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RFD - Sargon vs Romanii - Substance Dualism

FourTrouble
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12/3/2015 11:10:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
This RFD is for the substance dualism debate between Sargon and Romanii. You can find the debate here: http://www.debate.org...

The resolution is: "substance dualism is false." In simple terms, "substance dualism" means there are two separate substances in the world: subjects and objects. Pro must show that substance dualism is false while Con must show it is true. Pro accepts the burden of proof.

Overall, the debate suffers from a lack of clarity, precision, and reasoning. Neither debater seems to really understand what "substance dualism" is - nor do they understand Heidegger's powerful critique of it. They're both missing any big-picture analysis that tells me how their arguments or positions fit into philosophy as a whole. The entire thing feels disjointed, irrelevant, unimportant. It was particularly irritating to read because I like Heidegger a lot - in fact he's probably my favorite philosopher - and it's tragically disheartening to see you guys have no clue what he actually argued. In short, I'm voting Con because the burden of proof is on Pro. I would have voted a tie if burdens were shared. Neither debater convinced me of their position.

Pro's argument

Pro starts the debate off by apologizing for using Heidegger, as if somehow that gives his argument greater persuasive force. I don"t think Heidegger is "verbose" or "complicated," so apologizing for an unfair characterization and then telling me I'm probably too dumb to even understand these arguments is irritating and unhelpful. I already want to vote Con after Pro's first paragraph.

The substantive argument isn't better. Pro argues that objects always influence a subject's interpretation of objects, so subjects require objects to understand themselves and to have a meaningful existence. Pro's framing is unnecessarily convoluted, "verbose," and "complicated." It also has little to do with Heidegger. And ultimately, Pro's argument is incoherent because of his attempt to frame Heidegger in Cartesian terms. There's an important reason Heidegger eschewed Cartesian terminology. Pro's argument totally misses that reason. Instead, it reads like bare assertions for an incoherent position.

In R3, Pro apologizes again for using Heidegger. He finally uses the right terminology but still fails to explain Heidegger's arguments. He just asserts Heidegger's claim that Dasein is always and already a being-in-the-world. But then Pro reverts back to the "subject" and "object" terminology that verges on incoherence. He gives this incredibly convoluted argument about subjects understanding themselves through understanding objects in the world through other objects. Of course, this isn't what Heidegger argued. And it's nonsense.

In R4, Pro says his argument is that Heidegger's characterization of Dasein is more accurate than Descartes's characterization of subjects. But Pro hasn't actually given a single reason to prefer Heidegger over Descartes. He says he uses Cartesian terms to make his argument more accessible to the audience, but that justification is a complete failure. The only thing the Cartesian terms did is (a) make his argument more difficult to understand, and (b) refute his own argument, since there's a very important reason Heidegger eschewed those terms -- these terms presuppose concepts that Heidegger was actively challenging.

I don't find Pro's argument compelling at all, so there's no way I could possibly vote Pro in this debate. For some unknown reason, Pro accepted the burden of proof, so I'm forced to vote Con, though really this should be a tie, because both debaters don't know what the fvck they're talking about.

Con's Response

I'm told that Pro conceded the debate by admitting that subjects and objects are different entities. This argument is nonsense. The resolution expressly requires that Con show subjects and objects are different substances, not merely different entities. The term "substance" isn't defined but it obviously refers to a philosophical tradition speaking to fundamental ontological differences, not simply different properties or capacities. For instance, uranium and oxygen are two different entities with vastly different properties, yet each is clearly the same type of "substance."

Con also attacks Pro's syllogism, noting its conclusions don't follow from its premises. These points are generally appropriate, as Pro really didn't give any reasoning or explanation for his argument. That said, Con almost gives the debate to Pro when he observes that just because subjects require objects to understand themselves doesn't mean they can't exist without objects. If Pro had picked up on this, I'd vote Pro. In effect, Con suggests that ontology (existence) is primary to epistemology (knowledge). Yet that is precisely what Heidegger's entire argument turns on. In contrast, Descartes argued the opposite: "I think, therefore I am" (i.e. knowledge precedes existence). I'm not giving this point much persuasive force in either direction, though Pro misses an incredibly opportunity to win the debate without any trouble. The only thing Pro needed to do here was point out that if existence precedes knowledge, if ontology is prior to epistemology, it means we need to look at existence before knowledge gives us the notion of a subject or object. From there, it's simple to explain the primacy of being-in-the-world as an existential state that precedes any knowledge of subjects or objects. This is precisely what Heidegger argues - and it's why his argument has so much force - but Pro doesn't actually understand Heidegger's argument, so naturally he doesn't get what's going on here.

In the final round, Con's arguments don't get much better: he misinterprets Heidegger, misinterprets Pro, and misinterprets substance dualism. Con says the Cartesian view comports more with our observations of reality, though I'm not really buying that, since technically my observations of reality comport more with Heidegger's notion of using things before I ever start contemplating distinctions between my existence and the existence of the things I'm using. Con also loses some of his clarity in former rounds in his final round, saying a bunch of stuff that makes no sense to me, because the jargon is either used incorrectly, unnecessarily, or distractions.

Philosophy

Pro's argument lacked any persuasive force because he misunderstood Heidegger, and Con nearly conceded the debate because he misunderstood Descartes (and Heidegger). So let's take a moment to look at what substance dualism is and what Heidegger actually said, since so much of my RFD turns on how badly both of you guys were at actually correctly understanding these points.

