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"Monistic Mind" Thought Experiment

Poetaster
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6/6/2013 7:20:44 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Imagine some world in which there exists nothing but a single disembodied mind. Would a distinction between subject and object be null in that world? Between abstract and concrete? Idea and reality? Epistemology and ontology?

Would deception be possible in such a world?

Would a posteriori knowledge be possible in that world?

The motivations of this thought experiment are the questions: what kind of thing is the mind alone? If a mind can only exist subjectively, then would a world containing only minds be objectively empty?

Well, is this nonsense or genuinely interesting? (the two are not mutually exclusive)
"The book you are looking for hasn't been written yet. What you are looking for you are going to have to find yourself, it's not going to be in a book..." -Sidewalker
OMGJustinBieber
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6/7/2013 12:23:40 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
This is a good topic that honestly hasn't got a lot of attention so I might as well start it off before I go to bed. I'm honestly not sure about many of them because I'm not a great metaphysician, I'll kick off the discussion w/ some tentative answers.

At 6/6/2013 7:20:44 PM, Poetaster wrote:
Imagine some world in which there exists nothing but a single disembodied mind. Would a distinction between subject and object be null in that world? Between abstract and concrete? Idea and reality? Epistemology and ontology?
subject-object distinction is clearly null, as is the idea-reality distinction. I don't see why the others can't remain intact though.
Would deception be possible in such a world?
Yes, self deception.
Would a posteriori knowledge be possible in that world?
No.
The motivations of this thought experiment are the questions: what kind of thing is the mind alone? If a mind can only exist subjectively, then would a world containing only minds be objectively empty?

Well, is this nonsense or genuinely interesting? (the two are not mutually exclusive)

genuinely interesting.
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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6/7/2013 12:24:36 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/6/2013 7:20:44 PM, Poetaster wrote:
Imagine some world in which there exists nothing but a single disembodied mind.

The Fool: It"s not possible, as it is "I" who is always Imagining IT.

Poetaster: Would a distinction between subject and object be null in that world?

The Fool: Subject and Object are the same. Just Flipped around. For a Subject may be an Object, and an object a subject. Furthermore objects may be subjected, and subjects objected.

Poetaster:
Between abstract and concrete? Idea and reality? Epistemology and ontology?

The Fool: Again. Problems, for what is considered abstract, is the formal essence, while what is concrete, color, Touch, taste and Smell, is in relation to the perceiver. And the only things consistent in Concrete Ideas, Is the FORMAL ESSENCE. (Math-logical ratios). Yet we know what Emotional Terms MEAN. For we understand What "Fear", love and laughter mean. Much More Clearly and Distinctly then the CONCRETE Ideas. As we can never miss-feel something, for it would not be felt, but our senses fool us often enough.

Poetaster: Would deception be possible in such a world?

The Fool: Ah, wait I see what is going on again, it is me trying to fool myself, again. Maybe next time Fool! or the Time Before that one.

Poetaster: Would a posteriori knowledge be possible in that world?

The Fool:
Its your world fool, you tell me?

Poetaster: The motivations of this thought experiment are the questions: what kind of thing is the mind alone?

The Fool: I think you may have been fooled out of yourself, Like a Clown Bear or Noumena. Aww, Like them, you must have "rejected" yourself, for yourself. But these Rejects, or rather, Mad Hatters of idle chatter, witless banter, Spit and spatter, of "rejections" that don't matter. As if the wheel of causality is is inline with their Ideologies.

But they seem to themselves to think so, and yet never seem to know "themselves" and/or "themselves" what they mean.

Poetaster: If a mind can only exist subjectively, then would a world containing only minds be objectively empty?

The Fool: What Kind of other existences have you experienced, without your mind.
Or Are you just basing everything On Faith. For who are these other mindless creatures, or physical Phantoms, whom have told you something else?
The Other kind of existence.

Whence did you speaketh to them,

What did you see?

What were their woe's?

Whereto did they go?

Back-eth to The Other World?

For if all things known are known through consciousness, what are these unknown things, and would it not be fair to then say that you don"t know what you are talking about? Yet you speaketh do you?
I my myself have no Memories of "Being Unconscious", so I am a fool to such things, but I am willing to be your pupil.

Poetaster: Well, is this nonsense or genuinely interesting? (the two are not mutually exclusive)

The Fool:
Interesting? This was a downgrade and a complete upset!! As the two are One Set, and only a pair when apart, but apart when a pair, together, it tears my heart in two, to say, to you and me, that we too are One either way, Hip + Hip = Hooray!!
<(8J)
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
,
,
,
,

And Hip Hop Hooray..
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
Noumena
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6/7/2013 1:30:09 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 12:40:38 AM, FREEDO wrote:
http://en.wikipedia.org...

*life spins out of control due to paranoid delusions of Boltzbrainitude*
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
Sidewalker
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6/7/2013 5:48:01 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 12:23:40 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
This is a good topic that honestly hasn't got a lot of attention so I might as well start it off before I go to bed. I'm honestly not sure about many of them because I'm not a great metaphysician, I'll kick off the discussion w/ some tentative answers.

At 6/6/2013 7:20:44 PM, Poetaster wrote:
Imagine some world in which there exists nothing but a single disembodied mind. Would a distinction between subject and object be null in that world? Between abstract and concrete? Idea and reality? Epistemology and ontology?
subject-object distinction is clearly null, as is the idea-reality distinction. I don't see why the others can't remain intact though.

