Tag Archives: philosophy

I love Kant, the later Wittgenstein, Derrida, post structualism, postmodernism and the philosophy of language.

Process

The world never stops. It is in a continual process of change.

Hume believed necessary connections existed only in logic. For something to “be”, in a static and eternal manner, is something which occurs in language and the mind, and not in the real world. This tendency to “freeze” (or take snapshots of) things and ideas is an error in concluding that a statement of fact is an unproblematic representation of reality. Not only is a fact a step removed from reality but also a statement of fact remains the same (static) while the reality it describes quietly moves on.

Mind, self, soul

Consider these three definitions from the LDOCE:

mind – your thoughts or your ability to think, feel, and imagine things mental.

self – the type of person you are, your character, your typical behaviour etc.

soul – the part of a person that is not physical, and that contains their character, thoughts, and feelings. Many people believe that a person’s soul continues to exist after they have died.

Often the mind, self and soul are synonymous, but as the definitions show they are not used in the same way. There are no true or perfect synonyms. 

While the definition of the mind does not mention character, the definition of self does not mention thoughts. The former is about ability; the latter about quality.

In the definition of the soul both ability and quality are brought together. It also contains or emphasises two further qualities – that of non-physical and (sometimes the belief in) its continuation beyond physical death

I doubt anyone thinks that thoughts and feeling continues to exist in the mind after his or her death, or that one can be described as being a type of person with a certain character or behaviour after his or her death. It is with the soul only that we continue to think of someone’s continued existence beyond their physical one.

But what is this ‘part of the person that is not physical’ that no one has seen and everyone infers to exist? By what evidence does one have to make this inference? I can infer thought from physical reaction, and character from physical attributes. But one cannot infer the existence of a soul from death, apart from the cessation of thought, feeling and characteristics. What can only be inferred is that death is the cessation of these. Souls, then, are the thoughts and remembrances of the characteristics of those who are living, or have since passed

When a person dies …

When a person dies their body (matter) remains and their mind extinguishes. That is observed. Under no circumstances does matter extinguish. It only changes. Conservation is observed. This consistency and predictability of matter is essential to my understanding (call it reason if you will). From nowhere else does my knowledge of the reality start except from the sensation, then perception and conception of it.

When I die, I will not continue as a mind or spirit but the matter will transform into something else that may or may not have a mind.

Monism, dualism or pluralism?

Is it 1) mind only; 2) matter only; 3) both mind and matter; 4) more than just mind and matter; or 5) neither mind nor matter?

If it is the mind then all matter needs the mind. If it is matter then all things needs matter. If it is mind and matter then all things need both mind and matter. If it it is more than mind and matter then all things need mind, matter and the unknown things. If it is neither mind nor matter then all things need some unknown thing.

The world can be explained with what we have, namely the mind and matter. But the matter seems not to need the mind to exist. Death is a prime example of the matter continuing after the mind disappears. Whether the mind and/or some other unknown exists or disappears only matter exists. The only conclusion we can draw is it is monism, and it is matter only.

Flux/Impermanent/Change

Everything is in flux. (Heraclitus, 6c BCE)

Everything, without exception, is impermanent. (The Buddha, 5c BCE)

Change is the only constant. (signature103, 2018)

I am a material monist

The world is matter and matter alone. Where is the mind situated in this world? It is a process of matter. Perception and conception are processes of matter.

Is pure space observable?

Yesterday, I talked about the Avicenna’s Flying Man experiment. It seems quite a strange thought experiment. But let’s modify it and try to come up with a better conclusion.

Imagine pure space with no objects – including no you, the observer – within it. Nothing. No matter. No energy. Nada.

Even if you, by some impossible reason, can be an observer within this space – let us call you, The Insubstantial Eye – you cannot “know” space. You have no points of reference. Even if you move “through” space you will not know whether you are moving or whether you are stationary.

In other words, space is not knowable without objects. This is what I mean by space is inferred from the relationship of objects.