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Ludwig Wittgenstein

Cognisant

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#1

I find this to be a very relatable frustration, for example before we can talk about "what is the meaning of life" we need first agree on what manner of "meaning" and "life" we're talking about. Meaning to oneself, meaning to others, to society, meaning relative to an ideal, these are all very different kinds of meaning which is why nobody can agree on an answer. It's not for lack of an answer (there's tons of answers to that question) it's that nobody can agree on the exact nature of the question being asked.

And the there's a lot of metaphysics that's just straight up bullshit.
 
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#2
I always generally took the question "what is the meaning of life" to mean: the reason to live in the first place. Or: the thing that makes life worth living. Life is always personal since only individuals are alive at base.

I don't see images in my head when people talk to me or when I read at least not consciously. Temple Grandin wrote in her hook that because she associates every word with a picture she cannot understand what the phrase (to be) means. (to be) means as far as I take it is: the act of existing. But that still is not expressible in pictures, it just is. Usually when a person says they think in words they mean they see actual words floating in front of them as text. Symbolic meaning like in religion is even trickier. logograms like in Japanese writing are more interpretive. Translations of any kind just seem a mess.
 

The Grey Man

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#3
A salutary coincidence.

The Grey Man said:
I decided years ago that my only captain would be existence itself, and nature- perception- the only acceptable means of their dissemination.
Here I make the same assumption that people who ask what the meaning of life- by which they mean what it ennobles one to have inferred from the world, which is wisdom, the prize which alone is sought by philosophy, or else nothing worth fussing over- is make: that life is, in Wittgenstein's language, a picture (symbol) of some fact with which it shares its attributed logical structure, a true proposition in some language. It's an assumption of all philosophy that the world, like a puzzle toy, is the solution to its own problem and the problem to its own solution or, at least, what in the way of a solution can be had.* Moreover, 'the world' and 'the self' are two names for the same thing which highlight its aspects as patient (puzzle) and agent (he who puzzles) respectively, as the inestimable contributions of Kant and Schopenhauer made abundantly clear.

In this passage from his principal work, Schopenhauer masterfully integrates with his own double aspect doctrine** Kant's Copernican revolution whereby objects were recognized as dependent upon the subject as their condition of possibility, just as the subject is differentiated by the form assumed by the objective matter, and the true "center of gravity" of metaphysics, its matter, identified as just this subject (just as the matter of physics is...well, matter, objects!), although the world has scarcely noticed, including even the scientific community, where the corresponding victory of Machian-Einsteinian relativistic physics over Lockean-Newtonian absolute time and space (really, of idealistic over materialistic physics) should have put an end to the absurd mirage of l'homme machine of which naïve reductionists still think themselves to be in pursuit, trained and even endorsed by the scientists.

Schopenhauer said:
In fact, our willing is the one opportunity which we have of understanding from within any event which exhibits itself without, consequently the one thing which is known to us immediately, and not, like all the rest, merely given in the idea. Here, then, lies the datum which alone is able to become the key to everything else, or, as I have said, the single narrow door to the truth. Accordingly we must learn to understand nature from ourselves, not conversely ourselves from nature. What is known to us immediately must give us the explanation of what we only know indirectly, not conversely. Do we perhaps understand the rolling of a ball when it has received an impulse more thoroughly than our movement when we feel a motive? Many may imagine so, but I say it is the reverse. Yet we shall attain to the knowledge that what is essential in both the occurrences just mentioned is identical; although identical in the same way as the lowest audible note of harmony is the same as the note of the same name ten octaves higher.

* Grace and only grace, and not by our vain temporal works but by providence...but more on the agreement between Calvinist theology and Schopenhauerian philosophy in another thread perhaps, on a later date.

** A theory that was shamelessly appropriated in an anemic, diminished form by David Chalmers in his celebrated essay Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness, where he fails to identify the will, agency as the intrinsic aspect of information, a fault somewhat rectified by Tononi's Integrated Information Theory, which is yet an insipid academic repackaging of Schopenhauer's thought at best.
 
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#4
What do I revolve around?
Do I make everything revolve around me?

Vinylbase - Life (Cc.K & Unique Stylers Radio Rmx)
 
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#5
A salutary coincidence.

The Grey Man said:
I decided years ago that my only captain would be existence itself, and nature- perception- the only acceptable means of their dissemination.
Here I make the same assumption that people who ask what the meaning of life- by which they mean what it ennobles one to have inferred from the world, which is wisdom, the prize which alone is sought by philosophy, or else nothing worth fussing over- is make: that life is, in Wittgenstein's language, a picture (symbol) of some fact with which it shares its attributed logical structure, a true proposition in some language. It's an assumption of all philosophy that the world, like a puzzle toy, is the solution to its own problem and the problem to its own solution or, at least, what in the way of a solution can be had.* Moreover, 'the world' and 'the self' are two names for the same thing which highlight its aspects as patient (puzzle) and agent (he who puzzles) respectively, as the inestimable contributions of Kant and Schopenhauer made abundantly clear.

In this passage from his principal work, Schopenhauer masterfully integrates with his own double aspect doctrine** Kant's Copernican revolution whereby objects were recognized as dependent upon the subject as their condition of possibility, just as the subject is differentiated by the form assumed by the objective matter, and the true "center of gravity" of metaphysics, its matter, identified as just this subject (just as the matter of physics is...well, matter, objects!), although the world has scarcely noticed, including even the scientific community, where the corresponding victory of Machian-Einsteinian relativistic physics over Lockean-Newtonian absolute time and space (really, of idealistic over materialistic physics) should have put an end to the absurd mirage of l'homme machine of which naïve reductionists still think themselves to be in pursuit, trained and even endorsed by the scientists.

