The problem is not so much that we do not understand agency but rather agency is pluralistic, that at any given time there is more than one agent. The interaction of two agents is what we commonly call cooperation or by some similar terms and statements which entail two objects or things.
An example is when two people love each other or marriage. The agreement between them to act in a certain way is termed love. It is not a passive process but always entails active processes.
Yesterday, I happened to have a conversation about Hume’s is/ought problem with someone. It was the first time I had touched on this subject with anyone even though I had read about it.
What happened was that I had the construct of the problem backwards in my head — what ought to be could be derived from what is. Or did I?
I had suggested that what someone pays for a painting such as a Da Vinci is over-inflated because it’s worth is that of the cost of its material and labour. The discussion was derived from a discussion on what is truth and value.
Noticing my mistake, I thought more about it. I realized this problem is similar to the descriptive/prescriptive conundrum in linguistics.
Where as linguistics of the earlier generations were about prescription (telling what the rules of language are to be adhered to) later generations up to now is about description (telling you how language actually is used). That is, to describe is to say what it is and to prescribe is to say what it ought to be.
It also seems that this does indeed relate to truth and value. Truth is what something is thought to be. And value is what something is thought to be worth. But does it?
Is/ought is about experience and judgement of reality. Descriptive/prescriptive is about data and its interpretation. But truth and value do not seem to be a “natural” binary in the same way as the other two. Truth is usually discussed with false or falsity of facts or reality. And value is usually discussed with subjectivity and objectivity. Their domains are different. This is an uneasy relationship and perhaps should not be discussed together.
I ask Siri to add to the calendar “pick up son” only for her to tell me the surreal – “pick up sun”. The dead poets would be proud.
I think therefore I think I am.
The reality and its objects are without inherent processes, qualities and relations. With perception we project onto the reality and its objects.
Death is not to be feared. It gives value to the life that precedes it. And it is not separate from one or the other. Life and death make up a single aspect of reality. Reality is a system of mutually defining entities. Nothing is should be treated as separate from the system but everything should be considered when thinking about and engaging with reality.
x is an abstract object if and only if x has no spatiotemporal location, cannot bring about effects, is imperceptible by the senses yet is in principle thinkable. NUMBER and UNIVERSALS might be abstract objects. It is controversial whether abstract objects exist and, if they do, whether they necessarily exist.Flew and Priest (1983)
The first statement lists four conditions of something being an abstract object: 1) no spatiotemporal location; 2) cannot bring about effects; 3) imperceptible by the senses, and; 4) in principle thinkable.
Something not being in space and time is fairly uncontroversial. The second and third may raise some eyebrows as to whether abstract objects have an effect in the space and time, and whether their effects are found in reality and sensed. Again, some will argue that if something is thinkable, it exists, whether it is a concrete object or an abstract one.
I will argue that since something called an abstract object has no spatial and temporal location, does not affect matter in space and time, and is imperceptible, it is only “existent” as a thought of an object, and not a thing in itself. The application of the term object therefore seems to be is a misnomer.