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Are Relata Real?

SubterFugitive
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3/29/2014 4:08:07 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Between two stars, S1 and S2, there are certain relations between them, the two stars are easily real. But are the relations between them real?

I am taller than my sister. My sister exists, and so do I... but does the third thing, a relation, "taller than" exist?

I'd like to hear some thoughtful answers and perhaps provoke debate.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,242
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3/29/2014 2:40:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 4:08:07 AM, SubterFugitive wrote:
Between two stars, S1 and S2, there are certain relations between them, the two stars are easily real. But are the relations between them real?

I am taller than my sister. My sister exists, and so do I... but does the third thing, a relation, "taller than" exist?

I'd like to hear some thoughtful answers and perhaps provoke debate.

A difference relation amounts to "X is not Y". If it were not real that X were not Y, we would not be able to distinguish them as two distinct entities in the first place. So insofar as X and Y are real, their difference is real as well.
SubterFugitive
Posts: 255
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3/29/2014 6:12:06 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 2:40:01 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 3/29/2014 4:08:07 AM, SubterFugitive wrote:
Between two stars, S1 and S2, there are certain relations between them, the two stars are easily real. But are the relations between them real?

I am taller than my sister. My sister exists, and so do I... but does the third thing, a relation, "taller than" exist?

I'd like to hear some thoughtful answers and perhaps provoke debate.

A difference relation amounts to "X is not Y". If it were not real that X were not Y, we would not be able to distinguish them as two distinct entities in the first place. So insofar as X and Y are real, their difference is real as well.

The proposal sounds nice but I think misses the question. It's not being asked whether X and Y are distinct, what's being asked is whether their relation, whatever it may be, is a third entity that exists.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,242
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3/29/2014 6:44:24 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 6:12:06 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 3/29/2014 2:40:01 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 3/29/2014 4:08:07 AM, SubterFugitive wrote:
Between two stars, S1 and S2, there are certain relations between them, the two stars are easily real. But are the relations between them real?

I am taller than my sister. My sister exists, and so do I... but does the third thing, a relation, "taller than" exist?

I'd like to hear some thoughtful answers and perhaps provoke debate.

A difference relation amounts to "X is not Y". If it were not real that X were not Y, we would not be able to distinguish them as two distinct entities in the first place. So insofar as X and Y are real, their difference is real as well.

The proposal sounds nice but I think misses the question. It's not being asked whether X and Y are distinct, what's being asked is whether their relation, whatever it may be, is a third entity that exists.

Yeah, you're right. I guess I'm saying the fodder for the abstraction is real.
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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3/29/2014 6:46:59 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 6:12:06 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 3/29/2014 2:40:01 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 3/29/2014 4:08:07 AM, SubterFugitive wrote:
Between two stars, S1 and S2, there are certain relations between them, the two stars are easily real. But are the relations between them real?

I am taller than my sister. My sister exists, and so do I... but does the third thing, a relation, "taller than" exist?

I'd like to hear some thoughtful answers and perhaps provoke debate.

A difference relation amounts to "X is not Y". If it were not real that X were not Y, we would not be able to distinguish them as two distinct entities in the first place. So insofar as X and Y are real, their difference is real as well.

The proposal sounds nice but I think misses the question. It's not being asked whether X and Y are distinct, what's being asked is whether their relation, whatever it may be, is a third entity that exists.

But exists in what sense? Is an entity in what sense? Is an entity in that it is an abstraction which relates a reality? In which case, yes, it exists. Are you asking if it has an existence independent of that? I'm not even sure that would even be coherent...
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SubterFugitive
Posts: 255
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3/29/2014 6:52:47 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 6:44:24 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 3/29/2014 6:12:06 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 3/29/2014 2:40:01 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 3/29/2014 4:08:07 AM, SubterFugitive wrote:
Between two stars, S1 and S2, there are certain relations between them, the two stars are easily real. But are the relations between them real?

I am taller than my sister. My sister exists, and so do I... but does the third thing, a relation, "taller than" exist?

I'd like to hear some thoughtful answers and perhaps provoke debate.

A difference relation amounts to "X is not Y". If it were not real that X were not Y, we would not be able to distinguish them as two distinct entities in the first place. So insofar as X and Y are real, their difference is real as well.

The proposal sounds nice but I think misses the question. It's not being asked whether X and Y are distinct, what's being asked is whether their relation, whatever it may be, is a third entity that exists.

Yeah, you're right. I guess I'm saying the fodder for the abstraction is real.

Not sure what you mean by fodder.

Anyhow, I think where folks come down on this issue has important implications for how they think about the universe.

IN Substantivalism, there is one whole, a substance that is THE universe.

IN Relationalism, there isn't any one substance and to speak of the universe is just to speak of the relations that many existing things have with one another, but there is no real "universe." That's just what we call the collective sum of the relations.

But then in either case we're forced to say something "extra" and unobserved is real. Both in substantivalism (an absolute frame of rest) or in relationalism (the relata are real).
SubterFugitive
Posts: 255
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3/29/2014 6:55:40 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 6:46:59 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:



But exists in what sense?

I don't see how existence would have modes.

Is an entity in what sense?

In the sense that it is a thing, that is, a thing if it exists.

Is an entity in that it is an abstraction which relates a reality? In which case, yes, it exists. Are you asking if it has an existence independent of that? I'm not even sure that would even be coherent...

