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Betrand Russell doesn't understand idealism

dylancatlow
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7/6/2015 12:29:05 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
"We think of an idea as essentially something in somebody's mind, and thus when we are told that a tree consists entirely of ideas, it is natural to suppose that, if so, the tree must be entirely in minds. But the notion of being 'in' the mind is ambiguous. We speak of bearing a person in mind, not meaning that the person is in our minds, but that a thought of him is in our minds. When a man says that some business he had to arrange went clean out of his mind, he does not mean to imply that the business itself was ever in his mind, but only that a thought of the business was formerly in his mind, but afterwards ceased to be in his mind. And so when Berkeley says that the tree must be in our minds if we can know it, all that he really has a right to say is that a thought of the tree must be in our minds. To argue that the tree itself must be in our minds is like arguing that a person whom we bear in mind is himself in our minds. This confusion may seem too gross to have been really committed by any competent philosopher, but various attendant circumstances rendered it possible. In order to see how it was possible, we must go more deeply into the question as to the nature of ideas."

Russell ignores what the idealist is really claiming. According to an idealist, it is perfectly fine to make a distinction between the "idea of a tree" and "the tree itself", so long as one realizes that they are both conceptual in nature (for are they not inherently mental constructs?), the only possible difference being that one is a concept of the act of defining a given entity, while the other is a concept of the entity defined. That is, one is a concept of the mental process itself, while the other is just expressed in terms of it i.e., is it. Both still share a common mental medium. Russell seems to think that it is valid to make a distinction between the tree "inside our minds" and "the tree itself". I don't understand how he misses the perfectly obvious fact both are inside our minds to the extent that we meaninglessly refer to them. He tries to draw a distinction between something "inside our minds" and something "outside our minds" by pointing to something that is inside our minds. Even if he disagrees, he should have addressed this point rather than treating idealists as completely clueless.
n7
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7/6/2015 10:00:51 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Is this from Problems of Philosophy? Because IIRC, he was arguing against Berkeley's formulation and defense of idealism. Sure, maybe there's another form that escapes his response, but that's not what he's going after.
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Fkkize
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7/7/2015 4:09:00 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
What n7 said + I don't even know whether there were any considerable arguments for idealism back then. Other than Berkeley's and Leibniz's of course. Furthermore the book is meant for non-philosophers and is about ~170 pages long so I would not expect the most profound discussion of idealism.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
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: space contradicts logic
Sidewalker
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7/7/2015 5:32:21 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/6/2015 12:29:05 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
"We think of an idea as essentially something in somebody's mind, and thus when we are told that a tree consists entirely of ideas, it is natural to suppose that, if so, the tree must be entirely in minds. But the notion of being 'in' the mind is ambiguous. We speak of bearing a person in mind, not meaning that the person is in our minds, but that a thought of him is in our minds. When a man says that some business he had to arrange went clean out of his mind, he does not mean to imply that the business itself was ever in his mind, but only that a thought of the business was formerly in his mind, but afterwards ceased to be in his mind. And so when Berkeley says that the tree must be in our minds if we can know it, all that he really has a right to say is that a thought of the tree must be in our minds. To argue that the tree itself must be in our minds is like arguing that a person whom we bear in mind is himself in our minds. This confusion may seem too gross to have been really committed by any competent philosopher, but various attendant circumstances rendered it possible. In order to see how it was possible, we must go more deeply into the question as to the nature of ideas."

Russell ignores what the idealist is really claiming. According to an idealist, it is perfectly fine to make a distinction between the "idea of a tree" and "the tree itself", so long as one realizes that they are both conceptual in nature (for are they not inherently mental constructs?), the only possible difference being that one is a concept of the act of defining a given entity, while the other is a concept of the entity defined. That is, one is a concept of the mental process itself, while the other is just expressed in terms of it i.e., is it. Both still share a common mental medium. Russell seems to think that it is valid to make a distinction between the tree "inside our minds" and "the tree itself". I don't understand how he misses the perfectly obvious fact both are inside our minds to the extent that we meaninglessly refer to them. He tries to draw a distinction between something "inside our minds" and something "outside our minds" by pointing to something that is inside our minds. Even if he disagrees, he should have addressed this point rather than treating idealists as completely clueless.

