Tag Archives: philosophy

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

Verifiability and Falsifiability

There are some things which are neither verifiable nor falsifiable, like God. If God is unchanging, permanent and all-pervasive then nothing we can do will ever give us a place where it is absent and therefore observable. So it is quite pointless to even talk of its unverifiable/unfalsifiable existence.

But there are things which are verifiable but have yet to be falsified, like gravity or the speed of light. What we have is a physical world that can be tested shown to work in a certain order to be able to call it a law. But there is no reason why it cannot be falsified, only that it has not been falsified.

From experience then we can say the world works in a certain way, the way it works holds true in most, if not all places. The chance that it might not hold true in some place we have yet to discover is not as important as the fact that it holds true in every place we have seen it. That, in itself, is our only judgement of the world.

We may make deductions (conclusions from general truth to a specific one) and inductions (conclusions from specific truth to a general one) but really they are all abductions, conclusions from probable observed outcomes of general and/or specific truths.

Thoughts on the Mind

To me, there is no doubt that the mind is product of the physical brain that is of the physical world. Without the physical world there is no mind. By extension all concepts are therefore a product of the physical world by way of the physical brain. Once every living sentient thing disappears (if that is at all possible) from the physical universe then all concepts disappear. What remains is a physical universe without sentient being. That is quite possible because there is no law that says there must be sentient beings. In fact at the very beginning after the Big Bang it was quite possible that the universe did not contain a single sentient entity whatsoever. This being the case then it is possible that there can be a time in the future without sentient beings as well.

The Existential problem

I am happy with the concept though not with the term of the absurd. The definition that everything is meaningless is perhaps better rephrased as “without intrinsic meaning”. This is better captured in the term “without essence”. There is only existence. At first glance this sentence seems to indicate that existentialists are a kind of realist, materialist or physicalist. But the concerns of existentialists are how to live with freedom of choice. In other words, existentialists are concerned more with the mind than the real. The so-called freedom of choice, then, is seemingly complete freedom. Existentialists ignore the physical limitations that we are bound to, opting to place priority to the mind.

Religion, philosophy and science have the same aim

Looking beyond the surface of religion, philosophy and science they essentially have the same aim – to explain what the world is and how we should live in it. For this reason I find it does not matter what religion or belief you have as long as you are trying to be the best person possible you are heading in the right direction. But once you try to impose your own values on others then we lose our way and we lose respect for other people to have their beliefs.

Stasis of form

The physical stasis of the form of the word creates the illusion of the stasis of the thing.

Conceptual Stasis

The problem with concepts are that they create illusions of stasis when none are there. Plato fell into the trap, as did Aristotle. This way of thinking held sway until the 19 century. Even Peter Abelard had lost out (probably due to his love for his Heloise). Would we have the novel (and more widely, literature) if it were not for the understanding of the fictive mind?

Stasis or Kinesis

“The world is in a state of flux,” said Heraclitus. His contemporary Parmenides said the exact opposite – “everything is unitary and static”.

While it is easy to show that something that looks stable is in fact changing it is hard to show that it is not. One can say that both are illusions, only that one eventually does show itself to be the case (kinesis). Over time a an object in rest gradually changes its form. What Parmenides was arguing for was that this was all an illusion and that really everything is the same. In other words, he was a kind of rationalist. 

In some ways Christians are rationalists, that sense empirical data is imperfect and should be ignored. 

Priority and preference is given to the thinking mind rather than to the physical reality. Rationalists will argue that all that is necessary is the mind and its reason. 

But if that is the case why have we not evolved to be rid of sensory faculties. Clearly, the senses do matter, and it is to sense the changes in the environment, not its staticity. Stasis is a controlled look at all things. There is something abstract about stasis, it’s removal of movement of reality, like a photographic still or a painting of a scene.