David_Allen

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Realism : Direct or Indirect?

If you have a point then lay it out. Set a context, make your claims and challenge mine. Expose your beliefs and accept the risks.

I lay out my claims to you because I want you to challenge them from your perspective. I will not follow your leading questions to your chosen point of philosophical ambush.

Realism : Direct or Indirect?

This one line response seems generally repetitive to your others. It isn't obvious to me that you are making an effort to address my challenge to your claim that 'experience itself is certain to exist'. If you would like to address that please do, otherwise it seems that we are done.

Realism : Direct or Indirect?

I believe that the answer depends on the perspective I adopt. This is the answer that makes sense from my current perspective.

If I model what I understand of your perspective within myself I would say that of course all my learning proceeds from some form of sensory experience, other claims are nonsensical.

With another model: The brain structures related to learning depend on more than just sensory experience, they also depend on the action of our DNA, gene networks, the limits of energy availability along with many other factors.

But why does the answer have to sensical from your perspective?

With another model: There is a process called MUP which is imparts knowledge in any form to the human mind. This is a process that by definition is any possible process not included by 'sensory experience' as defined by shiftedShapes. In other words MUP is any possible process, or perspective on a process that leads to learning beyond your claims about 'sensory experience'. Not being about to think of any examples of MUP does not disprove that MUP exists.

With another model: Blue hat.

Realism : Direct or Indirect?

I also believe that there are many things that we would agree on; my arguments are just an indication that I currently find certain aspects of this topic interesting to argue about--mind expanding. :)

I want to make the case, though, that experience itself is neither "certain to exist", nor "uncertain to exist". I think that "experience itself" is fundamental to Dasein, and that therefore cannot be subject to either certainty nor uncertainty.

I am happy to hold my arguments against certainty for shiftedShapes--however I will now make similar arguments against your claim that '"experience itself" is fundamental to dasein'.

The identification of a fundamental nature of Dasein requires a perspective and so is contingent on that perspective, and presumably on the limited access that perspective has to the thing it identifies as Dasein.

I will offer a competing view. Dasein is only fundamentally 'blue hat'. It feels obviously 'blue hat' to me; without 'blue hat' it would not be Dasein; nothing else about it is essential.

Presumably neither of our claims change the actual nature of what we are attempting to refer to when we say Dasein. Dasein and our conceptions of it are concepts generated by and within... well, by and within our Dasein in some limited sense.

The problem with both of our claims is then sense in which we are attempting to establish a description as a matter-of-fact. We are implying a universal perspective from which our claims can be understood to be true. Such a perspective seems inaccessible to me, so I will treat this kind of attribution as an error, perhaps as a 'not even wrong'.

So I agree that experience itself is neither "certain to exist", nor "uncertain to exist", but in the same mode I would add that "experience itself" (or "blue hat") is neither "fundamental to Dasein" nor "non-fundamental to Dasein". At least I would make this assessment when there appears to be an implied universal perspective involved.

If "experience itself" really is a fundamental element of dasein, then, we can think of it as an axiom of the human condition. Since we can only observe from within the human condition, this places the question of the existence of experience beyond proof or disproof, beyond contingency, and therefore beyond certainty or uncertainty.

If you were to say that there is a perspective from within the human condition, from which "experience itself" appears to be a fundamental element of Dasein. I would not argue, it is an ontology we can work with as long as it seems useful. If you were say that this perspective was primary, complete, unquestionable, fundamental, or certain then I am currently tempted to question the basis of your claim, the perspective from which your claim is made, or from which it holds.

Realism : Direct or Indirect?

Without full access to all possible perspectives of my implementation, how would I know for certain?

I can certainly adopt a perspective that describes how all learning proceeds through my sensory experience. But the identification of this pattern from my adopted limited perspective does not actually exclude other possible perspectives.

I'm not arguing that your model of sensory experience is wrong; I actually believe it has great descriptive value. I'm arguing that it is limited by and dependent on the context from which it appears to emerge.

I am arguing against your claims of certainty, in their various forms.

Realism : Direct or Indirect?

The map is not the territory. The 'self-evident' nature that you identify is a map; it is an artifact of a process. That process, even though it is you in some sense, has only a perspective limited access to what it is to be you.

Within the walls identified by this process you feel justifiably confident in the existence of your experience, in its 'self-evident' nature. But yet there is no escape from the territory, which includes the as yet unexamined foundational substrates of your perspective.

Only one perspective is possible: one's own perspective.