First, Heidegger. In simple terms, Heidegger argued that before humans know anything about themselves or the world, they experience a useful world. Thus, before we ever label a hammer a hammer, a table a table, or a food a food, we use hammers, use tables, and use foods. This lived experience is prior to any knowledge we develop about these objects. In other words, practice precedes theory. Or in philosophy-speak, phenomenology precedes epistemology. This lived experience is thus primary to any notion of subjects or objects (and thus primary to a subject/object dichotomy). Heidegger never argued that knowledge was unimportant. His philosophy is limited to the simple claim that our existence is always/already tied up with things in the world.

Second, Descartes. This dude said the opposite: theory precedes practice, knowledge precedes experience. This view presupposes substance dualism, for a bunch of reasons I don't feel like getting into.

This debate should have focused on that key difference in these two views: the primacy of lived experience vs the primacy of knowledge. That would have been more educational, both for me and you.
Romanii
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12/4/2015 1:38:26 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/3/2015 11:10:36 PM, FourTrouble wrote:

Yeah... full disclosure -- I haven't ever read an original philosophical work. The material is too dry for my tastes. I was just responding to Sargon's arguments using whatever he gave me to work with. Only *after* completing this debate am I realizing that I didn't really understand the full implications of "substance" dualism. Also, your articulation of Heidegger's argument was helpful, even if I still don't find it persuasive (it seems more aimed at refuting Descartes' specific justification than at actually refuting substance dualism, which doesn't necessarily require the primacy of knowledge over existence).

Thanks for voting, though.
FourTrouble
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12/4/2015 3:49:44 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/4/2015 1:38:26 AM, Romanii wrote:
Yeah... full disclosure -- I haven't ever read an original philosophical work. The material is too dry for my tastes. I was just responding to Sargon's arguments using whatever he gave me to work with. Only *after* completing this debate am I realizing that I didn't really understand the full implications of "substance" dualism. Also, your articulation of Heidegger's argument was helpful, even if I still don't find it persuasive (it seems more aimed at refuting Descartes' specific justification than at actually refuting substance dualism, which doesn't necessarily require the primacy of knowledge over existence).

It's not specific to Descartes. Heidegger destroys any substance dualism. What don't you find persuasive about his argument? We use hammers before we start developing knowledge about what the hammer is made of. That simple insight is fundamentally incompatible with substance dualism. To say minds are separate from bodies, you would have to say that minds could develop knowledge about hammers before using hammers.
Romanii
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12/4/2015 5:17:49 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/4/2015 3:49:44 AM, FourTrouble wrote:
At 12/4/2015 1:38:26 AM, Romanii wrote:
Yeah... full disclosure -- I haven't ever read an original philosophical work. The material is too dry for my tastes. I was just responding to Sargon's arguments using whatever he gave me to work with. Only *after* completing this debate am I realizing that I didn't really understand the full implications of "substance" dualism. Also, your articulation of Heidegger's argument was helpful, even if I still don't find it persuasive (it seems more aimed at refuting Descartes' specific justification than at actually refuting substance dualism, which doesn't necessarily require the primacy of knowledge over existence).

It's not specific to Descartes. Heidegger destroys any substance dualism. What don't you find persuasive about his argument? We use hammers before we start developing knowledge about what the hammer is made of. That simple insight is fundamentally incompatible with substance dualism. To say minds are separate from bodies, you would have to say that minds could develop knowledge about hammers before using hammers.

Why? I'm not seeing why the mind needs to be able to independently develop knowledge about physical objects in order for it to (hypothetically) exist independently of them. The entire point of dualism is that the mind experiences the physical realm through interaction with the physical body. Just cuz the mind needs to use the physical as a lens to understand the physical doesn't have any bearing on its ontological independence from the physical. In other words, ability to understand doesn't impact ability to exist. That's a non-sequitur.
BlueDreams
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12/4/2015 7:20:30 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I'm not here to persuade you into voting for me, because I don't care about the scoreboard, but I need to make a few points on assertions which touch upon my character and research abilities. Here, you portray my opening statement as being condescending to the audience:

"Pro starts the debate off by apologizing for using Heidegger, as if somehow that gives his argument greater persuasive force. I don"t think Heidegger is "verbose" or "complicated," so apologizing for an unfair characterization and then telling me I'm probably too dumb to even understand these arguments is irritating and unhelpful. I already want to vote Con after Pro's first paragraph."

Contrast this with the quote in question:

"My argument will likely be difficult for most people to understand, as it draws from the philosophy of Martin Heidegger, a verbose philosopher with a complicated web of ideas and concepts embedded into his ontology."

When these quotes are juxtaposed, it becomes clear that you're exaggerating the extent to which I am condescending to the audience. It's fair to state that most people will have a difficult time understanding Heidegger, because most people don't even understand that Joe Biden is the Vice President of the United States. It's fair to state that Heidegger is verbose, because Heidegger rejected the idea that he should "hold his readers hands", instead opting to encourage independent and critical thinking about his terminology. These are two common claims about Heidegger that many find sensible, and even if you may not agree, this does not make them irritating, unhelpful, or offensive to the audience.

The RFD unfairly turns a broad statement about Heidegger being a difficult author for most people to read into a personal insult. I claimed that Heidegger is difficult for most people to understand. There is no fair way that this can be interpreted as calling my audience (or you, as the RFD suggests) too stupid to understand Heidegger. The fairest interpretation is that I acknowledged most people have difficult understanding Heidegger because he is verbose. This means that the cause of the difficulty is not the reader's intelligence, but Heidegger's stylistic choices.