Interesting, so you think abstractions exist. Are you a Platonist?
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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3/29/2014 7:11:30 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 6:55:40 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 3/29/2014 6:46:59 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:



But exists in what sense?

I don't see how existence would have modes.

Is an entity in what sense?

In the sense that it is a thing, that is, a thing if it exists.

Is an entity in that it is an abstraction which relates a reality? In which case, yes, it exists. Are you asking if it has an existence independent of that? I'm not even sure that would even be coherent...

Interesting, so you think abstractions exist. Are you a Platonist?

Goodness no. But that was kinda my point, I wasn't sure whether YOU were.

I would say the relationship exists in the sense that expressing it is expressing a true statement.
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SubterFugitive
Posts: 255
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3/29/2014 7:15:35 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 7:11:30 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 3/29/2014 6:55:40 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 3/29/2014 6:46:59 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:



But exists in what sense?

I don't see how existence would have modes.

Is an entity in what sense?

In the sense that it is a thing, that is, a thing if it exists.

Is an entity in that it is an abstraction which relates a reality? In which case, yes, it exists. Are you asking if it has an existence independent of that? I'm not even sure that would even be coherent...

Interesting, so you think abstractions exist. Are you a Platonist?

Goodness no. But that was kinda my point, I wasn't sure whether YOU were.

I would say the relationship exists in the sense that expressing it is expressing a true statement.

I'm not a Platonist to clear that up. And I agree that there can be certain true descriptions of relationships between existing things. But the question is whether there is a third, existing entity between those two or more existing things; namely their relationship.
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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3/29/2014 7:19:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 7:15:35 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 3/29/2014 7:11:30 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 3/29/2014 6:55:40 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 3/29/2014 6:46:59 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:



But exists in what sense?

I don't see how existence would have modes.

Is an entity in what sense?

In the sense that it is a thing, that is, a thing if it exists.

Is an entity in that it is an abstraction which relates a reality? In which case, yes, it exists. Are you asking if it has an existence independent of that? I'm not even sure that would even be coherent...

Interesting, so you think abstractions exist. Are you a Platonist?

Goodness no. But that was kinda my point, I wasn't sure whether YOU were.

I would say the relationship exists in the sense that expressing it is expressing a true statement.

I'm not a Platonist to clear that up. And I agree that there can be certain true descriptions of relationships between existing things. But the question is whether there is a third, existing entity between those two or more existing things; namely their relationship.

The relationship exists as a set of true statements, if that's what you mean. But if you'd ask about an existence BEYOND that, I'd come back to questioning what that means.
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SubterFugitive
Posts: 255
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3/29/2014 9:00:09 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 7:19:44 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 3/29/2014 7:15:35 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 3/29/2014 7:11:30 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 3/29/2014 6:55:40 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 3/29/2014 6:46:59 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:



But exists in what sense?

I don't see how existence would have modes.

Is an entity in what sense?

In the sense that it is a thing, that is, a thing if it exists.

Is an entity in that it is an abstraction which relates a reality? In which case, yes, it exists. Are you asking if it has an existence independent of that? I'm not even sure that would even be coherent...

Interesting, so you think abstractions exist. Are you a Platonist?

Goodness no. But that was kinda my point, I wasn't sure whether YOU were.

I would say the relationship exists in the sense that expressing it is expressing a true statement.

I'm not a Platonist to clear that up. And I agree that there can be certain true descriptions of relationships between existing things. But the question is whether there is a third, existing entity between those two or more existing things; namely their relationship.

The relationship exists as a set of true statements, if that's what you mean. But if you'd ask about an existence BEYOND that, I'd come back to questioning what that means.

That's what I'm trying to question! Haha, if the relata of all bodies are factual, then those facts were facts long before any human being evolved to put them into statements.

Semantics aside, I think that if you contended that the relata are no more than abstractions, then space and time are abstractions.
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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3/29/2014 9:32:09 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 9:00:09 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:

The relationship exists as a set of true statements, if that's what you mean. But if you'd ask about an existence BEYOND that, I'd come back to questioning what that means.

That's what I'm trying to question! Haha, if the relata of all bodies are factual, then those facts were facts long before any human being evolved to put them into statements.

Not necessarily. IFF the items in question existed before humans, then yes, there were true statements about them.

But the same can be said about any statement about any thing, which is a factual statement.

X is a star, depends on our definition of star, but once properly understood is merely the representation of a true statement about X.

Semantics aside, I think that if you contended that the relata are no more than abstractions, then space and time are abstractions.

Why? Time is a measurement of change. So our expressions about time are abstractions--but not time itself. Same withe space, and relata.
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SubterFugitive
Posts: 255
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3/29/2014 10:29:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 9:32:09 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 3/29/2014 9:00:09 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:

The relationship exists as a set of true statements, if that's what you mean. But if you'd ask about an existence BEYOND that, I'd come back to questioning what that means.

That's what I'm trying to question! Haha, if the relata of all bodies are factual, then those facts were facts long before any human being evolved to put them into statements.

Not necessarily. IFF the items in question existed before humans, then yes, there were true statements about them.

No the content of those statements we speak of today are... not the statements. Statements are linguistic.


But the same can be said about any statement about any thing, which is a factual statement.