Without physical referents, how would the abstract and concrete distinction remain?

Would deception be possible in such a world?
Yes, self deception.
Would a posteriori knowledge be possible in that world?
No.

If mathematical induction qualifies as a posteriori knowledge then maybe it's a yes, it's conceivable that a disembodied mind could deductively reason from abstract specifics to abstract generalities in a modal logic process. I suppose it comes down to whether a posteriori knowledge can be derived from a completely abstract chain of reasoning.

The motivations of this thought experiment are the questions: what kind of thing is the mind alone? If a mind can only exist subjectively, then would a world containing only minds be objectively empty?

I'm not sure you can have knowledge without a distinction between subject and object, thinking is relating, if a Monistic mind world is an unfifferentiated world, then there is nothing to relate and perhaps thought isn't possible, and if thought isn't possible then I'm not sure the term mind has meaning. Perhaps the Monistic Mind world is a world of pure consciousness, but without content, I'm not sure consciousness has meaning.

If Kant is right that time and space are a priori categories of thought then I suppose abstract thoughts about time and space could occur, and if so, then deductive and inductive chains of reasoning could be derived. But Kant was talking about human categories of thought, I doubt a disembodied mind can be considered a human mind, I suppose it comes down to how you set up the thought experiment ontologically. Where does this disembodied mind exist, by that I mean, is it in time and space, by "nothing but a single disembodied mind" do you mean a world without time, space, matter, and energy or just a world of time and space without matter and energy. I think the four are co-derivatives, if they are relationally defined, then you can't really have the second option.

Well, is this nonsense or genuinely interesting? (the two are not mutually exclusive)

genuinely interesting.

It gets more interesting as you think it through.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
tBoonePickens
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6/7/2013 10:10:46 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/6/2013 7:20:44 PM, Poetaster wrote:
Imagine some world in which there exists nothing but a single disembodied mind.
OK, so I am imagining that the entire Universe is my mind...

Would a distinction between subject and object be null in that world?

Between abstract and concrete? Idea and reality? Epistemology and ontology?
There are no objects as per your "given" above; ergo, these questions are undefined.

Would deception be possible in such a world?
No because one cannot deceive oneself, at least not literally.

Would a posteriori knowledge be possible in that world?
As it stands, the answer is no; you have not provided any in your "given" above.

The motivations of this thought experiment are the questions: what kind of thing is the mind alone?
Only problem is that this thought experiment as presented can do nothing to answer this question.

If a mind can only exist subjectively, then would a world containing only minds be objectively empty?
Given your thought experiment, this question is also undefined.

Well, is this nonsense or genuinely interesting? (the two are not mutually exclusive)
At this point I'd say non-sense, only because you haven't provided enough framework for this thought experiment to function with. As far as I can tell, your "given" is basically a singular non-physical existence, and there's not much you can do with that ESPECIALLY if you ask questions regarding the PHYSICAL!
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
OMGJustinBieber
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6/7/2013 10:32:36 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Without physical referents, how would the abstract and concrete distinction remain?

The source of this confusion might lie in the fact that there's no clear, agreed upon definition of the concrete/abstract distinction. Obviously if by 'concrete' we mean something exernal to the subject then my position is untenable, but when I wrote the post I accounted for the distinction in terms of sensations or perhaps impressions I'm using the term right.

If mathematical induction qualifies as a posteriori knowledge then maybe it's a yes, it's conceivable that a disembodied mind could deductively reason from abstract specifics to abstract generalities in a modal logic process. I suppose it comes down to whether a posteriori knowledge can be derived from a completely abstract chain of reasoning.

My go to definition for a posteriori knowledge is knowledge derived from experience. I might be open to your position on induction, I would have to think it over more. The question that immediately comes to mind is whether one would consider knowledge derived inductively as really "knowledge." For something to be known it must be true.

Once we talk of deductive reasoning we're in the a priori realm. Any knowledge in this universe comes from 'going' inside of the subject's mind so that's why I'm doubtful of the existence of a posteriori knowledge in this universe.
Poetaster
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6/7/2013 1:31:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 12:23:40 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:

At 6/6/2013 7:20:44 PM, Poetaster wrote:
Imagine some world in which there exists nothing but a single disembodied mind. Would a distinction between subject and object be null in that world? Between abstract and concrete? Idea and reality? Epistemology and ontology?
subject-object distinction is clearly null, as is the idea-reality distinction. I don't see why the others can't remain intact though.
Would deception be possible in such a world?
Yes, self deception.
Would a posteriori knowledge be possible in that world?
No.

I almost didn't include the question about deception because it seemed too easily defeasible when met with the sort of answer which you gave. Obviously, the "monistic mind" as described is capable of misconception (that is, it may be convinced of some untruth).

But a contrarian strain of thought grew on me as I asked, "Is deception truly possible for the monistic mind in the full sense of it being lied to, as though by a second party? Should we recognize 'self-deception' as simply a by-word for 'ignorance brought about by internal misconception'?"

It prompted me to explicitly call into question whether the idea of 'self-deception' is coherent under the definition of second-party-type deception (i.e. 'lying'). I don't think it is.

