Monthly Archives: June 2019

Today, everything exists to end up on the internet.

“That most logical of nineteenth-century aesthetes, Mallarmé, said that everything exists in the world in order to end in a book. Today, everything exists to end in a photograph.” (Susan Sontag, On Photography, p24, 1971)

In 2019, everything exists to end up on the internet.

Coma, time, idealism

Within a comatose state the body is without wakefulness and awareness of the eternal world. Is this a kind of idealist-rationalist bliss? If such a mind can survive without having to deal with the outside, would it remain in this state to do so?

It is interesting that coma patients when they recover do not know how much time has passed since they became comatose. Is this not evidence that time is only known observation of the change in the relationship of things. In other words, do we not have to be awake and aware of the environment to know time?

Philosophical projectionism

What is philosophical projectionism?
Projectionism is the theory (my theory) that perceived objects have not qualities as such but that qualities are projected onto them by the perceiver. This naturally means an object can have as many projections upon it as there are perceivers of it. The object does not “change” in any way, and it is not directly affected it by the perception of it. Objects remain the same whether perceived or not. Qualities therefore do not exist accept for within perception. Projections are concepts. They are conceptualised. The end of all conceptualisation is the end of the concept, but not the end of the object.

The dualism paradox

I do not subscribe to the dualist view of mind and body. And this is the reason why.

If indeed the mind and body are separate things then I will have to ask when the mind comes to this conclusion why not discard the body and just continue as a mind? Why not escape the body? I do not see many people die by willing their death. Dying is not as easy as changing trains, or underwear. These actions are easy. Leaving your body in some kind of out-of-body experience is near impossible and undocumented. Furthermore, all attempts of leaving the body entails destruction of the body.

Secondly, when there is a separation between the mind and body – that is, death – there is no evidence for the mind to be found anywhere. All that remains is the body.

Admittedly, I have only my experience and the observation of other people’s experience for evidence. Much is assumed. But I see no other alternative but to make assumptions. One cannot escape assumptions.

Emergent or projection?

Does the quality of something emerge from it or do we project into it the quality we want to see?

Are these appropriate metaphors for the way we experience the world?

Can we do away with metaphors?

I think how we approach the world as a sentient being determines how we engage with it.

The stimulus of the mind and being

What is the mind if there is no first stimulus to start the process.

A physical brain with nothing to conceptualise would be still a like a stone.

Break open a stone and all you find is more stone.

Break open a brain all you find is white and grey matter, and perhaps a lot of blood. No mind or being can be found other than this.

When ideation ends …

Ideation – the formation of ideas and concepts – is an internal process of a thing. Those ideas and concepts stored in the thing will disappear with the end of the process of accumulation (remembrance or memory). This end is called death.

My Neohumanism

There is value in humanism. The move away from God as an explanation for everything was a necessary step. However, the complacency that came with such a move – and rightly feared by Christianity – is that human beings will take their false sense of superiority to mean their rights over the rights of other things and beings.

My version of neohumanism (not the Sarkar-kind) calls for humility in the face of our understanding of our place in the universe, namely, we are but one of the many lifeforms on this planet and beyond, that there is nothing special about the human being as an animal.

Reason, logic, reality

Consider the following definitions from the LDOCE 6th.

reason – the ability to think, understand, and form judgments that are based on facts

logic – 1) a way of thinking about something that seems correct and reasonable, or a set of sensible reasons for doing something; 2) a formal method of reasoning, in which ideas are based on previous ideas

The problem seems to start with fact and idea in the two respective definitions.

From the LDOCE again, a fact is a piece of information that is known to be true. What does “to know” mean? Can we know something or anything without experiencing it? And if something that is true now will it be true in the future, or was it true in the past? And is there something, anything, that is eternally true?

And an idea is a general understanding of something, based on some knowledge about it. Can our understanding of things or knowledge of it be based on anything other than learning (reading and study) or experience?

If we are to base truth on information, ideas, reason, and logic alone then we will forever be trapped in the mind. By interacting with reality through rationality we fully engage with what is there. Rationality alone will take a being towards insanity (being unable to interact in the reality) . A balance between our physical and mental capacities is necessary.

Things, space, and time

There are things.

By “there are” I mean without understanding the nature of reality. That I encounter it whatever it may be. I simply do not know, at least at this point. This is how we encounter the world, also called the physical reality, or just reality.

