The Instigator
Beginner
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
The_Mestari
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Sense Data

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
The_Mestari
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/13/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 680 times Debate No: 68291
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (1)

 

Beginner

Pro

Pro - A physical object's properties are determined by empirical data
Con - A physical object's properties are determined linguistically

R1 - Acceptance
R2 - Arguments
R3 - Arguments + Rebuttals
R4 - Rebuttals, no new arguments

The_Mestari

Con

I accept Beginner's challenge to a quickfire no-research debate. We have agreed that referencing philosophers is okay, so long as we do not quote anything that is not common-knowledge. We have also agreed that the burden is bidirectional, and that we are both obligated to prove our side more correct than the opposition. I wish my opponent the best of luck.
Debate Round No. 1
Beginner

Pro

Solopsism

Things' existence are fed to us via our sensory data. EVerything we know, from our knowledge of language, the things we see, touch and hear determine what we know. How do we know if these things existed before we saw them? It is possible that everything is a creation of some kind of our conscience. There is no absolute evidence to prove otherwise.
Thus solipsism, the idea that nothing exists independent of the self, is very valid. We only know a thing exists when it is pushed through our senses. Therefore it is reasonable to assume that empirical data determines all an object's properties.

Existence

If we were to reject solipsism, then the opposite point of view: that objects exist independent of our senses, must be true. An object's physical properties thus exist independent of our senses, but we cannot necessarily know that an object contains properties that we believe it has until it has been empirically presented to us.
Say you've never heard of a uhieta. What physical properties does an uhieta have? You don't know until you've seen one. An uhieta's properties must first be empirically presented before you can necessarily know them.
The_Mestari

Con

I assert that the physical properties of an object are determined linguistically through a three-step process: understanding, interpretation, and assertion. Humans possess a pre-reflective nature. Understanding, as a result, is a state of being. The way we navigate the world is indicative of this quality. To say that one lacks understanding is to deny their basic humanity. Take, for example, a door; when opening a door we do not think about the qualities or nature of the door, at least not necessarily. We understand without thought that by turning the door knob and either pushing or pulling, the door will open. We exist in a state of understanding.

Now let's imagine that the door does not open when we turn the knob and push/pull. What then? We are overtaken by a state of conscious consideration. This is the state of interpretation. We begin to bounce around in our head the possibility that the door may be locked, or jammed, or broken. The awakening replaces the unconscious process of opening and closing the door with the conscious consideration of the door's purpose, the door's as-structure, the door as a door. It is thereby concluded that through interpretation we attribute meaning to physical objects and properties.

This does not however determine the absolute nature of a physical object's properties. Assertion is a process of synthesizing both understanding and interpretation into something of value. Truth, therefore, is the melding of judgment and the world itself. A more complex example will allow us to understand this. Take a person who is red-green colorblind. What he understands to be red and what he understands to be green is different than another individual's understanding of the same colors. One cannot argue that the sense-data property of a red object that allows one individual to interpret it as red and another to interpret it as red-or-green is any different. Empirical evidence is not enough to attribute this property to an object. It is through the verbal, linquistic assertion that, "this object is red" that we can collaborate the quality with other human beings who equally exist in a state of understanding and therefore can truly understand the property of the object. A further value of assertion is that is verbalizes the abstract faculties of the mind into concrete images. We can process images without being able to describe them, but through verbalization we require our mind to truly display a grasp of what they mean, in a way that is meaningful internally to ourselves and our conscious and externally to other human beings.
Debate Round No. 2
Beginner

Pro

Solipsism
Stands. Solipsism is a very valid point of view.

Existence
If Solipsism is rejected, an object's existence must be independent of the observer thus regardless of empirical or linguistic trappings, the object is defined. Therefore the object's properties cannot be defined by empiricism or linguistics.

If my opponent accepts solipsism, PRO wins the debate.
If my opponent rejects solipsism, he refutes the existence of the linguistic definition of an object's very existence and its properties.

CON cannot win this debate.

Refutations

My opponent elicits several analogies.
His door analogy has us consider a door. However, for us to even know that a door is a door, we must first have been introduced to the door empirically. English is necessarily learned empirically thus even if we have not seen the door and have been given 3rd part descriptions of its attributes, the existence of the door, the word the door itself even, came to us empirically.
Everything exists in empirical trappings. Thus to be able to place any significance on any object, one requires empirical exposure.
The_Mestari

Con

Beginner's arguments in defense of an emprical interpretation of physical properties has a fatal flaw, it is limited to the viewer's perspective. How do [em]you[/em] know that an object possesses certain qualities if [em]you[/em] have not been presented the relevant sense-data. I contend that physical properties exist independent of our senses. If I were to look at a table and utilize the sense data to create an image of the table in my head, that pre-requisites the existence of a collection of sense data that can be interpreted. Remember, Beginner is not providing support for his most extreme claim, that "nothing exists independent of the self." He admits in his own round that, "We only know a thing exists when it is pushed through our senses." If everything that exists is dependent on the self, and we are talking about the ontological nature of these objects, then these objects exist internally to the self. If that is true, then sense data is irrelevant because we create it internally within our own consciousness, but Beginner admits that sense data is pushed through out senses. He argues that sense data exists externally to the self, that our state of being is independent of the sense data's state of being. Because Beginner argues against the claim nothing exists independent of the self in his opening argument, do not allow him to change his stance later. His official stance is that objects exist externally, but we cannot understand them until they are internally processed.