You took that paragraph out of context, in the very next paragraph he does address the point, acknowledges that it isn't necessary, and moves on:

"It is necessary to prove, generally, that by being known, things are shown to be mental. This is what Berkeley believes himself to have done. It is this question, and not our previous question as to the difference between sense-data and the physical object, that must now concern us."

He does go on to point out the underlying fallacy of equivocation between the thing apprehended and the act of apprehension which is typically the primary methodology in defending idealism.

That's the problem with idealism, the argument for idealism always seems to reduce down to "You can't prove me wrong", but that is no argument, and the typical sophistry associated with the so called argument is not valid.

And pulease don't reply with a quote from your superhero Chris Langan, we all know Sophistry-Man can leap tall logics with a single bound, but we're just tired of it.
"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
dylancatlow
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7/7/2015 3:56:07 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/7/2015 5:32:21 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 7/6/2015 12:29:05 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
"We think of an idea as essentially something in somebody's mind, and thus when we are told that a tree consists entirely of ideas, it is natural to suppose that, if so, the tree must be entirely in minds. But the notion of being 'in' the mind is ambiguous. We speak of bearing a person in mind, not meaning that the person is in our minds, but that a thought of him is in our minds. When a man says that some business he had to arrange went clean out of his mind, he does not mean to imply that the business itself was ever in his mind, but only that a thought of the business was formerly in his mind, but afterwards ceased to be in his mind. And so when Berkeley says that the tree must be in our minds if we can know it, all that he really has a right to say is that a thought of the tree must be in our minds. To argue that the tree itself must be in our minds is like arguing that a person whom we bear in mind is himself in our minds. This confusion may seem too gross to have been really committed by any competent philosopher, but various attendant circumstances rendered it possible. In order to see how it was possible, we must go more deeply into the question as to the nature of ideas."

Russell ignores what the idealist is really claiming. According to an idealist, it is perfectly fine to make a distinction between the "idea of a tree" and "the tree itself", so long as one realizes that they are both conceptual in nature (for are they not inherently mental constructs?), the only possible difference being that one is a concept of the act of defining a given entity, while the other is a concept of the entity defined. That is, one is a concept of the mental process itself, while the other is just expressed in terms of it i.e., is it. Both still share a common mental medium. Russell seems to think that it is valid to make a distinction between the tree "inside our minds" and "the tree itself". I don't understand how he misses the perfectly obvious fact both are inside our minds to the extent that we meaninglessly refer to them. He tries to draw a distinction between something "inside our minds" and something "outside our minds" by pointing to something that is inside our minds. Even if he disagrees, he should have addressed this point rather than treating idealists as completely clueless.

You took that paragraph out of context, in the very next paragraph he does address the point, acknowledges that it isn't necessary, and moves on:

"It is necessary to prove, generally, that by being known, things are shown to be mental. This is what Berkeley believes himself to have done. It is this question, and not our previous question as to the difference between sense-data and the physical object, that must now concern us."


Yes, but the only reason he considers it "unnecessary" is because we can make a distinction between the "idea of a tree" and "the tree", which goes back to the original quote. He never addresses what the idealist is actually claiming.

He does go on to point out the underlying fallacy of equivocation between the thing apprehended and the act of apprehension which is typically the primary methodology in defending idealism.

An idealist is perfectly fine with making such a distinction, so long as one realizes that both are descriptions...one is simply a description of the act of describing.


That's the problem with idealism, the argument for idealism always seems to reduce down to "You can't prove me wrong", but that is no argument, and the typical sophistry associated with the so called argument is not valid.

And pulease don't reply with a quote from your superhero Chris Langan, we all know Sophistry-Man can leap tall logics with a single bound, but we're just tired of it.
dylancatlow
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7/7/2015 4:20:48 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/6/2015 10:00:51 PM, n7 wrote:
Is this from Problems of Philosophy? Because IIRC, he was arguing against Berkeley's formulation and defense of idealism. Sure, maybe there's another form that escapes his response, but that's not what he's going after.