From these observations about the RFD, I can't help but to conclude that it superimposes its own ideas over my words rather than interpreting them fairly. For example, the RFD states that I used an apology to add to the persuasive force of my argument. In context, the apology for the perceived verbosity of my argument was simply part of general opening remarks about the nature of the debate itself rather than an attempt at bolstering my points.

The most concerning aspect of this RFD is that it considers points which are not relevant to the vote. The RFD states that you wanted to vote for Con merely because you felt offended by my opening statement. While this could possibly warrant a conduct vote, it has nothing to do with the argument category, which is the only one that you elected to vote on. Furthermore, the resolution is not "Heidegger is a verbose philosopher". The RFD is about substance dualism. A voter cannot warrant an arguments vote based on a single-sentence tangent. Similarly, a voter cannot warrant an arguments vote because they found Pro to be irritating, which is a matter of extreme personal opinion rather than an objective point about the debate.

The RFD generates its own ideas and twists the text of my arguments around them rather than allowing the fairest interpretation of my words to take precedent. It considers aspects of the debate which are personal opinions at best. For these reasons, this portion of your RFD is incredibly troubling.
BlueDreams
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12/4/2015 7:31:32 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
In fairness, I'll state areas of agreement.

1) The mix of Heideggerian and Cartesian terminology was confusing. I affirmed this multiple times throughout the debate and comments section. The RFD is fair in blaming both Pro and Con in this regard.
2) Heidegger challenged Cartesian terms. Again, I affirmed this in the debate and comments section.
3) The debate would have greatly benefited from more clarity.

As a note, I do understand Heidegger, and I've read Being and Time in conjunction with the numerous companion guides that have been published since its inception.
I am willing to offer quotations from scholars and Heidegger himself which reinforce the ideas that I articulate. In addition, I did not claim that my argument shares a perfect correspondence to Heidegger's writings, but only that it "draws" from his thought.
Romanii
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12/4/2015 2:02:08 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/4/2015 7:20:30 AM, BlueDreams wrote:

I don't think FT seriously took the "condescension" stuff into consideration while voting. That said, I would generally agree that his RFD was unfairly harsh and overly critical on several points, but that's just how FT rolls -- almost every RFD he writes brutally insults both debaters lol
FourTrouble
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12/4/2015 5:34:39 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/4/2015 7:20:30 AM, BlueDreams wrote:
I'm not here to persuade you into voting for me, because I don't care about the scoreboard, but I need to make a few points on assertions which touch upon my character and research abilities. Here, you portray my opening statement as being condescending to the audience:

Nothing in my RFD touches upon your character. I took issue with the way you used Heidegger.

When these quotes are juxtaposed, it becomes clear that you're exaggerating the extent to which I am condescending to the audience. It's fair to state that most people will have a difficult time understanding Heidegger, because most people don't even understand that Joe Biden is the Vice President of the United States. It's fair to state that Heidegger is verbose, because Heidegger rejected the idea that he should "hold his readers hands", instead opting to encourage independent and critical thinking about his terminology. These are two common claims about Heidegger that many find sensible, and even if you may not agree, this does not make them irritating, unhelpful, or offensive to the audience.

First, I don't care how difficult you think Heidegger is. Nor do I care how difficult you think Joe Biden is. What I care about is the fact that you're making a sweeping generalization about "most people," about "Heidegger," and about your "audience," before you've even articulated your argument. In the debate, that generalization is an assertion, it plays no functional role in your argument, and it's irritating to read because it alienates me from "most people." Is there something wrong with most people? Or is there something wrong with me? How is this relevant to the debate? Why are you telling me this? Those are the questions I'm asking after reading your first paragraph. The statement reminds me of the way harmful stereotypes form: you make a sweeping generalization that's based on nothing but the experience of a few. In this case, you're assuming most people won't understand Heidegger. That's alienating to folks who are interested in Heidegger but have never read him. And it's alienating to folks who read him and don't find him "difficult," "verbose," or "complicated."

Second, your characterization is objectively unfair. Heidegger isn't "verbose." He uses the words necessary to make his argument. In fact, Heidegger is incredibly concise. The sheer quantity of ideas, arguments, and concepts in Being and Time is mind-boggling. Nor is Heidegger "complicated." His conceptual framework is complex but it can be articulated clearly. His style is not "complicated." That word assumes his style could be clearer, which I disagree with. There have been numerous papers written on Heidegger's rhetorical techniques. They perform his argument at the same time he's making his argument. There's a reason he uses the terminology he does. Every word has a purpose.

The RFD unfairly turns a broad statement about Heidegger being a difficult author for most people to read into a personal insult. I claimed that Heidegger is difficult for most people to understand. There is no fair way that this can be interpreted as calling my audience (or you, as the RFD suggests) too stupid to understand Heidegger. The fairest interpretation is that I acknowledged most people have difficult understanding Heidegger because he is verbose. This means that the cause of the difficulty is not the reader's intelligence, but Heidegger's stylistic choices.

I never said it was a personal insult.

From these observations about the RFD, I can't help but to conclude that it superimposes its own ideas over my words rather than interpreting them fairly. For example, the RFD states that I used an apology to add to the persuasive force of my argument. In context, the apology for the perceived verbosity of my argument was simply part of general opening remarks about the nature of the debate itself rather than an attempt at bolstering my points.