But even one's own perspective is a dynamic, living and changing perspective; and quite probably it is non-unitary in some ways. We are not locked into the mind we are born with, and the experience that you identify is only a limited and conditional aspect of what goes into the making and modification of the experience of 'what you think you are'.

Realism : Direct or Indirect?

Thanks for your excellent response to this Argency. I am using one philosophical perspective to challenge another--which can be a bit tricky--so I hope that you will put up with any misinterpretation on my part.

This sounds to me like Kripkenstein's Error. You might just as well despair that you also need a method to verify and confirm each of those methods, and a method-confirmation confirmation method... etc, etc. ... Surely this infinite regress constitutes a reductio ad absurdum.

I'm challenging the claim that 'experience itself is certain to exist' by pointing out that than an identification of existence requires a basis of identification, which at some level of evaluation comes with inherent uncertainty. I'm making an argument against the claimed certainty, and for accepting uncertainty; I'm not making an argument for 'reductio ad absurdum'.

You're arguing as though experience is outside and separate to the self...

I don't intend to give that impression so I will provide another description. When I consider my own experience I am performing an identification; I am interpreting my own condition from a particular basis. Very roughly speaking, this basis is substantially the same as the basis engaged in the 'experience' I'm identifying. The identification of 'self' and 'experience' from the perspective of this basis only captures some limited aspects of what is actually going on. The rest is left unexamined and provides a source of uncertainty to any claim that I might make. There is no avoiding dependence on perspective, even within our own minds.

It is not evident to me that this entanglement of contexts creates the necessary conditions to support a claim such as 'experience is the only thing that is certain to exist'. If anything, I would generally argue that the lack of independence between the perspectives reduces certainty--which perhaps is related to the value of the outside view.

When we say that we can't doubt our own sensations, we're tautologising. It isn't the case that we might have been able to doubt them, but on balance they seem doubtless - rather, we cannot talk of doubt or being applied to our experiences, since doubt and certainty are themselves experiences.

Even tautologies require a perspective to provide them meaning. It sounds to me that you follow a particular path of evaluation which is something like this (although you might choose different words):

  • I'm thinking, therefore I'm existing.
  • I'm thinking about (I'm thinking, therefore I'm existing.) therefore I'm existing.
  • I'm thinking about (I'm thinking about (I'm thinking, therefore I'm existing.) therefore I'm existing.) therefore I'm existing.'
  • ...

You recognize the pattern and reduce this to the claim, 'I can be certain that I'm existing'. The problem is that other chains of evaluation would provide different results, even 'I can't be certain that I'm existing.' This is not a good conclusion, but it is probably a fine axiom.

I have no problems with axioms. If you wish to claim as an axiom something like 'experience itself is certain to exist', then I will accept your axiom and evaluate your arguments relative to it. But if instead you claim that 'experience itself is certain to exist' is a conclusion, then I will argue as I have been, that your claim depends upon the unexamined aspects of the perspective that generated it rendering your claim of 'certainty' inherently uncertain.

... So when we say, "every rod has a length" or "I am certain of my experiences", we're not offering our conversational partner some contingent fact, rather we are defining our terms for them.

These definitions are actually contingent upon your perspective. It is generally fair for your conversational partner to ask you to describe the basis of your definitions so he can better model your understanding of them.

Realism : Direct or Indirect?

Nothing can be learned or tested except through sensory experience.

This claim also requires a perspective from which it is identified. The implementation of this perspective is a source of uncertainty if left unexamined.

Thus outside verification is impossible.

There is no need to talk about outside verification. All verification is done from a perspective--it does not limit my argument to assume a 'sensory experience' interface for that perspective.

I don't see how your response supports your claim that 'experience itself is certain to exist', which is the claim that I am challenging. Would you try to clarify this for me?

Realism : Direct or Indirect?

If a means of transmission is only reliable to a certain limited extent then the media transmitted could approach the limits of that channel's reliability, but never surpass it.

Actually, error free communication can be established over any channel as long as there is some level of signal (plus some other minor requirements).

But perhaps I'm misunderstanding the point you are making?

Realism : Direct or Indirect?

but the experience itself is certain to exist.

From what perspective is it certain to exist? When you identify 'the experience', this identification is an explanation from a particular perspective. By your argument it is subject to uncertainty.

I only see the certainty you refer to when I adopt a perspective that assumes there is no uncertainty in its own basis. For example if you establish as an axiom that 'primary sensory experience can be confirmed to exist by the experience itself'.

Otherwise I need a method to identify 'primary sensory experience', a method to identify 'the experience' related to it, and a method to verify that the former can be confirmed to exist by the latter. These methods have their own basis of implementation; which introduce uncertainty if left unexamined.

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