X is a star, depends on our definition of star, but once properly understood is merely the representation of a true statement about X.

Again don't confuse truth makers (facts) with truth carriers (the content of a proposition) which so happen to be about those facts.


Semantics aside, I think that if you contended that the relata are no more than abstractions, then space and time are abstractions.

Why? Time is a measurement of change. So our expressions about time are abstractions--but not time itself. Same withe space, and relata.

Change is time and time is change and passage... see the pattern? Defining time is circular. You speak of measurements but those are operationalist definitions which are covariant under transformations and so can be given up as an operationalist definition. Time isn't our measurements... whatever it is, I agree.

But now you say that time, space and relationships between bodies are not abstractions, but are real. Is this your view?
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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3/29/2014 10:31:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 10:29:12 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 3/29/2014 9:32:09 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 3/29/2014 9:00:09 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:

The relationship exists as a set of true statements, if that's what you mean. But if you'd ask about an existence BEYOND that, I'd come back to questioning what that means.

That's what I'm trying to question! Haha, if the relata of all bodies are factual, then those facts were facts long before any human being evolved to put them into statements.

Not necessarily. IFF the items in question existed before humans, then yes, there were true statements about them.

No the content of those statements we speak of today are... not the statements. Statements are linguistic.


True. More accurate would be to say that that which the statements represent would be true.

But the same can be said about any statement about any thing, which is a factual statement.

X is a star, depends on our definition of star, but once properly understood is merely the representation of a true statement about X.

Again don't confuse truth makers (facts) with truth carriers (the content of a proposition) which so happen to be about those facts.

I'm not. But relata are statements which convey facts.

Semantics aside, I think that if you contended that the relata are no more than abstractions, then space and time are abstractions.

Why? Time is a measurement of change. So our expressions about time are abstractions--but not time itself. Same withe space, and relata.

Change is time and time is change and passage... see the pattern? Defining time is circular. You speak of measurements but those are operationalist definitions which are covariant under transformations and so can be given up as an operationalist definition. Time isn't our measurements... whatever it is, I agree.

But now you say that time, space and relationships between bodies are not abstractions, but are real. Is this your view?

The abstractions are tools to understand the facts, the facts are what we call the reality, the reality is real.
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SubterFugitive
Posts: 255
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3/29/2014 11:39:27 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 10:31:37 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:


No the content of those statements we speak of today are... not the statements. Statements are linguistic.


True. More accurate would be to say that that which the statements represent would be true.

I agree, yes, the content embedded within the statements is what represents the facts... or at least it should it is a true statement.

For an example, the proposition, "all hats are blue" is a sentence with content alright, but being that I just found an instance of a green hat, then the content of the original sentence, "all hats are blue", fails to represent the facts of reality.


But the same can be said about any statement about any thing, which is a factual statement.

X is a star, depends on our definition of star, but once properly understood is merely the representation of a true statement about X.

Again don't confuse truth makers (facts) with truth carriers (the content of a proposition) which so happen to be about those facts.

I'm not. But relata are statements which convey facts.

I agree that we can make statements regarding relata, but did you want to reduce relata AS relata to statements only? Or did you think relata is something more?


Semantics aside, I think that if you contended that the relata are no more than abstractions, then space and time are abstractions.

Why? Time is a measurement of change. So our expressions about time are abstractions--but not time itself. Same withe space, and relata.

Change is time and time is change and passage... see the pattern? Defining time is circular. You speak of measurements but those are operationalist definitions which are covariant under transformations and so can be given up as an operationalist definition. Time isn't our measurements... whatever it is, I agree.

But now you say that time, space and relationships between bodies are not abstractions, but are real. Is this your view?

The abstractions are tools to understand the facts, the facts are what we call the reality, the reality is real.

All of this is true, but are relata facts? Not just abstractions including relata-talk, but actual relata... are relata real in the sense that they exist in reality?
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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3/30/2014 12:30:34 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 11:39:27 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 3/29/2014 10:31:37 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:


No the content of those statements we speak of today are... not the statements. Statements are linguistic.


True. More accurate would be to say that that which the statements represent would be true.

I agree, yes, the content embedded within the statements is what represents the facts... or at least it should it is a true statement.

For an example, the proposition, "all hats are blue" is a sentence with content alright, but being that I just found an instance of a green hat, then the content of the original sentence, "all hats are blue", fails to represent the facts of reality.


But the same can be said about any statement about any thing, which is a factual statement.

X is a star, depends on our definition of star, but once properly understood is merely the representation of a true statement about X.

Again don't confuse truth makers (facts) with truth carriers (the content of a proposition) which so happen to be about those facts.

I'm not. But relata are statements which convey facts.

I agree that we can make statements regarding relata, but did you want to reduce relata AS relata to statements only? Or did you think relata is something more?

Yes, I reduce it to statements only, as in no different than saying "X is a star", which is merely the linguistic representation of "X has Y characteristics", which is further just a relation of facts.


Semantics aside, I think that if you contended that the relata are no more than abstractions, then space and time are abstractions.

Why? Time is a measurement of change. So our expressions about time are abstractions--but not time itself. Same withe space, and relata.

Change is time and time is change and passage... see the pattern? Defining time is circular. You speak of measurements but those are operationalist definitions which are covariant under transformations and so can be given up as an operationalist definition. Time isn't our measurements... whatever it is, I agree.