My opponent makes the claim that "If [I] [reject] solipsism, [I] [refute] the existence of the linguistic definition of an object's very existence and its properties." This statement makes little sense and is unsubstantiated. At most he can link back to his opening round claim that, "EVerything [sic] we know, from our knowledge of language, the things we see, touch and hear determine what we know." This is inaccurate in that we understand language internally. We are perfectly capable of having discussions within our own minds and then come to a conclusion after that introspective thought process that we did not possess prior. Furthermore, it is hard to say that a blind, deaf, mute would lack an internal monologue. What they would talk about with their conscious is up for debate, but the capacity for an internal monologue is a fundamental faculty of the mind. Moreover, my opponent's claim that everything exists internally is a tacit acceptance that language is understandable internally. Even more damningly, during no part of my argument do I require that language be external in order to determine the physical properties of an object, simply that there is a linguistic assertion that combines judgment with understanding. Yes, these words interacting with other human beings will allow for a better understanding, but the fundamental idea is that through assertion we formulate a more precise description of a physical object's properties. In addition, in a world in which all is internal to the self, the people we talk to daily are also internal, but it doesn't reduce the validity of my argument. When a red-green colorblind person speaks with non colorblind people, even if those people are internal to his conscious, he is gaining a more precise understanding of the colors red and green.

So in summation my opponent's argument fails because:

1. He argues against it.
2. Language is internal.
3. Language does have to be externalized to define physical properties more accurately than sense date.
4. Even if it does, our conception of externalization is internal.

Onto his refutation, sure we have to be introduced to a door empirically, but out understanding is lacking until the assertion phase. Again, if the door doesn't open, we have a period of awakening, interpretation, in which we reconsider the properties of the door? Is it locked? Assertion mends reality with this realization to truly describe the state of the door and its physical properties.
Debate Round No. 3
Beginner

Pro

Solipsism
CON provides nothing to refute the claim that "nothing exists independent of the self". Thus this point of view is still very valid. As CON points out Solipsism does mean that everything is processed internally and that objects external to the self do not exist. However, this does not fundamentally negate my argument. We cannot know the properties of an object, even if its internal, until it is empirically presented to us. Thus, solipsist knowledge of an object created by the conscience point of view is locked until the solipsist is able to empirically register the object.
Solipsism stands as a valid affirmation to the resolution

Again, if CON rejects solipsism, the opposite of solipsism: that objects exist independent of the self, must be true. Thus objects exist independent of all empirical and linguistic definitions. Think of it this way: The human race can be wiped out with no one left to define anything and the objects would still exist and still have its physical properties. Thus linguistics cannot be a factor.
And that is why if Solipsism is rejected, CON negates his side of the resolution along with mine. The best result CON can attain in this debate is a tie.


The_Mestari

Con

"CON provides nothing to refute the claim that "nothing exists independent of the self"."

Extend Beginner's assertion that sensory data is pushed through our senses and extend my analysis of his position stating that, "sense data exists externally to the self, that our state of being is independent of the sense data's state of being. Because Beginner argues against the claim nothing exists independent of the self in his opening argument, do not allow him to change his stance later. His official stance is that objects exist externally, but we cannot understand them until they are internally processed."

Extend that language is internal to the consciousness and that even a blind, deaf, mute has the capacity for internal monologue. This is not refuted. This means that even if nothing exists internal to the self, we may still use language to determine the physical properties of objects.

Further extend my analysis that "If everything that exists is dependent on the self, and we are talking about the ontological nature of these objects, then these objects exist internally to the self. If that is true, then sense data is irrelevant because we create it internally within our own consciousness." This isn't refuted, if solipsism is true, then we disregard sense data entirely, and as sense data is the basis by which Beginner attempts to attribute physical properties - i.e., we only know of physical properties via senses - then the empirical basis for determining physical properties is also disregarded.

Beginner states that if all humans were to no longer exist, physical objects would still have properties. This is true, but his extension is incorrect, that linguistics cannot be relevant in determining the physical properties of an object. Remember that determination is a process, it has a beginning and end. If no humans exist, then the determination of physical properties cannot occur, even through empirical data because there can be no beginning of the determination process. Keep in mind that this argument is a direct rebuttal to a statement made in my opponent's last round. Feel free to gut check, but to disregard it as new is to give his new rebuttal a free pass.

Here are the voters:

Extend the reasons that my opponent arguments fail:

1. He argues against it.
2. Language is internal.
3. Language does have to be externalized to define physical properties more accurately than sense date.
4. Even if it does, our conception of externalization is internal.

He does not refute any of these.

Extend the three-step process for precisely determining the properties of physical objects: understanding, interpreting, and asserting. This isn't refuted.

Extend the color-blind example, that empirical sense-data isn't always internalized correctly, therefore we must re-externalized through discourse.
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Beginner 2 years ago
Beginner
I'm very tempted to pretend it actually means something, but it was really just a random combo of vowels and consonants.
Posted by TUF 2 years ago
TUF
Quick question: What is a uhieta?

https://www.google.com...
Posted by Beginner 2 years ago
Beginner
Yup. Good debate.
Posted by TUF 2 years ago
TUF
reading now
Posted by The_Mestari 2 years ago
The_Mestari
Great debate Beginner, it was a fun return to DDO. For not having prepared a single word and for not having chosen a topic either of us was familiar enough with to precisely verbalize in the 10 minutes we had to type it, I think we did a fine job.
Posted by Beginner 2 years ago
Beginner
I love it.
Posted by Beginner 2 years ago
Beginner
Quickfire is so unnerving.
Posted by TUF 2 years ago
TUF
Interesting argumentum, beginner.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by TUF 2 years ago
TUF
BeginnerThe_MestariTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: https://docs.google.com/document/d/10Gpgb0jZrf7DAruVrPJ92BKzp6Q1DhV3wszfAW17sD8/edit?usp=sharing