Yes. Perhaps you're right, but I saw not hint that Berkeley's argument must be interpreted in the way Russell interpreted it. As Russell said, "This confusion may seem too gross to have been really committed by any competent philosopher, but various attendant circumstances rendered it possible." Too gross indeed - good thing it's not clear that it's what he's arguing.

In any case, he entitled the chapter "Idealism" not "Berkeleyism". Given that the only plausible interpretation of idealism is the one I'm advocating, he ought to have addressed them (and yes, it's been around for quite some time). Either Russell doesn't fully understand idealism (which is understandable, given how subtle it is) or is biased against it.
Sidewalker
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7/7/2015 8:22:26 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/7/2015 3:56:07 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/7/2015 5:32:21 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 7/6/2015 12:29:05 PM, dylancatlow wrote:

Yes, but the only reason he considers it "unnecessary" is because we can make a distinction between the "idea of a tree" and "the tree", which goes back to the original quote. He never addresses what the idealist is actually claiming.

Sure he does, he just doesn't see "any reason to suppose that the thing apprehended is in any sense mental", he believes the idealists are "confusing the thing apprehended with the act of apprehension" and he sees it as an equivocation rather than a valid argument. Russell and Moore both refuted idealism on the distinction between the act of perceiving and the perceptual object, they both showed that idealism fails to make that distinction.

You say it's fine to make the distinction "so long as one realizes that they are both conceptual in nature", but that isn't an argument, it's just an unfounded assertion.

He does go on to point out the underlying fallacy of equivocation between the thing apprehended and the act of apprehension which is typically the primary methodology in defending idealism.

An idealist is perfectly fine with making such a distinction, so long as one realizes that both are descriptions...one is simply a description of the act of describing.

Once again, you are fine with making a distinction, as long as we accept that both are conceptual in nature, that isn't an argument, it's just another assertion of your conclusion. Idealism makes an extraordinary claim, as such, it requires extraordinary evidence, dogmatic assertions don't cut it.

Idealism has something valuable to say about epistemology, but there is no reason to confuse that with ontology.

Without a distinction between subject and object, the fact of knowledge would be unaccountable. Idealism postulates subject without object, eliminating the foundational basis of knowledge. It also eliminates any basis for truth, if there is no objective reality for our subjective thoughts to correspond to, then what is the basis for truth? If there is no object to be known by the knower, then what is the basis for knowledge? To paraphrase Wolfgang Pauli, "It isn't even wrong".

Perception, sensations, awareness, consciousness, thoughts and truth are all referential to a dynamic, there must be something they are about. It is incoherent to postulate perception independent of the object of perception, a sensation is a sensation "of something", awareness is always awareness of something, to be conscious is to be conscious of something, and a thought must be about something. They are relational terms, meaningless without a binary opposition, they are necessarily "about" something, all are referential to a necessary distinction that idealism fails to make.
"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
Sidewalker
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7/7/2015 9:22:26 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Here's a scenario I'd like to see you explain under idealism.

In 1978 a red panda escaped from the Rotterdam Zoo in the Netherlands, it was found dead just outside the zoo the morning that the escape was being publicized in the press. Apparently a lot of people missed the subsequent report about the panda's death, and in the following months there were hundreds of reports of sightings of the escaped red panda. Would your Ontological Idealism say that these hundreds of sightings were all true, that all of these mistaken sightings were real experiences of reality, and in the end the truth about reality is that the red panda was both alive and dead in the months following its escape from the zoo?

The problem with Idealism is that no two people experience or perceive reality in the same way, so there is no basis for determining truth. It can"t facilitate disagreements between perceivers, and so it leads to the logical conclusion that there are as many realities as there are experiencers, that conflicting perceptions are all true.

I think an ontology should be able to say that the world is a certain way, and perhaps that we can perceive it either accurately or inaccurately, if it doesn't do that, what good is it, and how can it be true?