More importantly, I also saw that the question of deception was caught in a kind of cross-hairs with the question of a posteriori knowledge. You've answered that such knowledge is not possible in the monistic mind's world. I'm inclined to agree. And while delusion/misconception would be possible in the same world, I think that lying, in its strict sense, would not be.

I then came to consider whether the presence of multiple, distinct minds in a "minds-only" world would introduce the possibility of a posteriori knowledge into that world. I think it would. Additionally, the presence of multiple minds would mean that second-party-type deception (lying) could also be possible in that world.

Directly as a consequence of these considerations, I am prompted to ask: "Is lying only possible in worlds with the possibility of a posteriori knowledge?"
"The book you are looking for hasn't been written yet. What you are looking for you are going to have to find yourself, it's not going to be in a book..." -Sidewalker
OMGJustinBieber
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6/7/2013 1:45:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I think that lying, in its strict sense, would not be.

I would agree, and would distinguish lying from other forms of deception. I think one can be deceptive even when telling the truth e.g. through leaving out bits of crucial information.

In terms of self-deception, I find addicts deceive themselves routinely. The issue, of course, is self-control; which is more like a limited resources rather than something one has full control over.
Poetaster
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6/7/2013 1:46:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 10:10:46 AM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 6/6/2013 7:20:44 PM, Poetaster wrote:
Imagine some world in which there exists nothing but a single disembodied mind.
OK, so I am imagining that the entire Universe is my mind...

Would a distinction between subject and object be null in that world?

Between abstract and concrete? Idea and reality? Epistemology and ontology?
There are no objects as per your "given" above; ergo, these questions are undefined.

I'm not sure what you mean in saying that the "questions are undefined". Do you mean that I haven't said anything about objects prior to the question about them?

Would deception be possible in such a world?
No because one cannot deceive oneself, at least not literally.

Would a posteriori knowledge be possible in that world?
As it stands, the answer is no; you have not provided any in your "given" above.

The motivations of this thought experiment are the questions: what kind of thing is the mind alone?
Only problem is that this thought experiment as presented can do nothing to answer this question.

If a mind can only exist subjectively, then would a world containing only minds be objectively empty?
Given your thought experiment, this question is also undefined.

I'm curious know how you think this question, too, stands "undefined". What else is there to define about it, assuming that the reader is competent in the English language? It inquires whether a "minds-only" world would be objectively empty if the mind only exists subjectively (that is, only privately and to a subject).


Well, is this nonsense or genuinely interesting? (the two are not mutually exclusive)
At this point I'd say non-sense, only because you haven't provided enough framework for this thought experiment to function with. As far as I can tell, your "given" is basically a singular non-physical existence, and there's not much you can do with that ESPECIALLY if you ask questions regarding the PHYSICAL!

Well, I don't want to force any answers from people, so I will let their declarative framework supply my inquiry with a requisite structure in giving their answers. If the answers here were contained in my "given", it wouldn't be very interesting.
"The book you are looking for hasn't been written yet. What you are looking for you are going to have to find yourself, it's not going to be in a book..." -Sidewalker
Poetaster
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6/7/2013 2:03:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 5:48:01 AM, Sidewalker wrote:

I'm not sure you can have knowledge without a distinction between subject and object, thinking is relating, if a Monistic mind world is an unfifferentiated world, then there is nothing to relate and perhaps thought isn't possible, and if thought isn't possible then I'm not sure the term mind has meaning. Perhaps the Monistic Mind world is a world of pure consciousness, but without content, I'm not sure consciousness has meaning.

Well, it's true that all propositions derivable in classical formal systems of logic can be analogously derived in parallel logic systems of belief and knowledge. These analogous systems are the objects of Doxastic Logic, with which one may derive such things as the doxastic analog to Godel's incompleteness theorems, etc. Therefore, if formal logic is available to pure mind, then belief and knowledge is also still available to it. So I think that knowledge is possible for the "monistic mind".


If Kant is right that time and space are a priori categories of thought then I suppose abstract thoughts about time and space could occur, and if so, then deductive and inductive chains of reasoning could be derived. But Kant was talking about human categories of thought, I doubt a disembodied mind can be considered a human mind, I suppose it comes down to how you set up the thought experiment ontologically. Where does this disembodied mind exist, by that I mean, is it in time and space, by "nothing but a single disembodied mind" do you mean a world without time, space, matter, and energy or just a world of time and space without matter and energy. I think the four are co-derivatives, if they are relationally defined, then you can't really have the second option.

Well, the questions which you ask about the "monistic mind" here seem to be applicable to minds in general. Namely, where does my mind exist? Where is it in time in space? What is my mind ontologically speaking? The mysteries carried in these questions is thus not unique to the "monistic mind".
"The book you are looking for hasn't been written yet. What you are looking for you are going to have to find yourself, it's not going to be in a book..." -Sidewalker
AlbinoBunny
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6/7/2013 2:33:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/6/2013 7:20:44 PM, Poetaster wrote:
Imagine some world in which there exists nothing but a single disembodied mind. Would a distinction between subject and object be null in that world? Between abstract and concrete? Idea and reality? Epistemology and ontology?

Would deception be possible in such a world?

Would a posteriori knowledge be possible in that world?

The motivations of this thought experiment are the questions: what kind of thing is the mind alone? If a mind can only exist subjectively, then would a world containing only minds be objectively empty?