Everything you say in a debate is rhetorical -- it either helps or hurts your case. To the extent you alienated me in your first paragraph, it matters to the way I perceive the rest of your arguments. Debates are about persuading voters to agree with you. Alienating voters isn't persuasive.

The most concerning aspect of this RFD is that it considers points which are not relevant to the vote. The RFD states that you wanted to vote for Con merely because you felt offended by my opening statement. While this could possibly warrant a conduct vote, it has nothing to do with the argument category, which is the only one that you elected to vote on.

Everything you write is part of your argument. I don't vote on conduct unless someone forfeits. For me, everything someone does is part of their argument. Whether it's effective/ineffective is a separate issue. For the record, you don't decide what is or isn't an argument. Voters do. Everything you say is plausibly interpreted as part of your argument, because all of it is relevant to evaluating your rhetorical posture.

Furthermore, the resolution is not "Heidegger is a verbose philosopher". The RFD is about substance dualism. A voter cannot warrant an arguments vote based on a single-sentence tangent. Similarly, a voter cannot warrant an arguments vote because they found Pro to be irritating, which is a matter of extreme personal opinion rather than an objective point about the debate.

I'm not sure what this has to do with my RFD. I clearly evaluated the entire debate, not just your first paragraph.

The RFD generates its own ideas and twists the text of my arguments around them rather than allowing the fairest interpretation of my words to take precedent. It considers aspects of the debate which are personal opinions at best. For these reasons, this portion of your RFD is incredibly troubling.

Why should I give your words the "fairest interpretation"? That's a bizarre notion of entitlement. I interpret words based on your rhetorical posture. Throughout the debate, you continuously apologize for using Heidegger. I found that rhetorical move harmful to your case. It was important to the way I perceived your rhetorical posture throughout the debate. I brought it up as something for your to think about in the future. Don't apologize. The best debaters on this site don't apologize. Heidegger didn't apologize for his supposed difficulty. Neither should you.
FourTrouble
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12/4/2015 5:45:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/4/2015 7:31:32 AM, BlueDreams wrote:
1) The mix of Heideggerian and Cartesian terminology was confusing. I affirmed this multiple times throughout the debate and comments section. The RFD is fair in blaming both Pro and Con in this regard.

It was not merely confusing, it was incoherent. Heidegger's entire point is that you can't use those terms because they presuppose a bunch of stuff that Heidegger is reacting against. For instance, you assert that subjects use objects in their interpretations, but that doesn't get you anywhere -- Descartes or Kant would have agreed. What you needed to do was explain why the notion of subjectivity itself was flawed -- and that requires a different terminology and different set of arguments, arguments that Heidegger makes.

As a note, I do understand Heidegger, and I've read Being and Time in conjunction with the numerous companion guides that have been published since its inception.
I am willing to offer quotations from scholars and Heidegger himself which reinforce the ideas that I articulate. In addition, I did not claim that my argument shares a perfect correspondence to Heidegger's writings, but only that it "draws" from his thought.

Look, the ideas when using correct terminology aren't wrong. The ideas cannot be stated with Cartesian terminology. That's not possible. Either way, doesn't matter: The problem is the argument. I haven't read the companion guides but my guess is that they focus on the ideas to the detriment of the argument. In a debate, you need the argument, not just the ideas.
FourTrouble
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12/4/2015 5:46:42 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/4/2015 2:02:08 PM, Romanii wrote:
I don't think FT seriously took the "condescension" stuff into consideration while voting. That said, I would generally agree that his RFD was unfairly harsh and overly critical on several points, but that's just how FT rolls -- almost every RFD he writes brutally insults both debaters lol

This is true. I need to stop reading bad debates. Notice I also give massive praise when arguments are strong. My temperament cuts both ways.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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12/4/2015 6:56:26 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/3/2015 11:10:36 PM, FourTrouble wrote:
That said, Con almost gives the debate to Pro when he observes that just because subjects require objects to understand themselves doesn't mean they can't exist without objects. If Pro had picked up on this, I'd vote Pro. In effect, Con suggests that ontology (existence) is primary to epistemology (knowledge). Yet that is precisely what Heidegger's entire argument turns on.

Three problems with this.

1. Since Pro has the burden of proof, bad counterarguments from Con are irrelevant if Pro's arguments are implausible to begin with. You would therefore have to show that the arguments Con failed to rebut were sufficient to prove the resolution.

2. Observing that "just because subjects require objects to understand themselves doesn't mean they can't exist without objects" doesn't imply one is prepared to argue that subjects can exist without objects. It merely implies that one doesn't think the opponent has not done a sufficient job of establishing the connection.

3. Even if Con was arguing that subjects can exist without objects (and thus without self-understanding), this doesn't imply that he thinks "ontology (existence) is primary to epistemology (knowledge)." It just implies that he doesn't think existence requires knowledge. Primacy of one over the other is completely beside the point.

In contrast, Descartes argued the opposite: "I think, therefore I am" (i.e. knowledge precedes existence). I'm not giving this point much persuasive force in either direction, though Pro misses an incredibly opportunity to win the debate without any trouble. The only thing Pro needed to do here was point out that if existence precedes knowledge, if ontology is prior to epistemology, it means we need to look at existence before knowledge gives us the notion of a subject or object. From there, it's simple to explain the primacy of being-in-the-world as an existential state that precedes any knowledge of subjects or objects. This is precisely what Heidegger argues - and it's why his argument has so much force - but Pro doesn't actually understand Heidegger's argument, so naturally he doesn't get what's going on here.