Ontological Idealism necessarily results in Solipsism, the only experience, ideas, or thoughts that we can know are our own, and It attempts to eliminate contradictions by a dogmatic process of merely claiming that they don"t exist.
"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
dylancatlow
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7/7/2015 9:49:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/7/2015 8:22:26 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 7/7/2015 3:56:07 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/7/2015 5:32:21 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 7/6/2015 12:29:05 PM, dylancatlow wrote:

Yes, but the only reason he considers it "unnecessary" is because we can make a distinction between the "idea of a tree" and "the tree", which goes back to the original quote. He never addresses what the idealist is actually claiming.

Sure he does, he just doesn't see "any reason to suppose that the thing apprehended is in any sense mental", he believes the idealists are "confusing the thing apprehended with the act of apprehension" and he sees it as an equivocation rather than a valid argument. Russell and Moore both refuted idealism on the distinction between the act of perceiving and the perceptual object, they both showed that idealism fails to make that distinction.


By "addressing it", I meant more than just "I disagree". His characterization of idealism implies that idealists can't make a distinction between the act of apprehension and the thing apprehended, which is just false. It is precisely because they can be referred to and distinguished that idealism says they are expressions of cognition and thus mental. "What you think about" is necessarily identical to itself, and "it" is a thought, otherwise it would be unknowable to you. So whenever we refer to something, we are essentially referring to ourselves in a specific sense. However, this doesn't imply solipsism. The main purpose of idealism is simply to get around dualism, NOT to establish that reality is "whatever you want it to be". What idealism essentially says is that our mind and reality share common structure, and that it is through this intersect that we are able to define reality.

You say it's fine to make the distinction "so long as one realizes that they are both conceptual in nature", but that isn't an argument, it's just an unfounded assertion.

It's sort of like maintaining the premise that A = A


He does go on to point out the underlying fallacy of equivocation between the thing apprehended and the act of apprehension which is typically the primary methodology in defending idealism.

An idealist is perfectly fine with making such a distinction, so long as one realizes that both are descriptions...one is simply a description of the act of describing.

Once again, you are fine with making a distinction, as long as we accept that both are conceptual in nature, that isn't an argument, it's just another assertion of your conclusion. Idealism makes an extraordinary claim, as such, it requires extraordinary evidence, dogmatic assertions don't cut it.


It's not nearly as extraordinary as the claim that our minds are able to refer to things which don't conform to the structure in terms of which they are expressed. I.e., that our minds can think about non-thoughts.

Idealism has something valuable to say about epistemology, but there is no reason to confuse that with ontology.

Epistemology places restrictions on ontology insofar as ontology is a field of knowledge.
dylancatlow
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7/7/2015 10:04:07 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/7/2015 9:22:26 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
Here's a scenario I'd like to see you explain under idealism.

In 1978 a red panda escaped from the Rotterdam Zoo in the Netherlands, it was found dead just outside the zoo the morning that the escape was being publicized in the press. Apparently a lot of people missed the subsequent report about the panda's death, and in the following months there were hundreds of reports of sightings of the escaped red panda. Would your Ontological Idealism say that these hundreds of sightings were all true, that all of these mistaken sightings were real experiences of reality, and in the end the truth about reality is that the red panda was both alive and dead in the months following its escape from the zoo?

Of course not. The difference between "true thoughts" and "imaginary thoughts thought to be true" is not that one is a mere thought and one isn't, it's that one is a thought which actually maps to the reality concept while the other is merely assumed to have a mapping, and in fact describes only itself where "self" means "a neural firing pattern in the brain".
kp98
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7/7/2015 10:53:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
itself where "self" means "a neural firing pattern in the brain".

Just to clarify things for Sidewinder who might not understand the previous post on first reading, let me point out that neither the neurons, their pattern of firing nor even the brain they are in should be thought of as real. They are also mental constructs.
Sidewalker
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7/9/2015 8:46:22 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/7/2015 10:04:07 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/7/2015 9:22:26 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
Here's a scenario I'd like to see you explain under idealism.