But now you say that time, space and relationships between bodies are not abstractions, but are real. Is this your view?

The abstractions are tools to understand the facts, the facts are what we call the reality, the reality is real.

All of this is true, but are relata facts? Not just abstractions including relata-talk, but actual relata... are relata real in the sense that they exist in reality?

Only inasmuch as any statement which is factual exists in reality.
Assistant moderator to airmax1227. PM me with any questions or concerns!
SubterFugitive
Posts: 255
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3/30/2014 1:03:35 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/30/2014 12:30:34 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 3/29/2014 11:39:27 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 3/29/2014 10:31:37 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:


No the content of those statements we speak of today are... not the statements. Statements are linguistic.


True. More accurate would be to say that that which the statements represent would be true.

I agree, yes, the content embedded within the statements is what represents the facts... or at least it should it is a true statement.

For an example, the proposition, "all hats are blue" is a sentence with content alright, but being that I just found an instance of a green hat, then the content of the original sentence, "all hats are blue", fails to represent the facts of reality.


But the same can be said about any statement about any thing, which is a factual statement.

X is a star, depends on our definition of star, but once properly understood is merely the representation of a true statement about X.

Again don't confuse truth makers (facts) with truth carriers (the content of a proposition) which so happen to be about those facts.

I'm not. But relata are statements which convey facts.

I agree that we can make statements regarding relata, but did you want to reduce relata AS relata to statements only? Or did you think relata is something more?

Yes, I reduce it to statements only, as in no different than saying "X is a star", which is merely the linguistic representation of "X has Y characteristics", which is further just a relation of facts.


Semantics aside, I think that if you contended that the relata are no more than abstractions, then space and time are abstractions.

Why? Time is a measurement of change. So our expressions about time are abstractions--but not time itself. Same withe space, and relata.

Change is time and time is change and passage... see the pattern? Defining time is circular. You speak of measurements but those are operationalist definitions which are covariant under transformations and so can be given up as an operationalist definition. Time isn't our measurements... whatever it is, I agree.

But now you say that time, space and relationships between bodies are not abstractions, but are real. Is this your view?

The abstractions are tools to understand the facts, the facts are what we call the reality, the reality is real.

All of this is true, but are relata facts? Not just abstractions including relata-talk, but actual relata... are relata real in the sense that they exist in reality?

Only inasmuch as any statement which is factual exists in reality.

So then space and time are abstractions, these are real. The "universe" doesn't really exist, rather just individual physical things with distinct properties.
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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3/30/2014 2:01:36 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/30/2014 1:03:35 AM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 3/30/2014 12:30:34 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 3/29/2014 11:39:27 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 3/29/2014 10:31:37 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:


No the content of those statements we speak of today are... not the statements. Statements are linguistic.


True. More accurate would be to say that that which the statements represent would be true.

I agree, yes, the content embedded within the statements is what represents the facts... or at least it should it is a true statement.

For an example, the proposition, "all hats are blue" is a sentence with content alright, but being that I just found an instance of a green hat, then the content of the original sentence, "all hats are blue", fails to represent the facts of reality.


But the same can be said about any statement about any thing, which is a factual statement.

X is a star, depends on our definition of star, but once properly understood is merely the representation of a true statement about X.

Again don't confuse truth makers (facts) with truth carriers (the content of a proposition) which so happen to be about those facts.

I'm not. But relata are statements which convey facts.

I agree that we can make statements regarding relata, but did you want to reduce relata AS relata to statements only? Or did you think relata is something more?

Yes, I reduce it to statements only, as in no different than saying "X is a star", which is merely the linguistic representation of "X has Y characteristics", which is further just a relation of facts.


Semantics aside, I think that if you contended that the relata are no more than abstractions, then space and time are abstractions.

Why? Time is a measurement of change. So our expressions about time are abstractions--but not time itself. Same withe space, and relata.

Change is time and time is change and passage... see the pattern? Defining time is circular. You speak of measurements but those are operationalist definitions which are covariant under transformations and so can be given up as an operationalist definition. Time isn't our measurements... whatever it is, I agree.

But now you say that time, space and relationships between bodies are not abstractions, but are real. Is this your view?

The abstractions are tools to understand the facts, the facts are what we call the reality, the reality is real.

All of this is true, but are relata facts? Not just abstractions including relata-talk, but actual relata... are relata real in the sense that they exist in reality?

Only inasmuch as any statement which is factual exists in reality.

So then space and time are abstractions, these are real. The "universe" doesn't really exist, rather just individual physical things with distinct properties.

The universe exists, inasmuch as it's the term we use for "the set of all things" or however you choose to define it.

It's like looking at a house...it could be described as "four walls, floor, and roof", too.
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SubterFugitive
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3/30/2014 5:40:30 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/30/2014 2:01:36 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 3/30/2014 1:03:35 AM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 3/30/2014 12:30:34 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 3/29/2014 11:39:27 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 3/29/2014 10:31:37 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:


No the content of those statements we speak of today are... not the statements. Statements are linguistic.


True. More accurate would be to say that that which the statements represent would be true.

I agree, yes, the content embedded within the statements is what represents the facts... or at least it should it is a true statement.