How exactly does the fact that "we need to look at existence in order to form the concepts of subject and object" prove that they both belong to the same substance, and how is the primacy of being-in-the-world relevant to the resolution? Nothing said here makes any obvious sense (same goes for most of the RFD).
dylancatlow
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12/4/2015 7:07:42 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
correction: " It merely implies that one doesn't think the opponent has done a sufficient job of establishing the connection."
Romanii
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12/4/2015 7:11:47 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/4/2015 6:56:26 PM, dylancatlow wrote:

How exactly does the fact that "we need to look at existence in order to form the concepts of subject and object" prove that they both belong to the same substance, and how is the primacy of being-in-the-world relevant to the resolution? Nothing said here makes any obvious sense (same goes for most of the RFD).

I don't get it either. There's so many blatant logical jumps.
FourTrouble
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12/4/2015 8:25:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/4/2015 6:56:26 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 12/3/2015 11:10:36 PM, FourTrouble wrote:
That said, Con almost gives the debate to Pro when he observes that just because subjects require objects to understand themselves doesn't mean they can't exist without objects. If Pro had picked up on this, I'd vote Pro. In effect, Con suggests that ontology (existence) is primary to epistemology (knowledge). Yet that is precisely what Heidegger's entire argument turns on.

Three problems with this.

1. Since Pro has the burden of proof, bad counterarguments from Con are irrelevant if Pro's arguments are implausible to begin with. You would therefore have to show that the arguments Con failed to rebut were sufficient to prove the resolution.

Concessions are always relevant. Doesn't matter who has the burden. Con unknowingly conceded something that Pro could have used to win the debate. Unfortunately, Pro didn't take advantage of the opportunity. The point was therefore irrelevant to my decision (i.e. had no persuasive force in either direction). I bring attention to the issue because it showcases errors by both sides and thus room for improvement.

2. Observing that "just because subjects require objects to understand themselves doesn't mean they can't exist without objects" doesn't imply one is prepared to argue that subjects can exist without objects. It merely implies that one doesn't think the opponent has not done a sufficient job of establishing the connection.

This is nonsense.

3. Even if Con was arguing that subjects can exist without objects (and thus without self-understanding), this doesn't imply that he thinks "ontology (existence) is primary to epistemology (knowledge)." It just implies that he doesn't think existence requires knowledge. Primacy of one over the other is completely beside the point.

To say existence is possible without knowledge means existence is prior to knowledge. If you disagree, you're wrong. The notion that a mind-substance doesn't require knowledge is fundamentally incompatible with substance dualism. But Con doesn't even realize that because he doesn't understand substance dualism or Heidegger. Pro seems to have a better grasp of the philosophies but rhetorically has no clue what he's doing, and totally missed an opportunity for a win.

In contrast, Descartes argued the opposite: "I think, therefore I am" (i.e. knowledge precedes existence). I'm not giving this point much persuasive force in either direction, though Pro misses an incredibly opportunity to win the debate without any trouble. The only thing Pro needed to do here was point out that if existence precedes knowledge, if ontology is prior to epistemology, it means we need to look at existence before knowledge gives us the notion of a subject or object. From there, it's simple to explain the primacy of being-in-the-world as an existential state that precedes any knowledge of subjects or objects. This is precisely what Heidegger argues - and it's why his argument has so much force - but Pro doesn't actually understand Heidegger's argument, so naturally he doesn't get what's going on here.

How exactly does the fact that "we need to look at existence in order to form the concepts of subject and object" prove that they both belong to the same substance, and how is the primacy of being-in-the-world relevant to the resolution? Nothing said here makes any obvious sense (same goes for most of the RFD).

What the fvck are you talking about? I never said subjects and objects were part of the same substance. For Heidegger, "being" isn't a "substance." The concept of "being" is "temporal."
FourTrouble
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12/4/2015 8:54:10 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/4/2015 7:11:47 PM, Romanii wrote:
At 12/4/2015 6:56:26 PM, dylancatlow wrote:

How exactly does the fact that "we need to look at existence in order to form the concepts of subject and object" prove that they both belong to the same substance, and how is the primacy of being-in-the-world relevant to the resolution? Nothing said here makes any obvious sense (same goes for most of the RFD).

I don't get it either. There's so many blatant logical jumps.

Okay. I think I see the problem with ya'll. Dylan and you are assuming that Heidegger's argument is that subjects and objects are the same substance. That is technically what Sargon seems to be arguing, since he uses Cartesian terminology (yet another reason that terminology dooms Pro's case). Heidegger is saying the notion of "substance" is wrong. That's not what "being" is. His whole philosophy is about figuring out what "being" is -- and it's not a "substance."
Romanii
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12/4/2015 9:03:39 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/4/2015 8:54:10 PM, FourTrouble wrote:
At 12/4/2015 7:11:47 PM, Romanii wrote:
At 12/4/2015 6:56:26 PM, dylancatlow wrote:

How exactly does the fact that "we need to look at existence in order to form the concepts of subject and object" prove that they both belong to the same substance, and how is the primacy of being-in-the-world relevant to the resolution? Nothing said here makes any obvious sense (same goes for most of the RFD).

I don't get it either. There's so many blatant logical jumps.

Okay. I think I see the problem with ya'll. Dylan and you are assuming that Heidegger's argument is that subjects and objects are the same substance. That is technically what Sargon seems to be arguing, since he uses Cartesian terminology (yet another reason that terminology dooms Pro's case). Heidegger is saying the notion of "substance" is wrong. That's not what "being" is. His whole philosophy is about figuring out what "being" is -- and it's not a "substance."