In 1978 a red panda escaped from the Rotterdam Zoo in the Netherlands, it was found dead just outside the zoo the morning that the escape was being publicized in the press. Apparently a lot of people missed the subsequent report about the panda's death, and in the following months there were hundreds of reports of sightings of the escaped red panda. Would your Ontological Idealism say that these hundreds of sightings were all true, that all of these mistaken sightings were real experiences of reality, and in the end the truth about reality is that the red panda was both alive and dead in the months following its escape from the zoo?

Of course not. The difference between "true thoughts" and "imaginary thoughts thought to be true" is not that one is a mere thought and one isn't, it's that one is a thought which actually maps to the reality concept while the other is merely assumed to have a mapping, and in fact describes only itself where "self" means "a neural firing pattern in the brain".

I don't suppose you'd be willing to formally debate it would you?

No BoP games, just a straight up debate with a resolution along the lines of "Idealism is most likely to be true", you'd be pro of course.

I promise I'll try not to logically crush you into oblivion.
"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
UndeniableReality
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7/9/2015 10:09:09 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/7/2015 5:32:21 AM, Sidewalker wrote:

And pulease don't reply with a quote from your superhero Chris Langan, we all know Sophistry-Man can leap tall logics with a single bound, but we're just tired of it.

Thank you for this. We should make a "Chris Langan Test" which would differentiate between people who actually understand a piece of text and those who are merely so impressed with with its obfuscatory language that they adopt the ideas they think are being presented.

I don't know if you saw Serato on these forums, but he reminds me Langan.

Anyway, don't wish to derail the thread further.
Sidewalker
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7/9/2015 9:14:50 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/9/2015 1:29:22 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Lol @ "Ontological Idealism necessarily entails Solipsism..."

Sidewalker has a bad habit of misrepresenting Idealism.

Guilty as charged, I tend to presume that for your argument to be valid, it should be logically consistent, and in so doing, I misrepresent your position. I keep forgetting that it doesn"t entail logic, sorry about that.

Allow me to explain: Your argument for idealism is based on the principle of parsimony. The premise is that experience can be explained without reference to, or reliance on, an external world, consequently, belief in an external world is unnecessary and consequently, should not be presumed to exist. The problem that logically follows from this is that if one can doubt the existence of the physical body of other people that are perceived directly, then it logically follows that one should also doubt the existence of an unperceived mind presumed to be animating that body. If the principle of parsimony requires me to reject the existence of the physical reality I perceive to lie outside of my mind, that same logic should give me no reason to presume the existence of other minds which I have no perception of. If all I can know is the existence of mental events, and the principle of parsimony demands that I must therefore eliminate the non-mental from my ontology, then from the fact that the only mental events I can know are my own, the principle of parsimony also demands that I must also eliminate other minds from my ontology.

The very argument that is used to demonstrate that one can have no grounds for belief in a physical world also entail that one can have no grounds for belief in any mind other than one"s own, hence idealism entails solipsism.

Of course, that would only be the case if your idealism was logically consistent, so as you said, it is a misrepresentation of your idealism.
"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
Rational_Thinker9119
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7/9/2015 9:32:51 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/9/2015 9:14:50 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 7/9/2015 1:29:22 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Lol @ "Ontological Idealism necessarily entails Solipsism..."

Sidewalker has a bad habit of misrepresenting Idealism.

Guilty as charged, I tend to presume that for your argument to be valid, it should be logically consistent, and in so doing, I misrepresent your position. I keep forgetting that it doesn"t entail logic, sorry about that.

Claiming that my arguments are illogical? Yup, still misrepresenting I see :)

Allow me to explain: Your argument for idealism is based on the principle of parsimony. The premise is that experience can be explained without reference to, or reliance on, an external world, consequently, belief in an external world is unnecessary and consequently, should not be presumed to exist.

Straw-man, and a misrepresentation.. I believe in an external world, I just don't believe it is non-mental. Can you be any worse at describing people's arguments? Also, Parsimony is one reason out of many that I have for believing Idealism, but I suppose we'll focus on this one.