For an example, the proposition, "all hats are blue" is a sentence with content alright, but being that I just found an instance of a green hat, then the content of the original sentence, "all hats are blue", fails to represent the facts of reality.


But the same can be said about any statement about any thing, which is a factual statement.

X is a star, depends on our definition of star, but once properly understood is merely the representation of a true statement about X.

Again don't confuse truth makers (facts) with truth carriers (the content of a proposition) which so happen to be about those facts.

I'm not. But relata are statements which convey facts.

I agree that we can make statements regarding relata, but did you want to reduce relata AS relata to statements only? Or did you think relata is something more?

Yes, I reduce it to statements only, as in no different than saying "X is a star", which is merely the linguistic representation of "X has Y characteristics", which is further just a relation of facts.


Semantics aside, I think that if you contended that the relata are no more than abstractions, then space and time are abstractions.

Why? Time is a measurement of change. So our expressions about time are abstractions--but not time itself. Same withe space, and relata.

Change is time and time is change and passage... see the pattern? Defining time is circular. You speak of measurements but those are operationalist definitions which are covariant under transformations and so can be given up as an operationalist definition. Time isn't our measurements... whatever it is, I agree.

But now you say that time, space and relationships between bodies are not abstractions, but are real. Is this your view?

The abstractions are tools to understand the facts, the facts are what we call the reality, the reality is real.

All of this is true, but are relata facts? Not just abstractions including relata-talk, but actual relata... are relata real in the sense that they exist in reality?

Only inasmuch as any statement which is factual exists in reality.

So then space and time are abstractions, these are real. The "universe" doesn't really exist, rather just individual physical things with distinct properties.

The universe exists, inasmuch as it's the term we use for "the set of all things" or however you choose to define it.

It's like looking at a house...it could be described as "four walls, floor, and roof", too.

Right, so the universe is just an abstraction. There really isn't any universe, there's just stuff everywhere with many different properties. No space or time, just material things.
bladerunner060
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3/30/2014 7:12:20 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/30/2014 5:40:30 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 3/30/2014 2:01:36 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 3/30/2014 1:03:35 AM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 3/30/2014 12:30:34 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 3/29/2014 11:39:27 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 3/29/2014 10:31:37 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:


No the content of those statements we speak of today are... not the statements. Statements are linguistic.


True. More accurate would be to say that that which the statements represent would be true.

I agree, yes, the content embedded within the statements is what represents the facts... or at least it should it is a true statement.

For an example, the proposition, "all hats are blue" is a sentence with content alright, but being that I just found an instance of a green hat, then the content of the original sentence, "all hats are blue", fails to represent the facts of reality.


But the same can be said about any statement about any thing, which is a factual statement.

X is a star, depends on our definition of star, but once properly understood is merely the representation of a true statement about X.

Again don't confuse truth makers (facts) with truth carriers (the content of a proposition) which so happen to be about those facts.

I'm not. But relata are statements which convey facts.

I agree that we can make statements regarding relata, but did you want to reduce relata AS relata to statements only? Or did you think relata is something more?

Yes, I reduce it to statements only, as in no different than saying "X is a star", which is merely the linguistic representation of "X has Y characteristics", which is further just a relation of facts.


Semantics aside, I think that if you contended that the relata are no more than abstractions, then space and time are abstractions.

Why? Time is a measurement of change. So our expressions about time are abstractions--but not time itself. Same withe space, and relata.

Change is time and time is change and passage... see the pattern? Defining time is circular. You speak of measurements but those are operationalist definitions which are covariant under transformations and so can be given up as an operationalist definition. Time isn't our measurements... whatever it is, I agree.

But now you say that time, space and relationships between bodies are not abstractions, but are real. Is this your view?

The abstractions are tools to understand the facts, the facts are what we call the reality, the reality is real.

All of this is true, but are relata facts? Not just abstractions including relata-talk, but actual relata... are relata real in the sense that they exist in reality?

Only inasmuch as any statement which is factual exists in reality.

So then space and time are abstractions, these are real. The "universe" doesn't really exist, rather just individual physical things with distinct properties.

The universe exists, inasmuch as it's the term we use for "the set of all things" or however you choose to define it.

It's like looking at a house...it could be described as "four walls, floor, and roof", too.

Right, so the universe is just an abstraction. There really isn't any universe, there's just stuff everywhere with many different properties. No space or time, just material things.

"The universe" is an abstract concept of "the whole of everything", yes.

Space and time aren't abstractions, I don't think though--well, depending on how you define time specifically.
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Sidewalker
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3/30/2014 10:25:34 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 4:08:07 AM, SubterFugitive wrote:
Between two stars, S1 and S2, there are certain relations between them, the two stars are easily real. But are the relations between them real?

I think you titled this wrong, the two stars are the relata, that said, I will challenge this first statement, the two stars are not "easily real", at least they are not more real than the relationships that establish their existence. My position might provoke the debate you are looking for, my argument follows below.

I am taller than my sister. My sister exists, and so do I... but does the third thing, a relation, "taller than" exist?

I'd like to hear some thoughtful answers and perhaps provoke debate.