Well, is this nonsense or genuinely interesting? (the two are not mutually exclusive)

I think it's interesting. We could explore the hypotheticals. Another question is could a mind exist like that at all? Even if it couldn't, we could still explore the ramifications of such a scenario.
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Poetaster
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6/7/2013 2:44:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 2:33:24 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 6/6/2013 7:20:44 PM, Poetaster wrote:

Well, is this nonsense or genuinely interesting? (the two are not mutually exclusive)

I think it's interesting. We could explore the hypotheticals. Another question is could a mind exist like that at all? Even if it couldn't, we could still explore the ramifications of such a scenario.

You're right, it need only be conceivable, not feasible or physically plausible in any sense, and its ramifications are not trivialized by this admission.
"The book you are looking for hasn't been written yet. What you are looking for you are going to have to find yourself, it's not going to be in a book..." -Sidewalker
Poetaster
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6/7/2013 4:11:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I'm most struck by how strange it is to think that we would have to consider a "minds-only" world objectively empty, as though the mind itself were some non-ingredient of that world, or of any other.

So I wonder: What kind of occupant does a mind, in general, constitute? Is it, in fact, a non-ingredient? Or is it, if I may be so colorful, the flavorless seasoning which nonetheless defines the recipe?

Bah, here's an attempt to codify these things into a thought experiment:
Imagine that we have "sent out" a modal world-terminator to survey all possible worlds. Its task: shut down all empty worlds. Would the world of the "monistic mind" have to be shut down? If not, how could the modal world-terminator "detect" that world's non-emptiness?
"The book you are looking for hasn't been written yet. What you are looking for you are going to have to find yourself, it's not going to be in a book..." -Sidewalker
Sidewalker
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6/9/2013 2:31:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 10:32:36 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Without physical referents, how would the abstract and concrete distinction remain?

The source of this confusion might lie in the fact that there's no clear, agreed upon definition of the concrete/abstract distinction. Obviously if by 'concrete' we mean something exernal to the subject then my position is untenable, but when I wrote the post I accounted for the distinction in terms of sensations or perhaps impressions I'm using the term right.

I suppose the question becomes, can there even be sensations or impressions without an external world, are uncaused sensation or impressions really sensations or impressions, or are they something else altogether.

If mathematical induction qualifies as a posteriori knowledge then maybe it's a yes, it's conceivable that a disembodied mind could deductively reason from abstract specifics to abstract generalities in a modal logic process. I suppose it comes down to whether a posteriori knowledge can be derived from a completely abstract chain of reasoning.

My go to definition for a posteriori knowledge is knowledge derived from experience. I might be open to your position on induction, I would have to think it over more. The question that immediately comes to mind is whether one would consider knowledge derived inductively as really "knowledge." For something to be known it must be true.

The fact that we are using the adjectives "a priori" and "a posteriori" to modify the noun "knowledge", presupposes that inductive knowledge is knowledge doesn"t it?

Once we talk of deductive reasoning we're in the a priori realm. Any knowledge in this universe comes from 'going' inside of the subject's mind so that's why I'm doubtful of the existence of a posteriori knowledge in this universe.

Same here, I"m just speculating, but it seems that in such a "world", if you can even call it a world, the act of deductive reasoning on a priori knowledge implies that conclusions can be derived from a priori axioms. If that"s the case, then a chain of reasoning results in some conclusions that are derived from prior conclusions, and then a further chain of reasoning can result in knowledge that derives completely from prior conclusions, and it seems that such a sequential chain of reasoning constitutes an experience with a priori and a posteriori distinctions. From such a process, if one can derive generalities from previously derived specifics, then that seems to be knowledge that resulted from experience and might qualify as an instance of both inductive and a posteriori knowledge, even if the experience in question is only a deductive and a priori chain of reasoning".maybe.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
AlbinoBunny
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6/9/2013 2:59:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Can people believe such a reality impossible if they also believe in "God"?
bladerunner060 | bsh1 , 2014! Presidency campaign!

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http://www.debate.org... - Running for president.
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Poetaster
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6/9/2013 3:57:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/9/2013 2:59:29 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
Can people believe such a reality impossible if they also believe in "God"?

Can they? Well, I suppose, but only because people can believe anything of which they are able to convince themselves, whether reasonably or unreasonably. But this doesn't seem very compelling or to the point.

How about this: Does a belief in God strictly enable one to reasonably deny the mere logical possibility of the "monistic mind"?

I don't think so. After all, the theist would seem to propose that "God" is himself some kind of singular, disembodied mind which existed in an otherwise "empty world" before creating this universe. So I think that the theist is actually committed to acknowledging the conceivability of the "monistic mind" which we discuss here.
"The book you are looking for hasn't been written yet. What you are looking for you are going to have to find yourself, it's not going to be in a book..." -Sidewalker
Poetaster
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6/9/2013 4:23:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/9/2013 2:31:41 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 6/7/2013 10:32:36 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Without physical referents, how would the abstract and concrete distinction remain?

The source of this confusion might lie in the fact that there's no clear, agreed upon definition of the concrete/abstract distinction. Obviously if by 'concrete' we mean something exernal to the subject then my position is untenable, but when I wrote the post I accounted for the distinction in terms of sensations or perhaps impressions I'm using the term right.