The problem that logically follows from this is that if one can doubt the existence of the physical body of other people that are perceived directly, then it logically follows that one should also doubt the existence of an unperceived mind presumed to be animating that body.

I don't doubt the bodies exists, I doubt the body is non-mental. Wow, this misrepresenting hobby of yours is getting out of hand.

If the principle of parsimony requires me to reject the existence of the physical reality I perceive to lie outside of my mind, that same logic should give me no reason to presume the existence of other minds which I have no perception of.

My worldview doesn't deny the bodies we experience exist outside of our finite animal/ human minds... Just that they exist outside of any mind.

If all I can know is the existence of mental events, and the principle of parsimony demands that I must therefore eliminate the non-mental from my ontology, then from the fact that the only mental events I can know are my own, the principle of parsimony also demands that I must also eliminate other minds from my ontology.

Not true. This is because my body acts a certain way, and there is a subject controlling it. I see other bodies acting the same way, so it would be inconsistent for me to assume I am the only body with a subject behind it. There is no such inconsistency in denying a non-mental reality. Ergo, you are comparing apples and oranges.


The very argument that is used to demonstrate that one can have no grounds for belief in a physical world also entail that one can have no grounds for belief in any mind other than one"s own, hence idealism entails solipsism.

This isn't true though. Parsimony says that positing less is preferred unless positing more explains reality better. The existence of other minds controlling the bodies I experience explains reality better, as it is more consistent (after all, why should I be the only body that has a subject behind it? Why am I so special). However, there is no such explanatory power with regards to a non-mental reality. Thus, again, you are comparing apples and oranges.


Of course, that would only be the case if your idealism was logically consistent, so as you said, it is a misrepresentation of your idealism.

You are the one comparing apples and oranges here, not me. Maybe you should be consistent yourself before you erroneously accusing others of not being consistent. Just a thought.
Sidewalker
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7/9/2015 10:42:00 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/9/2015 9:32:51 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/9/2015 9:14:50 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 7/9/2015 1:29:22 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Lol @ "Ontological Idealism necessarily entails Solipsism..."

Sidewalker has a bad habit of misrepresenting Idealism.

Guilty as charged, I tend to presume that for your argument to be valid, it should be logically consistent, and in so doing, I misrepresent your position. I keep forgetting that it doesn"t entail logic, sorry about that.

Claiming that my arguments are illogical? Yup, still misrepresenting I see :)

Allow me to explain: Your argument for idealism is based on the principle of parsimony. The premise is that experience can be explained without reference to, or reliance on, an external world, consequently, belief in an external world is unnecessary and consequently, should not be presumed to exist.

Straw-man, and a misrepresentation.. I believe in an external world, I just don't believe it is non-mental.

That is incoherent of course, the phrase "external world" means external to mind, the mental would be the internal world, the inner content of mind.

Can you be any worse at describing people's arguments?

Well, I tend to think words have meanings, and yeah, that makes me bad a describing your arguments, I keep forgetting that you are a semantic idealist, it's a word game rather than a philosophy.

Also, Parsimony is one reason out of many that I have for believing Idealism, but I suppose we'll focus on this one.

The problem that logically follows from this is that if one can doubt the existence of the physical body of other people that are perceived directly, then it logically follows that one should also doubt the existence of an unperceived mind presumed to be animating that body.

I don't doubt the bodies exists, I doubt the body is non-mental. Wow, this misrepresenting hobby of yours is getting out of hand.

LOL, yeah, I keep doing that misrepresenting definition of words thing.

Check it out: http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Body
a person's or animal's whole physical self
a dead person or animal
the main physical part of a person or animal

Now check this one out: http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Mental
1 a : of or relating to the mind; specifically : of or relating to the total emotional and intellectual response of an individual to external reality <mental health>
b : of or relating to intellectual as contrasted with emotional activity
c : of, relating to, or being intellectual as contrasted with overt physical activity
d : occurring or experienced in the mind : inner <mental anguish>
e : relating to the mind, its activity, or its products as an object of study : ideological
f : relating to spirit or idea as opposed to matter

Now try to follow along, read the definitions carefully, you will see that by definition, a body is physical rather than mental, and did you catch that "inner" thing, the definition of mental is "occurring or experienced in the mind: inner", it is incoherent to claim that the external world is mental, that would be the inner world, "in the mind". Wow.