There are fundamentally two ways to look at ontology, the concept of being or existence. An objective ontology, an ontology of objects, objective reality; and a relational ontology, an ontology of relationships, relational reality. And since Aristotle, the prevailing paradigm of Western thought was an objective ontology, it is just accepted that it is subjects and objects which are fundamental, while their relationships are accidental and contingent. But for about the last hundred years, science has made it more and more apparent that this deeply established view is wrong in many respects, reality is far more relational and dynamic than we previously thought. There is now overwhelming scientific evidence that relationships are fundamental, and recognition of that fact can lead to more accurate systems of knowledge.

The concept of systems has showed us that rather than building up reality from elementary, or constituent parts, the analysis of natural phenomena from the top down is more true to reality, and both Einstein"s Relativity Theory and Quantum Physics have changed both our ideas of physical reality and our conception of rationality itself. In both Relativity and Quantum Physics the distinction between subjectivity and objectivity, between mind and world has become blurred; it has been shown that there is no independence between the observer and the observed. This has compelled us to consider that reality is ultimately describable in terms of relationships.

The General Theory of Relativity is explicitly ontological, which is what makes it the "General" theory, it tells us what matter/energy is, what space is, what time is, and what it tells us is that matter/energy, space, and time are relationships. If there"s no matter and energy, there"s no space and time, the thing "in and of itself" has no independent existence. According to Relativity Theory, the things we have always thought of as most real, are what is derivative and contingent, they are fundamentally relationships.

Objects are no more real than the relationships associated with and between those objects. An object is defined by its relationship to other things. An object, any particle of matter, is defined by locating it in time and space, which is to say by defining its relationship to other things. When science looked real closely at matter, it found particles which can only be defined in relation to other things. Interestingly, if you know where it is you can"t know where it is going, how it relates to other things, and if you know its movement in relation to other things, you can"t know where it is, which is to paradoxically say that if you know a particle as having a precise independent existence, you can"t know anything about its relationship to the rest of reality, and if you know it"s relationship to the rest of reality, you can"t know anything about its independent existence. I think it follows that a particle doesn"t really have independent existence.

What the General Theory tells us about the mass of a thing "in and of itself" is that it has no mass in and of itself; the thing has no independent existence when it comes to mass either. The mass off an object is determined by its relationship to the rest of the mass in the universe, specifically its mass is a function of the distribution of the rest of the mass in the universe, which is another paradox of course. If a star reaches the end of its life and explodes, distributing it"s mass across a large region of space, the mass of all objects in space changes, which is why the General Theory predicts gravity waves.

An objects physical existence is a matter of relationships in time and space, its mass is a matter of relationships, the very existence of the stars S1 and S2 are contingent upon, and derived from relationships. I am contending that the conclusion that relationships are more fundamentally real, than the relata, is inescapable from the advances of science in the last 100 years.

Turning away from the finding of "objective" science, it"s appropriate to look at the question epistemologically because what we know most immediately is "in here", what we know to be "out there" is a presumption, our sensations are primary, the only thing we know directly and in an unmediated manner is our subjective world, the objective world we only know by projection, what we call the "real world", the one science deals with, is only the presumed cause of our sensations. I think it is even more fundamental to address the question epistemologically.

The function of the mind is a matter of registering objects and relating them to each other and to itself, it perceives relationships, thinking is relating. That's what the brain does, it registers sensory input and relates the person to the whole. Epistemologically the most fundamental category for grasping reality is relation, what a human being experiences is just that, relations. The objects and subjects that are related (the relata) are derivatives and abstractions. Both subject and object are, therefore, features derived from experience, and experience is fundamentally a matter relationships. The long held idea of objective reality, the subject-object manner of interpreting experience is a poor paradigm for interpreting experience. The most comprehensive, simple, coherent, and fully adequate statement of what is fundamental in human experience is the claim that it is relations rather than the relata that are fundamental.

The traditional view of objective reality, a reality of objects as fundamental, is equally problematic in philosophy. In the traditional paradigm most of the basic philosophical options between which we are forced to choose are conceptually inadequate because they are based on decisions which make either subjects or objects fundamental. In a relational paradigm, no such choice is meaningful, for subjects and objects, rather than being fundamental, are coderivatives from relational fundamentals. They are not therefore "unreal", but are rather aspects of a relational reality. When they are treated as anything more than "aspects", exceedingly complex problems ensue, in the interpretation of natural science and ontological philosophy. A relational ontology avoids the exaggerations of both idealism and realism while preserving the partial truth contained in each, because it eliminates the "either/or" paradox and finds resolution in the relationships by replacing "either/or" paradox with both/and type of reconciliation.

The objective mode is mechanistic, the relational mode is about processes, and both the mechanistic/objective and the process/relational modes of perception are ways of seeing the world. They are each a foundational frame of reference, which results in a particular worldview, or paradigm. The relational worldview, however, is a close fit with the relational nature of reality, while the mechanistic worldview is not. That is the basis of my argument that not only are relationships real, but they are more fundamentally real than objects.
"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
SubterFugitive
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3/30/2014 11:20:38 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/30/2014 7:12:20 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:


Right, so the universe is just an abstraction. There really isn't any universe, there's just stuff everywhere with many different properties. No space or time, just material things.

"The universe" is an abstract concept of "the whole of everything", yes.

Space and time aren't abstractions, I don't think though--well, depending on how you define time specifically.