I suppose the question becomes, can there even be sensations or impressions without an external world, are uncaused sensation or impressions really sensations or impressions, or are they something else altogether.

Such "uncaused" impressions or sensations (like those occurring in a dream) are still qualia. Asking whether qualia can arise without an external world may not represent a unique concern, considering that we don't know how or why they arise even with an external world.

At 6/9/2013 2:31:41 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 6/7/2013 10:32:36 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:

If mathematical induction qualifies as a posteriori knowledge then maybe it's a yes, it's conceivable that a disembodied mind could deductively reason from abstract specifics to abstract generalities in a modal logic process. I suppose it comes down to whether a posteriori knowledge can be derived from a completely abstract chain of reasoning.

My go to definition for a posteriori knowledge is knowledge derived from experience. I might be open to your position on induction, I would have to think it over more. The question that immediately comes to mind is whether one would consider knowledge derived inductively as really "knowledge." For something to be known it must be true.

The fact that we are using the adjectives "a priori" and "a posteriori" to modify the noun "knowledge", presupposes that inductive knowledge is knowledge doesn"t it?

Yes, but general inductive reasoning is associated with a posteriori knowledge, and corresponds to knowledge contingent on some circumstantial state of affairs. The process of mathematical induction is an entirely different breed of ratiocination, and still corresponds to a priori knowledge. There are reasons that they share the word "induction", but this is an artifact of language. Hope I didn't miss your point here.

At 6/9/2013 2:31:41 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 6/7/2013 10:32:36 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:

Once we talk of deductive reasoning we're in the a priori realm. Any knowledge in this universe comes from 'going' inside of the subject's mind so that's why I'm doubtful of the existence of a posteriori knowledge in this universe.

Same here, I"m just speculating, but it seems that in such a "world", if you can even call it a world, the act of deductive reasoning on a priori knowledge implies that conclusions can be derived from a priori axioms. If that"s the case, then a chain of reasoning results in some conclusions that are derived from prior conclusions, and then a further chain of reasoning can result in knowledge that derives completely from prior conclusions, and it seems that such a sequential chain of reasoning constitutes an experience with a priori and a posteriori distinctions. From such a process, if one can derive generalities from previously derived specifics, then that seems to be knowledge that resulted from experience and might qualify as an instance of both inductive and a posteriori knowledge, even if the experience in question is only a deductive and a priori chain of reasoning".maybe.

I like your perspective on this, but I don't see how the enclosed experience of thoughts consisting wholly of a priori deductions could produce any external, circumstantial facts to be "discovered" by some empirical or forensic means. The mind is trivially aware of its own mental processes, in the manner of Descartes' tautologous cogito. To say something like, "I am," is to utter a proposition that is true from its parts alone; the predicate is contained in the subject: the very fact that the first-person pronoun 'I' has been uttered entails that a self-referencing being exists to utter it. But I'd be interested to see this contention challenged or overturned.
"The book you are looking for hasn't been written yet. What you are looking for you are going to have to find yourself, it's not going to be in a book..." -Sidewalker
Sidewalker
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6/9/2013 5:06:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 2:03:00 PM, Poetaster wrote:
At 6/7/2013 5:48:01 AM, Sidewalker wrote:

I'm not sure you can have knowledge without a distinction between subject and object, thinking is relating, if a Monistic mind world is an unfifferentiated world, then there is nothing to relate and perhaps thought isn't possible, and if thought isn't possible then I'm not sure the term mind has meaning. Perhaps the Monistic Mind world is a world of pure consciousness, but without content, I'm not sure consciousness has meaning.

Well, it's true that all propositions derivable in classical formal systems of logic can be analogously derived in parallel logic systems of belief and knowledge. These analogous systems are the objects of Doxastic Logic, with which one may derive such things as the doxastic analog to Godel's incompleteness theorems, etc. Therefore, if formal logic is available to pure mind, then belief and knowledge is also still available to it. So I think that knowledge is possible for the "monistic mind".


If Kant is right that time and space are a priori categories of thought then I suppose abstract thoughts about time and space could occur, and if so, then deductive and inductive chains of reasoning could be derived. But Kant was talking about human categories of thought, I doubt a disembodied mind can be considered a human mind, I suppose it comes down to how you set up the thought experiment ontologically. Where does this disembodied mind exist, by that I mean, is it in time and space, by "nothing but a single disembodied mind" do you mean a world without time, space, matter, and energy or just a world of time and space without matter and energy. I think the four are co-derivatives, if they are relationally defined, then you can't really have the second option.

Well, the questions which you ask about the "monistic mind" here seem to be applicable to minds in general. Namely, where does my mind exist? Where is it in time in space? What is my mind ontologically speaking? The mysteries carried in these questions is thus not unique to the "monistic mind".

The problem of determining "where" is indeed unique to this thought experiment if "nothing but a single disembodied mind" means that time and space don"t exist in this world. I"m not sure the term "where" even has meaning in this case; it would require the act of locating without spatial or temporal coordinates to locate in. A disembodied mind that is not in time or space presupposes the "where" is some sort of a transcendent realm of platonic existence outside of time and space.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Poetaster
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6/9/2013 6:16:01 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/9/2013 5:06:57 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 6/7/2013 2:03:00 PM, Poetaster wrote:
At 6/7/2013 5:48:01 AM, Sidewalker wrote:

Well, the questions which you ask about the "monistic mind" here seem to be applicable to minds in general. Namely, where does my mind exist? Where is it in time and space? What is my mind ontologically speaking? The mysteries carried in these questions is thus not unique to the "monistic mind".