If the principle of parsimony requires me to reject the existence of the physical reality I perceive to lie outside of my mind, that same logic should give me no reason to presume the existence of other minds which I have no perception of.

My worldview doesn't deny the bodies we experience exist outside of our finite animal/ human minds... Just that they exist outside of any mind.

Go back and read that definition of "body" again, if it "physically" exists and it's outside of minds, then it isn't mental.

If all I can know is the existence of mental events, and the principle of parsimony demands that I must therefore eliminate the non-mental from my ontology, then from the fact that the only mental events I can know are my own, the principle of parsimony also demands that I must also eliminate other minds from my ontology.

Not true. This is because my body acts a certain way, and there is a subject controlling it. I see other bodies acting the same way, so it would be inconsistent for me to assume I am the only body with a subject behind it. There is no such inconsistency in denying a non-mental reality. Ergo, you are comparing apples and oranges.

Nope, your body doesn't exist, other bodies don't exist, only the idea of bodies exist, go read that definition of mental again. If you want to make an argument for idealism, you really need to learn what the word mental means, it's kind of important to the whole concept of idealism.

The very argument that is used to demonstrate that one can have no grounds for belief in a physical world also entail that one can have no grounds for belief in any mind other than one"s own, hence idealism entails solipsism.

This isn't true though. Parsimony says that positing less is preferred unless positing more explains reality better. The existence of other minds controlling the bodies I experience explains reality better, as it is more consistent (after all, why should I be the only body that has a subject behind it? Why am I so special). However, there is no such explanatory power with regards to a non-mental reality. Thus, again, you are comparing apples and oranges.

If external bodies can be mental, then why can't apples be oranges?

Of course, that would only be the case if your idealism was logically consistent, so as you said, it is a misrepresentation of your idealism.

You are the one comparing apples and oranges here, not me. Maybe you should be consistent yourself before you erroneously accusing others of not being consistent. Just a thought.

Maybe you should try to understand what the word mental means, trust me, it's an important concept if you want to be argue idealism, and hey, then you might even grasp what the phrase "just a thought" actually means.
"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
Rational_Thinker9119
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7/9/2015 11:41:31 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/9/2015 10:42:00 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 7/9/2015 9:32:51 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/9/2015 9:14:50 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 7/9/2015 1:29:22 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Lol @ "Ontological Idealism necessarily entails Solipsism..."

Sidewalker has a bad habit of misrepresenting Idealism.



Claiming that my arguments are illogical? Yup, still misrepresenting I see :)



Straw-man, and a misrepresentation.. I believe in an external world, I just don't believe it is non-mental.

That is incoherent of course, the phrase "external world" means external to mind, the mental would be the internal world, the inner content of mind.

The phrase "external world" means external to mind, but by "mind" it refers to human minds:

"external-world
Noun
(uncountable)

(philosophy) The world consisting of all the objects and events which are experienceable or whose existence is accepted by the human mind, but which exist independently of the mind" [http://www.yourdictionary.com...]

If something exists outside of our finite human/ animal minds, then it is not incoherent to deem it part of the external reality, as it is reasonable to assume that "the mind" is in terms of the human mind based on the wording of the definition.


Can you be any worse at describing people's arguments?

Well, I tend to think words have meanings, and yeah, that makes me bad a describing your arguments, I keep forgetting that you are a semantic idealist, it's a word game rather than a philosophy.

What is semantic Idealism? If I say reality is ontologically mental then that implies a real metaphysical state of being... Words have meaning remember?


Also, Parsimony is one reason out of many that I have for believing Idealism, but I suppose we'll focus on this one.

The problem that logically follows from this is that if one can doubt the existence of the physical body of other people that are perceived directly, then it logically follows that one should also doubt the existence of an unperceived mind presumed to be animating that body.