So what is "being" ?
dylancatlow
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12/4/2015 10:32:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/4/2015 8:25:28 PM, FourTrouble wrote:
At 12/4/2015 6:56:26 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 12/3/2015 11:10:36 PM, FourTrouble wrote:
That said, Con almost gives the debate to Pro when he observes that just because subjects require objects to understand themselves doesn't mean they can't exist without objects. If Pro had picked up on this, I'd vote Pro. In effect, Con suggests that ontology (existence) is primary to epistemology (knowledge). Yet that is precisely what Heidegger's entire argument turns on.

Three problems with this.

1. Since Pro has the burden of proof, bad counterarguments from Con are irrelevant if Pro's arguments are implausible to begin with. You would therefore have to show that the arguments Con failed to rebut were sufficient to prove the resolution.

Concessions are always relevant. Doesn't matter who has the burden. Con unknowingly conceded something that Pro could have used to win the debate. Unfortunately, Pro didn't take advantage of the opportunity. The point was therefore irrelevant to my decision (i.e. had no persuasive force in either direction). I bring attention to the issue because it showcases errors by both sides and thus room for improvement.

Not really. The whole point of BoP is to make the debate less about "who made the most compelling arguments" and more about "Did the side with BoP do a good job of proving their case in light of the counterarguments made by their opponent".


2. Observing that "just because subjects require objects to understand themselves doesn't mean they can't exist without objects" doesn't imply one is prepared to argue that subjects can exist without objects. It merely implies that one doesn't think the opponent has not done a sufficient job of establishing the connection.

This is nonsense.


"Just because free will exists doesn't mean the death penalty is justified" doesn't imply that the person is prepared to argue against the death penalty, only that they don't think the connection between free will and the death penalty is axiomatic such that if one is true the other follows. This is analogous to the above. If you disagree, you should explain yourself.

3. Even if Con was arguing that subjects can exist without objects (and thus without self-understanding), this doesn't imply that he thinks "ontology (existence) is primary to epistemology (knowledge)." It just implies that he doesn't think existence requires knowledge. Primacy of one over the other is completely beside the point.

To say existence is possible without knowledge means existence is prior to knowledge. If you disagree, you're wrong. The notion that a mind-substance doesn't require knowledge is fundamentally incompatible with substance dualism. But Con doesn't even realize that because he doesn't understand substance dualism or Heidegger. Pro seems to have a better grasp of the philosophies but rhetorically has no clue what he's doing, and totally missed an opportunity for a win.

Why can't both existence and knowledge be possible without each other? Why must we assume any dependency? If it really follows that existence is prior to knowledge because it can exist without it, then if both are capable of existing without the other then both are "prior" to each other, which is impossible.


In contrast, Descartes argued the opposite: "I think, therefore I am" (i.e. knowledge precedes existence). I'm not giving this point much persuasive force in either direction, though Pro misses an incredibly opportunity to win the debate without any trouble. The only thing Pro needed to do here was point out that if existence precedes knowledge, if ontology is prior to epistemology, it means we need to look at existence before knowledge gives us the notion of a subject or object. From there, it's simple to explain the primacy of being-in-the-world as an existential state that precedes any knowledge of subjects or objects. This is precisely what Heidegger argues - and it's why his argument has so much force - but Pro doesn't actually understand Heidegger's argument, so naturally he doesn't get what's going on here.

How exactly does the fact that "we need to look at existence in order to form the concepts of subject and object" prove that they both belong to the same substance, and how is the primacy of being-in-the-world relevant to the resolution? Nothing said here makes any obvious sense (same goes for most of the RFD).

What the fvck are you talking about? I never said subjects and objects were part of the same substance. For Heidegger, "being" isn't a "substance." The concept of "being" is "temporal."

You said that it would give Pro the win. Forgive me for making such a wild assumption.
FourTrouble
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12/4/2015 10:57:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/4/2015 10:32:43 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
Not really. The whole point of BoP is to make the debate less about "who made the most compelling arguments" and more about "Did the side with BoP do a good job of proving their case in light of the counterarguments made by their opponent".

No. The purpose of BoP is to resolve disputes when arguments are tied.

"Just because free will exists doesn't mean the death penalty is justified" doesn't imply that the person is prepared to argue against the death penalty, only that they don't think the connection between free will and the death penalty is axiomatic such that if one is true the other follows. This is analogous to the above. If you disagree, you should explain yourself.

No.

Why can't both existence and knowledge be possible without each other? Why must we assume any dependency? If it really follows that existence is prior to knowledge because it can exist without it, then if both are capable of existing without the other then both are "prior" to each other, which is impossible.

So you're saying knowledge exists without existence? That statement is incoherent. I have no intention of addressing it further. Knowledge is a type of existence (Descartes' view) or existence is prior to knowledge (Heidegger's view). There's no view where knowledge and existence are independent substances. That's nonsense. It's also irrelevant to this debate, since nobody said anything about that.

You said that it would give Pro the win. Forgive me for making such a wild assumption.

I said it would give Pro the win if Pro had taken advantage of Con's concession. I recommend reading statements in context instead of picking them apart without their full meaning.
FourTrouble
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12/4/2015 11:07:14 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/4/2015 9:03:39 PM, Romanii wrote:
So what is "being" ?