Unfortunately there's no good definition for it on the horizon. :-(
SubterFugitive
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3/30/2014 11:24:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/30/2014 10:25:34 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 3/29/2014 4:08:07 AM, SubterFugitive wrote:
Between two stars, S1 and S2, there are certain relations between them, the two stars are easily real. But are the relations between them real?

I think you titled this wrong, the two stars are the relata,

You're right, I'm notorious for making that mistake lol, relata is plural for two relatum. Thanks for pointing that out.
Sidewalker
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3/31/2014 5:41:48 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/30/2014 11:24:08 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 3/30/2014 10:25:34 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 3/29/2014 4:08:07 AM, SubterFugitive wrote:
Between two stars, S1 and S2, there are certain relations between them, the two stars are easily real. But are the relations between them real?

I think you titled this wrong, the two stars are the relata,

You're right, I'm notorious for making that mistake lol, relata is plural for two relatum. Thanks for pointing that out.

No problem, I wasn't just being picky, it was necessary to point it out to make sense of what followed....which is confusing enough by itself :)
"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
SubterFugitive
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4/2/2014 2:11:45 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/30/2014 10:25:34 PM, Sidewalker wrote:


There are fundamentally two ways to look at ontology, the concept of being or existence. An objective ontology, an ontology of objects, objective reality; and a relational ontology, an ontology of relationships, relational reality. And since Aristotle, the prevailing paradigm of Western thought was an objective ontology, it is just accepted that it is subjects and objects which are fundamental, while their relationships are accidental and contingent. But for about the last hundred years, science has made it more and more apparent that this deeply established view is wrong in many respects, reality is far more relational and dynamic than we previously thought. There is now overwhelming scientific evidence that relationships are fundamental, and recognition of that fact can lead to more accurate systems of knowledge.

I'm very interested to see where modern science has (can?) disconfirm what you call object ontology. Do you have a site or anything or references on this? No need to go on a goose chase though, a name would suffice. Thanks..


The concept of systems has showed us that rather than building up reality from elementary, or constituent parts, the analysis of natural phenomena from the top down is more true to reality, and both Einstein"s Relativity Theory and Quantum Physics have changed both our ideas of physical reality and our conception of rationality itself. In both Relativity and Quantum Physics the distinction between subjectivity and objectivity, between mind and world has become blurred; it has been shown that there is no independence between the observer and the observed. This has compelled us to consider that reality is ultimately describable in terms of relationships.

Sounds like this speculative run depends upon which theory of quantum mechanics one comes down on. I happen to come down on Bohm's theory.


The General Theory of Relativity is explicitly ontological, which is what makes it the "General" theory, it tells us what matter/energy is, what space is, what time is, and what it tells us is that matter/energy, space, and time are relationships. If there"s no matter and energy, there"s no space and time, the thing "in and of itself" has no independent existence. According to Relativity Theory, the things we have always thought of as most real, are what is derivative and contingent, they are fundamentally relationships.

I disagree that GTR is explicitly ontological. There's no reason to think, for example, that the general covariance in the theory is sufficient to allow for the generalization of the relativity principle. We expand the covariance from Lorentz covariance to general covariance in the transition to GTR, but the geometric structure of GTR admits only trivial symmetries.
Sidewalker
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4/2/2014 6:42:12 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/2/2014 2:11:45 AM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 3/30/2014 10:25:34 PM, Sidewalker wrote:


There are fundamentally two ways to look at ontology, the concept of being or existence. An objective ontology, an ontology of objects, objective reality; and a relational ontology, an ontology of relationships, relational reality. And since Aristotle, the prevailing paradigm of Western thought was an objective ontology, it is just accepted that it is subjects and objects which are fundamental, while their relationships are accidental and contingent. But for about the last hundred years, science has made it more and more apparent that this deeply established view is wrong in many respects, reality is far more relational and dynamic than we previously thought. There is now overwhelming scientific evidence that relationships are fundamental, and recognition of that fact can lead to more accurate systems of knowledge.

I'm very interested to see where modern science has (can?) disconfirm what you call object ontology. Do you have a site or anything or references on this? No need to go on a goose chase though, a name would suffice. Thanks..

Einstein and Bohr come to mind, better yet, read Alfred North Whitehead, his "Process and Reality" would be the best starting point I think.

The concept of systems has showed us that rather than building up reality from elementary, or constituent parts, the analysis of natural phenomena from the top down is more true to reality, and both Einstein"s Relativity Theory and Quantum Physics have changed both our ideas of physical reality and our conception of rationality itself. In both Relativity and Quantum Physics the distinction between subjectivity and objectivity, between mind and world has become blurred; it has been shown that there is no independence between the observer and the observed. This has compelled us to consider that reality is ultimately describable in terms of relationships.

Sounds like this speculative run depends upon which theory of quantum mechanics one comes down on. I happen to come down on Bohm's theory.