I don't doubt the bodies exists, I doubt the body is non-mental. Wow, this misrepresenting hobby of yours is getting out of hand.

LOL, yeah, I keep doing that misrepresenting definition of words thing.



Now try to follow along, read the definitions carefully, you will see that by definition, a body is physical rather than mental, and did you catch that "inner" thing, the definition of mental is "occurring or experienced in the mind: inner", it is incoherent to claim that the external world is mental, that would be the inner world, "in the mind". Wow.

Wow this is sad....Physicalism is the prevailing philosophy right now, you don't think that Physicalists know that dictionary definitions make a distinction between the mind and the physical? Lmao Obviously they do Einstein. I think they know just as well as I that the philosphical definitions that don't beg the question in favor of Dualism are needed here Mr. Webster. All those definitions do is define the physical and mental in ways that presuppose Dualism and beg the question, as there is nothing sufficient in our observations to justify such definitions. Either way, If you define the body as something distinct from mind (something that is "physical") then I guess I don't believe in a physical body. However, there is no observation supporting the notion that there exists this form of existence that is distinct from the mental anyway so that isn't a problem. The only thing we observe is a form, if you chose to deem that form "physical" (as in, something distinct from the mind) then that is without justification. So, even if your definition of body is correct, that wouldn't mean that what we observe are bodies. You are just defining a type of form into existence that isn't actually supported by observation.


If the principle of parsimony requires me to reject the existence of the physical reality I perceive to lie outside of my mind, that same logic should give me no reason to presume the existence of other minds which I have no perception of.

My worldview doesn't deny the bodies we experience exist outside of our finite animal/ human minds... Just that they exist outside of any mind.

Go back and read that definition of "body" again, if it "physically" exists and it's outside of minds, then it isn't mental.

Then there is no reason to believe bodies exist. What you observe is a form that you can interact with, but to deem it a "body" (something distinct from the mental) is without justification.


If all I can know is the existence of mental events, and the principle of parsimony demands that I must therefore eliminate the non-mental from my ontology, then from the fact that the only mental events I can know are my own, the principle of parsimony also demands that I must also eliminate other minds from my ontology.



Nope, your body doesn't exist, other bodies don't exist, only the idea of bodies exist, go read that definition of mental again. If you want to make an argument for idealism, you really need to learn what the word mental means, it's kind of important to the whole concept of idealism.

I agree with the definition of mental, I just disagree that the definition of physical can be used to describe anything we observe. If you bump into someone, all you experience is one form interacting with another form. There is no justification for deeming the form you bumped into a "body" as defined. This is because, there is no reason to believe that what you bumped into is distinct from mentality. So, you can define the forms of people as "bodies" all you want, but that won't magically make them bodies.


The very argument that is used to demonstrate that one can have no grounds for belief in a physical world also entail that one can have no grounds for belief in any mind other than one"s own, hence idealism entails solipsism.

This isn't true though. Parsimony says that positing less is preferred unless positing more explains reality better. The existence of other minds controlling the bodies I experience explains reality better, as it is more consistent (after all, why should I be the only body that has a subject behind it? Why am I so special). However, there is no such explanatory power with regards to a non-mental reality. Thus, again, you are comparing apples and oranges.

If external bodies can be mental, then why can't apples be oranges?

By "external", I mean "external to our finite human/ minds". Enough with the semantics..


Of course, that would only be the case if your idealism was logically consistent, so as you said, it is a misrepresentation of your idealism.

You are the one comparing apples and oranges here, not me. Maybe you should be consistent yourself before you erroneously accusing others of not being consistent. Just a thought.

Maybe you should try to understand what the word mental means, trust me, it's an important concept if you want to be argue idealism, and hey, then you might even grasp what the phrase "just a thought" actually means.

Your argument is so embarrassing... It takes common folk definitions that all philosophers know presuppose Dualism erroneously, and tries to use them in a discussion about philosophy. Either way, even if we accept your definitions, there is no reason to believe that we should use them to actually describe what we see. You would just be mis-describing objects of observation.