A thing is there. It is there for you and me. The qualities of the thing is that it agrees with it is being there. Suppose that thing is a tennis ball. Suppose we know the rules of tennis, and we have all the necessary equipment and conditions to play a game of tennis, and know how to play the game from experience. As we play we understand how the ball will react in the world. The agreement makes for an enjoyable game for the both of us. The relationship of the ball between you and me, the space, response from the ball struck against the racquet face conforms more or less according to my skills. It is evidence of my knowledge of it as an object, and of how I may manipulate it in the greater world at large.

Again, I must point out, what I encounter are things, not space, and not time. This point must be made clear. You cannot sense space and touch space directly. You can only infer it from things. This is true of time also. What we can know of space and time comes necessarily from things. I infer from things the space. And I infer from the relationship of things in space, time.

It should be pointed out also, the existence of things necessarily infers the existence of space and time. Things, space, and time exist as one, as the entirety of the world. To use Hume’s words, it is visible and tangible. A game of tennis should be enough proof for the consistency of the world.

Timelessness has no basis

Timelessness has no basis except in the mind. Objects are easier to deal with if they are like a sitting duck. And often this way of handling objects lead to errors in judgement as time progresses. Something that is thought of as static, unchanging, eventually will change noticeably enough so as to shock the judge back into reality and out of her or his uncomfortable habitual mistake.

Two types of “sweaters”

Which type of “sweater” are you?

No, I am not talking about round necks and V-necks. I am talking about when it comes to souls there are the religious-type and philosophical-type.

Religious-types sweat when they hear someone say there is no soul. In fact, there is no single word for this except soulless, but that do not mean without soul, but without passion. Actually, the only religion that explicit says there is no soul is Buddhism. But neither do they panic when they hear people talk about souls.

Philosophical-types also sweat when they hear this. They often equate soul or spirit with mind. But like the religious-type not all of them sweat. Only a certain type – the idealists and rationalists – who have trouble explaining the mind. Gilbert Rule called this a belief in the ghost in the machine. Particularly, if one claims to be a materialist, physicalist, or empiricist one gets looks of incredulity.

The struggle then has always been how one can explain a being works without a soul and/or mind. But why sweat when either way the being has continued to work, live and survive. In other words, don’t panic, take off that sweater, wear a T-shirt, and carry on. Life continues no matter what.

Out, damn spot! Out damn anthropocentrism!

I reject anthropocentrism only in a way an anthropoid can. What choice do I have.

An object is an object is an object; the world is the world is the world.

No matter what (pun intended) an object is an object. Be this a single atom, a group of atoms, a non-sentient cluster, a sentient cluster, or any other way an object can be.

I am not even talking qualities, but only existence or being. Unobserved, objects are just objects. The world (or reality) is just is, or simply, the world is.

I am not promoting anthropocentrism. But any differentiation discerned is done by a sentient (in the “sense” sense; again pun intended) object. We should neither privilege nor disparage it, because an object is an object is an object. I would be more than happy to let a rock philosophise. And I am sure a rock couldn’t care less that I can philosophise either. So let it be and let us get on with philosophy.

Critique of Idealism

In philosophy, idealism is the group of metaphysical philosophies that assert that reality, or reality as humans can know it, is fundamentally mental, mentally constructed, or otherwise immaterial. Epistemologically, idealism manifests as a skepticism about the possibility of knowing any mind-independent thing. In contrast to materialism, idealism asserts the primacy of consciousness as the origin and prerequisite of material phenomena. According to this view, consciousness exists before and is the pre-condition of material existence. Consciousness creates and determines the material and not vice versa. Idealism believes consciousness and mind to be the origin of the material world and aims to explain the existing world according to these principles.

(Wikipedia entry for Idealism)

The problem begins with metaphysics. Is it possible to answer objectively the question of the nature of reality? Of course, knowledge of reality must necessarily begin with the mind perceiving. But this does not logically lead to the idea that only mind is necessary. A sensed reality is the only reality we have. The mind of a person is seen not directly, but always through her or his material. Idealism is correct in that knowing is a mental process, and that knowing does not mean access to the thing. But this does not mean primacy of the mind. The mind cannot exist without the body. Material determines the consciousness, not vice versa. Our knowledge of the science of neurology and the brain should be enough evidence for us to dismiss Idealism as a viable philosophical stance.