Heidegger ultimately leaves the question unanswered, though suggests the answer is "time." What is "time"? Throughout his analysis, he shows that "being" or "time" unifies the past, present, and future. That structural unification is what Heidegger would say "being" is at its most fundamental ontological level. It's definitely not a "substance" as defined by the Greeks and taken up by Descartes and his progeny.
FourTrouble
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12/4/2015 11:11:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
To sum up Heidegger's view on substance dualism:

There's an epistemological framework that construes subjects and objects as two different substances. Heidegger argues there's a deeper, more primary, more fundamental unity between human beings and the world. He calls this unity "being-in-the-world." From there, he attempts to understand what "being" is, ultimately coming to the conclusion that it's not a "substance" but rather a "temporality."
BlueDreams
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12/5/2015 12:26:15 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Why should I give your words the "fairest interpretation"? That's a bizarre notion of entitlement. I interpret words based on your rhetorical posture. Throughout the debate, you continuously apologize for using Heidegger. I found that rhetorical move harmful to your case. It was important to the way I perceived your rhetorical posture throughout the debate. I brought it up as something for your to think about in the future. Don't apologize. The best debaters on this site don't apologize. Heidegger didn't apologize for his supposed difficulty. Neither should you.

There is not a single apology in the entire debate.
dylancatlow
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12/5/2015 12:40:49 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/4/2015 10:57:59 PM, FourTrouble wrote:
At 12/4/2015 10:32:43 PM, dylancatlow wrote:

Why can't both existence and knowledge be possible without each other? Why must we assume any dependency? If it really follows that existence is prior to knowledge because it can exist without it, then if both are capable of existing without the other then both are "prior" to each other, which is impossible.

So you're saying knowledge exists without existence? That statement is incoherent. I have no intention of addressing it further. Knowledge is a type of existence (Descartes' view) or existence is prior to knowledge (Heidegger's view). : There's no view where knowledge and existence are independent substances. That's nonsense. It's also irrelevant to this debate, since nobody said anything about that.

In the way you were using the terms, I thought "existence" was supposed to mean "object". I see now that's not what you meant. I'm still not sure if I agree with your argument.

You said: "That said, Con almost gives the debate to Pro when he observes that just because subjects require objects to understand themselves doesn't mean they can't exist without objects. If Pro had picked up on this, I'd vote Pro. In effect, Con suggests that ontology (existence) is primary to epistemology (knowledge)."

In effect, Con was suggesting that it's possible for subjects to exist without knowledge of themselves. I.e., that there can be existence without knowledge, in principle. Granted, it's not much of a counter argument if the primacy of existence would support Pro's resolution anyway. I'm not entirely sure I understand why you think it does. Is it that if existence has primacy over objects and subjects alike, then it is the fundamental substance to which they both belong?


You said that it would give Pro the win. Forgive me for making such a wild assumption.

I said it would give Pro the win if Pro had taken advantage of Con's concession. I recommend reading statements in context instead of picking them apart without their full meaning.

Sorry lol.
dylancatlow
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12/5/2015 1:37:43 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/4/2015 11:11:53 PM, FourTrouble wrote:
To sum up Heidegger's view on substance dualism:

There's an epistemological framework that construes subjects and objects as two different substances. Heidegger argues there's a deeper, more primary, more fundamental unity between human beings and the world. He calls this unity "being-in-the-world." From there, he attempts to understand what "being" is, ultimately coming to the conclusion that it's not a "substance" but rather a "temporality."

I guess this answers my question.
Romanii
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12/5/2015 4:20:15 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/4/2015 11:11:53 PM, FourTrouble wrote:
To sum up Heidegger's view on substance dualism:

There's an epistemological framework that construes subjects and objects as two different substances. Heidegger argues there's a deeper, more primary, more fundamental unity between human beings and the world. He calls this unity "being-in-the-world." From there, he attempts to understand what "being" is, ultimately coming to the conclusion that it's not a "substance" but rather a "temporality."

That was a helpful explanation. Still not buying that the "primary, more fundamental unity" matters if it all it deals with is how human beings come to develop knowledge about the world, but thanks. I'll try reading Heidegger and figuring it out for myself.
johnlubba
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12/6/2015 11:10:47 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/4/2015 7:20:30 AM, BlueDreams wrote:
I'm not here to persuade you into voting for me, because I don't care about the scoreboard.

Phahhaah Pull the other one.

Is this the same Sargon that abandoned his previous profile after notching up an impressive perfect debate statistic, only to forsake his profile after agreeing to tie with Dylan, thus putting a blemish on your track record, the very same Sargon that was awarded a win from a bogus RFD at the very last second, to avoid losing this impressive statistic.

I suppose I am just a weirdo who hounds you creepily, not that you spout nonsense which many seem to not understand. No, no, no. I am here to tel you how it is.

Stop talking nonsense.
BlueDreams
Posts: 199
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12/6/2015 8:08:58 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/6/2015 11:10:47 AM, johnlubba wrote:
At 12/4/2015 7:20:30 AM, BlueDreams wrote:
I'm not here to persuade you into voting for me, because I don't care about the scoreboard.

Phahhaah Pull the other one.

Is this the same Sargon that abandoned his previous profile after notching up an impressive perfect debate statistic, only to forsake his profile after agreeing to tie with Dylan, thus putting a blemish on your track record, the very same Sargon that was awarded a win from a bogus RFD at the very last second, to avoid losing this impressive statistic.

I suppose I am just a weirdo who hounds you creepily, not that you spout nonsense which many seem to not understand. No, no, no. I am here to tel you how it is.