The problem of determining "where" is indeed unique to this thought experiment if "nothing but a single disembodied mind" means that time and space don"t exist in this world. I"m not sure the term "where" even has meaning in this case; it would require the act of locating without spatial or temporal coordinates to locate in. A disembodied mind that is not in time or space presupposes the "where" is some sort of a transcendent realm of platonic existence outside of time and space.

Because the spatial and temporal nature of our own minds in this world seems to be open to question, or at least less than apparent to us, I think there is utility to be had in mentally subtracting or suppressing certain elements from our concepts of these things to see if the ideas remain intact or coherent.

What are the boundaries of my mind? Place me on an infinite Euclidean plane: Where does my visual field end? Do "I" stop where it does? Perspectival geometry suggests that my visual field is unending; as infinite as the plane itself. Do "I" mentally coextend with it to the same degree? If I close my eyes, do "I" mentally compress back into a single, blind point?

I admit that you're right to doubt (or reject) that explicit location is a sensible notion to apply to the "monistic mind", but this concern would carry over even if we were to add "space" into the thought experiment.

And, as you've mentioned before, since time and space are somewhat "co-derivatives", then the same kind of questions may be "co-derived" for time.

So if introducing space or time into the thought experiment does not seem to dissolve the spatial/temporal issues which you attribute to a presupposed platonic status of the mind in the thought experiment, then that modification would seem to be logically independent of that presupposition, whether or not it was made in formulating the experiment.
"The book you are looking for hasn't been written yet. What you are looking for you are going to have to find yourself, it's not going to be in a book..." -Sidewalker
tBoonePickens
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6/10/2013 10:46:02 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 1:46:38 PM, Poetaster wrote:
At 6/7/2013 10:10:46 AM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 6/6/2013 7:20:44 PM, Poetaster wrote:
Imagine some world in which there exists nothing but a single disembodied mind.
OK, so I am imagining that the entire Universe is my mind...

Would a distinction between subject and object be null in that world?

Between abstract and concrete? Idea and reality? Epistemology and ontology?
There are no objects as per your "given" above; ergo, these questions are undefined.

I'm not sure what you mean in saying that the "questions are undefined". Do you mean that I haven't said anything about objects prior to the question about them?
In a sense, yes. As far as I can tell, your universe of discourse contains one object and one object alone: a mind. As such, any references to other objects is essentially undefined.

Would deception be possible in such a world?
No because one cannot deceive oneself, at least not literally.

Would a posteriori knowledge be possible in that world?
As it stands, the answer is no; you have not provided any in your "given" above.

The motivations of this thought experiment are the questions: what kind of thing is the mind alone?
Only problem is that this thought experiment as presented can do nothing to answer this question.

If a mind can only exist subjectively, then would a world containing only minds be objectively empty?
Given your thought experiment, this question is also undefined.
I'm curious know how you think this question, too, stands "undefined".
Based on your "given", if there exists only a SINGLE thing, then there is ONE thing not TWO; ergo, objective/subjective is a false choice. Objective/subjective are two things not one thing.

What else is there to define about it, assuming that the reader is competent in the English language? It inquires whether a "minds-only" world would be objectively empty if the mind only exists subjectively (that is, only privately and to a subject).
Well technically, it would be a "mind-only" world not a "minds-only" world. Also, objective/subjective in this scenario is a false choice as I explained above.

Well, is this nonsense or genuinely interesting? (the two are not mutually exclusive)
At this point I'd say non-sense, only because you haven't provided enough framework for this thought experiment to function with. As far as I can tell, your "given" is basically a singular non-physical existence, and there's not much you can do with that ESPECIALLY if you ask questions regarding the PHYSICAL!
Well, I don't want to force any answers from people, so I will let their declarative framework supply my inquiry with a requisite structure in giving their answers. If the answers here were contained in my "given", it wouldn't be very interesting.
Good enough, but I did not request answers to be contained in the given. Instead, I requested for you to at least supply a "basis" to able to understand your questions. In a Universe supposedly devoid of physicality, how can one be expected to answer question pertaining to the physical? Not that that's even possible to begin with.
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
OMGJustinBieber
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6/10/2013 12:34:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/9/2013 2:31:41 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 6/7/2013 10:32:36 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Without physical referents, how would the abstract and concrete distinction remain?

The source of this confusion might lie in the fact that there's no clear, agreed upon definition of the concrete/abstract distinction. Obviously if by 'concrete' we mean something exernal to the subject then my position is untenable, but when I wrote the post I accounted for the distinction in terms of sensations or perhaps impressions I'm using the term right.

I suppose the question becomes, can there even be sensations or impressions without an external world, are uncaused sensation or impressions really sensations or impressions, or are they something else altogether.

I honestly don't know enough the brain/mind to answer that. When you get into uncaused sensations I'm even more in the dark.

What I can say is this: It seems very apparent to me that my mind can create sensations and impressions that are not really there. Perhaps these sensations, however, are dependent on some external reality i.e. that without such an external reality, the "raw material" for these sensations/expressions wouldn't be there. Again, I really don't know.