Schopenhauer said:
In fact, our willing is the one opportunity which we have of understanding from within any event which exhibits itself without, consequently the one thing which is known to us immediately, and not, like all the rest, merely given in the idea. Here, then, lies the datum which alone is able to become the key to everything else, or, as I have said, the single narrow door to the truth. Accordingly we must learn to understand nature from ourselves, not conversely ourselves from nature. What is known to us immediately must give us the explanation of what we only know indirectly, not conversely. Do we perhaps understand the rolling of a ball when it has received an impulse more thoroughly than our movement when we feel a motive? Many may imagine so, but I say it is the reverse. Yet we shall attain to the knowledge that what is essential in both the occurrences just mentioned is identical; although identical in the same way as the lowest audible note of harmony is the same as the note of the same name ten octaves higher.

* Grace and only grace, and not by our vain temporal works but by providence...but more on the agreement between Calvinist theology and Schopenhauerian philosophy in another thread perhaps, on a later date.

** A theory that was shamelessly appropriated in an anemic, diminished form by David Chalmers in his celebrated essay Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness, where he fails to identify the will, agency as the intrinsic aspect of information, a fault somewhat rectified by Tononi's Integrated Information Theory, which is yet an insipid academic repackaging of Schopenhauer's thought at best.
The underlined reminds me of what Vivekananda said (in his speech in America, I think) about how ancient India started first by looking outside in the 'external world' - doing normal physics. Then they are said to have realized that the world as perceived is within themselves, and they shifted their search within. It seems like the west is going through kind of a similar loop (though it might have regressed a bit. Berkeley, Phenomenologists etc. noticed the primacy of phenomena before some metaphysical 'physical' world)


Galen Strawson in an article(http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2018/03/13/the-consciousness-deniers/) said how there were many interesting works on consciousness some 100 years ago. Behaviorists haven't really left. They have come back up under the disguise of illusionists and eliminative materialists - some of them are widely cited. They hide behind unclear languages 'quasi-phenomenal representations' and such.


However, there's something important that crypto-behaviorists emphasize though - that is the illusions in consciousness. We seem to understand far less than what we think we understand about the world of appearances. I am not speaking of simple illusions - but illusions with interesting implications - illusions where the perceiver is not even sure if he\she was conscious about an element a moment ago, or if something is appearing phenomenally or something is being judged to appearing in a certain way. So they may be rightfully critical of the subject of phenomenology. But they somehow manage to use these evidence of epistemic insecurity to support their position that there are no apparent phenomena at all. Even judgments are mental-appearances of some sort, if not a visual one. So I am not even sure how can things epistemically appear without phenomenally appear, and how do they even solve the appearance of judgments and thoughts even if they reduce all conscious experience into them. They seem to be going nowhere at all. The hard problem stands as it is.


The hard problem is surely not a new one. Chalmers knows it well. He merely revived it into popularity. It went viral from one of his lectures, IIRC. Most explicitly, I remember Leibniz formulating the hard problem, and there were others before who understand it intuitively (those whose common sense is not blinded by the metaphysical physicalism. Science isn't even supposed to do all these metaphysics. I see no basis of assuming metaphysical physicalism from science.)

IIT of consciousness merely seems to say:

Here there's integration in consciousness, every experience is exclusive, there's lot of information - and look the physical stuffs are also integrated, have info processing capabilities - so therefore consciousness is just these physical stuff - consciousness explained! Again, it's just an explanation by referring to correlative principles. However, IIT is taken to be a panpsychism of sorts, where logic gates can be conscious if organized in a certain manner. Ultimately it really explains nothing fundamentally, not even really solves the combination problem. Integration is, I think, an important ingredient but far from solving anything fundamental.


Relativity reminds me of Vasubandhu's verses: http://www.cronksite.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/VasubandhuGC.pdf

Illusionism is probably as silly as it gets (or maybe the Churchland):


http://nbviewer.jupyter.org/github/...onism as a theory of consciousness_eprint.pdf


I even made a parody:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uCfMBbF0BGFJKSzRwuNFbsvm2zFUA_KT7mivcn4MD8Y/edit?usp=sharing
 
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#6
Introspection seems to be more than visual.
When not distracted I practice self-monitoring.
I stand back from myself and let things happen.

Phenomenal experience is shaped by how matter is put together but since the network of energy channels (neuronal synapses) self-organize to mirror the world by recreating it with backward signals (feedback). We are created by our ability to change the world of prediction. You hold more of the world inside you the more the signals can predict outside and inside actions/perceptions. And this is the barrier to mutual understanding. Two people that can predict each other understand each other. Then the question "what is the meaning of life" becomes simple.
 

onesteptwostep

I'm smart and stuff.
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#7
iirc I think Wittgenstein went 180 degrees on language and later thought that the meaning of life was important. He was somewhat religiously inclined to religiosity, though he didn't practice Christianity himself. His later writings, iirc Philosophical Investigations, is a lot more open to the problems of philosophy, unlike the book of the early stages of his career, the Tractatus.

Either way the spirit of this age is clearly existential.. (putting individual freedom above all else). Like the metaphysical, ontological systems of the 18-20th centuries are long gone. I mean this is why philosophy is mere history now and and super specialized/compartmentalized. To Christians I think Kierkegaard is somewhat of a role model philosophically now, and for most others, Camus is.
 
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