Stop talking nonsense.

Here's some context for everybody reading: johnlubba is a user who feels he needs to make negative remarks about me at random times in different threads. I have opted to ignore these comments for a long time. His campaign against me has been going on for longer than a year, and I can't help but to wonder if he's a little obsessed with me for that reason. I've heard from users of DDO that he's gone around the website in PM's questioning my age and career status, arguing that I'm really a college professor instead of a teenager. Of course, these users told him that this can't possibly be true considering I've talked to many of them over Skype and Hangouts.

After this allegation was torn down, johnlubba invented a new one: Sargon creates new accounts in order to protect his perfect debate record. This claim might be sillier than the last one. I am always open about my previous accounts, so anybody can find out how I've performed in the past. Creating a new account doesn't magically erase my history on the website. He argues that I created a new account after a tie debate with Dylan because it "ruined" my debate record. This is ridiculous, because tie debates don't affect your debate record either way. He also holds other user's votes against me, which is ridiculous and unfair, because I don't control the actions of other users on this website. I am not responsible if somebody made a last minute vote that johnlubba found to be "bogus". Incidentally, this "bogus" RFD has never been taken down by the moderation staff, suggesting it's not bogus at all.

I'm going to regret giving him attention, and I worry that I'm merely fueling the obsession by responding to him, but this was necessary.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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12/6/2015 8:34:29 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I'd also like to point out that Sargon and I tied on our debate because we both agreed to a tie. If he was really that concerned about maintaining a perfect debate record he would have at least tried to beat me. I seriously doubt that he asked for tie because he couldn't think of any rebuttals, considering that the arguments I made were the same ones I've been making forever. What's far more likely was that he was too busy to finish the debate (that's even what he told me) and didn't want to lose a debate for forfeiting a round.
johnlubba
Posts: 2,892
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12/7/2015 12:54:23 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/6/2015 8:08:58 PM, BlueDreams wrote:
At 12/6/2015 11:10:47 AM, johnlubba wrote:
At 12/4/2015 7:20:30 AM, BlueDreams wrote:
I'm not here to persuade you into voting for me, because I don't care about the scoreboard.

Phahhaah Pull the other one.

Is this the same Sargon that abandoned his previous profile after notching up an impressive perfect debate statistic, only to forsake his profile after agreeing to tie with Dylan, thus putting a blemish on your track record, the very same Sargon that was awarded a win from a bogus RFD at the very last second, to avoid losing this impressive statistic.

I suppose I am just a weirdo who hounds you creepily, not that you spout nonsense which many seem to not understand. No, no, no. I am here to tel you how it is.

Stop talking nonsense.

Here's some context for everybody reading: johnlubba is a user who feels he needs to make negative remarks about me at random times in different threads. I have opted to ignore these comments for a long time. His campaign against me has been going on for longer than a year, and I can't help but to wonder if he's a little obsessed with me for that reason. I've heard from users of DDO that he's gone around the website in PM's questioning my age and career status, arguing that I'm really a college professor instead of a teenager. Of course, these users told him that this can't possibly be true considering I've talked to many of them over Skype and Hangouts.

After this allegation was torn down, johnlubba invented a new one: Sargon creates new accounts in order to protect his perfect debate record. This claim might be sillier than the last one. I am always open about my previous accounts, so anybody can find out how I've performed in the past. Creating a new account doesn't magically erase my history on the website. He argues that I created a new account after a tie debate with Dylan because it "ruined" my debate record. This is ridiculous, because tie debates don't affect your debate record either way. He also holds other user's votes against me, which is ridiculous and unfair, because I don't control the actions of other users on this website. I am not responsible if somebody made a last minute vote that johnlubba found to be "bogus". Incidentally, this "bogus" RFD has never been taken down by the moderation staff, suggesting it's not bogus at all.

I'm going to regret giving him attention, and I worry that I'm merely fueling the obsession by responding to him, but this was necessary.

Convincing yourself proves nothing, and I don't want your attention, I am just here to keep reminding you that you are not as legit as you wish to believe, We can all go through the motions of trying to prove one is right over the other, but lets just leave it like this,

I know and you know you are bogus. And I wouldn't bet on you having a single legitimate bone in your body, and I'll hedge my bets that if you lose this one to Romani, you will most certainly abandon and forsake this profile also.

Good luck living in your thinly veiled bubble.
johnlubba
Posts: 2,892
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12/7/2015 1:48:16 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/6/2015 8:34:29 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
I'd also like to point out that Sargon and I tied on our debate because we both agreed to a tie. If he was really that concerned about maintaining a perfect debate record he would have at least tried to beat me. I seriously doubt that he asked for tie because he couldn't think of any rebuttals, considering that the arguments I made were the same ones I've been making forever. What's far more likely was that he was too busy to finish the debate (that's even what he told me) and didn't want to lose a debate for forfeiting a round.

Why is it no surprise to me to see you siding with Sargon, It isn't at all, not in the slightest, seeing as it was you, and only you that I confided in by confessing to you that I was going to post my long thought out "legitimate" RFD against Sargon at the last minute, so as not to encourage an illegitimate counter vote which would nullify my vote and render it pointless, Yet this is what still happened at the very last minute/second that I posted my vote, it was as if they were waiting for it.

The end result, Miles Donahue was cheated out of the debate, which my vote would have awarded him a tie at best. So I have very little interest in your point of view, and further, I wouldn't confide in you again.