If mathematical induction qualifies as a posteriori knowledge then maybe it's a yes, it's conceivable that a disembodied mind could deductively reason from abstract specifics to abstract generalities in a modal logic process. I suppose it comes down to whether a posteriori knowledge can be derived from a completely abstract chain of reasoning.

My go to definition for a posteriori knowledge is knowledge derived from experience. I might be open to your position on induction, I would have to think it over more. The question that immediately comes to mind is whether one would consider knowledge derived inductively as really "knowledge." For something to be known it must be true.

The fact that we are using the adjectives "a priori" and "a posteriori" to modify the noun "knowledge", presupposes that inductive knowledge is knowledge doesn"t it?


Inductive knowledge is just a subset of a posteriori knowlege. Inductive knowledge is just about going from a particular or set particulars to a universal. One can deny that inductive reasoning gives us knowledge, but maintain that there is such a thing as a posteriori knowledge.

Just a quick example, the fact that Obama has dark hair is a posteriori knowledge but one wouldn't say that it was derived inductively.

Once we talk of deductive reasoning we're in the a priori realm. Any knowledge in this universe comes from 'going' inside of the subject's mind so that's why I'm doubtful of the existence of a posteriori knowledge in this universe.

Same here, I"m just speculating, but it seems that in such a "world", if you can even call it a world, the act of deductive reasoning on a priori knowledge implies that conclusions can be derived from a priori axioms. If that"s the case, then a chain of reasoning results in some conclusions that are derived from prior conclusions, and then a further chain of reasoning can result in knowledge that derives completely from prior conclusions, and it seems that such a sequential chain of reasoning constitutes an experience with a priori and a posteriori distinctions. From such a process, if one can derive generalities from previously derived specifics, then that seems to be knowledge that resulted from experience and might qualify as an instance of both inductive and a posteriori knowledge, even if the experience in question is only a deductive and a priori chain of reasoning".maybe.

Yes, a priori premises placed into the deductive method lead to a priori conclusions.

You write: "it seems that such a sequential chain of reasoning constitutes an experience with a priori and a posteriori distinctions."

In our mind-world, I don't think we get a posteriori. I think it's perfectly reasonable to just contemplate the existence of a priori knowledge as existing independently without having to invoke its counterpart.
AlbinoBunny
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6/10/2013 12:47:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/6/2013 7:20:44 PM, Poetaster wrote:
Imagine some world in which there exists nothing but a single disembodied mind.

Could that possibly be this "world"? Everything is a figment of the mind's imagination. Would that be a form of pantheism? Solipsism? lol
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bladerunner060
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6/10/2013 12:48:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
A posteriori knowledge would be trivially possible.

A posteriori knowledge is dependent on experience; if it's a mind in a sense that we'd normally think of it, it can only have a posteriori knowledge of its own workings.

E.g.:

"I wonder if I can convince myself this isn't a hellish existence through sheer force of will?"

Tries for awhile...

"Nope, I guess I can't."
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OMGJustinBieber
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6/10/2013 12:59:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/10/2013 12:48:51 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
A posteriori knowledge would be trivially possible.

A posteriori knowledge is dependent on experience; if it's a mind in a sense that we'd normally think of it, it can only have a posteriori knowledge of its own workings.

E.g.:

"I wonder if I can convince myself this isn't a hellish existence through sheer force of will?"

Tries for awhile...

"Nope, I guess I can't."

Are you sure about this? The way that I've always perceived the distinction was whether someone could go inside of their mind for an answer (a priori) or whether they needed to look outwards (a posteriori.)

In the thought experiment we aren't "experiencing" anything outside of Mind.
bladerunner060
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6/10/2013 2:02:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/10/2013 12:59:51 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:

Are you sure about this? The way that I've always perceived the distinction was whether someone could go inside of their mind for an answer (a priori) or whether they needed to look outwards (a posteriori.)

In the thought experiment we aren't "experiencing" anything outside of Mind.

The only difference between the two is whether they're related to experience or thought only. In general, that means what you're thinking it means. In this specific example, though, it doesn't hold the way you're thinking of it.

The mind can experience itself. In my example, it has to test the hypothesis to see if it can do what it wonders if it can do. It then discovers that it cannot. It discovers this only through experience; there was no a priori way for it to know the answer.

"A priori knowledge or justification is independent of experience (for example "All bachelors are unmarried"). Galen Strawson wrote that an a priori argument is one in which "you can see that it is true just lying on your couch. You don't have to get up off your couch and go outside and examine the way things are in the physical world. You don't have to do any science.";

A posteriori knowledge or justification is dependent on experience or empirical evidence (for example "Some bachelors are very unhappy")."

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Poetaster
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6/10/2013 4:12:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/10/2013 10:46:02 AM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 6/7/2013 1:46:38 PM, Poetaster wrote:
At 6/7/2013 10:10:46 AM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 6/6/2013 7:20:44 PM, Poetaster wrote:
Imagine some world in which there exists nothing but a single disembodied mind.
OK, so I am imagining that the entire Universe is my mind...

Would a distinction between subject and object be null in that world?

Between abstract and concrete? Idea and reality? Epistemology and ontology?
There are no objects as per your "given" above; ergo, these questions are undefined.