I don"t think it matters which interpretation you accept, implicit in quantum physics is that the objective ontology by itself is explanatorily inadequate. Bohm was a genius; his quantum interpretation as well as his entire life"s work can be seen as a valiant attempt to get us to recognize the primary nature of relationships. The primary point of his implicit and explicit orders was to argue that, in his words, "In the enfolded [or implicate] order, space and time are no longer the dominant factors determining the relationships of dependence or independence of different elements. Rather, an entirely different sort of basic connection of elements is possible, from which our ordinary notions of space and time, along with those of separately existent material particles, are abstracted as forms derived from the deeper order"

The fact is, David Bohm was a champion of process thought, he very eloquently argued that relationships are real, the implicate order was explicitly relational, a deeper and more fundamental order from which our objective abstractions emerge If you read his "Thought as a System" it will remove any inkling of a doubt that he saw relationships as fundamentally real, his last work was "The Undivided Universe: An Ontological Interpretation of Quantum Theory", where he relentlessly maintained that reality is neither mechanistic nor reductionist as objective view would have us believe, it is in fact a relational manifestation of the polar oppositions between objective and relational ontologies which are two aspects of a single unified whole.


The General Theory of Relativity is explicitly ontological, which is what makes it the "General" theory, it tells us what matter/energy is, what space is, what time is, and what it tells us is that matter/energy, space, and time are relationships. If there"s no matter and energy, there"s no space and time, the thing "in and of itself" has no independent existence. According to Relativity Theory, the things we have always thought of as most real, are what is derivative and contingent, they are fundamentally relationships.

I disagree that GTR is explicitly ontological. There's no reason to think, for example, that the general covariance in the theory is sufficient to allow for the generalization of the relativity principle. We expand the covariance from Lorentz covariance to general covariance in the transition to GTR, but the geometric structure of GTR admits only trivial symmetries.

That"s a non-sequitur, it isn"t the general covariance that makes it explicitly ontological, and Lorentz covariance is certainly no reason to reject the General Theory, Lorentz covariance was derived from the General Theory, not the other way around.

The GTR is as confirmed as any theory ever has been, and it is necessarily ontologically explicit, the whole point is that reality is best described as a four dimensional manifold in which the relationships of time and space are co-derivatives, as are the materialistic entities of matter and energy. The objective ontology alone requires a preferred frame of reference in an autonomously existing background of absolute time and space, this presumptive conception of an independent time and space and an independent frame of reference has collapsed under the weight of experimental confirmation of relativity theory. Even in the Newtonian framework, gravity was only a relationship between objects described as a force, it had no independent existence as a separate thing in and of itself, it was always a measurement of the very real relationships between the mass of objects and the real force that describes the relationships that objects with mass have on one another. Gravity is inexplicable under any objective ontology standing alone without it being supplemented with a relational ontology in which the effects of its causation can be understood.
"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
Graincruncher
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4/2/2014 7:07:29 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/29/2014 4:08:07 AM, SubterFugitive wrote:
Between two stars, S1 and S2, there are certain relations between them, the two stars are easily real. But are the relations between them real?

I am taller than my sister. My sister exists, and so do I... but does the third thing, a relation, "taller than" exist?

I'd like to hear some thoughtful answers and perhaps provoke debate.

My position would be that the question is misunderstanding what we're looking at; it isn't two different 'things', but a matter of definitional scale/perspective. The system "you and your sister" contains that relationship as part of its description. You've essentially just expanded the scale of the defined system from either "you" or "your sister" and started considering them as a whole.

Each component of that whole - you and your sister - are themselves defined by certain relationships between their respective properties. A definition is not merely a description of 'a thing', but a description of many things in relation to one another. Depending on the scope and perspective being taken, the description and therefore definition will change slightly; a definition of your body is different from a definition of your actions, although it is your body that performs those actions, while the definition of your personality is different from the definition of your actions despite the fact that your personality is communicated through those actions. And so on.

In short, everything is relationships and semantics is 'god'. There is no necessary need for us (so far as anyone knows, of course) for us to interpret things as we do, but we do and it is important to recognise the meaning of the things is not inherent to them but emergent from our attempts to describe them in whatever way.
Graincruncher
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4/2/2014 7:11:18 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Ugh. Lose an extraneous 'for us' from that and, if at all possible, put me to sleep until my body stops beating up my mind.
SubterFugitive
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4/5/2014 2:09:13 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/2/2014 7:07:29 PM, Graincruncher wrote:
At 3/29/2014 4:08:07 AM, SubterFugitive wrote:
Between two stars, S1 and S2, there are certain relations between them, the two stars are easily real. But are the relations between them real?

I am taller than my sister. My sister exists, and so do I... but does the third thing, a relation, "taller than" exist?

I'd like to hear some thoughtful answers and perhaps provoke debate.

My position would be that the question is misunderstanding what we're looking at; it isn't two different 'things', but a matter of definitional scale/perspective. The system "you and your sister" contains that relationship as part of its description. You've essentially just expanded the scale of the defined system from either "you" or "your sister" and started considering them as a whole.

Each component of that whole - you and your sister - are themselves defined by certain relationships between their respective properties. A definition is not merely a description of 'a thing', but a description of many things in relation to one another. Depending on the scope and perspective being taken, the description and therefore definition will change slightly; a definition of your body is different from a definition of your actions, although it is your body that performs those actions, while the definition of your personality is different from the definition of your actions despite the fact that your personality is communicated through those actions. And so on.

In short, everything is relationships and semantics is 'god'. There is no necessary need for us (so far as anyone knows, of course) for us to interpret things as we do, but we do and it is important to recognise the meaning of the things is not inherent to them but emergent from our attempts to describe them in whatever way.

So you would answer that the relation in fact does exist between us, indeed you'd even go a step further and say that isn't really me or my sister but just the relation between.... well between what?