas my take on philosophy is that both philosophers and philosophy employ some established process (often faulty historically) of attempting to discern what can truthfully be said about the universe.