I'm not sure what you mean in saying that the "questions are undefined". Do you mean that I haven't said anything about objects prior to the question about them?
In a sense, yes. As far as I can tell, your universe of discourse contains one object and one object alone: a mind. As such, any references to other objects is essentially undefined.

Ok. But part of the question is: If the mind is essentially a subject, does any object exist at all in the monistic mind's world? If not, then wouldn't the monistic mind's world "look" identical to an empty world? What exterior sign could the mind alone and by itself give to indicate its presence?


Would deception be possible in such a world?
No because one cannot deceive oneself, at least not literally.

Would a posteriori knowledge be possible in that world?
As it stands, the answer is no; you have not provided any in your "given" above.

The motivations of this thought experiment are the questions: what kind of thing is the mind alone?
Only problem is that this thought experiment as presented can do nothing to answer this question.

If a mind can only exist subjectively, then would a world containing only minds be objectively empty?
Given your thought experiment, this question is also undefined.
I'm curious know how you think this question, too, stands "undefined".
Based on your "given", if there exists only a SINGLE thing, then there is ONE thing not TWO; ergo, objective/subjective is a false choice.

It is not a false choice; I asked if the distinction between them would be null, i.e. inapplicable and void in the mind of the monistic world. I think that there would be no objective "component" in its world, and thus the distinction would be null (i.e. there would be no objective feature of that world).

At 6/10/2013 10:46:02 AM, tBoonePickens wrote:
Objective/subjective are two things not one thing.

A dualist could say that objective and subjective are two sides of the same thing, and hence one thing not two.


What else is there to define about it, assuming that the reader is competent in the English language? It inquires whether a "minds-only" world would be objectively empty if the mind only exists subjectively (that is, only privately and to a subject).
Well technically, it would be a "mind-only" world not a "minds-only" world. Also, objective/subjective in this scenario is a false choice as I explained above.

Well, is this nonsense or genuinely interesting? (the two are not mutually exclusive)
At this point I'd say non-sense, only because you haven't provided enough framework for this thought experiment to function with. As far as I can tell, your "given" is basically a singular non-physical existence, and there's not much you can do with that ESPECIALLY if you ask questions regarding the PHYSICAL!
Well, I don't want to force any answers from people, so I will let their declarative framework supply my inquiry with a requisite structure in giving their answers. If the answers here were contained in my "given", it wouldn't be very interesting.
Good enough, but I did not request answers to be contained in the given. Instead, I requested for you to at least supply a "basis" to able to understand your questions. In a Universe supposedly devoid of physicality, how can one be expected to answer question pertaining to the physical? Not that that's even possible to begin with.

The problems which you note here are not native to the thought experiment, but to the existence of the mind itself: how can we "physically" account for something which is apparently, from traditional concepts regarding the physical world, a "non-physical" entity? Conceptually strip away all of the incidental bodily and verbal correlates which we consider to loosely indicate the presence of some mind and ask: How could we, as an external observer, distinguish the result from nothingness?
"The book you are looking for hasn't been written yet. What you are looking for you are going to have to find yourself, it's not going to be in a book..." -Sidewalker
bladerunner060
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6/10/2013 4:25:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/10/2013 4:12:26 PM, Poetaster wrote:
Conceptually strip away all of the incidental bodily and verbal correlates which we consider to loosely indicate the presence of some mind and ask: How could we, as an external observer, distinguish the result from nothingness?

That presupposes that the mind really CAN be separated from its physical instantiation, which I don't see any reason to believe as actually possible. Since we're dealing with a likely impossible scenario, we have to have more information about this "mind only" universe...its entirely likely that in such a universe we couldn't distinguish between it and nothingness, but the same could be said for a hypothetical unicorn which: doesn't interact with the world, doesn't reflect light, and can't be felt. If it wasn't already a given in the hypothetical, we would simply reject its existence.
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Poetaster
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6/10/2013 4:52:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/10/2013 4:25:49 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 6/10/2013 4:12:26 PM, Poetaster wrote:
Conceptually strip away all of the incidental bodily and verbal correlates which we consider to loosely indicate the presence of some mind and ask: How could we, as an external observer, distinguish the result from nothingness?

That presupposes that the mind really CAN be separated from its physical instantiation, which I don't see any reason to believe as actually possible. Since we're dealing with a likely impossible scenario, we have to have more information about this "mind only" universe...its entirely likely that in such a universe we couldn't distinguish between it and nothingness, but the same could be said for a hypothetical unicorn which: doesn't interact with the world, doesn't reflect light, and can't be felt. If it wasn't already a given in the hypothetical, we would simply reject its existence.

My supposition is weaker than that: it implicitly contends that we can conceive of the mind without necessarily invoking the body. I did not say that we may imagine physically subtracting the body from the mind, but rather that we may do so conceptually. I also do not suppose that our minds can be sustained "monistically", as is the mind in the thought experiment, but that the postulated world in question allows us to ask things about the mind in isolation and consider what kind of thing it is by itself.

Your last remark describes exactly the pressure point on which I am leaning: If the mind is, in conceptual isolation, externally indistinguishable from nothingness while yet containing thoughts, feelings, etc., then how does the mind differ from any generic, impenetrable container which houses anything at all (e.g. invisible, unfelt unicorns)?
"The book you are looking for hasn't been written yet. What you are looking for you are going to have to find yourself, it's not going to be in a book..." -Sidewalker